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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 2026 - FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round

 

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We were favourites in this match and took a comfortable 3-0 lead just after halftime before easing off and conceding two goals to let them back into the game. But from there we manager to shut it down and hang on for the win.

 

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Every bit will help after spending on improvements in the off season.

 

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For the 1st Round proper we welcome League 2 Swindon Town to The Bowl. This will be a tough match.

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OCT 2026

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A real mixed bag, but we still managed to win 4 of our 7 National League games this month.

A nervous start against a relegation predicted Slough, before we belted Torquay.

Some injuries and fatigue set in over a busy period when we suffered a late loss to Yeovil, scored a late winner over Harrogate, and then needed two late goals off the bench from 25l McCarthy to rescue a draw at Hartlepool.

We scored a draw against York in the pre-season, but were not match for them this time as they thumped us at The Bowl, our first home loss in a while, in front of a season best crowd.

We then round out the month with a fantastic win away to Boreham, where we not only won convincingly, but also kept a clean sheet.

 

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The loss to Yeovil hurt a bit more when we lost last season's Player of the Year for a month.

 

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4 wins, a draw, and two losses finds us hanging around in the promotion area.

Looks like it could be a long season for Boston and Slough, who have failed to register a win, Boston have not even scored a point.

 

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We broke our Season Tickets record again, breaking the 400 barrier, and then some.

Showing how important our home support is, 3 home games this month brought nearly 100k into the club.

 

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More International experience for 25l McCarthy as he earned 2 more U19 Caps for Northern Ireland.

He scored a brace in the first game, and then brought that form back to club level, scoring plenty for FC IoM as well.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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A solid start to the season for 21n Jack, even taking out the Player of the Match against Boreham Wood.

He contributed two clean sheets, two goals, and an assist.

 

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21n Jack made no mistake burying his 1st penalty of the season, and 29th of his career.

 

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Come for the goal, stay for the celebration, as 21n Jack curls in his first free kick of the season, and 10th of his career.

 

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2 goals for the season and now 39 career goals.

21n Jack is now just 4 goals behind Fraser Tremble's club record of 43 career goals.

 

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Up next...FA Cup 1st Round action against League Two Swindon, part of a solid run of home games to start the month.

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NOV 2026 - International call ups

 

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We've had three players called up this month.

The usual suspects, McCarthy and Williams, while 26f Bain is called up to the Scotland U18s for the first time.

It hurts to have two of our best strikers out at the same time, they will miss two matches, and be back on the day of a third. That become just another aspect of the team that needs to be managed into the rotation.

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NOV 2026 - FA Cup 1st Round

 

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In a massive upset, we put in a huge performance at both end of the pitch to thump Swindon Town out of the FA Cup.

It was a tight match, and after an early goal we went to the break 1-0 up.

After the break, they tried to mount a comeback, but a 4 minute burst of two goals ended their fight, and we cruised through the rest of the match.

While we won 3-0, we also hit the post 3 times, so the score could have ended up anything.

A full house was at The Bowl (still slightly reduced for expansion works), to see us advance to the 2nd Round.

 

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To go along with the bit over 35k for our share of the gate, makes a nice boost to the finances.

 

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Next up, we travel to division rival Barrow, for the 2nd Round.

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NOV 2026 - FA Cup 2nd Round

 

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A quality defensive performance in this game, after an early penalty, and a 21e Potts screamer on on the stroke of half time sent us up 2-0 at the break.

The second half was a defensive slog for both teams with no one really making many opportunities, before 25f Williams finally put it away right on full time.

We equal last years best effort of making it to the 3rd Round.

 

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Round 3 sends us to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to take on the Premier League giants.

I expect the Scouts to tell us to just go out there and enjoy the experience again :lol:

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NOV 2026

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Bookended by wins in the FA Cup, our good League form continued with 3 wins, a draw, and a loss.

A good start with a win over Woking, and another clean sheet to boot, followed by a game which was very attacking from both teams, but neither could find a way through, in front of our biggest home crowd this season.

A good win at Boston, but we took our foot off the gas and gave up two late goals again.

This form lead into the Dag & Red game where they lead 0-4 just after half time, before we scored 2 late goal when they let off the gas.

The month was rounded out with a solid defensive display and a single goal to keep the points ticking along.

 

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We are keeping pace with the front runners. Looks like we've gone from Chester last season to Chesterfield this season as favourites.

Still scoring plenty of goals, and also conceding too many. So, situation normal :lol:

At the other end, still no wins for Boston and Slough, but Boston are at least off the mark now.

 

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Over 2k turning up to League home games has made an impression on the finances, and a home cup game helped as well.

The stadium expansion finishes next month, so we will be able to host even bigger crowds going forward.

 

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Our 3 junior Internationals have been away for their respective countries.

 

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While they played well, the missed games while they were away, and needing to managed their fatigue when they've returned is another aspect of the game that I now need to deal with.

 

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I received my first job offer for a while. I have a soft sport for Port Vale. they were one of my first long term saves in my first FM game back in the early 2000's on the PS1 :lol:

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NOV 2026 - Continued

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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21 Jack continues to be our only keeper to have played this year, and is still performing very well.

He kept 5 clean sheets in all competitions this month, and contributed 4 goals as well.

 

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Another cracker of a free kick, and celebration, as he curled his 2nd free kick of the season, and 11th for his career, in off the post.

 

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Career penalty number 30 was scored in the same game, smashed into the bottom left corner.

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Career penalty 31 went the same way, into the side netting.

 

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Career penalty 32, and 4th of the season went back to his traditional low and right, freezing the keeper before going in off the post.

 

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6 goals for the season brings him to 43 career goals, now equal the club record for Goal Scoring Goalkeepers, with original Fraser Tremble.

 

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Up next...just the League to concentrate on this month, in the run towards Christmas.

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Just now, Hootieleece said:

Is Port Vale in a higher league? If so, at least take the interview. That would be realistic.

 

Yes, they are last in League Two at the moment.

I took the interview and was offered the job.

I just forgot to screenshot my jobs record sheet :lol:

But I also forgot to shot my Internationals record sheet, so I was having a good night last night apparently.

I might edit and add them in tonight if I remember :lol:

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DEC 2026

 

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At first glance, it looks like a terrible month, without a win for the first 4 games, but it doesn't really tell the story.

We didn't really play that badly, we just played without a lot of luck.

If there was a count of hit the post, pretty sure we would be in front.

We then rescued the month with a late winner over Barrow, before holding out then 2nd placed Grimsby.

 

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Two wins to get us back into the play off zone, as we fell as low as 11th prior to that.

A lot of teams packed very tightly in that region.

 

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We lost one of our main center midfielders for a few weeks, which hasn't helped the cause.

Since the kids came back from International duty, they've also been battling fatigue, which means I have had to rotate a lot, and struggle to get the same team on the park 2 games in a row.

 

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Another good month financially, the good crowds continue to help us out in that regard.

 

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We can now fit more people in. We probably won't need it for League games at this stage, but the expansion was required to meet League regulations.

 

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The Board offered and I accepted a new 3 year deal. My first large pay rise as well, more than doubling my previous deal.

 

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A busy start to the New Year away games at 1st place Chesterfield, followed by the big FA Cup game at Tottenham. We also kick off our FA Trophy campaign.

 

Up Next...mid season review.

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Mid Season Review

Analyst

 

We've now employed an analyst, so will be interesting to see if he tells me anything I don't already know.

 

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So we score a lot, and concede a lot...yep.

 

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Yeah, sounds about right, creating plenty of chances, and I did say I felt we'd been unlucky through December.

 

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We are not far off average, but still concede too many.

 

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Aggressive and clinical, sounds about right.

 

So not really telling me anything I didn't know, but good to know they are seeing the same things I am.

 

Stats

 

Goalkeeper

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Still just the one keeper used this season, and while there were no goals this month, he is still contributing well.

7 clean sheets to go along with 6 goals and 3 assists.

 

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Middle of the road result, faces a lot of shots against per game, and we concede too many.

 

Defence

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I have had a bit of rotation going though all positions, but the defence has probably seen the least of it.

21d Connor continues to be a wall in the center, and a heading machine.

25h Irving has come along nicely, and intercepts everything, 24e Idowu has 42 key passes and 6 assists, loves to get things going forward from the back.

23j Rawlinson continues to be solid on the right or in the center as needed.

 

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We make a lot of tackles, but surprising to see our won ratio so low compared to the rest of the League.

I guess that gives some insight into our leaky defence.

 

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We have a low count of headers attempted, but a high percentage won, 21d Connor would be responsible for a lot of those.

 

Midfielders

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21a Powell has been playing well, so will be a big loss in the center.

24a Clarke on the left, and 21b Barber on the right provide a lot of key passes creating the opportunities to get forward.

 

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Our passing stats are disappointing compared to the League.

 

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The crossing stats are actually pretty decent, while lower numbers than the League, we get a good percentage of them on target.

Probably helps our high number of goals.

 

Forwards

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Williams and McCarthy spent time away on International duty, and have been battling fatigue since.

I've tried to rotate them, but it's put pressure on Potts who is now struggling.

Looks like I will need to try and see if I can get more out of De Cock, as Madden has been struggling for form.

 

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We are one of the best in the League for shooting and getting them on target. We have generally been a high scoring team.

 

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We create chances to take a lot of shots per game, and convert them at a good rate compared to the rest of the League.

 

All in all, I am pretty happy with how things are going for our first season in the National League.

Tighten up the defence a bit, and keep being aggressive up front and we will give this League a real shake.

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DEC 2026 - Youth Intake Preview

 

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We already have a very good left winger, so some competition for him might be a good thing.

I can only hope for a decent left back, which is an area we've always struggled to produce.

Where are all the Goalkeepers? :seagull:

Given the inaccuracy of most of these previews, I guess I will just have to wait and see what actually shows up.

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JAN 2027 - FA Cup 3rd Round

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This was always going to be a difficult task, and we were down 0-2 just after the quarter hour, before a career highlight for McCarthy, scoring a FA Cup goal in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Things were then made harder when Idowu got himself sent off after 28 minutes. But 1-2 at the break was probably playing well above our average.

Tottenham scored a 3rd goal after the break, and then seemed happy to just see out the game in cruise mode.

While it wasn't our best performance, it was still decent against Premier League opposition.

So we exit in the 3rd round for the second year in a row, still a massive effort for this little island club.

 

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We earned about 1.1 Million from our share of the gate, which pretty much wipes out all that we spent on the ground, training and youth facility upgrades.

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JAN 2027 - FA Trophy 3rd Round

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We looked to be playing well in this game, but just couldn't get the ball over the line, then it got worse when a goal mouth scramble resulted in a clearance deflecting off Roberts, back into our own goal.

I though it was going to end up one of those days, where we do everything right, and still get beaten.

But almost from the kick off, young gun Williams fired us back on level terms, and we had all the momentum, before we finally got the winner in injury time to send us through to the 4th Round.

We made a lot harder work of it than it should have been, but we'll take the win.

 

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We renew acquaintances with Hereford in the 4th Round, drawn at home in the upgraded Bowl.

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JAN 2027

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3 wins, 2 draws, and a loss for the month, was a pretty decent result.

A great win over Halifax was followed by being dominated by Chesterfield. They are easily the best team in the League, we barely got a shot away.

A draw away to Barnett, was probably a disappointing result, we just couldn't put them away and then gave up two late goals.

FGR are one of the better teams in the comp, and this match was a good old fashioned arm wrestle, and neither team could take the advantage, to be honest, I was happy to take a point off them.

We then finished the month with a pair of 2-1 wins, which while we were not at our best, we got the job done.

 

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We find ourselves in 8th place, still hanging around near the play off places, which is still pretty impressive for our little island club that were certainties to get relegated at the start of the season.

 

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We sill take plenty of shots, and our defence has improved this month.

 

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Plenty of shots, but we haven't converted a lot of chances we created. This was obvious in the Barnett game where we created enough cnahces to score a lot of goals, but came away with only a draw.

 

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Our defence has improved this month, sliding back to the impenetrable side of the bar.

 

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While our conversion rate is lower than I'd like, it's still pretty good compared to the rest of the League.

 

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A brilliant month financially with the gate from our FA Cup game against Tottenham providing the finances to cover everything we spent on upgrades during the off season.

Might be time to think about hitting the Board up and see if they will let me spend some of it again.

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The Youth Facilities were also upgraded during the off season, and these were the first time we've upgraded the facilities.

 

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This will be our first ever televised League match. Another cool little achievement ticked off.

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JAN 2027 continued

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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JJ added another 2 clean sheets this month, along with 3 goals. Still easily the best keeper at the club, with daylight second.

 

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A bullet into the bottom right freezes the opposition keeper.

 

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Sneaks this one almost under the opposing keeper.

 

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Completes a perfect month with a rocket into the left corner.

 

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7 from 7 at the penalty spot this season, for a total haul of 9 goals. Looking good to hit double figures again.

A career record of 35 from 36 penalties, just the one miss coming in a Cup game in his first season.

Add in 11 Free kicks, and he has now racked up 46 career goals, which breaks Fraser Tremble's former club record of 43.

 

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Another busy month coming up, and maybe another Trophy game if we can get passed Hereford.

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11 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

What are Jordan jack's Penalty and Free kick's attributes?

 

I may have to get in on this Goalscoring GK thing on another save.

 

6 on free kicks, 4 on penalties, 6 on technique

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FEB 2027 - FA Trophy 4th Round

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A dominant performance to get us through the 4th Round over Hereford.

After an early penalty miss from Keeper Jack, just the second miss of his career, we then settled and scored well taken goals either side of half time.

A solid defensive display kept them from ever really getting into the game.

 

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Drawn at home to National League South Maidenhead for the 5th Round.

Should be a good match, but should also be a winnable one for us.

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FEB 2027 - FA Trophy 5th Round

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An absolute defensive masterclass as we completely shut Maidenhead out of the game.

An early goal to Potts settled any thoughts of nerves as we went about our work, before a 51st minute screamer from Barber put it beyond doubt.

We also had three goals ruled out, and hit the post, so it was a very dominant performance.

 

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We have reached the Quarter Final for the first time, and the draw send us to Southern Premier League South Cirencester Town.

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FEB 2027

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A month that started with and injury time loss to Yeovil, finished with a bang as we went on a 4 match win streak.

Tight wins over Harrogate and Boreham Wood, who were dead last, either side of a shoot out with Hartlepool, and a mauling of York.

We took the lead early against York, before they hit back with two goals by the 10th minute, before we scored again to make it 2-2 after 12 minutes, in one of the craziest starts to a game we've had all season.

We then ran away with the game scoring three more goals to send their fans home unhappy.

 

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4 wins in a row has launched us back into the play off race. I said last season that no one was catching Chester, and they collapsed to hand us the title...do I dare make the same prediction again? :lol:

 

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Very attacking, concede too many. Same old same old.

 

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A pretty good month, scoring well above expected.

 

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The defence slid back onto the leaky side of the chart this month. Need to tighten that up again.

 

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More shots and more clinical than a lot of teams, that's what I like to see.

 

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Another solid month financially. Those home crowds are just awesome for us.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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JJ still delivering the goods at the back. His passing rate and accuracy have also increased over the season.

 

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Sending the opposing keeper the wrong way for his 10th goal of the season.

 

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Keeper guessed right, but couldn't stop his 11th goal of the season.

 

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He did miss a penalty in the Trophy game, but his career record stands at 37 from 39, and is still perfect in League games.

11 Goals for the season takes him to 48 career goals, almost to the half century milestone.

 

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Another busy month coming up in March, as we look to consolidate a position in the play off race.

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MAR 2027 - FA Trophy Quarter Final

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We're off to the semi finals as our solid defensive form continues, and Cirencester are pushed aside.

Not out best game, but we done enough to get two goals, and even though they scored a late consolation, we were always in control.

 

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We are drawn at home for the semi final against Bradford (PA), who we have an excellent record against.

 

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Two FA Cup games, and two League games last season, and we have a 4-0 record, scoring 16 and conceding only 2.

This is a very winnable game for us, but we will need to be better than we have been lately.

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MAR 2027 - Youth Intake

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The class of 27 has arrived, and while the preview didn't give away a lot, looking at the CA stars, it does seem a bit underwhelming, until you compare with the attribute review

 

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The Academy has produced it's first ever 60 point player, and also gave me 3 more above 55.

I think this was also our first class with an above 50 point average.

Left back is an area we have always struggled to produce quality, so Bonner will become pretty much an automatic first team player.

Henry looks quality, and will be a good player to give competition to 24a Clarke, who hasn't had much, only a few to pick from when he needed to be rested.

Our strikers have been developed, not produced, so to see a striker produced with such a high score is a positive sign, and he will go into the mix for the first team rotation.

Watters looks a quality prospect and will be considered for the first team rotation as well.

12 of the 16 are Isle of Man kids.

But seriously...goalkeepers??? :seagull:

 

The Top 4

Spoiler

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Bonner is the highest rated left back at the club and while there are a lot of areas he can improve, he looks to be a very high quality prospect. Strength, pace, and good tackling. Looking forward to seeing what he can contribute.

 

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Shames he's right footed, but we can work with it, still a lot of work to do, but looks a good prospect.

 

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Finishing of 9, fast, strong, and still only 15 years old. The best striker the Academy has produced. Very excited to follow this ones progress.

 

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This one looks to be a work in progress, with plenty of room to grow, but still looks an exciting prospect.

 

 

Overall, very happy with this intake, we got a left back, a striker, and some attacking midfielders, that always come in handy.

The goal keeping was a let down again, maybe next year.

 

What this intake has made me realise, is that I now have too many players.

I have never minded carrying a big squad, because it gave me plenty of options.

But I now have about 100 players at the club, so it's time to start getting a bit ruthless, and not offering contracts to players that are not playing, are not developing, or just generally have low scores after being here for a while.

I might also need to get more ruthless about which Academy products I take each year. In 7 intakes, I have only not taken a total of 2 players.

Looks like I have plenty of class of 22 and 24 who have contracts ending this season, so they may be the first on the block.

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1 minute ago, Jtomsett11 said:

Just caught up with this.  Excellent progress made so far and it's nice to see your youth intakes slowly improving attribute wise! What's your HOYD like? 

Thank you! It's been going pretty well, although we have struggled for consistency this season.

HoYD is pretty decent. Not sure if it's the Island thing that you had going on at the early stages of your save. As we grow and step up the the levels I am guessing his effectiveness will lessen. Another thing to keep an eye on.

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MAR 2027 - FA Trophy Semi Final

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We're off to the big dance!!!

Wembley awaits as we destroyed Bradford (PA) with a complete performance right across the field.

We got an early goal to put them on the back foot, and then just kept the foot on their throat all the way through the match.

 

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FC Halifax won the other semi, and we will meet at Wembley in early May for a chance to add another Trophy to our collection.

 

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Another club that we have a decent record against, including a good win this season.

They will be terrified of our young striker Williams, who has netted 7 goals against them in three games, including 5 in the 7-0 thrashing last season.

 

Another unique piece of history may await us.

In 2019, AFC Flyde by winning the FA Trophy, became the first team to have won both the FA Vase, and the FA Trophy.

We have the chance to become only the second team in the history of the FA to achieve that feat, after having lifted the FA Vase in 2022.

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MAR 2027

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We followed last month 4 game winning streak, by losing our first two League games this month.

We then went on a 5 game winning run, 6 if you include the FA Trophy semi, to finish the month in spectacular fashion.

We broke our all time attendance record in that FA Trophy semi final, the first time we'd crossed the 3k barrier since opening the extended ground.

Three days later we broke our League attendance record against Darlington.

 

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5 wins on the bounce has taken us up to 4th spot. We must be making a lot of the top teams nervous.

 

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The analyst report show much of the same, our defence lets in too many goals, but we are the best attacking team in the League.

 

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We lost our number one AM(R) for a month, which won't help. Hopefully the replacements can step up.

 

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A new attendance record in the FA Trophy Semi Final.

 

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A few of the class of 27 kids have already found their way into the first team, breaking records, scoring goals, and making themselves a very useful addition to the squad.

 

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Williams and Bain were called up for their respective counties again. Williams making his debut for the 19s, after playing for the 18s last year.

 

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Good gate receipts this month, but all the money we earned for the FA Cup game against Tottenham, I spent it, and then some.

 

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After some grovelling, the Board agreed to give me upgrades to both the Training and Youth facilities, which will be upgraded during the upcoming off season.

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MAR 2027 - continued

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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Jack contributing 2 more clean sheets this month, in some very impressive performances.

He has also contributed 3 goals this month.

 

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Keeper guesses the right way but can't do anything to stop that.

 

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Guesses right again, but can only parry it into the goal.

 

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Send the keeper the wrong way to make it 3 from 3 for the month.

 

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12 from 13 penalties for the season, and 14 goals total.

Has now surpassed the 50 goal barrier, racking up 40 from 42 career penalties, now with 51 career goals.

 

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A bit quieter month, might be a bit easier on some legs which have battled fatigue all though the season.

A unique little milestone, as we play our first ever televised League game against Guiseley to start the month.

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APR 2027

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3 wins, a draw, and a loss in what was a pretty special month.

It began with our first televised League game, which resulted in an entertaining draw with Guiseley, a solid win over Barrow, before excellent wins over 2nd (Grimsby) and 1st (Chesterfield) book ended a disappointing loss to Stockport.

After we beat Grimsby, it confirmed Chesterfield as Champions, and they take the automatic promotion spot to the EFL, so they may not have played their strongest team against us, but the fans didn't care, as we smashed our League attendance record, which was previously about 2,800. Still plenty of room before a sell out, but the signs are good.

 

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So Chesterfield are confirmed as Champions as Grimsby collapsed this month.

With three games remaining, we technically aren't assured of a play off spot, but one more point is all that's required.

At the other end, Boreham Wood become the first team relegated.

 

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Still scoring plenty, while the analyst was a bit happier with our defence this month.

 

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We kept pace with the xG this month, however the analyst thinks we should be doing better.

 

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The defence has improved this month.

 

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We are the best attacking team in the League, and have scored 9 goals more than the team leading the comp.

However, we have conceded double the amount of goals they have.

 

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Losing Williams for a month is going to hurt. He has had an up and down 2nd season, but I believe it's been more related to his international duties than club duties.

 

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The clean out of excess players has begun. Chee Kiat was a low rating keeper who has shown little signs of improvement in his 3 years with the club, so off he goes.

Only a small fee, but it's about what his value was showing (275), and I managed to get the 50% in, not that I expect anything to come of that clause.

 

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An Academy product now has the most League appearances for the club with Powell taking the record from former striker Taylor.

While Powell had an up and down few seasons, he has really settled into the role and has become a dominant player in midfield.

He is still a bit short of Taylor's all time appearances record, but I expect that will also be his soon enough.

 

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No Cups. but another month of huge gate receipts just keep this clubs finances ticking along nicely.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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No goals for JJ this month, however he did add another clean sheet in the last game against Chesterfield, and has racked up another season of 50+ games.

The conceded per 90 continues to fall as well.

 

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Up next...we play Halifax twice in a week as we get them away in the League, and then the big dance at Wembley awaits.

We round out the season with games against Barnet and FGR.

One point will confirm a play off spot, not bad for our little island club that were certainties to be relegated.

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MAY 2027 - FA Trophy Final

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Our second trip to Wembley Stadium results in another trophy going into the cupboard, but boy, we had to do it the hard way.

After all the early running, we got caught on the break, with Halifax catching us committing too many forward, it would be their only shot on target for 120 minutes.

The chance to equalise finally came when Potts was brought down in the box, only to see Mr Reliable, Jordan Jack smash his penalty attempt into the right post, and the rebound to be scurried away by their defence.

It looked like it was going to be another one of those days when you do everything right, and it all goes pear shaped, as no matter what we tried, we kept being denied.

Then with 6 minutes remaining, Clarke find himself with enough space to unleash a cracking strike from the edge of the box, and their keeper could only watch as it curled in off the post.

We had another opportunity to win it in injury time, but a fine save denied us again, so off to extra time.

Extra time was much the same with us making all the chances, and Halifax looking to hold on for penalties.

Then the moment arrived, Potts was again brought down in the box, the Ref immediately point to the spot again, and before anyone could think about who was going to take it, Jordan Jack was already charging up the field and lining up his second penalty attempt.

Showing no nerves or affects of his earlier miss, Jack calmly waited for the whistle, picked his spot, and buried it.

Ten thousand Isle of Man fans went crazy in the stands, the players celebrated on the field, and it was the end for Halifax, who had nothing left to give.

 

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We also received about 150k for our share of the gate.

 

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Another shiny trophy to add to the collection.

Not much time to celebrate, as we need to keep our minds on the job, the play offs await us.

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A unique moment in history

 

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After winning the FA Vase in 2022, and now the FA Trophy in 2027, we become just the second team in history to have won both of these trophies, after AFC Fylde (Vase 2008, Trophy 2019).

This is a pretty impressive little bit of trivia, that is a monumental achievement for this little island club to have achieved just 7 years into it's existence, showing that we are truly heading in the right direction to becoming a serious force in English Football.

 

As an extra little bit of unique trivia, in 2022 when we won the FA Vase, Notts County won the FA Trophy.

This would make Notts County the only team in History to have won both the FA Cup (1894), and the FA Trophy.

 

That I can find, no team has won all three FA Competitions; the FA Vase, the FA Trophy, and the FA Cup.

Given that Fylde are in the same division as us, and seem to be bouncing between National League, and National North and not likely to make a serious push for the FA Cup, and that Notts County have now made their way back into the EFL, and have spent the last few seasons between League One, and League Two, and are unlikely to be relegated 4 times to put them back into the FA Vase qualification region, it looks like we may be the only currently active team with a realistic chance of making a play to become the first team to achieve that triple.

A very interesting little achievement that we may be able to target in this save.

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MAY 2027

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A win, a draw, and a loss to finish the regular season.

Our play off place was secured prior to the Halifax game, so I rested some players for the Trophy final, and although we lost, we didn't play too badly.

Our final home game of the year resulted in a good win over Barnet.

We then finished the season with a draw away to FGR.

 

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We finish the regular season in 3rd place, which means we skip the first round of the play offs and go straight to the semi finals.

I think the means we get the highest place winner from the 1st round, and Grimsby get the lowest placed winner...I think :lol:

Chesterfield have been in cruise control for a month, with the title sealed in April.

Torquay, Boston, Boreham Wood, and Slough drop back to the National North/South.

 

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We have our 4th youth international with Idowu called up to the U20 World Cup squad.

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He gave a good account of himself in his first international tournament.

 

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Licence upgrade completed. Will probably be the last one I get without getting to the Football League.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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A solid finish to the season from JJ, adding another clean sheet, and another goal.

 

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Having missed a penalty earlier in the FA Trophy Final, he made no mistake in extra time to score the Trophy winning goal.

He had two misses for the year, but stood up when it counted.

 

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Jack finishes the season with 16 goals, made up of 14 from 16 penalty attempts, and 2 free kicks.

Becomes our first keeper to go past the 50 goal mark this season, 42 from 45 career penalties, and 11 free kicks, for 53 career goals.

 

 

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Yeovil take on FGR, and Dag & Red take on Stockport for the first round of the play offs.

 

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JUN 2027 - National League Promotion Play Off Semi Draw

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So with the First Round complete, Dag & Red belted Stockport, and FGR got past Yeovil on penalties.

The Semi Final draw sends Dag & Red to Grimsby, while we host FGR at The Bowl.

 

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We've met twice this season, for 0-0 and 1-1 draws, so indications are this will be a tight game.

Lets hope for a monster crowd at The Bowl to cheer us home.

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JUN 2027 - National League Play off Semi Final

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In what we knew would be a tough game, our promotion chances, and season came to an end in a tough fought battle with FGR.

The game never really reached any great heights, turning into a midfield slug fest with very few attacking opportunities.

While it's disappointing to go out in the play offs, we can be very proud of even reaching them.

 

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A full house for the game smashes our all time records for attendance.

 

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FGR would go on to lose the final on penalties to Grimsby.

I guess it's only fair that the best two teams over the season are promoted to the Football League.

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Attribute Reviews

 

Goalkeepers

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Jack, clearly our number one, but has continued to show improvement over the season.

Brown has also improved, and while he is a long way behind, and the only one even close to putting pressure on Jack.

The others, while there has been different levels of improvement, still lag a long way behind.

 

Defenders

 

Center

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We now have two 60 point central defenders, who have both performed well this season.

There is a big gap back to the next best, so I am hoping to see more improvement out of the rest to put pressure on the top two.

 

Right

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Idowu and Rawlingson share duties on the right, and both have shown good growth.

Bell will be pushing for time this season, while the two other class of 26 Right backs have shown impressive growth as well.

 

Left

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Bonner and Irving will share the duties while Proctor is capable on the left of center of the rotation.

Only minor growth, this side of defence has always been an issue for us to produce players.

 

Midfield

 

Ball Winning Midfielders

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Imasuen and Powell have both crossed the 60 point barrier.

Powell is our number one, while Imasuen has been our super sub off the bench, covering multiple positions.

Good to see some impressive growth in this area, providing rotation options.

 

Advanced Playmakers

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A monster season of growth from Croft sees him cross the 60 point barrier, and has also begun attracting attention from clubs as high up as the Championship. He may not be around much longer.

That's a bit of a concern as the growth shown by the others has been disappointing.

 

Attacking Right

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While Barber has been the main AM(R) option for a few seasons now, there is signs of life, and growth among a few players to finally look like giving him some competition.

 

Attacking Left

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Great to see Henry's growth, as Clarke, like Croft, has been attracting a lot of attention, and looks like he might soon be off to the Championship as well.

If the right deal comes, then it's good to see there are options to replace him, as he will be a big loss.

 

Forwards

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Williams, despite his up and down season, crosses the 60 point barrier, while McCarthy has had a hug growth.

Four genuine forward options, with Madden as the back up, to rotate now.

 

Best XI

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So with some impressive growth this season, we see our Average also break the 60 point barrier for the first time.

The growth of the players is coming along nicely, and depending how we go with some players being looked at by bigger clubs, it should hold us in good stead to keep pushing towards the football League in the next few seasons.

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Pre-season things

 

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After making the play offs this season, I am a little surprised that the Board only want us to fight against relegation.

I am hoping we do a lot better than that.

 

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AS new main sponsor has come on board, more than doubling our previous deal.

 

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I think this is the same as last year.

 

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Some minor increases to both, which will come in handy as players want upgraded contracts.

 

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Bolton and Notts Co have dropped back out of the Football League.

 

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The fixtures are released and we start the season away from home again.

 

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Our previously unrated Youth Academy, now has been approved for Category 4.

It's another 30k a month expenditure, but hopefully it can only help us moving forward.

 

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The player cull continued with 10 players released at the end of last season.

These were players who had shown little or no growth, and were not playing, and not likely to in the near future.

We save some room in the wage budget, and have a few less bodies for our coaches to look after.

 

Up next...Friendly season.

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JUL-AUG 2027 - Off Season bits

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The training and youth facility upgrades have been completed, just in time for the players to return for the new season

 

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We are not last. But still second last and in the expected to be relegated area.

 

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In big news, we've has some player sales.

Clarke had been pushing for a move to a bigger club for a while, although I was surprised when he wanted to go to Oldham.

After some haggling I got the price and some add ons I wanted, and was surprised when they agreed to both the 50% sell on, and the loan back.

I was even more surprised when he accepted it.

So we sold him, get to keep him for another season, and Oldham are footing the 725 a week wage he is now getting, which is about 500 more then we were paying him.

 

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This one hurt a little more as I didn't really want him to go, but he refused to sign a new contract as we were too small, so I decided to cash in for what I could get.

Sunderland refused the loan back, and extras, so we haggled on a straight up cash payment, but I did managed to get a friendly, and the 50% sell on included.

The other players were unhappy with me for this, but I told them we had plenty of young kids up and coming in that area, and this would be the perfect time for them to step up, and they were all happy with that result.

So Croft goes, we make some money, and some potential money down the track if he develops for them.

 

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So I have sold two 60 point players, but I get to keep one of them for a year.

I get some money out of the Friendlies, and hopefully from future sales.

 

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Watters made his debut for Northern Ireland

 

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He becomes our second player for Northern Ireland, and our 5th over all junior international.

 

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Craggs has been called called up and will miss the start of our pre season friendlies

 

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The finances don't look as bad as they could have with two player sales, and the season ticket money coming in.

 

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Friendly season kicks off

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SEP 2027 - Friendly Season

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A great run of results to get some good running into the legs.

Very happy to see Williams in early season form after a very patchy second season.

And I'd forgotten how long it starts to take the National League season, the Football Leagues have already played between 7 and 10 games.

 

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After having our first televised League match last year, we debut the season with our second, and our third in January.

 

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Craggs played well in his two appearances for Ireland this month.

 

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Craggs became our 6th youth international.

 

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Two more call ups for October, looks like these guys will miss the start of the season.

 

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Captains have been appointed. With Clarke being sold, I have appointed Powell as vice captain in his place.

 

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Lets get the season started so we can get some crowds in to help pay for the new youth set up.

 

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A busy month to kick of the season, and our FA Cup campaign kicks off in the 4th Qualifying round.

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OCT 2027 - Round 1

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As far as making a statement in Round 1 goes, this was a huge one.

Pretty much everything went right with pretty much every player as we obliterated Hartlepool.

 

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The scoreline breaks our all time biggest ever win.

 

After that performance, I guess we won't be flying under the radar this season.

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OCT 2027 - FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round

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Brutal!

Even though they pulled back one of our early goals, this was all one way traffic as Horsham were blown off the park.

Four goals to McCarthy as the attacking unit continued it's early season form, but the defence was brilliant as well, limiting Horsham to only four shots on goal, and only two on target.

 

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Fans and money rolling in.

 

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So we make it to the First Round proper for the 5th straight year, where we are drawn at home to division rival  Stockport.

 

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A tougher match up than it first appears, as we have met Stockport three times previously, including once if the FA Cup, and lost them all.

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OCT 2027

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What! A! Start!

After kicking if the season with a live TV annihilation of Hartlepool, we then opened our home account with a similar treatment of Solihull Moors.

By the time we'd finished with Woking, we'd peeled off 16 goals, and conceded none in the first three games.

A tougher match, and good win against Darlington, followed by a hard fought draw with Halifax, before we rounded out the month with another hiding, this time at home to Harrogate.

All together in the League, we slammed in 22 goals in 6 games, while conceding only 2. 28 and 3 in 7 if you include the FA Cup game.

 

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Notts County have been lethal so far this year as well, but I am super impressed with the against column.

We have always been a high scoring team, but to have the best defence in the League after 6 games, is a massive improvement for this club.

 

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In a month sure to keep the analyst happy, we've been brilliant all over the park.

The passing and tackling could be better, but who can complain.

 

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We are well in front of the xG, but the analyst thinks we could make even more of the chances we are creating.

That could be terrifying for opposition teams to consider.

 

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So proud of this one. Best defence in the League.

I know there is a long way to go, but defence has always been our weak spot.

 

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The attack has been so good it's almost off the scale compared to the rest of the League.

Still a long way to go.

 

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So good has the month been that we took out first, second, and third in the Player of the Month.

Pretty fair effort when Notts County have been just as, if not better performing than us.

 

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We had three players involved in internationals over the month, with Watters scoring his first international goal.

 

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Henry became out 7th junior international. Watters became just the third to score.

 

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Hadn't seen much happening on the speculation front recently, but this was the first time I had been linked to a team in the Championship.

 

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We had a slight increase in the season tickets this year, but the finances continue to be boosted by good crowd numbers at games.

The Youth Set up continues to be our biggest expense.

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OCT 2027 - continued

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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What a month for JJ, keeping 4 clean sheets in 7 games, conceding only three, while scoring three himself.

 

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Smashed this one in so hard the opposing keeper didn't even move, for hist 1st of the season.

 

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Keeper guessed the right way, but could do nothing to prevent his second of the season from going in.

 

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3rd verse, same as the 2nd, unstoppable.

 

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He did have a penalty saved in the Woking game, but it mattered little as we won 2-0.

3 from 4 penalties in the first month of the season, now 45 of 49 for his career.

Throw in 11 Free Kicks and he has racked up 56 career goals.

 

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November sees us start with a tough FA Cup game against Stockport, while it will be a busy League month, finishing with a tough away trip to Bolton.

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