Dan BHTFC

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About Dan BHTFC

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    Burgess Hill

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    Burgess Hill/Southwick

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  1. Might've got bored over the last few days and started adding more.....
  2. SELKIRK FC - SEASON ELEVEN - 2027/28 Scottish Cup - Betfred Cup - Challenge Cup League Table: An improvement! Albeit very small Squad: Even less of the original squad, the youngsters better come good. Transfers: Nothing of note Finances: Still waiting for that influx of money Youth Intake: A few with potential but nothing to use straight away Best XI Season League Position Achievements 2017/18 SPFL2 10th 2018/19 SPFL2 9th 2019/20 SPFL2 8th 2020/21 SPFL2 10th 2021/22 SPFL2 9th 2022/23 SPFL2 9th 2023/24 SPFL2 9th 2024/25 SPFL2 9th 2025/26 SPFL2 10th 2026/27 SPFL2 10th 2027/28 SPFL2 9th
  3. SELKIRK FC - SEASON TEN - 2026/27 Scottish Cup - Betfred Cup - Challenge Cup League Table: A very bad season, we don't seem to be improving, another Play Off win keeps us up, a 7th place finish would be nice! Squad: More young players coming into the squad, they are improving. Transfers: One sale, good price plus it has add ons. Finances: A loss, where is our cup run? Youth Intake: A couple of good prospects Best XI Season League Position Achievements 2017/18 SPFL2 10th 2018/19 SPFL2 9th 2019/20 SPFL2 8th 2020/21 SPFL2 10th 2021/22 SPFL2 9th 2022/23 SPFL2 9th 2023/24 SPFL2 9th 2024/25 SPFL2 9th 2025/26 SPFL2 10th 2026/27 SPFL2 10th
  4. Bye Bye Hampden Park, we are moving out!
  5. Part 4 - With the Lewes result forgotten about it was time to make plans for the visit of Newhaven, who play a division above us. It would be another hard game but would show how we were against another Southern Combination team. I decided to keep the same line up, they need to know they can't have a game off after playing badly. The days leading up to the fixture were busy. I was moving into a new flat and my flatmate, who I've known for a long time, couldn't help me move my stuff in, perfect I thought to myself, I don't have enough to worry about. With the stress of moving I needed to get out and relax, I made my way to Brighton seafront, just to sit and remember my life isn't that bad, a lot of people would love to be doing my job. As I started to close my eyes my phone rang, it was the chairman. "Afternoon Dan, sorry to disturb you. I had a call from the owner earlier". Ah, the mystery owner, I thought to myself. "He was happy with some aspects of the Lewes game, although, he did say that conceding 5 against a reserve team was shocking". His words worried me, what could I say about that? "But it wasn't a normal reserve team, Lewes had some first team players in that squad who have played at a much higher level. Look, we have Newhaven next, a team nearer our own ability, the guys will put in 100% effort into the game, they'll show you they are worthy of wearing the Southwick shirt". A good reply I thought to myself, but who is this owner, he didn't make himself known at the game. "Dan, you don't have to apologise, I know that Lewes had a good side out and yes we did play well but he wasn't happy about how we conceded". I was worried. "Can you tell me who he is, this mystery owner?" I asked, "I wish I could Dan but he wants to remain anonymous". This was strange, most owners would want the world to know that they had their very own club, but then some want to stay in the shadows, I suppose I had to respect that. We spoke about various other issues and then I asked how his daughters wedding went, he did invite me but I felt wrong going, I didn't really know the girl! I made my way to Old Barn Way, I needed to relax so I went into my office and opened my laptop, Football Manager was running, a great escape from real life I thought. Time was going fast, after somehow leading Brighton to a title whilst going through several scouting reports on some players that I was interested in I made it work. After a few hours I went to the bar, there is sat at the bar chatting to Allison who was working an extra shift. "You look relaxed for once Dan, have you quit?" I laughed, "Nope, afraid I haven't Allison, sorry to disappoint you". We spoke about club things, I knew of some old photos of the team from years gone by, I thought they'd look good in my office, inspire me to make my own history at the club. After finishing my third pint I said my goodbyes and caught the last train back to Burgess Hill. Match day had arrived, the sun was hot and thr pitch looked fantastic, it was uneven, but at least it had luscious grass on it. We had also signed some extra players but they would mainly help the reserve team, most had only played Southern Combination Division Two football but I thought I'd give them a chance to impress at a higher level club. Friendly - Southwick vs. Newhaven @ Old Barn Way, Southwick Team: Taylor, Watts, Woodburn, Strong, Doherty, Treleaven, Tipp, Holmes, Ralls, Giles, Miller. Subs: Wood, Ramsay, Greatwich, Milton, Clarke Newhaven were good, a lot better than I thought they would be however Southwick started well and Max Miller got an early shot away but it was an easy save for the keeper. Smith was a threat for Newhaven but the Dockers striker was easily dealt with by the Wickers defence. Southwick started to gain confidence and went ahead with a sublime finish from Luc Doherty, the young defender rifled the ball into the top corner of the net. Half Time: Southwick 1-0 Newhaven Southwick started the second half quickly and Max Miller doubled the lead when he put the ball under the advancing keeper. Newhaven started to press, looking for a way back and they had a good spell of attack which finally paid off when Tommy Giles pulled one back however it wasn't long until Miller got his second of the game to put the Wickers in charge of the game. Towards the end Newhaven made changes however this wasn't to be enough and Southwick get their first win of Pre-Season. Full Time: Southwick 3-1 Newhaven att: 20
  6. Been busy with work over last week, next update tonight/tomorrow
  7. Stayed up first season, money being spent on training and youth facilities, massive turnover of players including a very good youth player who is joining Man Utd
  8. Just signed Matt Ritchie who is now 33, still a good player though
  9. And a great start to the season, with a bit of luck!
  10. Finally made it on FM17!
  11. Part 3 - Skeletons in the closet: Seeing a face from the past you want to forget is horrible, but I knew I had to stay strong, this was the reason how my depression started. I forgot about the incident, best thing, I will not let it ruin my evening. As we sat at a table I had my notepad out, we were going through the players best positions, we were short in certain places but I knew we had Youth players who could plug up the gaps. I was going through the squads for the other clubs in our division, I thought we could easily finish in the top 10 but we had to believe in every game. My phone started to vibrate, it was the Chairman. "Dan, I've got some good news for a change, the owner has seen some of the players you are interested in, one of them is under contract but the club has agreed to sell for £100, he is willing to pay this as long as he plays over half the league games this year, if not then you owe him the £100 back, what do you say?" "Yes sign him, I'm sure I can afford that!" So with that we had signed 26yo defender Damian Thackray from League rivals Selsey. This was our first cash signing for many years, I know it doesn't sound a lot but £100 could buy us match balls for the season! That evening I met the player at the club and he signed on the dotted line, a good piece of business from us and it showed our ambition for the season. I watched the training session, I had no interest in that side of things, I was thankful to have such a good assistant, we made sure the youth team trained as well, I want us all to be singing from the same songsheet and playing the same way. Max Miller was looking sharp but it had been a while since he played a game, maybe best to start him on Saturday I thought to myself. I was shaking, not with fear but with excitement, my first game as Southwick manager. My dad invited me for a full English in a nice pub in Burgess Hill, for once I wasn't drinking alcohol, maybe being a manager is a healthy thing I thought to myself. We finished our breakfast and we hopped onto the train to make our way to Old Barn Way, with my appointment my dad was helping out voluntarily at the club by editing the match day programme for the day and also helping out tidy up the ground. Lewes, who play in thr Isthmian Division One South, would be sending a mixed team, they had some good talent at the club, perfect for us to test ourselves against. Formations were going through my head but I would keep it a simple 4-4-2 for this game, with plenty of substitutions during the game. I knew we wouldn't be getting a big crowd for this game, I thought if we get around 20 that'd be enough to pay the referee, we used our own linesmen, just to keep the costs down, we didn't have a lot of income. I welcomed the Lewes committee, they commented about how well I had done to get a squad together so quickly, I felt good, I felt confident. Friendly - Southwick vs. Lewes XI @ Old Barn Way, Southwick Team: Taylor, Watts, Woodburn, Strong, Doherty, Treleaven, Tipp, Holmes, Ralls, Giles, Miller. Subs: Wood, Ramsay, Greatwich, Milton, Clarke Lewes started fast, I could tell that they didn't see this as a normal friendly. They had a good team out and we had to try and defend, Lewes took an early lead, we were slow to pick up one of their midfielders and he had time to pass to an unmarked striker who had an easy tap in past Taylor. The goal shook us, we started playing like a proper team, Max Miller was making a nuisance of himself but couldn't find a breakthrough, Neil Watts was also having a commanding presence, I knew he could still do a job on the pitch. Half Time: Southwick 0-1 Lewes XI The weather was hot, Lewes looked like a much better team at the start of thr second half, most of our squad clearly wanted to be laying on thr beach as Lewes scored twice in quick succession, not the start we were looking for. The visitors changed the team round a bit, I decided to stick with this team, they have to learn from their mistakes, Lewes asserted their dominance by scoring 2 more at the end of the game, I was disappointed but could see which areas we need to work on as a team. Full Time: Southwick 0-5 Lewes XI att: 14 I was disappointed but couldn't really blame the team as this was their first game together, we did create opportunities but we couldn't finish them, it's something to learn from I thought to myself. As I walked to the opposition dugout to shake my counterparts hand I saw a familiar figure further down the pitch, smirking at me, looking pleased that I had failed in my first game, just ignore I'm I thought. I made my way to the bar once the players had changed, they were disheartened by the result but I knew they could improve. I sat with my pint, going over key aspects of the game with my dad, we looked slow to react at the back, pace was a problem, we couldn't keep up with the strikers, definitely something to focus on in the next training session.
  12. I probably deleted the wrong one as I created them last year
  13. Part 2 - Pre season begins! The start of July is always the busiest for football clubs, players returning to clubs, fans looking forward to seeing any new additions, for me this was different, I was the person making up the squad and also telling players that they were free to find new clubs. It wasn't easy telling a player that he wasn't part of your plans, but I knew I wanted a squad of 19 first team players with 15 in the reserves who were also young, during my time watching Burgess Hill I had become friendly with some players, most weren't happy playing that level of football anymore with all the travelling, a chance for me to get them down here at Old Barn Way! The friendlies had been sorted out a week ago, we had a nice mix, all being played at home. We would be playing a Lewes XI, Newhaven, St. Leonards, Kent Football United and last of all Adur Athletic, a good mix of teams which I hope will help our team gel quicker. Here is a run down of my main first team players for this season: GK Nic TAYLOR (Montserrat) 25yo Signed on a free from local rivals Shoreham, recently called up to the Montserrat National team, will be a big asset. RB Neil WATTS (England) 29yo Released from Burgess Hill after picking up a bad injury, states he cannot play at that level and is more than happy being my new captain. LB Luc DOHERTY (England) 21yo Signed from Haywards Heath, Luc is a former Burgess Hill youth player, another good signing from my contacts list. MR Philip GREATWICH (Philippines) 29yo Another former Burgess Hill player who has been playing in the Philippines but now back in the UK. FW Max MILLER (England) 23yo A bit of a nomad player who has played for a few different Sussex teams, most recent at Haywards Heath. We had a good mix of youth and experience but I knew it would be a hard season, there were a lot of good clubs in this league and I had no previous experience. The first training session went well, I had brought in someone to be my assistant who had experience in the division. We went through several set piece movements and also concentrated on the players fitness levels, this would be crucial as we could be playing in a lot of games this year. The following day I felt depressed again, I did enjoy the job but it was stressful, the players respected me but I felt a bit of pressure, maybe from myself, just to prove I was good enough. The day went slowly, work was hard and I needed a cold pint, I contacted my dad and asked if he'd like a few beers down in Hove, at 5pm we had made it into the Station pub, the Blue Moon was going down like water, I needed this. We spoke about how it was all going, the friendlies we had planned and also the players I had brought in, he agreed we had some decent players but inexperienced ones as well, I felt a failure but he said with no money at the club he was surprised I managed to talk them into joining, this made me feel a lot better about myself and thinking about it, yes, it was good for the club. A few more pints went down, we decided to jump on the bus into Brighton, we couldn't be bothered to be squashed on a train in rush hour, even if it was only for 5 minutes. Deliberating on which pub to visit I heard a familiar voice shout out, it couldn't be I thought to myself.......
  14. This story uses my own Level 23 database and also some extracts from my real life, it might be hard to work out which ones are real but with it being personal I've found it a lot easier to write, I hope you enjoy! Part One - A Difficult Life: It wasn't easy for me, too many times had I been thrown away, my life seemed pointless, a job I didn't enjoy, a life I didn't really want, I was on the edge. It was a warm June evening, I had a few days off work so it was down to the pub to contemplate my life, after my third pint I could think more easily, my dad, who had joined me for my session, saw that something wasn't right with me. I had always loved football, I was always too fat to play but being a manager had been my dream but not having that football background it was hard to find something. My dad got involved in the Non-League game back in the 1970's when Southwick, who were in the Sussex County League, made it into the First Round of the FA Cup and travelled to AFC Bournemouth, they lost but that day my dad got hooked on the little club. They had some moderate success in the 80's, but the money ran out and the attendances dwindled as they fell back into the Sussex County League in the early 90's after some years in the Isthmian League playing the likes of Stevenage and Woking. Since then the club have done nothing of note, they have an average crowd now of around 20 and play in the second level of the now renamed Southern Combination. We had been avid watchers of Burgess Hill Town for around 20 years as we moved to the town and saw all the success they had in the mid 90's to the present day, but work commitments and cost of games made us pick and choose, that's when we decided that when we couldn't get to the Burgess Hill games we would go and watch my Dad's old team Southwick. Everyone was surprised to see us, especially when we said we were Burgess Hill fans but everyone at the club made us welcome, the chairman even gave us some old replica shirts. With this we headed down to the social club to have a few cheap pints of San Miguel. As we got there we saw the chairman outside on his phone, he seemed tense, we thought it was just the preseason stress. He smiled as we passed and as he did thay he started swearing at the person on the other end of the call. With a nice cold pint in our hands we found an empty table and we're commenting on how good the pitch was looking, especially with hardly any rain in the past 6 weeks and that the club didn't have much money to spend on it. The ground had been tidied and fresh paint shone on the perimeter fencing covering up the rusty rails, it was a patch up job but it did look a lot neater. As we neared the end of pint number one the chairman walked in and came over to us, he asked the lady behind the bar for 2 more pints and a usual for himself. "Hey guys, good to see you here, it's been a mad few days. The manager has walked out and training starts next week, I was on the phone to him outside, I'm not happy with him at all, he's left me high and dry. As you know, there's only me and the owner here behind the scenes, he's keeping this club alive every season, and now we have a club with no manager." He looked worse than I had done earlier that day, he quickly downed his whisky, asking for another straight away. "Dan, can you come outside with me for a moment." I wondered what he wanted, maybe my advice on the next manager, I had known a few in my time watching Burgess Hill. "Look, I know this sounds crazy but I'd like you to take over as manager, there will be no pressure, as you know this club has no money, so the players won't be paid, also I have heard that the current squad of players are happy to stay unless you tell them otherwise, what do you say?" I was gobsmacked, this was my chance to do something I enjoyed, to actually manage a football club with a chairman I could talk to, this was too good an opportunity to miss! We agreed that I should take over for this coming season and see where it leads to, I knew just staying up was our target but I wanted to make sure we did it easily with games to spare, not a final day saga. I found my way to the small managers office, well, it was a store room really, which overlooked the pitch. I've made it, I've finally made it, I thought to myself. Sitting back in my cheap swivel chair I began feeling like a proper manager, my laptop on the desk, Football Manager running, a great opportunity to scout players I thought to myself, this is how scouting should be done! First thing I did was make a spreadsheet with the current squads performances last season, I was lucky that one of the coaches loved his stats so it was simple for me to pick out the underperformers on the pitch and in training sessions. I saw a core of 8 players I wanted to keep in the first team, the next job was to tell the players who weren't wanted. My first full day as a manager had begun and I was thinking about the challenges ahead for this small club.