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G_D_K

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About G_D_K

  • Rank
    Amateur

Biography

  • Biography
    Retired USAF serviceman -- spent (nearly) 12 years in England -- where I found one of my passions in the Championship/Football manager series. Found the game in the early-mid 90s, have purchased every edition since then. Currently you can find me streaming my FM challenge matches (as well as a host of other games) at https://www.twitch.tv/castinar

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Cambridge United

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    South Shields Mariners

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  1. And.....right on schedule...Oct 2 of season 6....the board cuts my wage budget from £7.65k/wk to £5.36k/wk..... (actually, a steeper percentage cut than he's made in the past....means by January I'll be down to...£3.9k/wk???
  2. Yeah...gonna stick with it another season. It's the first time in this challenge (I've been playing this challenge for at least six or seven past versions of FM) where by this point and with this debt I haven't 1) either had a takeover or 2) at least have the board inject cash at least (and usually more than) once in 4+ seasons. We'll see what happens. Third year in five I've got takeover rumors floating around... with an expectation of hitting -£1M cash debt by end of season (barring a great cup draw/run) I'm hoping that will trigger it. Worst part is probably getting dinged for "failing to stay within budget" when I'm within budget, until I get 2 budget cuts in a season!
  3. Season Review (Season Four, 2023-24) Table / Position Graph / Squad / Finances / Transfers / Manager Attributes / Manager Character / Facilities / Annual Injuries / Competitions / Reputation / Club Vision SUMMARY Season Four was frustratingly great (for our first season in the VNL at least. We had a lot of ups and downs thru the season, but for the most part stayed clear of the relegation battle from the start. We scored fairly well (when we took shots -- we were top of league in shots on target ratio, but only mid table in shots taken). Last season's acquisition, Tom Fielding, was great in front of goal. He not only beat his own record for league goals in a season with 24, but he captured the league top goalscorer as well (a first for me in a long time!) Davison, playing a mix of MR and Forward positioins, added 9 league and 2 cup goals, while targetman Bradbury added 10 of his own. An assortment of goals from the midfield rounded out the offense. What was lacking this season were my goals from set pieces (a critical club vision requirement) -- we didn't manage a single goal from corners this season! Defensively, we were much worse off (and it showed in our foul count as well). We were in the bottom 6 or 8 in goals allowed, and in top 5 worst in discipline overall as well. Part of the issue ended up being our only real injury crunch, as I lost few players for long spells....but when I lost players, I lost them in a bunch (just after midseason, I was without 6 or 7 starters -- 5 thru injury for 3-4 weeks, another 2 for 3 matches due to red card offenses). I also don't have a really solid DM/anchorman --- a keystone for 2 of my 3 formations. I've got a couple DM/DC types that can do the job, but really don't have the standout anchorman I am used to being able to rely on. Keeper Ryan Hall was still solid in goal, making some incredible saves in order to keep us competitive in a number of matches when the defense got a bit leaky. The rest of my midfield is still pretty solid, with Rio Campbell joining to play wide left and providing some dangerous crosses (created some chances, but only managed 2 assists -- hoping he gets a bit better with a tactical tweak). Tom Sharpe and Jeremy Watts (late) joined Sakyi and Raikhy in the center to solidify the rotation (had more problems in the VNL w/ players tiring from the number of matches played). Davision and Blanchfield remained my sole options out wide right. Altogether, they had a solid effort in controlling the midfield for me this season. The key point in the season undoubtable came late..a stretch of matches starting at the end of Februrary. We had just had a 5 match losing streak; we had a couple mid-table matches coming up that were must win, because after that we faced 5 top-8 teams before finishing off with 5 bottom half teams. Had we continued to pile losses up, those final five matches would have had us in a life-or-death struggle. Following the 5 match loss streak, we put together a great run however; starting with a 4-1 drubbing of mid-table Ebbsfleet. That gave us a bit of confidence -- a draw vs Barrow then a surprise 2-1 win over 3rd Barrow really gave us impetus to finish the season strong, and we finished the year with only 2 losses in our final 13 to stay solidly mid-table. Not bad for our first VNL. Oh, why was it frustrating???? One word. Well...two. "The Board." It stinks. In four seasons....I've gotten exactly.....one extra scout out of him. No funds dumped into the club. No additional coaches. Won't try for an affiliate club -- he prefers not to rely on loan players. Can't get a coaching license. We are now £1.1M or therabouts in debt --- 325K or so of it remaining loan debt for our stadium upgrade for entering the VNL. The rest is cash debt. The chairman's sole method of dealing with the debt --- reduce my wage allowance. This year, for the second year running, he dropped my wage allowance twice --- first in October, and again in....February, I think it was. We started the season with a wage budget of £6.4/wk, in October it was dropped to about £5.7k, then dropped again to £4.9K/wk. Yep...that's gonna drop our budget deficit quickly! Really impacting my desire to continue this save, TBH. Promotion / Playoffs Not this season. We did well getting to (and staying) mid-table, but we're far short of the quality needed to push for playoffs. Don't forsee that changing any time soon. Cup Competitions Not much going on here either. We achieved expectations, but didn't get much more than that. The FAC featured a 1-0 win over Gosport, then a FAC1R 1-1/1-0 win vs Alfreton, before losing to L2 Doncaster in the 2nd round in a match that wasn't as close as the 3-0 scoreline indicated. The FAT featured us up against Wrexham, and we took them to a replay as well, which we went out on penalties after a 1-1 scoreline. Wrexham has turned into a bit of a bogey team for us...but we finally beat them in that end stretch of matches in the league. Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees Both fullbacks Yfeko and Pata made the new overall best XI. Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season For the second season, it wasn't quite unanimous, but Tom Fielding (24 League goals--top league goalscorer/5 assists, and a 7.42AvR), was the only choice in the voting, garnering 74% of the votes. Midfielders Sakyi (5 goals/4 assists/7.05 AvR) and Best (3 goals/6 assists/7.17 AvR) got 10% and 9% respectively. Signing of the Season DM/DC Hugo Jenkinson (Free) Young Player of the Season Let's just round it out by introducing Tom Fielding as the young Player of the Season as well. End of Season Stats -- Fielding dominated with Top Goalscorer, Highest AvR, and most PoM awards (same as last season), and added most pass completion (81%) as well for the season. Most assists (6) were shared by Best and Raikhy. Bradley-Green had 12 yellow cards for the team worst, while DL Dunk had 2 Red cards. Youth Intake Top Graduate TEAM, INDIVIDUAL, AND LEAGUE RECORDS A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record -- bold indicates record broken this year) The Rest of England What's Next Season Four -- overall, a good season. Season Five....well, unless the rumored takeover comes thru, I'm not sure how far I'll make it this season. Takeover rumor has started earlier than it had in the previous two years where takeover rumors exist -- but not holding my breath. With no money coming in from the board (which consists of....my chairman....), and with our debt, and with the knowledge that my £7.5k/wk wage allowance will be down to about £5k/wk by Dec/Jan..... I'm losing interest rapidly. To start the new season, I have a new keeper (someone I tried to sign 3 seasons ago, but got beat out --- he's better than Hall (who has been pretty good), but only wants backup status....so we'll see how much I can work him in w/o irritating him. Also have another decent midfielder that can handle set piece duties for me --- something I've been missing this past season. Other than that, I need a bit more to solidify my defense...midfield and forwards are still in great shape (Fielding was in on a 2-year deal, so didn't have to worry about resigning him!). We'll see how far this season goes....if no takeover (or change in chairman's philosophy/money handling)….I might just sim to end of season and quit, trying to take over a new team that comes up that meets the requirements (or just start a new manager in 2025 w/ a team that meets those requirements). Career Overview Season Team League League Position(Predicted) FAT FAC JPT LC UEFA CL
  4. Havent seen them yet. Still running some holidays while ….. on holiday :P up to about 60% of teams discovered. Will try to remember and ping you if I find and host on the page 1 thread.
  5. Good luck---I'm up to about 50....last half dozen vacations have netted only one new team. Gonna keep at it and continue hosting new saves back on page one thru the holidays at least.
  6. Season Review (Season Three, 2022-23) Table / Position Graph / Squad / Finances / Transfers / Manager Attributes / Manager Character / Facilities / Annual Injuries / Competitions / Reputation / Club Vision SUMMARY Season Three was perhaps one of the most....miraculous....seasons I've ever had in FM. My goal was to improve my defense this season, as that was my primary weakness, and sign a striker or two that might generate a little more scoring. I succeeded in both areas -- completely replacing my back 4 (my center backs in particular - Jamie Bradley Green and Ed Cook -- made a huge difference, especially in aerial defense). DL Yfeko and Dutch DR Pata did their part as well, and the four together ensured a top-4 defense for the league. On the other side of the pitch, I already had signed Bradbury late in the previous year, and as a target man he was tremendous. 13 League goals (and 6 assists) in 39 (2) appearances, 8 Cup goals and an assist would have put him top of our team.....last season. However, I also signed one Tom Fielding, who was released by L2 Mansfield, to be Bradbury's partner. Fielding put all team records to shame, netting 22 times in 35(5) appearances (good for 3rd in the league). He added another 6 cup goals and 2 assists. The two would pace the team to the #1 spot in league goals with a total of 79. Sadly, it looks like we won't be able to retain the services of Fielding in the coming season, as his aspirations are a bit higher than he thinks we can achieve. Of course, every defense and offense needs a link up, and our midfield trio of Dunk, Sakyi, and Morphew, returning from last season, teamed up for 12 goals and 24 assists of their own. Together with a few youngsters from the first two seasons (mainly the first season), and a few rotation players added, we managed a very solid squad. So...just how did the squad perform? Poorly, at first. We managed only 3 wins and a draw in our first 8 matches in August, and it was looking a bit dicey early. But then, team cohesion started to kick in, and our tactical familiarity improved as well. We lost two in September winning 5, and improved again in October -- this time to 6 wins and a loss. That loss (0-2 vs Darlington), would be the last league loss we would suffer all season. For the record, we would finish the season with 27 straight league matches without a defeat, and break a team record with 18 straight matches (all competitions) w/o a defeat. We had a total point haul of - ONE HUNDRED AND THREE POINTS!!!!! As I said, one of the most incredible seasons I've ever had in FM. There are some concerns, however. We are still deep in debt --- more than £500K and diving. Our FAC run gave us a little reprieve, but our lush draw vs EPL Leeds did little to alleviate the situation (our packed 3K stadium for the home match netted....£50k in gate receipts). The chairman, rather than inject any money into the club, has decided (not once, but twice), that the way to make up a £500K deficit is to reduce wage allowances (first from my starting wage budget of £4.7K/wk to £3.9K/wk, then to £3.5K/wk). By my calculations, a savings of £1.2K/wk will make up that £500k deficit in only....415+ weeks or so! Way to budget, chairman! (I still wanna pretend I'm playing CKII and.....never mind....) So....onward to the Vanarama National League we go. At a wage budget that is bottom 4 in the VNLN. (Update -- okay, we've gotten approved for a wage budget of £6.2k/wk for next season -- which is still likely bottom of the VNL). Oh....and did I mention Tom Fielding? I won't be having him again it looks like Promotion / Playoffs Playoffs? We don't need no stinkin' playoffs! We made top spot with...13, 14 left to play, and though Halesowen and Hereford both tried to keep close, we had secured the title with several matches left to play. Cup Competitions We achieved our goals in the FAT, reaching the 2nd round. Along the way we managed a 5-1 3QR victory over Blyth, a 2-2 draw vs Hartlepoole which lead to a 3-1 victory in the replay, before succombing to Chelmsford 3-1 (their revenge match after our FAC match earlier). We certainly overachieved in the FAC -- 4QR was the expectaion, and we easily made it to that level with a 1-0 win over Grantham and a 2-0 win over Nuneaton Boro. That led to perhaps the most exciting match of the season -- our first of many meetings vs Chelmsford. This match went to penalties, after the scores were level 3-3 after regulation, and 5-5 after extra time was played. The ref was in the mood to play as well, and his scorecard read 7-6 in the yellow card department! The shootout was interesting, with both first takers having their shots saved. IN the end, Chelmsford had 4 misses and we went thru to the 1st round. This round saw us draw a very-out-of-form Newport County (L2), who were on a terrible run of form. We, on the other hand, were just breaking into our form (our final league loss of this season would have been 3 weeks before this match), and we took advantage of Newport's frailties -- and it was Hero of the Season Fielding with a pair of goals (8, 52) giving us the winning margin despite Newport going up early in the 5th minute. A 1st round win set us up for another matchup vs Curzon Ashton (VNLN), a team we faced several times earlier in this and previous seasons -- and despite it being away at The Thameside, we prevailed, with both strikers (Bradbury/Fielding) leading us to a 2-1 victory, and a potentially huge FAC3R draw. And, our third round draw was big --- pitting us against EPL Leeds. Unfortunately (for us), it was a home match, and our packed stadium of 3000 brought in a total of £50K in gate receipts --- barely a drop in the bucket compared with our debt. And...yes...Leeds was too much for us, and we went out 3-0 without putting up much of a fight. Oh well...onwards, and upwards! Or, something. Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees Five new players were deemed good enough to enter the Historical Best XI -- Tom Fielding being an instant choice (and one that I expect to see on this list for quite a bit longer). Additionally, Harvey Bradbury, Tommy Best, Jamie Bradley-Green, and Ed Cook also were inducted. Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season It wasn't quite unanimous, but Tom Fielding (22 League/6 Cup goals, along with another 6 assists, and a 7.38AvR), was the only choice in the voting, garnering 78% of the votes. Fellow Striker Harvey Bradbury (21 goals/6 assists) got 15% of the vote, while newcomer DR Ilounga Pata got 5%. Signing of the Season Did I mention Tom Fielding at all?? Absolutely instrumental in our season-long run. Okay, he ended 3rd on the league leaderboard for goals scored too! Young Player of the Season Let's just round it out by introducing Tom Fielding as the young Player of the Season as well. End of Season Stats -- Fielding dominated with Top Goalscorer, Highest AvR, and most PoM awards, while Morphew got most assists and Sakyi best pass completion. On a negative side, Cook (11) got most yellow cards, while Sakyi and Yfeko tied for most red cards (1). Youth Intake Top Graduate TEAM, INDIVIDUAL, AND LEAGUE RECORDS A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record -- bold indicates record broken this year) The Rest of England What's Next Season Four -- Vanarama National League, and yet another need to escape the trap that is the playoffs. I don't expect much from this first season. I'm hoping we can keep free of relegation, but it will be a tough ask. Finances are still terrible, and I feel I'm going to have problems attracting talent in key areas. IN particular, I need to find a replacement for Striker, PoY, FPoY, Leading GoalScorer, YPoY, (etc. etc.) Tom Fielding. Hopefully I can attract some attention with the exploits of last season. I really could use another cup run, but that will be secondary to survival. I'm satisfied my defense can handle the VNL (at least to the degree of keeping us out of serious trouble), but I think I'll need some more firepower in the middle and up front. If I"m lucky, my chairman will sell out and clear our debt, maybe give at least a little transfer budget to play with...a little extra salary will help too. (Debt is now close to £1M, as we just took a £350K loan to upgrade the stands (assumed to VNL standard) -- which isn't really adding anything. So far the board has refused linking to a parent club (don't want us to rely on loan players), nor even an extra coach. On a positive note --- VNLN Signing of the Season Tom Fielding has just resigned! We have a chance for the coming season! Career Overview Season Team League League Position(Predicted) FAT FAC JPT LC UEFA CL
  7. @schnauzer --- not sure if it's the same thing, but back a couple saves ago (FM15) I had an issue where my new stadium kept getting "delayed" --- I was in a rental share agreement for --- 3 years I think it was --- while stadium delays kept occurring. Might check your news articles and see if you've gotten similar reports.
  8. Been streaming (at least some) of my matches as well --- since I play out full matches (albeit at higher speed so they don't take 90+ min!) it's a bit slower than normal---but if interested watch for me at twitch.tv/castinar All are welcome to watch this Yank come up short...again!
  9. No problem! Good luck with your Tamworth team! More saves coming over the course of the week for those looking for teams--check the post on page one of this thread!
  10. Season Review (Season Two, 2021-22) Table / Position Graph / Squad / Finances / Transfers / Manager Attributes / Manager Character / Facilities / Annual Injuries / Competitions / Reputation / Club Vision SUMMARY Season Two started about as I expected/hoped. We stayed clear of the playoff battle, but still struggled for any great run of form. A few inspirational signings changed things, round about Oct/November. First, at my DoFs reccommendation (after I asked), I signed Harrison Nee, a young striker from Coventry. Early on, he appeared to be only an average striker, but I kept with him (my other "star", Stevens, leading scorer for my first season, once again started hot, then did....nothing). Nee rewarded my patience, and was key to a magificent 15-match unbeaten streak in the spring (leading up to our final match -- one with playoff implications). His run included hat-tricks in two of 3 consecutive matches -- including a "perfect" hat-trick (scoring with left foot, right foot, and head). Nee ended the season with a team record 18 goals, and his 16 goals in the league was good for 6th on the league leaderboard. I also added MC Jesurun Rak Sakyi, who became not the great playmaker I had hoped for, but a great goalscorer from the edge of the box, finishing the season with 10 goals. His 6 player-of-the-match awards became a team record. Another record was set by my veteran M/D(R) Morphew, who tallied 13 assists, mostly from his right mid position. His ability to get down the line and put in a decent cross was a joy to behold! Then, the potentially disastrous signing of the season, 30-yo Harrison Dunk. At 30 (and some days), I pushed the clubs vision of not signing anyone over the age of 30. The club didn't mind that. They did mind the £400/wk salary (a team high) I signed him on. Originally designed to be more of a fullback, he ended up playing most of his time as a left mid. He repaid the faith I had in him by scoring 10 goals and adding 9 assists. Late in the season I managed to resign him (instead of important player, he requested a lesser status), at a reduced wage of £180/wk, mollifying the board somewhat and getting under my wage allowance (if barely). Rounding out the first team were a handfull of youth from my first academy graduation class. The two of note, Warren Saberton (14 app, 1 goal/4 assists) and Declan Blanchfield (13 app, 1 goal/1 assists) are both wide midfielders and were among the highest rated youth of the first class. Their ability was just enough to get some time in throughout the season, allowing a relatively thin midfield (wide) crop of starters a rest from time to time. So, those were the key players --- how about the season? I already aluded to an exciting stretch -- and it started with our 2nd match of January (a time we really struggled with in season one). First, we reeled of 7 consecutive wins, before a crucial game away vs Southport---a team occupying a playoff spot that we were suddenly challenging for. After a pretty dull first half, Loanee Nee gave us a 51st minute lead and gave us hope that our streak would continue. Southport goals in the 62 and 72 minute put the issue in doubt, and looked to push us further from the playoff zone. Midfielder Tommy Best scored what might have been his most important goal of the season (okay, it was his only goal), but his stoppage time scorcher from just inside the box levelled the score and gave us 8 unbeaten (and, pushed us no further away from the playoff zone). A relatively easy 3-1 victory over relegation threatened Farsley made it 9 in a row unbeaten, before we faced off with another crucial (and perhaps the toughest) match of the season -- away vs 1st place Curzon Ashton. For this match I went with my patented 4-1DM-3-2 Narrow "park the bus" formation, one that I have been using since FM15 (remember my King's Lynn save w/ 500+ goalscorer Robyn Watson???) ---, and it paid off. First, we snatch a goal on the counter in the 15th minute (I believe that was new striker Harvey Bradbury --- just signed -- first goal (editor's note --- it was)....and then we held on for dear life! Curzon got the equalizer just before the half, but, despite outshooting us 19-3, they couldn't break us down again. Given I had gone into the match just hoping for a point, it was a great result, and it pushed us to 10 unbeaten. We would continue to go 5 more matches unbeaten (4 wins and a draw), pushing us to 15 in a row, and leading up to a final game of the season that had massive playoff implications. Our final match was a home match vs 15th Hereford. In front of us, Kettering had a 2-point lead and a +6 goal differential on us --- meaning we needed a win AND a Brackley loss to overtake them. We also had a back door into the playoffs --- ahead of Kettering by one point, but with an inferior goal differential, was Brackley -- so a loss or draw by Brackley, and a win for us, would put us into the last playoff spot based on goal differential. It was all in our hands. Or----so I thought. To make a long story short -- Brackley ended up losing, so a win would have put us in. It was not to be. TWO penalty kicks were awarded (round about the 15th and 51st minutes) to Hereford, and we were whistled for a foul just about every time I touched another player. Or, kicked the ball, for that matter. We had no fluidity to our game, and despite trying just about everything, just could not beat the 14 men we were facing. (well...maybe counting both linesmen is a bit harsh...but, whatever). Gone was our playoff hopes, gone was our unbeaten streak, gone was our season. After the match---I checked the ref's rating. 4.6. Yup. We just couldn't outplay 14 men. Well....I'm ready for next season. Almost. Promotion / Playoffs Close, but no cigar! Seriously, we made a tremendous push for a playoff spot -- going 15 matches w/o a loss in the run-in to the final. The referee cost us a playoff spot, and no doubt about it. (Okay, we could have maybe still won, and a win would have given us a spot --- but two PKs awarded to Darlington, and the ref's rating of 4.6 in the match....I'll stick by my guns and say the ref cost us our destiny! Cup Competitions We achieved our goal of an FAC4QR, but that's about it, earning a 2-0 win over Mickleover, a replay (0-0) and win (2-1) vs Whitby, and two draws vs (then #1 VNS) Dover (0-0, 2-2), before finally crashing out on penalties. That at a time we were still solidly mid-table in the VNN. Maybe next season we'll make the FAC proper. Oh, yeah.... 2-0 loss to Halesowen in the FAT in the FAT3QR, and we failed to achieve the board's desired objective. Fortunately......it was just the FAT :P Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees Seven players were included in this year's crop -- Loanee Harrison Nee being the cream of the crop w/ 30 appearances, 18 goals, and an AvR of 7.22 Also included were MC Jesurun Rak Sakyi, ML Harrison Dunk, DMC Joe Bateman, MC Sam Wilding, DC James Burford, and MR Declan Blanchfield. Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season MC Jesurun Rak Sakyi (10 goals, 3 assists, 6 PoM, 7.14AvR) led the voting, garnering 39% of the votes, with 31-y.o. ML Harrison Dunk (9 goals/9 assists) getting 33% of the vote Striker Davison (9 goals/2 assists) rounding out the voting. Signing of the Season MC Jesurun Rak Sakyi was selected signing of the season. He definitely improved the midfield, and a pair of braces in games late in the season helped maintain our 15-match unbeaten run. Young Player of the Season Loanee striker Harrison Nee easily set the pace for the team, scoring 18 times during his loan spell (a new team record). His 16 league goals put him 6th on the league leaderboard. Goal of the Season -- A goal from out of nowhere, scored by DM Bateman -- who rarely surged forward to be in a scoring position! Youth Intake Top Graduate TEAM, INDIVIDUAL, AND LEAGUE RECORDS A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record -- bold indicates record broken this year) The Rest of England What's Next For Season Three I finally have a changed club vision. For the foreseeable future, the board now expects a top-half position on the table. That's great, though my personal goal is to push for a playoff spot minimum this coming season. The great success we had in the late stages, along with some strengthening of the squad I've made late in season two (and hope to continue in the off-season) gives me great hope. There are, however, two worries (both are tied together). Firstly, our attendance average ended up DROPPING this season, despite the progress we were showing. Okay, maybe not by much....but it should be moving in the other direction, to help with our second problem --- funding. We are now over £400k in the red, with no sign of slowing down. Despite takeover rumors in each of the first two seasons, it doesn't appear the president is going to step aside. Neither has he shown any willingness to inject funds into the club. I've been unable to obtain a coaching badge for myself, nor any real upgrades (I did prise an extra scout out of him the first time I won manager of the month, but couldn't get even another coach when I won it the second time). Things are very dire, and I might end up losing this challenge thru bankruptcy, despite playing well!!! Career Overview Season Team League League Position(Predicted) FAT FAC JPT LC UEFA CL
  11. Season Review (Season One, 2020-21) Table / Position Graph / Squad / Finances / Transfers / Manager / Facilities / Annual Injuries / Confidence / Competitions / Reputation / Club Vision SUMMARY Season One finished about as I expected (and hoped). Thru the first 12 matches, we maintained a position skirting on the border of the relegation zone, but only dropped into the RZ for a total of 3 weeks of the season. We started breaking out near mid-season, climbing as high as 13, at which point we were about 8 pts from the playoffs and 13 or so from the drop zone. Then, the fixture congestion cleared (9 matches a month seemed brutal!). With less actual football, and only semi-pro training, the squad really dropped. Starting on the boxing day match, thru until mid-March, we were terrible (we scored 9 goals in that 13 game stretch). A tweak to one of my 3 trained tactics helped down the stretch, and we finished the final 5 matches of the season undefeated. In the end, our position of 15 ( with a 14-point buffer between us and the drop zone) wasn't nearly as close as the season felt --- we weren't officially safe from relegation until 3rd match from the end. The best standout player for the team was a young 18-yo goalkeeper I brought in, Ryan Hall. The youngster single-handedly kept us in many a match, often making multiple saves seconds apart to keep the ball out of the net and us in the match. I don't know how many matches he would post a statline like 24 shots faced, 12 shots on target, 11 saves. Hall finished the season 6th in goals allowed (41 in 39 matches), joint 11th in clean sheets (13), 8th in Saves Held (94), 15th in Parried (45), and saved 1 of 3 PKs faced. He currently rates as a decent VNN CA and VNL potential keeper. Offensively, non-contract Jack Stevens led the team with 13 goals, but fell out of favor when I signed Josh Davison. Davison started slowly, had a 4-5 week injury in the spring, but really took off after his injury to help season safety at the end of the season (5 goals in the final 4 matches, and 5 in his 7 back from injury) really helped. Overall, this might have been one of the strongest 1st season squads I've ever ended up with thru my history of this challenge, with 8 of my starters holding a CA rating of VNN level (several with VNL PA, and two with L2 PA as well). My board vision included not signing any Over 30 players, and to sign young players, so we're a pretty young squad. Hopefully with a couple additions we'll improve to a playoff run in season 2. Promotion / Playoffs While it looked for a while like we might challenge for a playoff spot, our terrible run starting in December kept us well out. We'll try harder next season! Cup Competitions About the best to be said is we met the board's goals for the season! We ended up with a 2-0 win in each of our opening matches of the FAT and the FAC, Lost 2-1 in the FAC3QR to (then 3rd VNS) Hampton & Richmond, and lost 1-0 in extra time to Tamworth from our own VNN. Additional Details Team of the Season Best XI Inductees Historical Best XI Fans Player of the Season DC Barret led the voting, garnering 37% of the votes, with leading striker Stevens (13 goals) getting 28% of the vote and fellow DC Barlow rounding out the voting. Signing of the Season Leading Striker Stevens was selected signing of the season. He added 6 assists to his goal tally and had an overall AvR of 7.07 Young Player of the Season Center Back Connor Barret managed a goal and 2 assists, 2 PoM, and an AvR of 7.09 Goal of the Season Youth Intake Top Graduate TEAM, INDIVIDUAL, AND LEAGUE RECORDS A host of records were set or broken this year: (* denotes ongoing record -- bold indicates record broken this year) The Rest of England What's Next For Season Two I hope to solidify the squad. Definitely need a DL, perhaps need an MC, and likely need a striker as well. Otherwise, we're all already at VNLN CA. With poor facilities across the board, already £200K in debt, and only £1K short of my wage budget, there is not much to do. The good news is now that we're starting at a relatively high TacFamiliarty, we should not struggle as much in the early part of the season. Hopefully we'll get an extra FAC/FAT round, maybe make a little dough, and look to improve some facilities or coaching. Already the crunch has prevented me from even going on a coaching course during the offseason -- so things don't look too rosy there. Just about ever 3 weeks for the first...5 months or so, my chairman was quashing takeover rumors -- I thought that maybe we were changing hands...but, things quieted on that front. Hopefully he'll look to inject some cash, because, yeah....£400k in the red at the end of this season will not be fun! Career Overview Season Team League League Position(Predicted) FAT FAC JPT LC UEFA CL
  12. Making a preliminary start (at least unless/until I find someone more intriguing). I lived just about 30 miles from Needham market in the late 80's and 90's, so I've decided to give them a go. Meet the new manager of The Marketmen
  13. Yep...I see. Just a hunch, but I bet daylight savings time just hit us and caught computers changing their on-board clocks.
  14. Hmm...not sure what's up, but I'll look into it.
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