G_D_K

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About G_D_K

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  1. 50....and I've bought every iteration of this game since I first discovered in in the early-mid 90's (US Air Force stationed in England).....I get well over 1k hours (upwards of 1500 usually) each iteration of the game!
  2. Nice to see Galen Dekay grab some attention in Germany! Hope he continues his outings.....haven't gone back and caught them all but it's been 100% headers won for several seasons running...and close to 90% tackles won too. Only thing....he hasn't gotten a league title yet! Maybe this season.........
  3. Haha....the posts are a good way for me to recap the season to myself and figure out goals for the next season....They generally take 60-90 minutes but give me focus for the coming season (the season itself takes me generally 2-3 weeks, depending on what else is going on, so the time spent to write helps me remember certain critical thoughts that came to me during the season). They're also fun to just reminisce about over the course of several seasons. As for sticking with awful teams...well, the point of the challenge is to try to not make them awful!
  4. Sutton Coldfield Season 8 (2023/24) Table /Position Graph /Squad/ Finances / Transfers / Manager / Facilities /Annual Injury Report / Confidence / Competitions / Reputation The main talking points of Season 8 (second in League 2) was once again injuries. An incredible 158 weeks of injuries (team wide), to be precise! Thankfully, we had cover enough this year to handle it, the whole season was still frustratingly injury filled. The only good news was that the longest injury was only 2 months (we had 3 of those)...but the counter point was that only accounted for 24 of the 158+ weeks of total injuries! As to the season itself, the team was amazingly competitive, and with 3 to play there was still an outside shot of the playoffs. (At least by the points---I'm not sure enough teams could lose to move us up from 14th into the playoff picture, despite the point totals indicating we had a shot). Our final position of 16th belied our 61 point total, and our 9 point gap between us and the playoffs were the narrowest in this save's history. With a little more success in the run-in to the end (only 3 wins v 7 losses in our final thirteen matches) we could have made more history. Offensively, new signing Jack Marriott showed he could fit right in, and was the only real star of the attacking squad, making 26 goals and adding 5 assists. Returning for another 26 appearances was Devante Rodney who did manage 10 goals in his 2nd season; however he only managed 38% SoT and needs to improve if he is going to have a long-term contract awarded. Defensively, I've started grooming GK Toni Soderlund to replace Paterson in the coming year. He is training very well, and his 20 appearances has really helped propel him along; a 1.7 goals conceded/game is a bit high, but I think that he'll be ready by the next season for a full-time role. The surprise of the season was likely newcomer Nicky Ross; signed after being dropped by Villa in early June. He managed 2 goals and 7 assists (7.20AvR) in limited appearances, and will be my starting D/WB(L) for the coming season. Also new to the team, 21yo DM John Winters was solid, if unspectacular, in his first season with Sutton. Hopefully he will develop into a huge asset in the coming years! Finally, DC Joe Ferguson is my heir apparent for the outgoing Ben Askins (who has been with us since the first season, but has finally found a new home after limited appearances this season). At 22 years of age, he's already proven to be a capable (and intelligent--only 17 fouls made in almost a full season) defender. He's also one of the few that remained injury free for me this year! PROMOTION/PLAYOFFS Not quite as far (or as near) as it seemed leading into the final stretch; aiming to make a run at the playoffs this coming year. Cup Competitions Our 2nd appearance in the league cup was much more thrilling than our inaugural appearance last year. In fact, our match against L1 Torquay very nearly became an upset. Torquay took the lead in the 29th minute through their young striker Robert Shepherd, but Sutton Coldfield kept up the pressure and AMC nailed a free kick over the wall and passed a flat-footed keeper in the 40th minute, sending the teams into the locker room tied 1-1 at the half. A cage 2nd half then ensued, with Jack Marriott netting his first League Cup goal in the 66th minute, silencing the home crowd and giving us a 2-1 lead. The lead only lasted for a dozen minutes, however, as Torquay's Shepard capitalized on an Askins missed header to draw the two teams level once again. This scoreline would hold, sending the two teams into extra time. And, once again, a miracle ensued, as Marriott netting his 2nd of the match just 6 minutes into the 1st extra time period, an easy tap in of a cross at the far post. Goalkeeper Paterson then appeared to be the hero, as he blocked a shot at 119:59:47; however, the followup clearance was blocked back into the box, where Torquay's Thomas Byrne knocked in the equalizer and sent us to penalties. The shootout started badly, with Sheerin's shot too close to the keeper saved; the next 9 shots were all on target and Torquay came away with a win; despite being outplayed by a fired-up Sutton Coldfield team. Better luck next year! The team did manage its first ever JPT win, a 2-1 victory over Newport County (Sheerin making up for the missed PK in the C1C shootout with a pair of goals (73, 79) to claim the priceless victory. This set us up for a home tie vs Plymouth, where Marriott's 2nd minute goal was erased early in the 2nd half by Plymouth's striker Murphy; and another last second goal saw the Championship-bound Plymouth safely past Sutton and beyond. That saw Sutton face to League One teams and do very well---giving me great hope for the coming season. Another good run in the FA Cup saw us through to the 3rd round for the second consecutive year. Along the way we bested Northampton (5-2, Marriott with a hat trick) and Yeovil (2-0). This set up an away exursion to face Newcastle, where expectations were for a heavy loss. Newcastle came out firing on all cylinders and took an early 18th minute lead, from which they never looked back. In all, the Magpies managed 27 shots in a very lopsided contest. How lopsided? Sutton managed....0 shots. Yep...not a single time did we challenge the Newcastle defense. The 3-0 scoreline was very misleading! The gate receipts, however, were enough to keep us afloat another season! Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees -- Three new players this season-- MC Lynch, DC Ollie O'Dwyer, and fullback Rian O'Sullivan were inducted into the Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season: Lewis Turner was a Threepeat winner of the Fan Favorite this year, garnering 37% of the vote, midfielder Ryan East grabbed 26% and newcomer Nicky Ross Frank Harper grabbed 23%. A bit baffling, as Turner only made 16(8) appearances (6.95 AvR) while his replacement made 30(1) w/ a 7.11 AvR. Signing of the Season: Nicky Ross (MC) (free) Young Player of the Season: Nicky Ross (MC) Other awards: Manager's Player of Year choice: newcomer Jack Marriott, who managed 26 goals and 5 assists w/ an overall 7.00 rating. He was the single player who showed any consistency in front of goal. Top Academy Graduate S1: Fullback Dave Clarke -- Potential to be useful in the lower leagues...perhaps he'll backup current starting fullback Hatch next season S2: Matthew Rogers (AMC) -- looks to be a decent playmaking option already...I may have to adopt a tactic that uses an AMC and see if he can develop. S3: Michael Mitchell (MC) -- good mental and okay physical stats to start -- if he develops he might be useful in the VN division. Time will tell. S4: Michael Davies (AM(RLC)) -- not a position I'm currently using, but a 4-5 star potential youngster with great determination/teamwork. S5: Royston Thomas (AM(R,L,C) -- I'm getting a lot of AM top graduates....I really need to come up with a tactic to use these guys! S6: David Bedwell (AM©) -- Yet another AM© graduate. Decent starting physicals + teamwork...needs work on the rest in order to earn a spot. S7: Callum Scott (MC) Decent technicals and great Mental stats for a 16yo --- some improvement in physical attributes and he might break into the 1st team soon. Starting 4.5* potential! S8: Kyle Bell (DM/MC) 3.5*+ potential --- might have a chance to make a splash in the coming seasons [b][i]Team, Individual, and league records [/i][/b] A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record-bold indicates record broke current season) [b][i][u]Sutton Coldfield-- Team[/u][/i][/b] [b]Highest League Position --[/b] [b]9[/b][b]th[/b] [b]in Sky Bet League Two (2023/24[/b]) Highest Attendance -- 2715 (vs Cheltenham, VNL playoff semi final, 7 May 2022) (previous record: 1561 vs Altrincham, VNN playoff S/F, 11 May 2019) Highest Gate Receipts -- £41.16k (vs Cheltenham, VNL Playoff semi final, 7 May 2022) (previous record: £23.66K vs Altrincham, VNN playoff S/F, 11 May 2019) [b]Average Attendance -- 1100 (2023/24)[/b] (previous high: 756--2022/23) Biggest Win -- 5-2 (vs FC United, 31 Dec 2016) [b]Biggest Defeat 6-2 (vs Bury (L2) 18 Nov 2023)[/b] (previous biggest defeat: 5-2 (vs Tranmere, 25 Feb 2020) Highest Scoring Game -- 4-6 (vs Hartlepool, 17 Dec 2022) (Previous high: 4-3 (vs North Ferriby, 20 Aug 2016)) Most Games won in a Row -- 5 (20 Apr - 8 May 2019) (previous high -- 4: 28 Oct - 25 Nov 2017) Most Games Lost in a Row -- 5 (28 Feb - 25 mar 2017) Most Games without Losing -- 13 (23 Feb - 8 May 2019) (Previous high--8: 28 Oct - 23 Dec 2017 ) Most Games without Winning -- 8, (1 Dec 2020 - 2 Jan 2021) (Previous high: 7 (23 Aug - 20 Sept 2016) Most games without conceding -- 7 (1 Jan - 1 Feb 2020) (Previous high -- 4: 11-25 Sept 2018 ) [b][i][u]Sutton Coldfield -- Individual[/u][/i][/b] Top Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers --36 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 21 (2017/18)) Top League Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers -- 29 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 19 (2017/18) Most Goals in a match -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 4 (10 Sept 2019 v AFC Telford) (Previous record: Aaron Knight -- 3 (20 Aug 2016 v North Ferriby) Most Assists -- Lewis Turner -- 27 (2021/22) (previous record: Lewis Turner -- 23 (2020/21)) Highest AvR --Lewis Turner -- 7.42 (41 app) (2020/21) (previous record: Ben Drenna -- 7.31 (35 app) 2018/19) Most Player of Match awards -- Liam Sayers -- 11 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 7 (2017/18) Most League goals for club -- Liam Sayers -- 119* Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (72) [b]Most League Appearances for club -- Nathan Ben Askins (330*) [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (138) Youngest player -- Jack Cooper (Striker), 16y227d (previous record: Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y264d ) Oldest player -- Phil Trainer (DM), 35y272d (previous record: ) Youngest Goalscorer -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y271d (previous record: Liam Sayers (Striker) 18y296d) Oldest Goalscorer -- Jordyn Sheerin (ST), 33y236d (previous record: Anthony McNamee (AML) 32y213d) Fastest Goal -- Devante Rodney: 24s (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (35s) Highest Transfer Fee Paid -- Martin Paterson (GK) -- £16K 1 Jan 22 Highest Transfer Fee Received -- Jon Sephton (DC) -- £3K 3 Feb 22 Promoted from the Regional Premier Division Teams: Salford, Basingstoke, Farnborough, Nuneaton, Wealdstone, Canvey Island League Winners (relegated) EPL Chelsea (Derby, Stoke, West Brom) Championship Hull (Birmingham, Swindon, Gilingham) League One AFC Wimbledon (Colchester, Exeter, Rochdale, Coventry) League Two Burton (Accrington, Yeovil) Vanarama National Lg Dulwich Hamlet (Colwyn Bay, Gosport, Grimsby, Bolton) Vanarama North AFC Fylde (Marine, Darlington 1883, Southport) Vanarama South Dartford (Whitehawk, East Thurrock, Dag & Red) Cup Winners English FA Cup Chelsea (v QPR) *Domestic Treble for Chelsea **3rd consecutive FAC for Chelsea Capital One Cup Arsenal (vs Reading) Johnstone's Paint Trophy AFC Wimbledon (vs Oldham) English FA Trophy Gateshead (vs Boston United) Euro Qualifcation Champions League Group Stage: Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City Champions League best placed playoff: Euro Cup Group Stage: Aston Villa, Liverpool Euro Cup Playoff: Tottenham Euro Cup 3rd QR: Euro Cup 1st QR: Cardiff Continental Achievements Q.P.R: Eliminated from Euro Cup Group stage Man Utd: Eliminated from Champions League Group stage Liverpool: Eliminated from Euro Cup Second Knockout round (by SLB) Arsenal: Eliminated from Champions League Quarter Final (By Man City) Tottenham: Eliminated from Euro Cup Quarter Final (by Man United) Chelsea: Eliminated from Champions League Semi-final (by Man City) Man United: Won Euro Cup (vs LOSC) Man City: Eliminated from Champions League Final (by R. Madrid) Extra detail: none What's Next? We are slowly getting there --- despite our 16th place finish, the table was so tight this season that we still had a chance to make the playoffs w/ 3 to play, and ultimately finished only 9 points out of the playoffs (looking at past seasons, 61 points has been an average of 14+ points away from the playoffs --- so there was really a chance down the stretch). Looking at the league stats, what I thought was my strength (scoring) was actually well off the mark (we finished 22nd), while my defence was a bit more solid than I had thought (finishing 12th w/ 64 conceded). What I really need is some playmaking midfielders --- and a whole lot more team health (we had a whopping 158+ weeks of team injuries this season! {tbf, this included both youth and senior teams, but still!}) Also I need to be able to tap some of the extra wage budget my board has allowed...£32K/wk available, but to comply w/ FFP, I couldn't spend more than £20K/wk. Hopefully a boosted attendance will get me most of that reserve available...I can't afford the wage demands of the good players I'm finding....most of my players are still playing at VN level, with only a couple being rated "good L2" or better. I've got my sights on a pair of midfielders and a striker --- I only need to shed enough salary to be able to meet their demands atm....I really want to push for a playoff spot this coming season! Career Overview Season Team League Pos(Predicted) Achievements 2016/17 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 16(19) Survived! 2017/18 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 10(20) Solid-mid table finish 2018/19 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 2(20) Promotion via Playoffs!, VNN Overachiever 2019/20 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 15(24) VN Overachievers 2020/21 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 11(24) VN Overachievers 2021/22 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 3(24) VN promotions (via playoffs), overachiever. FAT Winner (overachiever) 2022/23 Sutton Coldfield Sky Bet League 2 22(24) Survived! Lg 2 Overachiever 2023/24 Sutton Coldfield Sky Bet League 2 16(24) L2, FAC Overachiever
  5. Good to see youngster Galen hitting the leaderboard every month (if only a 4th place finisher in most of those months---pesky fullbacks stealing the show!). A solid starting season for him!
  6. Name: Galen Date of Birth (day & month only): Jun 3 Nationality: American (Optional) Second Nationality: English Position:DC Up to 3 liked clubs: Arsenal, Cambridge, Villa Up to 3 disliked clubs: Spurs, United Height (cm): 187 Weight (kg): 75 right footed 4 strong technical attributes (or goalkeeping attributes for keepers): Tackling, Heading, Marking, First Touch 3 strong mental attributes: Positioning, Bravery, Teamwork 2 strong physical attributes: Jumping, Acceleration
  7. Ouch...that's really a rough one to take!
  8. Sutton Coldfield Season 7 (2022/23) Table /Position Graph / Squad/ Finances / Transfers / Manager / Facilities /Annual Injury Report / Confidence / Competitions / Reputation Season 7 (first in League 2) was a season of (quite literally at times) survival. An injury ravaged preseason (which I blame the chairman on --- he took a £200K bank loan to replace the synthetic pitch we'd played on for years with a grass pitch) and first month of league football left me with 7 starters out injured --- most for 2-4 months. With no budget room, despite a small increase in wages allowed, meant I had to field a patchwork team most of the season. Even after the early injuries were cleared up, we continued to lose players for 3-5 weeks at a time, meaning we had very little in the way of continuity. Add to that the difficulty of adjusting to the pace of the new league and we were always going to have problems. Our longest run was a 4-match unbeaten streak in March, and that was the extent of our consistency. On the other hand, our longest streak of matches w/o a win was only 6, and that was in August when we were at our worst as far as injuries go. Interspersed were just enough wins to keep us ahead of the drop zone...though it wasn't until we bested League Winners Forest Green with 5 matches to go that we secured our spot in League 2 for another season (though it took one more match to mathematically secure the spot, the goal differential was such that I wasn't worried). There were not a lot of stand-out performances to speak of. Newcomer Devante Rodney has shown some promise...on paper he is my best striker, and he led the team with 13 goals, however he seems to lack consistency. To be fair, the lack of key players throughout the season certainly did not help, and hopefully if we can stay injury free, and pick up a playmaker or two in the off season, he'll start to thrive. Simon Buckley and Jordyn Sheerin did okay, both scoring 12 times, but neither looked completely comfortable with the pace of play in the new league. Meanwhile, Liam Sayers --- the leading goalscorer of the past 4 or 5 seasons, well completely off the boat, netting only 4 times all season (2 of those in the FAC against lower-league Marine). Defensively, Lewis Turner and Frank Harper --- rotating in at the DR position, combined for 24 assists (12 apiece), and will continue to provide a spark in the coming season as they grow into their roles in the new league. GK Martin Paterson will be a great keeper---if I can manage to keep him on the squad. He's still signed for another year---but so far has refused to sign an extension on the basis that he doesn't feel the squad is strong enough to meet his ambitions. PROMOTION/PLAYOFFS It looks to be at least 2 years before we'll even compete! Cup Competitions Our inaugural match in the League Cup was actually very entertaining, as we went away to Brighton and scored 3 goals (Buckley with 2, while midfielder Lynch with a stunning free kick). Unfortunately, L1 Brighton was just to overpowering in their own attack, and they put 5 on the scoreboard against us, sending us out --- and setting the tone for the rest of the season. Shortly after, we had our first ever Johnstone's Paint Trophy match, and once again we put up a valiant fight against a L1 team (Bradford City), but fell just short, losing 3-2 despite a late push to equalize. Simon Buckley once again grabbed a goal, while DC Bassala Sambou also got one of his own off of a set piece. We had a better run in the FA Cup, making it to the third round by beating Bromley 4-1 (4 different goalscorers), and Marine (3-2, with Sayers getting 2 of his 4 goals of the season in the match). In an interesting draw for the 2nd round, it looked like we might face nemesis Preston North End in the FAC 2nd Round for the 3rd consecutive year, as with six teams left to draw the, our two teams were still in the bucket---but we got lucky and drew Marine instead. This win against Marine sent us to our first ever 3rd round appearance, with a trip away to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea. A 38th minute goal by youngster Phil Rowell gave us a 1-0 halftime lead, but Swansea pounced early in the 2nd half, scoring in the 49th minute and breaking the teams resistance. In the end, Swansea managed 33 shots (11 on target) in a 4-1 win, and out we went. The £170K(ish) in gate receipts did help though! Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees -- Two new players -- DM Clovis Kamdjo and GK Martin Paterson were inducted into the Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season: Lewis Turner was a repeat winner of the Fan Favorite this year, garnering 55% of the vote, midfielder Ryan East grabbed 19% and Turner's rotation option Frank Harper grabbed 16%. Signing of the Season: Ryan East (MC) (free) Young Player of the Season: Ryan East (MC) Other awards: Top Academy Graduate S1: Fullback Dave Clarke -- Potential to be useful in the lower leagues...perhaps he'll backup current starting fullback Hatch next season S2: Matthew Rogers (AMC) -- looks to be a decent playmaking option already...I may have to adopt a tactic that uses an AMC and see if he can develop. S3: Michael Mitchell (MC) -- good mental and okay physical stats to start -- if he develops he might be useful in the VN division. Time will tell. S4: Michael Davies (AM(RLC)) -- not a position I'm currently using, but a 4-5 star potential youngster with great determination/teamwork. S5: Royston Thomas (AM(R,L,C) -- I'm getting a lot of AM top graduates....I really need to come up with a tactic to use these guys! S6: David Bedwell (AM©) -- Yet another AM© graduate. Decent starting physicals + teamwork...needs work on the rest in order to earn a spot. S7: Callum Scott (MC) Decent technicals and great Mental stats for a 16yo --- some improvement in physical attributes and he might break into the 1st team soon. Starting 4.5* potential! [b][i]Team, Individual, and league records [/i][/b] A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record-bold indicates record broke current season) [b][i][u]Sutton Coldfield-- Team[/u][/i][/b] [b]Highest League Position --[/b] 17[b]th[/b] [b]in Sky Bet League Two (2022/23[/b]) Highest Attendance -- 2715 (vs Cheltenham, VNL playoff semi final, 7 May 2022) (previous record: 1561 vs Altrincham, VNN playoff S/F, 11 May 2019) Highest Gate Receipts -- £41.16k (vs Cheltenham, VNL Playoff semi final, 7 May 2022) (previous record: £23.66K vs Altrincham, VNN playoff S/F, 11 May 2019) [b]Average Attendance -- 756 (2022/23)[/b] (previous high: 535--2021/22) Biggest Win -- 5-2 (vs FC United, 31 Dec 2016) Biggest Defeat 5-2 (vs Tranmere (VNL) 25 Feb 2020) (previous biggest defeat: 4-2 (vs Chester, 1 Dec 2018) [b]Highest Scoring Game -- 4-6 (vs Hartlepool, 17 Dec 2022)[/b] (Previous high: 4-3 (vs North Ferriby, 20 Aug 2016)) Most Games won in a Row -- 5 (20 Apr - 8 May 2019) (previous high -- 4: 28 Oct - 25 Nov 2017) Most Games Lost in a Row -- 5 (28 Feb - 25 mar 2017) Most Games without Losing -- 13 (23 Feb - 8 May 2019) (Previous high--8: 28 Oct - 23 Dec 2017 ) Most Games without Winning -- 8, (1 Dec 2020 - 2 Jan 2021) (Previous high: 7 (23 Aug - 20 Sept 2016) Most games without conceding -- 7 (1 Jan - 1 Feb 2020) (Previous high -- 4: 11-25 Sept 2018 ) [b][i][u]Sutton Coldfield -- Individual[/u][/i][/b] Top Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers --36 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 21 (2017/18)) Top League Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers -- 29 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 19 (2017/18) Most Goals in a match -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 4 (10 Sept 2019 v AFC Telford) (Previous record: Aaron Knight -- 3 (20 Aug 2016 v North Ferriby) [b]Most Assists -- Lewis Turner -- 27 (2021/22)[/b] (previous record: Lewis Turner -- 23 (2020/21)) Highest AvR --Lewis Turner -- 7.42 (41 app) (2020/21) (previous record: Ben Drenna -- 7.31 (35 app) 2018/19) Most Player of Match awards -- Liam Sayers -- 11 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 7 (2017/18) [b]Most League goals for club -- Liam Sayers -- 119* [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (72) [b]Most League Appearances for club -- Nathan Ben Askins (315*) [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (138) Youngest player -- Jack Cooper (Striker), 16y227d (previous record: Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y264d ) Oldest player -- Phil Trainer (DM), 35y272d (previous record: ) Youngest Goalscorer -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y271d (previous record: Liam Sayers (Striker) 18y296d) [b]Oldest Goalscorer -- Jordyn Sheerin (ST), 33y236d[/b] (previous record: Anthony McNamee (AML) 32y213d) [b]Fastest Goal --[/b] [b]Devante Rodney: 24s[/b] (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (35s) Highest Transfer Fee Paid -- Martin Paterson (GK) -- £16K 1 Jan 22 Highest Transfer Fee Received -- Jon Sephton (DC) -- £3K 3 Feb 22 Promoted from the Regional Premier Division Teams: Southport, Blyth, Histon, Aldershot, East Thurrock, Chippenham League Winners (relegated) EPL Chelsea (Reading, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace) Championship West Brom (Burnley, Barnsley, Peterborough) League One Luton (Newport Co, Barnet, Yeovil, Crewe) League Two Forest Green (Gateshead, Port Vale) Vanarama National Lg Accrington (Worcester, Macclesfield, Maidenhead, Skelmersdale) Vanarama North Colwyn Bay (Solihull Moors, North Ferriby, Kidderminster) Vanarama South Bristol Rovers (Bognor Regis, Boreham Wood, Bishop's Stortford) Cup Winners English FA Cup Chelsea (v Swansea) *Domestic Double for Chelsea---following the Treble from last year Capital One Cup Man City (vs Man Utd) Jonhstone's Paint Trophy Sheffield Utd (vs Coventry) **Sheffield Utd last year's runner up English FA Trophy Stockport (vs Dulwich Hamlet) Euro Qualifcation Champions League Group Stage: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City Champions League best placed playoff: Man Utd Euro Cup Group Stage: Liverpool, Tottenham Euro Cup Playoff: Euro Cup 3rd QR: QPR Euro Cup 1st QR: Continental Achievements Newcastle: Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout Round (by Hannover) Fulham: Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout Round (by Sevilla) Man Utd: Eliminated from Champions League First Knockout round (by AS Monaco) Tottenham: Eliminated from Champions League Second Knockout Round (By Napoli) Man City: Eliminated from Champions League Quarter Final (by Paris Saint-Germain) Arsenal: Eliminated from Champions League quarter-final (by FCP) Chelsea: Elimiated from Champions League Final (by Paris Saint-Germain) Extra detail: none What's Next? We need a lot of help! I fielded the least # of players (24) as any in League Two --- mainly because I had no options. I only had about £1.5K free in salary room to start the season; my attempts at offloading players (mostly reserves who would never fit onto the team) in order to offload some salary were blocked by the board (insufficient funds to buy out the contracts I guess) --- trying to sell players completely failed. I'll likely get a small salary boost to start the next season, but am not losing too many players either. I can hope that injuries could be blamed for a lot of the inconsistency--- but that cannot be everything. Looking at my existing players --- I have a handful that have a CA of Vanarama National level, with the rest still being only VNN/VNS capable. I really need to upgrade my training facilities....but cannot envision that coming any time soon (I did persuade the board to open a training facility share/affiliation --- with Leiceter Road, who have at least one stage better training ground than Sutton Coldfield at present!). But, the board will likely have to take a loan out to upgrade the stadium to bring it to L2 standards --- an option they put off last season (instead opting to take a £200K loan, repayable at £1.5K/mo -- in order to replace our synthetic pitch with a grass pitch). Career Overview Season Team League Pos(Predicted) Achievements 2016/17 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 16(19) Survived! 2017/18 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 10(20) Solid-mid table finish 2018/19 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 2(20) Promotion via Playoffs!, VNN Overachiever 2019/20 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 15(24) VN Overachievers 2020/21 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 11(24) VN Overachievers 2021/22 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 3(24) VN promotions (via playoffs), overachiever. FAT Winner (overachiever) 2022/23 Sutton Coldfield Sky Bet League 2 22(24) Survived! Lg 2 Overachiever
  9. Sutton Coldfield Season 6 (2021/22) Table/Position Graph / Squad/ Finances / Transfers / Manager / Facilities /Annual Injury Report / Confidence / Competitions / Reputation Season 6 was one in which Sutton Coldfield quietly stayed in the hunt, ready to pounce. A playoff contender from early on, they made the final push when it counted, overcoming adversity (in the form of injury to key players, especially the strikers), and doing just enough to stay in contention until making their move up the table in the final weeks. Last year's goal of solidifying the defense paid off -- as a team we finished in the top 5 in tackles won ratio (1st), and goals conceded (5th), while avoiding disciplinary issues (1 red/20 yellow were near top of league). Individually, DM Kamdjo (7th in Tackles/Match), DC Askins (1st in Key tackles), GK Wakerman (2nd in goals conceded) stood out to help create a successful season. Offensively, perennial top goal scorer for the team,Liam Sayerscontinued to shine, missing out on top league goalscorer only by time played (23 league goals joint top). Simon Buckley (17 goals/3 assists) probably would have hit goals again but for injury, while Phil Rowell (11 goals) and late-signing (injury insurance) Jordyn Sheerin managed 7 goals/1 assist in limited appearances-- including a spectacular 10-minute hat-trick in the FAT Final. Right back Lewis Turner had a great chance at Player of the Year, with an AvR of 7.38 (8th), 8 Player of the Match awards (joint 3rd), and 25 assists (2nd). Left Back O'Sullivan was also a good signing, managing 2 goals/8 assists (7.27 AvR) in 23 appearances of his own. PROMOTION/PLAYOFFS As hoped and aimed for, we achieved a playoff spot, making the jump in match day 39 and not looking back (we hit 6th at the mid-point, and hardly looked at ending worse from that point). In fact, with 4 to go, I was quietly surprised to see that we had climbed to within 4 points of league Leaders Gateshead...but couldn't quite close the gap from there. The play-off semi-final saw us going away to Cheltenham...a team we'd not had a lot of success against in 6 tries. We managed a crucial away goal in a 1-1 draw, which gave us hope headed into the home tie. As fate would have it....that 1 goal was all either team would score, as we battled for 120 minutes to a 0-0 draw and a penalty shootout at home. When my brand new striker Sheerin had his first shot saved, I thought we were going out...but star GK Paterson (whom I had signed in January -- a full 1* better than Wakerman in CA, and L1 potential) had something else in mind, and ended up with 3 saves during the shootout. When DC Askins scored our 4th, and Paterson saved Cheltenham's final attempt, we were through. I had worried that we would end up facing FC United (another team that we have struggled in recent times against), but 5th placed Maidstone managed a stunning 2-1 away win to set up a winnable match for us. Off to Wembley, in our first ever appearance (the first of two this year, as fate would have it). I'm sure the crowd of 38K were less than enthused at the match-up...and even more so 90 minutes later, as Liam Sayers' 30th minute goal was all the excitement to be had. Maidstone managed 14 shots, but only 2 on target, as our defense accomplished what I had set it to do all season long. 1-0 and promotion to League Football! We weren't quite done yet, however... Cup Competitions The FA Cup was curiously similar to the previous season...though we needed an extra match to get out of the 4QR vs Worcester -- eventually advancing by a 2-0 home win (after a goalless draw in the first meeting). That set us up for a 1st round win vs Havant & Waterlooville (Sayers scoring the first, and the winner coming through an OG mistake). The 2nd round saw us pitted.....once again.....vs L1 Preston...albeit this year at home. A scoreless 1st half gave us a glimmer of hope...but Preston piled on the pressure, and eventually ran away with a 3-0 victory, sending us crashing out once again. Same team 2 years running...same 3 goals.... If we make the 2nd round next season....I'll be praying for anyone but Preston! The FAT was a far different story this year, and saw us make a run to the very end. Along the way to the finish (which saw us knock off the likes of Bristol Rovers, Alfreton, Halifax, Dover, and Salford), Buckely managed 6 goals, Sayers 1, right fullback Turner got his only goal of the year, and newcomer Sheerin nabbed one. This set us up for our 2nd appearance at Wembley in a week...and after our earlier success at that hallowed ground, I was gratified to see more blue jerseys than yellow. Unlike our previous meeting, we gave something to please the crowd, as Sheerin converted a penalty kick in the 1st minute, scored again in the 2nd minute, and completed his hat-trick at the 10 minute mark. The scoring would be just enough, as Braintree snatched one back at the whistle ending the first half, and nabbed a 2nd at the hour mark to make it a contest. Ultimately, we would hold on to grab a 3-2 win...our 2nd victory at Wembley in the space of a week, and our first trophy! Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees -- Three players were considered to be good enough for the overall best XI: Lewis Turner (DR), Luke Wakerman (GK), and Bassala Sambou (DC) were the three new players inducted to the Historical Best XI-- Testament to my efforts of solidifying the defense Fans Player of the Season: Lewis Turner was the Fan Favorite this year, while partner fullback Rian O'Sullivan grabbed just 17% of the vote and MC Max Clayton-Robb 14% Signing of the Season: Rian O'Sullivan(DL) (free) Young Player of the Season: Rian O'Sullivan (DL) Other awards: I didn't quite make Manager of the year, but ran a close 2nd instead. I'll take it! Top Academy Graduate S1: Fullback Dave Clarke -- Potential to be useful in the lower leagues...perhaps he'll backup current starting fullback Hatch next season S2: Matthew Rogers (AMC) -- looks to be a decent playmaking option already...I may have to adopt a tactic that uses an AMC and see if he can develop. S3: Michael Mitchell (MC) -- good mental and okay physical stats to start -- if he develops he might be useful in the VN division. Time will tell. S4: Michael Davies (AM(RLC)) -- not a position I'm currently using, but a 4-5 star potential youngster with great determination/teamwork. S5: Royston Thomas (AM(R,L,C) -- I'm getting a lot of AM top graduates....I really need to come up with a tactic to use these guys! S6: David Bedwell (AM©) -- Yet another AM© graduate. Decent starting physicals + teamwork...needs work on the rest in order to earn a spot. [b][i]Team, Individual, and league records [/i][/b] A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record-bold indicates record broke current season) [u][size=3][b][i]Sutton Coldfield-- Team [/i][/b][/size][/u] [b]Highest League Position --[/b] [b]2th[/b] [b]in Vanarama National (2021/22[/b]) [b]Highest Attendance -- 2715 (vs Cheltenham, VNL playoff semi final, 7 May 2022)[/b] (previous record: 1561 vs Altrincham, VNN playoff S/F, 11 May 2019) [b]Highest Gate Receipts -- £41.16k (vs Cheltenham, VNL Playoff semi final, 7 May 2022)[/b] (previous record: £23.66K vs Altrincham, VNN playoff S/F, 11 May 2019) [b]Average Attendance -- 535 (2021/22)[/b] (previous high: 426--2020/21 ) Biggest Win -- 5-2 (vs FC United, 31 Dec 2016) Biggest Defeat 5-2 (vs Tranmere (VNL) 25 Feb 2020) (previous biggest defeat: 4-2 (vs Chester, 1 Dec 2018) Highest Scoring Game -- 4-3 (vs North Ferriby, 20 Aug 2016) Most Games won in a Row -- 5 (20 Apr - 8 May 2019) (previous high -- 4: 28 Oct - 25 Nov 2017) Most Games without Losing -- 13 (23 Feb - 8 May 2019) (Previous high--8: 28 Oct - 23 Dec 2017 ) Most Games without Winning -- 8, (1 Dec 2020 - 2 Jan 2021) (Previous high: 7 (23 Aug - 20 Sept 2016) Most games without conceding -- 7 (1 Jan - 1 Feb 2020) (Previous high -- 4: 11-25 Sept 2018 ) [size=3][u][b][i]Sutton Coldfield -- Individual[/i][/b][/u][/size] Top Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers --36 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 21 (2017/18)) Top League Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers -- 29 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 19 (2017/18) Most Goals in a match -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 4 (10 Sept 2019 v AFC Telford) (Previous record: Aaron Knight -- 3 (20 Aug 2016 v North Ferriby) [b]Most Assists -- Lewis Turner -- 27 (2021/22)[/b] (previous record: Lewis Turner -- 23 (2020/21)) Highest AvR --Lewis Turner -- 7.42 (41 app) (2020/21) (previous record: Ben Drenna -- 7.31 (35 app) 2018/19) Most Player of Match awards -- Liam Sayers -- 11 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 7 (2017/18) [b]Most League goals for club -- Liam Sayers -- 117* [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (72) [b]Most League Appearances for club -- Nathan Ben Askins (276*) [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (138) Youngest player -- Jack Cooper (Striker), 16y227d (previous record: Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y264d ) Oldest player -- Phil Trainer (DM), 35y272d (previous record: ) Youngest Goalscorer -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y271d (previous record: Liam Sayers (Striker) 18y296d) [b]Oldest Goalscorer -- Jordyn Sheerin (ST), 32y277d[/b] (previous record: Anthony McNamee (AML) 32y213d) Fastest Goal -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson: 35s (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (38s) [b]Highest Transfer Fee Paid -- Martin Paterson (GK) -- £16K 1 Jan 22[/b] [b]Highest Transfer Fee Received -- Jon Sephton (DC) -- [/b][b]£3K 3 Feb 22[/b] Promoted from the Regional Premier Division Teams: Kidderminster, Lewes, marine, Gainsborough, Solihull Moors, Tonbridge League Winners (relegated) EPL Chelsea (Hull, Leicester, Huddersfield) Championship Southampton (Swindon, Luton, Bristol City) League One Peterborough (Wrexham, Preston, Carlisle, Cambridge) League Two Colchester (Accrington, Grimbsby) Vanarama National Lg Gateshead (Dag & Red, York, Dartford, Doncaster) Vanarama North Chester (Southport, Chorley, Brackley) Vanarama South Dulwich Hamlet (Hayes & Yeading, Billericay, Bath) Cup Winners English FA Cup Chelsea (v Everton) Capital One Cup Chelsea (vs Aston Villa) *Treble for Chelsea--2nd year running for Villa to lose in the final Jonhstone's Paint Trophy Birmingham (vs Sheffield United) English FA Trophy Sutton Coldfield (vs Braintree) ***1st Trophy for Sutton Coldfield!!! Euro Qualifcation Champions League Group Stage: Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City Champions League best placed playoff: Arsenal Euro Cup Group Stage: Tottenham, Newcastle Euro Cup Playoff: Euro Cup 3rd QR: Fulham Euro Cup 1st QR: Continental Achievements Watford: Eliminated from Euro Cup Group Stage Newcastle: Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout Round (by Olympique Marsailles) Liverpool: Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout Round (by Gelsenkirchen) Man Utd: Eliminated from Champions League First Knockout round (by Bayern) Man City: Eliminated from Champions League Quarter Final (By FC Barcelona) Chelsea: Eliminated from Champions League Quarter Final (by Bayern) Arsenal: Eliminated from Champions League quarter-final (by Real Madrid) Extra detail: none What's Next? Consolidate my position. I need quality in order to advance...hoping to get enough in to at least survive our first season of League football. My wage budget has increased from £8500(ish) to £14K --- which is still not a lot. Despite ending the season with a positive balance (if only just), the board will not entertain much in the way of requests. They took saw fit to take out a £200K bank loan (repayable in an ungodly number of £1.5k/m installments) in order to replace the synthetic field with a grass field....instead of adding the required # of seats to bring the stadium up to League standards. They still won't send me on a coaching course (6 seasons in, and I still haven't been allowed to go on one). On a positive note, they did make us professional...so at least I'll be able to put the lads on full time contracts and training regimens....which should help some. I have already made note that I am losing a couple key players-- due to them not believing we have the team strength to compete in the league. Among them are my top choice goalkeeper Paterson and midfielder Clayton-Robb. Hopefully they will change their mind during the summer holidays! Career Overview Season Team League Pos(Predicted) Achievements 2016/17 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 16(19) Survived! 2017/18 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 10(20) Solid-mid table finish 2018/19 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 2(20) Promotion via Playoffs!, VNN Overachiever 2019/20 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 15(24) VN Overachievers 2020/21 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 11(24) VN Overachievers 2021/22 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 3(24) VN promotions (via playoffs), overachiever. FAT Winner (overachiever)
  10. Sutton Coldfield Season 5 (2020/21) Table/Position Graph / Squad/ Finances / Transfers / Manager / Facilities /Annual Injury Report / Confidence / Competitions / Reputation Season 5 (S2 in the Vanarama National League) was a bit of an improvement over the previous season. Never threatened promotion or playoffs, but never threatened with relegation etiher. We stayed solid mid-table all season, ending up 11th after a strong finish (7 unbeaten, 15 points from those final 7 matches). It could have been much better, but the team had a bit of a lapse starting early December (a run of 8 w/o a win from 1 December to 2 January). Still, it was a satisfying 2nd season, and has hopefully set me up for a playoff run or better next season. Offensively, last seasons' top goal scorer for the team, Liam Sayers, is still scoring, but this year he had to share the top goal-scoring spot with Simon Buckley (25 goals each). The Duo, with 45 league goals between them, were the top league goal-scoring duo in the league this season, and put the team in a solid 4th place for team goal-scoring as well. Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson had a bit of a fall-off, playing only 18(8) matches, but still managed 7 goals of his own. It is in the defense that the team is still lacking, as we finished 18th in goals conceded (69). We seem to be solid in the fullback position, but the parade of DCs I had to choose from couldn't seem to stem the flow of goals conceded. At 34 years old, my top goalkeeper Russel is likely to have seen his last days with the team as well. I did pick up a young DM prospect early in the season, Warren Brothers, who I tried to use to replace Garcia (who took his "ambition" down to King's Lynn). After a dozen average starts, making no real mistakes but not really excelling, I picked up another DM who would end up starting most of the season. Clovis Kamdjo will hold the position and hopefully tutor young Brothers until the youngster can become the starter I hope him to be. PROMOTION/PLAYOFFS Quite a ways off the mark here at 11th...but only 5 points from the playoff spots in the end. Cup Competitions The cups were pretty much the same as last year....early FAC wins over Doncaster and Hyde saw us to the 2nd round again, where Simon Buckley managed our only goal in a 3-1 loss vs L1 Preston. The FAT saw us knocked out in our first round matchup...a 2-0 loss vs Dag & Red in a very lackluster performance. Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees -- Three players were considered to be good enough for the overall best XI: Jack Clarke (MC), Joe Anderson (DL), and Simon Buckley (ST) were the three new players inducted to the Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season: Dowling once again ran away with the award, with 51% of fans voting for him. New fullback, and record-holder for assists in a season, Turner came in second, with midfielder Malcom Melvin making a return to the FPoY voting at 3rd place. Signing of the Season: Lewis Turner(DR) (free) Young Player of the Season: George Dowling (MC) Other awards: Top Academy Graduate S1: Fullback Dave Clarke -- Potential to be useful in the lower leagues...perhaps he'll backup current starting fullback Hatch next season S2: Matthew Rogers (AMC) -- looks to be a decent playmaking option already...I may have to adopt a tactic that uses an AMC and see if he can develop. S3: Michael Mitchell (MC) -- good mental and okay physical stats to start -- if he develops he might be useful in the VN division. Time will tell. S4: Michael Davies (AM(RLC)) -- not a position I'm currently using, but a 4-5 star potential youngster with great determination/teamwork. S5: Royston Thomas (AM(R,L,C) -- I'm getting a lot of AM top graduates....I really need to come up with a tactic to use these guys! [b][i]Team, Individual, and league records [/i][/b] A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record-bold indicates record broke current season) [b][i]Sutton Coldfield-- Team[/i][/b] [b]Highest League Position --[/b] [b]7th[/b] [b]in Vanarama National (2020/21[/b]) Highest Attendance -- 1561 (vs Altrincham, VNN playoff semi final, 11 May 2019) (previous record: 802 vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017) Highest Gate Receipts -- £23.66k (vs Altrincham, VNN Playoff semi final, 11 May 2019) (previous record: £13.67K vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017) [b]Average Attendance -- 426 (2020/21)[/b] (previous high: 364--2019/20 ) Biggest Win -- 5-2 (vs FC United, 31 Dec 2016) Biggest Defeat 5-2 (vs Tranmere (VNL) 25 Feb 2020) (previous biggest defeat: 4-2 (vs Chester, 1 Dec 2018) Highest Scoring Game -- 4-3 (vs North Ferriby, 20 Aug 2016) Most Games won in a Row -- 5 (20 Apr - 8 May 2019) (previous high -- 4: 28 Oct - 25 Nov 2017) Most Games without Losing -- 13 (23 Feb - 8 May 2019) (Previous high--8: 28 Oct - 23 Dec 2017 ) [b]Most Games without Winning -- 8, (1 Dec 2020 - 2 Jan 2021) [/b](Previous high: 7 (23 Aug - 20 Sept 2016) Most games without conceding -- 7 (1 Jan - 1 Feb 2020) (Previous high -- 4: 11-25 Sept 2018 ) [b][i]Sutton Coldfield -- Individual[/i][/b] Top Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers --36 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 21 (2017/18)) Top League Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers -- 29 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 19 (2017/18) [b]Most Goals in a match -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 4 (10 Sept 2019 v AFC Telford)[/b] (Previous record: Aaron Knight -- 3 (20 Aug 2016 v North Ferriby) [b]Most Assists -- Lewis Turner -- 23 (2020/21)[/b] (previous record: Jamie Hatch -- 17 (2018/19) ) [b]Highest AvR --Lewis Turner -- 7.42 (41 app) (2020/21)[/b] (previous record: Ben Drenna -- 7.31 (35 app) 2018/19) Most Player of Match awards -- Liam Sayers -- 11 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 7 (2017/18) [b]Most League goals for club -- Liam Sayers -- 94* [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (72) [b]Most League Appearances for club -- Nathan Ben Askins (227*) [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (138) Youngest player -- Jack Cooper (Striker), 16y227d (previous record: Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y264d ) Oldest player -- Phil Trainer (DM), 35y272d (previous record: ) Youngest Goalscorer -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y271d (previous record: Liam Sayers (Striker) 18y296d) Oldest Goalscorer -- Anthony McNamee (AML), 32y213d (previous record: ) Fastest Goal -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson: 35s (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (38s) Promoted from the Regional Premier Division Teams: Gloucester, Chorley, Billericay, Whitehawk, St. Neots, Skelmersdale League Winners (relegated) EPL Arsenal (Southampton, Norwich, Cardiff) Championship Sheffield Wednsday (Sheffield Utd, Peterborough, Oldham) League One Luton (Rochdale, Bury, Bradford City, Leyton Orient) League Two Wrexham (Mansfieldd, Bolton) Vanarama National Lg Tranmere (Hemel Hempstead, Lincoln, Margate, Bromley) Vanarama North Harrogate (Kidderminster, Bradford PA, Nuneaton) Vanarama South Dartford (Lewes, Sutton Utd, Weston-super-Mare) Cup Winners English FA Cup Liverpool (v Norwhich) Capital One Cup Newcastle (vs Aston Villa) Jonhstone's Paint Trophy Colchester (vs Scunthorpe) English FA Trophy Cheltenham (vs AFC Telford) Euro Qualifcation Champions League Group Stage: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd Champions League best placed playoff: Man City Euro Cup Group Stage: Liverpool, Newcastle Euro Cup Playoff: Watford Euro Cup 3rd QR: Euro Cup 1st QR: Continental Achievements Arsenal Won European Super Cup (against Napoli) Arsenal Eliminated from Club World Championship (by Corinthiansl) Southampton Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout Round (by A.C. Milan) Chelsea Eliminated from Champions League First Knockout round (by Juventus) Man Utd Eliminated from Euro Cup Second Knockout Round (By Swansea) Arsenal Eliminated from Champions League Quarter Final (by Tottenham) Man City Eliminated from Champions League quarter-final (by Leverkusen) Everton Eliminated from Euro Cup quarter-final (by Roma) Swansea Eliminated from Euro Cup quarter Final (by Dortmund) Tottenham Eliminated from Champions League Final (vs Leverkusen) Extra detail: none What's Next? More defense! Already signed a DC that I hope will help shore things up in the back, I'll be looking for one or two more with the potential to bottle things up in the back. I'll likely be looking for a new goalkeeper as well...the youngster I brought in to eventually replace Russel hasn't developed to my liking...and while he seems to be matching Russel's stats in shot-stopping...I need a bit more. I've a couple 4 and 5 stars with contracts expiring that I'm keeping my eyes on. Aiming for a minimum of a playoff spot this season! Career Overview Season Team League Pos(Predicted) Achievements 2016/17 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 16(19) Survived! 2017/18 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 10(20) Solid-mid table finish 2018/19 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 2(20) Promotion via Playoffs!, VNN Overachiever 2019/20 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 15(24) VN Overachievers 2020/21 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 11(24) VN Overachievers
  11. Sutton Coldfield Season 4 (2019/20) Table/Position Graph / Squad/ Finances / Transfers / Manager/ Facilities / Annual Injury Report / Confidence / Competitions / Reputation Season 4 (our first in the Vanarama National Conference) went pretty much as expected. In the early stages we were mired at the bottom of the table, in and out of the relegation zone. By about mid-season, we had pulled out of the relegation zone and put a bit of distance between us and the drop; however, we were never more than about 10 points above the drop and had to keep up the effort in order to stay away. The 15th place finish was a solid start to our career out of the regional divisions...but only a start. Offensively, last seasons' top goal scorer for the team, Liam Sayers, continued his goal scoring run yet again. On pace for 25-30 goals, a loss of his primary strike partner due to injury left him on a run of matches (8 or so) without a goal, and ultimately he settled for 20 goals to lead the team. His strike partner, Ricketts-Hopkinson, had a decent season which was cut a bit short due to injury; still, he ended with 12 goals of his own. Newcomer Simon Buckley, picked up as a rotation/injury replacement, filled in quite well, and bagged 14 goals of his own (6 of them at the end of the season when Ricketts-Hopkinson went down injured). He has earned himself a contract extension in the same role for another year. The major area we need to improve in is defense. The top defense a year ago proved a bit inadequate as we stepped up to the new league. Goalkeeper Russel did manage 10 clean sheets, his 61 goals allowed was actually a decent 13th in the league. An amazing run of 7 shutout matches kick-started our rise out of the red-zone; still, defense remained our weak point. Centre-back Askins (50 matches, 6.79AvR) continued to captain the back line which included fullback Jamie Hatch (33(4) appearances, team highs of 7.17AvR and 16 assists), newcomer fullback (left) Joe Anderson (30 app, 6.8 AvR), and Josef Yarney (32 app, 6.73 AvR). Of course, young DM Garcia (49 matches, 6.99AvR) was also solid and ever-present, not missing a game again all season. (Unfortunately, after 3+ seasons, I will be losing the 20 year old, as the L1 potential Defensive Midfielder looks to move elsewhere to a team that can meet his ambitions). I certainly miss this player who has played every single game since I signed him late in season 1. PROMOTION/PLAYOFFS Quite a ways off the mark here! Cup Competitions This season saw our deepest run in the FA Cup; a 1-0 win vs Chorley and a 2-0 win vs Nuneaton gave us our first FAC 2nd round appearance. A 72d minute strike by star Sayers against League 2 York gave us a glimmer of hope for a lucrative 3rd round tie, but an 84th minute equalizer saw us going back home for a replay. Unfortunately, the home field advantage wasn't quite enough, and we succumbed to another late (83rd minute) goal to suffer a 1-0 loss. Still, it was a valiant fight against a team we will be fated to see a couple times next season (as York is relegated after just a year in L2). The FA Trophy saw us crash out in our first match, a 3-1 loss to Braintree, with Sayers netting our only goal of the competition this season. Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees -- 2 new players have been inducted, Midfielder Dowling and Striker Gardner were the two new players inducted to the Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season: No change from last season, with Dowling, Hatch, and Ricketts-Hopkinson remaining the fans' choice for this award. Still no mention of leading goalscorer Sayers...yet again! Signing of the Season: Connor Kirby (MC) (free) Young Player of the Season: George Dowling (MC) Other awards: Top Academy Graduate S1: Fullback Dave Clarke -- Potential to be useful in the lower leagues...perhaps he'll backup current starting fullback Hatch next season S2: Matthew Rogers (AMC) -- looks to be a decent playmaking option already...I may have to adopt a tactic that uses an AMC and see if he can develop. S3: Michael Mitchell (MC) -- good mental and okay physical stats to start -- if he develops he might be useful in the VN division. Time will tell. S4: Michael Davies (AM(RLC)) -- not a position I'm currently using, but a 4-5 star potential youngster with great determination/teamwork. [b][i]Team, Individual, and league records [/i][/b] A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record-bold indicates record broke current season) [b][i]Sutton Coldfield-- Team[/i][/b] [b]Highest League Position --[/b] [b]13nd[/b] [b]in Vanarama National (2019/20[/b]) Highest Attendance -- 1561 (vs Altrincham, VNN playoff semi final, 11 May 2019) (previous record: 802 vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017) Highest Gate Receipts -- £23.66k (vs Altrincham, VNN Playoff semi final, 11 May 2019) (previous record: £13.67K vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017) [b]Average Attendance -- 364 (2019/20)[/b] (previous high: 358--2018/19 ) Biggest Win -- 5-2 (vs FC United, 31 Dec 2016) [b]Biggest Defeat 5-2 (vs Tranmere (VNL) 25 Feb 2020) [/b](previous biggest defeat: 4-2 (vs Chester, 1 Dec 2018) Highest Scoring Game -- 4-3 (vs North Ferriby, 20 Aug 2016) Most Games won in a Row -- 5 (20 Apr - 8 May 2019) (previous high -- 4: 28 Oct - 25 Nov 2017) Most Games without Losing -- 13 (23 Feb - 8 May 2019) (Previous high--8: 28 Oct - 23 Dec 2017 ) Most Games without Winning -- 7, (23 Aug - 20 Sept 2016) (Previous high: ) [b]Most games without conceding -- 7 (1 Jan - 1 Feb 2020[/b]) (Previous high -- 4: 11-25 Sept 2018 ) [b][i]Sutton Coldfield -- Individual[/i][/b] Top Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers --36 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 21 (2017/18)) Top League Goal scorer -- Liam Sayers -- 29 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 19 (2017/18) [b]Most Goals in a match -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 4 (10 Sept 2019 v AFC Telford)[/b] (Previous record: Aaron Knight -- 3 (20 Aug 2016 v North Ferriby) Most Assists -- Jamie Hatch -- 17 (2018/19) (previous record: Jamie Hatch -- 12 (2017/18) ) Highest AvR --Ben Drennan -- 7.31 (35 app) (2018/19) (previous record: Ben Drenna -- 7.20 (40 app) 2017/18) Most Player of Match awards -- Liam Sayers -- 11 (2018/19) (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 7 (2017/18) [b]Most League goals for club -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 72*[/b] [b]Most League Appearances for club -- Nathan Ben Askins (181*) [/b]Previous Record Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (138*) Youngest player -- Jack Cooper (Striker), 16y227d (previous record: Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y264d ) Oldest player -- Phil Trainer (DM), 35y272d (previous record: ) Youngest Goalscorer -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y271d (previous record: Liam Sayers (Striker) 18y296d) Oldest Goalscorer -- Anthony McNamee (AML), 32y213d (previous record: ) Fastest Goal -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson: 35s (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (38s) Promoted from the Regional Premier Division Teams: Kidderminster, Nuneaton, Bradford PA, Redditch, Sutton Utd, Hendon League Winners (relegated) EPL Chelsea (Derby, West Brom, Sheffield Wed) Championship Crystal Palace (Birmingham, Wigan, Notts Co) League One Sheff Utd (Port Vale, Walsall, MK Dons, Shrewsbury) League Two Carlisle (York, Stevenage) Vanarama National Lg Grimsby (Bristol Rovers, Dover, Alfreton, Dartford) Vanarama North Worcester (Corby, Solihull Moors, Ashton Utd) Vanarama South Hemel Hempstead (Farnborough, Whitehawk, Aldershot) Cup Winners English FA Cup Man City (v Sheffield Wed) Capital One Cup Arsenal (vs Man Utd) Jonhstone's Paint Trophy Torquay (vs Sheffield Utd) English FA Trophy Dartford (vs Stockport) Euro Qualifcation Champions League Group Stage: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City Champions League Best Placed Playoff: Tottenham Euro Cup Group Stage: Man United, Everton Euro Cup Playoff: Euro Cup 3rd QR: Swansea Euro Cup 1st QR: Southampton Continental Achievements Man City -- Eliminated from European Super Cup (by Juventus) Man City -- Won Club World Championship (vs Cruz Azul) Stoke -- Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout Round (by Panathinaikos) Liverpool -- Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout round (by Roma) Tottenham -- Eliminated from Champions League First Knockout Round (By Real Madrid) Newcastle -- Eliminated from Euro Cup Quarter Final (by Dortmund) Chelsea -- Eliminated from Champions League semi-final (by Bayern) Man City -- Eliminated from Champions League semi-final (by Arsenal) Man United -- Eliminated from Euro Cup Semi Final (by Napoli) Arsenal -- won Champions League (vs Bayern) Extra detail: none What's Next? Next year, I need to solidify my defense and maybe add a couple more playmakers in the midfield. Already losing standout DM Garcia, I have absolutely no one able to cover that spot with his consistency at the moment. My fullback positions are fairly solid, so it'll be my DC positions I need to shore up a bit. In the midfield, I need some playmaking options, as it was obvious that when strike partner Ricketts-Hopkinson was not available, no one could consistently set up Sayers for scoring. The board has finally broken down and installed the additional 250 seats required to bring the stadium up to league standard, so we've seating for 500 now. I still need some cash income...I'm hoping to manage a run to the 3rd round of the FAC in order to get out of debt (hovering around £100k after investments after each season so far). I can't afford scouts, coaches, or even a coaching course for myself so far! We have had a small boost in wages (now up to £9k/wk), and I'll likely continue to use about 75% of that in order to keep the overall finances in some semblance of control. That also gives me a bit of wiggle room if I need to pay a small transfer fee (as I did in season one in order to sign DM Garcia). Career Overview Season Team League Pos(Predicted) Achievements 2016/17 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 16(19) Survived! 2017/18 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 10(20) Solid-mid table finish 2018/19 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 2(20) Promotion via Playoffs!, VNN Overachiever 2019/20 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama National 15(24) VN Overachievers
  12. Sutton Coldfield Season 3 (2018/19) Table / Position Graph / Squad/ Finances / Transfers / Manager/ Facilities / Annual Injury Report / Confidence / Competitions / Reputation In season 3, my Sutton Coldfield Royals finally got to playing consistent football throughout the entire season. All aspects of the team worked to near perfection, and we took an early run up the table into the playoffs and basically parked the bus...seldom dipping out of the top 5 spots, and always challenging for the title. In the end, we fell short on goal difference, though a 7-1 goal scoring run in the final two put us close, AFC Telford remained just out of reach. Offensively, last seasons' top goal scorer for the team, Liam Sayers, continued his goal scoring run, and, thanks to a good run in the playoffs, ended up as the leagues top goal scorer (29 league goals, 36 total goals). Unfortunately, his feat did not even earn him a look in the Player of the Year award race. Still, it was another great season for him. His striker partner, Ricketts-Hopkinson, also had another good season, with 16 (15 league) goals of his own. Defensively, we were the best team in the league. Goalkeeper Russel managed a league high 21 clean sheets, and our 35 goals allowed on the season were tops. Centre-back Askins (40 matches, 6.97AvR) was his usual solid self, and he captained a back four that changed frequently, with full back Hatch (31 appearances, 3 goals, 14 assists, 7.24AvR) being the most stable position. I had 4 solid DCs to rotate in the second position, while 2 left-backs also rotated in throughout the season. Of course, young DM Garcia (49 matches, 6.99AvR) was also solid and ever-present, not missing a game again all season. We did enough to secure playoffs --- rattling of the final 12 matches w/o a loss, and, from January, only suffered 3 losses for a strong second-half showing. Finally, consistency throughout the year. It helped that we managed to stay relatively healthy throughout the year, with only 2 or 3 medium-length injuries (4-5 weeks) amongst all starters. PROMOTION/PLAYOFFS Pretty short and sweet. A 3-0 away win at Tamworth allowed us to go to the home tie feeling good...and perhaps just a little too good, as we only managed 5 shots total in a 1-0 loss. Still, 3-1 aggregate scoreline put us through to our first ever VNN final! Sayers put himself in a position with his goal in the first match to cement his top goal-scorer on the year --- but he still had to see off the challenge of Harrogate's Issac Layne, who was tied with Sayers on goals scored. The final was rather anti-climactic, as 1100 spectators (400 FEWER than our semi-final home leg!) showed up to watch our smothering defense keep Harrogate scoreless. Midfielder Clarke scored his first ever goal for Sutton Coldfield in the 69th minute, and Sayers cemented the win, and his top goal scorer award with a 73rd minute strike. We'd done it! In spite of our preseason predictions (150-1 against winning the title, and predicted 20th place), we were through to the Vanarama National division! Cup Competitions No progress to speak of in the cups. Our best match was an FAC3QR replay vs FC United, where Sayers scored 2 goals (the second in the 72d minute to tie the match and send us into extra time). We conceded early in extra time, however, but Ricketts-Hopkinson scored a 118th minute equalizer to keep our hopes alive and send us to a penalty shootout. Unfortunately, despite saving the second penalty, we missed on both our 5th and 6th shots to lose the match and crash out a round earlier than our previous season. The FAT wasn't any better, with a first match loss to Chester (Sayers and Ricketts-Hopkinson each picking up a goal in a 4-2 loss). No biggie -- I was more concered about maintaining form in the league by that point anyways! Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees -- 2 new players have been inducted, Midfielder Reece and DC Josef Yarney (30 appearances in 1 season 6.79 AvR) Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season: Beginning to wonder about this edition's FPoY calculations. Once again, Sayers didn't even crack the voting. Instead, it was MC George Dowling (2 goals, 4 assists, 7.3AvR) who won the award w/ 37%, followed by fullback Hatch (28%) and finally Ricketts-Hopkinson (22%). How the heck did Sayers not even get a mention here??? Signing of the Season: George Dowling (MC) (free) Young Player of the Season: George Dowling (MC) Other awards: As mentioned previously, Liam Sayers won the league's top goal scorer award. And, finally, Manager of the Year (my first!) Top Academy Graduate S1: Fullback Dave Clarke -- Potential to be useful in the lower leagues...perhaps he'll backup current starting fullback Hatch next season S2: Matthew Rogers (AMC) -- looks to be a decent playmaking option already...I may have to adopt a tactic that uses an AMC and see if he can develop. S3: Michael Mitchell (MC) -- good mental and okay physical stats to start -- if he develops he might be useful in the VN division. Time will tell. [b][i]Team, Individual, and league records [/i][/b] A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record-bold indicates record broke current season) [b][i]Sutton Coldfield-- Team[/i][/b] Highest League Position -- 2nd in Vanarama North (2015/16) [b]Highest Attendance -- 1561 (vs Altrincham, VNN playoff semi final, 11 May 2019)[/b] (previous record: 802 vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017) [b]Highest Gate Receipts -- £23.66k (vs Altrincham, VNN Playoff semi final, 11 May 2019)[/b] (previous record: £13.67K vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017) [b]Average Attendance -- 358 (2018/19)[/b] (previous high: 252--2017/18 ) Biggest Win -- 5-2 (vs FC United, 31 Dec 2016) [b]Biggest Defeat 4-2 (vs Chester, 1 Dec 2018)[/b] Highest Scoring Game -- 4-3 (vs North Ferriby, 20 Aug 2016) [b]Most Games won in a Row -- 5 (20 Apr - 8 May 2019)[/b] (previous high -- 4: 28 Oct - 25 Nov 2017) [b]Most Games without Losing -- 13 (23 Feb - 8 May 2019)[/b] (Previous high--8: 28 Oct - 23 Dec 2017 ) Most Games without Winning -- 7, (23 Aug - 20 Sept 2016) (Previous high: ) [b]Most games without conceding -- 4 (11 - 25 Sept 2018[/b]) (Previous high -- 2: 9-13 Aug 2016 ) [b][i]Sutton Coldfield -- Individual[/i][/b] [b]Top Goalscorer -- Liam Sayers --36 (2018/19)[/b] (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 21 (2017/18)) [b]Top League Goalscorer -- Liam Sayers -- 29 (2018/19)[/b] (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 19 (2017/18) Most Goals in a match -- Aaron Knight -- 3 (20 Aug 2016 v North Ferriby) (Previous record: ) [b]Most Assists -- Jamie Hatch -- 17 (2018/19)[/b] (previous record: Jamie Hatch -- 12 (2017/18) ) [b]Highest AvR --Ben Drennan -- 7.31 (35 app) (2018/19)[/b] (previous record: Ben Drenna -- 7.20 (40 app) 2017/18) [b]Most Player of Match awards -- Liam Sayers -- 11 (2018/19)[/b] (previous record: Liam Sayers -- 7 (2017/18) [b]Most League goals for club -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 46*[/b] [b]Most League Appearances for club -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (138*)[/b] [b]Youngest player -- Jack Cooper (Striker), 16y227d[/b] (previous record: Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y264d ) Oldest player -- Phil Trainer (DM), 35y272d (previous record: ) Youngest Goalscorer -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y271d (previous record: Liam Sayers (Striker) 18y296d) Oldest Goalscorer -- Anthony McNamee (AML), 32y213d (previous record: ) [b]Fastest Goal -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson: 35s[/b] (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (38s) Promoted from the Regional Premier Division Teams: Dorchester, Solihull Moors, Kingstonian, Aldershot, Rushall, Ilkeston League Winners (relegated) EPL Chelsea (Crystal Palace, Reading, West Ham) Championship Wolves (Rotherham, Portsmouth, Bury) League One Wigan (Burton, Carlisle, Leyton Orient, Colchester) League Two Chesterfield (Morecambe, Doncaster) Vanarama National Lg Woking (Lewes, Boreham Wood, Southport, Eastbourne Boro) Vanarama North AFC Telford (Cambridge City, Nuneaton, Kidderminster) Vanarama South Margate (Sutton Utd, Concord Rangers, Welling) Cup Winners English FA Cup Tottenham (v Liverpool) Capital One Cup Chelsea (vs Liverpool) -- Repeat win for Chelsea Jonhstone's Paint Trophy Chesterfield (vs Wycombe) English FA Trophy Grimsby (vs Woking) Euro Qualifcation Champions League Group Stage: ChelseaMan City, Chelsea, Arsenal Champions League Best Placed Playoff: Tottenham Euro Cup Group Stage: Man United, Liverpool Euro Cup Playoff: Euro Cup 3rd QR: Newcastle Euro Cup 1st QR: Stoke Continental Achievements Chelsea -- Eliminated from Champions League First Knockout Round (by As Monaco) Liverpool -- Eliminated from Champions Leauge First Knockout Round (by FC Barcelona) Everton -- Eliminated from Euro Cup Second Knockout round (by BMG) Man Utd -- Eliminated from Euro Cup Quarter Final (By KRC Genk) Tottenham -- Eliminated from Euro Cup Quarter Final (by Leverkusen) Man City -- Won Champions League (against Arsenal) Arsenal -- Eliminated from Champions League Final (vs Man City) Extra detail: none What's Next? Despite our success in the previous season, I know I've got to strenghten the squad in order to survive the next year (every single player in my first team are now playing at N/S ability -- not a single one has a CA higher!) I've got a few players w/ L2+ potential -- (actually, I have 9 with VN potential, 2 w/ L2 potential, and 1 w/ L1 potential...as well as 3 who can "improve significantly)...but they're not there yet, and developing slowly due to substandard training facilities. I'll be looking to solidify the defence first and foremost --- what was a solid defense in the VN North, will likely struggle in the next division. Once the defence is solid, I'll look at the rest of the team. As with last year, I think that we're still fairly sound offensively, with at least 3 solid strikers to choose from. I also have a youngster from the last academy class that I might trot out and see if he's worth keeping long-term (15 finishing, but poor starting physical skills). Hopefully the increase in stature will bump our rep enough (it did improve -- only 4 teams below the N/S divisions now out-rep me!) to attract some decent coaching staff...and with a bump from £5300 to £8000/wk in salary, I'll hopefully be able to convince the board to let me hire an extra coach or two as well. That might be tough...they've already decided against expanding the stadium to meet VN division requirements in this first year. Career Overview Season Team League Position(Predicted) Achievements 2016/17 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 16(19) Survived! 2017/18 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 10(20) Solid-mid table finish 2018/19 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 2(20) Promotion via Playoffs!, VNN Overachiever
  13. have NO idea how this post ended up here...sorry!
  14. Type in Salford city where the link is. Then highlight "Salford City", and at the top of the edit box look for the globe with a chain-link under it...click that icon and in the text box that appears, insert the http...... link
  15. Sutton Coldfield Season 2 (2016/17) Table / Position Graph / Squad / Finances / Transfers / Manager / Facilities / Annual Injury Report / Confidenc / Competitions / Reputation Season 2 for Sutton Coldfield was a marked improvement over season one. As with season one, it started slow, with the team capturing 9 points out of the first 5 before running off a series of 8 matches without a win. Then came the cup matches, and 2 goals in extra time in a replay win over FC United gave the team some confidence back, and we picked up a couple more wins in October. Then, at the end of October, we hit our stride, and we captured 22 points in the next 8 matches to haul ourselves up from the bottom of the table into the thick of the race for the playoffs. The boxing day match saw us pick off 1st place Stockport 2-1 with a thrilling stoppage time goal from 5th-choice striker Aaron Knight, who was still with the team on a non-contract basis and held only for emergency purposes. He made 9 appearances, and this goal was one of 2 on the season. It couldn't have come at a better time. Unfortunately, the second half of the season was a bit too inconsistent, with no real runs of bad or good games (until the final 4, where we claimed 10 points in order to cement a top-10 finish). Injuries played a small role, but I really need to improve the team's concentration in the latter half of the season -- it wasn't the top teams that I was worried about; we played the top teams well, with some draws mixed in with both 1-goal wins and 1-goal losses. It was the mid-table teams, and even some bottom of table teams, which seemed to give us problems; handing us 1-goal losses late when we were looking like grabbing a point, or late goals to draw us when we'd had 3 points in the bag. All in all, it was a decent season 2 in the league. A top 10 finish was really my goal, and in the end we finished just 7 points out of the play-offs....so I will likely be pushing for a playoff spot next season. I was completely unable to bring in enough new faces to beef the team up (we were 22nd in the league in # of different players played--fielding just 25 total distinct players throughout the season). With some key players (all midfielders I think) bailing on the team as they feel we are not ambitious enough to meet their goals, I will be looking to change this in the coming season. I did manage to stay under the wage budget, if just, and the board provided enough cash injections to keep the club afloat; though with no cash to spare even for a coaches course. PROMOTION/PLAYOFFS Stayed in the playoff hunt, but a late-season inconsistency kept us from really challenging for a spot. Finished 7 points out of the playoffs. Cup Competitions The FA Cup saw us make a run through to the 4th qualifying round, where once again we fell to a Vanarama National league team, this year losing 3-2 away to York (who, after having just dropped from L2, finished 6th in the VNC). Nevertheless, it was a decent run, and provided enough impetus and morale to kick the lads on up the table. Interestingly, our 8 goals scored in the FA Cup were each scored by a different player. The FA Trophy saw the team make its highest position in history, attaining the lofty heights of the 2nd round. A thrilling 4-0 away win at Radcliffe Boro was followed by a narrow 3-2 victory over Nuneaton, before we finally succumbed to a similarly placed VNS Whitehawk team in a narrow 1-0 loss. All in all, it was a good run in the cups....though I had hoped to make one more round in the FAC this year. Oh well...there is always next season! Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees -- 4 new players have been inducted, with midfielder Malcom Melvin leading the way. Center-back Rio Bryan-Edwards, yound DM Alberto Garcia (who played every match this season), and goalkeeper James Russel also were added. Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season: Somewhat surprisingly, top goal-scorer Sayers didn't even make the top-3 here! Instead, midfielder Ben Drennan (MC, and last year's signing of the season) earned 49% of the vote to win the award. Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson (last year's FPoY) and 2nd top goal-scorer of the season (w/ 17 goals) came in 2nd w/ 21%. Signing of the Season: Rio Bryan Edwards (DC) (free) Young Player of the Season: Ben Drennan Other awards: Top Academy Graduate S1: Fullback Dave Clarke -- Potential to be useful in the lower leagues...perhaps he'll backup current starting fullback Hatch next season S2: Matthew Rogers (AMC) -- looks to be a decent playmaking option already...I may have to adopt a tactic that uses an AMC and see if he can develop. [b][i]Team, Individual, and league records [/i][/b] A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record-bold indicates record broke current season) [b][i][size=3]Sutton Coldfield-- Team[/size][/i][/b] Highest League Position -- 2nd in Vanarama North (2015/16) [b]Highest Attendance -- 802 (vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017)[/b] (previous record: 776 vs Whitby, FAC3QR, 8 Oct 2016) [b]Highest Gate Receipts -- £13.67k (vs FC United, FAC2QR, 27 Sept 2017)[/b] (previous record: £13.23K vs Whitby, FAC3QR, 8 Oct 2016) [b]Average Attendance -- 252 (2017/18)[/b] (previous high: 220--2016/17 ) Biggest Win -- 5-2 (vs FC United, 31 Dec 2016) Highest Scoring Game -- 4-3 (vs North Ferriby, 20 Aug 2016) [b]Most Games won in a Row -- 4 (28 Oct - 25 Nov 2017)[/b] (previous high -- 3: 4 Oct - 15 Oct 2016) [b]Most Games without Losing -- 8 (28 Oct-23 Dec 2017)[/b] (Previous high--5: 6-23 Aug 2016 ) Most Games without Winning -- 7, (23 Aug - 20 Sept 2016) (Previous high: ) Most games without conceding -- 2 (9-13 Aug 2016) (Previous high: ) [b][i][size=3]Sutton Coldfield -- Individual[/size][/i] [/b] [b]Top Goalscorer -- Liam Sayers --21 (2017/18)[/b] (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 17 (2016/17)) [b]Top League Goalscorer -- Liam Sayers -- 19 (2017/18)[/b] (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 15 (2016/17) Most Goals in a match -- Aaron Knight -- 3 (20 Aug 2016 v North Ferriby) (Previous record: ) [b]Most Assists -- Jamie Hatch -- 12 (2017/18)[/b] (previous record: Jamie Hatch -- 10 (2016/17) ) [b]Highest AvR --Ben Drennan -- 7.20 (40 app) (2017/18)[/b] (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 7.03(39 app) 2016/17) [b]Most Player of Match awards -- Liam Sayers -- 7 (2017/18)[/b] (previous record: Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 5 (2016/17) [b]Most League goals for club -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson -- 46*[/b] [b]Most League Appearances for club -- Jamie Hatch (102*)[/b] [b]Youngest player -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y264d[/b] (previous record: Alberto Garcia (DM), 16y358d ) Oldest player -- Phil Trainer (DM), 35y272d (previous record: ) [b]Youngest Goalscorer -- Dave Clarke (D(RLC)), 16y271d[/b] (previous record: Liam Sayers (Striker) 18y296d) Oldest Goalscorer -- Anthony McNamee (AML), 32y213d (previous record: ) [b]Fastest Goal -- Nathan Ricketts-Hopkinson: 38s[/b] (previous record: Aaron Knight (St): 1m57s) Promoted from the Regional Premier Division Teams: FC United, Ashton Utd, Chelmsford, Welling, Cambridge City, Bishop's Stortford League Winners (relegated) EPL Chelsea (Derby, FUlham, Wolves) Championship West Ham (Sheffield United, Preston, MK Dons) League One Portsmouth (Oford, Scunthrope, Doncaster, Bolton) League Two Fleetwood (Barrow, Tranmere) Vanarama National Lg Ebbsfleet (Hemel Hempstead, Chester, AFC Fylde, Sutton Utd) Vanarama North Kettering (Lowestoft, Solihull Moors, Bradford PA) Vanarama South Bromley (Wealdstone, Weymouth, Aldershot) Cup Winners English FA Cup Arsenal (v QPR) Capital One Cup Chelsea (vs Watford) Jonhstone's Paint Trophy Peterborough (vs Mansfield) English FA Trophy Forest Green (vs York) Euro Qualifcation Champions League Group Stage: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City Champions League Best Placed Playoff: Liverpool Euro Cup Group Stage: Man United, Tottenham Euro Cup Playoff: Euro Cup 3rd QR: Everton Euro Cup 1st QR: Continental Achievements Man City -- Won European Super Cub (vs Villareal) Man City -- Eliminated from Club World Championship Final (by Corinthians) Everton -- Eliminated from Euro Cup First Knockout round (by Ajax) Chelsea -- Eliminated from Champions League First Knockout Round (By Real Madrid) Liverpool -- Eliminated from Champions League First Knockout Round (by Paris Saint-Germain) Man City -- Eliminated from Champions League Quarter Final (By Arsenal) Man Utd -- Eliminated from Euro Cup Quarter Final (by Tottenham) Arsenal -- Eliminated from Champions League Semi Final (vs Bayern) Tottenham -- Eliminated from Euro Cup Final (By Fenenoord) Extra detail: none What's Next? Improve with whatever players I can attract (I still rank bottom 3 in the VNN/S reps listing, and still have 41 lower division teams with a higher rep!--- up from 55 to start the season). I need to replace some midfielders, but have a couple on my scouting radar...hopefully I be able to entice one or two in. I need to increase the squad size, without increasing the salary (no change to my wage budget this season). I might have to bring in a loan or two more than I normally would...if the right players are out there and interested. Ideally, we'll make a run at the playoffs--we were close enough last year to give me hope. We're still fairly sound offensively, with at least 3 solid strikers to choose from. I also have a youngster from the last academy class that I might trot out and see if he's worth keeping long-term (15 finishing, but poor starting physical skills). Still can't get a parent club, can't get more than 2 coaches...can't even start a coaching course. Sponsors are not helping... I had a £100/yr LOSS in kit sponsorship this season! Really need a cup run to get some income generated...and may jump-start the reputation a little Career Overview Season Team League Position(Predicted) Achievements 2016/17 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 16(19) Survived! 2017/18 Sutton Coldfield Vanarama North 10(20) Solid-mid table finish