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[FM21] BackTheBulls - Jersey Bulls: a charge into the football league


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April 2028

If there's a game I'm upset about this month, it's this one.

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To let in 3 goals from 0.96 xG is just unforgivable. 

Tierney decided he didn't want to play anymore this year. Is that his 4th or 5th injury this year?!

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3 wins, 2 draws and a loss this month. We're stretched too thin, and we don't have the caliber of player as backup who can win games when we miss players like Stow-Tricker and Tierney.

One player who is performing to ridiculous levels still is Toomer.

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19 goals and 17 assists from DLF in 33 appearances. Phenomenal. I need to tie him down to a longer contract as his expires in 2029, although we do have a 1 year extension on that if needed.

So where does this period of slightly indifferent form leave us?

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In pretty much the same place we were. We have an identical record to Bath over the period and with 5 games to go I'm going to suggest it's too far for us. We have had 3 failed play-off campaigns so far, so we may have to try our hand in a fourth.

Off the field, finances continue to grow and we fielded a pretty incredible bid this month, if for the location rather than amount.

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Geddes has no fewer than 4 MLS teams interested in him, and the bidding is ramping up as I click continue. We're currently at £150k upfront, so I'm just kind of waiting to see if the chairman will accept a bid, as he hasn't yet and it would be good to know the value of bid he intervenes at. We do have the +2 year clause to use if a bid goes over our heads, although that trick will only work once.

 

 

 

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May 2028

We lost our first game against Eastleigh 2-1, but Bath also lost to keep the gap at 4 points with 4 games to go.

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Two wins followed and with Bath drawing when we beat Yeovil, the gap was down to just 2 points.

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We absolutely smashed our next two games, scoring 7 and conceding 0.

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So how did Bath do?

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They won both of theirs of course. It looks like that Eastleigh game was the one that cost us the automatic promotion. If you'd told me at the start of the season we'd finish second and be in with a chance of the title on the final day of the season, I'd have bitten your hand off. Having been top at the end of January, I did initially feel some disappointment, but having taken a few days off before I play the play-offs, I now look back on this at the most exciting season yet. It's the first time we've been in a real title race, with our other titles being won early on.

The excitement is also benefiting us off the pitch, as we break our attendance record:

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The biggest problem ahead of the play-offs is that once again our assistant manager has been poached before a play-off campaign.

Danny Harris has done well for us as essentially he is the manager once I click 'instant result'.

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I'm going to need to replace him by the 9th June, when we play in the semi-final. The good news about Vanarama South play-offs is we only play teams in our league, so I'm confident that with the semi-final at home due to our 2nd place finish, we should make the final. We did have 3 failed play-off campaigns in the Southern League Division One South though, so our record isn't great. 

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June 2028

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A sell-out (nearly) was expected for the semi-final against Chippenham. Could we continue our good recent form?

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Yes we could! Geddes gets two goals, while Toomer continues his fine season.

We now face Bromley in the final.

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Geddes goes into this game, potentially his last for the club (more on that later) with two records within his grasp.

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Can we win promotion and can Geddes break some records?

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You bet we/he can! Incredible! We're promoted to the Vanarama National League and our main man breaks both records with his double to help us on the way!

It's fair to say the board are pretty happy!

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End of season analysis

Wow, what an end to the season! I still can't quite believe we've secured a third promotion in a row. It's good to win in the play-offs as well.

Let's see how the squad performed this year.

Goalkeepers

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Boardman isn't rated as highly by our coaches anymore, and his performances dipped in terms of average rating toward the end of the season. However, when you look at his saves, he is more than 3x effective and especially adept at tipping saves - these are presumably the hardest saves. He also conceded less per game so I'm pretty chuffed with his signing.

Defenders

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One player stands out for me here. Bondswell has had a superb debut season. I'm really excited to have another very good centre back who is likely to get much better. Elsewhere Matondo came in and did such a good job deputising for Fitton that I eventually shifted Fitton to LB and played both of them.

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This analysis is slightly unfair on my LB options as they played less minutes than Matondo and Fitton, but they have a real challenge now to get ahead of these two. Hudson is still our best CB statistically, if not according to his rating.

Midfield

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I've already been over my concerns about DLP, and that doesn't change much now. I'm going to keep pushing with Knill, if he stays. I'm really pleased with Williams who has contributed 7 assists and 6 goals which is superb for my backup AML. In fact, all my wingers are doing pretty well!

I looked into the stats of Camara and Stow-Tricker who are my first choice. Thanks to @_Ben_ for your excel spreadsheet which allowed me to compare their performances to 2400 others players in the database.

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I want you to remember we're a non-league team. Camara is consistently scoring well, but Stow-Tricker is performing sensationally. He scores in the top 15% of players for goals, key passes, assists, crosses, key headers and interceptions. What a player! Obviously I'm not suggesting he could play in the premier league, but he is doing very well across the board and is clearly too good for the level we play at.

Attackers

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Once again, Geddes has been lethal all season. He's the number 1 from all the players I can scout for goals/90 minutes, as you can see below. There is some bad news about his future with us, which will appear in the next post.

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His partner in crime this year has been Toomer. What a year he has had since I switched him to DLF. He's top for assists/ 90 but also scores superbly for goals/90. 

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Team of the year

I agree completely with this.

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Although I mentioned Geddes breaking records, Toomer also got in on the act.

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Our overall record breaker for the year.

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End of season 2027/28 part 2

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I had to come up with a new colour for not winning the league but still being promoted! This year has been successful on the pitch, but also off it. We've improved our reputation, improved our finances, improved our average attendance, and we've also now had to improve our stadium to reach the minimum requirements for the Vanarama National.

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The financial situation is likely to continue to improve, as the chairman has gone above our head and accepted and offer for Geddes. 

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On the back of this I've offered him out to try and secure a loan back from an English side. Offers of £250k upfront, with 40% sell on clause and loan back for a year have been met by Charlton, Bristol Rovers and MK Dons. Let's see what he decides to do, as he doesn't want a new deal with us! This money would be significant for us and might allow us to start improving our facilities.

 

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Attribute analysis June 2028

I love this part of the season. I'm enjoying analysing statistics to help with squad selection, but it's the attribute analysis and growth that is keeping me engaged season by season. 

This season we've become slightly bloated, especially in the U23s with non-contract players. I'm tempted to move some of these on using this analysis to allow more U18s access to some game time and to make the pathway to promotion easier.

Let's take a look at my goalkeepers across all three squads.

GK

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This is the least bloated part of my squad. Dolan on paper should be better than Boardman, but as the stats showed in my previous post, Boardman outperformed Dolan last year. I may look to loan Gordon or Dolan out, or perhaps rotate Dolan and Boardman as despite the former's poor personality, game time did lead to good attribute growth for him and through fines for poor performances and mentoring his determination is now up to 10 (from 7)

CB

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Bondswell's growth is clear here. He's definitely first choice with Hudson going forward, but Tallack also deserves his opportunity next year. Charles may have hit his peak, while there are a number here who may have spent their final season with me. Howell, Nasoutlis, Hitchman may be let go to allow more room for players like HadlandHickman and Woozley

RB/LB

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Fitton continues his growth. Many of our other options seem to have hit, or are close to their peak. Holder is low down on this list, but may feature at LB next year due to his potential. Woozley also looks like he has made good growth, but his potential is quite limited so I may have to wait for his chances.

BWM

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Robbins continues his fine growth in this role. We've also got many younger options including Cable who only got 2 games this year. I'll be moving on Wilkinson and Mikkonen at the very least as they're occupying slots in my U23s and they're never going to get into the first team, even if both Robbins and Knill left (which could happen depending on how big an offer comes in for them).

DLP

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I should be able to get performances out of Knill! There's quite a few options here, but most of them play in other positions. Larkin is a player I'd like to give some game time to next year as he's not developed without it and he's technically our 4th best option here.

AMR/AML

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Yes, we have too many players who can play on the wing. Tierney, Williams and Camara are the most pleasing for me growth-wise, as all three have been heavily involved this year. I'm going to have to do some culling here I think. Players like Bailey are just not going to play again.

DLF

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Toomer may not rate as highly as others in this role, but boy is he effective. Eren hasn't performed well when I've played him, so I'm tempted to ditch him now we're a league higher. O'Connor may be an option, but this is an area that's quite weak, especially if Geddes leaves and doesn't return on loan, as we occasionally use him here to rest Toomer.

Poacher

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Geddes is now superb in this role for our level. Farmer did improve and I'm hopeful for him in the long run as he appears to have the potential. Brooking can't finish to save his life, but is another who has some potential to keep up his good initial growth.

Thoughts for next year

With Geddes likely to leave, my first team squad may vary depending on whether he comes back on loan. Farmer isn't strong enough yet to play the whole season, so Stow-Tricker may see himself pushed forward with Williams trusted more at AML after a very good season. I'm also expecting some big bids for Fitton, Knill, Robbins and potentially Toomer, so I'm going to wait before updating my first team's attribute scores ahead of the new season.

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44 minutes ago, Jtomsett11 said:

I looked into the stats of Camara and Stow-Tricker who are my first choice. Thanks to @_Ben_ for your excel spreadsheet which allowed me to compare their performances to 2400 others players in the database.

Love it!

Quite the season you've had there and quite the rise you're having. I'll repeat what I said before that statistics like the ones you're using are very rare at this level and, combined with your writing style, makes this a great read! Keep it up - hopefully with some extra money from the Geddes sale.

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9 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Love it!

Quite the season you've had there and quite the rise you're having. I'll repeat what I said before that statistics like the ones you're using are very rare at this level and, combined with your writing style, makes this a great read! Keep it up - hopefully with some extra money from the Geddes sale.

Thank you again! Your thread has helped inspire me to use these statistics and your excel sheet is now another excellent tool as well to use. Thank you for sharing it as I imagine it took a while to develop. 

Next season could be very interesting if I do lose a few of my best players as there's no doubt they're behind my recent climb up the leagues. However even if I just establish myself in the vanarama national for a few seasons with a bit of money funding the development of the club I'll see that as another step forward. 

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Promotion! 
And through the playoffs at that :applause:

Love the squad analysis. Didn’t realise you’d have so many players in a few positions (wingers and mids).

With the ratings scores, are they coming from the highlighted skill column figures? Do you find the non-highlighted skill columns rise/drop by much as well?

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3 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Promotion! 
And through the playoffs at that :applause:

Love the squad analysis. Didn’t realise you’d have so many players in a few positions (wingers and mids).

With the ratings scores, are they coming from the highlighted skill column figures? Do you find the non-highlighted skill columns rise/drop by much as well?

Thanks!

Yes, we're definitely over-stocked in a few positions, however it's worth adding that maybe 5-6 of those are youngsters who've been given 2 year youth contracts just to see if they turn out any good and worthy of first team game time.

That's an interesting thought! I haven't actually checked although I do notice other attributes growing, especially physical ones early on in their development. The best players with good personalities definitely see increases across the board.

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Pre-season 2028/29

We aren't quite to the league games yet, but a number of interesting developments have taken place over the summer.

We've said goodbye to a number of players.

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In among a number of young players who didn't really play much, we have two Jersey Bulls legends as far as I'm concerned, Bailey and Hitchman, who both are no longer up to the standard we play but contributed hugely early on.

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We have secured some key contracts.

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Toomer signed his deal, but I've also just secured new 4 year deals for Knill and Robbins too after much speculation and quite a few offers for both of them. This gives us some security in knowing we'll only entertain significant offers.

Speaking of which...

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A huge offer! The only issue is that there's no sell-on fee or loan back. However, this is just one of 6 offers he's considering.

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Wow! I can't believe he's staying put. In fact, it's a good job I can't believe it, as 3 days later Charlton bid this.

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We secure a huge, huge deal for us as well as keeping Geddes for the duration of the season. He must have some serious potential for this sort of bid to be offered. This is him on the day he was bought.

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Let's be honest, he's a beast for this level of football and I can easily see why he went for a near 2000% pay-rise. 

This sort of money is going to help us to establish ourselves at this level, and hopefully allow us to achieve promotion into league football within a few years. 

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I won't go mad, but we can probably improve the training facilities as well. 

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Oh wow! That was some rollercoaster Geddes transfer saga! I thought I was mistaken when I saw him still in your squad. Nope :cool:

I’ll call it, this season he’ll perform like last and you’ll be fighting for promotion :kriss: :D

Upgrade, upgrades, upgrades :thup:

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September 2028

I've been snowed under at work so have done very little gaming this week! However, I did manage to finish pre-season and play the first month last Friday, I just didn't manage to post about it.

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This is the first year we've required squad numbers in the save! Another little milestone. 

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This kind of shows you my thoughts over the squad for the year, with the exception that there is only one CB in the first 11 squad numbers.

We're predicted to finish 19th in the league. 

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Despite this, it's obvious this league doesn't have much to choose from, as there isn't much between many of the teams.

Geddes and Toomer are in the Media Dream Team, albeit with Toomer in CM instead of DLF where I play him.

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The new money from the Geddes signing will pay for facilities, but it's also allowed us to once again upgrade our coaching staff and also sign some U18 staff for the first time. This is now the first team set up which I'm really pleased with.

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We only had one game in September, away to Cambridge. This would be a test of our ability as the media has them finishing third.

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A huge win! Geddes continues his form as we score 5 inside 22 minutes! Let's hope we can continue this! I think our problem will again be squad depth this season. I have upped my scouting budget from £0 to include quite a few leagues to try and bring in a player to bolster our ranks, particularly up front to rotate with Geddes

 

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October 2028

We've had two poor results this month. 

Firstly, against Bath.

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Totally understandable when you go down to 10 within the first 10 minutes.

The second game was against top of the league Chester. I made the rookie error of resting Geddes for two games in a row when I originally rested him so he could play against Chester with full fitness. Idiot! I think it's fair to say that decision probably cost us.

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In the cup, we've done something very special, and that's make it to the first round of the FA cup! Back when I started this save, that's something I wanted to achieve to recognise the long standing aim for a Jersey side to participate in the FA Cup in real life. 

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We also continue our development off the pitch, while I reached the 400 game mark.

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Yes, those training facilities are downright expensive, but we still have £500k + in the bank and we're making good money each home game we play currently. While we may not be able to make full use of the facilities while we are part time, there's always the potential to turn full time in the near future if we bring in further money through player sales, cup success or by being a profitable enterprise.

So, where do we stand after this month?

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I'm actually a little disappointed after my slip up, but this is a very solid start and shows we're fit to be in this league.

 

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Nice work on taking Jersey into the FA Cup :thup:

A decent start, and time to start showing the league who’s boss. When you get time :D

The best part if the update for me was, Jersey predicted to finish 18th but having two players in the league dream team :idiot: :lol:

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2 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Nice work on taking Jersey into the FA Cup :thup:

A decent start, and time to start showing the league who’s boss. When you get time :D

The best part if the update for me was, Jersey predicted to finish 18th but having two players in the league dream team :idiot: :lol:

Yeah I think it suggest a few of our players are great and the others are very average! There's more FA Cup fun to come!

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November 2028

We started the month with our FA Cup against League One Tranmere. I fully expected a beating. Looking at the xG alone, you can see Tranmere fully deserved it.

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However, they certainly didn't make the most of it in the game!

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Incredibly we win on penalties to enter the second round! We've drawn League Two Wrexham, with a potential home match (shame, as an away one would be the money earner) against Liverpool in the third round!

That's about as good as November got.

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We've really struggled to score consistently. The volume of games has also taken its toll, with several players requiring rest breaks.

I didn't realise the impact it would have at the time, but in the summer period I noticed that my U23 and U18s didn't go on holiday, although I'm not really sure why as the first team did. Now a number of those are in the first team without having had a break, so after half a season they're fatigued and requiring two week breaks. Bondswell and Tallack have succumbed, for example. 

I've also been relying on a small squad for a few years, with young players getting far too many games. Players like Geddes and Fitton have also required rests this month; they've played over a 100 games despite being teenagers still. With this in mind I have promoted one further youth player and brought in another CM on a loan.

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I really like Brooking and he's improved quite a bit since pre-season, so with Williams struggling to be an effective backup AML he's now played a couple of games. 

Matty Taylor comes in as he can play BWM or DLP, which allows me to push Robbins back to CB when two of my three centre backs are being rested! I think we're at a realistic level now where we would be prospective club to send loanees to, so while I don't want to rely on loans going forward, I will take the odd loan here and there to prevent my players burning out. 

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On the finances side, our cup success has allowed us to continue to make a profit.

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Now, I did forget to take a screenshot before the next few games in December, but we were 7th at the end of November if that helps! Essentially not the best month in the league!

Edited by Jtomsett11
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December 2028

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Now that's more like it!

We start with another extra time conquest of a league opponent in the FA Cup! 

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Stow-Tricker is the man to win us the game, sending us through to play Liverpool! Our first time facing a premier league team in the save. It's shame our ground extension to 4000 isn't ready in time, so we'll likely have a capacity crowd of just 2700 ish. Despite the fact we won't see major financial benefits of the tie, we are really starting to put Jersey on the map (football wise!).

In the league we were superb until the final game of the calendar year.

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35 points after 19 games is a very good return for a newly promoted side. We're not going to win the league this year, but if we get into the play-offs that would be fantastic. We've not yet finished lower than 4th in our 8 seasons, so it's good to be back in 4th place!

Geddes has had a real purple patch this month with two hatricks. He's now our all-time leading league goalscorer. He only turned 20 this month! 

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Off the field we've had some more positive developments.

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The finances continue to grow which is excellent as it means our current level of investment is sustainable at the moment. 

I signed a new contract. I think I'm now the highest paid person at the club, as I should be really.

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And we've had the youth intake preview through. There's a lot of green here. 

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If I'm reading this right, we'll have full backs, a centre back and a right winger with good potential at the very least. Let's see if that matches up with what we get.

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FA Cup Third Round

Before I do a little squad analysis as I usually do at the half way point of the season, I thought I'd share the FA Cup third round result.

First, our analyst gave his view.

image.png.25f85130ea818aab5444edf5b0b1b6a0.png

:lol:

I think we'll upgrade our analysts next!

So how did the game itself go? 

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Umm, yep. I don't mind losing 5-0. I do mind the 3 red cards, as the bans will now bleed into league games. Knill is likely to get a 3 game ban. Twit. I think we'll try and forget about this tie quite quickly!

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2028/29 Mid-season analysis

Goalkeeper

I've actually sent Dolan on loan as he wasn't getting game time. Boardman has been in superb form.

image.png.df070fd97dde426260e2560bfac8744c.png

He's faced a lot of action, but has let in just 30 in 23 games including 5 against Liverpool. I have taken him off penalties as he missed quite a few in November during our phase of not scoring goals.

Defenders

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At centre back, HudsonTallack, and Bondswell have shared the game time with a few appearances from Robbins (below). There isn't an awful lot to pick between them, except perhaps Tallack has been more successful with his tackles. When I compare them against other defenders in the league, they're pretty average in terms of tackles and headers won.  Tallack who is our best scores in the top 20% for key tackles and just below for key headers, but is otherwise well below average.

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Bondswell's stats are below for comparison.

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I'm not sure if this suggest my defenders don't have to do a lot, or that they're not doing a lot. They're good in the air, but certainly not winning many tackles. I do have a ball-winning midfielder in front of them, who is particularly good at tackling. Interceptions are also very high among my wingers and full backs.

image.png.2ba2631efa43d3c60f986b1669371a2e.png

At full back, I've been impressed with Holder. He's averaging a good number of interceptions and tackles per game, although he's nowhere near our best defensive full back Matondo. However, his key passes of 2 per game is similar to Fitton, so I'm very pleased considering he's only 16.

Midfielders

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Our numbers from our wingers are definitely down this season. Camara is joint top assister on 5, although Brooking has had an immediate impact with 3 in 6 games. Stow-Tricker gets the goals but isn't creating much. Tierney is the most creative, with 0.43 chances per game, but somehow only has 2 assists!

Williams is the real disappointment this season and he's going to find it tough for game time with Brooking coming on to the scene. 

In central midfield, nobody comes close to Robbins as a ball-winning midfielder. Larkin looks a better prospect for the deep-lying playmaker role in the long term as he's creating more key passes than Knill does, although Knill has 3 assists to his name. 

This graph shows the impact Larkin is having when he plays, despite his poor average rating. 

image.png.17598e8530da98e759d151079dc35d6f.png

Forwards

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Toomer has been much less effective so far this year. Farmer has more minutes, but I have serious reservations about him taking over from Geddes next year with just one goal to his name. Geddes once again leads the way. 21 goals in 18 appearances. Deadly.

If I could improve the squad in any way it would be to find another goal threat. Geddes is now essentially championship quality, so replacing him is going to be hugely difficult, but if we had even one extra option I wouldn't be so concerned about losing him at the end of his loan. I'll keep playing Farmer as he could be half decent, but without many options in the U23 or U18 it may be a loan move or transfer to find a goal scorer next year. 

 

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On 13/09/2021 at 03:10, Jtomsett11 said:

FA Cup Third Round

Before I do a little squad analysis as I usually do at the half way point of the season, I thought I'd share the FA Cup third round result.

First, our analyst gave his view.

image.png.25f85130ea818aab5444edf5b0b1b6a0.png

:lol:

I think we'll upgrade our analysts next!

So how did the game itself go? 

image.png.3431bdb370773b1d03c5db5d1ac456fb.png

Umm, yep. I don't mind losing 5-0. I do mind the 3 red cards, as the bans will now bleed into league games. Knill is likely to get a 3 game ban. Twit. I think we'll try and forget about this tie quite quickly!

Nice, you made the third round! I think some of your players got a bit to excited that they were playing against Liverpool. Not the audition to make there. And yes, pity it wasn’t at Anfield.

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On 13/09/2021 at 05:21, Jtomsett11 said:

2028/29 Mid-season analysis

Goalkeeper

I've actually sent Dolan on loan as he wasn't getting game time. Boardman has been in superb form.

image.png.df070fd97dde426260e2560bfac8744c.png

He's faced a lot of action, but has let in just 30 in 23 games including 5 against Liverpool. I have taken him off penalties as he missed quite a few in November during our phase of not scoring goals.

Defenders

image.png.731d1b95e662cf2a9a5e25f32fc95365.png

At centre back, HudsonTallack, and Bondswell have shared the game time with a few appearances from Robbins (below). There isn't an awful lot to pick between them, except perhaps Tallack has been more successful with his tackles. When I compare them against other defenders in the league, they're pretty average in terms of tackles and headers won.  Tallack who is our best scores in the top 20% for key tackles and just below for key headers, but is otherwise well below average.

image.png.7d3abe653410b119e5cf5ac85160133f.png

Bondswell's stats are below for comparison.

image.png.9b017cf13a9edaaa0ad13e8774819907.png

I'm not sure if this suggest my defenders don't have to do a lot, or that they're not doing a lot. They're good in the air, but certainly not winning many tackles. I do have a ball-winning midfielder in front of them, who is particularly good at tackling. Interceptions are also very high among my wingers and full backs.

image.png.2ba2631efa43d3c60f986b1669371a2e.png

At full back, I've been impressed with Holder. He's averaging a good number of interceptions and tackles per game, although he's nowhere near our best defensive full back Matondo. However, his key passes of 2 per game is similar to Fitton, so I'm very pleased considering he's only 16.

Midfielders

image.png.3d851bea25d7521215e5eb50d11ae49b.pngimage.png.6b8b5e7136be2f488ad4142122b6c12b.pngimage.png.5910b2b05569678726abffcb497c7410.png

Our numbers from our wingers are definitely down this season. Camara is joint top assister on 5, although Brooking has had an immediate impact with 3 in 6 games. Stow-Tricker gets the goals but isn't creating much. Tierney is the most creative, with 0.43 chances per game, but somehow only has 2 assists!

Williams is the real disappointment this season and he's going to find it tough for game time with Brooking coming on to the scene. 

In central midfield, nobody comes close to Robbins as a ball-winning midfielder. Larkin looks a better prospect for the deep-lying playmaker role in the long term as he's creating more key passes than Knill does, although Knill has 3 assists to his name. 

This graph shows the impact Larkin is having when he plays, despite his poor average rating. 

image.png.17598e8530da98e759d151079dc35d6f.png

Forwards

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Toomer has been much less effective so far this year. Farmer has more minutes, but I have serious reservations about him taking over from Geddes next year with just one goal to his name. Geddes once again leads the way. 21 goals in 18 appearances. Deadly.

If I could improve the squad in any way it would be to find another goal threat. Geddes is now essentially championship quality, so replacing him is going to be hugely difficult, but if we had even one extra option I wouldn't be so concerned about losing him at the end of his loan. I'll keep playing Farmer as he could be half decent, but without many options in the U23 or U18 it may be a loan move or transfer to find a goal scorer next year. 

 

What I took from this was, Geddes needs to be loaned back if possible :D

Is your midfielder push the opposing team out wide when they have the ball?

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6 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

What I took from this was, Geddes needs to be loaned back if possible :D

Is your midfielder push the opposing team out wide when they have the ball?

Haha, I'm going to keep trying to!! 

Yes, we play quite narrow in defense, trusting our taller CBs to win the ball in the air. 

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January 2029

We're getting a lot of bids in (100+) each transfer window at the moment, but most of them are extremely low in value.

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Bearing in mind the potential of these players (according to my HoYD who has 15 JPP, so not completely awful!) is championship or league one, while they remain on good contracts there's no way I'm selling.

It does mean I've got quite a few unhappy players!

 

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Another unhappy player is Parsons, who after 3 years of sitting on the sidelines has realised I won't be playing him. I'd only kept him due to his ability to lead a mentoring group still.

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He departs with a superb record for us. He was our main man until Geddes blew him out of the water.

The stadium expansion is also done, not that I think we'll get close to filling it yet, our reputation hasn't caught up with our promotions yet. We're hitting 1600-2000 fans per game.

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So, how did my unhappy squad perform in January?

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Not a bad month really. Dagenham are second so that's not too disappointing. We're also really struggling with keeping players fit again!

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We're pretty comfortable in that play-off places zone, but 10 points behind the leaders with 2 games in hand. We've actually gained points on all the teams above us which is good news.

 

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February 2029

This has been a tough month just to get a team together. I've resorted to sending players on holiday.

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I'm not sure what I've done wrong to be honest. Only Tallack and Bondswell didn't have a holiday at the end of last season. I'm going to need a bigger squad next year!

I threw the FA Trophy game by playing my reserves, and have really had to scrape the barrel of combinations in some games.

However, it does seem to have worked.

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We've dropped just 2 points from a possible 18. Aldershot were 5th, Chester were top at the time. Both of those I used our more cautious 4-4-2 formation that I've not used for a year or so. Players such as Farmer and Williams have been chipping in a couple of goals each, while Knill won the game against Aldershot.

That team effort has left us with the ability to move top with our game in hand.

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I'm really surprised that Chester and Dagenham are floudering so much. Their form is shocking. I'm not complaining though, as with 14 games to go anything could happen. Another exciting end to a season looms!

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March 2029

Just to give you a little idea of the challenge I'm facing around jadedness:

image.png.0cd2ee7037d2c97a8a03ad185fbf1da8.png

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Does anyone have any ideas? I've checked training and it's not a ridiculous schedule and it's also part time. I can't get a sports scientist. I didn't have this situation in any previous season. Is it just playing these players regularly for 3-4 seasons at too young an age?

The good news is Geddes came back midway through the month from his 2 week holiday.

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That's what happens when he plays! The bad news is I've had to send him off again at the end of March!

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So, the two draws at the start of the month are largely due to Geddes's absence, while the loss to Farsley just seemed a bad day at the office (especially finishing wise). Not as good form as the previous month, and that means we've not taken advantage of Chester, who have come back in to good form themselves.

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It's going to go down to the wire I think, 7 games to go!

There were some other notable moments this month, excluding the youth intake which I'll do in a separate post.

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We break our record attendance which is great! It's help contribute to only one monthly loss in terms of finances, so we're back above the £600k mark.

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And we have a new record appearance holder!

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Excellent work Hudson! We'll probably keep him even though he's rated poorly by the Assman as his attribute distribution still allows him to do a decent job for us and we're short of CBs as it is!

Finally, I was at last able to try and get Geddes on a longer loan deal. Charlton accepted the bid, but...

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He doesn't want to come. I'm going to need to replace his goals. I've got someone lined up currently who isn't as good but has very useful attributes, so I'll update if it comes off.

 

 

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Youth intake 2029

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This is the first year I didn't even bother renaming some of the players as they were just too bad to even consider! 

Let's take a look at their attributes.

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For comparison I've added the last two years on. Harrop is the standout player both in terms of CA and PA and attribute scores. His profile is below (18 for passing!). Elsewhere, we have some decent options but we'll just have to wait and see who makes the breakthrough. From the 27 group, Bondswell is now our best CB, while Tallack is no.2/3 and Larkin gets decent game time. Gordon played his first games in the cup this year as well. From the 28 group Brooking and Holder have done really well this season, while Hadland made his debut when I was seriously short at CB. They're not the ones you'd necessarily have chosen straight away. Personalities are overall a lot better now so I have more faith in the 29 cohort progressing more rapidly. 

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If you're interested, the average attribute score this year was 49.26, compared to 48.69 and 48.79 respectively the seasons before. Slight improvement.

 

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Harrop looks pretty decent, and could develop nicely by the looks of things. Going off the stars, looked a decent intake at the pointy obvious end. Your analysis also shows the not so obvious also possibly a bit decent too.

Jadedness? Isn’t that usually a depth thing?

Form is still challenging which is excellent. To me, it looks you don’t have much time between games. Enough time to recover, then train tactically/set piece/defensive and attacking actions. Low intensity. Maybe?

Maybe Geddes will change his mind later :(

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5 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Harrop looks pretty decent, and could develop nicely by the looks of things. Going off the stars, looked a decent intake at the pointy obvious end. Your analysis also shows the not so obvious also possibly a bit decent too.

Jadedness? Isn’t that usually a depth thing?

Form is still challenging which is excellent. To me, it looks you don’t have much time between games. Enough time to recover, then train tactically/set piece/defensive and attacking actions. Low intensity. Maybe?

Maybe Geddes will change his mind later :(

Agreed, he has potential to be 'as good as Geddes' according to my scout and he's a championship quality player.

It is, but I've not had any real issues with players being jaded in 8 seasons, but now I do this year. I'm going to work on depth in the summer anyway though.

We have very little time to recover you are spot on. It has had a huge effect this season. I reckon we've dropped 10 points from having to field weaker sides at least

Charlton aren't fielding any more bids now :(

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April 2029

Just to indicate my problems, here's my squad for the first game of the month.

image.png.19063ff3923e3cd547b697df32057471.png

7 of the 16 aren't fully ready for the match while the rest of the squad are on holiday :seagull:

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We drew that game, then lost, but recovered our form once our key players arrived back. The 14 day rest between Solihull and Oldham was key for that too! Finally, a breather.

That loss and draw are going to cost us I think.

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Chester play their final game the day we play our 43rd which is slightly weird, but means we'll go into the final day knowing if we have a chance or not. We've got Dagenham away next. I'm yet to beat them, we've lost at home and in the cup.

 

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May 2029

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Ah, it was a step too far for us! 

Ironically we ended up playing some friendlies to keep the second string fit this month. :lol: 

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So we finish the season on exactly the same number of points as last year, but 3 further behind the eventual winners of the league. We're in to the lottery of the play-offs again, although by finishing second we guarantee ourselves the home game. If we don't face Dagenham, I think we can do this!

When you consider our expenditure compared to others in this league, you can see how well we are doing.

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Chester spent £1.4 million on salary this year, so more than 7 times our expenditure! We're punching well above our weight.

A couple of other things happened this month.

Our training ground upgrade goes through, so we now have below average facilities - yay!

And we've made a signing.

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The fans may be unsure, but I like this guy. His attribute score is 68.88 which isn't far off Geddes for the poacher role. He only wanted £11k a year so for me this is a bargain. I missed a screenshot at the time as I was in the midst of a play-off campaign, so this is 19th June. The only thing I could ask for is a little more pace and work rate, but he's a step up on our backups from this year. 

image.png.726fc0b149f14e60c7a3ef361f87757a.png

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June 2029 - play-off campaign

First up, we play Sutton in the semi-final. It's home and everyone is fit!

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Geddes smashes us into the final! With that he's also just 1 goal shy of equaling the highest number of goals scored in the Vanarama National (37). Can he get that goal and propel us into the football league proper?

Play-off final

We're drawn against Dagenham and Redbridge. That's a problem as we're winless against them in 3. Still, we'll hope for the best. It's our first ever appearance at Wembley, so yet another huge milestone for us, and also a chance to earn some extra income.

It all start well when Geddes equals the league record for goals in a season with a penalty. 

Dagenham equalise on 29 minutes as a result of poor defending from a free kick. 

We're on top, with the xG well in our favour. But then, a moment of madness. Tierney picks up a second booking. Then so does Robbins. Down to 9 men, we concede in the 86th minute. Game over.

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This is the problem of instant result. You can get through lots of games and see real progress even if you don't have lots of time to spare, but you also have to take these kind of results on the chin. It's another capitulation in a big game with red cards. We did the same in another play-off final and obviously this season against Liverpool. My instructions aren't even that aggressive! Ah well, we gave it our best shot. 

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It would have truly been a fairytale to win promotion to the football league this year. Perhaps we'll manage to do it to mark 10 years with me in charge next year?

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Club overview end 2028/29 season

It's been a really successful spell on and off the pitch. 

image.thumb.png.6de26fae0c6b48cd5e187b4ac189605a.png

We're established in the Vanarama National League, we've made the third round of the FA Cup proper, we've sold our first player for over a million, upgraded our facilities and stadium and built up a healthy cash reserve. 

We had the aim of getting to the football league, and we're not quite there yet, but knocking on the door. We've managed to do this while retaining a strong Jersey-born contingent.

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9 years in and we have 8 out of 11 Jersey-born in our TOTY. Two others are Jersey-raised while Boardman completed the set as the only player brought in from outside the youth set up. I think I may need to slightly change this in the coming summer as we showed this year that our depth isn't good enough for the arduous schedule of this league. However, even with some changes I expect to be able to keep this focus on home grown for a while yet.

Another success is the upgrading of our youth category. This is important for any compensation deals which allows us to not worry too much if our young players won't sign new deals. I'm not sure if the £600k a year is already budgeted for (we spend £46k a month already) or if this is additional money. I'm hoping the former!

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The question now is can we mark 10 years at the club by getting to the football league? Can we do it without Geddes? That's a huge ask in my opinion. 

 

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So close! The instant result crap-shot! It seems to make your players very aggressive in big games for some reason :(

At least you won’t have Dagenhem next season.

Good season :applause::thup:

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Team performance review 2029/30

I'm not going to go into as much depth as usual as I'm excited to move on and try and make some transfers as we finally hit a point where I can offer players a reasonable 'living wage' and/or we're playing at a decent standard of football whereby they might be willing to move to Jersey. I've decided that I may bend my one signing below 'living wage' slightly and get a few extra players in as having to rest so many killed the fun a bit towards the end of last season, and this is, after all, a game!

Anyway, how did my jaded bunch do.

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Gordon didn't play much, but his attribute growth means he'll be in with a chance next year of more game time. Boardman makes an awful lot of saves for a side that finished 2nd in the table. He still had a pretty decent rating too.

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At CB, there isn't much to choose between Bondswell, Tallack and Hudson. The fact we only scored 2 goals at CB last season suggest my corner routine needs looking at. These three need some support next year and I'm not sure it's coming from within the youth team.

At RB, Matondo and Fitton shared most of the game time, although the latter filled in at LB a lot. Fitton upped his defensive record, achieving a similar number of key tackles and tackles this year and interceptions, which wasn't the case last year. Fitton produces a lot more key passes and assists, but the impressive Holder at LB wasn't far behind him in that measure. Colbran is a reasonable backup LB according to the stats, but we don't do as well when he plays I feel (I really need to add points/ game to my stats overview).

Midfield is still a tricky one. Nobody in the league won more tackles than Robbins, and Knill is an able backup at DLP. However, I'm just not happy with Knill at DLP. I think I'd rather bring in someone and have both as BWM. Larkin needs to go on loan I feel to play regularly and improve as he's a bit of a weak link in most games he plays, although he is more creative than Knill

I'm spoilt for choice for wingers. Stow-Tricker may have played quite a few games at Poacher, but many of his 21 goals and 8 assists were from the wing. Brooking adds 8 assists and 4 goals which is fantastic for 17 appearances. I must manage him carefully as he's just 16! Williams ended up my backup DLF so his number weren't great and I'm not sure he deserves the new contract he wants. At RW we have a choice of Farmer, who played 50% of his games at as a Poacher and the others on the right, with 9 assists and 5 goals, Tierney and Camara. The latter is out of contract and wants £20k a year which I don't think he justifies. 

Up front, Geddes blows everyone out of the water again in his final season with us. Toomer only got 9 goals and 9 assists this year as DLF and part of me wants to move him to RW. However, we really don't have many options here, so he may stay as a DLF. Farmer did so much better as a right winger, thus why I signed a new poacher as I don't think he is a long term solution to Geddes at this level of football. 

Attribute growth

GK

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I'm excited about Gordon. He needs more football next year. He's also got some awful stats, like 3 for 1v1. Dolan just didn't perform for me and I'm unsure whether to renew his contract. Majernik will go on loan next year I think.

CB

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Oof, Bondswell and Tallack make huge progress! Interestingly Hudson is still highly rated and grew this season despite stagnation last year. I think I may bring in an outsider and then hope for progress from Hadland and Sharp. I may loan Hadland out as he's not strong enough to start games for us really.

RB/LB

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Fitton into the 70s! I tend to think of these like Fifa ratings, although there are limitations, notably that some attributes cost more CA to improve and latter growth is more expensive. However, when they have attribute good enough to score 70 I tend to think they're an alright player.

Behind him there is a gap in quality. Holder is the future at LB clearly, but while Matondo is decent, he may have finished his growth and is probably not up to the standard in the long run. The same applies to Colbran. The younger players need game time of one sort or another really. 

BWM

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We're clearly well stocked here, attribute wise. Taylor (loan), MacLean and Cable aren't actually good enough for first team football when it comes down to it, but there is hope for Howells and Barzey from the recent youth intake. They've already grown in just 2 months which I always find encouraging. 

DLP

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Other than his passing skill, Knill should be unstoppable at this level. It makes me think it's my tactics; I've never been particularly good at getting good ratings and performances out of a 2 man midfield. Larkin had good attribute growth, but a year away on loan to toughen him up physically wouldnt go amiss. 

Winger

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I've let go quite a few players to get down to just these 15. They were all players unlikely to make the grade. Stow-Tricker is now our best player rating wise. Toomer shows I should maybe be playing him on the right! There's lots of depth here to be honest. Harrop also need incorporating next year so he can grow as his personality (balanced) may limit his growth in the reserves compared to (model citizen) Joy who has grown 3 points in 3 months!

DLF

image.thumb.png.fc2d81b3c36a269be3ad276f07418bfc.png I've taken Kalantari on trial and although he's rated poorly by my scouts, his attributes are phenomenal for the technical and mental requirements for this role. It would be good to have options for DLF. Williams was passable as a backup, but really he was a body to fill a slot with no expectation of delivering goals or assists. Toomer has seen good growth this year again, let's see how far he can grow before we lose him!

Poacher

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The question for us now is can Anderson replace Geddes? I don't think any of these other players are up for it currently, although Stow-Tricker did do a decent job considering his finishing is 7!

Squad for next year

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I would like a squad of 22 plus a few extras next year. I am missing a number of viable alternatives and need to work to solve this problem. I am tempted into moving Toomer to AMR if I can secure Kalantari. The biggest holes to fill are in midfield and at CB. 

 

 

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Pre-season 2029/30

lot has happened during this pre-season, perhaps more so than any other off season so far.

Firstly, we've secured a number of players signing on free transfers. 

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I really felt I needed another DLF and DLP, while a CB was also a must. The one on here that I didn't need was Pennell who is an AML who needs retraining as he's right footed. I'd planned on playing Toomer there, with Camara and Tierney decent backup while we also have youth prospect Harrop. However, you'll shortly see why I've brought him in as an option to help future proof both wings...

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Ransom joins as an experienced head at CB. He's rated at 3 stars now he's at the club, and his attribute score is 69.32 so he's our best CB in that regard. I'll probably use him on the right hand side as first choice, with Tallack rotating for plenty of game time and Hudson providing backup. 

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Powell comes in as a young'un released from the prem, but he'll likely go straight into the first team ahead of Knill as his passing range is what we've been missing in midfield. He scores 74 on the attributes, so is a solid option and definitely improves a weak area of the squad in terms of depth.

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Kalantari is poorly rated, but his technical and mental attributes suggest a very capable DLF. I wonder if he'll be able to cut the mustard with his physicals, but we needed an option to supplement Toomer so I'm hopeful he can be it. He rates 73.72 on the attribute score, so is our best DLF technically speaking.

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Pennell I've signed because he has pace, can cross and dribble and has potential plus will eventually be able to play on both wings. I kind of regret his transfer now as he isn't going to get immediate game time, but it's done so I'll just have to live with it!

Finally, we've brought in a loan midfielder who can play DLP or BWM. We are paying him a lot of money, but we can certainly afford it now...

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My transfer strategy has definitely changed. When I started I said I wouldn't sign anyone below the living wage except for one transfer a season to allow for migration to Jersey that may take place. I've changed that this season for a few reasons. Firstly, we're getting close to what I would deem a suitable startup wage for a young player. Kalantari could end up earning £30k this season, which seems 'liveable'. Secondly, we're an established National League team and I think players would be willing to come to us considering our promotion record. Thirdly, I have had to deal with some sales and felt that without transfers, the team is likely to slide down the table in the next couple of years. 

Now on to those sales and why we can afford to bring in loan signings on £50k a year.

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Stow-Tricker and Toomer leave. The offers came in higher and higher for both, and I decided to pull the trigger each time before the board intervene. We've got 50% next sale fees, friendlies and loan backs of 12 months. 

We also secured a fantastic deal from one of our other clauses.

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There's no way in hell Burgess is going anywhere for close to £1.6 million! I snapped up the £827k immediately!

All told, we bring in £3 million in the transfer window! The chairman has turned down requests for new training and youth facilities though :lol:

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Mindful of losing extra players, we have secured a few key contracts for FittonRobbins and Knill amongst other younger players. Most are now secured until 2032 at least.

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We should be fine for a while! Great news if we get promoted anytime soon as we will have no problems paying full time wages!

After our squad in's and out's, this is what the bookies make of our chances:

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I do feel we've strengthened CB, CM, upfront and added extra depth on the wings. The one thing I'd like is another LB, but perhaps I'll blood another youngster after bringing in a few non-Jersey born players.

 

 

 

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October 2029

A really good start to the league this year. We're unbeaten and the away draw with AFC Telford is pretty respectable considering we had our weakest squad out due to rotation and the fact they are also unbeaten with 3 wins and 1 draw from 4 games. 

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Our new signings have mostly hit the ground running. Last year's signing Anderson has 3 goals in 5 league games, while Powell has been a strong performer. Ransom has 2 goals from corners/ free kicks already so his prowess in the air will be extremely useful this year. Kalantari has played most games at DLF, although when I played Toomer there he picked up 2 goals to add to his 2 from the wings. All in all, very positive.

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The FA Cup win has earnt us an away draw at Ipswich, who have a decent stadium so this will earn us a little money which is very positive. Yes, we've got lots, but I always want more! I doubt we'll make the third round again this year, but who knows!

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One other highlight this month is the progress of Larkin, who went on loan to Northern Ireland.

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I've reduced the amount of leagues this season to speed up processing time but with only the league below us (Vanarama South and North) in play, it's been a real struggle to get players out on loan. Larkin has been a real success with 11 games already played and good growth in both his rated ability and attributes. I'm hoping he can get the experience to come back and play more of a role for us as he mostly disappointed last year.

I almost forgot, I've trimmed the squad slightly to make sure that my first team plays for the U23s when available.

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Two notable players here are Dolan, although he hasn't played for a few years, and Camara, who kicked up such a fuss around a new contract (he wanted £25k a year!) that I've decided to ditch him and his temperamental personality. I believe that Pennell will shortly be a much better option at AMR than he was, despite his superb contributions over the years. Almost half his goals and assist came in that superb year in 2026/27.

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Edited by Jtomsett11
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11 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Busy and profitable. Not sure which you’d prefer, the players or the transfer fee.

Good start in the league as well. Just need now to upset Ipswich in the cup :lock:

KUTGW :thup:

Knocking Ipswich out of a cup is never an upset ;)

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November 2029

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It wasn't an upset!

That result seemed to trigger a real change in fortunes for us.

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We went from clear winners to losing two in a row in the league without any real reason. A little bad luck and poor finishing as you can see below, but it's set us back.

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I really hope Solihull don't continue this form indefinitely, or we won't be catching them. After our first 7 games I honestly thought we were going to walk the league, so this has been a reality check. We are scoring goals, but we miss Geddes without a doubt. 

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We have less players needing rests this season, but our first one has struck! I have a much better physio now who is sending players off for 3 weeks breaks. It's painful when it's your best and only good LB, but I'd rather sort this problem early on.

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I also managed a couple of other important developments:

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The training facilities they were happy to improve, but the youth facilities took some fighting for. 

This leaves us with about £2.3million in the bank.

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December 2029

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I'm not particularly happy. Only 1 defeat, but 4 draws and the same number of wins is poor compared to our early form. 9 games in a month is pretty tough going though. 

We did end Solihull's unbeaten run and that triggered a few losses for them.

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Therefore we find ourselves keeping pace. I'm just left wondering about those draws, if we could turn a few into wins we'd be clear at the top!

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We've had some good and some bad news this month.

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This injury isn't great considering the impact he's having. 

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This is good, as Kalantari hadn't been getting in amongst the goals until this point. I'm hoping he can kick on from here.

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A first golden generation! However, a lot of orange text there! A winger could be useful considering Stow-Tricker and Toomer are now only on loan, while CMs are always useful!

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We're losing about £40-50k a month, which I'm content with as by the time we lose enough money, I'm sure I'll sell someone else, or rake in income from selling a 50% clause.

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January 2030

New year, same issues. Injuries, jaded players and inconsistency.

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Farmer scores two goals, gets injured, comes back and scores two again and then gets injured again!

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Two wins, three draws and a loss this month. 

Somehow it's enough to see us top on goal difference, although Telford have the game in hand.

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Normally I'd have done some data analysis on the teams performance, but I'm feeling quite frustrated with our form and therefore it hasn't appealed to me. This is a good point to stop today I feel. I know I'm probably being overly ambitious in expecting us to win the league, but after going close last season and strengthening elsewhere in the squad, I thought we would do it quite comfortably. Geddes is obviously a huge loss as when he played last season, he won matches easily. We don't quite have that this season, although Anderson is on 11 goals and Toomer is on 12. We've got some tough games coming up and Bondswell and Ransom, our two first choice CBs needing 22 days rest apparently. Fortunately, Tallack and Hudson are decent backups while Robbins can also slot in as we have 3 other competent CMs. 

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8 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Reading through your updates for this season feels like it’s full of frustration. Just needs that certain something to click.

100%. I think the problem is I've sold our three best players and while two are still here they're only here this year. If we don't get promoted this year I'll either need to be patient or dip into the money to buy some replacements. Usually my form picks up in February/ March so fingers crossed for that!

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Mid-season analysis 2029/30

After a night to reflect, I decided that I did want to know how my players were performing.

Goalkeepers

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Gordon has played a few games, but his average rating is very low. He's making about the same ratio of saves as Boardman though, so he isn't far off taking over. Quite a few Championship sides are coming knocking for him, but they're all offering £5k ish so I won't be biting!

Defenders

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The centre backs are so equal in terms of statistics that it wasn't worth analysing them much further. Compared to league averages they make very few tackles, but that's because my BWM and full backs do that job for them most of the time. 

At RB and LB, Fitton and Holder have taken most of the minutes and lead the way in terms of offensive output. Matondo isn't a huge drop off in quality but I think Colbran is and he really isn't good enough. 

Midfield

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The question from last season was around Knill and his performances as a DLP. Powell has come in and done better, although perhaps only slightly in the stats. He is second in the 'points per game' behind Stow-Tricker, showing that when he plays we do better.

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You can see here is is creating more key passes per 90 than any other CM. He's also completing more passes.

Attacking mid

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All of these players play predominantly on the wing. Assists haven't been coming in huge numbers for anyone. Pennell and Brooking are far ahead when it comes to key passes, but I'm pretty sure Brooking takes free kicks when he's on the field. Farmer and Stow-Tricker are ahead in goals. Interestingly, Farmer is outscoring all our strikers on goals per game and shots on target per game. I need to give him more minutes up front this year perhaps?

Forwards

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All three of these players have done well, if not as well as Geddes in the last few years. 

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Ignore Williams who has played only once. Farmer is the one I want to give more game time as a poacher or advanced forward to see if his new found goal scoring can be sustained. If it can, it may help us get promotion.

 

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February 2030

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The perfect month! Very rewarding after a few months of inconsistency. The only downside were two injuries, one to Tierney who now has his third long term injury of the season, while Stow-Tricker is going to be a big loss as he's been scoring goals as an advanced forward in the last few games. We did manage to beat third place Solihull without him though.

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Two to four weeks might not sound long, but we have 9 games in March!

We finish the month top again, but this time clear by a point without Telford having a game in hand. We've got a health goal difference advantage too if it comes down to tied points. I'm much happier, but it's a shame our excellent form came at the same time as Telford's!

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We did lose money this month, but I'm not overly bothered.

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March 2030

We've had to deal with missing quite a few players this month. Tierney and Stow-Tricker were already missing, while I ended up having to rest Toomer and Holder and Powell picked up an injury. That's 4 first team regulars and one backup RW. 

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To add insult to needing a rest break, Toomer also turned down extending his loan with us.

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On the pitch, we survived the month without giving up too many points.

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We end the month slightly poorly, but we threw the Colchester game by completely playing our reserves just to give the boys a rest. Holder and Toomer are back after the first game in April and we'll nearly be at full strength then with Powell back soon. 

So how does it look in the league?

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We're not top, but draw our game in hand and we are. 9 games to go and I'm pretty happy to be in the position we are. Yes, we're back to being slightly inconsistent, but this time it's because we've been really stretched this month. Telford are also struggling with 3 draws in a row. I think it'll go down to the final day.

With that in mind, here are our fixtures:

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It's bizarre how every year we have 2 weeks between the final games of the season. I'll need to arrange friendlies to keep us fit. I think most of these games are win-able. We've got enough time between the games in April to hopefully play mostly full-strength sides and that could be the key. Our next two home games are key as we need to get back to winning ways quickly. 

 

 

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