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Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation Part VI: Portugal


shaunvamos
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Preseason 2023


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A less than ideal preseason, but we did play teams much better than us, and we can take positives from the results against Huddersfield and Shrewsbury.

 

Transfers


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I culled the deadwood from the team again, and set myself to sign 11 players with the remaining budget we had. Better than expected negotiations meant that I was able to pick up 17 players for the price of 11, meaning me are set to have plenty of depth. It's a new look first XI once again.

 

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Our two loanees form our CB partnership for this season. Debayo comes from EPL side Leeds and Thomson is a former Glasgow Rangers junior currently playing in the Scottish League One.

 

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Veteran midfielder Nicky Featherstone will try and learn new tricks despite being an old dog, set to be our starting RB. He's been a bit of an EFL journeyman, but played for Hull City back when they were in the Premier League.

 

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Our new look defensive midfield consists of converted fullback Myles Judd, a player who never made it above League 1, and former Norwich academy product Ray Grant, who has spent the last 7 seasons in the Scottish lower leagues.

 

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Tyreik is an exciting prospect for us, having just been released from Aston Villa. He's quite versatile, but LM will be his primary home for the season.

 

 

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Our main strike pairing this season is National League veteran Rob Ramshaw, and Leeds reject Charlie Allen. Rolt will still get his fair share of game time, but only as a rotation option.

 

 

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Predicted last again, but once the recruitment drive finished we're now predicted safely mid-table. Based on our performance last season and the belief that we are stronger this season, I'm aiming for a playoff spot that won't be achieved on the final day.

Edited by shaunvamos
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Some very tidy acquisitions this season - glad to have caught up with this. A very enjoyable read and looking forward to becoming a more active follower from this point onwards. Saves like this always interest me when you get to this stage simply because of the blend of ex-Football League and Non-League stars. 

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August/September 2023


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I got a bit too excited and simulated a game into September, so both months feature here. It's been a pretty good start, we've been pretty solid away, but Chorley always have our number. Goals are pouring in on both sides too, making our matches exciting but stressful.

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9 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Some very tidy acquisitions this season - glad to have caught up with this. A very enjoyable read and looking forward to becoming a more active follower from this point onwards. Saves like this always interest me when you get to this stage simply because of the blend of ex-Football League and Non-League stars. 

Thanks! I don't know too much of the who's who of lower league football being based in Australia, but it's fun to see where these guys have come from and the journeys they have made. Ironically enough, the only live games I've seen in England was an FA Cup qualifier between Guiseley and Stourbridge and a Championship game at Elland Road against Ipswich, so I should know a bit more about lower leagues :lol:

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1 hour ago, shaunvamos said:

Championship game at Elland Road

Why would you subject yourself to that drivel?? :lol:

Guiseley I get and you could have gone to Harrogate or Garforth for better football than Leeds F'n Utd ;)

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November 2023


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A horrible month :( heavy rotation due to the two FA Cup games, and we were punished for it. We haven't lost too much ground though, but being out that early in the FA Cup is a little disappointing. I have been offered interviews as well for the first time, with the most reputable club being Bristol City in the Championship. They offered me the job, but I respectfully declined. Really should have taken it :lol:

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2 minutes ago, Pompeyboyz said:

Why would you subject yourself to that drivel?? :lol:

Guiseley I get and you could have gone to Harrogate or Garforth for better football than Leeds F'n Utd ;)

:lol: Funnily enough I did actually go to Harrogate to see some family, but there were no games at that time. What div do Garforth play in? Gotta be pretty low.

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2 minutes ago, shaunvamos said:

:lol: Funnily enough I did actually go to Harrogate to see some family, but there were no games at that time. What div do Garforth play in? Gotta be pretty low.

They are currently in the Northern Counties East Premier League which is 3 leagues lower I think than the National League North where your save started :D

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December 2023


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An excellent month in the league, but with a dark cloud after the shock FA Trophy loss to a team in the division below. But I need to look at the positives: no more midweek games means less tired players!

 

 

 

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An okay preview, but I'm not expecting much until we can upgrade some things.

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January 2024


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Inconsistency plagues us to start of the new year, as fixture congestion led to heavy rotation. It's closer than I'd like it to be around the playoffs, but with only 4 games in February I'm pretty confident we can have a good month.

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February 2024


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A much better month which puts us in a great position. March however, will be tough as we have 7 matches in 27 days, basically a match every 4 days. Will our rotation policy fail miserably like it always has this season? Or will the second string players finally realise that they're good enough?

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2024 Youth Intake


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Chris Gilchrist 3A  -  Jordan Ironton 3B  -  George Beattie 3C

 

I can't help but feel very underwhelmed with this intake. Maybe because we've upgraded so much in the first team that the youth have suffered.

 

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It's interesting to note that all of our English players have come from Ashton or just down the road in Manchester.

 

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7 minutes ago, DaneBramage said:

Nice work so far, looking good for another crack at the playoffs this year. 

The fans are definitely getting their money's worth, best attack and worst defence in the division.

Thanks mate! 

I think we're operating under the philosophy that it doesn't matter how many goals the opponent scores, as long as we score more :lol:

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We're into the Football League! And we'll be doing it as a professional club! The players did their best to stress me right out too in those last two games. 

 

Best XI


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Tyreik Wright  -  James Debayo  -  Bradley Rolt



I forgot to mention we signed Doyle from NI's Ballymena in January as CB cover, and Thomson was recalled by Clyde due to injury so he stepped into the first team for the playoffs. Debayo was insane, and it considered "promising", and Rolt continued to be a great contributor.

 


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Record Breakers


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Progress


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Edited by shaunvamos
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Preseason 2024


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An okay preseason, but getting shellacked by teams in the leagues above us is slightly disappointing.

 

Transfers


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Not as active on the recruitment side of things, as the average wage I was willing to pay was not acceptable to a lot of the better players we were targeting, and the the ones we wee targeting accepted contracts with higher reputation clubs. So there's a bit of a reliance on loan players here. I still do think we're better than we were last season, but not enough to my liking.

 

 

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We welcome back Jarell after Liverpool released him, so here's hoping we can make Liverpool realise what they've lost.

 

 

 

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Coby will be Jarell's CB partner, on loan from fellow League 2 side Grimsby.

 

 

 

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Jack Hunt, a product of Huddersfield's academy, has actually had quite a bit of money spent on him (2M by Crystal Palace, 1.5M by Sheffield Wednesday,1.6< by Bristol City) so to get him on a free with minimal wage impact is a hell of a steal.

 

 

 

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Van is the first newgen to feature in the first team, and he comes with plenty of hype around him coming from Arsenal. The Vietnamese/English DM doesn't look very Vietnamese, so I may have to employ the use of the NewGAN face creator to make things a little more realistic.

 

 

 

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We add more veteran experience with Jamie Ness playing defensive midfield. He's a Glasgow Rangers junior, and was even signed to Stoke while they were in the Premier League (never appeared for them though). He's been plying his trade in the Scottish lower leagues before making the jump to us.

 

 

 

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Jake Cain is another former Liverpool junior who couldn't crack it there. I'm hoping he contributes plenty of assists from the left wing this season.

 

 

 

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Peter Miller, a Welshman out of Derby County, will be our primary creator through the middle part of the final third.

 

 

 

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Predicted pretty low, but that may have more to do with our reputation rather than our less active recruitment drive. Our striker Bradley Rolt is predicted to win the league's Golden Boot, so maybe we can do a little better than narrowly avoiding relegation.

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November 2024

 

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We had a couple of good wins, but the defeat to Exeter hurts. Our squad just isn't big enough once injuries and such come into play, and our U18s play on the same day most weeks, so we can't blood them. It's so frustrating, but it is what it is.

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December 2024

 

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Belted out of the FA Cup, but then we hit a fantastic run of form, thrashing Mansfield, Exeter and Gillingham for a combined score of 13-0. We just need to find a way to unlock that kind of consistency in the second half of the season.

 

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This preview is exciting, we definitely need a keeper and a striker.

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January 2025


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What a start to the new year! In the space of two months we've gone from a spot above relegation to potentially sneaking into a playoff spot. The playoffs will definitely not happen, but midtable is way more than I expected at this stage.

 

Transfers


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I utilised our affiliation with Huddersfield to pick up some free loans, but they're only going to be used for desperation cover.

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Two draws against teams in the playoffs ends a very successful first season in the Football League. 

 

 

Best XI

 

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Jarell Quansah  -  Coby Rowe  -  Jake Cain

 

Our two CBs get the best ratings, despite conceding a large amount of goals. I shudder to think how many more that could've been had it not been for these guys.

 

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Record Breakers

 

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Progress

 

 

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Preseason 2025

 

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An excellent preseason, one that's boosted by our new look team.

 

 

 

Transfers

 

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We had another big cull to player numbers, with 13 or so leaving us. Add to that the board doubled our allocated wage budget, and I was good to go, signing a whole host of players for decent wages. I even have some extra wage money left over!

 

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Joe will be our man in goal this season, after being released by QPR in the Championship.

 

 

 

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McDonald will be partnering Jarell Quansah in the centre half position. He's on the back end of his career, but our CB pairing has the perfect combination of youth and experience now.

 

 

 

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The first player I've signed so far that I actually know. This is a massive pickup for us, even if the former Everton player is on the back nine of his career. He'll test himself at RB.

 

 

 

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Cunningham is another player that will add experience to our back four. He's a Man City academy product and actually played 2 games for them back in 2009/10, and 7 games for Cardiff City when they were in the EPL.

 

 

 

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We re-loan Khanh after his excellent debut season.

 

 

 

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George was surprisingly released by Brighton despite being so young, so I'm excited to see what he can do for us as a DM.

 

 

 

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Dylan Connolly is a lower league journeyman, but that pace is excellent for this level.

 

 

 

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Cresswell is one half of our new strike pairing, and looks to be a bit of an all-rounder, even though he can't finish.

 

 

 

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Cresswell is joined by Tom Lloyd, a player with similar attributes who we picked up from non-league Boston United. He's definitely not non-league quality that's for sure.

 

 

 

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Still predicted quite low, but I have the confidence in the team that we could push for the playoffs. It's a much stronger team than we had last year.

Edited by shaunvamos
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August 2025

 

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A fantastic start to the season here, and we've even decided to win cup games! In the 3rd round of the EFL Cup we head to Anfield to play Liverpool. I hope the gate receipt rules are similar to the FA Cup because if they are we're in for a big spike in finances.

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January 2026

 

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Changed the tactic mentality from Attacking to Control and the results seem positive. We are within playoff distance.

 

 

Transfers

 

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The manager of Preston recalled Cresswell and Ngo because they weren't playing in the desired role (ridiculous) so I loaned a better CF in MacKenzie and somehow loaned Ngo back on much better terms than when he was here at the start of the season.

 

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February 2026

 

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A near perfect month, but we were far from convincing.

 

Transfers (Out)

 

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We sold someone!

I tried to deter offers for him by raising his asking price, but Wednesday called my bluff and the board went over my head. So bye Jarell :(

 

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And here's his replacement. Nowhere near as good, but he'll do until I can find someone a little bit better.

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2026 Youth Intake

 

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Harry Brannigan 5A  -  Tyrone Firth 5B  -  Agron Rufati 5C

 

Not an overly impressive intake. I don't expect any of these guys to feature unfortunately, but I've been wrong about these things before.

 

 

 

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We finally get an Englishman born outside the Manchester area!

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  • shaunvamos changed the title to Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation Part VI: Portugal

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