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TheWillsy

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About TheWillsy

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    Swindon Town

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  1. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Due to personal reasons I won't be able to play football manager for a while, so I thought I'd leave a quick update in this thread. We ended up making it to the playoff final and experienced one of the craziest finals I've ever seen. I'll post a full season update when I come back to FM, but for now I can enjoy our status as a premier league team without worrying about how we're going to get thrashed every game. Oh, and good luck to all those starting new games.
  2. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    That’s interesting. I guess I’ll have to wait until I get to the premier league as my facilities must not be good enough yet. Thanks for the info. Thanks. The finances are looking quite good at the moment, but only keeping them up due to occasional player sales. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one or two more improvements to my facilities too with the spare cash. @darren1983 unlucky with the sacking. The first few seasons are always the hardest and really tough when you lose key players early on
  3. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Hereford Season 12: 2029-30 - 3rd in Championship Competitions: An unbelievable first season for us as we flirted with the promotion places and ended up finishing in 3rd. The league positions graph highlights how the season went, with an up and down start before we went on a fantastic run of form, eventually slipping up slightly at the end of the season. We went into the playoffs full of confidence and we faced Ipswich away in the first leg. For some reason though we just didn't turn up and they dispatched us 3-0. In the second leg we capitulated again and lost 3-0 at home. Terrible way to end the season but I'm still delighted with where we finished. We did okay in the cups, getting knocked out in the fourth and third rounds in the FA cup and league cup respectively. Finances: At the start of the season we had the option of buying out a sell on clause for Craig Ward 8E, £4.23m for a 50% of profit sell on. Not sure why it was so high given I can't picture him going for £8.5m+ in the future. This was a good boost to the finances. Youth intake: Tagged six players in the intake, James Cox 12A looks a very good prospect in CM and has been attracting premier league interest. Joshua Awford 12B and Shai Nicholson 12C are the next best. Transfers: Sold Desormeaux 5C as he wasn't needed in the squad, and youngster Luke Campbell 10B who wasn't really developing and didn't fit into our system. Once again we were able to buy out a 50% of profit sell on, receiving £1.49m for this one. Overall: A brilliant first season in the championship, however we had a bit of worrying form towards the end of the season. Hopefully second season syndrome doesn't kick in next season, and I might freshen things up by altering the tactics slightly and bringing through some of the younger players. Sockett once again led the line and ended with 37 in 38 in the league. His career stats are here for anyone interested, his record is unreal. Our stadium will be finished at the end of next season, and we're selling out at the moment so that will be useful.
  4. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Anyone else had the issue where you don’t have an Under 23 team at all? When I started the save I thought we’d get one as we progressed up the league but I still haven’t got one and have not been able to request one. We only have an under 18 squad as well as the first team squad and this is getting quite awkward now as we’re in the championship now. Has anyone else seen this before and is it a bug? Can’t seem to find anyone with the same issue anywhere online. It’s not a game breaking issue but it is quite annoying for keeping up match fitness etc.
  5. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Unbelievable. Currently in February in our first season in the championship and we’re fighting it out for promotion and in third place. The table is really tight at the top but the players just keep defying expectations. It’s definitely too early for us to get promoted but we’ll keep fighting to the end and whatever happens happens. Still amazed by where we are though.
  6. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    @darren1983 a belated Merry Christmas to you and everyone else too, good to have you back in the mix. Good luck! @fairsy congrats on staying up, now time to push on! @fabreth congrats on promotion!
  7. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Hereford Season 11: 2028-29 - 2nd in League 1 Competitions: We are really on a roll now, our third successive promotion as we finish second in league 1. We had an up and down start as we adapted to the league but then found our consistency and stayed in second for the majority of the season. In the FA cup we came up against Man Utd away in the fourth round, and this was a real welcome boost to the finances. We gave a good account of ourselves and went down 3-1, with them scoring their third in the last minute. Finances: The away trip to Man Utd was a real boost to the finances, which is really needed due to the money going into our youth system. The sale of one of our players by the chairman also brought in some cash (see below). Youth intake: Not too sure how I feel about this intake, probably only Josh Middleton 11A will make it, but Lewis Morgan 11B and the brilliantly named Jasper Ezewele 11C could be decent. Transfers: The board decided to sell one of my best young players in Neal Fisher 8A, which was really disappointing to me and I couldn't even protest. £1.3m rising to £2.6m is good money for league 1, but this came right after our game at United which brought in about £1m itself. I also sold Craig Ward 8E in early January as we have good depth at centre back and he wasn't paying much. He looks a good prospect but I think we have better younger players coming through, and it was good money. We also received some massive bids for MacLeod 7A on deadline day, as high as £6m, but I was annoyed at the sale of Fisher and rejected them straight away. If I wasn't doing a youth challenge I would have bitten their hand off. Overall: Happy with another promotion, but the step to the championship is a huge one, and next season will be really tough. Although if we can keep Martin Sockett 4E, who scored 50 in 41 league games this season, I'm sure we will survive. Work has also begun on our 12,713 capacity, excitingly named "Hereford Stadium", due to be complete in 2031. Might need a couple of player sales over the next year or 2 to ease the financial worries that come with the loans.
  8. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    I know how you feel. Just finished training my player to play in multiple positions in my team and he gets sold by my chairman. No back up players coming though the ranks. Grrrr
  9. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    My Chairman decided to sell Neil Fisher 8A to Newcastle for 1.3m rising to 2.6m with clauses. Couldn’t even protest it. Pretty gutted to be honest, I had brought him through to replace Craig Mitchell 6C who I sold last January, and he was probably my best young player. We’re looking pretty short in depth on the wings now , and (spoilers) I just had an FA cup clash away at Man Utd so we didn’t need the money.
  10. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Thanks, but it did take me 4 years to get out of the Vanarama South and 5 to get out of the Vanarama national. Once things start to click and you've upped your average age a bit it can make a huge difference. Keep plugging away! @XaW You're a lot braver than me going for Northern Ireland! Losing Jay Elliot looks a big blow . Already in the top tier though, congrats, think you can compete?
  11. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Hereford Season 10: 2027-28 - 2nd in League 2 Competitions: A great season for us as we adapted to league 2 very quickly and ended in second position. We were pushing at the top of the league right from the start of the season and battled with York for the top spot. Martin Sockett 4E once again led the line with 48 goals and 26 assists in 45 games. Finances: Our finances were plummeting in the first half of the season due to us upgrading from category 4 to 3 at the start of the season, and we losing money rapidly. I decided to sell Craig Mitchell 6C in January for 1.4m to help ease the finances, and we had a younger replacement coming through so I wasn't too worried about losing him. We also rejected a 1.6m bid for Dan MacLeod 7A at the end of January. Youth intake: The highlights from the intake were Craig Forrester 10A, Luke Campbell 10B and Kevin McKenna 10C. Transfers: As well as selling Mitchell, we sold two younger players in positions we didn't require to raise some funds. Overall: Really happy with the successive promotions, interestingly York who finished top achieved successive promotions with us too. A lot of our players are rated as being good enough for at least league 1 too so I'm hoping we can keep the momentum going and maybe finish in the play offs. We're also getting a new stadium at some point, no other details though.
  12. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    That’s a good point actually, it always seems to be the deals with loads of add ons/sell on fees that the board accepts. Fingers crossed you can make it out of league 1, shame about Bailey leaving on a free though.
  13. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Yeah it’s very strange, my board make some weird decisions sometimes. They’ll let me reject £1m+ bids for him, but then will accept £100-200k for my best prospects. I guess it’s better that way round so I can’t really complain.
  14. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Not had any time to post an update in a while, so I'll try and shorten down the seasons I've played since my last update (sorry I forgot a lot of screenshots): Hereford Season 6: 2023-24 - 7th in Vanarama National We finished in seventh, and headed into the playoffs against Billericay away. We beat them 3-1 to set up a semi final against port vale. Unfortunately they were too strong for us and won 1-0. The best prospects from the intake were Dominic Page 6A, Paddy McCabe 6B, Craig Mitchell 6C and Joe Grainger 6D. A really solid intake. Hereford Season 7: 2024-25 - 10th in Vanarama National Nothing to see here, just a really uneventful season were we ended up in 10th. Couldn't get any sort of form together and it was a very forgettable season. Dominic Page 6A was sold by the board against my will, and i forgot to screenshot my tagged players in my intake but I tagged two strikers, a goalkeeper and a centre back. Hereford Season 8: 2025-26 - 5th in Vanarama National The season started with the board selling two more of my players against my will, unfortunately both of my right backs. Despite this, we had a very good season and ended in 5th, a poor run of form pulling us down towards the end as we were right up there until then. In the play offs we made it to the semi final gain, before going down 5-4 to Dulwich Hamlet. In the FA cup we had a good run and beat premier league Southampton away in the third round, and we got to the semi final of the FA trophy again, but lost over two legs to Cambridge. The youth intake was okay this season, the highlights being Neil Fisher 8A and Archie Day 8B. Martin Sockett 4E had a crazy season and bagged 42 goals in 40 league games. I was quite positive heading in to the next season due to our form in the second half of the season, but I wasn't quite expecting... Hereford Season 9: 2026-27 - 1st in Vanarama National! Finally everything clicked. We absolutely stormed the league and finished in 1st with 114 points, with a goal difference of 83. I tweaked my tactics and it seemed to fit perfectly with the players I had, who are all developing really nicely now as well. I was able to keep all my players this season which helped enormously too. We also won the FA trophy, beating Blackpool in the final. Couldn't really ask for a better season. Martin Sockett 4E was once again the standout player, but this time round he was utterly unplayable and ended with 75 league goals, appearing in every game. I've never had anywhere near that many goals from an individual before, it was absurd. Blake Flattley 7B finished runner up with a measly 36 goals. The pair also got 26 and 29 league assists respectively. Not a bad strike partnership then. With the intake, I forgot to screenshot the best players again, but Daryl Lees 9A is the only one close to the first team at the moment. I can't quite believe just how dominant and just how many goals we scored this season, and I am highly optimistic for next season if we can keep our best players. I have rejected 1m+ bids for multiple players and I am worried the board will step in soon and accept one of them. From this point on hopefully I will be able to go back to an update every season (time permitting, work is a pain atm ).
  15. TheWillsy

    FM18 Youth Academy Challenge

    Hereford Season 5: 2022-23 - 4th in Vanarama National Competitions: We adapted to the league a lot better than I was expecting, and started the season very well. We had a dip in form after this, but then stayed pretty consistent for the rest of the season. We lost both of our keepers around halfway through the season which was a big setback, but we finished the season with a couple of wins and ended in a fantastic 4th place. In the first play off game we were at home to Lincoln, and we absolutely dominated the game, but they scored twice from corners and came away with the win. Talk about smash and grab. In the FA Trophy we made it to the semi-final against lower league Bath, but we bottled it over two legs and they went through. Finances: Our board decided to sell one of our prospects which brought in 300k to add to the finances. Upgrades: Just youth recruitment I think. Youth intake: Probably the worst one yet, but a couple of players who should make it into the first team. Lucas Beale 5A looks a nice addition at right back, Tom Holmes 5B will be trained in my poacher role, and Chris Desormeaux 5C could be a decent cb if we can up his pace. Transfers: none. Overall: A really solid first season, but so disappointing to lose like that in the playoffs. Phil Bale 2E and Adam Freeman 3A were absolutely lethal upfront, with Freeman finishing with 40 goals in the league. Both players got senior international call ups which is insane, and Freeman actually got a cap. Unfortunately Bale 2E and Charlie Hughes 2A left on free transfers, to Bolton and premier league Swansea respectively. Freeman only has a year left himself so he'll leave on a free next season too. We also had to play two games in two days over Christmas which was quite odd. Last season targets: try and stay up - safe to say we achieved this. Next season targets: After losing 2/3 of our best players next season will be tough, ill be happy with mid table.
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