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About Faramir

  • Rank
    Third Team


  • Biography
    Played Goalie in Ice Hockey for 20 years- friends say too many pucks to the head :)

About Me

  • About Me
    Needham Market in Dafuge FM18

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Leyton Orient

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Needham Market

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  1. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    We survived our first season in League 2, but overall I was disappointed. We had committed to playing improved defense and instead we were the worst club defensively in League 2 allowing 99 goals. The wheels came off late in the season after we lost scoring machine Kevin Hudson and our club floundered the rest of the way. Our center defense additions all under-peformed as Alex Penny, Yannick Aziakonou and Matthew Weaire all disappointed me. Mid-season signing DR Max Aarons solidified the rightback, but after a wonderful start he tailed off badly to close the season. None of our leftbacks performed well and that is a position I will be looking to fill next season- Ronnie Barker didn't develop at all and Jaydon Mundle-Smith had one good stretch of matches and then failed to play well down the stretch. Our keepers were inconsistent as Rich Dearle became #1 keeper (mostly due to Deren Ibrahim missing time with injuries and National duties). Kevin Hudson did everything I thought he would as he scored 30 goals in 34 matches and was on pace to challenge for the league goal-scoring title until he injured his calf and missed the last five matches of the season and we only scored one goal in those matches. Mark Kingdon played well when paired with Hudson- contributing 20 goals overall- but didn't show anything once Hudson went down. Brandon Mackie contributed a bit, but was bothered by injuries. Seika Jatta never looked like a League 2 forward and we have likely seen the best of his production in the past at this point. Jubril Adedji and Max Ryan contributed little- other than griping- so we will try to find both new homes in the summer. Midfield was so-so. Alex Pope was a revelation and he and Hudson should be our best players for years to come- assuming the big clubs don't come calling for either of them. James Simmons was consistent at leftwing and performed better than I expected with 8 goals and 10 assists. Dilan Markanday paired well with him on the right- until he was injured at midseason and missed three months. Tandai Matinyadze and Steven Cahill played solidly and Jordan Mellor moved up from our under-18s to show some promise. Overall, it could have been better and the midfield really didn't do well in our losing stretch to close the season. Losing Marcus Kelly as my assistant coach at mid-season hurt the staff a lot (he became head coach at Havant & Waterlooville) and I wound up with Scotsman Nick Montgomery as his replacement. I keep hoping that the Board will loosen up and permit me another coach- or two- as we really could use a bit more help. There were a lot of players that proved to me that they aren't League 2 caliber, so this summer will be about seeing if we get a larger wage budget- we are currently maxxed out- and seeing if we can pare our roster some.
  2. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    It hasn't been a particularly easy first half of the season, but we have managed to keep our heads above water in League 2- despite our miniscule payroll compared to the rest of the league. Our offense has been surprisingly good and Kevin Hudson has been our best player (I expected him to be), but our defense has been troubling and leaky all season. We lost our #1 keeper Deren Ibrahim to injury for much of the first half and replacements were not consistent. Nor was our central defense consistent as Alex Penny has been disappointing. I am trying to keep us on the even keel of play- as of late- and will try to build more going into next season (though if we can find some good free signings in January, we have the payroll room to add a couple quality players).
  3. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    In stunning fashion, we defeated Leyton Orient 4-3 at Bloomfields to win the VNL on the last day of the season. Crawley, which had seemed beyond any club's reach, faltered badly down the stretch as they won 3 and lost 7 of their final 10 matches. We won 5 and drew 5 matches to overtake them. I didn't really believe we had a chance at anything other than the playoffs until we upset Crawley with 3 matches remaining, scoring late to edge them 3-2 and put us into a 3-way tie for the top spot (we were 3rd on goal differential though). Our chances seemed dimmed when Southport scored an 89th minute to equalize at 2-2 in our 45th match after we had dominated the match (and bounced shots off both the crossbar and post) and we dropped into 4th place with the result. The final day had us facing Orient at home, while Crawley visited Maidstone and 3rd place Ebbsfleet visited Southport. We needed help for our match to matter and got it as Maidstone dumped Crawley 2-0 and Southport edged Ebbsfleet 1-0. I have included the match summary for the Orient tilt, but I can't completely explain what a see-saw matter it was. Deren Ibrahim was the real hero for us, as the Gibrlatan keeper stopped two penalty kicks (I was so mad when we were given a second penalty result that my laptop almost took a tumble) to keep us in the match. The goals came fast and furious at the 70 minute mark of the second half as there were four goals (2 for each side) in the span of five minutes (and that also included the 2nd penalty kick). The match winner was an unfortunate own goal from Orient's Jamie Sendles-White at 87 minutes that was enough to allow us to leapfrog Crawley, Orient and Ebbsfleet to the title. The difference in our improvement this season was our forward play and the solidity of the defense. We yielded the least goals in the VNL, despite losing key defender Sam Golan to torn cruciate ligaments (will be out another 6-10 months) down the stretch. Ibrahim was brilliant when we needed him to be in the last 10 matches and earned every euro (he is the highest paid player of our miniscule payroll). Despite losing key forward Owen McCann when the President accepted a lowly offer (for which the fans' remained mad at me all season- despite me having no say in the matter), the addition of Mark Kingdon, Seika Jatta the return to health of Jubril Adedji gave us three consistent scorers as Zatta potted 20, Kingdon 17 and Adedji 17 on the season. With Max Ryan also contributing 6 important goals, we had enough scoring to keep us in matches as we managed an amazing 19 draws on the season (we only lost 5 matches). Despite a small transfer budget and only using 7,700 of our 11,100 payroll budget, I never felt the need to add at midseason as we also didn't loan any players this season. Our midfield didn't really shine, but they were effective enough at providing service to the forwards to allow us to be successful. One aspect that helped us was that we avoided key injuries- until the loss of Golan, who was playing brilliantly- for most of the season. We also survived a late season take over as local investor purchased the club. A tycoon would have been nice but we settled for him wiping out the current debts (but at the cost of future debt service on loans).
  4. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    Might want to cross Needham Market off that list
  5. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    Our only midseason additon was another forward as injuries continued to mount among them. Ryan Pennery was brought on loan from Barnet and I wasn't expecting any great shakes- just another forward as I had to resort to playing a single forward setup in a couple of matches. We played well for a good stretch to start the second half and then our defense completely collapsed from the beginning of March on as we yielded 25 goals in 10 matches and managed only 1 win and 1 draw against 8 losses to close out the season. Fortunately, we had accumulated enough points to pretty much ensure our survival against relegation and wound up in 16th place. Part of the problem was injuries to Deren Ibraham, but it was more due to extremely poor play from our centerbacks- especially Emmanual Omrore, who had been a rock for us up until this stretch. Our offense continued to suffer as we finally got Jubril Adedji and Deccarey Sherriff back from injury, but lost Owen McCann- who really was our best player overall for the season- and then Zhenyu He to lengthy injuries. Our midfield play was very spotty and was also poor to finish out the season as we could pass the ball effectively. All in all I am happy we stayed up, but our poor finish showed we have some major adjustments to make during the summer. We do have a very young squad, so I am hopeful some of our issues were related to them needing to grow.
  6. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    Needham Market reached midseason plugging along in the mid-table. At this point, I am pretty happy with how things have gone in our first season in VNL as we have stoutly defended our way to our current standing. The scoring has been lacking, partly because Decarrey Sherriff- one of our top 4 forwards- broke his ankle in his first match and hasn't made his way back into training yet. Deren Ibrahim has been a very steady keeper for us, something we badly needed, but he is also gone a bit with Gibraltar National duties and Idem has been Ok filling in. Our backline play has improved since last season, but our midfield play has been a bit uninspired - certainly contributing to the lack of scoring from our forwards. I am hopeful we can start scoring a bit more to help us maintain our placement, as I have no illusions about challenging for a Playoff spot at this point.
  7. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    *laughs* because of no scouting budget- my summer signings were made on a wing and a prayer (actually I based most of them on pace, with a couple on recognizing a couple key skills suited my style of play). Seriously, I understand the point of the discussion, but is it worth the hassle? I would be willing to post mine (well future ones...) but it does come back to the point you are cheating yourself if you are doing so. I won't be the first one to the summit in the challenge- I play way too slow these days- so it is more a matter of enjoying and celebrating the steps on the way for me.
  8. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    Our promotion run was amazing, but now we have to try and stay up in VNL with no transfer budget and only a modest increase of 2000/week to our wage budget. It will be a challenge, especially given our minimal scouting that we can afford. We scoured the free transfer list during the summer and managed to add: Deren Ibrahim GK- 28 year old Gibraltan keeper with 6 caps- with his addition we finally have the solid veteran keeper that we have needed. Owen McCann- 16 year old English forward- very promising youngster and will see a lot of time up front Jaydn Mundle-Smith- 19 year old English leftback- I was unhappy with Cristian Navarro's performance at the end of last season and Mundle-Smith will probably edge him out Foday Nabay- 20 year old Sierra Leone International with 7 caps- a very good midfield addition and should play a lot Dilan Markanday- 17 year old rightwinger that may well start over Max Booth Jubril Adedeji- 19 year old Nigerian SC that should play a lot for us in leading the line Sam Golan- 20 year old American DC that should play a lot in rotation with Sam Nunn or Emmanuel Omrore Emmanuel Idem- 20 year old GK who has a better level of talent than nominal backup Arthur Janata. Jermome Opuku- 21 year old DC with good pace and decent, not great skills. Steven Cahill- 20 year old MC who I expect to start in the playmaking role- he isn't great, but just a good overall midfielder. Jack Clarke- 20 year old MC released by Aston Villa who I have hopes for. Leon James- 18 year old MC released by Leicester that might develop into an impact playmaker. In addition, we landed Zhenyu He on another season-long loan from Notts County to give us more depth up front and 19 year old MC Sam Skeffington from Millwall. Skeffington is a large midfielder with a physical presence, but not much technique or skill yet and I see him coming in when we need defense in the midfield. With the additions, we are spending 7229/week against our 6940/week wage budget. I felt we had to go over our budget to sign the depth players. Currently we have several orginal players that are being overpaid and will not receive contract renewals next season, so that will help the budget a lot next year- in the meantime the Board isn't protesting too much our slight overrage. We did lose Harry Donovan, who had playing time concerns left over from last season and refused to sign a new contract with us.
  9. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    That's why I was happy enough to get Needham Market on my first load- I would have liked the lowest rated, but they were obscure enough for me to be happy with.
  10. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    From January 1 through early March, Needham Market only lost two matches and that run propelled us into 3rd place in VNS. We even had thoughts about the top spot as we got within five points of leader Bognor Regis, but then the wheels came off as we lost five of six matches and only scored one goal in the six matches. It was a frustrating stretch as we couldn't make passes and had virtually no offense. We finally managed to win a couple matches at the end to finally ensure a playoff spot as we dropped from 3rd place into 5th place. It was disappointing that we had to play an extra playoff match due to our faltering down the stretch. The playoffs was amazing. I have been playing the FM series for over 20 years and never had a playoff run like this one. Our first match was hosting Gloucester and we gave up an early goal and equalized, only to give up another goal. We equalized again in the second half, but couldn't get the match winner in requlation as we bounced a shot off the outside of the post and a header off the crossbar. In extra-time, Max Ryan, a late season free signing to try and boost our strikers, finished off a pretty passing play to give our first lead. We then closed out the win with Harry Donovan firing one home off a free kick set piece. Next on the road against Weston-Super-Mare, we took an early lead when Max Booth drilled home a 25 yard free kick. Minutes later we got a penalty, but with Sam Nunn being rested due to a slight injury in the Gloucester match, Jack Simmons missed the penalty as Lee Purnell made the save. That miss proved very costly when Weston-Super-Mare equalized with only moments left in second half injury time- and we were on to extra-time again. In extra-time it was Zhenyu He who scored the match-winner when a throw-in deflected to him and he potted his shot to send us on to the VNS Playoff Final against Wealdstone, who upset heavily favored Billericay. The Final opponent- Wealdstone- meant we were without Jermaine Osei (on loan from them)- so Decarrey Sherriff would have to start at Striker. We fell behind when Danny Mills scored against us early on. We fought back again as Jack Simmons headed home a Sam Nunn corner. We gained the lead as Sherriff ghosted in at the back post to fire home a Max Booth cross. Wealdstone took advantage as we botched a free kick and evened the match, and we were on to our third consecutive extra-time playoff match. Things looked good for us when Joe Oastler earned a red card early in the extra-time and then we took the lead as Wealdstone keeper Jonathan North mishandled a sharp shot from Max Booth for an own-goal. It was hugely disappointing as we allowed a counter-attack by the 10-man squad to even the match with only a few minutes remaining in extra-time. We took the ensuing kick-off and passed down the pitch before Max Ryan laid the ball off for Callum Harrison to drive home for the match-winner that earned us promotion. Our leaders for the season: Goals: Jermaine Osei -14 Charlie Cole- 11 Sam Nunn- 8 Decarrey Sherriff- 8 Zhenyu He- 7 Max Booth- 5 Prince M'vumbi- 5 Cameron Wiltshire - 5 Max Ryan -4 Assists: Max Booth- 9 Cameron Wiltshire- 8 Harry Donovan- 6 Jermaine Osei- 5 Ave Rating: Harry Donovan- 7.34 Cameron Wiltshire- 7.26 Max Booth- 7.15 Charlie Cole- 7.13 Jermaine Osei- 7.05
  11. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    Midseason in VNS with Needham Market and we are hanging in there surprisingly well. We seem to have a good mix of determination as we have come back and won several matches in the late moments. Overall, we have managed enough offense - with loanee Jermaine Osei and surprising Charlie Cole leading the way. Midfield has been solid enough with Cameron Wiltshire, Callum Harrison and loanee Coden Duncan providing enough support for offense. Wingers Jack Simmons (very injury prone), Prince M'vumbi and Max Booth have been somewhat dynamic, but our crossing really isn't the strength of the side. Our backline of Kieron Morphew, Cristian Navarro, Sam Nunn and Emmanuel Omrore has been pretty steady- Nunn has distinguished himself as our penalty taker. Keeping isn't great- but Danny Gay and Arthur Janata haven't been brutally bad to this point. Our only midseason reinforcements are midfielder Harry Donavan and forward Decarrey Sherriff, which pushed our wage budget just over the limit. Sherriff is who I have high hopes for as he has great pace and should give us a boost off the bench (as his stamina isn't much). We will keep trying to hang around in the top half of VNS and see if playoffs can be a possibility- I don't see any way for us to win the conference (we were 1000-1 shots in the run-up).
  12. Faramir

    dafuge's FM18 challenge

    Joining the challenge officially (after playing unofficially last version): I was looking for unusual and a club I had never tried and got Needham Market on the first holiday attempt- quite pleased to make a try with them actually. Current players on the Needham Market roster that I will use in my preferred 442: Gk- Danny Gay DC- Sam Nunn DR- Kieron Morphew ML- Jack Simmons MR- Max Booth DM/MC- Callum Harrison MRL,SC- Jamie Griffiths To bolster the squad the following additions: DC- Emmanuel Omrore (he will pair with Nunn as main defensive stalwarts) DL- Christian Navarro MC- Cameron Wiltshire (my midfield general) SC- Charlie Cole MLR- Prince M'vumbi DRC- Tarriq Ossai GK- Arthur Janata Loanees for the season: Jermaine Osei (Wealdstone)- 23 year old SC Zhenyu He (Notts County)- 17 year old Chinese SC Coden Duncan (Notts County) - 17 year old MC We played a heavy slate of friendlies to get ready for the season. I will post again once we hit mid-season.
  13. Thanks for the article Cleon I have been playing pretty much a 442 for the entire time with FM17, so many of your points are pertinent and agree with my experiences with the formation. My experience also jibes with Rashidi's comments as I dress the formation up differently depending on the opposition. My compliments on all the good work you have offered in here and on your website- it has always helped me personally as I discover fine points that I hadn't noticed in my play (and this is coming from someone who started back with CM2 and has plenty of experience with every version of the game. Take care and all the best.
  14. Faramir

    Pre Season Start Date

    I agree with Cleon (like I wouldn't )- the time frame matters less than the friendlies. I usually stick with four weeks and play friendlies on a weekend-midweek-weekend rotation. In my East Stirling save, I would always schedule away friendlies with Celtic and Rangers- the cash from just those two friendlies was enough to pay for my club's salaries for most of the season (up until I reached League 1). I do play the half-half game rotation to ensure less stress on the players and to try and have my full 1st-2nd side season ready at the beginning.
  15. I think you are missing an opportunity if you ignore training at those levels. One example from my current save, using FM2013- but have also had success in FM2012, is when I managed to sign a player with good long throw and trained him to make bullet throws. The two key goals in my promotion run to get East Stirling up to BSP came off his throws and the goals they generated. I can understand your thought process in not doing training- but feel you are still leaving opportunities to improve you side on the table.