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


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NOV 2027 - FA Cup Round 1

 

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We made such hard work of this. We were not even close to being the better team, conceded a penalty after having a player sent off, only for Jack to save it.

Conceded a few minutes later and looked gone, only for a Potts stunner to send us to extra time, which we managed to hang on.

We then missed our first two penalties, and on the verge of being eliminated, Jack then saves three of the next five penalties, then Potts steps up and buries his chance to send us to the 2nd Round.

I have no idea how we won this game.

 

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A bumper crowd in and we've broken our gate record.

 

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In what will be a tough match, League One Gillingham come to The Bowl for Round 2

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6 hours ago, Punch said:

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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.

Really loving the finances.

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NOV 2027

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After a brilliant month to start the season, November brought us back to earth somewhat, managing three wins and three losses in our six League games.

After the crazy FA Cup game we then had back to back losses, where it just didn't click, although while not an excuse, having 5 players on international duties this month certainly has not helped.

We then got back on track, kind of, with back to back 2-1 wins, both requiring late McCarthy goals to get us home, before our best performance of the month, thumping Guiseley away.

Bolton was a tough game, and a tough loss, after having two goals ruled out, and Jordan Jack missed a penalty. But the signs were good against an excellent team.

 

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At the same time we started losing games, so did Notts Co, but Bolton, Maidstone, and even Yeovil have been tearing it up.

This always appears to be a tough League to get out of, and it looks like this year will be no different.

 

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While the analyst was happier with our passing, the defensive side slipped a little.

 

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In front of the xG again, but he still thinks we should be making more of them.

 

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As expected, we slipped a little more to the center on the defence side of things, but still performing better than previous seasons.

 

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We come back to a few of the pack, but still the best attacking team in the League.

 

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We had 5 players involved in internationals this month.

Williams is the big worry as he was on fire before he left, and really struggled to maintain consistency after returning from international duty last season.

 

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A good month financially as the crowds kept rolling in.

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We have our first ever buyout clause.

That would be a massive amount of money for us, but we currently are not hurting for cash, so I might sit on this one for a while.

He is contracted for another year, but only valued at 23.5k though.

I can't see him breaking a million in value to make us more than what is on the table now though.

Food for thought.

 

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Just a few of the job speculation and interviews that have been going around this month.

No offer from Reading yet, but linked to a Championship team again.

 

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31 interview offers in 7.5 years, including two this month.

Only get offers from EFL teams now, and now seeing offers from 2.5 star clubs.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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No goals for JJ this month, he was pretty solid at the back though, despite our up and down results.

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No goals, unfortunately he did miss again in the Bolton game.

3 from 5 would probably be the worst percentage wise in his career to date.

 

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December brings another busy month, while we face a tough FA Cup match against Gillingham.

The 3rd round has already been drawn, with the winner to face EPL Sheffield United.

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DEC 2027 - FA Cup 2nd Round

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Our FA Cup campaign ends in the 2nd Round after a tough fought loss to Gillingham.

We didn't play our best, but their defence was awesome and gave us no opportunities.

 

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A full house the The Bowl breaks our gate record again.

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DEC 2027

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4 wins, a draw, and a loss for December, which was an improvement on last month.

A disappointing home loss to Dag & Red, followed by a thumping of Kingstonian.

A draw against Bromley where we couldn't hit the target, followed by a scratchy late win over Fylde.

A good win over a tough York, and we round out the month with a mauling of Aldershot.

 

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Us and Notts Co have both found form, while Bolton dipped.

Maidstone, Yeovil, and Solihull are still hanging around as well.

 

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The defence improved slightly from last month.

 

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We smashed the xG, although scoring 6 in the last game helped no doubt.

 

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An improved defensive month.

 

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We are still the most dangerous attacking team in the League.

 

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Brought up game 400 in style with a 4-1 win over Kingstonian.

 

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The job links and offer continue. Second time Exeter have approached me in a few months.

 

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Now 32 offers in 7.5 years.

 

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Breaking our gate record in the FA Cup game helped bring us a brilliant month financially, however there will be no big Round 3 pay day this season.

 

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We exited the Cup, but our defence of the Trophy begins in January, with an away game to division rival Solihull Moors.

Hope we can have some good form here to keep the finances ticking along.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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Another solid month from JJ delivering 2 clean sheets, and a goal.

 

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No penalties this month, but this free kick was a cracker.

 

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1st free kick of the season, and 4th goal over all.

No has 12 career free kicks, and 57 career goals.

 

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Another busy month to begin the new year, and we play Solihull twice in 10 days, with our FA Trophy defence kicking off, then we get a TV game in the League.

 

Up next...mid season review.

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DEC 2027 - Mid Season Review

 

Goal Keeper

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Just the one goalkeeper used this season again, and the stats look good.

6 clean sheets, conceding less than a goal a game, passing stats are up, has saved 50% of the penalties he's faced. Great defensive performances.

Has contributed 4 goals, but has missed 2 penalties this season.

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Even the analyst is pretty happy in this area.

 

Defence

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The defensive duties have been shared around, and the stats reflect this as well.

We are winning a high percentage of tackles and headers, and some impressive key header stats.

Irving loves a key pass to get us moving forward from the back.

 

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Analyst thinks we could do a better job tackling as we attempt more tackles than most, but we are low on the win side comparatively.

 

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We attempt less headers than most, but win a good percentage of them.

 

Midfield

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Clarke showing why he was wanted by Championship sides, intercepts and key passes off the charts.

 

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We don't attempt as many passes as a lot of teams, and our accuracy is also down comparatively.

 

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Cross numbers a lower than average, but the accuracy is above average.

 

Forwards

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The rotation of Potts, Williams, and McCarthy do most of the work.

Good to see Williams not showing the effects of international duty like last season. He gets a lot of shots on target.

 

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We take a lot of shots and get a lot on target.

 

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And the best attacking efficiency in the League. More shots on target either makes the goalkeeper work, or scores more goals.

 

Up next...Youth Intake Preview.

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JAN 2028 - FA Trophy 3rd Round

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Our FA Trophy defence kicked off with an epic match that went the distance against Solihull Moors.

Giving up an early penalty, we fought our way back into the match and took a 2-1 lead into half time.

After Solihull equalised, the game settled into a midfield slug fest.

Neither team looked likely to get a result, although we did manage a late effort that was tipped onto the bar, that almost snatched it.

Extra time went much the same way, both teams bogging down in the midfield with no real opportunities being made by either team.

Off to penalties we go, and while we missed two of our own, Jordan Jack was the hero again saving three penalties to send us through to the 4th Round.

 

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Drawn at home to FCUoM in Round 4.

 

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We have a fairly lengthy history against FCUoM back through several divisions and competitions.

They hold an edge over us, but we have left them behind in the National North, so will be hoping to get one back on them.

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 JAN 2028

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After a good start to the month, extending our unbeaten run, we then got thumped by Notts Co, before turning it around and thumping Solihull in the second match.

Apparently we love a TV game. I think we are 3-0-0 and scored about 15-0 in those games.

A season high monster crowd for the League game against Notts, then had another 3k turn up to the final match of the month against Hartlepool.

 

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We'd gone on an 8 game unbeaten run before the loss to Notts.

 

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That form has taken us to the top of the tree, although it's so close, only 4 points separating the top four, even with Bolton's up and down form.

 

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The analyst still pretty happy with our form at the moment. Passing and tackle ratio's can always improve.

 

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Beating the xG still, but the analyst, as always, wants us to make more of the chances we create.

 

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We are still one of the best defensive teams in the League, which is a massive improvement on last season.

 

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We are the best attacking team in the League...daylight second.

 

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I have been so please this season that Williams didn't show the effects of his International Duties like he did last season.

While I have also been aware of the fatigue on the young strikers we use, I have been rotating them a bit more, so that currently no one is playing more than 2-3 games in a row before getting a break.

It's clearly working as weather he starts, or comes off the bench, he just knows how to put the ball in the net.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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JJ collected two more clean sheets this month, and is putting in some brilliant performances. His shoot out saving in the Trophy stands out.

He also added 2 from 2 in penalties this month.

 

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Sends the keeper the wrong way with his traditional low and right shot.

 

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Keeper guesses correctly but could do nothing to stop this bullet.

 

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Now 5 from 7 spot kicks for the season, and 7 goals.

47 from 52 for his career, and 59 career goals.

 

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Breaking the 3k attendance barrier twice this month has done wonders for the finances. Which is good as we got knocked out of the FA Cup in the 2nd Round so there was no big payday this year.

The Board won't let me spend any of it, but it's good to know we are supporting ourselves, with the help of the crowds.

 

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Another busy month with some tough League games coming up, while the FA Trophy continues with the grudge match against FCUoM.

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FEB 2028 - FA Trophy 4th Round

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Another epic battle to add to the FCIoM / FCUoM saga as this one required extra time to sort out.

United took the lead on the half hour with a well taken goal, and try as we might, we just couldn't break them down to find the equaliser.

It took the two Jordan's to combine as keeper Jordan Jack launched a ball down field straight into the path of young gun Jordan Williams who beat his defender and fired passed the stranded keeper to level it up.

No winner could be found in regulation, so off to extra time we went.

With five minutes remaining, and a penalty shoot out looking likely to decide the winner, It took an error from one of their defenders who headed a corner straight into the path of Williams who fired a reflex volley into the net to send us into the lead, and 3,000 at The Bowl went crazy.

The party went into overdrive when Nwabueze launched a shot from outside the box that somehow missed everything and everyone, and found it's way into the net.

The game ends 3-1, but it was so much closer than the scoreboard shows.

 

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National North Altrincham will make the trip into the Irish Sea for the 5th Round.

 

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We did meet twice in our season in the National North, for a win and a draw.

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FEB 2028 - FA Trophy 5th Round

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Another FA Trophy game, another extra time thriller.

We gave up the first goal of the game again on 20 minutes, before impressive young striker Oscar Williams (No relation to Jordan) went on a run from the center circle, before unleashing a cracking strike from the edge of the box that beat the keeper at the near post, the get us back on level terms.

The second of was all our way, but we just couldn't get the winner, so it was off to extra time again.

8 minutes in, it was Williams, of the Jordan variety this time who latched onto a through ball from Nwabueze and buried a strike into the bottom corner to give us the lead.

Altrincham were pretty much gassed at this stage, and deep into the second half of extra time, Richard Patterson put it beyond doubt with a cheeky chip over the keeper.

 

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The Quarter Final sees us travel to Barnet.

 

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Another we have a good record against.

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FEB 2028

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Back to back 2-2 draws to start the month, before winning the next three.

Holding Maidstone scoreless was a brilliant effort as they have been playing well this season.

 

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Our unbeaten run stretches to 7 going back to last month.

 

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We lost top spot after the two draws, but have taken it back after Notts and Bolton both dropped games at the end of the month.

Beating Maidstone in the last game has also given us all a bit of breathing space over them.

We are still the best attacking team in the League, and one of the best defences as well. That's been our biggest improvement on last season.

 

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The analyst is pretty happy, we are performing above the League average in all aspects.

We are still clearly the best attacking team, while we are right in the mix as far as defensively as well.

 

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The crowds continue to roll in, helping us to another great month financially.

The Board have to let me spend some of it eventually, right? :lol:

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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JJ continues to perform brilliantly at the back, and has also contributed some impressive passes and assists getting us going forward.

 

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Keeper guesses wrong as Jack buries this one into his favourite spot.

 

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Keeper guesses correctly this time, but can still do nothing to stop it.

 

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Two goals this month, takes him to 8 for the season, so still in with a chance of getting to double figures again, which looked unlikely after the early season shakes.

49 from 54 at the spot for his career, taking him to 61 career goals.

 

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Something wonky with the schedule here as the first game against Barnet is actually the FA Trophy Qurter Final, not a National League game.

But a busy month regardless, including the big match at home to Bolton.

There is also a new Youth Intake to come.

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MAR 2028 - FA Trophy Quarter Final

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Well we finally had a trophy game that didn't go to extra time.

What a start it was though as Potts and Bonner rocked the hosts and had us 2-0 up after 3 minutes.

We controlled the match, and even though they pulled one back just after half time, it was all over after one of their defenders turned a cross into his own net.

Jordan Williams would finish the scoring in injury time to give us a 4-1 victory.

 

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We get to host the Semi Final against Barrow. Hoping to see a monster crowd support us into back to back finals.

 

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We hold a 4-0-0 record against Barrow, and will be looking to improve on this.

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MAR 2028

 

2028 Youth Intake

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None likely to go straight into first team, but some decent looking prospects, might amount to something over time.

 

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The average is a bit lower than last year, but still some that will be given a chance to see what they can do.

 

Top 5

Spoiler

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Looks a hand AM(L) or CF. Pace to burn but needs to work on strength and stamina.

 

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Decent looking RB, only 15, so plenty of time to grow.

 

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Another pacey AM(L), we seem to be producing a few of these left footed left siders lately.

 

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Lewis can play a lot of positions, so has great utility vale, although his best position is in the Center of Midfield.

 

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Halliwell looks a decent CM(AP), but time will tell.

 

For the first time we have a goal keeper who isn't the worst of the intake.

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He's tall, 196cm, and looks to be a decent prospect, attributes him already rate him the second best keeper at the club.

He even has decent free kick taking attributes :lol:

 

So this looks to be an intake to keep an eye on for the future.

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MAR 2028 - FA Trophy Semi Final

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Not sure what to say about this game, other than we won. We were the second best team for most of it.

Both teams hit the post but it was the defence, and a brilliant game by keeper Jordan Jack that prevented them from scoring a bucket load of goals.

 

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A player of the match performance Jack pulled off a string of great saves to keep us in the game.

 

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We're off the the big dance at Wembley for the second year in a row.

We meet South Shields in the Final.

 

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We've met twice before for a 1-1-0 record.

Looking forward to a big crowd to support us in defence of our title.

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MAR 2028

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Well! What a month! Three straight 3-0 wins, four straight clean sheets, five straight wins, and conceded only one goal for the month.

This would have to go down as one of the best months the club has ever put together.

The full house signs went up for the first time in a regular season League game, and we crushed Bolton, who have been very patchy lately.

 

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Our unbeaten steak is now at 12 games as we hold 1st place from Notts Co, but we have 2 games in hand.

Solihull have been on impressive run, while Bolton have been disappointing.

We are now the equal best defence in the League, while still smashing in goals for fun with the best attack.

 

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The analyst report show what the Table also told us.

Our defence has improved enormously this season, while our attack stats are nearly off the charts.

 

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At one point we had 5 players away on international duty this month, while 4 of them were still away for the Trophy Semi Final, Williams was back, but unfit to play. Making it even more impressive that we got through.

 

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A sell out against Bolton and a near sell out in the Trophy Semi made for a big month financially.

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MAR 2028 - continued

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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JJ had a massive month, Player of the Match in the Trophy Semi, 5 clean sheets and only conceded 2 goals in 7 games across all competitions.

While he did have another penalty miss this month, he still managed to bang in 4 goals, taking him into double figures again.

 

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A run of free kicks started with this curling monster against Barrow.

 

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Second of the month was another curling monster against Yeovil.

 

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He then scored his 2nd of the game, and third of the month, enough to give the opposing keeper nightmares.

 

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Rounds out the month with his 50th career penalty, in the game against Guiseley.

 

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A score and a miss from the spot this month makes him 8 from 11, but 4 free kicks, 3 this month, take him passed double figures for the season.

50 from 56 career penalties, along with 15 free kicks, takes him to 65 career goals.

 

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A month to just concentrate on the League before we head to Wembley in May.

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3 minutes ago, Cheez3y said:

Almost 2 mio in the bank!

This should be a good starting point for the adventures in the football league.

Two good FA Cup runs a couple of years ago were a big help, but the crowds are the life blood of this club.

We bring in so much money from gate takings and game day revenue, it's crazy.

Even when we started in Level 10, the average crowd was 30-50, we were getting 500-700.

The island factor helps too I think, mustn't be much else to do :lol:

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APR 2028

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So the theme for this month, if we kept a clean sheet, we won, if we conceded a goal, we didn't.

We extended our unbeaten streak to 14 before the loss to Fylde.

A lot of games back to back, we had to rotate, and used a lot of the younger kids to give the main squad a break.

 

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We went six consecutive games without conceding a goal between the end of March and early April.

 

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A few of the Class of 28 got onto the field after we needed to rest some players. Barbour became the National League's youngest player.

 

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After beating Kingstonian we were guaranteed a play off spot.

 

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We hold top spot and really only Solihull can now take the title from us.

Our defence has been immense this season, one of the best in the League, while we have smashed goals in all season.

 

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A few more games have been played now, but the promotion race is heating up.

 

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Analyst is still happy, the improvement in our defence this season has us on the verge of promotion to the EFL.

The attacking stats are off the charts.

 

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Election time looming again. The first Chairman only lasted one term, so it will be interesting to see if this one survives to a second term.

He hasn't been very forthcoming in letting me spend the money.

 

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Speaking of finances, another great month of crowds gave us another excellent financial result.

 

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We had our first ever player poached, a young goal keeper, which is kind of annoying as we have struggled to produce good goal keepers.

Will be interesting to see if he turns into a decent prospect for them.

 

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We sold a player. Antoniadis was making noise about wanting a new contract, but wanted to be paid as much as the star players.

But he'd played one game, and had barley improved his attribute score in three years, so I sent him on his way.

 

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He become our 5th sold player, which we have managed to get sell on clauses in all of them, not that we will see much from most of them.

 

Goal Scoring Goalkeeper

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JJ racked up another 4 clean sheets this month, and his performances continue to be part of an awesome defensive unit this season.

He is also now just on clean sheet away from Fraser Tremble's record of 19 clean sheets in a season.

 

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Just the one goal this month as he buries his only opportunity.

 

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Now 13 goals for the season, taking him to 66 career goals.

 

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Up next...it's Trophy season, as we are three games from a possible title and promotion to the EFL, while back to back FA Trophy titles await.

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6 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

This is the point I catch up at, title deciders and Cup finals? Talk about a cliffhanger setting I’m at

It's on it's way shortly :lol:

 

6 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

You’ve romped up the leagues, feasting on tears, cups and gate receipts

Haha love it! In 8 seasons we've gone from Level 10 to knocking on the door of the EFL.

 

6 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Top stuff

Thank you

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MAY 2028 - Race to the title

Match Day 42

 

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A win would have all but confirmed the title based on for and against, but we lost the advantage of our game in hand.

Stockport pushing for a play off spot had it all to play for as well.

We leveled up just before half time, but didn't take our chances.

The title fight continues.

 

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The title race is still alive, so are places for play offs, and relegation.

The season is going down to the wire at both ends of the table.

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MAY 2028 - FA Trophy Final

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A final for the ages as we went to extra time for the 4th time in six matches this season.

The game started at a furious pace with both teams aggressively going forward for the first 10-15 minutes, before the game settled down.

There was a bit of end to end but the game never really opened up, then approaching half time an innocuous cross took a deflection off our defender Dan Connor, passed a wrong footed Jordan Jack into our own goal. 0-1 down at half time.

To their credit, the boys heads never dropped, even Connor who started the movement dispossessing one of their midfielders before picking out Michael Jarrett, to make a great run before sliding a through ball to Brett Potts who unleashed a cracking left foot shot passed their keeper to bring us level just after half time.

The game continued with us pressing, but unable to get the winning goal, although it came so close when Jordan Williams curled a shot against the post...oh so close to finishing the game right there and then.

So we went to extra time we went, 9 minutes in, the first of two game changing moments...

After making a great run, Jordan Williams was unceremoniously hacked down in the box, and given the importance of the moment, the ref to his credit, had no hesitation in pointing immediately to the spot. In fairness he didn't have much choice, even the opposing manager agreed it was clearly the right decision.

Come the moment, come the man

Jordan Jack has had his misses this season, but he strode forward with purpose and lined up his shot...

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...and made no mistake from the spot to give us a 2-1 lead.

Three minutes later, Tim Powell making a run through the middle was pulled back by one of their defenders, the ref again had no hesitation in reaching to his pocket for a yellow card, checked his notes, and reached into the back pocket and produced a red card, for a second yellow.

The South Shields players heads dropped, and this moment effectively ended their resistance, and in the second half, Jordan Williams who had been the best player on the field, terrorising the defence, finally broke the game open, scoring twice in three minutes to complete the scoring, and get the party started.

 

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The 130k'ish from the Gate is also a massive boost to the finances.

 

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Winners, biggest over achievers, and young Williams was the leading scorer, a pretty good competition all round.

 

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Back to back FA Trophy's, becoming just the fifth team to achieve that feat, after Scarborough (1976/1977), Woking (1994/1995), Kingstonian (1999/2000), and Grays Athletic (2005/2006), adding another Trophy to our cabinet.

 

Up next...two Leagues remain, another Trophy on the line and possible promotion to the EFL awaits.

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MAY 2028 - Race to the title

 

Match Day 43

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Houston, we have a problem...

We gave up an early penalty before getting back on level terms midway through the second half, only to concede two goals in 6 minutes.

A late strike from McCarthy to complete his brace was not enough to get us back on level terms.

 

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The only team that can catch us, Solihull could only manage a draw away to mid table Hartlepool.

 

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We've racked up 100 goals for, but our worst month defensively may cost us the title.

The only saving grace is that Solihull could only manage a draw which means a draw in our next game, will be enough to clinch the title...unless Solihull win by 40 goals :lol:

 

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There is now a two week gap to Match Day 44, where we travel to Meadow Lane to take on Notts County, while Solihull host Woking.

Nothing is clear yet, this is one of the closest title race's we've ever been involved in, and our form is trending downwards at the wrong time of the season.

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MAY 2028 - Race to the title

 

Match Day 44

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WE DONE IT!!!!!!!!

One goal at Meadow Lane was enough to hold off the fast finishing Solihull and deliver us the National League Title, and along with it, automatic promotion to the English Football League.

 

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Two points was all that separated us in the end, but that was enough.

 

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A season that started like a house on fire with 8-0 and 6-0 wins, and then threatened to end in a smouldering mess, as we got the late season wobbles, but a 14 game unbeaten run, which included 6 consecutive games without conceding a goal, helped carry us to the title, and with it promotion, that no one believed possible at the start of the season.

 

This little club from the Irish sea, in 8 years has gone from Level 10, to League Two, wining 6 promotions, and a stack of Cups along the way.

 

It's only the beginning...

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Board announcements

 

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The first announcement was the new budgets.

A 2k increase to the wage budget, even though we are spending way under this at the moment, it may not last long as I can imagine that a lot of players are going to be lining up for improved deals.

 

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Especially after the second announcement, we are turning professional.

This is a massive step for the club, and will enable us to really start pushing the players to be the best they can be, and provide another chance to weed out the ones that aren't going to make it.

 

Up next...Reviews, reviews, reviews.

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More Board things

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To comply with League Two rules, we need to expand the stadium again, we also have to remove the synthetic field and relay a grass pitch.

We will be playing our home games at Highbury Stadium while this takes place.

We have also had to take out our first ever loan to cover the majority of these costs.

 

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We've now officially turned professional.

 

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The Board offered, and I accepted a new full time contract.

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And with professional club, comes professional manager.

Out with the tracksuit, and in with the shirt and tie.

 

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We have the same Chairman, who has advised he is not making any changes to the way the club has been run...other than turning professional I hope.

 

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The repayments for the previously mentioned stadium upgrades are now in effect.

 

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I was granted a recruitment improvement, but with everything happening at the moment, I can't even ask for any other improvements.

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In a stunning play off tree, Maidstone will be joining us in the Football League.

After they knocked out the teams ranked 2nd and 3rd, Maidstone and Yeovil took it to penalties, before Maidstone prevailed.

 

Up next...I might finally get to the reviews. :lol:

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A really impressive rise to the football league, well done! From my experience, having exceptional youth recruitment will mean you have players capable of reaching League 1/ championship level in relative abundance so while the rise will be challenging,  with your success so far I'd definitely back you to continue your excellent progress next year. 

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10 hours ago, Jtomsett11 said:

A really impressive rise to the football league, well done! From my experience, having exceptional youth recruitment will mean you have players capable of reaching League 1/ championship level in relative abundance so while the rise will be challenging,  with your success so far I'd definitely back you to continue your excellent progress next year. 

Thank you!

I was surprised to have made such improvements so fast, but the defensive unit improved so dramatically this season, it was fun to watch.

League Two is going to be a very different ball game though.

 

 

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2027-2028 Season Review - continued

 

Analyst reports

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Best XI - 2027-2028

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Best XI - All time

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Two records were broken this year, with Jordan Jack breaking Fraser Tremble's record for Clean Sheets in a season, with 20, while Tim Powell broke Chris Taylor's all time appearance record, now has 263 appearances in all competitions.

Jordan Jack extended his record for most goals by a Goal Keeper.

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2027-2028 Season Review

Player Stats

 

Goal Keeper

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We again only used Jordan Jack in goal this season, and his performances were spectacular.

Broke the clean sheets in a season record while hitting double figures for goals scored.

No one will forget his heroics in the FA Trophy penalty shoot outs, and if not for the performances of the other Jordan up front, Jack probably would have been the player of the season.

 

Defenders

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The most improved unit at the club. The defensive line was just immense this season, at one point we went 6 straight League games without conceding a goal, and we had one of the best defensive records in the National League.

While none of the individually stand out as superstars, they worked well together as a unit, and when there was a gap to be filled, the next man up stepped in and got the job done.

 

Midfielders

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A lot of bodies were used across the midfield this season as internationals, fatigue, injuries, and general rotation were required.

We sold Pat Clarke at the start of the season, and managed to keep him on loan, I did try and extend his loan, but the finances were more than I was prepared to pay, so he will be returning to Oldham. He gave us another solid season, and we wish him well. Will be interesting to see if his career can kick on.

Richard Patterson has developed nicely into an AM(L) and will be the obvious replacement to step into Clarke's vacant role, while Charlie Henry is another excellent young option.

Michael Jarrett was a surprise packet that wasn't in the frame at the beginning of the season, but his name kept popping up in excellent training reports, he got a shot off the bench during internationals and rest of other players, and took it with both hands. Will be interested to see how he handles the step up.

Jack Roberts has been the biggest disappointment, a lot of potential, but performances have been fairly lackluster.

 

Forwards

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The defensive unit might have been the most improved, but the attacking unit just kept doing what it does.

Jordan Williams had another monster year, after struggling to cope with international commitments last season, this year he just powered through, and probably got better when he came back.

Potts continues to be a leader in every sense, while McCarthy continues to improve.

Oscar Williams, no relation to Jordan, has probably been one of the biggest improvers in consistency, and just does what ever is asked of him.

 

After winning a League Title and the FA Trophy it's probably hard to be too harsh on any of the players.

While the majority of the players are under 23, over the next few seasons a few of them will cross that barrier, and now we are in the EFL, registration becomes a part of the equation. I have started to trim the squad over the last few seasons, but there will probably be more of that happening as players become are probably going to become unhappy if I choose not to register them.

Just another thing to add into the considerations.

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2027-2028 Season Review - Player Attributes

 

It's time for our favorite review, the player attributes:

 

Goalkeepers

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Jordan Jack faces no competition at this stage for his number one spot.

Brown continues to improve slightly, while Foggarty might be given this season in U18s competitive matches to see what he is made of.

Good to see improvement from Ogwu and Chadwick, although they are still a long way behind.

 

Defence

 

Center

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A massive year of improvement for Lloyd Craggs, who is now the highest rated player at the club.

Dan Connor will continue to partner him in the center as while there has been improvement below, they are still someway behind.

 

Right

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Kenneth Idowu is another who crossed the 65 point mark this season and is the clear best player on this side.

Ronnie Rawlingson continues to be a solid option as well, even though he doesn't rate as highly.

I would like to see some of the others pushing harder to give me more options.

 

Left

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Scott Irving is the highest rated, but he can be very inconsistent, and has a bit of an attitude problem as well, he thinks he is a superstar.

Cory Procter is solid when called on, while Sean Bonner can be a bit inconsistent, and his rating has taken a dive since he joined.

Mattie Bowyer looks an interesting prospect, has shown improvement, and has played pretty well in a few opportunities he received.

This side if defence has always caused me issues.

 

Midfield

 

Ball Winning Midfielders

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It's getting harder to justify keeping Tim Powell as my number one midfielder with the consistency of Imasuen, and the surprise rise of Michael Jarrett, it may keep the extended bench we get this season to keep him involved regularly.

There are plenty of options showing promised here when rotations is required, and David Bain is on of the most improved players at the club this season.

 

Advanced Playmakers

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This is another area where we have struggled to provide options.

All of these guys are rated about the same, but the improvement Cory Jarvis has shown in a few months might mean he gets the start in this position.

Ryan Urwin is consistent, but hasn't really shown any improvement in two years.

 

Attacking Right

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Keven Barber is the highest rated, but might have hit his peak as far as improvement goes, while Richard Paterson has shown glimpses of brilliance this season, just need to get that consistency out of him.

There are a few options that can be rotated through here.

 

Attacking Left

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Massive amount of players on this side, but really lacking in quality depth.

Charlie Henry has improved out of sight, meaning that now Pat Clarke is leaving us, Kingsley Nwabueze will still have to take his chances from the bench.

A lot of players there that will have to show a lot more consistency to be considered viable options.

 

Forwards

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Another big season of improvement from Jordan Williams, really happy with how he bounced back this year, after a disappointing second season last year.

Brett Potts continues to be a solid forward partner with him, while Brian McCarthy and Oscar Williams provide good options when rotation is required.

Tim Madden is a good back up, while Leonard and De Cock seem to have hit the wall as far as their improvement goes.

 

Best XI

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The overall average is up slightly, and we now have 4 players crossed the 65 point mark.

 

I have decided to go with the same 4-2-4 set up to begin this season, and see how it works in League Two.

It's a tactic that is advertised as tuned for lower leagues, but I want to at least see how it goes, before I think about switching to the fast paced formation that I used in the Notts Co save.

 

Up next...pre season things and friendlies, as we head towards our debut in League Football.

Positives I've already seen - not having to wait until October to play a competitive match, and 7 subs...get it together National League :lol:

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JUN 2028 - Pre season

 

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With the late end to the National League, and the earlier start to League Two, a lot has had to happen quickly between lifting the trophy on the last day of the season, and getting ready for our first flight in League Football.

We've turned professional, increasing the stadium capacity, and relaying the pitch, improved youth recruitment, and could only have a short off season, as we need to be ready to go.

The Board are not expecting huge things, be competitive in the cups, fight against relegation in the League.

We will also have Papa Johns Trophy games, which I affectionately dub The Pizza Cup. Pretty sure I am going to need to play rotated squad for those games.

 

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The bookies have us and Maidstone as zero chance of surviving the season. Challenge accepted.

Some of these clubs are spending north of 2 and 3 million a year on wages, Luton are north of 5 million, we are just over 500k.

 

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The clean out continued. We still have too many players, but these guys had either not improved, were not playing, or had been over taken in the ranking by other players, and it was time for them to move on.

 

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A big difference to the 5k we got in the National League.

 

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We kick of our campaign at home to Carlisle, well, out temporary home, and meet fellow promoted side Maidstone in round 4. Round 5 see's us up against Chesterfield, who were promoted from the National League the season before us.

 

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Drawn at home for the first round of the League Cup, otherwise known as the Carabao Cup, against Championship side Preston.

It could be a very short stay in this competition.

 

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With not a lot of time between players returning from holiday after a late finishing National League, and the earlier starting League Two, there has not been time to schedule a huge amount of friendlies, so we work with what we have got.

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JUL 2028 - Friendly Season

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A pretty decent set of results, including pushing Championship Derby before a late goal secured their victory.

 

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The bookies might not like our chances of staying in the Football League, but they do like Jordan Williams goal scoring abilities.

 

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Already a couple of TV games coming up, pretty decent payments to help us along.

 

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Up next...kick the tires, light the fires, our Football League debut takes flight.

We also have League Cup and Pizza Cup duties.

Edited by Punch
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1091331526_FCIsleOfMan.png.e8bd1720e151857650502b67d3e99ddc.png

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AUG 2028 - Carabao Cup 1st Round

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Our first venture into the Carabao Cup was supposed to be a walk in the park for Preston, and should have been.

We gave up an early goal and they kept coming but couldn't kill us off.

We did create a few chances, but couldn't take them either.

Jordan Jack would provide one of the crucial moments again...

 

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...Banging in this stunner for his first goal of the season, to level the scores.

We hung on through regulation and extra time, neither team being able to break through and get the winning goal, so we would go to penalties.

Kenneth Idowu missed with the 2nd penalty attempt, but Jordan Jack, so often the hero, stood tall again, and saved two penalties.

Tim Powell then stepped up to bury his attempt to send us through to the second round.

 

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The 2nd Round sends us to Pride Park to take on Derby.

 

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Our Friendly meeting last month, was our only meeting. I would say it will be a very different side we come up against this time.

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AUG 2028 - Carabao Cup 2nd Round

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We exit the League Cup in the 2nd Round, but we sure made them work for it.

An early goal and an injury time sealer was all they could manage, unfortunately, we spent so much time defending, we had very few chances to get forward.

 

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No prize money, but we did collect about 120k for our share of the gate in this game.

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1510905619_FCIsleOfMan.png.2e5015c3d96b207b04486ece8340710e.png

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AUG 2028 - Papa Johns Trophy

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It was a pretty tough draw we got handed being thrown in with two League One opponents.

I am using this cup to play some of the guys that either haven't played, or not played a lot, for now at least.

 

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We scored first but then gave up three goals in four minutes, and never really recovered.

A late strike did make things interesting for the last 15 minutes, but they hung on to take the points.

 

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We would probably need to beat both Rotherham and Leeds U23's to get out of the Group.

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