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[FM22] The Warrington Way (Non-League to Legend)


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Hello and welcome to my FM22 career story. After successful spells with Warrington Town and Southport in FM20 and FM21 respectively, I have once again decided to delve into the lower leagues of the English period. For a long time, I have been undecided on which team to manage in FM22 having already played as a lot of my local clubs. I had originally decided to play as Wrexham, however, Youtuber Lollujo has inspired me to try a 'Non-League to Legend' challenge with a local club.

The Rules

Based roughly on Lollujo's Non-League to Legend series.


These are the rules I'll be playing to.

1. Manage in the lowest possible league and the closest possible team to your house.

2. Every decision is based on realism. e.g. if a club comes in for me, would it be viable financially? Would I want to move?

3. Try and use scouting recommendations were possible.

4. Play with attribute masking on.

5. Try and keep staff consistent unless there is an obvious issue.

6. No outside help e.g. downloaded tactics, training schedules etc.

The goals

Obviously, the main goal is to get to the top of world football but I've also set myself a couple of other targets to keep the save fresh and interesting.

Youth Development

One of my main aims is to develop youth as much as I physically can. This doesn't mean I'll have a team of kids but I will use younger players where I can. I also want to have at least 1 youth academy graduate in every matchday squad, much like Sir Alex Ferguson did with Man Utd.

30 or below

Throughout the save, I want to avoid having any player over the age of 30. Obviously, I won't be able to achieve this straight away but I want to be achieving it within 2-3 seasons.

4-2-3-1 is banned

On Football Manager I more often than not opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation because it works in the match engine. This time I've decided to test myself and force myself to not use it.

The challenge begins


So the local National League North team to myself is Chester FC.


Club Vision


Now onto the board's goals. The goal for this season is to at least reach the playoffs. I'd like to think that we can do better than that but we'll see over the course of the season. Other than that, there aren't really many goals. Playing attacking football and reaching the playoffs is the aim but if we can go one better and win the league that would superb. It all depends what transfer business I can do and what I have to work with in terms of the squad.

The Club



Now for a look at the club itself. Chester FC was only formed in 2010 having previously been Chester City FC. Under that guise, the club did make it to the football league before coming back down to non-league when they rebranded. They won the National League in 2004 and the National League North in 2013.

Stadium + Facilities



The club plays its home games at The Deva Stadium, a 5,453 capacity stadium with 4,157 seats. That's not too bad for this level, especially when compared to the rest of the facilities which are poor at best. That's to be expected at this level. Hopefully, if we do end up moving up the leagues we can upgrade those facilities along the way to enable us to bring in our own younger players through the youth system.



Here are the records we are going to be looking to beat during our time here.

Next Update

I'll be back after pre-season with an update on our squad and how we got on in pre-season.

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On 21/11/2021 at 18:58, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Best of luck. Chester are a good side to be starting with. They have a good squad available to them alongside the finances and support. 

You're not wrong.  Definitely got lucky there...or did I?

Edited by JohnWarrington
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Pre Season 2021/22

So we've finally reached the start of the league season after a busy pre-season period, here's how it went, starting with our transfer activity.




You'd expect my first transfer window as a manager to be a very busy one but it wasn't. When I joined the club, I noticed we had a lot of poor players tied into contracts. This meant that I couldn't build a new squad from scratch due to wage budget issues and had to rely on loans. What I ended up with I'm reasonably happy with. There is some incredible talent in the squad for the level of football that we are at but it could have been a lot better. That said, I truly believe that we can gain promotion this year with the squad that we now have. That said, I am still looking to add a few more faces to bulk the squad up a bit if I can but I think the budget issues will see to that.



Just the one departure and it was that which allowed me to actually make any signings at all.



Our friendlies went quite well all things considered. There are a lot of names of trialists on that goalscoring list which is frustrating but it is what it is. I'll just have to work with what I've got for this season and rebuild afterward.



Speaking of which, here is that tactic. I've gone for an attacking 4-3-3 with the aim to outscore the opposition. I'm not a manager who is going to sit back and take a 1-0 win, attack for me is the best form of defense. Whether I keep that up remains to be seen, it depends on how successful this approach is.

2021/22 Squad

ayqNiE4.png Jon Worsnop
Qgy8wJb.png Louis Gray
ayqNiE4.png Kevin Roberts
ayqNiE4.png Danny Livesey
ayqNiE4.png Dan Cowan
ayqNiE4.png Matty Williams
ayqNiE4.png Grant Horton (on loan from Cheltenham)
ayqNiE4.png Simon Grand
ayqNiE4.png Jamie Morgan
ayqNiE4.png Danny Preston
ayqNiE4.png James Horsfield
ayqNiE4.png Josh Askew
ayqNiE4.png Paddy Lacey
ayqNiE4.png George Glendon
Qgy8wJb.png Declan Weeks
ayqNiE4.png Luke Clark
ayqNiE4.png Joe Willis (on loan from Walsall)
ayqNiE4.png Ethan Cartwright
ayqNiE4.png Drew Lowe
ayqNiE4.png James Hardy
pJaEWtX.png Darren Stephenson
ayqNiE4.png Anthony Dudley
ayqNiE4.png Max Giani
Jttg18C.png Korede Adedoyin (on loan from Sheff Wed)
ayqNiE4.png George Waring
M19jxI4.png Manasse Mampala (on loan from Carlisle)

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August - December 2021

News + Results


10th August - The bookies make us 4th favourites for the title.


11th August - The board agrees to send me on a coaching course to further my coaching knowledge.


13th September - Defender Charlie Barker signs on loan from Charlton.


27th September - Defender Jack Madelin signs on loan from AFC Wimbledon. Hopefully, we can start keeping more clean sheets now we have more quality in defence.


25th October - Matty Williams joins Spennymoor on a free. Good to free up some wage budget.


7th November - The board agrees to send me on another coaching course to further my coaching knowledge. I'm not wasting any time when it comes to getting my qualifications.


30th November - Great news as the board offers me a new deal.


10th December - Midfielder Stefan Mols joins from Warrington Town on a free.



Awards Won

John Warrington - National League North Head Coach of the Month x3
Declan Weeks - National League North Player of the Month x1
Manasse Mampala - National League North Player of the Month x1

Team Stats


Player Stats


Data Hub


Medical Centre




League Table


League Stats


Manager Performance


Manager Thoughts

What an incredible start to my managerial career. Going into the new year, we sit top of the pile in the league and are a safe bet for promotion. We had a slow start but after that, we have smashed it with our only loss since August coming in the FA Cup away at League One opposition. Our defensive record isn't the best but we are easily outscoring the opposition, with two of our strikers on over 20 goals already.

Edited by JohnWarrington
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January - May 2022

News + Results


5th January - Full-back Jamie Morgan joins Southport for a fee of £400.


13th January - Winger James Hardy joins Aldershot on a free transfer.


2nd April - Youth intake day! It'll be interesting to see if any of these will be able to push for a first-team place in the future. I could show you all of them but I'll stick with the top 5 in the image below.


Pnaxvp1.png Daniel Thomson, 6yNbv6t.png Ray Archbold, yQrqDL6.png Jason Cartwright, 6yNbv6t.png Harvey Hills, 6yNbv6t.png Billy Hesketh

CHAMPIONS! We will be playing in the National League next season.


8th April - Great news, we've extended the loan of JOE Willis for another year.


14th April - Costing a bit more than I'd like but we have Manasse Mampala for another year.


11th May - Another course completed, another one begins. A massive thanks to the board for putting their faith in me.


2021/22 Season

5123054.png National League North - 1st
1301426.png FA Cup - R2 vs Cambridge (A)
109202.png FA Trophy - QF vs Chesterfield (A)

What a season! To say we romped to the title would be a massive understatement. I doubted the quality of our squad before the season but the way the 4-3-3 has worked with them has been incredible, we've been scoring for fun. A good run in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy just add the cherry on top of the season as well. The hard work begins now to get rid of the fringe players and replace them with quality players that can take us to the next level. The board wants us to avoid relegation next season but I think we can easily push for the playoffs with the right signings.

Awards won

John Warrington - National League North Head Coach of the Month x6
Declan Weeks - National League North Player of the Month x1
Manasse Mampala - National League North Player of the Month x1
Korede Adedoyin - National League North Player of the Month x1
George Waring - National League North Player of the Month x1



Team Stats


Player Stats


League Table


Club Awards


Moments to Remember






Best Eleven


Record Breakers


Data Hub


Medical Centre


Manager Performance


League Awards

League Stats


Head Coach of the Season


Player of the Season


Top Goalscorer


Edited by JohnWarrington
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