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Troy Damage

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About Troy Damage

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    Aston Villa
  1. Three strikers...

    I've managed to develop a really successful possession based 4-3-3 with 3 strikers. I play like this; -------AF(a)----F9(s)-----AF(a) -------AP(a)--------B2B(s) --------------RP(s) FB(S)---CB(d)---CB(d)---FB(s) I play attacking and fluid, with a high line, high tempo and short passing. I find it keeps the ball well and creates a lot of chances, I can be vulnerable to pacey counter-attacking sides, but generally mange to out score other teams.
  2. dafuge's FM15 challenge

    Dulwich Hamlet - Season 8 Legue One (Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2) In many ways I wanted this season to be tough because I haven't found it much of a challenge since we made it into league football, but it wasn't to be and we claimed a fourth consecutive promotion. A glourios mid season run meant that we actually led the league for a long period, and by 10 points at one stage, but eventually we had to rely on a late equaliser in the final game to secure 2nd place and promotion, an outrageously strong Everton side (they still have Lukaku on 120k per week) finished the season by winning 12 in a row, including a 4-0 thumping of us, to claim the title from under our noses. Cups We were fairly disappointing in the cups again this season, I'm not sure that we have won an FA cup game since turning professional. Having said that we did take Premier League Leeds to a replay in the 3rd round, in the League Cup however we went out to Championship strugglers Charlton. Transfers Lots more changes. Early on we made Tom Walsh our record signing by a mile, it proved a poor decision, as by November he was loaned out to League One Wolves and in January we were desperately trying to get rid, he eventually went on loan to Motherwell, but will return in the summer as one of our highest earners. Most of our other moves were pretty successful, Diego Milano a particularly good signing, and our other expensive signing the keeper Andersen at 350k looks excellent, I justified spending this money by selling our previous number 1 Markham for 325k, Andersen was a big step up. On the selling side, Portsmouth were crazy to pay 250k for Reilly, but aside from that we struggled to move several players on and had to resort to loaning them out, hopefully we will be more successful this summer in getting rid of the likes of Carter-Vickers (too high wages) Threlkeld (not good enough) and FInnie (poor signing). Squad (Tactics) This is a decent squad, but by no means outstanding for this level. Due to the consecutive promotions it now looks radically different than it did only a couple of sesaons ago, and we have very few players from the non-league days left, Clennet and Lapslie being the only two. We are strong at the back, with several good centre backs, Barrett the pick of the bunch in my opinnion (evidently not in my assistants). We also now have a couple of really strong attackers in Lepage and Milano, who both had great seasons. Frustratingly though Lepage is set to leave, Peterbourough, who went up with us through the playoffs met his minimum release clause of 1.5m before I managed to renegotiate his contract, and I could do nothing to persuade him to stay. Having now seen that he is on 18k at Peterbourough it is clear why, the max I am allowed to offer is 7k. Finances and Facilities So, thanks to Premier League regulations we are now building a new stadium, the inspiringly named Dulwich Hamlet Stadium, though as you can see the rest of our facilities are hardly Premier League standard. I have been given an 11m budget, but I doubt I will spend much of it since the finances are looking precarious with the cost of the new stadium. Key Players Stuart Lepage: A second great season from one of my favoutie players, he got 22 goals in 36 games with a handy 12 assits. But as mentioned above he will be leaving this summer as Peterborough activated his release clause and offered him wages he could only dream of getting here. Fred Clancy: I got him on a free from the Irish league last January thinking he looked a promising youngster, and he has exceeded all expectations. He has quickly established himself as our best midfielder at only 20 years old, but Aston Villa are sniffing around so we may struggle to hold onto him. Diego Milano: A great free signing from Udinese. I noticed him when he was on loan at Watford last season, and though he didn't do very well for them I though he looked worth a punt on a free and reasonable wages. He started the season on fire scoring 12 in his first 10, before injuries slowed him down a bit, but still 22 goals in 37 games represents a good first season at the club. Besan Rama: I couldn't find a right back all summer, and eventually on the eve of the start of the new season my scout uncovered this guy from Albania, somewhat desperate I took a gamble at the price of 125k, but boy did it pay off, he had a great year. Key Leavers: Danny Stenning: A true legend, even if the fans don't seem to think so. 10 seasons at the club and over 250 appearences, he hit 57 league goals from holding midfield. He has had several outstanding sesaons for me, but this wasn't one of them, he is way out of his depth now and will be released. Shane Townrow: He has been great for us in 4 years on loan, we could sign him for a measly 50k, but in truth he is not even Championship standard, and I brought him in this year mostly for nostalgia. He does merit a mention for scoring the equaliser on the final day that secured promotion though. History: [TABLE=class: cms_table] [TR] [TD]Season[/TD] [TD]League[/TD] [TD]Cups[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]1[/TD] [TD]Conference South - 2nd[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 4th Qual[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2[/TD] [TD]Conference South - 2nd[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd Qual FA Trophy - 1st[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3[/TD] [TD]Conference South - 1st[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 3rd Qual FA Trophy - 1st[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]4[/TD] [TD]Conference Premier - 13th[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd FA Trophy - 2nd[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]5[/TD] [TD]Conference Premier - 1st[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd FA Trophy - 3rd[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]6 7[/TD] [TD]League 2 - 2nd League 1 - 2nd[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 1st League Cup - 2nd St Js - 1st FA Cup - 1st League Cup - 3rd St Js - 2nd[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] Next Season So, we've made it to the promised land of the Premier League. Having only been in non-league 4 seasons ago I think next season may be the point at which we finally struggle, it could be a long hard season, as budget wise we are going to be light years behind all of out rivals, it should be fun though.
  3. dafuge's FM15 challenge

    Dulwich Hamlet - Season 7 Legue One (Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2) A third straight promotion. It was fairly straight forward, only a late loss to eventual champions Bolton prevented us from winning the division. (To be honest I have never found a previous version of FM to be so easy, I'm getting a bit concerned that the lack of a challenge will reduce the enjoyment). There were no paticular ups and downs to this season, we were up there all along and didn't waver much. Cups Despite the fact that we got our first win over Premier League opposition in QPR in the 2nd round of the league cup we were overall dissapointing in the cups. I was annoyed to go out of the FA cup in the first round, and with the St Johnstons Paint Trophy results, especially since, barring relegation, we won't get to play in it again. Transfers I made substantial changes this time around. With massive utilisation of the Irish market, having been given permission to scout the whole of the UK for the first time. We also paid our first transfer fee for experienced Irish utility man Dunleavy, who proved to be well worth the 12k. We returned Aneke to the club, he had previously been on loan 2 seasons ago, he wasn't great though. Several of the Irish signings look great, Stuart Lepage, a 20 year old, english stirker was a big success, and Gary Duffy is both technically the best player at the club and the most injury prone player I have ever come across. Squad (Tactics) We are looking strong now, and fairly well prepared for the Championship. We do need to add to the striking department though, with only Dolan and Lepage looking anything like Championship standard. Finances We are continuing to both turn profits and invest in the facilities. Key Players Stuart Lepage: A great free signing, after he was released, somwhat questionably in my oppinion, by Crystal Palace. He looks a very rounded player already, but at 21 there remains room for improvement, and I think that he will be able to establish himself in the Championship. Johnny Dunleavy: The first, and so far only, player that we have actually paid for. He did well, and the range of positions that he can play was a real bonus Cameron Carter-Vickers: Another strong season from our best defender. Looking at him now makes it look strange that we were able to sign him in League Two. One worry with us going up to the Championship however, is that he does have a match highest earner clause in his contract. George Lapslie: Our captain is going into his 6th year at the club, and he has been superb considering that he was signed in the Conference South. Another strong season from him, but I do have some concerns that he may be found out in the Championship, he'll get the chance to prove me wrong though. Angelino: Wonderful season from the Spanish left back, signed from Man CIty two years ago. Key Leavers: Big changes this year as we rocket up the divisions has meant that some long term key players will now be leaving the club. Kyle Walker-Peters: He has been at the club for 5 years, and actually contributed a lot this time round, but I can't see him being able to contribute at the next level, so he will be released, regretably. Chimdl Akubuine: A club Icon, but nonetheless he couldn't really cut it at this level, he was one of my very first signings, but after 7 years, 5 of which he was named player of the season, we let him go on a free in January. Tom Collins: Our top goalscorer for 5 years in row, and another club Icon, it was clear from the beggining of this season that he was out of his depth, hw went on loan in January, and it was telling that the only takers were Conference South side Dover, he will be released in the summer. Collins was an odd one, in truth never a great player at any level, something just clicked with him in our system. Josh Banton: Along with Akubuine and Collins he was brought in during my first summer at the club. He has done well at every level, but quite simply is not anywhere near Championship quality, he will also be released. History: [TABLE] [TR] [TD]Season[/TD] [TD]League[/TD] [TD]Cups[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]1[/TD] [TD]Conference South - 2nd[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 4th Qual[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2[/TD] [TD]Conference South - 2nd[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd Qual FA Trophy - 1st[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3[/TD] [TD]Conference South - 1st[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 3rd Qual FA Trophy - 1st[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]4[/TD] [TD]Conference Premier - 13th[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd FA Trophy - 2nd[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]5[/TD] [TD]Conference Premier - 1st[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd FA Trophy - 3rd[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]6[/TD] [TD]League 2 - 2nd[/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 1st League Cup - 2nd St Js - 1st[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] Next Season As we enter the Championship I don't plan on making too many changes to the squad since I made so many this season, and I'd like to try and invest more in the facilities. I think we will be able to cope fairly well, but in a way I hope that is much more of a challenge than I have found leagues 1 and 2.
  4. dafuge's FM15 challenge

    Dulwich Hamlet - Season 6 Legue Two (Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2) I didn't expect this to go nearly so well. We started off fantastically, but faded badly in mid season, late December to February was poor for us but I accepted that mid table was realistic given that this was the clubs first season in league football. However we ended the season superbly and only an unlucky defeat at eventual champions Wolves stopped us from winning the title. Still it was exceptionally tight, and our final day victory was the difference between finishing 2nd and 4th. Cups Played 4 lost 3. The only highlight was our first match up against premier league opposition in the League Cup. Transfers We largely kept faith with the squad that got us promoted and made few changes of note. Squad (Tactics) Really pleased with what I have built here. Townrow was excellent on loan again, our captain Lapslie continues to excel, and Carter-Vickers was a great addition. We managed to move most of the squad onto professional contracts without over inflating the wage bill. Finances We are turning big profits now and have invested heavily in youth facilities, however this is yet to bear any fruit in terms of the youth players that we are bringing through, they are, without exception, terrible. Key Players Danny Stenning: In truth I never imagined he would be able to cut it at this level, but he continued to excel. Tom Collins: We finally found a level that he couldn't quite cope with, and for the first time he was not our top scorer as he manged only 7 in 37, but he gets a special mention for scoring both goals in the crucial final game win, without which we would not have been promoted. Cameron Carter-Vickers: He is a top quality centre back and a great addtion to the squad. I'm sure that we will be able to rely on him for years to come. George Lapslie: Our captain was teriffic again, he is technically the best player at the club and he is another who I am sure will be able to cut it at an even higher level. Shane Townrow : Townrow joined us on loan for a second season running, and for a second season running he got 18 goals and 15 assits, once again being vital to our promotion campaign. Chimdl Akubuine: Yet another superb season from the right back and fans favourite. I am concerned though that he will be found out as we continue to climb through the leagues. History: [TABLE=class: grid] [TR] [TD]Season [/TD] [TD]League [/TD] [TD]Cups [/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]1 [/TD] [TD]Conference South - 2nd [/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 4th Qual FA Trophy - 2nd [/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2 [/TD] [TD]Conference South - 2nd [/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd Qual FA Trophy - 1st[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3 [/TD] [TD]Conference South - 1st [/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 3rd Qual FA Trophy - 1st[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]4 [/TD] [TD]Conference Premier - 13th [/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd FA Trophy - 2nd[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]5 [/TD] [TD]Conference Premier - 1st [/TD] [TD]FA Cup - 2nd FA Trophy - 3rd[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] Next Season This may be a summer of some big change, this season I kept faith with lots of players signed in our Conference South days and they delivered promotion, but I feel that League One may be a step too far for several of these players and we need to look to improve the squad in order to achieve safety next season.
  5. Oldest Player

    I've just signed a 39 year old Michael Carrick for Dulwich Hamlet on a very reasonable 95 pounds per week, and I'm in League 2 so that's a professional contract.
  6. dafuge's FM15 challenge

    Yeah I'm sure it does differ a bit, but he has been superb for me, I can see him being me left back for quite a while. I think the only reason he joined me in the Conference was that he had been unattached for a whole season. What division were you in when you signed him?
  7. dafuge's FM15 challenge

    Dulwich Hamlet - Season 5 Conference Premier (Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2) We won the first 8 in a row and never looked back, this was easily my best season in charge, and especially good since I wasn't really expecting to do so well. We dropped off significantly with 5 games to go after having already clinched the title, which is a bit of shame as we were on for a points record, we still got the goals scored record though. Cups A couple of half decent runs which brought some money in, disappointed to go out of the FA trophy as we were clearly the best team in non-league football, but we were very well beaten by Dagenham in probably our worst game of the season. Transfers I ended up making a lot more changes than I have in previous years. Summer frustrations lead me to utilise the loan market for the first time in this career. A lot of these signings turned out well, which is probably why we ended up doing so well. Sanni did really well despite looking fairly limited, Smith-Brown is a top player for this level, and I was pleased to bring in the experience of Dan Gosling, the signing of Threlkeld late on looks a good one too. Squad Really pleased with what I have built here. The loanees added some needed depth, but Townrow was the only one who really shone. A very decent balance in this squad now and I don't envisage too many changes ahead of our debut in league football. Finances On the up and up. Key Players Danny Stenning: What a season for a guy rated as 1.5 stars by all of my backroom staff. 15 goals is a great return even if 9 of them were penalties, of which every single one he took was converted this season. He is the only player at the club that I didn't sign myself, all in all he has been at the club 7 years, playing 193 games scoring 46. Tom Collins: Our top scorer for a 5th season running despite injury problems this time around. He was one of my first signings and has now scored well over 100 goals for the club, I am doubtful that he will be able to do it at pro level though. Aaron Clennet: Our young keeper continues to do the business between the sticks, I plan on giving him a pro deal and seeing how he fairs in legue football. He has been our number 1 for 4 years now. George Lapslie: Our new captain was teriffic, an average rating of 7.37 speaks for itself really, he is technically the best player at the club and he didn't disappoint. Shane Townrow : After being frsutrated by being unable to improve the squad in the summer I turned to loanees for the first time. Townrow joined for the season from Peterborourgh and was the pick of the bunch, his 15 assits were a particular highlight. One way or another I will try to get him back next season. Chimdl Akubuine: Yet another superb season from the right back despite some injury problems this time around. He has now been with us for 5 full seasons and is a firm fans favourite. Ashley Smith-Brown: A superb signing for us, too good for this division really, 12 assits from left back is a great return. Next Season We are turning pro, but I am keen to keep the faith with the players that have been with me for a while now, we'll see how it goes.
  8. I had a really good save on this years version in Norway with Aalesund, it's a bit of a challenge to become dominant domestically, since signing good players is tough, and then the real challenge is establishing yourself in Europe
  9. dafuge's FM15 challenge

    Good luck with Lewes
  10. I would try to find a bit of a fallen giant, for instance I once, many iterations of FM ago took over Aston Villa with them having fallen down to League One
  11. Those are extreme stats, but I imagine if you do persist with your current tactics he won't be getting sent off at anywhere near that rate of frequency over 50-100 games.
  12. Yeah it would be great if this was added
  13. This is a good point about friendlies, which could be a way to save a bit of cash, but I would still say that the savings would be minimal and unlikely to go particularly far in plugging a 150k gap in the finances
  14. I do both. I find the U21s really useful for building up match fitness in my players, especially since in non-league I often bring in players during the season (players on frees that need to get really desperate for a club before agreeing to join, I find that often the best way to get good players at this level on low wages is to look for unattached players who still haven't found a club by Feb/March time). If you wanted to save a little bit of money - I would estimate maybe 10-20k - then you could not join, but for me it is worth the relatively small expense. I only do the U18s because my board insists on it however, they have a youth based philosophy, which I think is why the agreed to spend money on the youth facilities, if I had the choice I would probably not play U18s since my facilities are so poor that I have such a slim chance of producing any decent youth players, but the savings here would be minimal I think.
  15. I am trying to do a similar thing with Dulwich Hamlet, and am currently in my second season in the Conference Prem and 5th season in total. It is tough but possible to turn a profit, I average a profit of around 50k a season, and have just been able to invest 150k in youth facilities. There are a few important elements: 1. You generally need to be way under your wage budget and certainly not over it (I have the lowest budget in the division), which means being really strict with yourself when signing players, in otherwords ruling out any players who ask for a half way decent wage, for instance most of my players are on 100-150 pounds a week. You also need to keep the squad size really small, like 17 or 18, and the more of your back up player you have on non-contract deals the better. 2. Pre-season friendlies are crucial. It used to be the case that home games against big teams were the key, but for the last couple of versions teams demand a big fee to play at your ground and so you can often lose money from these arrangements if attendance is poor. The key now is to arrange away games against bigger sides, thus simply picking up appearance fees, which can often be in the region of 10-20k for me. If you arrange 8-10 such friendlies then you cover a lot of your costs for the year, it can hamper your form at the start of the season though. 3. The cups are key. This is especially true of the FA Cup, a nice run goes a long way on your balance sheet. The prizemoney is pretty high, attendances tend to be much increased, if you get an away draw at a club with a big ground you get half the gate receipts which can be huge, and ideally if you get a televised tie you pocket around 50-100k depending on the round.