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[FM22] On A High At Wycombe But Not Wanting To Become The "Buck" Of The Joke - Humble Beginnings At Weymouth FC, Book 2


anagain
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Disclaimer: I should point out that this is not a one club save. I had real trouble getting started this FM and in the end decided to plump for a club rather than go unemployed. The idea here is to have a career. If that career is guiding Weymouth to the big time then so be it. That's rarely how I play though.

 

Sun, sea, sand...donkey rides, helter skelters. Fish and chips, candy floss and trying not to throw up on the roller coaster. Punch and Judy, deckchairs and a handkerchief hat

We Brits have an obsession with a day at the seaside. A Jolly Boys Outing and a saucy postcard.

Maybe times have changed but Weymouth remains the archetypal British seaside resort. Nestled in a sandy bay, between the cliffs of the Purbecks and the Isle of Portland with Chesil beach and the fossil hunting areas of west Dorset to the other side, Weymouth has been a favoured seaside resort since the reign of King George III in the 18th century. This association with George III is honoured with a statue on the seafront and a white horse on the hill overlooking nearby Osmington.

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In the 21st century Weymouth is still a popular tourist destination and a hub for sailing, being the host of the sailing regatta at the London Olympics in 2012. The town is the last stop on the mainline from London Waterloo as well as being the start port for ferries to the Channel Islands and St Malo.

Weymouth Beach | Dorset Beaches | West Dorset Leisure Holidays

One of the bright lights of Weymouth is its football team; The Terras. Weymouth FC were founded in 1890 and were nicknamed the Terras for the terracotta strip first worn by the club...and not because it sounds like terrace (yes, that's the pun in the title). The side play at the Bob Lucas Stadium west of the town between Chickerell and Southhill.

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Weymouth Stadium - Bob Lucas Stadium - Football Tripper

Let me introduce you to Nid Rikson, a rather dapper young Dorset man born just up the coast in Poole. A tough tackling midfield maestro, Nid spent his playing days on the fringes of greatness after starting out as a trainee at AFC Bournemouth. A massive fan of the Cherries, Nid has decided to call it a day when it comes to playing the beautiful game. Armed with a National coaching license Nid steps in as the new manager of the Terras after the surprising departure of former Bournemouth legend Brian Stock. Stocky guided the club to a creditable 18th placed finish in the National League in 2020-2021.

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It is not entirely clear why Stocky has left but Nid knows he's the man to guide the Terras that one step further. A top non-league club for many years, on and off, can Nid finally guide Weymouth to the Football League proper and not have Dorset be a one league team county?

Weymouth F.C. logo.pngDormeo named as lead partner – THE TERRAS

C'mon the Terras!

 

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2021-2022 - Weymouth FC - Vanarama National League

Top Scorer - Tom Bearwish - 13 (11 League)

Captain - Josh McQuoid

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2022-2023 - Weymouth FC - Vanarama National League (left club November 10th 2022)

Top Scorer - Tom Bearwish - 13 (11 League)

Captain - Josh McQuoid

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2022-2023 - Wycombe Wanderers FC - Sky Bet League One

 

 

Save Details

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A little way into the save (Pro footballer/Regional level - detail cut off by my zoom level of 125%) :

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A Reign Begins

Week one for Nid sees meetings with the team and the first training sessions of a new tenure in west Dorset. The terras are predicted to finish 23rd out of 24 teams in the National League, with only Dover Athletic predicted to be worse (and they have a 12 point deduction for forfeiting a match last season). It will be safe to say this is no walkover.

First impressions are that this is a squad partly built by AFC Bournemouth. Four players have spent time at Dean Court, the most notable of these being Josh McQuoid. Josh has played at the highest level of any member of the squad, though there is some former Southampton youth talent. The squad is also very attack minded, there being at least eight players who might call themselves a striker. Considering we are tipped to be fighting relegation this isn't ideal.

The key players are as follows:

Keepers

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Defenders

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Midfielders

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Forwards

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Josh McQuoid would take the role of team captain and fellow former Bournemouth man Tyler Cordner would be vice captain.

When it comes to tactics my thought is to play more on the break with Brandon Goodship acting as a loan target man. What the squad lacks, however, is a defensive minded midfielder. Informed I had around £400 left to spend on wages I set about trying to find a man to fill that role. I also scoured the youth ranks of AFCB, a club we have a loan partnership with, to see if we can find some free talent. I'm not above bringing in players for nothing that can help us stave off relegation.

After many triallists (well, a few) I settled on my first signing as Terras manager. With choices few and far between regarding who might settle for less than £400 a week I plumped for a man that is primarily a midfielder that plays further forward. However, at this level I know he can do a job covering the back four. James Rowe is a man that has experience at Southampton and Reading and whom has spent many seasons in the bottom two tiers of the football league.

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From AFCB I have acquired a winger and another central midfielder. Matt Burgess is just 18 and has a bright future ahead of him at AFCB. A season with Weymouth will stand him in good stead for the future. Ryan Glover is a pacey winger that can drift inside and score goals for the team.

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That is the basis of the squad I start the league campaign with. I would like to add more numbers in defence but the money for wages is gone. Any additions in that department will have to be loan signings and that will be entertained after the first few games.

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We played well in our pre-season friendlies and I go into the season with high hopes. The fact that causes me worries is that when we did come up against a similar level of opposition - in the last friendly against Eastleigh - we folded after leading. The reassuring factor there is that I made many changes, only after which did we lose the match.

We start our campaign with a home tie against Boreham Wood. We then travel to Grimsby before welcoming Maidenhead to the Bob Lucas at the end of August.

Can I capture the Jurassic Coast spirit and roar like an Allosaurus; or will I scamper with my tail between my legs like the earliest mammals?

 

C'mon the Terras!

 

 

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  • anagain changed the title to [FM22] Aiming Not To Be A Dinosaur On The Jurassic Coast But To Gain Praise From The Terras - Humble Beginnings At Weymouth FC

August 2021 - An Era Begins

The management career of Nid Rikson started with a Jurassic roar but petered out in to a disgruntled sigh.

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We got off to a blistering start in game one with a brace from Sean Shields being backed up by a McQuoid penalty to capture our first three points against Boreham Wood.

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Sean Shields slots home free at the far post for Weymouth's first goal of the 21-22 season.

Against Grimsby a good start ended with two goals sconceded late to leave me fuming with the lads, and then a quick turnaround saw us lose 1-0 to Maidenhead a few days later.

The Maidenhead game left me very frustrated. We missed a number of chances before our visitors opened the scoring after what I felt clearly should have been an offside.

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Close, but surely off?

I cheered as I thought we'd equalised just after half time only for the Ryan Glover strike to be ruled offside. At first glance I was convinced Ryan was on but later viewings have shown me that maybe the linesman was correct. We had a second goal ruled offside late on with no less than five players foolishly offside from a deep free kick in to the box.

And so we end August in 14th and with three points to our name.

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September see trips to Solihull, Dagenham and Barnet whilst Notts County and Dover visit the south coast. We showed some nice glimpses in both our defeats in August. The build up play to the disallowed Glover goal was wonderful and the ball over the defence from Goodship a peach. We just need to finish better.

August's Jurassic Rating

Compsognathus - Wikipedia

Some aggression but our bite was lacking. Much like the 65cm tall Compsognathus that lived in what is now Europe 145 to 140 million years ago.

 

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September 2021 - It's Not Over 'Til It's Over

September started in a positive way before faltering. In our early games we looked good before conceding unwelcome equalisers. Then, in the middle of the month, we looked like a team that would never score again, losing key matches to teams down the bottom with us. Just when I thought things were going to be really painful we pulled a rabbit out of the hat.

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In the games against Solihull and Notts Cou we started strongly, playing some fine football. We opened the scoring in both games only to concede sloppy equalisers. Against Notts County it was a Ben Morgan foul that gave them a chance from the spot right on the brink of half time.

Next up was two games in a week against teams that were languishing down the bottom. We were woeful in both games and looked like we couldn't have hit a barn door from a yard. I'd gone two up top home to Dover in an effort to find strikers that could score. I've not seen a goal from a forward yet this season.

Then came the last game of September away to a Barnet side riding high in second place. It was a backs to the wall performance inspired by some great first half goalkeeping by Ross Fitzsimons. Barnet had chance after chance but we went home singing as Tyler Cordner rose highest to head home a Robinson corner. We didn't deserve three points but whose arguing?

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We have things to sort out in training. Our long balls are hopeless, often sailing far over our target man and into the hands of the opposition goalie. Our lack of goals from efforts created is another worrying fact. Brandon Goodship has looked devoid of confidence in front of goal and when I played Mussa alongside him the new man was possibly worse.

Martell Taylor-Crossdale is a young striker who has come to me demanding starts. If he can match this enthusiasm with goals scored then that'd be nice.

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The late win sees us five clear of the drop zone now. Eight from eight. But for a win against us, Dagenham look poor.

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October is a busy month of seven games. Home games against Stockport, Wealdstone and King's Lynn are joined by away games at Bromley, Halifax and Aldershot. Squeezed in the middle of all that is an FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round game against an unknown opponent.

 

Elsewhere...

The Jurassic Rating didn't really work on second viewing, plus I tried to find a dinosaur to reflect on September's tupsy turvy form and couldn't think what would work. Thought I'd instead do a mini run down of events elsewhere, and those improtant to Nid.

In the English Premier League Manchester City have started in rampant form with six wins out of six, but on the other side of town Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea at Old Trafford to keep the trailing places tight.

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In the Championship Bournemouth were humbled at home by struggling Luton in a game that saw Jefferson Lerma sent off after just six minutes. The result sees Bournemouth slip to 5th at the end of September.

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In the World Cup qualifiers England closed in on qualification for Qatar with wins over San Marino, Hungary and Albania in September.

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Shocks were recorded as Azerbaijan beat Portugal 1-0 in Baku and Serbia lost in Luxembourg to throw Group A wide open. In Group D France dented their automatic qualification hopes as they lost 1-0 to Finland in a game that saw Paul Pogba sent off.

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11 hours ago, abulezz said:

Lovely read so far! What's the goal for the season - stay up or possibly push for a mid-table/playoff position?

Thank you. The way things are going I'd just like to stay up, if my latest game is anything to go by...as people will see probably later this week. Might have to do something on the finances. :eek:

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19 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Good luck and welcome back!Great idea and a beautifull city!

Thanks, Weymouth is a nice place.

I was surprised I left so suddenly with the last save. I realise I never really explained that. I just suddenly hit a huge wall. Couldn't get a job away from Luxembourg yet my little team was beating huge teams in Europe. Just lost interest very suddenly.

Hopefully this save stays fun longer. 

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October 2021 - Highs And Lows...Very Bloody Low

What a month! The doc has put me on blood pressure medication after those ups and downs.

There is one fantastic piece of news though...

...Brandon Goodship scored a bloody goal!!

Not that he could miss from two yards.

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Late on 20th October I was ready to jack it all in. At 5pm on 30th I was hugging players left, right and center.

The less said the better on the Stockport and Halifax games. Bromley should have won too. The Londoners had 11 shots on target and Fitzsimons had the game of his life to earn us a point. Josh McQuoid had been dire against Stockport and I urged our captain to deliver against Bromley. He did, scoring in the 10th minute. As is always the way, however...

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That injury happened in the 88th minute. Bromley equalised in the third minute of stoppage time.

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More on the cup later. 

The last three games of the month came in such quick succession that it feels a blur now. We should have beaten Wealdstone, as we were denied three points by another 93rd minute equaliser, and then Aldershot bested us in a game of two halves. The lads were still on the coach for the first 45 and couldn't have scored if the second half had last 45 hours rather than 45 minutes.

The Battle Of The Bob Lucas, October 2021

We have a knack of conceding cheap goals and the match that took place the day before halloween was a true horror story in that regard.

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The penalty that gave King's Lynn a tenth minute lead was cheap, as was the goal that reclaimed them the lead after 19 minutes. Taofiq Olomowewe had kept us in the game and his performance in the match was of the highest standard. Taofiq had come in to the starting 11 a few games back to cover tiredness and had been brilliant.

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After that second goal the team found a real lift, possibly spurred on by the furious expression on my face. James Rowe was the star of the show as he bagged a brace either side of half time before Brandon Goodship scored his first goal of the season.

Of course, we never do things easily and we allowed King's Lynn back in to the game before a nervy (including a disallowed equaliser) last 20 minutes saw us cling to a much needed three points.

The FA Cup

The board wanted us to reach the First Round proper and I felt that was easily achievable when we drew Conference South Ebbsfleet in the 4th Qualifying Round. In the original tie, at the Bob Lucas, we dominated our opponents and the stats said we should have scored three. James Rowe missed a 12th minute penalty and I think that just about summed up the game for us.

There was a turnaround of just three days before the replay and I sent out the same team hoping for more of the same but with better finishing.

We. Were. Bloody. Awful!!! Losing 6-1 to a team a division below us was embarassing. Ben Morgan and Ross Fitzsimons receieved warnings for performances I felt were not good enough. The team seemingly agreed...

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So, all in all, a mixed month. I will call it a good month for the three points at the end and the fact that we've hit double figures.

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With us out of the FA Cup November becomes quieter. We have just ties against Chesterfield (away) and Altrincham and Woking at home. The Woking game will see me lead a team on telly for the first time. I wouldn't be surprised if an FA Trophy game pops up though.

Elsewhere...

In the English Premier League Liverpool and Manchester City remain unbeaten as of the 30th October. Manchester United, however, have fallen far behind after a terrible October in which the Red Devils lost to Newcastle. Tottenham and Liverpool.

Moneybags Newcastle are up to 4th but are yet to face the top three.

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Across Europe could a shock be on the cards in the Bundesliga? After losing to Union Berlin Bayern find themselves four points behind Dortmund at the top.

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England booked their place at the World Cup after beating Poland and San Marino in October and Scotland did their hopes no end of good of a straight qualification as they beat Israel and Moldovia in Group F. Germany were another team to qualify with wins over Armenia and Iceland whilst Group G is still anybodies after draws for all three top teams.

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November 2021 - Yes, That Was A Good Month

Good month.

Awesome Futurama GIF

Whether it was the extra time we had to train in a less busy month or whether it was just momentum following the good win over King's Lynn, I don't know, but November was awesome.

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After a two week break we travelled to Chesterfield and stunned our hosts; substitute Xander McBurnie stunning the away supporters with a belter from 25 yards to win the game.

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We had a slight dip against struggling Altrincham, where only a late Ben Morgan header spared our blushes, but finished the month on the telly with a Tom Bearwish brace beating Woking. It was pleasing to see a striker finish well for a change.

Those seven points have seen us rise well up the table and we sit a rosy 16th after 17 games played. The one downside for the month was more bad news for McQuoid. I never thought he was this injury prone at Bournemouth.

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December beckons now with trips to Wrexham and Yeovil accompanying home games against Torquay and Eastleigh. Sandwiched in between is an FA Trophy third round tie at either Barking of the Isthmian Division One North or Didcot of the Southern Football league Division One Central. All four league opponents are above us and this will be a much tougher month than November.

 

Elsewhere...

It may have been a quiet month for us but elsewhere saw the final qualifying games in the European group stage for next year's Qatari World Cup. Topping the groups, and qualifying outright, are Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Scotland, Turkey, Croatia, England and Germany.

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The ten group runners up will be joined by Wales and Iceland (from the Nations League) for the play offs, and two rounds to decide the final three teams for Qatar.

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In Africa we are down to the last five ties to decide the continent's participants in Qatar and the Burkina Faso versus DR Congo tie will see at least one new nation at the World Cup.

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In Asia we know four qualifiers from the groups; South Korea, Japan, Australia and Iran. Saudi Arabia won a play off against Uzbekistan and will play off against the fifth placed team in South America.

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The South American group looks as below but doesn't finish until March next year.

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The CONCACAF qualifiers also end in March with three teams to advance automatically and a fourth to face a play off with the winners from Oceania; a competition also decided next March. USA, Costa Rica, Mexico and Jamaica currently occupy the top four places with a gap to fifth placed Honduras.

~~~~~

In the English Premier League Manchester United continued their poor form with defeats to Villa and West Ham in November. Liverpool are still unbeaten at the top with Manchester City and Chelsea close behind.

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In the Championship Bournemouth enjoyed an unbeaten November to close on top of the pile Sheffield United. A 2-1 defeat at Reading won't have helped the Blades.

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December 2021 - We Just Can't Lose

December was a fantastic month. We played an extra game than was scheduled at the end of November after our Southend game got moved forward due to their cup tie and we went out and took a point off the league leaders.

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There was more than one tough game to be fair. Torquay finished high up the table last season and Wrexham have Hollywood money. We beat the Gulls courtesy of the ever improving Bearwish and took a point off Ryan Reynolds. It's not only up front with Bearwish scoring goals that we've looked better. In defence Taofiq Olomowewe has been a man mountain and has become undroppable.

Our final three league games of the month were tighter affairs. As I said we took a point off Southend, beat a struggling Eastleigh side and then went to Huish Park and stunned play off chasing Yeovil. As I said, Tom Bearwish has hit a fine streak of form and the youngster is on six league goals now.

What has made our run even more extraordinary is the injuries we have suffered. Sean Shields has been out over a month and Andy Robinson, who has been wonderful in central midfield, has been injured and you know how seems to be forever crocked.

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Our fine form has seen us rise to the lofty heights of 11th in the league now. Carry this on in the new year and we could be knocking on the door of the play offs. More importantly we have a nice big gap to the relegation places. I'll hedge my bets and suggest 35 points might be enough. No reason why we'd stick there though.

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FA Trophy

There was also our first round tie in the FA Trophy in December and we travelled to Didcot, a side three leagues below ours. Goals from Brad Ash (his first for the club), Matt Burgess and Tom Bearwish secured us a comfortable 3-0 win.

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(not sure why the top middle banner is showing scout reports and not squad status. Been like this since the patch - though I use a skin)

The next round sees us on the road again as we travel to National South side Dorking.

Transfer News

We've been busy recruiting...and unrecruiting.

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Ben Thompson decided it was time he moved on for the betterment of his career. He left with my wishes and joins National South side Bath. Martell Taylor-Crossdale believed he wasn't going to get the game time he wanted here and asked to move on. I wanted to get rid of some strikers so cashed in for £3.8k to see him head to Maidstone, also in the National South.

Maidstone are top of the South and Martell has already paid back some of the fee with a brace in the FA Trophy Third Round...against Thompson's Bath.

The £3.8k helped me recruit a new defensive minded midfielder - a position many of my squad have suggested we need more depth in. That man is George Hughes from Newtown in the Welsh Premier.

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If George's first few games are anything to go by then this young man will be a fantastic asset for the Terras. Three assists in his first four games.

Trips to Eastleigh and Boreham Wood and home ties with Dagenham and Aldershot in January. We welcome dorking for the cup tie mid month.

~~~~~

Elsewhere...

In England's top division Manchester City continue their relentless march to the Premier League title. A 2-0 victory over Liverpool helped them on their way to being seven points clear of the Reds by the end of December.

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Manchester United hired Antonio Conte early December but results are still erratic -  lost to Arsenal and could only draw 1-1 with both Burnley and Brentford - and the fourth favourites find themselves eight points shy of 6th placed Arsenal.

The aforementioned Brentford are 11 points shy of safety and they - along with Palace - are looking favourites for the drop.

(Spurs still have Nuno in this universe, by the way. Newcastle manager is Paulo Fonseca and Wolves have James Collins as caretaker after sacking Lage. Brendan Rodgers was sacked by Leicester and is now managing Villa who sacked Dean Smith. At Leicester is now Gennaro Gattuso.)

~~~

At the end of the year the Championship race sees Bournemouth edging Sheffield United by two points. Fulham are just three points behind the Blades. At the other end Derby County look doomed; 12 points deducted and a poor record. They're keeping faith with Rooney for now though.

That is not to say Championship managers are any safer than those in the Premier League though.

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Eddie Howe only joined Cardiff in July. Not a good return to football for the former Bournemouth man. Ole headed back to Cardiff is interesting. The Norwegian has lost his first two games, including a 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth. Revenge for Eddie's past club?

Who Donovan Duckie 🦆 is at Luton I have no idea. Jamaican, it seems. Left field appointment. Jamaican Premier League to Championship!!

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January 2022 - Remember The good Times...They Don't Always Last

And that there title summarises my January pretty succintly. It was a terrible month. All that talk of pushing in to the play offs is about as far away as the nearest galaxy. Injuries have not been kind to us, but it's not fair to use that as an excuse. The goals of Bearwish dried up, Rowe has been a shade of himself and Hughes looks like he has never played football.

Josh McQuoid is the biggest concern. He has a bad game. I tell him he was bad and needs to improve. He has a bad game. I tell him he is not playing good enough. He has a bad game. I've lost my patience there. Coaches do suggest he's more natural in the middle but it's not as if he's not suited to the wide position I have him in. I tried him up front and he was woeful.

He has probably just heard I'm still niggled at him for getting a big head and demanding a move to Millwall after he scored about five goals for Bournemouth once. Millwall!?

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We weren't too bad against Eastleigh. Hughes scored a lovely curling effort from the edge of the box to give us the lead but we switched off at the end and conceded two late goals.

We lost Brandon Goodship in the intervening cup game (more on that below). I do wonder if that loss has shaken the team. Brandon might not be 'in the goals' but he does have strengths we're now missing. We won't see him again this season.

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The games against Boreham Wood and Dagenham were two of the worst performances I have seen from us. We barely troubled the opposition and caved completely in both second halves. Daggers are way behind and losing to them is a real kick in the teeth. Them being way back was a real insurance policy should the usually inevitable bad patch come along.

Sean Shields has been very unlucky with injuries this season. I bought him back slowly from his latest and the Daggers game was a first start since. To say I was furious when he was crooked by an appalling tackle would be an understatement.

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Andy Robinson had been imperious for us and he came back from injury at the end of the month. He helped stabilise us to earn a lucky point against Aldershot. The shots dominated but missfired in the face of a fine performance from Ross Fitzsimons in our goal.

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Despite the poor form we've only dropped three places from the new year. There's a big gap to the play offs now though and the relegation zone is looming on the horizon behind us.

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FA Trophy Fourth Round

I was still somewhat confident going in to the cup tie in Dorking. The loss to Eastleigh had been a late switch off rather than a very bad performance and I expected to beat the team from the league below. It was touch and go. Bearwish scored his loan goal of the month midway through the first. Dorking got one back in the second but I urged the team on and Ahkeem Rose scored his first goal for us to send us through.

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The draw gave us a tie at Aldershot in the last 16, and judging by how they rode all over us in our last game that will not be an easy tie.

~~~~~

February sees us welcome Chesterfield before three games on the road; Altrincham and King's Lynn sandwiched by the cup tie. At the end of the month we welcome Bromley and then travel to Manchester to face Stockport.

We must find some form.

Elsewhere...

I'm honoured. Scotty Parker chose to speak to me.

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Talking of the mighty Cherries, Scotty Parker is pulling up roses at Dean Court. They've lost their last two, to WBA and Barnsey, but have still managed to open up a gap of seven points at the top of the Championship. They knocked local rivals Southampton out of the cup too.

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It has become incredibly tight in the Premier League, with Man City, Chelsea and Spurs seperated by just three points. City do have two games in hand though. Game of the Month has to be Chelsea's 3-1 demolition of Manchester United and the red devils are still languishing down in 8th.

The only managerial change has been the sacking of Ralph Hasenhuttl at Southampton on the day of defeat to Bournemouth. Lampard is his replacement. It was Andrea Pirlo who became manager at Wolves. Shock, that one.

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In the EFL Cup the final is sorted. Brentford will meet Manchester City at Wembley after two entertaining semis.

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A little catchup on Europe and the 1st knockout rounds.

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February 2022 - The Ups And Downs Of Football

(Might be a bit more condensed this one. Got about an hour before work and want to get February done)

February was a frustrating month in which we saw great performances followed by disastrous cave ins before coming back with a resurgance and caving in again.

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Against Chesterfield and King's Lynn I was incredibly happy. We scored early against a strong Spireites side but unforetunately couldn't hold on for the win. Against a King's Lynn side that we have battle around all season we delightfully took all three points after James Rowe's wonderful cross was met high in the air by Bearwish.

Then came a disappointing middle of the month in which we seemed to just run out of ideas. I see no point in leaving the cup for later. We were poor against Aldershot in the FA Trophy Fifth round and they managed a dominating 2-0 win. From the next game, at struggling Altrincham, I wanted a strong performance to hopefully put the Robins deep in the mire and maybe cement our safety. We never turned up though and lost 3-1. I was somewhat furious.

I wanted a strong reaction when we faced Bromley and got it in an entertaining affair at the Bob Lucas. It made for a tense finish when Bromley scored to make it 3-2 in stoppage time but we held on. The moment of the match has to be a stroke of inspiration from Josh McQuoid. Our captain hasn't had the greatest season but when he cut inside (as I have wanted him to do more of all season) and fired a curling shot in the far corner I was ecstatic.

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Just as I thought things were on a high and the lads firing we put in one our worst performances of the season a few days later at title chasing Stockport. It wasn't so much that we lost to a side trying to go up, it was more that we just didn't replicate what we saw against Bromley. The referee was apalling and gave us six bookings, sending Brooks off. We were fined £750 by the FA for failing to control our players.

So a mixed month leaves us firmly mid table in 14th and on 39 points. We're just shy of that magical 40 point barrier that will surely see us safe.

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So thirteen games left and I think another win will surely leave us safe. Obviously I want more though. Just four games in March; Halifax at home and then three away games at Wealdstone, Woking and Torquay. Not idea to have three away games on the trot, especially as we have been poor away from home, but will have to adapt.

Elsewhere...

Man City are still top of the Premier League and have lost just once all season. Wins against Wolves, Watford and Norwich maintained thir great form in February and they sit five points clear at the top, ahead of Chelsea. City also triumphed in the League Cup final against Brentford courtesy of a 95th minute Phil Foden goal.

At the bottom, Brentford and Palace look sadly doomed.

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The Championship remains a topsy turvy affair and the end of February sees Bournemouth and Fulham level on 65 points. Had the Cherries not come from behind to draw with Stoke on the last Saturday of the month then things could look less rosy.

At the bottom Derby look doomed; the 12 point deduction key to their season.

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March 2022 - I Think We're Safe Now!

(Work very busy and I'm not getting through this quickly at the moment. Weekends being taken up with sleep. Managed four matches this week. Hopefully get a chance to play over Christmas.)

March was a month that I thought could be tricky but ended up rather nice. We're unbeaten in four now.

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The match versus Halifax was one of the most bizarre you will see. Three penalties were the talking point of what was a very good win against a side at the wrong end of the table. James Rowe slotted home our two penalties and Josh McQuoid scored a cracker to seal the win (McQuoid top right).

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We then won a tight game against fellow mid-tablers Wealdstone thanks to Ahkeem Rose's first league goal for us after he latched on to Rowe's superb through ball. Woking are another team struggling against the drop but we couldn't break them down. They easily could have won the game themselves so I'll happily take that point.

At the end of the month we travelled down to Torquay and secured a point I am very happy with. It was a fantastic game in which we came from behind twice. McQuoid sealed the point, converting a penalty after Rose was bundled over.

 

That result scuppered Torquay's promotion plans and saw us in 12th at the end of March. We are 19 points clear of 21st now with nine games to play. Surely we're safe. That is a victory in my first season.

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Transfer Business

We signed a player in March to tide us over until the end of the season. I haven't been impressed with our right back options so in comes Luciano D'Auria-Henry on loan from Fulham until the end of the season. Luciano can slot in in midfield and gives us an option with injuuries a worry in the final months.

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On the home front, the transfer window is closed and I have deals in the pipeline for a number of our star assets. Worryingly Tyler Cordner is the only player that outright refused to sign a contract. A few others want to wait until the end of the season.

April?

April sees six games, including a TV tie with Yeovil at the Bob Lucas. We also welcome Wrexham, Grimsby and Solihull Moors. Trips to Maidenhead and Notts County are squeezed in between. 

Elsewhere...

March saw the completion of all but the intercontinental play offs for Qatar.

Europe

The final three qualifiers from the European zone are Ireland, Poland and Switzerland. The big losers are the Netherlands; Toornstra's sedning off possibly hampering them enough against the Irish in Amsterdam. Slovakia needed extra time to dispatch Romania as did Bosnia in Solna; Sweden's starman, Zlatan, getting sent off after two yellows in two minutes. (Sadly I don't have the highlights - will need to sort that)

Two of the finals, Slovakia v Poland and Switzerland v Bosnia, were rather one-sided. In the other, Ireland were on top against Iceland but squeaked through thanks to an Aaron Connolly goal.

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Africa

Africa's qualifiers for Qatar are DR Congo (their first World Cup), Nigeria, Mali, Egypt and Senegal. Mali stuffed Morocco and Senegal were comfortable winners over Tunisia. The other three ties were a little tighter. Bizarrely, Egypt haven't called up Mohamed Salah since last November. Is Egypt producing talent we don't know about?

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North America

The CONCACAF qualifiers have seen the USA, Costa Rica and Mexico qualify for Qatar. Jamaica earned themselves a final play off with the Asian region play off winners; Saudi Arabia. (FM seems to have this competition wrong. I believe Canada and El Salvador should have been in that final group)

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South America

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Chile sealed their places in Qatar in the South American group. Ecuador beat Uruguay in their final group game to seal a play off tie with New Zealand.

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Intercontinental Play Offs

The final two places for Qatar will be decided in June and the ties are;

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(I wrongly thought the Oceania qualifiers wouldn't be decided until March but New Zealand had stuffed New Caledonia 8-1 on aggregate back in October)

The final draw for Qatar will take place on Saturday 9th July 2022.

Premier League

Manchester City are still five points clear of Chelsea in England's top flight but Chelsea are now nine points clear of third placed Tottenham. Manchester United have crept back in the European spots but are nine points shy of 6th placed Arsenal and find themselves in a battle with Leicester. Draws in their last two games (including an entertaining 2-2 draw with almost relegated Brentford) have been the downfall of Spurs. Liverpool simply draw too many games despite Mo Salah on a whopping 24 goals for the season (13 in the league).

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Championship

In England's second tier it is probably now down to a two horse race between Bournemouth and Fulham for the title. Derby have had a slight resurgence in March, picking up five points, but a 3-0 defeat to high scoring Bournemouth didn't help. Rooney is still manager.

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April 2022 - Well, That Went Nearly As Well As An England Ashes Test Performance

April was about the most dire month I have experienced as Weymouth boss. We started mediocre and just got worse. The only highlight might be a great strike from Bearwish against Moors. Seeing as how it was jis only goal of the month it is small consolation. We only managed four goals all month, and two of them were penalties.

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Josh McQuoid has had a woeful month, starting with a terrible performance versus Wrexham and a warning for not performing. The matches against Maidenhead and Notts County were some of the worst football I have see from us, barely seeing us able to string a series of passes together and leaking goals like it was the holiday season and they were our gift to the opposition.

I stuck with Bearwish and he rewarded me with goal against Moors, but McQuoid has me worried. His penalty at the end of the month put a paltry gloss on his performance that was not befitting of a captain.

The only positive is that we have officially avoided relegation.

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That table looks better even if it doesn't have goals for or against

~~~~~~

To be honest I don't really want to remember much more of that month, so let's move on to more exciting things.

Youth Intake Day

Mid April saw us welcome a new scholarship group to the Bob Lucas and a good group it is.

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Simon Dabringer is an outstanding prospect between the sticks and is almost a first team bench prospect at just 16 years of age.

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Rico Griffin might look like he barefist boxes for a living but I am more inclined to liken him to a young Tony Adams. If he plays like the former England maestro then I'll be happy. Rico needs work but has potential.

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Jake Grainger is a youngster that has show great mental assurance in hi short time here. He has a cultured right foot and could develop into a future Weymoputh captain.

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Ali Sherring thinks of himself as a striker but I see him more out wide either delivering killer balls or cutting inside to score himself.

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One last player I want to introduce is Mick Richards because I simply am not sure what to make of him. He could well be the most ultility player I have ever seen. He's not a finisher but could play a more supportive forward role. With work he could do a job in defence. He's a player that I am keen to follow the future of. Just to see where he ends up playing.

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May?

May sees our final three league games of what must go down as a successful season simply for the fact that we avoided relegation. However I want better than we saw in April against Southend, Barnet and already relegated Dover.

Elsewhere...

England

April saw the first confirmed ups and downs in England. Brentford and Crystal Palace had their relegations confirmed and Manchester City and Chelsea are now 15 points clear of thrid placed Tottenham and confirmed for next season's Champion's League. Manchester United may have rescued a terrible season with a win at Norwich to see them back in the European places and just 6 points shy of Arsenal.

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In the Championship Bournemouth secured the title with victory over Blackburn. With one game left the Cherries can not be caught. It is back to the big time for Scotty Parker and his boys. At the other end, Derby's time in the second tier of English football is over as their relegation to League One is confirmed. There is now a one game battle between Blackpool, Huddersfield and Bristol City to see who joins Derby.

The fight for the second promotion spot is just as tight. Fulham, Sheffield United and West Brom will go into the final day looking for a win to see them promoted.

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Leagues One is done, with all but the play offs to be completed. Ipswich and Sunderland see themselves promoted to the Championship but it's disappointment for Morecambe, Accrington, Cheltenham and Cambridge as they drop down to League Two.

In League Two there is a two-way battle for the title. Exeter welcome Port Vale and Northampton travel to Barrow for 90 minutes to decide a champion. Leyton Orient are guaranteed third and promotion. At the bottom, Harrogate and Hartlepool slip back down to the National League.

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Europe

Real Madrid are almost guaranteed the title in Spain, as are Paris St Germain in France. Bayern are already crowned champions of Germany and Porto are champions in Portugal. It's still tight in Italy and Netherlands. Rangers have three games to see out to take the Scottish Premiership trophy to Ibrox again and Zenit look certs to retain their Russian Premier League title. In Belgium the four team Championship group is about as close as close can be.

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12 hours ago, Stlducks said:

Avoided relegation so job well done! Any plans for the summer with recruitment or just hoping some youth players come through?

Yep, quite surprised really with some of the poor form we've had. Got my eyes on a few players. The finances aren't great so I don't know how much more I can strengthen but I definitely need some goal scorers.

1 hour ago, Sheriff7 said:

Great youth intake.:thup:

Probably the best I've ever had in FM (for the level, at least). 

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May/June 2022 - We'll Call That Season A Success, Shall We?

With safety secured there was just the small matter of three final games.

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After the disappointing April I was delighted with the efort we showed against promotion contenders Southend. We battled throughout and got our just rewards with two very late goals from Josef Yarney, his first two goals of the season. Yarney has been playing center back since the arrival of D'Auria and he rose well to head in both goals.

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Such a good result in Southend was followed by two disappointing results against Barnet and Dover. The Barnet result was excuseable against a strong side but the result against an already relegated Dover was not so. We need a relaible goalscorer for 2022-2023.

~~~~~~~~

So, a just below mid-table finish of 15th in my first season. Form was patchy and the good run in November and December is what secured our safety. Sadly, the opposite run of form in January put paid to any lofty ambitions of sneaking in to the play offs. We scored just 47 goals in 44 games - the second lowest in the league - and that needs to improve next season. Only Dover scored less than us.

Stockport secured the title on the last day, beating Barnet on goal difference. Southend's defeat to us saw their demise and they eventually lost out in the play offs. Barnet beat Notts County on penalties at Wembley to join Stockport back in the league.

At the other end, FC Halifax and Woking joined Dover in dropping back in to the play offs.

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Joining us in the National League from the regionals will be Fylde (winner of the North), Welling (winner of the South), Guiseley and Maidstone. As revealed last month, Harrogate and Hartlepool dropped back down to the National from League Two

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Hopefully we won't be second favourites for relegation this time!

 

Elsewhere...

World Cup Play-Offs

New Zealand and Saudi Arabia are the final two teams to book their place at Qatar 2022. New Zealand secured a fantastic victory over Ecuador with the Woodchopper (Chris Wood of Burnley) scoring three goals to send the All Whites to the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia defied a Jamaican comeback in Jeddah to come through 5-3 on aggregate in their tie. The Green Falcons had stormed to a 3-1 triumph in the first leg in Kingston. Two first half goals in the second leg and pretty much assured them the short trip to Qatar before the Jamaican fightback.

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And so the final 32 qualifiers are:

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I am worried there may be an issue with my save. I went to the World Cup page after the Intercontinental Play-Offs and the qualified teams list doesn't include the three European Play-Off winners. There are only 29 qualifiers listed. Those three teams are in the filter list...just don't show in the main list. Hopefully those three European teams do show for the draw.

European Club Competitions

In the Champions League final Liverpool met Bayern Munich in St Petersburg in a match that went to penalties. Bayern lifted the trophy after Joel Matip missed his sudden death penalty. Lewandowski, Sule, Curtis Jones and Henderson had already missed penalties but it will be the unlucky Cameroonian's miss that decided things.

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In the Europa League, Inter Milan met Atletico Madrid in the final in Sevilla. The game went to extra time with Alexis Sanchez snatching the winner for Inter in stoppage time.

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In the Europa Conference League Tottenham met Roma in the final in Tirana. A tight match saw Hojberg sent off for the English team but Heung-Min Son's second half goal proved to be the winner.

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England

Manchester City are English champions by a point from Chelsea. Brighton joined the already relegated Palace and Brentford in the Championship in 2022-2023. In a poor season, Manchester United snuck in to the Europa Conference League at the death. Liverpool missed out on the Champions League but they did keep Klopp.

City did the English quadruple beating Manchester United 3-0 in the FA Cup final and Brentford 1-0 in the League Cup. They had already won the Community Shield.

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In the Championship Sheffield United's 0-0 draw at home to Fulham coupled with West Brom's 2-1 defeat of Barnsley saw the Baggies promoted automatically, alongside Bournemouth, and Fulham enter the play-offs. The Cottagers then beat Sheffield United on penalties to book their place in next season's top flight.

Huddersfield and Blackpool were the two teams to drop down to League One.

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League One saw three larger teams make their way back to the Championship in Ipswich, Sunderland and Portsmouth. In League Two, Bradford took the final promotion spot through the play-offs.

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Across Europe...

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Coming Next...

This post has gotten a little long. I'll post again with a season review for the might Terras. Maybe some transfer news.

 

 

 

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Weymouth FC - Season 2021-2022 - Vanarama National League - Review

In a season in which we were predicted to finish second bottom we defied expectations to finish mid tabel and secure another season in the National League.

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I was a little surprised to see Ben Morgan pick up that award. I thought Andy Robinson was perhaps the most consistent performer whilst playing more games than Morgan.

Player Stats (hope you can read this)

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Also;

Ben Thomson: Played 2, 1 goal (moved to Bath);

Martell Taylor-Crossdale: Played 9, 0 goals, 1 assist (moved to Maidstone)

Contracts News

A number of players are chosing to leave at the end of the season;

Tyler Cordner (won't sign - yikes)

Calvin Brooks

Cameron Murray

Omar Mussa

Brad Ash

 

Nid Rikson's Memorable Moments

Match of the Season for me was when we welcomed King's Lynn to the Bob Lucas on the back of five league games without a win and a 6-1 cup humbling to Ebbsfleet in the same month. We turned on the style, twice coming from behind to secure a great 4-3 win that, two months later, had become nine games without defeat.

It changed our season!

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My Player of the Season is someone I mentioned above. Andy Robinson.

Andy made 40 starts in midfield, scored twice and made 7 assists. An 87% pass completion ration and 2.79 key passes per 90 minutes prove how important to us Andy was.

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I'm off to build a better squad - one that can score.

Back for pre-season...

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Posted (edited)

Pause - I just wanted to throw this out there

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Those tricky little imps. The offer came with just two weeks of pre-season to go. It won't leave me much time to build my squad but it's an offer too good not to at least consider.

As I always am with job offers in FM, I'm very much in two minds. This ain't a strictly one club career but I had just found a lovely little striker. Mind you, he's the second striker I have approached. The first candidate chose, I believe, Dorking over us because they had a better squad. Dorking are in the National South!

I just made an approach for D'Auria, whom was with us for a few games last season. He rejected us for relegated Halifax.

If Lincoln offer the job I'm off.

Update - It wasn't to be anyway;

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Posted (edited)

Vanarama National League - 2022/2023 - Weymouth FC - Pre-Season

That was a very difficult pre-season to negotiate, full of ups and downs. I managed to improve the squad following the disappearance of a number of players at last season's end but I could be more pleased. To be truthful, the downs were greater in number than the ups.

At the time of the Lincoln City interview offer - see above - my squad was looking scarily threadbare. It looks a little better going in to the first game.

Transfers

Here is a rundown of the signings so far:

Defenders

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Yes, he's old, he's aggressive and he looks like he lost a fight with a wall. Nah, just kidding about that last bit. I believe in Adam though. He might just be exactly what we need to be very competitive this season. He'll be a good figure in the dressing room, too.

We might make a bit of cash from his fines, too.

I nominate a song for Adam.

 

Midfield

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Ryan was on loan here last season and did reasonably well. As a full time Weymouth player I am confident we'll see a season of good consistency from Ryan. Being able to play both sides will be key for us.

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Josh Dugmore is a young central midfielder that has signed on a free transfer after leaving Bromsgrove Sporting. Josh was originally a youth player at Birmingham. This young man is way better than the level he played at last season and his runs into the box in our pre-season friendlies sealed the deal for me and I offered him a contract. I suspect Josh will play a back up role for now but he'll fight Andy Robinson and James Rowe for the more attacking midfield role in my squad.

Forwards

A front man is the role I had most trouble filling. In two friendlies I trialled strikers that had no trouble hitting the net. Both of these players chose other clubs. I've gone for age here and Bearwish and Goodship will support but hopefully be pushed to better by these older men...

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Steven Doris has spent his entire career in Scotland but comes to us on a free after being suggested by one of my coaches. Steven will fight with Brandon Goodship for the role of link up man in my 4-4-2. If my next new signing doesn't shine as I hope he will then Steven could well be a lone man in other tactical options.

And lastly the signing that I am sure will raise heads...

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The man who scored a bundle for Peterborough United once upon a time is entering the twilight of his career but I am sure Craig Mackail-Smith can score goals for us. He comes to us on a free as a recommendation of my Director of Football.

🎶He's Craig Mackail-Smith, he scores when he wants.🎵 I hope.

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I really feel like I have signed more players than that. For sure, many more players have come and gone on trial. I'm still looking at full back options but I don't expect news before the first game of our season at Torquay.

Squad

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Dynamics

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Vanarama National League Odds

With a wave of new signings in the past week our odds have jumped to 33-1. The media believe we're still in a relegation battle.

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Board Expectations

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Pre-Season Friendlies

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Tahvon Campbell and Sean Adarkwa are strikers I had on trial and are the players that chose other clubs. Andi Janjeva is a young defender that did okay but I need to wait on other players to see if I have funds to sign him as a prospect.

That result against Plymouth gave me some hope for the season. We had been 4-1 up. We scored a lot of goals in pre-season last year and failed to hit those heights in the actual campaign. It may well mean nothing.

The Season...

The Vanarama National League starts tomorrow with our visit to Torquay (although the first game sees Boreham Wood welcome Bromley at lunchtime).

In August we then travel to Notts County and Solihull. We host games against Altrincham (who I tipped for relegation late last season - they'll want revenge), Grimsby, Chesterfield and Yeovil (scheduled for TV).

We don't get a break for the World Cup in the National League...not that I have any internationals that will be playing. Some of our rivals could conceivably lose players. Unlikely but we'll see.

It's Kick Off time!

Happy So Excited GIF

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9 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

These  Scots looks ready to play in Braveheart...:D

I must confess that the Braveheart image did come to mind. El-Abd can be the honourary Egyptian Braveheart. :D

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Posted (edited)

August 2022 (Plus The End Of July) - Making Ourselves Known

We have started our new campaign well although the newcomers haven't all settled in as well as I'd have hoped. Mackail-Smith and Doris have hardly set the world alight up front, El-Abd has been steady if not spectacular and new left back Laird has been appalling. Before we get on to results I should deal with transfers.

Transfer News

There have been two new signing since last we spoke and the first I mentioned above.

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I wanted more competition for the left back spot. I've never gotten the best out of Ollie Harfield. His only competion is Josh Leslie-Smith (more a center back really) and young Charles Medway (better on the right and inexperienced) and so I wanted a proper left sided defender to compete. Again I found myself going for experience in the shape of Scott Laird. Scott has plenty of league experience but has spent the last few seasons at Western-super-Mare. Sadly, Scott's first two match performances were pretty woeful.

I never have introduced Leslie-Smith and Medway.

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Our latest signing is another return of a former loanee.

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I also needed cover for Yarney at right back so, having been impressed with his form whilst on loan with us at the tail end of last season, I opted to approach the released Luciano D'Auria-Henry. This will prompt a battle at right back, one that Yarney is winning after the first few games of the season.

I am trying to find loan deals for some youngsters to no avail.

Back To The Campaign

As I said, we have started well and a great August sees us riding high in 6th.

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The Torquay game saw us well beaten even though we pushed hard after the Gulls had a player sent off in the last quarter of the game.

Going in to August we picked up the pace with a scintillating second half display to beat Altincham; Ben Morgan scoring two headers to grab man of the match. County and Grimsby were tough games in which we bravely secured a point.

Then came Chesterfield and a result that could prove a morale boosting turning point. We had bossed the first half only to concede a poor goal before starting the second half similarly. Mackail-Smith had an early strike ruled out for offside but otherwise had not found his way in to the game. I replaced him with Bearwish in the 64th minute and our young striker sealed the win with two fantastic goals in the final ten minutes. Chesterfield having had a player sent off helped us massively but it was still a good turnaround.

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We then finished the month off with a dominant win in a west country derby at Yeovil in from of the cameras.

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September...

September sees six games, starting with two away ties at Southend and Solihull (re-arranged after August tie was postponed). Our only two home ties of September, versus Maidenhead and Eastleigh, come either side of a trip way up to Fylde on a Tuesday. We then finish the month at King's Lynn.

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Elsewhere

It is early days but Everton have had a cracking start to the Premier League in England. Unbeanten after seven games the Toffees find themselves a point ahead of Liverpool. Champions City are just a couple of points back. Manchester United are having another poor season and find themselves way down the table in 14th. Antonio Conte is still manager but he must be hanging on precariously.

Bournemouth have a good start to their first season back in the Premier League. Under Scotty Parker the Cherries sit comfortably mid table. A recent 1-0 win over United has been the highlight; Jaidon Anthony banging in a belter.

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In the English Championship Crystal Palace have started unbeaten in their efforts to make a swift return to the Premier League. Also newly relegated Brentford are just behind.

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Europe

The draws have taken place for the group stages of the three major European competitions.

Champions League

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Europa League

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Europa Conference League

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Qatar 2022 - World Cup Draw

And lastly this month (and probably belated) the draw for Qatar.

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There are some interesting groups there. Qatar look to have it easier than they might have expected in Group A and England should plan to qualify easily from Group B. I would wager Argentina being comfortable in Group C but the other three sides will be no pushovers.

Group D is the first real toughie. Germany and Spain are strong contenders to win the competition but Mali are a good side and Japan plucky underdogs.

Group E should be easy pickings for Belgium and I'd back Mexico to be close behind. Don't rule out the Scots who qualified comfortably though. It is anyone's guess what we can expect from New Zealand. You'd expect France to be comfortable in Group F.

Group G is another tough group with Italy facing Portugal. Chile and South Korea will be tricky opposition for both the Europeans though. Group H will be a win for Brazil on paper but the Swiss and the Turks can beat anyone on their day. DR Congo are the only newcomers to the World Cup and will relish meeting Brazil.

EDIT: It just occured to me that DR Congo are not the only first timers at this World Cup. Qatar are, of course.

Edited by anagain
My brain omitted the noobness of Qatar :)
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Posted (edited)

September 2022 - Oh When The Terras Go Marching On

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That was the position we found ourselves in after the King's Lynn game. It has been a wonderful start to the season and the squad is full of positivity.

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The yellow is Goodship wanting more games - that he's getting - and Ahkeem Rose. Rose asked for more game time and I couldn't promise it. No strikers deserve to be dropped and he's not the best fit on the wing. McQuoid, El-Abd and Rowe approached me to suggest Rose might warrant some pitch time and I reminded them in no uncertain terms that I was the manager and that they should get on with their own games. Pleasingly, they do seem to have done so.

Rose is another matter.

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For reminders. 4-4-2 has been our dominant choice of formation.

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The month kicked off with two entertaining draws on the road. Goodship rescued us with a late equaliser at Southend and Bearwish was our key man in a tight contest at Solihull.

Then came the most dominant performance of my reign as we stuffed relegation threatened Maidenhead at the Bob Lucas. It is hard to find adjectives to describe how good we were as we won with goals from across the team. I was especially happy to see Mackail-Smith get his first goal for us with a tap in.

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We produced another strong performance on the long trip up to Fylde before what could be called a drop in form in first a draw against Eastleigh and then a tight win in Norfolk. I wonder if complacency is starting to creep in. We had a dominant first half against King's Lynn but were poor after the break.

Transfer News

I am sure you'll have noticed a new name on the scoresheet against King's Lynn. Oh, you eagled-eyed observers.

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I wanted more depth across the midfield. Nathan Moriah-Welsh is a player I watched at Bournemouth. He left for Bristol City in the summer but was still available for loan. Nathan can play across the park and is perfect utility for us. Wth Josh McQuoid getting injured at Fylde, Nathan came in on the left and has done well, culminating in a wonderful strike against Fylde.

One outgoing in September, too. I have decided to send Josh Leslie-Smith out on loan for a few months to get some match time and see if he can't develop well. He has gone to York until the new year.

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~~~~~~~~

And so September sees sitting proudly in 5th. It's far from where I suspected we'd be at this point. This is what confidence does and I just hope we can keep it going.

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October...

October will be busy with six league games; three home and three away. Sandwiched in will be the FA Cup. The end of the month will be interesting with regards to seeing just where we are at when we face two other teams lying in the play off zone in Aldershot and Harrogate.

We won't know who we face in the FA Cup until the first week of October.

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~~~~~~~~

Elsewhere

English Premier League

Everton end September still unbeaten in the Premier League. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been the key man for Rafa's Toffees hitting 8 goals in his first 11 starts in all competitions. Key in September was a 2-0 win over Spurs.

Bournemouth's form has faltered. Winless in the league in September, they did manage to progress to the 5th round of the EFL cup courtesy on a win over Southampton on penalties.

Manchester United continue to find life in the Premier League inconsistent but scored 14 goals without reply in wins over Valur, Sheriff Tiraspol and St. Johnstone in the Europa Conference League.

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English Championship

Crystal Palace have opened up a 9 point gap in England's second tier. Paul Cook's team have been imperious with a 2-0 defeat of closest rivals Brighton key.

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Contract Woes

Right at the start of October Weymouth offered me a new contract. They were offering £100 less per month so I demanded more. They then insisted that meant my compensation would be higher and I'd get less of a wage increase should we go up.

I insisted on more and we failed to reach a compromise.

Finance-wise we are in the red and the projection is not good but I've done great for the club and deserve that rewarded.

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I'm £1k under the wage budget. I'm doing my bit. I think we need a cup run.

I realise my wage doesn't really matter but I like to keep things as realistic as possible. I wouldn't take a pay cut in real life.

I am still contracted until the end of the season. The aim is to make money or get promoted.

 

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Curved Ball Offers

Southend have piqued my interest.

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The Pros

  • Southend have a massive wage budget
  • Southend have way more money in the bank
  • Southend are a big club - compared to us. Might call them almost a fallen giant
  • Southend's squad is noticeably better
  • I couldn't agree a contract
  • As a club we look financially fragile

The Cons

  • We are flying high in 4th placed in the National League
  • Southend are doing dismally in 20th place in our own league
  • If my career were to progress I had hoped it might be a league or two higher
  • Are we 'doing something' as Weymouth? Can we feasibly achieve promotion?
  • Are we over-achieving as much as I think we are?
  • Will the house come tumbling down soon?
  • Southend want me to win the league first season, after starting in 20th!!

 

I suppose it can't hurt to at least talk to Southend. Maybe this will make my own board offer me a better contract.

That revelation that I'd have to finish top has rather soured this whole idea. Will I just get sacked if I don't achieve?

Edited by anagain
Found out I'd have to finish top!!
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The Offers They Keep A-Coming

It would seem I am a popular manager of late.

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This is a no-brainer. Borehamwood are only predicted to finish a couple of places above ourselves. It's a no.

Still the Non-League Paper chose to ask me a question:

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I'd like for a few teams in League 1 or League 2 to think I might be a good option. I'd even consider teams in Scotland above their Championship. Even the Irelands. I could aim for European football there.

Make my decision easy.

Update on Southend: They offered me a wage bill nearly £10k lower than what the club are rumoured to be currently spending as well as requiring me to win the league!!!

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Not As Popular As I Thought

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Southend didn't like that I had asked for a considerable increase in the wage budget. Claudio Kearns is a 32 year old nobody with no history whatsoever. 

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I almost feel insulted.

There have been rumours of me being linked with the Newport County job. They are 23rd in League 2.

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3 hours ago, Blarney said:

Excellent save.  I have been following.  Weymouth is a beautiful town.  Hopefully you get the offer you want.

Thanks.

In many ways I'd love to stay and finish what I started. The contract negotiations stutter made me concerned though.

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October 2022 - Wanted And Frustrated

October was a funny old month in a funny old game.

Its A Funny Old Game Its A Funny Old Game Saint GIF - Its A Funny Old Game Its A Funny Old Game Saint Saint And Greavsie GIFs

RIP Jimmy

Away from the football I tried to negotiate a new contract...and failed, got approached for my services and had a number of run ins with players. The offers for my services haven't stopped either.

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I answered each and we will see what happens.

The player in my office was Steven Doris wanting more football. He hadn't played well at the start of the season and had fallen behind in the pecking order with the good form of Brandon Goodship and Tom Bearwish. After a bit of discussion I offered him the chance of some game time to prove himself. In his first game back he had a bit of a stinker but he did then knock in a goal, as we'll see soon.

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(Cut off from the Harrogate game are two goals from Ben Morgan)

The fixtures for October started at home with a disappointing defeat to Maidstone in a game we were never really in. Craig Mackail-Smith did pop up with another goal but they're usually late efforts when the game is all but over for the veteran. A few days later we thumped struggling Welling 3-0 in London with a fine team performance. Josh Dugmore netted his first goal for us with a fantastic break from midfield and thundering finish.

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We then had a good win at home to Bromley before a stuttering middle of the month. We were eliminated from the FA Cup at the first hurdle as we went down to a single goal at home to National League South Billericay and then had a very poor loss at Boreham Wood.

We improved slightly against Aldershot in one of two games I had marked as revealing of how we were really doing at the end of September. Then came a sensational win at the end of the month up north in Harrogate. We dominated our newly relegated opponents and stormed to a massively unexpected 5-0 win. El-Abd and Doris got their first goals in this game. Doris' goal was a point blank header from a cross that actually found the box. This is something I have wanted to see an improvement in from us.

It was mightily disappointing to find ourselves out of the FA Cup, as a run might have done something for the finances, but to find ourselves still in the lofty position of 4th in the league is what I can only describe as crazy.

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November...

November is a little quieter, with us out of the cup. We have a break at the start of the month but finally face the league leaders in the middle of a three game week later.

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Elsewhere...

English Premier League

England has a new leader in Liverpool. Second placed Manchester City have a game in hand but the Reds went top with a powerful 4-0 win at Bournemouth.

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Some of you might wonder how moneybags Newcastle are getting on these days. As you can see above, they are a mixed bag in the league and have a team barely recognisable from prior to the Saudi money. Below is their team that lost a tight game against Manchester United 1-2 in Manchester. The team need a big win at home to Club Brugge to qualify from their Champions League group when they meet the first day of November.

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English Championship

Palace are still clear in the English second tier although the brutal nature of the Championship appears to have hit home with 3 defeats on their record now. A 0-3 defeat at home to lowly Peterborough is possibly the biggest shock of the season so far.

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There is just one round of matches in major leagues at the start of November before football takes a little break for the World Cup.

Not for us though. Back soon.

Earlier if I'm approached.

 

 

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A Frenzy Of Job Speculation

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Then a flurry over two days. I'm not sure why Wycombe requested staff changes twice.

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Yes, you saw the top message...

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Finances appear to be better at Wycombe.

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With a wage expenditure that high in League One there has to be some dead wood. 

Interestingly, I might have been a bit of an issue at Weymouth. I was on £1,100 p/w there. Weymouth wouldn't meet that wage again and that was what was causing the issues with my contract re-negotiations.

Wycombe wouldn't meet that either. I had to do some crazy negotiation but couldn't turn down League One.

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I've never asked for a high-tempo-pressing game. I've hardly fined anyone either.

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I think we're odds on to avoid relegation so that will be a nice payment to make up for a wage drop. I'll have another £90 next year too. I'll have to get rid of the limo...

More on the players at my disposal later but my first thought upon joining Wycombe was "how will League One players react to a new manager who has never managed about the National League?". I'm a nobody really.

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Not bad for starters...

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Thought it would be worse...

~~~~~~~~

I am going to miss Weymouth but moving on up is just desserts after we overachieved this season. It was all me...

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  • anagain changed the title to [FM22] On A High In Wycombe But Not Wanting To Become The "Bucks" Of The Joke - Humble Beginnings At Weymouth FC, Book 2

Book 2: Wycombe Wanderers FC

Introduction - Club and Town

Welcome to High Wycombe, an unspectacular market town lying in a valley in the middle of the Chilterns. Originating as a town in the late 10th century, High Wycombe is a former mill town that specialised in manufacturing lace and linen cloth.

In modern times High Wycombe has become known more as a commuter town for London; about 30 miles to the southeast.

High Wycombe, you would expect it to be a pleasant, it's far from it

Wycombe Wanderers FC are a club founded in 1886 that play their home games at Adams Park to the west of the town. Before moving to Adams Park in 1990 the club played for 90 years at Loakes Park in the town center. Loakes Park is now partly housing and partly a car park for the hospital.

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Loakes Park in 1982

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Adams Park

Wycombe have spent the majority of their history in non-league football, only gaining promotion to the Football League in 1993. Since then they have managed to reach as high as the Championship for the 2020-2021 season. Sadly, they only last one season in the second tier of English Football.

Among their highest moments, Wycombe will count promotion to the Football League, after winning the then Conference, in 1992-1993. Reaching the FA Cup semi-finals in the 2000-2001 season is a great memory for the club.

The club are currently in League One and finished 14th in 2021-2022.

At the time of my joining the club are 18th in the table; the same place as pre-season predictions.

Next...the squad

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Nid Rikson - Wycombe Wanderers FC - League One 2022-2023

The Squad

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Goalkeepers

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David Stockdale is an experienced keeper that has played at the highest level of English football with Fulham. He has signalled his intention to retire at the end of the season but is, for now, our key man between the sticks.

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Adam Przybek is our current back up to David but I have questions as to whether he is good enough to maintain a number one shirt.

Full Backs

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Josh Scowen is a well travelled right back who has been at the club since 2021. This is Josh's second spell at the club though. A versatile player, Josh could fill a role in midfield or on the wings.

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Mandela Egbo is a right sided defender/midfielder once capped for England U18s. Mandela has plenty of pace and could fill in at center back if needed.

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Ugandan international Jordan Obita is a left-sided option that has been at the club since 2020. An all rounded player, Josh is an attacking full back and possibly one of the key players at the club.

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New Zealander Jack Iredale is a versatile defensive option who is best on the left but quite able to slot in at right back.

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Myles Kenlock is more defensive minded full back that will provide cover.

Center Backs

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Ryan Tafazoli is a key man in the center of the park, a strong and aggressive defender that has made a career for himself in the lower leagues of English football.

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Matthew Platt is a center back option that seems to have been well utilised by my predecessor. Strong mentally and physically, what little I have seen of Matthew technically has me cautious. He is a good right footed counterpart to Tafazoli's left foot.

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Andre Burley is a slightly pacey option that plays anywhere across the back four.

Central Midfield

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Current club captain Dominic Gape is an assured box to box midfielder that has been at Wycombe since 2016. A Chairboy icon, Dom has made 206 appearances for the club in his time. I suspect he has to play.

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Curtis Thompson is a tough tackling ball winning midfielder that has been a Chairboy for just a year less than Gape.

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Anes Mehmeti is a young midfielder more technically gifted than Dom or Curtis. Born in London, Anes has represented Albania at full and U21 level.

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Madger Gomes is a Spanish born Bissau-Guinean with plenty of flair that has been out of favour at Wycombe. I like to give everyone a chance to prove themselves but Madger could be £1k off the wage budget.

Wingers/Wide Forwards

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David Wheeler is the wide man that has made most appearances for Wycombe this season. David is in the twilight of his career and has lost a lot of pace but he could be key for his experience.

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Demetri Mitchell is a pacey wide man that signed from Blackpool at the start of the season and was once on the books of Manchester United. Demetri prefers to play further up the park, on either wing, but could fill in at left back.

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Nick Freeman is safe cover for either wing or centrally.

Strikers

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Sam Vokes is an experienced Welsh international that has played at the highest level for Burnley. Sa made his name back home in Dorset near 15 years ago as a Bournemouth player.

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Joe Hugill is a young striker on loan from Manchester United. He seems to have been first choice for the club this season and has six goals to his name.

Youth Talent

The club don't have an U19 squad and only two players stand out for me in the U23s.

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Oliver Pendlebury is 20 and an attack minded midfield prospect.

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Malachi Linton is a very pacey young striker that could do with a little work on his technical skills.

Early Thoughts

We seem well suited to playing a compact 4-4-2 similar to what I utilised at Weymouth. David Wheeler doesn't have the pace to run up and down the wings so much now but can play a role similar to that which Matt Ritchie played in Bournemouth's Championship winning team of 2014-2015; the provider from wide. On the other wing I'll try and utilise pace to cut inside and support Vokes and Hugill up front.

In the middle of the park the ball winning skills of Curtis Thompson will go nicely with the energy of Gape.

I'm a little worried about our central defensive options and that is likely to be my primary goal to improve in January. I am also a little concerned about where the goals will come from. The team have scored just 14 goals all season, a tally only worsened by Doncaster, Exeter and Northampton in the relegation spots and Plymouth. We're mid table in terms of goals conceded though.

November...

Well, would you believe I have a game in two days at Crewe? There's no break for the World Cup in League One but I have no players called up to the tournament. Here is the current League One table and my first month of fixtures.

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I need to go decide how we're lining up...

...but, I must say I have a few butterflies. This is a jump from Weymouth.

Dog Nervous GIF - Dog Nervous Eyes GIFs

 

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  • anagain changed the title to [FM22] On A High At Wycombe But Not Wanting To Become The "Buck" Of The Joke - Humble Beginnings At Weymouth FC, Book 2
27 minutes ago, Sheriff7 said:

Good luck in your new job!I believe you can make it and with 2-3 good deals on transfer window maybe to look a little  higher. 

Thank you. The only way is up.

We do need strengthening in a couple of positions if we're going to look up. Mid-table Crewe will be a good opener to test the waters.

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November 2022 - Tentative First Steps

It has been a tough first month in which I have learnt the limits of this squad. That limit is reliable goalscoring and once again I have a captain who can't seem to reach his best for me.

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We were the better team against Crewe, perhaps marginally, but when Josh Scowen was sent off on 76 minutes for a cheap second yellow we ended up holding on and being happy for a point on the road. I had seen some positives though. Demetri Mitchell had had a good game on the left and my defence were pretty much rock solid. I was very impressed with Mandela Egbo at right back.

Against Lincoln we stormed to a two goal lead within 20 minutes. I am fast realising that our star player is Anis Mehmeti. The Albanian youngster came back from international duty to score our first as he latched on to Jordan Obita's lovely ball. Anis then put in the corner that Matthew Platt was at the far post to meet.

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By half time it was 2-2 though as we twice allowed Lincoln's Adil Nabi to show his class. Neither side could find another goal in the second and it was two draws from two games.

The Rotherham match was one to forget as we were pretty dismall in front of goal throughout. Only my wing backs, Obita and Egbo, looked class and they were a danger throughout, breaking ahead of my wingers to cerate chances. Hugill and Vokes up front were blunter than old pencils and Rotherham capitalised wit two easy goals. We did manage a late flurry through substitute Joe Nuttall but it was my first defeat.

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The Sheffield Wednesday game was one we were heavily backed to lose in but I was delighted with our stubborness in taking a point home. Thatw as followed by my first Wycombe win in the EFL Trophy at home to League 2 Colchester. We dominated the tie with a much changed side but could only find the net reliably in the second half.

Joe Nuttall is proving my best bet up front with his second goal since my arrival and the match also saw youngster Malachi Linton get on the scoresheet. We have a home tie with Newport in the next round.

There is little change to our league position after those games. We need to start scoring, and turning draws in to wins, if my tenure is not going to be a short one.

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December...

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I'll be looking for goals in December and our best chance of really hitting form should be on the 20th when we welcome struggling Doncaster. I have a had a little blow just now though. My only reliable goalscorer so far is croocked. It never rains but it pours.

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I won't risk him but it's down to Vokes and Hugill against Burton. A game we should be able to win.

Elsewhere...

There's a lot less to talk about in the wider world of football this month. The World Cup is in full swing and there were few matches in top flight football. In just one round of Premier League matches it was bad news for Bournemouth when they travelled to the Etihad as they were thumped 7-0.

In the Championship Crystal Palace moved nine points clear after beating QPR 4-1. The Eagles did lose to Blackburn though and it is becoming the usual tense situation in England's second tier.

I'll do a World Cup special later but I will add a little teaser of woes to come for a big side.

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Former Club Watch

Now I have moved on I'd like to start looking at the fortunes of old clubs each month. Of course, it is just Weymouth for now and they had a poor month but are still in the play offs...just.

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Weymouth's new managers is a realitive unknown, much as I was, in Jonah Stronge.

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Hopefully Jonah can get the Terras firing again.

 

 

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Interlude - World Cup Special

The Qatar World Cup is over, and there are shocks galore.

Group Stages

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In a tight Group A Qatar proved many wrong by qualifying for the second round. Qualification was almost sealed in the second round of matches but USA made it tight with a final day win over a poor Ireland.

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England dominated Group B and were joined by a Croatia that only really struggled against England.

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In Group C, despite losing to Poland, Senegal squeaked through to Round 2 courtesy of not conceding goals in their win over Australia. Poland's win over the Africans counted for nothing as they conceded twice. Senegal joined a good Argentina side in qualifying.

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Group D was comfortable for Spain and Germany. Neither side were troubled by Mali or Japan before an entertaining draw saw the group decided by the toss of a coin.

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Group E saw Belgium and Mexico qualify at the expense of dismal New Zealand and Scotland.

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Group F saw the biggest shock of the Group Stage as France were eliminated and unfancied Saudi Arabia won the group. Colombia joined the Arabs after a 3-1 win over the French.

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Group G saw Italy sail through and Portugal edge through on the final day with a 4-1 demolition of Chile. That win would have been for naught had South Korea not capitulated to two late goals against Italy.

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Group H was won by Switzerland as Brazil couldn't find a way past Turkey.

Round Two

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In Round Two Colombia provided the shock of the round as they sent home Belgium in a 3-1 victory over the ten men. In another game featuring a red card England ended the challenge of hosts Qatar.

Italy sent home Brazil despite going down to ten men themselves and Mexicos sent home the surprise package of the First Round, Saudi Arabia.

Also through are Croatia, Spain, Germany and Portugal.

Quarter Finals

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And then there were eight.

First up was two old enemies in England and Germany. England took a small victory courtesy of an extra time winner from Jack Grealish.

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Later the same day, Spain snuck past Croatia courtesy of a Ferran Torres  finish on the hour mark.

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Day two of the Quarters was the day of shocks. Mexico snuck past the impressive looking Italy with an early goal from Wolves striker Raul Jimenez. The goal was a tap in after Donnarumma's flap at Lozano's cross.

 

Colombia ended the round with an extra time win over ten-man Portugal. Luis Muriel's penalty won the game after Rendall Correia was adjudged to have pushed Fuentes.

 

Semi Finals

The first semi final provided yet another shock as Mexico reached their first ever World Cup final with a tight win over Spain.

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A day later England booked their own passage to the final with a perfect win to end Colombia's hopes. A Sterling double and a late first half winner from Trent Alexander-Arnold proved decisive for the Three Lions.

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Final

After Spain had claimed third place, with a 2-1 win over Colombia, England met surprise package Mexico in the final.

Despite all the odds, Mexico shocked the world to win their first World Cup. Raul Jimenez opened the scoring in the 12th minute before the sending off of Declan Rice made the game all the tougher for England on 19 minutes. 11 minutes later and it was 2-0 to Mexico as Hirving Lozano headed home from a corner.

England fought back but couldn't find a way back in to the game. The trophy was Mexico's!

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Golden Shoe

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I never saw that winner coming!

Were supposed to be more goal images but ran out of some limit...

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December 2022 - I Think We Found Our Mojo

The 5-1 win over Colchester appears to have given the lads a boost. Amid team bonding around the World Cup (and despite the disappointment among the English lads - see previous) my bunch of players have blossomed in December. As we head in to a new year we are unbeaten in seven and being hailed as somewhat unbeatable. Adams Park is becoming a fortress and we're looking to beat anyone on the road.

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In witnessing the form our my wing backs I decided to put more focus on them in helping us to win games. It would be up to Obita and Egbo to be our main attacking threat, overlapping our more supportive wingers.

It worked wonders home to Burton. This was a must win game for me, to get our season rolling, and the boys really delivered, slamming four past a hopeless Albion.

The pick of the month was young Joe Hugill. The lad has suffered from a lack of confidence and I urged him on in December. He delivered big time in a tight home match with Doncaster, an audacious finish getting our game flowing after the break.

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Only against the Gills did we stutter at home. This was our third game in just over a week and I think it showed as we let the opposition take a point home right at the end.

That tiredness was nowhere to be seen on new years eve however. We went to local rivals MK Dons for a crunch derby and I decided to consolidate to a back three, doing away with wingers that had not shown the form they had early in the month. It worked as we stifled the Exiles and our center backs bossed their box with two strong headers.

We have moved up to 13th in League One as we enter 2023.

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Transfer News

As we head into a window there are a couple of deals already done.

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Myles Kenlock came to me to ask if he could move out on loan. He felt he was not going to be able to force his way into my plans. I agreed but when an offer came in from Lincoln to sign Kenlock I decided to take it.

There have also been loan deals out for youngsters Layton Ndukwu and Jack Wakely to National League clubs Harrogate and Solihull.

My plans for the window include a center back and a central midfielder. There are a number of players I will accept offers for, should they come in. I have £71k to spend and £8k in wages. I may have to sell to buy, but we will see.

January...

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First up is an EFL Cup tie against struggling League Two side Newport. It's a welcome chance to rest some first teamers after a busy Christmas. There is only one chance to capitalise on our strong home form this month and we'll have to stay good on the road.

Elsewhere...

With the World Cup done top flight football got back up and running on Boxing Day. It was a poor return for Manchester City, suffering a shock home defeat to bottom of the pile West Brom and losing top spot to Chelsea, who showed City how to do it as they stuffed West Brom 4-0 at home a few days later.

The Cherries got back to winning ways on Boxing Day with a great 2-1 win at West Ham.

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English Championship

There have been a few more games in England's second tier and Crystal Palace's lead has almost evaporated with four draws in a row. Brentford's 3-0 hammering of lowly Ipswich helped them close the game on Boxing Day.

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Across Europe there is little change to the normal status quo with Barcelona, PSG, Juventus and Bayern leading their respective leagues as we cross in to 2023.

The first knockout rounds are known in European club competition.

Champions League

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Europa League

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Europa Conference League

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Former Club Watch

Jonah Stronge has ruined all my good work at the Bob Lucas, although he did manage to get back to winning ways at the end of December with a win over a strong Grimsby side. Stronge does appear to have bought in a few new faces.

Xander McBurnie has left for Hereford.

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Are things on the up for Jonah?

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