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[FM24] We were once World Champions - Level 10 Bourne Town Challenge

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[FM24] We were once World Champions - Level 10 Bourne Town Challenge

It was not in football that is for sure. But for a few historic years, in the sleepy market town of Bourne in Lincolnshire, it was home to the Formula One World  Champions that were BRM. Hard to believe it now since 60 years have gone since the 1962 Championship. So, the challenge is to once again be World Champions (Or at least Champions of Europe) starting from the depth of Level 10 of the English Football Pyramid.

Bourne Town Football Club play in the United Counties League Division One at the JJ Mac Stadium on the picturesque Abbey Lawns. Sharing the Abbey Lawns is the Cricket, Tennis and Bowls club along with the outdoor swimming pool. Established in 1883, Bourne Town is a football club waiting for the trophy cabinet to be filled. With a team in real life top of the League and with a talented squad for the level, can we rise up the ranks?


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Meet the (Real Life) Team - Bourne Town 2023/24

It is great to see that the database has some real life players even down to Level 10! I really will be aiming to keep them as long as possible as I feel it adds to the story, we will see if it is possible. I won't be signing any players in the first season as the team is too good for this level as it is. As we can see most the players are locally born from the South Lincs/Peterborough/Cambridgeshire area, which would relate to the travel players would make at this level. 

I have not decided which way I will go yet, is it youth only or just a realistic save where I only sign local players or those playing in teams within an hour of Bourne? I will see how the first season goes and make a call from there. But as far as the team goes, this is good enough to play at least 1 level above I feel.


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Let's not mess about... Promotion secured with 7 games to go

I had already played a good part of the season before deciding to post and at this level, I'm not messing about with monthly updates. It's get the games played, win some games and look to the future! With 7 games left we have secured promotion, not happy with just the promotion as the only option is Champions, which we should achieve. We are still playing in a cup, which will be the main focus of the first season reporting as we have been on fire, despite plenty of away days. Newark Town can catch us, we will need to rest players as Cup games are mid-week but we should get over the line and still challenge in the cup games, I hope!


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Season One 2023/24 - FA Vase - The story so far

I'll be totally honest, as soon as the FA Vase started to give money for winning and the United Counties League Cup didn't, all the effort went into the Vase. Our dip in League form, aka playing a bunch of 16 year olds matches with FA Vase games and I'll be honest, it has proved successful both on the pitch and in the bank account. But at this level, that is what it is about right?

So where do we start? Well lets start with the crappy draw that saw us play 5 of the 6 games so far on the road, talk about losing out on match-day income but least we have picked up around £7,500 in prize money! The 5th Round against a fairly local side in Lincoln United, playing in the League above us. And we would control the game, take a 4-0 lead into half time and never look back. We would finally get a home draw in the next round.


What a game this was, nerve-wracking to lose a 2-0 lead and have to win on penalties! An even game in stats and the draw probably was fair. We looked like we would win the game on the 5th penalty but James Hill-Seekings saw his shot cannon off the post, cross the goal and not go in. Herbie Panting would score his penalty to make it 7-6 before keeper Dan Swan would be the hero, both scoring and saving two penalties to seal the victory and a remarkable semi-final appearance to look forward to. Another few ££££ in the bank and that is looking much healthier than the projections at the start of the season! Only 279 fans, I think in real life would be well over 500!


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Youth Academy Intake #1 - 2024

We could not afford a head of youth development, so player/assistant manager/head of youth development (our only staff member) Dan Flack has played a blinder with the youth intake with several players who may be able to contribute now! We really won't know how good any of the players are as we have no scouting (cost saving) so we can only wait and see. We will sign all and bolster the ranks, ready for if we lose all our players and decide to go youth only.


Edited by theBlackPrince
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Bourne Town FC - End of Season 1 - United Counties Division 1 Champions

We would run out League Champions by 15 points but our FA Vase Semi-Final would end in defeat over 2 legs as we conceded 2 early goals at home and would lose by 1 goal overall. A cup final in the first season would have been amazing for Bourne Town but not meant to be, but the job was done in the League. The Cup run really helped the finances on the season and as we head into the United Counties Premier Division North, we need a few players to solidify the team to make sure we continue the winning feeling at Bourne Town.






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Season 2 - United Counties League Premier Division North

We move into season 2 of the Bourne Town FC League 10 save, looking to continue moving up the Leagues to get to the Vanarama National League North/South initially. I thought about making this a youth only but the non-contract for another few levels has put me off and the real life Bourne Town seem to recruit from the south Lincolnshire and Peterborough (North Cambridgeshire area) mostly so I am going to follow that model. Players need to be born or playing for a team within that 50 miles/1 hour commute which is about the maximum for this level. I hope this will keep it realistic (which I always try to do) and stop the easy promotions which can be had from this level with signing free agents from all over the country who would not move to Bourne for £50 appearance fee. Onwards to season 2, lets see how we do at this level!

I will be instant resulting all League Games (unless its a key game) and playing the Cup games as those are key to finances and gives me something to enjoy!




Edited by theBlackPrince
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FA Cup - Preliminary Rounds

Was not planning on doing an update for these, but these might be the difference in improving things and not, especially as the fans are coming out in droves for the games! We have won 3 games now, 2 of the the game reports are below including the huge win over Grantham Town!! 1,394 fans at the ground and we were hoping for a 4th home game, but this is not meant to be and we face an away tie, but it is winnable which is the main thing at this stage!




That bank balance from the cup run is looking really, really good!! Unbeaten to start the season and cannot ask for more than that! It looks like the players that Bourne Town have in real, with a few additions might be good enough for another title bid?!



Edited by theBlackPrince
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 2024/25 Season Update - September to November 

What a busy few months this was with cup game after cup game, which has impacted the League form a little. Having to play 2 replays added more fixtures than we wanted, but we were able to bring- them back back to the Abbey Lawns and win, so we get the win and the additional revenue from winning.

United Counties League Premier Division North - Sitting in 5th, not too far from the top. When the fixture's slow down I hope we can move up again and challenge for the top spot.

FA Cup - An extra time goal in a replay in the 3rd qualifying round set up a huge payday. 3,000 fans would see Scunthorpe United travel to the Abbey Lawns for the 4th Qualifying Round in an All-Lincolnshire game which saw the Vanarama National League side win 0-3. A great result for us and with the 3,000 fans which saw us take on a bumper day of revenue! This set a new gate receipt record of £28,300.

FA Vase - Into he 4th round where we will face high flying Hallam, who currently top the Norther Counties East League Premier League. This is a home tie

United Counties League Cup - Into the 3rd round to face Nuneaton Griff, on the road. If we win, we head to the Quarter Finals. 




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2024/25 Season Update - December and January 

We move to the top of the table by virtue of games played, Loughborough Dynamo have 2 games in hand and Hucknall also have 1. We have managed to increase our finances no end thanks to the cup run and we seem to be able to keep making money due to our high average attendance, currently sat at 400 average with a high of 482 in the league. This is a league best.

FA Vase - We needed penalties to beat a Hallam side who were just as good as us on the day and either team could have won. We scored 2 late to look like we had won only for them to score in stoppage time. 5-4 on penalties and into the Quarter Final to play Alton from the Combined Counties League Premier Division South. This is played in March.

United Counties League Cup - Dumped out at the 3rd round, we should have won, not much else to say.

Facilities & Structure - We got a couple of upgrades signed off, happy days! Youth Recruitment and Junior Coaching budgets improved. 



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