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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
    Hornchurch in FM20

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Leyton Orient

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing

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  1. Season 1 - Hornchurch Finished 12th in VNS. Late season scoring draught dropped us from playoff contention, but overall we survived with a sub-par squad. With no money (even with a takeover at the end of the season), we will need to struggle on next season as our entire payroll is at 5k a week, so our ability to draw players is pretty limited. We did manage to get a late season hook-up with Bradford City and are hoping to get at least a couple of fruitful loans to help support our 2nd season. Sorry, no pics- don't have time to sort out the image posting at present.
  2. Metallimuse- Your point on tactics is good, but to frame it from my situation- I basically didn't have any players (well all of them were non-contract and I lost the only ones that were any good on free signings early in the season), so that is building a club from scratch with no scouting information (since I play blind without attributes revealed until scouted). Due to that fact, the first season is all about what you can identify quickly and get on board to get familiar with your tactics. In doing that, simpler is better for the first season. Now that I am one season in and have at least some scouting data, I can start the changeover to a more advanced tactic that needs specific skill sets to make it work.
  3. Since I always start there, Here are a few of the things I do: Simple formation is good- I typically play a 442 counterattack because I am starting with a challenging side (vs. a more established side) in VN-South or North (when in England). Staff is one of the first things I square away, as good a staff as I can manage to attract. Players- I evaluate the squad and try to keep the ones I think will fit my approach. This isn't always possible- ex. I am playing Hornchurch in Dafuge 20 Challenge and all the players (12 total) were on non-contracts. The one I would like to keep the most won't consider a new contract since he just signed the one he is on, so I will likely lose him to another side before I can get him under contract. Searching for new players- Speed (ACC/Pace) is great in lower leagues for the way I play. I also value determination since we will always be the underdog. You won't be able to get top flight players, so you have to settle for attribute combinations that are good enough to benefit your tactical approach and just go from there. I typically play at least 8 friendlies to get my squad comfortable with my main tactic and work on gelling since I usually bring in several (or many players). The first season is all about hanging on and then you build the blocks from there. Hope that helps! Rashidi (Bustthenet) will be doing a Lower League side video sometime soon- so keep an eye out for that.
  4. I am starting out with Hornchurch, should be a good challenge.
  5. I haven't been around for the last three weeks with RL stuff, but thank you for the nomination for Short Story- just to be nominated was an honor. Hall of Fame- wooh. Never expected that at all, so again an honor to receive votes and the consideration for that completely floored me. All the best to the Winners! Mike/Faramir
  6. In my 25 years of playing the CM/FM series, I have managed exactly 1 big club (Manchester United as part of the Sir Alex Ferguson challenge years ago). Otherwise, I am always playing up small sides - just my way to enjoy the series.
  7. Because this is how I have played CM/FM since starting- playing lower sides up- I agree totally with FMunderachiever on Determination being a key characteristic for your players.
  8. (Ed. - I still love to write, but rarely have much time at present, so please enjoy a short effort summing up the rise of East Stirling - MD) The Burning Homefires (Please forgive my brief homage to a treasured place) The celebration swirled around him as Robert Ballyntire vacantly stared at the stream of Rangers faithful leaving Ibrox with the brisk tread of swiftly exiting from the joyful knot of boisterous East Stirling travelling fans. At Pittodrie, Celtic faltered and Aberdeen rallied from two goals down for a 2-2 draw behind ex-Shire striker Scott Davidson who equalized late in the second half. The final score shown on the scoreboard as injury time started and the small group of East Stirling supporters began their raucous celebration, while the visitors finished out their determined defensive effort in the 3-0 shut-out of the home side. The day culminated a wild three-week swing for East Stirling and ended the Celtic reign of 15 consecutive SPL titles as the Shire reached the pinnacle of Scottish football. Ballyntire seemed numb to the chaos as he shook the hand of Rangers' Head Man Steve Mandana and barely heard the murmured congratulations. Memories of ten years bygone streamed through his thoughts, moments popping in vividly in a selection of highs and lows. The ride to the hospital with his badly burnt leg causing intense pain until the injection took him away. He didn't know what whim had caused he and his girlfriend to slip through the barricades and be walking by Notre Dame as fire took it and brought pieces down on them. Fortunately, she had escaped unscathed, but fortune hadn't shone as brightly on him as the fiery scaffolding crashed into him. He hadn't felt fortunate at the time, despite surviving, as his career was gone in an instant. The months of healing had brought him a new opportunity as East Stirling was seeking a manager to take over when they moved back into Scottish League play. A tumultuous first season flashed by in his mind, as the Shire fought their way to 3rd place in League 2, but suffered the bitter disappointment of losing in the first round of the Promotion Playoff. Watching Kyle Gourlay continually claim crosses in our stellar second season as East Stirling soared into 1st place and promotion to League 1. The fateful loan of winger David Duncanson from Dundee, as the 18-year-old single handedly kept East Stirling up in League 1 as our strikers faltered- we finished 4th and lost again in the first Playoff round. Our second season in League 1 where, as a returning loaner, Duncanson boosted us to promotion with a first-place finish thanks to his dominant free kicking and leftwing play. Duncanson, now signed on free after release from Dundee, DCs Shaun Want, Liam Donnelly and keeper Gourlay spearheaded our romp through Championship into promotion directly to the Scottish Premier. The arrival of bookend winger Ronan Hughes as he and Duncanson partnered to keep the Shire up as we managed an initial 8th place SPL finish despite a horribly leaky defense, only clinching avoiding a demotion Play-off in the next to last match of the season. Shaking off that trying first season in SPL as we added Senegal DC Kader Diagne, Liverpool loaner DC Sam Brown, fullbacks Liam Hegarty and Nicky Muir to solidify our defense and Duncanson went into beast mode as he earned Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Scottish Writer's Player of the Year, Scottish Writer's Young Player of the Year and Leading scorer in Premier as a 21 year old to send us into Champions Cup play with our 2nd place finish. Playing in Champions Cup, as we made it through two rounds of playoffs before losing to Bayern Munich on aggregate in Best Placed Playoff, combined with the sale of young wonderkid Jack Mullin to Manchester United for 5 Million and the boost from reaching the Scottish Cup Semi-finals finally provided continual financial security and allowed us to add young Italian Keeper Antonio Zanotti from Catanzaro to further improve our defense. We looked on our 3rd season in SPL with optimism, but found only struggles as a surging Aberdeen easily bypassed us for 2nd place in SPL, while Celtic remained almost unbeatable- losing only one match on their way to their 15th consecutive SPL title. Their riches and talent remained daunting as my tenure with East Stirling entered its 9th season as they had a 47.4 Million Payroll to our modest 4.69 Million totals. Despite never having beaten Celtic going into the season, I felt optimism as our defensive unit remained solid and we managed to loan Scottish forward Calum MacLean from Arsenal, along with returning loaners Sam Brown and Gareth Ward- center mid from Tottenham- these gave us a promising base with which to challenge for at least a top 2 spot. Joining them were two developing young Scottish talents- center mid Craig Sheerin and right-winger Michael King and this core gelled quickly, staying close to the top with a strong August and September. Ajax cut our European Cup competition short, winning on aggregate, despite a solid performance against the storied side. Losing hurt our morale, but helped us avoid the cluttered schedule that Celtic faced. Our challenge for a top 2 spot really lifted off in October with four league wins. Celtic surprisingly stuttered out of the gate with stunning losses to newly promoted Dundee and arch-rival Rangers. When we battled them to a 2-2 draw in early November at Celtic Park, it was the beginning of our belief that we could play with them talent-wise and the result allowed us to remain just in front of them atop the SPL. December saw Celtic rising past us to the top rung and Rangers clawing into 2nd as we struggled in listless draws against lowly Motherwell and Kilmarnock. A stinging 2-0 road loss to Aberdeen by Celtic boosted our hopes that we could stay in the hunt. The opening of the transfer window saw a strong addition to our lineup, as striker Ben Beechey joined us from Chelsea to provide a strong pairing with Maclean. The highlight of our season saw us taking our first ever League win against Celtic in defeating them 2-0 behind a stellar defensive effort and a brace from Calum MacLean at Falkirk Park. The win lifted us into first place in SPL, a spot we wouldn't yield until April. Rangers title bid faded in suffering a poor February and losing three matches. The pressure of hard-charging Celtic matching us win-for-win weighed on us, but the schedule splitting the top and bottom SPL squads found us clinging to our slim two-point cushion. Facing Celtic in mid-April at Celtic Park, I remained optimistic and hoped to earn a draw, only to see a disastrous effort- the worst of the season- as the rampaging home side crushed us in an easy 4-0 win. I certainly thought they smashed our title hopes, as Celtic looked unbeatable in defeating us. The script flipped in the beginning of May as rivals Rangers celebrated a nervy 2-1 win over Celtic at Ibrox with a late strike. Our gritty 2-0 win over Hibs, sporting two set piece goals and withstanding withering pressure, suddenly vaulted us back into the top spot heading into the next-to-last match of the season. Celtic travelled to Aberdeen with blood in their eyes, while we faced a daunting match at Ibrox against resurgent Rangers. Our difficult start, as Rangers swarmed our area and the quick lead that Celtic grabbed over Aberdeen worried me. A lightning counter-attack boosted our spirits as Calum MacLean rocketed a long cross that picked out Ben Beechey ghosting past defender Oscar Torres and slotting home beyond Caique's late dive. Celtic added to their early lead with a second marker, but we felt more confidence after absorbing another round of Rangers pressure. We earned a penalty when Craig Sheerin suffered a crashing tackle by Rory McCrorie in the area and Gareth Ward converted the penalty. The rest of the first half was a blur as Rangers surged and circled our area, but Zanotti was equal to any difficult shots in maintaining our 2-0 lead to halftime. Celtic led 2-0 as well at half, but suddenly found themselves pegged back as Aberdeen scored in the opening moments of the second half. We settled in and denied Rangers any uncontested space in our area. Michael King added to our lead when he collected a loose ball after a poorly headed corner and drilled an off-footed shot past Caique. With the 3-0 lead, I was comfortable parking the bus, knowing that we would maintain our edge over Celtic into our final match. A stunned Celtic saw Scott Davidson rifle home a burrowing, skipping 20-yard blast for the late equalizer. My ruminations came to an abrupt halt when I was doused with icy liquid. My ecstatic players grinned at my grimace becoming a beaming smile as I joined their burgeoning Premier League Championship celebration.
  9. I agree with Experienced Defender's comments on Decisions and Composure- but for me for Central Defenders, I will not go without decent levels of Concentration, because I have found that to be a critical component of how they play positionally in my system.
  10. Most of the time that worked Rashidi, but I think there must be some kind of timer (date wise) that eventually triggered- at least that is how it seemed then.
  11. I used to get around this by keeping an earlier save of Steam to load in when it wanted me to go online (I had dialup at the time and it was a ponderous process to even get a connection to Steam). I don't remember the specific files involved (I believe it was just the main steam executable and maybe an .ini file, found the method on the Net though)- but when Steam would demand I go online to allow FM to start I would overwrite with the older files and it would let me play offline again.
  12. Well, one general suggestion would be you have to view defense as part of your entire tactical structure and not just a separate component. Every aspect works together in FM, so you have to look at the tactics with a view to both offense and defense working together.
  13. For me, I try to play a slate of 8-10 friendlies (no matter size of club I play, but mine are all smaller than ManU) with weekends at home and midweek on the road. I rotate the entire 11 at halftime (trying to avoid injury mostly). Typically, I don't play stronger competition, since beside fitness I am looking to build morale going into the season (and make sure the tactical familiarity gets squared away). Just doing that without a lot of other tweaking seems to have my club ready fitness wise for the season.
  14. >>> LOL- very old school I was never much a poster here- mostly in stories for many years. I have had this posting in mind for several years now, just finally had the time to put it all down- just trying to give smaller side managers a helpful hand, because I love playing smaller sides and building them up. .>>> Very true on your levels relative to division, but according to those ratings Duncanson is only a three star player (Mullin was 4.5 star when he left for ManU). Complimentary players is an excellent point as well for smaller sides, since you can more likely succeed if you hide your weaknesses. I should have added I love speed (acceleration + pace) wherever I can find it and that was one reason I was so happy to get Duncanson in the first place.
  15. Let’s start with background and setting the stage. My experience with the series dates back to Championship Manager 2. I am a Yank, so I knew very little about European Football when I began playing the series. I decided right away that I should start at the lowest level and play my way up and that is how I continue to approach FM as I close in on 25 years with the series. One of my favorite clubs to play over the years has been East Stirlingshire in Scotland. They were always the lowest rated Scottish club in Division 3 (til it was turned into Division 2). For this run in FM 19, they had to be edited in as they have dropped out of League play. So, sorry- Edinburgh City, as East Stirling again takes its place in Division 2. The switching in was the only editing, which left me dealing with an impoverished semi-pro side as I started my quest to bring them back up. Our progression up the table isn’t the main focus of the article- at least until we bring the player I am highlighting into the equation. David Duncanson first joined East Stirling on loan from Dundee in 2021-22. East Stirling had finished just out of the Promotion Playoffs in League 1 the season before and I was overjoyed when he was allowed to come on loan- as we were still a Semi-Pro side and most of the players I attempted to loan were denied by their clubs wanting them to play with higher quality players. Now part of this is under the hood, because the game system does not see Duncanson as an impact player (even now), but when I saw his key attributes I was over the moon to get him. I have played many formations over my time in the series, but a 442 counter-attacking approach has been what suits my squads in the last few versions- especially given the sides I have been playing. Despite how the game views Duncanson, I was convinced he could be an impact player in our 442, due to his speed, stamina, work ethic and free kick ability. He proved to be all that I expected of him in our 442 as he is the best free kick taker I have had since another East Stirling player back in FM12. Duncanson proved a revelation as we left him space to break in from the left as an inverted winger and he is adept at scoring off the dribble to the edge of the penalty area. The point I hope to make with this is when you are playing a small side, you need to take advantage of the internal game devaluation of players who can make an impact in your playing system. Duncanson would not succeed in every tactic, but he shines in mine (despite his lack of flair- which was the one misgiving I had about him as I thought it would hold his other skills in check). With Duncanson and a solid right-winger named Ronan Hughes, who is an assist machine, East Stirling got over the hump to gain promotion from League 1 and then the next season conquering Championship. After being on loan for two seasons, and despite the honors he earned during those campaigns, Dundee released him and I promptly signed him for full-time status at East Stirling. Compare him with Jack Mullin, who I lucked into as a youth intake addition (maybe the best ever in my experience, because my small sides typically don’t have good youth development)– the moment I viewed Mullin’s attributes in our youth intake, I signed him to a contract and added him to the Senior side. FM 19 sees Mullin as a consummate left side player and indeed he was in our only full season with him, as he went to Manchester United for the 5 Million release fee at the end of last season. Now before last season, I was left with a quandary. We had survived our first season in SPL, but though finally reaching Professional club status upon reaching the SPL, our wage structure was miniscule. We were making do with a weekly wage budget of 28,000 a week, compared to Celtic, with 14 consecutive SPL titles, who feature 12 players with higher weekly wages than our entire side. Our best two players happen to be Duncanson and Mullin, who both play left-wing on our 442. I briefly considered swapping Duncanson to right-wing, since he is right footed, but with my assist man Hughes there- that wasn’t a good option. In the end, I made Duncanson a Mezzala, because I needed him to impact our offense. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective enough to allow both Duncanson and Mullin to be linchpins in our success as we finished 2nd to Celtic and earned our way to Champions Cup competition. I knew Mullin was going as soon as late in the season as Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea were all interested in him. At least I was able to hold out for the full five million, which finally puts East Stirling on firm financial footing and allows us a much more substantial wage budget. Though it was painful to lose a player that came up from our own youth program, it does help balance our lineup as I shift Duncanson back to his natural inverted winger role and introduce a new, dynamic playmaker in our central midfield. How to apply this equation for smaller sides is both simple and complex. The simple portion is that the tools to evaluate the key attributes for any specific role are at your fingertips, as they will be highlighted on the player when you choose the role. The complex part is that most small sides can’t find a player who has high levels for all those key attributes. At that point, it becomes a balancing game and you have to decide on possibly a handful of them that you need good to excellent levels and settle for more pedestrian numbers in the other areas. I don’t want to ignore the hidden traits either, but to make this more useful to most players it is easier to focus on the numbers you can eyeball. In summary, as limited as Duncanson appears in his modest attributes- at least compared to the other top players in SPL, his last season was the kind you dream of for your players. Duncanson earned Scottish Players’ Player of the Year, Scottish Football Writers’ Player of the Year, Scottish Players’ Young Player of the Year, Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year and Ladbrokes Premier Top Goalscorer. The game still sees him as vastly inferior to Mullin, but I wasn’t terrifically sad to see Mullin move to a bigger side. When you are a small side, you need to embrace players who will excel in whatever your tactic is, even if the game doesn’t agree with your judgement. Those players are the ones that will make a difference in boosting your success as a small side. Postscript- My Ass.Man. gave me the opinion that Duncanson should be downgraded from key player to rotation. This was the day after he scored a hat-trick against FC Bayern (who have 21 players who make more individually than our entire weekly wage- including 12 who make at least 2X our weekly wages) in our Champions Cup home tilt to salvage a 3-3 draw 😊 Guess the game will continue to underrate him for years to come- which should make it easier to retain him as the key player for our East Stirling side. PPS- Sorry the picture sizes aren't bigger, I am missing something in bringing in pictures to posts.
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