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[FM22] The Football Managing Mercenary


DerbyJack
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They kiss the badge, they wave to the crowd, they cry buckets of tears and swear they do it all for the club...

...Until a better offer comes along, that is.

_______

It’s everywhere in the sport, whether you like it or not.

It’s on the shirt, in the stadium, in the heads of the players, and in the hands of the owners, money flows throughout the beautiful game.

The aim of this career isn't one of building a club legacy, restoring a fallen giant or grasping the most prestigious of silverware, it is simply to become the richest manager in the game.

Having failed at this since 2015, I'm back for yet more punishment as I look to top the three highest earners in the beautiful game...

It's not exactly getting any easier...

 

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Pep Guardiola Antonio Conte Carlo Ancelotti
Manchester City Tottenham Hotspur Real Madrid
£375,000 per week £300,000 per week £250,000 per week

 

With Pep's wage growing seemingly year on year, the highest earning manager in football now earns at a staggering Three Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand pounds-a-week. A new record high.

Challenge Accepted.

Rather then simply taking over at one of Europe's elite clubs, I'll once again be going back to square one, starting with Sunday league experience and with no Coaching badges at all, with just one almighty aim.

To make it to the very top of this elite list as the highest earner in football management.

 

 
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  Derby Jack  
  -  
  £0 per week  

 

Given that my previous takes on this challenge have all ended in complete failure, multiple sackings and a complete inability to actually manage a football team, I don't exactly have a great track record.

I'll apologise in advance for what's about to happen.

With that in mind adding a rule seems rather optimistic but non the less, necessary step.

Rule 1: If at any point during my hopefully long career, I happen to be offered any position offering a higher wage I have to take the job on the spot.

Hopefully this will see me quickly rise into the top earners in the world as soon as possible.


I'm the Football Managing Mercenary.

It's time to see where my wallet takes me.

No loyalty. No dignity. Just a burning desire to make some money!

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Thanks @karanhsingh, I appreciate it!

_______

With exactly half of Football's Twenty highest earning managers all based within the English Football league, I quickly look to jump on the overflowing money-train by hastily throwing written applications to every remotely-desperate club in the Country.

…surprisingly. It worked.

Just days after haplessly spraying my rather barren footballing CV to any club that might listen, I miraculously receive a desperate plea, with the offer quickly accepted before the club can even come to their senses.

Even better yet, the fans seem to know me reputation already!

 

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Whilst hastily searching for where Curzon Ashton even is, I take my first tentative steps towards the top.

It might not quite be up there with the likes of United or Real Madrid but for a Young manager with a non existing reputation, it might as well be.

 

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Only Three Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand more to go.

A world away from the riches of Pep and company but everyone has to start somewhere right?

With the board wisely entrusting me with just one all important season to prove myself, it just remains to make an impact at the lowest rung of the ladder to start this greed filled climb to the top.

 

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A clean slate.

With the club predicted for a lowly Nineteenth place finish and the board more then happy for me to merely avoid relegation, I set about into the pre-season looking to pull together a squad capable of lifting both the clubs and my own lowly reputations in rapid style as we both look to make an entrance into the promised land of the Football League.

...I'm probably going to be sacked by Christmas.

Let's get this ****-show on the road.

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Hastily making my way onto the next train out of obscurity, I soon learn the location of my newly acquired club.

I'm already one step closer to Pep...

With the good people of Manchester rocked by the arrival of a third Managerial Superstar in their fine city and the fans of Curzon Ashton quickly googling my name in the vein hope that I have actually achieved something in the world of football, I set to work trying to get to grips with my newly acquired squad.

 

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Surely this isn't a team predicted to languish at the bottom of the table?

A small but strong squad greets me at my new home of Tameside Stadium but given that talent is essentially being able to make the most off a hoofed ball whilst avoiding a brutal two footed challenge at this level, I quickly break it to them that they will be playing the most simplistic style of football imaginable for the forth-coming future.

We're playing Four-Four-Two and they'll like it.

With that said, the squad certainly contains some players who could well prove crucial this season...

 

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Former Doncaster and Leeds prospect, Jack McKay must be wondering quite what he did wrong to end up playing at the fringes of English football with a Manager whose only achievement in football was to somehow actually talk his way into a job.

Nonetheless the determined striker is ready to prove his lot at the front of my line-up with his steady all round abilities making him one of the standout players not just in the club but potentially in the entire division. 

With the wingers set to rain crosses into the box, hopes are high that the lofty Scot can head the club to glory.

_______

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Young left-back Scott Wilson is set to be one of the finest defenders in the entire division.

Given that his nearest rival for wingback seems to be incapable of running down the flanks, that might not be the greatest praise he has ever received.

With the former Burnley-man currently operating without a Contract with the club, we could soon find ourselves fighting to keep hold of his services for the season to come.

_______

With my painfully simple tactics well in place and the squad ready and eager to prove their worth to their new manager we head into the pre-season full of anticipation...

...Fools.

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Arriving at the club mid-way through the pre-season, my first port of call is to plug the gaps in the first-team and make sure I am ready for the rough and tumble of the Vanarma National League North.

Having evaluated the entire squad based on the opinions of an assistant manager whose judgment would suggest he couldn't differentiate between Titus Bramble and Cristiano Ronaldo, this might not be the best course of action...

 

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Just one departure from the entire team as I released Jack Dunn from the club just days into my tenure.

The attacking midfielder brought very little to the team...or the world of football. I've no room for passengers.

With a tiny bit of room to maneuver in the wage budget, I head into the transfer window looking to wheel and deal my way into the title race.

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_______

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Imagine my excitement when one of football's greatest Money grabbers was announced at the club...

Sadly upon entering through the doors of Tameside Stadium, it soon became apparent that we had not in fact signed my future mentor and had actually scooped up a Twenty year old centre-back who has the audacity to not even be related to the man who sent the benchmark for grabbing a quick-buck.

Thankfully with strong defensive talents and a deal of progression yet ahead of him, my disappointment could soon be forgotten with this welcome addition to our back-line.

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Having spent the entirety of the wage budget on Big Sam, we are soon left to resort with free-signings as we quickly move to bring in a host of young talent.

First of the arrivals comes in the shape of Irish Right-back, Ray O'Sullivan. 

Having failed to make the grade at Wolves and yet to return to the competitive game for seemingly Two years, the breakthrough prospect will be looking to revitalize his career before it's too late.

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Continuing to strengthen the backline, we quickly add Lucas Gamblin to the ranks. 

Capable of playing in the middle and on the left, the former Geordie will be looking to force his way into a starting position throughout the course of the season and with his current defensive abilities few would doubt him.

With the ability to potentially make it into the Football League, it remains to be seen if we can even keep the Nineteen year old with us for long.

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With just one recognised Keeper in the entire team, we soon bring in American stopper, Hayden Evans to add some competition between the sticks.

Having moved across the Pond Two years ago, the teenager has only just been let go by our fellow Mancunians, Salford but with a deal of ability and a wealth of time ahead of him, we are quick to give the youngster another roll of the dice.

With little mercy spared in the basement of English football, the Eighteen year old could be in for a baptism of fire. 

_______

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Final arrival of the season see's me bring in some Swedish flair.

At just Eighteen the midfielder is another who could well find themselves on the wrong end of a host of tasty challenges this season but with solid all round ability and a dire need to strengthen in the middle of the park, the man of many asses could well make an instant impact in the Blue of Curzon Ashton.

The former Bolton youngster could well develop into a star of the National Leagues....or become the butt of many poor jokes. 

_______

That should do it.

With five signings and a team of my own creation rapidly taking shape, it's quickly dawned on myself that I'm now left with pretty much nowhere to hide and no-one to blame if this all goes wrong.

This should be awkward...

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July 2021

Let's get down to business...

Having briefly acknowledged the existence of the players and quickly informed one decidedly confused member of the Manchester Evening News of the arrival of a new Managerial messiah in Manchester, I turned my attention back towards the One thing that matters most in this most selfish of careers.

Me.

If I'm going to be taken seriously I'm going to need to have the badges to prove my skills.

Surely the man who believed in me would grant such a simple request...

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That's not supposed to happen. 

Clearly realising my Managerial prowess, the board stop me from gaining any form of qualification as they look to contain my potential inside Tameside Stadium.

Guess I'll be learning the hard-way then?

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17th July 2021 - Friendly

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Who needs qualifications anyway?

Sending a meteoric shockwave throughout the world of Football, I announce my arrival to the managerial scene with a Five goal thrashing of Lincolnshire's finest, Bottesford Town.

With a dominant display throughout the entire game, I swagger my way back to Manchester in style...

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24th July 2021 - Friendly

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...and I keep strutting all the way in to the next game.

Hertfordshire is next to feel the wrath of the newly arrived 'Special One', as we battle to victory over a club seemingly named after the noise of a bike bell. 

With goals once again flowing in from across the pitch, our seemingly free-scoring ways are bound to draw the attention of the big-boys before long. 

_______

31st July 2021 - Friendly

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We round off my quick-fire preseason by gifting the Curzon Ashton faithful with a taste of my managerial brilliance.

Smashing Four goals past our Welsh visitors, striker Dominic Knowles shows that he has what is takes to replicate my tactical genius on the pitch as he fires home a stunning hat-trick.

With the Nash fans suitably impressed, it only remains to keep this formidable form going.

_______

A short but solid pre-season has my over inflated ego grow to a now monumental size.

With the club scoring freely in the all Three games, I'll be expecting a strong showing as the season gets underway.

Edited by DerbyJack
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August 2021

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14th August 2021 - National League North

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I have arrived!

My debut competitive game see's The Nash roar towards a Four goal thrashing of Chester as we rapidly raise to the top of the table courtesy of Jack McKay's wand of a right-foot.

With the entire Footballing World now clearly all aware of my stunning introduction to competitive football, its surely only a matter of time before I glide through the trials of Non-League football...

_______

21st August 2021 - National League North

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...Or maybe not.

Crashing back down to earth with a bump I am quickly given a much needed wake up call as Guiseley take advantage of some hap-hazard defending to deflate my ego in rapid fashion.

With my competitive Home debut going horrendously badly despite a late consolation goal, I can at least quickly make amends with a strong showing in the next game...

_______

28th August 2021 - National League North

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This isn't how this is supposed to work.

Any attempts at paving over some rather glaringly obvious cracks are quickly destroyed as Boston United pick apart my young squad with complete ease.

With even a flat 4-4-2 formation seemingly beyond my newfound team, I'm already starting to worry about my fragile reputation. 

_______

30th August 2021 - National League North

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I don't even know what's happening now. Just Two days being thrashed by Boston we calm the Nash faithful with an upset victory.

Having rapidly prepared a number of speeches ready to defend my Managerial prowess and fully bury the players following our early rapid decline, we instead pull off a sensational victory against a sorry looking Darlington.

A convincing showing from my attacking contingent suggests that simply out-scoring our way to safety might be the best option to make up for our seemingly leaky defence.

_______

August 2021 - National League North

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Stop the count!

Having been predicted to be battling against relegation this season, we instead find ourselves riding high with the playoff contenders.

With every club in this ever competitive League all striving to climb out of the basement division, holding on to this all important position is certainly going to be no small task.

 

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Thanks as always @Punch

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September 2021

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4th September 2021 - National League North

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We continue with the Jekyll & Hyde like performances into the next month as we kick start proceedings with an efficient victory over Leamington Spa.

A first clean sheet for my usually beleaguered defence, gave me some hope that the young back four may in fact be capable of holding out this season, with Winger Adam Thomas continuing to impress down the right flank.

As we take another firm stride into the Playoff spots, it seems despite our inconsistent early form, I might actually shock the system this season.

_______

11th September 2021 - National League North

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...then again I wouldn't want to make this look too easy.

Having gone from defensive stalwarts to one of the leakiest backlines in the entire division, the squad once again conspires to inflict a morale zapping defeat against Gloucester.

Having rarely looked to be in the game from start to finish, only a pin-point Knowles penalty gives me something to cling on to.

_______

18th September 2021 - FA Cup - Second Qualifying Round

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I know where the money is...

Looking to make up for our wayward form in the League by making a decent run in the all important FA Cup, we quickly set to work dismantling Bishop's Cleeve in a suitably dominant display.

With Two more rounds ahead of us before we can even dream of facing Football League opposition, we still have plenty of work to do as I look to distract the Nash faithful with a glitzy cup run.

_______

25th September 2021 - National League North

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We return to League action and with it comes another disappointingly one-sided defeat.

Despite Knowles once again showing that he is one of the only players currently willing to fight for his decidedly arrogant boss, the visitors eventually ramp up the pace to snuff out his equaliser and cruise to a comfortable victory.

With the fans already beginning to voice their disapproval at this early stage of the season, it would seem I am in for a bruising time at the helm of the Nash.

_______

September 2021 - National League North

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Well... the playoff dream was nice whilst is lasted.

Some decidedly mixed form see's us spiral down the table to a mid-table Eleventh place, as we look to stop the rot before we enter the dreaded relegation dog-fight.

With a ferociously busy October awaiting, a decidedly unconvincing squad is going to need to click in rapid fashion.

 

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October 2021

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2nd October 2021 - FA Cup - Third Qualifying Round

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The Cup run continues to grow!

With dreams of Wembley, Giant Killings and most importantly of all, a horde of beautiful prize-money, we smash through lowly Stowmarket with a Six goal drubbing.

Having snapped up a Four goal lead within the opening half an hour, the visitors completely capitulated with a Red Card allowing us to pick up a thumping victory to lift morale in emphatic style.

_______

9th October 2021 - National League North

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On the back of the goal-fest in the cup we return to winning ways in the League as we sneak our way past Farsley Celtic in nervy fashion.

With our striker duo of McKay and Knowles finally showing signs that they can work together up-top, not even a worrying Farsley dominated second-half is enough to snatch away all Three points.

Having picked up back to back victories for the first time since taking over the club, we march into the next round of the FA Cup looking to push our way into the First Round...

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16th October 2021 - FA Cup - Fourth Qualifying Round

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...I've always considered the Cup to be a distraction to be honest.

Our Cup run ends in decidedly early fashion as we are expelled from the competition by National League side Altrincham.

With the visitors dominating proceedings a Three goal whitewash and a despondent home crowd sets the tone for a draining month of football.

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19th October 2021 - National League North

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That should inspire the Home crowd...

Any hopes of a fierce fightback from the Nash in their return to League action are soon snuffed out as we bore our way to a goalless draw with Kidderminster.

The Harriers are tipped for an outside chance at promotion this season but having failed to breakdown the sloppiest defence in the League, its safe to say the visitors were far more disappointed with the result then ourselves.

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23rd October 2021 - National League North

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...I ask myself the same thing Dale.

A crushingly disappointing draw with Spennymoor see's some promising early hard work rubbed out as we concede an equaliser with the very last kick of the game.

With Spennymoor another club tipped to be alongside us in the relegation dog-fight this season, it seems we are set to dragged down to their level in rapid fashion.

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26th October 2021 - National League North

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We make it Three draws in a row as an early flurry between Curzon and Gateshead results in the only notable action of a lifeless game.

With both sides finding the back of the net within a ferocious ten minutes, it seemed that both sides then agreed to rest for the remaining Eighty as the busy schedule zapped the game of any real energy.

On the back of Three back to back draws, the boys head out for the final game of the season looking to finally pick up some much needed points...

_______

30th October 2021 - National League North

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...or just completely capitulate and slump to a resounding defeat.

With heads hanging decidedly low, the boys are completely dismantled by a Telford side yet to have picked up a victory all season.

With heavy legs and even heavier hearts, the boys end a non-stop month at a potential new low as they seem set to join the victors towards the bottom of the table. 

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October 2021 - National League North

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Somehow, despite picking up just on victory from the last Five games, we only fall just one solitary place as the League looks to be as competitive as ever.

With Three quarters of the season still remaining, the clubs fate remains hanging decidedly in the balance as we cling on to the relative safety in the middle of the standings.

Midtable obscurity might be good for the club but for my hopes of supercars and luxury mansions, its not nearly as dramatic as I need. 

 

 

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November 2021

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6th November 2021 - National League North

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We're unable to return to winning ways in November as a frosty afternoon in Manchester plays witness to a hard earned draw between The Nash and pre-season favourites Flyde.

With the visitors tipped to cruise their way into the National League, they currently find themselves duelling painfully outside even the playoffs as they endure a torrid start to their season.

A lowly point against a Curzon Ashton side that are winless in Five at least ensures I'm not the first manager in the League to feel the heat. 

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13th November 2021 - National League North

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The winless streak continues with the squad soundly put to one side by a high-flying York.

Having dominated the entirety of the game, the visitors will be wondering how they did not win by more as only one solitary strike from long range breaks the deadlock.

With the fans starting to get restless and even myself beginning to question my once undoubted managerial brilliance, I hastily change the formation in the hopes of turning around this early blip.

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Revolutionary.

I have moved my wingers further up the pitch. I know. Sometimes I even amaze myself.

With the plan to simply take the Kevin Keegan approach to football and simply outscore my opponents whilst leaving my defence to suffer, we're either going to shoot back up the table or go out in a horrifically bright blaze of glory.

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20th November 2021 - National League North

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...It's working...

The newly appointed formation gets things underway in style as a spirited fightback see's us topple playoff chasing Brackley to end the streak in morale boosting style.

With the majority of talent in this team to be found at the top end of the pitch, hopefully this is just the beginning of our attacking focussed 4-2-4 formation.

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27th November 2021 - FA Trophy - Second Round

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We might be out of the FA Cup but theirs still one last Cup competition for me to attempt to get my gold-digging hands on to.

The FA Trophy might not involve the superstar power to be found in the Cup but with a trip to Wembley and some all important Silverware available, we quickly set to work finding our way to the next round.

Thrashing lowly Biggleswade has us brush the Amateur opposition aside as I continue to revel in the results of my new formation. Feeling like a Tactical maestro, I soon returned to the board, looking to take advantage of the recent turn around in form...

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...This is not going to plan.

Seemingly unimpressed by one slender victory in the League and a demolition of a club lost in the depths of Non-League football, The Chairman once again rejects my request to pick up a much needed coaching certificate.

It's almost like he's starting to realise he has hired a man with almost no managerial experience and a grossly inflated ego....or something.

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November 2021 - National League North

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Despite the late turnaround in form, we find ourselves slipping further down the standings as we now sit in a precarious fourteenth place.

With the club predicted for to finish even low then our current standing, I'm at least still capable of holding my head slightly high but with the club seemingly only heading in one direction, things remain decidedly suspect for my young career.

With the halfway point of the season rapidly approaching, I can only hope my tactical gamble pays off.

Edited by DerbyJack
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Thanks very much @RaySunshine, I'm hoping to actually make it at least remotely close to the top this time! Thanks as always!

Cheers @FM-AP!

Sabotage at this early stage! Definitley has nothing to do with my being useless at this managing lark. Thanks again @DefinitelyTaylor!

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December 2021

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4th December 2021 - National League North

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It's just a blip? right?

Refusing to believe that the formation can be anything short of revolutionary, our hopes of picking up back to back victories for the first time this season are soon dashed as we are heartbreakingly beaten by Alfreton.

With Two clumsy challenges from Flowers in just Half an hour of football, our resilient efforts soon ended as we conceded a late goal after nearly an entire hour of fighting against the tide. Non League football can be Brutal.

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11th December 2021 - National League North

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I'm prepared to admit this might be slightly more than a blip.

The winning ways of last month are now long forgotten as we are soundly beaten by a seemingly inspired Hereford.

With another defensive mishap gifting the home side with a quick-fire lead, they soon follow it up with a convincing display eventually increasing their hold of the points with a dominant second-half showing.

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18th December 2021 - FA Trophy - Third Round

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We retreat to the FA Trophy for sanctuary as we look to keep some kind of hope alive this season in the last remaining cup competition of the season.

National League side Grimsby were widely tipped to walk over our struggling squad but in a surprisingly strong showing from the boys we only narrowly missed out on grabbing qualification following a goal-mouth scramble and an unfortunate own goal.

With a replay just days away, I now need to rally them for a tough test at Blundell Park.

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22nd December 2021 - FA Trophy - Third Round - Replay

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Why can't we do this in the League?!

It turns out all we need to do to win is to somehow convince the referee to award us at least  Two penalties per game and then nervously cling on to the fortunate lead until the final whistle. It's simple really.

With the Nash marching on into the next round of the competition, we can thankfully ignore our torrid League form and enjoy Christmas...for now.

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26th December 2021 - National League North

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We return to League action with a lacklustre performance against a mid-table Southport.

With neither side able to come out on top and our usually panicky defence surprisingly resilient, the game fizzles out in rapid fashion as we snooze our way to a goalless draw.

Despite the solid point, the boys now find themselves once again in the midst of a losing streak as we head towards the end of the year.

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28th December 2021 - National League North

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Tell me about it Eddy!

Having witnessed the boys hit their stride and dominate the entire opening Forty-Five minutes of football, I fully expected to end the month back on a high and proclaim myself as a managerial genius once again.

Instead a horrific second -half saw a complete collapse as we dramatically burned out, gifting the home side with some early New Years eve celebrations as we slipped to a morale bursting loss.

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December 2021 - National League North

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We end 2021 without a win and resume our seemingly never-ending slide down the table with the club now languishing in a lowly Sixteenth place.

With the club now sitting just narrowly above where the media predicted, my hopes of making a sudden impact on the managerial scene seems to be dwindling out in rapid fashion.

Having tweaked tactics and repeatedly changed roles around, it seems I'm about to be exposed after just half a season of football. 

Thankfully there is a glimmer of hope in the distance...

_______

With my new game changing formation seemingly failing already, my fortunes and the clubs very status are all potentially hanging in the balance.

Fortunately the club is given an Early Christmas present in the shape of some much needed reinforcements.

The kids are alright…apparently.

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With pretty much anyone capable of kicking a football in a straight line seemingly rated as a ‘promising prospect’ for the club I’m not holding out too much hope for the forthcoming intake.

 Nonetheless, the thought of signing some promising talent for minimum wages with little to no effort of my own, is enough to get me excited for the eventual trial day.

 

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Looking to avoid fizzling out before I've even managed to witness the arrival of our new potential prodigies, we head into the January Transfer window looking to assemble a team capable of salvaging something from the season.

With gaps across the squad and some glaring issues with both our defence and the midfield, there's plenty of business to be done.

 

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First port of call is to release Two players seemingly unhappy with my style of management.

As hard as that is to believe both Luke Daly and Jack Dyche saw fit to bring up their issues with me, resulting in them languishing in the Youth team for the entirety of the season.

With no club willing to take them off my hands we eventually manage to agree two mutual terminations as we heave out Two mood lowering players.

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The next departures from our club sadly see Three crucial players all taking advantage of their non-contract status as they quickly snap up offers from near and far.

Having only arrived in the Summer, Irish starting right-back Ray O'Sullivan and American back-up stopper Hayden Evans both opt to return to their home Countries with Two full-time contracts ending their brief stay with The Nash. 

Following them out the door goes defender Marcus Poscha. Having started every game as the only experienced player in our haphazard backline, his departure certainly doesn't bode well for our hopes of claiming any more clean-sheets this season.

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First arrival of a disappointingly quiet transfer window see's us snap up a replacement back-up stopper in the shape of Nineteen year-old Michael Statham.

Having been only recently released from his contract with Nottingham Forest and with the teenager understandably yet to make an appearance in his young career, the new arrival is certainly going to have to earn his place in our starting eleven.

With a deal of development still to do and without the risk of any contract, the new signing is a solid if rather understated one for our beleaguered team.

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Our second signing of the season see's us fill in another of the newfound holes in our squad as we bring in replacement right-back Jake Kelly.

Having struggled to make the grade with Sheffield United, the Twenty year old looks to kick-start his career in the heart of Manchester as our new starting right-back.

With the defender once again signed without a contract deal, we may struggle to keep hold of the supremely determined defender for long but at least he may be able to hold his own for the remainder of this season.

_______

Well that wasn't exactly the transformative window I expected.

With Five players departing the club and only Two signed on non-contract deals, we head into this all important second-half of the season with a dangerously small squad and only one first-team signing to our names.

I'm not going to lie. I'm already preparing my escape route and a secret identity after this...

 

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January 2022

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2nd January 2022 - National League North

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We start the year in positive fashion as I quickly proclaim 2022 to be 'my year' with a surprise victory over a struggling Southport.

With Gamblin heading home the first goal of his entire career within just nine minutes, the boys struggled to hold on to their surprise lead as the home side relentlessly chased an equaliser, eventually caving into the pressure painfully close to the break.

In a display that has been sadly lacking this season, the squad remerge from the break with some grit between their teeth, curling home a deserved goal and snatching a much needed victory.

_______

8th January 2022 - National League North

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Well. At least we are still unbeaten?

Refusing to believe that this year is not in fact going to be 'my year', we can at least keep a degree of pride still in tact as we claim what could be argued to be a deserved point against Blyth Spartans.

With things in the League shaping up to be decidedly tight, this draw could well prove critical...right?

_______

11th January 2022 - National League North

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Okay. I hate this year already. 

Our winning start to 2022 is quickly forgotten as we play out a lifeless clash with Kettering as the travelling faithful enjoy a drab display at a bitterly cold Latimer Park.

Having conceded after just Thirty minutes, the boys fail to register a single shot on target in the driving January rain as we return to Manchester completely bedraggled.

 _______

15th January 2022 - FA Trophy - Fourth Round

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Well there goes my last chance of an early trip to Wembley.

As I am now face with the stark reality of being an inexperienced manager at the helm of a struggling club in the depths of the English Non League football, I soon come to one start realisation.

This cannot be my fault. With the players clearly struggling to understand my tactical brilliance, I set to work tweaking our 4-2-4 formation.

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Ruthless. Aggression.

My hopes of bursting the back of multiple nets and at least going swinging didn't quite come to fruition following our formation change last month but with the dial now turned up to eleven, we look to take one last monumental roll of the dice.

With instructions to bomb forward, the pace ramped up and the entire team instructed to pump the ball towards the strikers as quickly as possible, we head into the second half of the season ready to wage war....or die trying.

_______

22nd January 2022 - National League North

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I am a tactical genius.

With the ball pinging from one box to another in near constant fashion, the superior finishing of my often stranded front two pays dividends as we romp to an entertaining Six goal victory.

Admittedly, we may have conceded Three but with the Home crowd finally given something to truly cheer about, they might at least by able to forget the egotistical buffoon at the helm of their club.

_______

29th January 2022 - National League North

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Is there anyway to spin Two goals as a 'goal frenzy'?

With the travelling fans buoyed by the seeming free-scoring Nash just one week prior, they are once again brought back down to earth as we struggle out way to a one-all draw with an equally disappointing Flyde.

As I try to convince both them and myself that this is just another minor blip on my road to success, we end the month with question still very much lingering over my future at the club.

_______

January 2022 - National League North

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Another decidedly mixed month for the Nash has the club surprisingly climbing a potentially season changing Three places up the table.

With the gap between us and the rest of the clubs battling away right towards the foot of the table only down to a slender handful of points, our position in the middle of the table at least gives me some a false of security. 

The business end of the season is now rapidly approaching. With my contract due to expire at the end of the season, my aim for the year is suddenly reduced to merely finishing above the pre-season prediction of Nineteenth.

Not exactly the instant impact I was hoping for... 

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February 2022

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The month is interrupted by some off the pitch business as a minor disagreement with third choice striker Craig Hobson ends up with him departing the club...

Having demanded first team football and being fully prepared to kick up a fuss until he got it, I refused to bow into his demands as Hobson is quickly pushed out of the club...good riddance!

I'm a mercenary not a people pleaser.

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5th February 2022 - National League North

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Our new goal scoring tweaks fail to reap any rewards for the second game in a row as we struggle to a one all draw with struggling Telford side.

With Knowles continuing his impressive run of goal scoring form of late, an early strike sadly failed to reap any rewards as we instead played out the rest of the game on the back foot.

With the visitors predictably finding the back of the net on the hour mark we are once again forced to accept one solitary point.

_______

12th February 2022 - National League North

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With the boys seemingly incapable of winning without scoring at least Two goals, we at least get half of my pre-match instructions right, but worryingly forget one crucial part.

Scoring more then the opposition.

Having admirably fought back from a Two goal deficit, we instead switch off with a potential morale boosting result within their reach, gifting York with a winner against the run of play. 

_______

19th February 2022 - National League North

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That's more like it!

We finally get things in the right order in the most dramatic of fashions as our attacking instructions finally reap their rewards against a playoff chasing Brackley.

With another draw seemingly on the cards following a Ninetieth minute equaliser, the ever impressive Alex Curran refused to accept the result, tearing through the defence to snatch a final second winner.

_______

22nd February 2022 - National League North

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Back to back victories for the first time this season!

Buoyed by their impressive victory over Brackley, the squad continue their winning ways into the next game as they destroy a once formidable Hereford.

Having thrashed us by the same score line in the reverse fixture just Two months ago, I quickly proclaim my tactics to be incredible and march straight into the Chairman's office with my list of demands...

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Either convinced by the clubs sudden turn around in form or simply drunk on celebratory champagne, I've finally been able to eek some money out of this club.

With my contract ending in just a handful of months and keen to ensure I at least leave the club with something before this season is through, I finally set about picking up so much needed qualifications.

With one eye on self improvement and another actually proving my worth from the dug-out its time to get this career truly underway...

_______

26th February 2022 - National League North

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An uncharacteristic One goal victory rounds off one of the most impressive months of my young career courtesy of Big Sam himself.

Having previously declared them to be incapable of winning by just One solitary goal, the club move on to prove me wrong with a ruthlessly efficient performance over a midtable Alfreton.

With a solid showing at the heart of the defence and a commanding header in our only attack of note in the entire game, Allardyce is quickly becoming one of the best players in our admittedly questionable defence.

_______

February 2022 - National League North

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From potential relegation battlers to an outside bet for the playoffs.

The Vanarama National League North is proving to be about as unpredictable as ever and with the club in the midst of our first ever run of victories, we are poised and ready to take quick advantage.

As I struggle to remain calm whilst already planning my victorious promotion speech, we head into the last Three months of the season with something to actually prove.

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The first award of my entire career goes deservedly to one of the clubs most improved players.

Having been seemingly unleashed since his move further up the pitch, Curran has reigned supreme down the right flank as he flings crosses into the box in relentless fashion.

Two assists and a game winning brace see's the Twenty Three year old cap a solid month for the Nash.

 

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March 2022

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5th March 2022 - National League North

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I've cracked it!

A sensational month for the Nash gets underway with a well earned victory over a struggling Gloucester side.

With the seemingly sensational duo of Knowles and Curran both in inspired form, a dominant first half see's them both find the back of the net as we ride our luck to the final whistle to maintain our unbeaten run at the best possible time.

_______

12th March 2022 - National League North

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We continue to push the pace as we fightback to overcome Bradford Park Avenue.

Another ruthless showing from our apparently unstoppable striker has Knowles once again celebrating an unlikely victory as the club suddenly transforms into one of the Leagues most in-form sides in rapid fashion.

With goals flowing at both of ends of the pitch, I will soon be known as the most entertaining manager in Non-League football.

_______

19th March 2022 - National League North

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...its just a blip.

Despite setting a new club record, the decidedly dull draw with a lowly Farsley Celtic ends the clubs winning streak and dampens the spirits of the Nash faithful in rapid fashion.

My hopes of creating a career as the most goal crazed manager in the depths of English football receives a well deserved reality check.

_______

22nd March 2022 - National League North

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Back up to speed!

Continuing to showcase that we are incapable of winning without at least making the games at least slightly nerve-wracking, we instantly return to our impressive ways as we storm through the imaginatively named Gateshead International Stadium.

With the club now in the midst of a Eight game unbeaten steak, we find ourselves rapidly starting to climb up a still surprisingly close table.

_______

26th March 2022 - National League North

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We round off the month with a McKay inspired victory over Playoff contenders Kidderminster Harriers.

With the tactic seemingly working and a large degree of luck landing squarely in the middle of my lap, the Nash have suddenly come into life as a true powerhouse of a club at this perilously low level.

I've ever stumbled my way into an actual tactic of worth or we are actually starting to believe.

_______

March 2022 - National League North

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Obviously as a managerial maestro, I fully predicted this complete turn-around in fortunes...

From relegation contenders, to midtable obscurity all the way up to a spot on the fringes of the playoffs.

In the span of Three months, the clubs fortunes have transformed along with my own. Way above expectations working towards my first badge and scoring with apparent ease.

This Non-League business is simple...

 

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With our fortunes dramatically turned around, there is still room for yet more good news as we welcome the Youth intake of 2022.

Tipped to be an exceptional intake of players, many were excited to witness the arrival of some of the most prestigious teenagers in Curzon Ashton's short history and the hype did not disappoint.

With a host of talent across the entire youth team, we take the time to showcase Three of the best to the Tameside Stadium faithful.

 

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Six foot tall, a fine mop of blonde hair and already possessing the hallmarks of a solid shot-stopper, all at the tender age of just Sixteen. 

Makes you sick doesn't it? Jealousy aside, we've got ourselves a real talent here.

Marc Mills is destined to make it into the Football League at some point during his tentative career but for the time being he will remain rooted in the Under-18s until we can offer him an all important starting spot between the sticks.

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We continue to keep the talent rolling in with teenage left-back, Paul Chandler.

Walking straight into the first-team, the talented full-back already possesses the talents to make him capable of even grabbing some game time behind players a decade older then him.

With talent down the wings seemingly difficult to find at this level, the recent arrival is a welcome one to our ranks. 

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We saved the best for last.

The incredibly determined Hafizul Feeney is destined for bigger and better things then the Vanarama National Leagues.

Already boasting the technical abilities of players tried and tested at this level, the supremely impressive Fifteen year old is ushered straight into the first-team and currently operates as our third choice striker whilst we deliberate where to ply his impressive talents.

_______

Things are looking up.

With the club surprisingly finding their form on the pitch at the most pivotal point of the season and the youth facilities gifting us with some much needed reinforcements, we head into the final Two months of the season buoyed with new found confidence.

My arrival to the top is written in the stars.

Edited by DerbyJack
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April 2022

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2nd April 2022 - National League North

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The month starts in the usual goal-scoring fashion as we battle to a narrow loss over Spennymoor.

With the visitors narrowly managing to come out on top in an end to end battle, the boys return to the dressing room in a downcast fashion despite the entertaining spectacle.

Despite the narrow loss there was at least something to celebrate for my adoring fans...

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9th April 2022 - National League North

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With another year at the club now assured and another One Hundred and Twenty Five pounds now making its way into my greedy clutches every week, I thank the club for their resounding faith in the finest way possible...

A lifeless bore draw.

On the back of the goalless performance I quickly remind the fans of my previous brilliance with a prompt and completely humble post-match interview...

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15th April 2022 - National League North

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Well if that doesn't convince them that I'm a 'brilliant manager', then I don't know what will.

Whilst the club completely collapses to a resounding defeat at the hands of a playoff pursuing Darlington, I rapidly check the contract for any get out clause in the small print as my hopes of a playoff finish seemingly go up in smoke.

 As I resign myself to the harsh realities of another year in the basement division of English Football I can at least rest assured that we are still flying way above expectations...

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18th April 2022 - National League North

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...For the time being at least.

We make it back to back defeats for the first time this year as our once lofty status towards the top of the table, only leaves the club with a sudden nose bleed as they stumble their way back down the table in despondent fashion.

Having only truly impressed in just one month of this most inconsistent of seasons, I guess I should hardly be surprised by our sudden return to losing ways.

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23rd April 2022 - National League North

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That should hopefully put an end to that doom and gloom.

Thankfully putting an end to our small losing streak, we manage to salvage a dramatic last-gasp draw at a stunned Nethermoor Park.

With just a handful of games remaining until the season comes to its inevitable close, the hard-earned point could well prove vital for the clubs now threadbare playoff hopes.

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30th April 2022 - National League North

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Losing streak. What losing streak?

The club finally rediscovers its free-scoring ways as we blast our way through Leamington Spa in reassuringly ruthless fashion.

With Jack McKay once again rediscovering his shooting boots at the most crucial of times, the club ends the penultimate month of the season on what could well prove to be another season defining victory.

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April 2022 - National League North

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I'm not even entirely sure how we are still in this race.

With the club picking up one victory in the entire month we somehow only manage to slip down just one further place in the standings as we look to claim an unexpected playoff spot with just Two games of the season remaining.

Admittedly the odds and our form may seem to not be in our favour but with no one seemingly willing to actually grab the final remaining spot in the playoffs, perhaps I can end my debut season on a real high. 

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May 2022

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2nd May 2022 - Vanarama National North

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The entire season boils down to these Two vital games and we quickly ensure to make things as difficult as possible as we instantly drop points in the very first game.

Despite the heart-breaking draw, we once again find ourselves still in the contention to claim the final playoff spot as the surrounding clubs continue to fall apart around us in almost suspicious fashion.

With the entire race seemingly coming down to the wire and potentially even goal difference, our entire season boils down to this final Ninety minutes. 

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7th May 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Well. That was surprisingly convincing. We end the season on a monumental high as we do our utmost to claim a place in the playoffs in the most dramatic of fashions.

With Curran sending us into the break in the lead and Knowles re-emerging in seemingly inspired form, we blitz through Kettering as the only determined team seemingly left in the race. 

As the final whistle blew, fans and players alike gathered around to await the results from across the North of the Country...

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May 2022 - Vanarama National North

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With all of the clubs around us apparently refusing to accept the last spot in the playoffs, we gleefully march our way into a shot at the Vanarma National League in worryingly gullible fashion.

Despite feeling worryingly cautious of our place in the playoffs and with a vastly inferior goal difference and points total, I can't help but think this is destiny.

I might not have deserved it, worked for it or indeed shown any actual talent at reaching it but my promotion dream is on! This was meant to be. 

The playoffs await...

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11th May 2022 - Vanarama National North Playoff - First Round

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....and it's gone.

Probably earlier then the fans, board and even players would have liked, my brief flirtation with Promotion is quickly nipped in the bud in the most disappointing of fashions.

Having hinted at a potential upset in an impressively competitive game, the boys eventually run out of steam just before the final whistle as the early pre-season favourites look to salvage their season in the playoffs.

I guess it wasn't meant to be after all...

 

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A positive start?

Having fully expected to either end the season at the foot of the table or simply unemployed, my first season in the beautiful game ends on a surprising high.

From a preseason prediction of Nineteenth, to a surprising and altogether rather brief entry into the playoffs and the Curzon Ashton history books.

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The first chapter of what will undoubtedly prove to be a monumental saga is done and dusted.

Presumably the Three highest earners in the game have already sensed a disturbance in the outer reaches of the beautiful game.

Well. Maybe Two of them at least...

 

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Pep Guardiola Carlo Ancelotti Jürgen Klopp
Manchester City Real Madrid Liverpool
£375,000 per week £250,000 per week £250,000 per week

 

Antonio Conte has gone. 

The second highest earner at the start of my career has already paid the ultimate price as Tottenham sack the Italian mid-way through the season in what must have been one of the most costly appointments in recent history.

Taking his place comes Liverpool's worshipped leader, Jürgen Klopp as the Top Three all remain earning at least One million pounds a month.

Well. A man can dream...

 

 
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  Derby Jack  
  Curzon Ashton  
  £675 per week  

 

It's... Something?

Having earned a new contract in the latter stages of the season, I've already received my first all important pay-raise as we end the first season inching towards the top.

Thankfully some end of season studying could well turn this marathon journey into a full on sprint to the top.

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Having taunted, boasted and been thoroughly greedy at every available opportunity, I can at least take some solace in the fact that I'm not a complete footballing moron.

With my claims of managerial brilliance apparently not enough on its own merit to earn myself a climb up the standings, I'm going to need to keep the qualifications coming if I'm to one day rub shoulders with the managerial elite.

For now, its another season in the outer reaches of Manchester as we head back into the brutal world of Non-League football looking to reinforce my legacy.

Edited by DerbyJack
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uEiETCBOhm4R-RDuCQ2PAXiKM6z_e5lzpx8nJEVFMr4z8csYfK48DY3bRu6mo6iOG4vpr3Sv52__vf7FlIg9ep0Jzr6V6vL-OWHkYgtQe8sjs0IB3pQXOr_KGadOaUiiCQBUMIXA

 

Surprisingly a Seventh placed finish in deepest darkest Manchester hasn't seen my reputation take the meteoric rise I predicted.

I guess I need to stun the footballing world once more then.

Having scraped our way into the playoffs, I head into the transfer window looking to build on the club's already impressive progress and force our way back into promotion contention. 

 

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Before I can set about amassing the Non-League Galacticos we are soon dealt a hammering blow with the end of Big Sam's ,much sought after contract.

With the young defenders head turned by a host of courting clubs in League Two, our Summer signing refuses to negotiate a new deal with the club as he opts to make himself a free-agent at the end of an impressive season with The Nash.

Joining him out the club goes want-away defender Matty Waters and an increasingly unhappy Luke Merrill. With both men furious at potentially playing second fiddle this season, we opt to send both men packing.

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Continuing to weaken my already depleted defence, we also see the end of Star player Scott Wilson from the club.

The experienced left-back seemed content to remain with the club for another season as a Non-contracted player but when mighty Carlisle stepped in with a part-time deal, the impressive defender soon leapt for the exit.

With midfielder Jordan Lussey joining him out the door, we see a Five players leave an already small squad as I desperately set to work, reassembling the team in my new attacking form.

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The first signing of the season has us raiding even further down the Non-League standings as we head into the Peak District to snap up Buxton's Italian maestro, Diego De Girolamo.

With Two lethal strikers already in the line-up, De Girolamo may well find himself forced out onto the flanks but with his nippy pace and more flair than the National League North has potentially ever seen before, he could well tear it up down the left.

Having taken up a large chunk of the wage budget, the pressure will certainly be on the Summer's biggest signing. 

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With Sam Allardyce wisely packing his bags for the bright lights of the football league, the defence once again took centre stage in the transfer window.

We soon set to work trying to fill the void left by the departure, with the signing of experienced Non-League defender, Toby Mullarkey.

With solid all round defensive skills and a deal of experience at the heart of Altrincham's defence last season, the bargain signing could well prove to be one of the transfers of the season.

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We continue to bolster our ever fragile defence with the signing of Nineteen year old Kosovan, Andi Janjeva.

Seemingly built to do nothing but defend, the former Watford product has left the relative comfort of the Premier League to hone his 'skills' in the brutal world of the National League.

Having apparently practiced nothing but the art of ball winning since becoming a professional player, it remains to be seen if the teen even knows what to do with the ball at his feet.

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With my lack of defenders partially resolved, I soon turn my attention back to the midfield as we move to bring in Casey Pettit and his magnificent Curtains.

Having been unable to make the grade with a rapidly rising Luton, Pettit looks to revitalise his career at the heart of our midfield for the forthcoming season.

Having fought off a number of League rivals to land our man, the solid all round midfielder certainly has the ability to push himself back into the Football League and fully intend to ride his coat-tails all the way there.

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With only teenage sensation Paul Chandler capable of filling in as our left-back, we quickly made moves to bring in former Sheffield United prospect, Harry Boyes.

Having spent the last Two season on loan within Non-League football, the Twenty Year old is fully accustomed to the bruising environment of National league football.

Possessing some decent speed and a half-decent cross, young Harry Boyes could well be looking to rain in an assist or two when pushing our attacking overlaps down the wings.

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Final arrival of the window see's us continue to strengthen the core of the team as we bring in Non-League journeyman, Nathan Lowe.

Having plied his trade across a host of clubs throughout Northern England, the experienced Twenty-Six year old arrives at Tameside looking to continue his growing reputation as a lower league midfield general.

Capable of filling a multitude of roles in the middle of the park, the solid arrival will be pulling the strings behind our attacking quartet.  

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They’re not exactly glamorous transfer windows down here are they?

With Pep and co. dealing in multi-million pound transfer fees, astronomical wages and superstar agents, I'm left signing players down on their luck, recently released and on the verge of exiting the beautiful game altogether.

With that said, despite two major departures, I'm nonetheless pleased with the windows dealings as a new and altogether more resilient Curzon Ashton head into the season buoyed with new-found confidence.

Time to drill that out of them with a gruelling preseason workout.

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Thanks very much @keeper#1!

 _______

July 2022

Nothing quite inspires me to strive more then the prospect of a lower league preseason with a club on the fringes of the beautiful game.

With the prospect of a mid-week trip to Scarborough dauntingly hanging over me, I quickly head back to the Chairman looking to push these career ever onwards.

Having led the club to their highest ever finish, I presumed my request would simply be a formality...

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Fantastic.

Having surprised everyone, especially myself with my first full season at the helm of a football club, it would seem the Chairman is now determined to once again keep me trapped in the Tameside Stadium.

If I'm to earn those luxury preseason travels to the outer reaches of South Asia, I guess I'm going to have to do it the hard way.

 _______

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11th July 2022 - Friendly

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We start the preseason by taking a trip to play the youngster from our cross-town neighbours.

With the United Under Twenty Threes boasting some serious talent for their visit to the Tameside Stadium, we surprisingly held our own in a ferocious back and forth game.

Having largely held our own against the future superstars, we narrowly miss out on a morale boosting draw courtesy of a harsh goal in the dying minutes of the match

 _______

16th July 2022 - Friendly

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Whilst the United prodigies leave Tameside destined for future stardom, we instead take the trip to the coast as we visit the seaside resort of Scarborough.

In another end to end game from the club, we narrowly claim the victory courtesy of a resurgent first half of dominant action.

With the victory assured we leave the coast to return back to Tameside to see out the rest of the warm-up fixtures.

 _______

20th July 2022 - Friendly

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Having recently been relegated to League One, Forest arrived in Manchester looking to quickly get back up to speed for their forth-coming season in the ever brutal third tier.

Dominating the entire game, the fallen giants proceed to run rampant against the Nash, as our attacking mindset fails to trouble the Tricky Trees in a decidedly one-sided Ninety minutes.

With the defence now shipping in Nine goals in the last Three games, it seems that despite my efforts in the transfer window, we are still going to have to rely on simply outscoring the opposition.

 _______

27th July 2022 - Friendly

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Welsh 'Titans' TNS are next to arrive in Manchester, as they take a brief break from their Europa Conference League qualifiers.

Despite the visitors being seemingly focused on their quest to qualify for the latest European competition, they still manage to pick up the victory in an encouragingly close game at Tameside.

With new arrival De Girolamo, scoring his first goal in the Blue of Curzon, hopes are high that the Italian can continue to impress as we barrel towards the start of the season.

 _______

30th July 2022 - Friendly

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We round off the Friendlies with a trip to the Peak District and lowly Matlock Town.

Looking to end on a morale-boosting high, we are quickly given a reason to be excited for the season ahead, as Sixteen year old prodigy Paul Chandler scores his first ever goal with a sensational solo effort from the left wing.

Eager to stop the Teen from stealing all the spotlight, the ever reliable Knowlesy quickly returns focus back on him with a late neat finish putting a deserved gloss on the finish.

 _______

With the defence only seemingly capable of keeping a clean sheet against the easiest of opposition and the strikers thankfully showing that they still know the route to the goal.

It seems we are set to once again take the 'Kevin Keegan' approach to football for the forth coming season.

With goals guaranteed and entertainment assured, I head into my second season pushing an uncompromising commitment to attacking football

At least I can ensure our games and more importantly my management expertise are impossible to miss.

Edited by DerbyJack
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Cheers @DefinitelyTaylor, so far any application I make is seemingly filed straight into the trash, I need to make an impact somehow!

Thanks alot @RogerC, I appreciate it.

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August 2022

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13th August 2022 - Vanarama National North

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The season starts with a typical goal frenzy as my developing brand of attacking football see's the league get underway in the most entertaining of fashions.

With the one ever faithful member of the Manchester Evening News deciding to imaginatively dub my new tactics 'Jack-Ball' it appears I've taken the first steps towards crafting myself a reputation.

Ensuring the tactics remain as gung-ho as possible, we head into the rest of the season ready to thrill the Non-League faithful...

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16th August 2022 - Vanarama National North

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'Jack-Ball'...Truly stunning.

Just Three days after our Six goal thriller with Chester, we return to League action with a beleaguered bore-draw against potential promotion prospects Gloucester.

With the boys struggling to get up to speed at this early stage of this season, it appears things might not be quite as entertaining as I hoped.

 

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20th August 2022 - Vanarama National North

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We thankfully return to winning ways as we cruise past Blyth Spartans with a quick-fire double.

Our Italian Summer signing, De Girolamo continues to impress upfront alongside both Knowles and McKay, his second goal of the season inspiring an impressive all round performance from The Nash.

The efficient victory is sadly overshadowed by the first injury of my entire career as young Harry Boyes gets a rough introduction to life in the basement of English football following a rugby like challenge in the dying minutes of the game.

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27th August 2022 - Vanarama National North

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We continue to strive forward as another De Girolamo inspired victory has us clinically put away promotion favourites Fylde.

Having scored just Four minutes into the game, a seemingly controlled victory was suddenly thrown into chaos as a two-footed lunge from Harry Flowers saw a straight red-card reduce us down to ten men.

Surprisingly despite being down a man, the boys rallied in impressive style as they proceeded to put the game beyond doubt with a trademark Knowlesy finish.

_______

29th August 2022 - Vanarama National North

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We end an impressive month in fittingly impressive style as we barrel through a sorry looking Stalybridge.

Once again the Italian sharpshooter strikes within just moments of the opening whistle to set the wheels in motion but its the seemingly unflappable Knowles that quickly snatches back the limelight.

A perfect hat-trick from the fan favourite see's the Tameside faithful sent into delirium as they begin to dream of another shot at the playoffs.

_______

August 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Despite being predicted to finish in the obscurity of midtable, the club starts the season in the same surprising fashion it ended the last one.

Charging our way into the early running for promotion, it seems my newly formed squad is determined to seek glory.

Whilst I revel in the early glory and attempt to claim all the credit to myself, a end of month award for our ever attention-grabbing striker soon has me sulking back into the shadows...

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Seemingly inspired by our attacking intent, Knowlesy has quickly emerged as one of the most lethal finisher in the entire league.

Kick starting the season with a goal, every game, the experienced finish is revelling in the attention and sometimes singlehandedly dragging me out of obscurity.

Despite it being a long way to go to the end of the season, it already appears my early reputation may well rest on the laces of Knowles' right foot.

Edited by DerbyJack
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September 2022

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3rd September 2022 - Vanarama National North

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We start a surprisingly promising month with a convincing victory over Nuneaton Borough.

With an entirely lifeless first half suggesting we were set for a return to the boredraws, the game suddenly burst into life in an action packed second.

With McKay and Lowe chipping in from the midfield, it only remains for Knowles to put a gloss on the finish with his Sixth goal of the season already.

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10th September 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Keen to seemingly steal some of the attention for himself, our Italian Stallion stuns Spennymoor and the Nash faithful with a game clinching hat-trick.

Having opened the scoring with a quick-fire brace, the former Buxton forward rounds off an impressive afternoon with an all important clinical penalty as we cling on for all Three points.

With the visitors making it a decidedly nervy finish, I'm quick to handle the post-match interview in the respectful and modest manner you would expect from a money-grabbing mercenary...

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13th September 2022 - Vanarama National North

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The ego is growing out of control...

As I continue to rub every other manager in the game the wrong way in a series of self-centred interviews with a a Manchester Evening News reporter desperately regretting his career choices, we remarkably maintain our unstoppable winning ways.

Adding more fuel to the fire, a sensational first half has my wingers both combine from either flank to see off a potential tricky Bradford Park Avenue and send us barging our way to the top.

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17th September 2022 - FA Cup - Second Qualifying Round

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With things in the League going surprisingly well, we are nearly handed an early shock exit from the cup as we narrowly overcome minnows Atherton Collieries.

Having been unable to break through some rigid defending throughout a disappointingly even Ninety minutes, some heavy legs and tired minds see's the game come to a drama filled conclusion deep into extra time.

With both sides finding the back of the net, it seemed we were set for the lottery of penalties until the unflappable Knowles stepped forward to break the home crowds hearts.

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24th September 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Despite the energy zapping Cup fixture the week prior, the boys return to League action seemingly inspired by our table topping form.

Recently relegated Altrincham are next to feel the wrath of the inform Nash as a ruthless all round performance see's them stroll to a Five goal victory.

With the club apparently motivated beyond belief, I simply have to sit back and ride this galvanized form all the way to the title. 

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29th September 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Whilst trying to claim that Knowles form is somehow related to my managerial masterclass, the Thirty Year old finisher is quick to showcase his stunning talents.

Having placed my early hopes for the season entirely on the finishing of our in-form striker, he continues to lead the club onwards as he almost singlehandedly dominates the entire Ninety minutes in deepest darkest Yorkshire.

With Guiseley's defence uncapable of coping with wave after wave of attacks from my surprisingly effective 4-2-4 formation, the club seems determined to demand respect from the Football world.

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September 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Top of the table, one of only Two teams unbeaten in the entire Country and scoring goals with apparent ease.

Its surely only a matter of time before I draw the interest of a European giant and the riches I desire.

With a huge chuck of the season still remaining and clubs seemingly demanding some experience of promotion in order to even consider me a genuine contender, we still have plenty of work to do.

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Complete and utter supremacy.

The might of Curzon's attack holds no prisoners as we make a clean sweep of the Player of the Month award with the striker partnership of Knowles and De Girolamo joined by winger Adam Thomas.

With all Three seemingly scoring at will, their reign of dominance in the National League North seems to have only just begun. 

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I have finally arrived.

The first award of my career lands on my desk at Tameside Stadium as I relish in finally being recognised for my apparent tactical nuance and undoubted natural managing talent.

Turfing out the clubs meagre trophies and placing my newly earned award pride of place in the clubs trophy cabinet, its quickly back to the action as I try to work out just how this is actually working before someone realises I have no actual clue what I am doing.

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October 2022

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1st October 2022 - FA Cup - Third Qualifying Round

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With two awards already this season, Knowles takes a giant stride towards claiming the history goal-scorer award in England's biggest Cup competition as he blast home a game winning hat-trick.

Having scored the deciding goal in the previous Cup game, the lethal finisher seems determined to win everything in front of him as he maintains his relentless pace.

With dreams of FA Cup Third Round ties against the Premier League giants now filling the heads of the Nash faithful, the clubs cup run no gathers pace.

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8th October 2022 - Vanarama National North

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With our new singing Casey Pettit, opening the floodgates within just Two minutes, it seemed the Nash were set to witness another goal-fest for their beloved club until things went decidedly down-hill.

Having pegged the club back just seconds after their opener, the visitors went on to carve through the home side with ease, killing off the tie with Twenty One minutes of complete and utter dominance. 

The sorry result is compounded further when the board approach me with a new contract on the table...

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15th October 2022 - FA Cup - Fourth Qualifying Round

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With the board offering me a cut in wages and a Two year extended 'sentence', it seems we certainly have different ideas for my fledgling career.

Thankfully with the angry words from our previous match still ringing in their ears and buoyed by their seemingly frustrated manager, the boys take to the field of the Hive Stadium as we exterminate the Bees with surprising ease.

Having pulled off a minor upset with their emphatic victory, the club now marches in to the First Round for the first time in their history as I look to impress the Football League in style. 

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18th October 2022 - Vanarama National North

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With Cup dreams apparently still flooding their heads, we return to League action with a thriller against fellow high-flyers, Gateshead.

Having carved out a deserved Two goal lead, it seemed we were set to build on our lead at the top of the table until a sudden and devastating collapse handed the Tynesiders a stunning comeback victory.

With our place at the head of the table now looking to be decidedly wobbly, it seems we are going to have to work to keep hold of our unexpected lead. 

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22nd October 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Despite the disappointment of the previous game, the boys re-emerge with style in the next game as they handily dismantle Farsley Celtic. 

With Thomas once again impressing down the wing to score the opening goal and the ever present Knowles tucking home a neat penalty, the boys this time make no mistake as they convincingly hold on to the all important points.

Back now to winning ways, we head in to the next game, keen to rebuild the gap between us and the chasing pack... 

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29th October 2022 - Vanarama National North

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...or struggle to a painful bore-draw and one solitary point.

With our usually free-scoring attackers nullified by some imperious defending from the home side, we're sent packing from Latimer Park without a goal for our relentless efforts.

Having seemingly been the only club actually attempting to win the game, it seems our National League North rivals might genuinely be worried by the free-scoring Mancunians.

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October 2022 - Vanarama National North

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With the club tasting defeat for the first time this season, our time at the top now hangs perilously in the balance as the chasing pack begin to sharpen their knives behind us.

With Bradford Park Avenue and our vanquishers, Gateshead both in sensational form, it seems the stage if set for a fierce battle in the race for the sole automatic promotion spot.

Little do they know, I have absolutely no honour and even less pride as we throw everything into chasing the unexpected race for promotion.

Edited by DerbyJack
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November 2022

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5th November 2022 - FA Cup - First Round

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An insanely busy month gets underway with the Cup entrance into the FA Cup proper as we face off against a struggling Scunthorpe.

Taking advantage of the Irons appalling form, we pile on the misery with a De Girolamo inspire victory over the Home side as we take one step closer to the all important money-spinning Third Round.

With the club seemingly in inspired form in the Cup, the chance to impress a Footballing giant is one not to be missed.

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8th November 2022 - Vanarama National North

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We return to the League with a derby day thumping of rivals FC United.

An expected war between the Two Mancunian minnows in Tameside Stadium instead turns in to a complete massacre as we slaughter the visitors in merciless fashion.

With Knowles hat-trick furthering his status among the Nash faithful, the mood around the club is growing to fever pitch as everyone begins to believe in the clubs push for promotion.

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12th November 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Fresh from the Five goal battering of FC United, we resume our hold of the title as we narrowly overcome Chorley in a tense victory at the Tameside Stadium.

With Chorley determined to avoid the same fate as FC United, the home side reliantly defend wave after wave of Nash attacks as we desperately hunt down all Three points.

The strong defence eventually is brought to a crashing end as a last ditch challenge in the box fells Knowles, who steps and brushed himself down to tuck home the winning goal of perilously a close game.

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16th November 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Having broken down the determined defence of Chroley in the previous game, Darlington opt to stand toe to toe with the Nash resulting in a thrilling goal-fest at the Tameside Stadium.

Shooting into a command Three goal lead in a dominant first half of football and shutting down any attempts at a come back with apparent ease, the game is suddenly thrown into jeopardy with just seconds remaining as Darlington launch a rampant surge just seconds before the whistle.

Only just managing to cling on to the points, I soon decide to take advantage of the nerve-wracking victory by hoping to catch the Chairman in an equally generous mood

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19th November 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Once again left frustrated by the board, I take out my frustrations in the next game with a resounding thumping of Alfreton.

With the Reds attempting to keep out the Leagues most potent attacking with yet more commendable defending, their eventual collapse late in the second half, see's heads drop as our lethal attack strikes on their wounded prey. 

Smashing home a goal-a-piece our seemingly unflappable front-line seems hell-bent on dragging the team forward with ruthless predator instinct...

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22nd November 2022 - Vanarama National North

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...Well. Most of the time at least.

Having seen off all-comers this month, the club is finally held by Brackley as our Four man attack is eventually blunted by the undeterred visitors.

Frustrated by the impressive defence, the clubs fruitless efforts eventually boil over into anger as a two footed lunge from substitute Challoner see's us reduced to Ten men just moments before the final whistle.

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26th November 2022 - FA Trophy - Second Round

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We are unable to bounce back from the frustrating draw as we turn our attention to the FA Trophy.

With the club already deep into their FA Cup run and having seen off both National league and League Two opposition, the Non-League competition presents them with a real opportunity to make a welcome trip to Wembley this season as formidable underdogs. 

Despite the lofty goal, the club are unable to claim their place in the next round, ending the match merely fortunate to cling on to a replay back at Tameside.

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30th November 2022 - FA Trophy - Second Round - Replay

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Quick to make amends for the unneeded replay in their already busy fixture, our usually reliable attack thankfully returns to form in front of the Nash faithful to eventually ease their way into the next round.

Led by the never ending runs of winger Adam Thomas, an early brace and a De Girolamo long ranged effort prove to be enough to finally put away York as we end a non-stop month in promising fashion.

With the club seemingly determined to romp to victory in every competition available, my reputation must surely be on the cusp of attracting some long-awaited riches.

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November 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Whilst I dream of Lamborghini's, rolexes and luxury yachts, the realities of life in a league defined by muddy pitches and concrete terraces soon has me crashing back down to earth.

Nonetheless things are certainly looking up for the high-flying Nash as we rebuild our lead in rapid fashion and stride towards promotion in confident fashion.

With a little over half of the season still remaining, I simply need to maintain the clubs formidable form and hold out for my long awaited offer from above. 

Edited by DerbyJack
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December 2022

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4th December 2022 - FA Cup - Second Round

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Our dreams of playing against a Premier League titan in a ground breaking tie in the Third Round are soon brought crashing down around our ears as we are soundly beaten by Swindon Town.

The League Two side had little time for the romance of a Non-League Cup run as they easily dismantle the minnows and dump us out of the competition.

With just the FA Trophy now left to concentrate on, I'm once again left stranded in the depths of Non-League football.

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7th December 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Our return to League action ends with a heart-breaking finish as we play out another thrilling draw with Southport.

With both sides trading blows through the entire game, it seemed the ever reliable Knowles was going to have the final say when he fired home the Third goal of the game but with time ticking down, the home side rallied one last time.

Smashing home a thunderous effort with the whistle poised on the lips of the referee, the club return to Manchester with their heads slung low with just a solitary point to their name. 

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13th December 2022 - Vanarama National North

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Thankfully we are not left to sulk on the draw for long as we quickly make amends with a routine victory over perennial strugglers Telford. 

A Two goal salvo in the opening half an hour see's Nash charge into the lead in convincing fashion as they proceed to ride out the rest of the game in relative comfort.

With a comfortable Three points in the bag, the Chairman once again approaches me with a new contract offer...

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17th December 2022 - FA Trophy - Third Round

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With the Chairman seemingly intent on reducing my wage, it seems this may well prove to be my final season with Curzon Ashton already.

As I hastily re-write my CV I quickly scribble out 'FA Trophy winner' as we are resoundingly dumped out of our final cup competition courtesy of our rapidly declining parent club, Oldham.

With the former League Two side seemingly disgruntled by their new found status in the Vanarama Leagues they quickly see us off as they look to end their slide with some much needed silverware.

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26th December 2022 - Vanarama National North

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With nothing but the League to concentrate on, we return to action with fellow title rivals Hereford in a battle between the top Two.

With Hereford striking first, it seemed our time at the top of the table was about to come to a humiliating close until Jack McKay cut in from the left wing to smash home a late leveller and send the Nash faithful home happy.

The solitary point may not be enough to keep the chasing pack off for long but at least we can just about cling on to our perilous place at the top for now... 

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December 2022 - Vanarama National North

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...or maybe not.

Managing to squeeze one more game out of the month, Hereford end the year at the top of the standings as the most inform team in the entire League.

With even York now hot on our heels, the commanding position we once held now suddenly feels so very fragile. 

Thankfully reinforcements may well be on their way...

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Having already seen Two of last years youth intake make an impact in the first team, the welcome news of another intake soon has staff and fans a like awaiting their arrival.

With finances seemingly extraordinarily tight and teenage potential more then ready to make an impact at this level, it seems we are set to once again reap the rewards of the clubs strong youth setup.

The kids are alright…again.

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Having been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the last arrivals and with some of the best prospects seemingly ready made to fit into our 4-2-4 formation, the future remains pleasingly bright for the Nash. 

Despite potentially not being at the club to enjoy the new arrivals, I can at least take some comfort in leaving the club in a seemingly strong position?

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