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About KDR

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    Made Walsall a dominant force on all CMs.


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    Football, reading, writing, history.

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    Walsall & Arsenal

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  1. August 2018 Results I couldn't have asked for a better opening day. Everything seemed to click straight away and optimism was very much the order of the day, even after the 1-1 with Heather. For one thing, we were away, for another, we should have won. The optimism even carried on into the FA Cup tie, where we took the lead and had looked like extending it. Reality bit hard in the second half, however, as two goals in quick succession saw the home side seize the initiative. A late goal from Jones looked to have forced a not-very-welcome replay, but another lapse in understanding, concentration or both from what had, until this game, seemed to be a solid DC pairing allowed Cogenhoe to snatch it at the death. That defeat caused an alarming drop in morale, but a very heavy challenge and a smart finish following some inept defending gave us a confidence-building 2-0 lead over Market Drayton. There were one or two scares at the back, but nothing to cause any real alarm. Still, it was enough to provoke a 'Tighten Up' shout. Those words fell on deaf ears, though, and we ended up going in level at the break after the visitors clawed one back from a 39th minute corner, then were allowed the freedom to tee up a long-ranger that found the top corner, clipping a post on the way in. A third goal for the away side mid-way through the second half seemed to have given Market Drayton all the points, but Mandeville popped up with a typical poacher's goal to salvage a draw. Despite the question marks now forming around the DCs, I kept the same pairing for the final game of the month, also switching the DMC's role from BWM(D) to Half-Back. It seemed to work well, though also having to change the AP's role from Attack to Support in the midfield three meant there was less threat going forward. Table at end August 2018
  2. Pre-Season 2017/2018 Just the usual collection of money-spinners, plus a disappointing turn-out for the home game with our parent club. Media predictions Transfers Season Ticket Sales
  3. 2018/2019 Season Preview News Starting First Team Squad (on return to training) Board Expectations Midland Football League Premier Division: Title Challenge FA Cup: 1st Qualifying Round FA Vase: 4th Round Midland Football League Cup: Semi-Finals Finances on 01/07/2018 Objectives The first thing has to be to find a way to strengthen the squad. As it stands, there's no way it can meet the demands of the board. Second, do our best until we are strong enough and together enough to make a proper fist of it. Whether the board will be patient enough remains to be seen.
  4. Yep, only down for the one season. They lost a lot of their 'better' players though, so next season might be tough.
  5. Season Summary 2017/2018 FIFA Club World Championship: WINNERS: Athletico Mineiro UEFA Champions’ League: WINNERS: Chelsea UEFA Europa League: WINNERS: Napoli UEFA European Super Cup: WINNERS: Paris Saint-Germain FA Cup: WINNERS: Chelsea RUNNERS-UP: Manchester City League Cup: WINNERS: Manchester United RUNNERS-UP: Southampton Community Shield: WINNERS: Everton Football League Trophy: WINNERS: Ipswich Town FA Trophy: WINNERS: Corinthian-Casuals FA Vase: WINNERS: Market Drayton Town STEP 1 Premier League: WINNERS: Chelsea European Qualification: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool (CL), Manchester United, Arsenal (EL) Relegated: Hull City, Leicester City, Reading STEP 2 Championship: WINNERS: Fulham Promoted: Fulham, Stoke City, Cardiff City Relegated: Bolton Wanderers, Millwall, Notts County STEP 3 League One: WINNERS: Sheffield United Promoted: Sheffield United, Leyton Orient, Ipswich Town Relegated: Rotherham United, Yeovil Town, Gillingham, Preston North End STEP 4 League Two: WINNERS: Luton Town Promoted: Luton Town, Colchester United, Bury, Macclesfield Town Relegated: Cambridge City, Chester FC STEP 5 Conference Premier: WINNERS: Mansfield Town Promoted: Mansfield Town, Gateshead Relegated: Braintree Town, Hemel Hempstead Town, Alfreton Town, Oxford City STEP 6 Conference North: WINNERS: Harrogate Town Promoted: Harrogate Town, Tamworth Relegated: Southport, Rushall Olympic, Gloucester City Conference South: WINNERS: Corinthian-Casuals Promoted: Corinthian-Casuals, Sutton United Relegated: Wealdstone, Bishop's Stortford, Staines Town STEP 7 Northern Premier League Premier Division: WINNERS: Heanor Promoted: Heanor, Salford City Relegated: Daventry Town, Mickleover Sports, Grantham Town, Spalding United Isthmian Premier Division: WINNERS: Tonbridge Angels Promoted: Tonbridge Angels, Burgess Hill Town Relegated: Greenwich Borough, Lowestoft Town, VCD Athletic, Concord Rangers Southern League Premier Division: WINNERS: St Neots Town Promoted: St Neots Town, Weymouth Relegated: Bedworth United, Maidenhead United, Truro City, Cirencester Town STEP 8 Northern Premier League Division One North: WINNERS: Marine Promoted: Marine, Kendal Town Relegated: Glossop North End, Prescot Cables Northern Premier League Division One South: WINNERS: Loughborough University Promoted: Loughborough University, Shaw Lane Aquaforce Relegated: Rainworth Miners Welfare, Curzon Ashton Isthmian League Division One North: WINNERS: Enfield Town Promoted: Enfield Town, Felixstowe & Walton United Relegated: Harrow Borough, Romford, Chatham Town Isthmian League Division One South: WINNERS: Deal Town Promoted: Deal Town, Littlehampton Town Relegated: Worthing, Redhill, Sittingbourne Southern League Division One Central: WINNERS: Barwell Promoted: Barwell, Holbeach United Relegated: Marlow, Stratford Town Southern League Division One South and West: WINNERS: AFC Hayes Promoted: AFC Hayes, AFC Totton Relegated: Bristol Manor Farm, Bideford STEP 9 Combined Counties League Premier Division: WINNERS: Whyteleafe Promoted: Whyteleafe Relegated: Mole Valley SCR, Knaphill Eastern Counties League Premier Division: WINNERS: Mildenhall Town Promoted: Mildenhall Town Relegated: Thetford Town, Swaffham Town Essex Senior League: WINNERS: Basildon United Promoted: Basildon United Relegated: None Hellenic League Premier Division: WINNERS: Wootton Bassett Town Promoted: Wootton Bassett Town Relegated: Headington Amateurs, New College Swindon, Tytherington Rocks, Chesham United Reserves Midland Football League Premier Division: WINNERS: Loughborough Dynamo Promoted: Loughborough Dynamo Relegated: Nuneaton Griff, Highgate United, Greenhouse London, Gresley Northern League Division One: WINNERS: Durham City Promoted: Durham City Relegated: Guisborough Town, Newton Aycliffe, Silsden Northern Counties East League Premier Division: WINNERS: Tadcaster Albion Promoted: Tadcaster Albion Relegated: Glasshoughton Welfare, Lincoln Moorlands Railway North West Counties League Premier Division: WINNERS: Runcorn Town Promoted: Runcorn Town Relegated: AFC Blackpool, Litherland REMYCA, Hanley Town Southern Counties East League: WINNERS: Kent Football United Promoted: Kent Football United Relegated: Sporting Bengal United Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division: WINNERS: AFC Dunstable Promoted: AFC Dunstable Relegated: London Colney, Arlesey Town Reserves, Crawley Green Sussex County League Division One: WINNERS: St Francis Rangers Promoted: St Francis Rangers Relegated: Lingfield, AFC Uckfield Town, Bexhill United United Counties League Premier Division: WINNERS: AFC Mansfield Promoted: AFC Mansfield Relegated: Deeping Rangers, Bourne Town Wessex League Premier Division: WINNERS: Bournemouth FC (Poppies) Promoted: Bournemouth FC (Poppies) Relegated: Horndean, Alresford Town Western League Premier Division: WINNERS: Odd Down Promoted: Odd Down Relegated: Hallen Town, Barnstaple Town, Winterbourne United STEP 10 Promoted: Wokingham & Emmsbrook, Colliers Wood United, Dunkirk, Coventry Sphinx, Gorleston, Downham Town, Wantage Town, Newbury FC, Tuffley Rovers, Milton United, Tunbridge Wells, Continental Star, Rochdale Town, West Didsbury & Chorlton, Squires Gate, Harrowby United, Bottesford Town, Esh Winning, Team Northumbria, Jarrow Roofing Boldon CA, Chippenham Park, East Grinstead Town, Arundel, Hassocks, London Tigers, Cockfosters, Leverstock Green, Kirby Muxloe, Harborough Town, Pewsey Vale, Lymington Town, Brockton, Shepton Mallett, Westbury United
  6. 2017/2018 Season Review League: 15th in Midland Football League Premier Division WINNERS: Loughborough Dynamo FA Cup: Lost in 1st Qualifying Round vs Hereford WINNERS: Chelsea FA Vase: Lost in 1st Round to New Milton WINNERS: Market Drayton Town Midland Football League Cup: Lost in Quarter-Finals vs Quorn WINNERS: Quorn Awards Night Top Goalscorer: Liam Mandeville - 17 Top League Goalscorer: Liam Mandeville - 16 Fastest Goal & Scorer: Matthew Wint - 2 mins 4 secs (vs Quorn) Most Assists: Liam Mandeville - 8 Most MotM Awards: George Carpenter - 8 Player of the Season (Av.Rat.): George Carpenter - 7.08 (43 apps) Fans’ Player of the Season: George Carpenter Summary Reality vs Media Prediction Highest position: 3rd* (1 match round) Lowest position: 21st** (4 match rounds) * before I took charge ** at the time I took charge + 1 match round before and 2 match rounds after News Departures Premier and Football League Manager Movements Premier League Championship League One League Two End of season reaction Not the season I wanted, for all kinds of reasons. Still, it's happened and can hopefully serve as a platform for better things next season.
  7. April 2018 Results With safety assured, I opted to test the kids out as I focused on moulding the squad for next season. Spencer Heath at DC particularly impressed over all four games, despite ending up on the losing side in two of them, while there were generally promising performances from 4-5 of the others, even if they won't be ready for action every week. The only real question is where the quality and experience to go alongside the raw talent of youth is supposed to come from. There are a lot of players out there, but I keep getting told that most of them are useless (even the ones I think look OK)...although the ones I think look useless in terms of stats are the ones I keep getting told to sign up! Things can only get better. Right? Table at end May 2018
  8. March 2018 Results Back to the mixed bag this month. Another early lead was quickly overturned by Quorn, though we managed to salvage something from the game late-on. Deservedly so, too, since we outshot them 16-7 (9-3 on target) and just shaded the possession. It was a similar story against Nuneaton Griff: we were the better side, having more of the ball and managing more shots in total as well as on-target, but ultimately came away with nothing. Then came the visit of Sporting Khalsa. There've been a lot of comings and goings - mostly goings - since my time there, but the core of the side remained pretty much unchanged so I knew exactly who to watch for and how to counter their threat. So I thought and so it proved, at least in the first half. Knowing that, on paper, we stood little chance if Khalsa really turned up, I opted for a counter-attacking style. It worked wonders and we took another early lead, after which I switched to a strict, defensive style that kept Kouhyar, Ismail and Piotrowski very quite. The start of the second half saw us come under extremely heavy pressure, and again a few nerves began to show. Switching back to a more attacking style seemed to push them back again and the game began to look comfortable for us. Then my LB slipped inexplicably and took an age to get up when he had been clear favourite to hoover up a long, wild clearance. Ismail, by now playing at RB (despite being a CM) ran onto it and played a high, first-time ball into the box. My DC misjudged the flight of the ball and Piotrowski did the rest, getting between the DCs to plant a header onto the underside of the crossbar and in. It was Piotrowski again for the winner, too, this time managing to lose his marker (who went walkabout rather than trying to find his man again) before slipping the ball past the goalie and into the opposite bottom corner. We hit the post late-on as I switched to an Overloading style, pumping balls into the box, but that was as close as we came. Still, at least the month ended on a positive note. Very positive, in fact. Liam Mandeville picked up a knock against Sporting Khalsa and was ruled out for 4-6 weeks, leaving us very light in the striker department due to other injuries. Fortunately, Ellis Dobson and Marcel Bell were part of the new youth intake and managed to make a very early impact. Was I pleased? Relieved? A bit of both. Dobson even set a new record: In other news, I finally had a coaching course request granted: Table at end March 2018 2017-2018 Youth Intake Contracts were offered to all except Reid, Storey and Gillett.
  9. February 2018 Results Win at home, draw away. You can't go far wrong with that, can you? It wasn't all plain sailing, though. A second clean sheet under my charge was more than welcome, but we just can't shake all the bad habits (and believe me, I've been trying everything - though not all at once, obviously). We found back well to save a point against Boldmere, but threw the lead away against Westfields and tried to do the same against Coleshill. Fortunately the three-goal cushion we'd built up before half-time proved to be enough, but it was still a case of hanging in there and well-gnawed fingernails in a game that owed everything to George Carpenter's performance in the end, as not only did he score two but he provided the assist for Sweeney to tap in too. He also set a new club record in that game: Table at end February 2018
  10. January 2018 Results Everything seemed to be going well in the first couple of weeks of the New Year: the new signings seemed to be bedding in well, performances continued to improve and morale had stopped being such a fragile little thing. Of course, we still weren't taking our chances as well as we might and the defence was still a little too prone to Heart-Attack Moments, but the trajectory was still generally upward. Then we played Holbrook Sports. There was nothing to suggest that they were any kind of threat - though I never take anyone lightly - so it came as a shock when they recovered from a shaky start to really start swamping the defence. A quick tactical switch began to stem the tide, but then an error in midfield and a long punt undid the defence (DCs sauntering about or making sudden forwards or sideways movements is never a pleasing thing to see), the 'keeper came out and seemed favourite for the ball, but then he stopped, allowing the forward a free run and strike. We got back into the game with a well-worked equaliser, but another individual error saw Holbrook take the game with a penalty in the 78th minute. There were no surprises in the next game. I'm really starting to hate Alvechurch. Our early goal seemed to have been enough to set us on our way, and that feeling only increased when Mandeville hit the post three minutes after scoring before seeing another shot get well saved, down low to the right. Deakin also rose well to meet a corner, thumping his header against the bar on 20 minutes, but after that it was all downhill. Despite keeping a decent shape and having numbers back, Alvechurch had a spell where they almost seemed able to score at will, while my players did their best dustbin impressions. Mandeville did reduce the arrears in the second half, but by then we were already 4-1 down and Alvechurch continued to look dangerous in attack. The result prompted a more urgent hunt for better players, especially at the centre of defence, but the story's no different than it was at Sporting: the players who are quick enough are nowhere near good enough, while the ones who're good enough are far too slow. Speaking of Sporting: Gotta love the idea that something like that would be covered in The Guardian. Meanwhile, of more pressing concern: Table at end January 2018
  11. December 2017 Results Things finally seemed to fall into place a little more this month. The win over Gresley was pleasing because we managed to put the promising bits and pieces together whilst also cutting out the panicky clearances and stupid mistakes, while the follow-up victory in the cup was satisfying if only because it showed that the side has some guts - though the fact was that we were both lucky and unlucky in the game: lucky because we needed a last-gasp equaliser to save the game; unlucky because we should have had three or four before they bundled the ball in (appearing to almost decapitate the goalie in the process), and that was without Mandeville's mysteriously disallowed goal in the first half. The run continued with another good performance against a battling Heath Hayes side, but poor finishing and a lack of confidence returned in the following two games. Again, we could and should have put Kimberley Miners Welfare to the sword, but we didn't and team morale went straight back through the floor. I managed to bolster the camp a little before the next game and thought we might be on our way when Bayliffe gave us an early lead, but it wasn't to be and in truth Heather really should have made the most of some terrible defending and very slack work in midfield. At least we managed to end the month on a high note, though again our defensive frailties came to the fore, this time almost out of nowhere. At one stage we looked impregnable, then in no time we couldn't defend an argument. Very frustrating. Liam Mandeville managed to set a record, though: And more (Christmas Day) news on Sporting Khalsa: Table at end December 2017 Transfers In Transfers Out Bloor is a big loss. Again, I did everything I could to keep him, but to no avail.
  12. November 2017 Results Not the greatest of starts. We were well in the Rocester game for the first hour, but an own-goal and a quick second put paid to that. The only positives to take from it were that we matched them for possession and managed a couple more shots on target. I had hoped that things would click going into the Market Drayton game, but they're rated among the favourites for a reason, and despite taking an early lead and getting it back to 2-2 five minutes into the second half, their superiority told in the end. More pleasing was the flying start we made against AFC Wulfrunians. Less so was what followed. Two sloppy goals either side of half-time got them back into a game that should have been dead and buried, and despite restoring a two-goal cushion we were still living on our nerves until the end. Wulfrunians hit the post - twice - in the last five minutes, though we also had a header cleared off the line, but we hung in there and got the three points. Disappointment was to follow, however, and don't be fooled by the scoreline: we were absolutely dire for most of the match and were 3-0 down before Doughty scored with a fluke effort. A second goal deep into injury time lent the result a veneer of respectability, but the truth was we were well beaten by a far better side. Some news concerning my old lot: Table at end November 2017 Transfers In Transfers Out Danny Hart didn't fit into my plans, while the other two were on non-contract terms. A counter-offer was made to Doughty to get him to stay, but Whyteleafe obviously held more appeal - not to mention offering more money.
  13. Sorry about the lack of activity. There are no excuses and only one reason: life got a little bit hectic. And no, Nobby, it doesn't, but apparently the...well, you can't even call it grass, can you?...got switched out a few years ago.
  14. Good start. Do you reckon the board will emulate RL by getting rid just as you look like actually doing something? I have no love for the Blues (Walsall fan, so there's "a bit of history", shall we say?), but it was an absolutely shocking decision to get rid of Rowett, IMO. Anyway, following now, so all the best!
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