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[FM21] Return of the Phoe Nix - Rise of the Raven. FC Isle of Man Youth Save.


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OCT 2023 - FA Cup Third Qualifying Round




A dominant result sends us through to our best ever performance in the FA Cup.

21b Barber from our 1st Academy intake scored a hattrick.


Along with another 24k for our share of the gate, makes a tidy addition to the bank balance.



Our first trip to the 4th Qualifying round sends us away to Bishop's Cleave.

Should be a good match up.

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OCT 2023 - Integro League Cup 2nd Round




A dominant performance sends us through to the 3rd Round of the Integro League Cup.

This betters our performance from last season when we were knocked out in the 2nd Round.


Still waiting to see who our opponent will be.

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OCT 2023


Despite our Cup success, it was a pretty bad month in the League, with only 1 win from 4.

Close fought losses to Liverpool and Stockton, book-ended a spanking from 1st place Nantwich, who seem a class above the rest of the League.

After a team meeting because of low morale, we rescued the month some what with a hard fought win over Morpeth.



Not surprisingly three straight losses seen us tumble down, back to mid-table, but it could have been worse.



We lost a youngster for a month.





In some good news for the month, our U18's are showing some good form and winning games, including two FA Youth Cup games.




The press were back at it linking me to the Havant & W job.



They did come forward with an interview offer, which is the second time they have done so, after offering me the job almost a year ago.

I turned it down as they are in a worse position, and nearly 100k in debt.




In fact it was 10 months ago, and they were the last team to offer me a job. :lol:



As for our own finances, another good Cup month does wonders for the bank balance.


Goal Scoring Goalkeeper


Tremble curls a bullet around the wall into the bottom corner for his 2nd free kick, and 4th goal of the season.

Now with 7 career free kicks, and 37 career goals.




Another big month coming up, with at least 3 Cup games, and 5 League games, pending changes for going further in the Cups.

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NOV 2023 - FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round




Our FA Trophy campaign kicked of with a dominant win over Warrington.

Was awesome to see a lot of Academy kids involved in the game, and playing well also.



Smaller prize money and smaller crowd than the Cup, but every little counts.



The 1st Round proper sees us drawn away to Grays Athletic. Looks to be a tough match up on the road.

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NOV 2023 - FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round




Another match where both teams decided defence was the thing around the outside of the ground.

An amazing game that ended up a lot closer then it should have.

But the exciting news, in only our 4th season, we've qualified for the FA Cup proper.



We made it to double figures for the prize money, but a much smaller crowd away, so smaller gate as well.



This was a pretty cool little bit. Some high scoring games in the qualifiers mean we've knocked over Liverpool's record of most goals in a season in the FA Cup.

Cop that Anfield :lol:



This will be a very tough game against National League Stockport.

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NOV 2023 - FA Cup 1st Round




Our Cup runneth over...

In a spirited performance against a National League team, we were beaten but not embarrassed in our Debut in the FA Cup proper.

We even managed to equalise late in the game before before Stockport scored a winner in the dying minutes.



We also received about 40K for our share of the gate.


Up next...with one Cup over, it's back to the League.

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NOV 2023 - Integro League Cup 3rd Round



The bookies and press considered this an upset, as we beat City of Liverpool in a tight game.

Just the one Tremble penalty separated the teams at the end of the game.



Quarter Final drawn at home against Warrington.

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NOV 2023


A massive month, aside from Cup games, we had 5 League games, remaining undefeated with 4 wins and a draw.

3 clean sheets for the month was a nice bonus, although we did concede some as well.



We racked up 5 straight wins before the draw against Warrington.



A great month has seen us push up 6th on a very tight table.




There was no offer, but the press linked me to the Fleetwood job, a League One team.



A massive month from the Cups sees us have a huge boost to the finances.



Another solid month of League games in the lead up to Christmas.


Up next...Goal scoring goalkeeper update.

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NOV 2023 - Goal Scoring Goalkeeper


Tremble curled home his 3rd free kick of the season, and 8th of his career.

Now has 6 goals for the season.



Also scored his 1st Cup goal of the season, and 9th of his career.

Now has 39 career goals.


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DEC 2023 - FA Trophy 1st Round




We were not at our best but done enough to get the job done away to Grays, and send us through to the 2nd round.

Two goals from academy kids including the ever improving 22m Morgan, as well as another goal form our Keeper Tremble were good enough.



Not much to get excited about with a small away crowd, but every little helps.



A very tough draw away to National League South outfit Kingstonian. This will be a very hard match.

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DEC 2023 - FA Trophy 2nd Round




And so it came to be...

To be honest, I am not sure we played as badly as the scoreline suggests, but at 0-3 down by 30 minutes, the game was effectively over as a contest.

22m Lewis Morgan got himself on the score sheet again, getting a lot more game time at the moment.

So we crash out of another Cup, to National League opposition, but at least we are seeing what we need to aspire to.



Another small crowd, so not much benefit here.


Up next...The run to Christmas, and the mid season review.

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DEC 2023


After our Trophy exit, we ended up going 3 wins and a loss in the League this month.

Managing to hold our own in some pretty tight games as well.



A good month has seen us stumble into the Play Off positions, but I wouldn't read too much into that yet. There is still a long way to go, and it's very tight.



A lot of away games this month sees the finances take a decent hit.




No offer, but the press linked me to the Colchester Job.



Halifax did however come with an interview offer.

I turned it down due to their being in a fair amount of debt.


Regularly getting National League level offers now.




We finished the month with a win in my 200th game in charge of FC Isle of Man.

Interesting the the record shows I have brought a player. :idiot:



A few extra home games next month, and the League Cup Quarter Final.


Up next...Goal Scoring Goalkeeper.

Edited by Punch
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League goals 24, and 25 gave him 4 goals for the month, and 10 goals for the season. The third time in four years he has reached double figures.

He did however miss one in the month, his first for the year, and second all time.

He career record of 35 from 37 at the spot, and 43 career goals is still pretty impressive though.


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DEC 2023 - Youth Intake Preview



The only thing that looks 'golden' about this preview is the amount of yellow writing.

Hopefully like usual, an uninspiring preview, turns up a few gems at intake time.


Up next...mid season review.

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DEC 2023 - Mid Season Review




Not a huge amount to report here, Tremble is the only one who has played. The others simply haven't improved enough to displace him.

Despite the stars, 21n Jack is the most improved, and I may give him some game time later in the season.

As good a servant as Tremble has been, it might be time for a Academy Graduate to take over the number one spot. Time will tell on this.





I forgot to remove the loaned out players before I shot this, and some of the midfielders :lol:

A lot of Academy products getting good minutes. The defence has also tightened up recently, which is showing in the results.




Plenty of the rotation through the midfield, and a lot of minutes for the Academy kids who are performing well.




Slater and Taylor have been the main men up front still, but a few of the Academy kids are starting to improve and see time as well.


Up next...New Years hangover, or promotion push?

Edited by Punch
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JAN 2023 - Integro League Cup Quarter Final



This was a very tight, hard fought out game that resulted in an injury time winner, from an absolute screamer from outside the box.

A disappointing way to go out, but we improved on last season, so I guess there are no complaints.

Considering the Board had no expectations, they should still be pretty happy with the overall results.



Exiting our final Cup competition leaves now to be able to concentrate on our League efforts.

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JAN 2023


A tough month. With the Blyth match postponed due to flooded pitch, we only ended up with 4 League games this month, winning only one.

Curzon Ashton just outplayed us, and we didn't put in our best performance.

Two hard fought draws followed, before we rescued the month with morale boosting win over Runcorn. This game I also played 21n Jack in goal, who put in a very good performance. He will probably be getting more games as the season goes on.



A win in the last game of the month kept us hanging around the Play Off zone, the postponed game against Blyth could become crucial in that regard.

Still a long way to go, and very close in that area of the table.




Press linking me to jobs again.




Torquay and Gateshead offered interviews, which I turned down.

Torquay are nearly 700K in debt, while Gateshead are over a million in debt. Hard pass thanks guys. :lol:




Ebbsfleet became my first ever offer from a Football League club, in League Two.

The Board being very happy that I turned them down.



What a difference one extra home games makes, sending us back into the black this month.



With all the Cups out of the way, we can concentrate on the League, and this looks to be a pretty tough month.

Bamber Bridge were leading the table for some time early in the season, Blyth is the postponed game from last month which will be important given our positions on the table, Liverpool have always given us a tough game over the last few seasons, while Nantwich are leading the Comp. Morpeth are in the relegation zone, so will be desperate for a good performance.

This could be a make or break month for our play off chances.

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FEB 2024


In what looked to be potentially a tough month, we won at home, and lost away.



We lost the make up game to Blyth, but they hit a wall at the same time, and we've increased our lead over them, holding on to the last play off spot.



Three home games make for a good month financially.




After a win and good month financially I complained to the board again, and they agreed to upgrade the Youth Recruitment, and then gave me the Coaching without argument.

Too late to benefit this year, but will be helpful in future intakes.



The games start to wind down as their importance winds up, as we head to the business end of the season.

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MAR 2023 - Youth Intake



Considering how uninspiring I thought the preview was, I am actually pretty excited about this intake.

A 5 star left footed AML that will slot straight into the first team.

Another 4-5 players that will either be first team, or pushing for it very soon.



The average, is lower than last year, but with three 50+ point players straight up, plus a few more high 40's, several of these players have been added straight to the first team.

Eleven of them are Isle of Man natives as well, which while not essential, is always a nice touch.


The top 3


A left footed left side player, ah yes, thank you very much. He will slot straight into the starting line up as AM(L).

Given that ridiculous leadership score for a 16 year old, and he's an Isle of Man native, I think I may have found our future club Captain as well.



Palmer becomes our highest rated M(C)AP, and has been added straight to the first team.



Highly rated as a C(M)BWM, he has been added to the first team to be back up to 21a Tim Powell, and will probably see game time off the bench to begin with.


I missed screen shotting 24d Mick O'Brien-Pike, but he is a 190+ cm defender, who has been added to the first team to play D(R) as he is the highest rated player in that position.


So from what looked like a poor Intake at preview, at least 4 players have been added straight o the first squad, with a few others not far off.

Turned out much better than I expected, and just another reason to completely ignore the preview :lol:

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MAR 2023


In spite of the loss to 3rd place Stockton, in which we broke our home record for League match attendance, it was a pretty decent month.

A few things have changed though. I have changed the way I pick the team, as I used to use the AM suggested picks, and make a few changes that I wanted here and there. Now I have picked my Best XI, and sticking to that team, with the odd change as required for suspension, injury, fatigue etc, or changes made for poor form.

The next big change, as a part of that, at the friendly when the Youth Intake arrived, 4 of them went into the first team squad, 3 into the starting line up.

The other big change is that Goal Scoring Goalkeeper Fraser Tremble has been dropped. While his goal scoring feats have been impressive in the last three years, the Goal keeping part of the equation has not been very hit and miss, so it was time for a change. After playing a few games in February, 21n Jordan Jack was installed as the number one at the beginning of the month. He performances have been very impressive, and the results have justified his selection.



We had been going point for point with Blyth, but they dropped their last game of the month, and we now have a game in hand, giving us a bit of an advantage in the Play Off race.

However, with 4 games to go, we can still finish anywhere between 1st and 9th.



Three of this years Academy products went straight into the first team for the last game of the month against Basford, and made an immediate impression.



Just kept our noses above water this month.


Goal Scoring Goalkeeper


After a few games in February, 21n Jordan Jack was installed as the number on keeper this month, and celebrated his first game, with his first ever free kick goal.

This was his 3rd career goal, as he has two previous penalties, one in the League, one in a Cup game, when he filled in.

Many more to come hopefully.



Four games to go and everything to play for. With everywhere from 1st to 9th still in play, it looks to be an exciting finish to the regular season.

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APR 2024 - Race to the finals

Match Day 37



A tight match where we traded goals. They probably outplayed us, and we only put two shots on goal, both went in.



With a game in hand still over Blyth, but it's so tight for those play off places.

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APR 2023 - Race to the play offs

Match Day 38



We broke our attendance record for a League game again, and to be honest, we were lucky to get away with the win.

21n Jordan Jack in goal was Player of the Match in this tight affair, which has all but pushed us into a confirmed play off spot.



We leapfrogged Gainsborough into 4th, and need just one more point from our remaining two games to secure a play off spot.

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APR 2023 - Race to the play offs

Match Day 39





It wasn't pretty but it got the job done.

Scoring a late goal to go 2-1 up only to give up and injury time equaliser, but the point was enough to secure the play off spot.



WIth one game to play we have secured a play off spot, but we can still finish anywhere from 3rd to 5th.

Looks like the title will also come down to the final day of the season.

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APR 2024 - Race to the play offs

Match Day 40



A solid performance in the last game of the season, and our first ever Goal Scoring Goalkeeper hattrick, means we finish strongly heading onto the play offs.



Stockton only managed a draw meaning we jumped to 3rd place, which should secure a home semi.

An amazing achievement for this club in such a short history.

Curzon Ashton winning made Nantwich's result irrelevant, and they claim the Title, and automatic promotion.

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Match Day 40 coninued

Goal Scoring Goal Keeper


21n Jordan Jack drilled home his 1st and second penalties for the season, the second and third of his career, in the League.


He then completed his, and the clubs, first ever Goal Scoring Goalkeeper hattrick with this effort



Curling home his 2nd free kick goal for the season, which also proved to be the match winner, sending us to 3rd place.


In this game, 21n Jack scored his 2nd, 3rd, & 4th goals of the season.

Now has 6 career goals, 4 his season, all in the last two months.

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APR 2024 - Play offs draw


Turns out we don't get a home play off, I forgot about the Regional divisions, so we are drawn against a lower ranked team from a different division, at a neutral venue.




We take on Totton, 4th place in the Southern Premier League.

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APR 2024


A pretty good month to finish the season, with 2 wins and 2 draws enough to see us to a third place finish.





A great season sees us finish over 200K in front.




The press have linked me with the Chesterfield job.



Play offs begin at a neutral venue against Totton.

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MAY 2024 - Regional Premier Division Promotion Play Off Quarter Final





In a game of see-sawing emotions we were took a comfortable 2-0 before falling asleep and giving up 2 goals in 3 minutes to almost throw it away.

We managed to hold it together and struck in the final seconds of the match, with Davidson scoring in a mad goal line scramble to send us through to the Play off semi final.



We've drawn divisional rival Stockton in the Semi, again at a neutral venue.



We have met 4 times in the last two season, and lost all of them, so this will be a tough match for us.

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MAY 2024 - Regional Premier Leagues Promotion Play Offs Semi Final




In a stunning result, we over came the odds to beat Stockton for the first time in a crazy game.

24a Pat Clarke scored his first League goal to give us an early lead, before Taylor made 2-0 just after half time.

Stockton pulled on back quickly, and then we had our young goal scorer 24a Clarke got himself sent off making the last 10 minutes a nail biting affair.

Young goal keeper 21n Jordan Jack stood up and was player of the match, as we hung on to reach the play off final.



We play Southern Premier League Leamington in the final, for a spot in the National League North.

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MAY 2024 - Regional Promotion Play Off Final




So close, yet so far!

We pushed Leamington all the way, but their quality and experience showed through.

Disappointed with the result, but not the performance across the year.

So there will be no National League for us next year, another year in the Regional Premier Leagues to build.


Up next...end of season reviews.

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MAY 2024 - Odds and ends


While Slater has taken the goals record, Taylor has taken the appearances record for League games off Tremble after he was benched.



Finances are looking good after a solid year.



Chesterfield offered me a job.



In four seasons I have now been offered 20 interviews, and 6 clubs have offered me the position.



Chelsea took out the FA Cup, while we were the biggest over achievers again.



Bromley took out the Trophy



Warrington took out the Integro League Cup, and we were the biggest over achievers.


Up next...full season review.

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Season 2023-2024 - Player Stats














Best XI - 2023-2024



Best XI - All Time





After 4 seasons, we've been promoted 3 times, twice as champions, once through play offs.

Next season will be the first time we've played in the same division two years running.

There will be some changes this season as several of the original squad members are not being retained, and some of the others have been placed on the transfer list.


Up next...Attribute review.

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Season 2023-2024 - Player Attribute Review




While Tremble still has the highest attribute rating, his up and down form, along with 21n Jordan Jacks improvement, means that Jacl will be our number one keeper to start the new season.

23e Brown looks an interesting prospect, and a very tall one as well.





SOme impressive improvements here, especially 21d Connor, and he along with 21i Atherton will be our go to men in the centre next season.




23j Rawlingson and 24d Obrien-Pike had been looking like the best options, but 24e Idowu has now jumped them both.




This has always been a bit of a low scoring area, so it's good to see some of the improvement being shown.

A lot of these guys are probably going to get time, but 24j Procter will probably be given first shot.





A lot of exciting prospects in this area, while 21a Powell is the highest rated player at the club, 24b Palmer is improving nicely and will be pushing for time.




Good to see another 50+ player in this traditionally low scoring position, 24c Wilson will probably be getting a lot of game time.


Attacking Right


Plenty of potential in this area. A lot of players  will be looking for time, might be time to send some of the lower scores out on loan.


Attacking Left


24a Clarke become our first 50+ player in this troublesome area, while there a few players progressing nicely.

Again a few players who I might be looking to loan out for more experience.




Taylor and Slater continue to be important, and 21e Potts is improving nicely, just needs to get more consistent in front of goal.

Need some more work in this area, and the class of 24 produced no strikers.


Best XI



While there are still a few areas of concern, overall I am pretty happy with how the squad has come together.


Up next...Season 5 takes flight.

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JUN 2024 - Season Preview



The Board have no expectations really, avoid relegation, be competitive in the Cups.

Thought they might have aimed higher after making the play offs last season.



The bookies have as favourites, at the wrong end, they think we are certainties to be relegated.

Again, a surprise considering our efforts last season. They mustn't rate our kids as highly as I do.




A busy first month includes welcoming Nantwich who will be hurting after fighting last season for the Title, only to lose it in the last few games, then failed to get through the play offs.



We begin the season in good financial position. Those home crowds will again be essential.



A healthy transfer budget, and plenty of room in the wage budget.




Improvement in the Youth Recruitment and Junior Coaching last season.



Up next...Friendly season kicks off.

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JUL 2024


A solid pre-season with plenty of players getting a run.





Season ticket sales up on last year. Those home crowds will be important as always.



Up next...A busy Second half of August with some tough games, as Season 5 takes flight.

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AUG 2024


A solid start to the season sees us take 3 wins and a draw in the first 5 games.

The first highlight would be belting one of last seasons best teams, Nantwich, 4-1 at home.

Another highlight would be the form of 22g Tim Madden, who wasn't really in the first team reckoning, but his performances have warranted a rethink on that.

The final highlight has been the performances of 21e Potts, who while playing well last season, struggled to find the net. He has found the net regularly to start this season.

So it seems we now have plenty of goal scoring prospects coming through, making us a dangerous attacking team this season, and the defence has also been doing pretty well.



We'd been undefeated in 10 games back to last season, before the loss to Blyth.



While 22g Madden may not have been on the first team radar at the beginning of the season, he certainly made his mark when he got his opportunity.

I thought Slater's record would be tough to beat, and it didn't last a year.




A couple of originals who aren't in my plans for the season have been sent out on loan, after not being able to find a transfer for them.



Three home games out of 5 makes for a good month financially.


Goal Scoring Goalkeepers


21n Jordan Jack took over from Tremble as our number one last season, and continues to impress to start this season.

The defence has looked a lot more solid in front of him.


He also got on the score sheet for his first goal of the season.


Keeps his perfect career record of 5 for 5 from the spot, and now has 7 career goals.



September looks a buys month, while we kick off our FA and League cups.

There is a free weekend which will possibly be for an extra FA Cup round.

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AUG 2024 - Points Table


Not that it means a lot after 5 games, but I forgot to add the points table for August.

A bit if a milestone as it the first time we have found ourselves on top of the Premier Division.

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