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Catley94

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  1. Quick mini update whilst I’m at work. First “season” with Preston was an a bit of a nightmare. After managing teams like Juve Lyon and Dortmund it’s safe to say I didn’t adapt very well to the mid table championship battle, and mid table would’ve been great! We only managed to confirm safety on the final day of the season, after a torrid run of form in the second part of the season. Couldn’t decide on a tactical shape or XI which didn’t help things out. A little surge at the end of the season kept us up (and kept me my job). The summer rebuild has been going great, and will do a full report on the eve of the first league game. The board want us to avoid a relegation battle, but with the squad I have built I’m aiming for a top half finish.
  2. So as mentioned a before, I took some time away from posting due to a different save. Over the previous 4 FM's I always do the same save, try build a small team to glory but often lose enjoyment along the way. To counter this I went the opposite end, and managed the biggest teams out there. I randomly picked a team (ended up being Wolfsburg) and set myself the target to win each top flight league from Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Portugal (ended up bailing on Portugal as I wanted to get back to England). Once all these were achieved I wanted to take over a team in England and do what I also do, build. As I am in 2026 there have been a fair few teams that have interested me but I have ended up going with one that I've fancied doing for a while... Preston have always been a team that has interested me on FM. The original top flight winners in English football, as well as the original Invincible's and first team to accomplish the domestic double. It's fair to say their glory days are a fair bit in the past. In my save they barely survived the drop in the Championship. I kept tabs on them and they sacked their manager after only 8 games into the new season. I was a bit tentative to take over straight away as I was hoping to spend the off season building my team and tactic, but have decided to jump straight in. Board have given us a 3 year deal and want a mid table finish this season. Will post an update after I've played a few games and checked out the squad. Hoping for a long challenge with this one!
  3. Hey all, been a while since I’ve posted in here. Been keeping up to date with everyone’s saves and have seemed to be going great. I lost interest in my FGR Dave way back when, but since have found a very enjoyable save. Not technically EFL related (yet), but hopefully will be back to posting with my new team within the next few days!
  4. He was potential wise the best of my 3 regens that I had last season (hint, lots more now ) but I actually played him the least. Couldn't decide whether to have him as a CB or FB, so I jumped at the price I got really. Invested it in some facilities and a lot of signings. Will do an update later just before the season starts, a lot of exciting players!
  5. Well that didn't take long to happen. Ended up being like 20 odd clubs interested, but Brighton being the only ones to pay big money. Great 50% next fee too. Sad to see him go, but this massively helps the club build, plus I get a decent chunk straight into the transfer budget to reinvest!
  6. Well, that was tense.. Just finished my second regular season with Forest Green Rovers, and we've done it again! With a mixed bag of results in the final few months, we found ourselves in 2nd going into the final game. An early 1-0 setback vs mid table Bolton caused a bit of pressure as both Rotherham and Chesterfield took early leads. We managed to turn it around and ended with a 5-2 victory! Seen as though the board weren't expecting us to reach the Championship for another few years, they have been very generous with our finances. We have around £1 million to spend, and 98k wage budget (current wage bill only 48k, so nearly doubled it for us!). There will be some issues with our low reputation in trying to get players, but hopefully being able to further out scouting reaches we will find a couple of bargains along the way. In terms of team performance, I'd say we did well as an all round team. 4 Players finished with 10+ goals, the 3 main strikers all contributing to 15 each in the league. Playing with 1 up top it was good to know if one wasn't performing too well, a bit of rotation wouldn't lower the standards of the team. I also hit my goal of conceding less than a goal a game, with 42 conceded in the league. We were top scorers by a fair bit which was unexpected but nice. Looking forward to next season the defence will definitely need some additions. The additions we made this season, all but Bayliss coming in in the summer performed great. Joe Morrell from Bristol City was the only slight disappointment, but I feel that was partially down to the way I played him, so hoping he will push on next season. My favourite player by far was Danny Broadbent from Cardiff Met. Nothing incredible in terms of performances, but Mr. Consistent in the DM slot and has progressed at an incredible rate for his first season in the main team. No surprise that a fair few of my players have become targets for teams after their overachieving season. The biggest concern is that my Ivorian / English fullback Bamba is being looked at by 9 Premier League clubs. He has been good cover throughout the back line this season, but if a high bid comes in for him I will most likely take it! Not much else to report on, the staff at FGR are exceptional as I have been recruiting throughout the season, constantly asking the board for more scouts and coaches. We have built a very good team behind the doors! Time for some squad analysis and a lot of scouting!
  7. Completely forgot to do a mid season update, so I'll do a brief one and concentrate more on the end of season review hopefully later this evening. Currently in a bit of a bad patch of form, typical around the winter time. Somehow still top of the league! Was concerned I wouldn't even hit the boards aim of top half so this is a nice surprise. Little concerned if I get promoted though as my squad, budget and reputation would struggle big time in the Championship. But we will deal with that if and when we get there. Performances overall have been good, been a little weak in defence recently and few tactical tweaks will hopefully tighten that up in the run on towards the end of the season. 3 departures in January. Rawson frustrated me no end, and with my Belgian regen coming on leaps and bounds I decided to cash in and free up a place in the team. The other two were seldom used and with their contracts expiring in the summer I jumped at the chance to sell them. Central midfield has been my weak area this season, thinking it might be my tactics as I have some well rounded players. Either way I jumped at the chance to get Tom Bayliss. He was transfer listed by Preston (also in league 1) for £0. Bit hefty wages but at the age of 22, versatile in roles and some potential still, couldn't say no! Not found many targets ahead for the summer, so been spending some time sorting out my scouting assignments. That's all for now, looking forward to the end of season review and some tactical analysis.
  8. Love that form! Mine has picked up recently, just had this game... 6 goals from 72 mins onward! Lovely blunder from my keeper to end the game But I'm glad the goals have started to come (sadly at both ends)
  9. I have played 5 games so far on it over two different files, 5 0-0's!
  10. So, how is everyone finding the new public beta patch...
  11. Don't think I've ever seen such strong odds for a league top goalscorer... very encouraging
  12. Thanks for the feedback on the first post, not sure why I waited almost 6 years to do it but we've finally crossed that bridge! It's been one of those evenings where I've lost track of time and suddenly find myself in the third tier of some random country looking for future talent All signings are now done. Sadly, even though he said he was interested to come on loan, Tommy Doyle does not make his return to Forest Green Rovers for a second season. He will be extremely missed but I feel we have done well overall in recruitment. The two Spurs rejects are on some hefty wages compared to the rest of the team, and Amos also has a pesky 2.2 mill fee release clause (not ideal when his starting value is 1.9 mill) so will try to get rid of that ASAP. Loan market was dreadful so nothing there, will keep tabs on my Parent club Manchester City in case anyone interesting becomes available. I did manage to pick up my first 3 regens of the save, and I've got to say I'm very excited for all 3, especially so early on in the file. Danny Broadbent was picked up for free from Cardiff MET towards the end of last season and immediately loaned out. Whilst his ability is a bit lacking for League 1, with the change in formation his position becomes available and I think I will be utilising him this season. If he doesn't get much game time in the first 6 months I will lean to loaning him out in January. Potential to be good Championship midfielder, I feel he can develop nicely with us or be sold for a pretty penny. Zakaria Bamba is an odd one. He came up in my Scouting Centre but since he is from the Ivory Coast I was unable to scout him. Wondering why he was in there I checked his information and it turns out he has England as his second nationality... I also saw that Leeds were interested in him, and since he was from ASEC, the best Ivorian club team for producing talent I was very interested. I managed to agree terms in January as his contract expired in the summer, he has Premier League potential but I am unsure what his best position would be, so any suggestions would be welcome!! The final regen is Sven Van Gestel (Great name) from Belgium. Like Bamba, he appeared in my Scouting centre but not scouted. He was at a semi pro club so I approached to sign on a pre contract, they wanted 30k for compensation and thought it would be worth the gamble after Bamba turned out to have very good potential in a similar way. He is nearing first team level, and since the board aren't expecting anything ludicrous this season in terms of expectations (I think around mid table / top half) I am tempted to give him some first team action, we will see how pre season goes. In terms of the tactic, I am moving to a 4-1-4-1 flat variation. I've always loved the flexibility of this tactic and the ability to make multiple shapes with it. Nothing set in stone yet so this will be my next job. I'm also going to try and delve into the minefield that is the training page. I've never altered anything to it before but want to give it a shot this time round and become more immersed. Lets hope I don't run all my players into the ground before the opening game!
  13. Right, work done with for the day, now to try and do one of these post things. Starting with what team I am, after many a failed save I have ended up at Forest Green Rovers. I wanted a club with minimal "history" in the higher leagues, and a small infrastructure to build upon. I went on holiday for the first season and noticed that they hadn't got promoted so took over from the second season onward. I often fail with a file as I tend to get a bit meticulous with the details a little too early, whether that be tactical plans, recruitment philosophy, whatever. The board expected promotion first season so I decided to put everything else on my mind into a corner and just aim for promotion any means possible, as the 5 year plans allows me some time to develop whilst in League 1. We confirmed promotion with about 6 games to go, with an lot of rotation at the top throughout the season with ourselves and Scunthorpe, but just edged it at the end. The team itself performed very well, we a few very strong talents for the league which I was able to build around. My main aim for the season was to tighten up the back as the previous manager had shipped a fair few goals, as a defender myself I love nothing more than a clean sheet. We conceded 41 in 46 games which gave us the 5th best defence in the league, good enough for me in my first season! Tactics wise, I opted for a 442. Another reason I struggle to see saves through is my inability to stick with a tactical philosophy and build on it. I decided for this file to worry more about team identity and stuff in the latter seasons, but something I will start to slowly implement in the forthcoming season, as the standard of players is a bit better, so they might actually listen to my tactical rants! Transfer wise, a typical lower league team window. Masses of free's and loans with no real outlay of money spent. I was able to cash in on a few players, many surplus to requirement who also took up a fair chunk of the limited wage bill. I somehow managed to con Fulham into signing Liam Kitching for 600k, with 40% of next sale agreed. He has some good potential but his mentals as a cb just made me uneasy, especially with my aim to tighten up the defence! I opted for a relatively small squad, recruiting players who were capable of playing in multiple positions, another aim to keep the wage bill small. Getting Manchester City as a Parent club was massive, and the signing of Tommy Doyle was most likely the main reason we had such a good season. 10 goals, 20 assists in 39 league games from CM! I have tried many a time to extend his loan but he is not having it, can't say I'm surprised but I am now his favoured personnel, so maybe somewhere down the line. Coincidentally with all the talk about Brentford and the Moneyball approach, once I have got a file going this is often the way I like to run the club. However, in recent FM's that often simply translates to buy low sell high (even mass hoarding regens and hoping one makes you a net profit). This year I want to make it more detailed and actually go into the data analysis of players and recruitment. I will be doing a full review of my squad based on the stats at hand and comparing them to the other teams in my current league and league above (a lot of legwork, good thing I've got the day off tomorrow). Overall, I'm more relieved than anything to be actually enjoying and getting stuck into a file on FM. Been a long time coming, and I feel if I start doing some posts it will keep me from jumping to another file when this one hits a bumpy patch, and also helps me with my inept posting skills Time to get stuck into some deep analysis and searching for some new faces for the team, the board wants top half in league one, allowing me a bit of leeway to start making the club more of my own. (Praying all the images and text comes out how it looks now...)
  14. After struggling to get into any save this year (and last), I read this post from first page to last, and finally found my file. After all the reading I’ve felt like I might give some posting of the file a go, mainly to give me some accountability to keep it going! Will post the end of my first season later one, once I figure out how to make a readable post with pictures 😂
  15. Plymouth Argyle So after struggling to find a file I’ve wanted to stick with for more than 2 seasons for a long time I’ve ended up at Plymouth Argyle. I went on holiday for the first season to see what happened to teams as I find the first season is very repetitive (especially when you attempt as many saves as I have). Plymouth sparked my interest as I haven’t done a League 2 file since around FM14, and they missed out on promotion due to goal difference. First job was to sort out the squad, to my surprise they had a fairly big budget of around £2 million, and the standard of players I could attract was also fairly high. I was extremely happy with the signing of Dominic Samuel, the previous season he managed 12 goals in the championship on loan at Ipswich – was hoping for big things from him. As a Norwich fan myself, I was also happy to bring in Toffolo and Maddison, with the aim to get Maddison permanently down the line. Some loans were brought in just to cover in case of horrific injuries or congested fixture, where other free’s were brought in to tutor some particularly good regens for Plymouth. All in all it was a good window for the first season, with the majority of these players most likely staying with me for a few more seasons. With the additions we made, our media prediction was 1st, along with the boards expectation for us to win the league – this could be a quick save… Thankfully it wasn’t. We went top of the league after GW2 and never looked back, ran away with the league which was a massive relief after all the high profile singings we got in the summer. Started to slip away towards the end of the season but I tried to bring in the younger players as the league was already in our hands by mid-march pretty much. As well as the league, we swept up the main awards, with Samuel bagging 30 league goals and player of the season, whilst Mbabu and Toffolo topped the highest rating charts. Cups weren’t our forte this season, which wasn’t too much of a worry since our main goal was the league. Knocked out of the FA cup and EFL cup in the second rounds was around what was expected for our side, our best run came in the Checkertrade trophy where we managed to reach the quarter finals, only to be knocked out by Arsenal’s U23’s. Apart from this the season was fairly normal, no crazy long injuries and nothing too out of the ordinary. Apart from the youth intakes… I don’t know what my HoYD is drinking but he has managed to find 2 worldies in the 2 seasons he’s been at the club. Meet Michael Jackson and Matthew Pryce! Michael Jackson was here at the club when I first joined and I wish I had a screenshot of what he was like because he has come on leaps and bounds since I’ve been in charge. He didn’t seem anything special which is why I took it on myself as a project to see how far I could get him to go, spoiler alert in the current season I have been fending off bids from premier league clubs – he looks nothing like the player when I first had him. Matthew Pryce is also another unbelievable talent, already good enough for the first team I struggled to keep a hold of him in the summer after this season. Every premier league club came in with bids, the highest reaching £4.9 mill upfront from Liverpool, it looked like he was going to go. The board even accepted a measly £2 mill bid from Southampton but I stated I would leave my post if they didn’t reject the offer, to my amazement they did! Since then he has signed theoretically an 8 year deal, so those premier league clubs will have to wait. As with MJ, he is developing so fast in the current season I am in, hopefully I’ll be able to survive the transfer windows as well as I did in the summer. That’s my update for the first season, I am currently in December of the second season so hopefully will be done with the second season soon!
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