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About ryan_sacfc

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About Me

  • About Me
    St. Albans - home of the Mighty Saints


  • Interests
    Football in general, especially St Albans City FC & Football Manager

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    St Albans City FC
  1. not liking fm15, need advice

    And that wasn't exactly warranted. He only asked for help. Cut the attitude.
  2. Have read a few more posts on here and I have to say I can understand people's grievances with the new tactics screen. The lack of right-click function continues to irk me, as well as the omission of each player's position. I have tried fiddling with custom views in the hope of finding something that suited me, but I ended up getting frustrated at the fact I couldn't find one that was aesthetic and functional - a feeling made worse by the fact FM14's screen was perfectly fine in that sense. That said, I do believe the new screen and system is an improvement for the most part: I like the new freedom in selecting roles, and the fact the players are placed with more precision on the "pitch" depending on their role/position (rather than having six or seven 'rows'). Modern football is much less about lines than it used to be, and FM has duly adapted. As a side note, is it possible to customise the sidebar? I've tried without success to put one-click options on it to take me straight to league table, for example (rather than having to go through the "competitions" tab). If this is possible and I'm just being thick could someone help me out? If not, I reckon this would make navigation much easier. There's plenty of space for more options on mine. I know this is off-topic, but when will there be FM15 content on Steam Community (facepacks/logos etc). On release date I'm guessing? Thanks.
  3. Hi, been playing the game for a few days now and although I didn't love it at first it's grown on me loads and I'm massively impressed. Few comments: first, is there any reason behind the in-match team-talks not having the option to be delivered 'passionately'? I'd have thought this would have been one of the more common ways managers communicated with their players from the touchline. Seems odd that it's omitted here while it's included in dressing-room team-talks and player conversations. Also not sure why the right-click function on the tactics screen as been removed? It was the easiest way to select a team from scratch, for sure. The goalkeeper issue at lower levels has already been noted I realise, but I think players in non-league are generally more stupid defensively than I'd like. I've seen quite a few instances of defenders apparently wandering back to retrieve a ball over the top, but being beaten to it by a forward who was at least twenty yards behind them. Like the new UI, think it is sleek and the sidebar is smart. New scouting system is top as well. Sorry if anything I've written is unhelpful or has already been covered.
  4. It's only a small thing. As I said, it's a brilliant addition to the game, has really made FM12 for me.
  5. Great update guys, really enjoying playing with St. Albans City, thanks a lot! Not sure if this is happening with anyone else, but Howard Webb is refereeing a lot of my cup games??
  6. Saints and Sinners

    Thanks guys, I really appreciate your kind words Pre-season coming soon!
  7. Saints and Sinners

    My Rhino In any profession, being summoned before your boss is never good. When you’re a football manager and your chairman asks you to come and see him even before your first game, you suspect something’s not quite right. Thankfully, nothing was quite right with John Gibson. On the morning before we faced our reserve squad, I was knocking on John Gibson’s office door. I heard him say something that sounded like: ‘Billy, get that for us, will you. Oh yes, sorry, I forgot you couldn’t move.’ It seemed his attachment to his desk hadn’t diminished. Finally, he opened the door, with a huge smile across his face. ‘Tom!’ he beamed. ‘How great to see you, come on in, kid. Take a seat.’ A perfectly normal request, you would have thought, only there were no seats in the room, apart from his, upon to which he was lowering his portly frame. Without wanting to offend, I said nothing. Finally, he pointed to the floor and smiled again, and finally the penny dropped. For the first time in twenty years, I was being asked to sit on the carpet. Of course, I obliged, and was staring up at this strange, strange man when another knock came at the door. Patting his desk as if to say, ‘it’s okay, I’ll get this one,’ Gibson stood once more and opened the door. There stood three figures I recognised, Mark Peters, Zac Chandler and Darren Gibb – assistant manager, physio and coach respectively. Relieved to see a familiar face in this madhouse, I stood up and shook their hands as they introduced themselves in turn. ‘Hi, I’m Mark Peters. I work in Halfords in Stevenage and Steve used to call me Rhino.’ Unsure as to how much of that information was relevant, I smiled and thanked him. Darren Gibb introduced himself as ‘an average player and a worse coach’ before Zac Chandler asked me whether I needed him to ‘do any work’ on me. Disturbing stuff, but they seemed on board. I thanked them and told them I’d see them at this afternoon’s game, and they were gone. When I turned around, Gibson was stood over his desk with a piece of paper laid out before him. I made my way over, and stared down at the single sheet. Words escaped me. Almost half a million pounds of debt and a wage budget that needed cutting down by almost £2,000. I dared not look at Gibson, expecting to find him embarrassed and angered by the situation. But when I finally chanced a glance, to my utter bewilderment, he was smiling. Before I could query his cheery disposition, he uttered a single, unbelievable word: ‘Funsies.’ Great, I thought. I had an assistant manager who valued his spookily close relationship with my predecessor, a coach with chronically low self-esteem and an overly touchy-feely physio. Now, to top it all, I had a chairman who got a kick out of debt! I wasn’t sure ‘funsies’ was the right word.
  8. Saints and Sinners

    I'm glad your enjoying it, Crouchy - thanks for the comments Second instalment of the night up in a sec
  9. Saints and Sinners

    My First Issue It was almost seven o clock. People would be worrying about me, wondering where I’d got to. That was a lie, but it made me feel better. I slipped on my coat for the strangely chilly July evening, but was stopped by a knock at the door. I made my way over and let my visitor in. If I hadn’t recognised the face, I’d have feared for my life, wondering who on earth I hadn’t paid, or who wanted their revenge. Paul ‘Bazza’ Bastock was an imposing man. Bald head, mean eyes and no eyebrows, he looked like an egg on steroids. Thankfully, he was one of the good guys – a real gent of the non-league game and a fan favourite here at St. Albans. I shook him by the hand and asked, ‘What can I do for you, Paul?’ ‘Hi boss,’ his voice hardly matched his appearance either. ‘I was reading the paper today, the Review, and I saw your comments on me.’ ‘I meant every word I said.’ ‘That’s just the thing, gaffer. So, I brought you this.’ He reached into a bag I’d only just noticed he’d brought with him, and pulled out a towel, with an embroidered City crest on it, just like my blazer. ‘What’s this?’ I asked, puzzled. ‘It’s a goalkeeper’s towel. You know, for drying your gloves if they get wet on the floor, or if you spit on them or something. Helps with grip and stuff.’ ‘Right. And why are you giving me it?’ ‘It’s not like I’ll need it anymore, what with you letting me go …’ Again, I was stunned. The last few days hadn’t been good for my heart. ‘Wait – what do you mean, ‘I’m letting you go?’ I never said I was letting you go. What on earth gave you that idea?’ ‘What you said in the paper. You said I’d make an excellent manager, and you look forward to working with me, in a non-playing capacity. I took that as you saying you wanted me to hang up my gloves, as you wanted to bring someone else in.’ Bazza looked at the floor. He was one fragile egg. Probably the steroids. ‘I did say that, Paul, but I didn’t mean it that way. I need you this season, more than ever. You’re one of the best goalkeepers in non-league football, and one of the best this club has ever had. Rest assured, you’re my number one this year.’ My stopper smiled a smile that seemed as though it should have been toothless, like Nobby Stiles, but I was surprised by Bazza’s rows of perfect pearly whites. ‘Thanks a lot, boss.’ I handed him back the towel ceremoniously, and he turned and walked out of the office, closing the door behind him. I stood perfectly still for a few moments. Telling someone they would be in the team was hard, I thought. I could only imagine how hard telling people they won’t be playing will be.
  10. Saints and Sinners

    Thanks a lot Idjh Sorry for such a boring installment last time out, but it was just giving those of you who aren't familiar with the Saints a feel for the players. In an apologetic response, I've got two installments for tonight which are a darn sight more interesting - I hope
  11. Saints and Sinners

    My Boys My office was a cold and dark room tucked away in the corner of the ground as if the stadium was embarrassed by it. When I saw it, I could understand where it was coming from. The room was painted a horrible green, with moulding carpet and a solitary, wilting plant hiding away in the corner. During my first few days, I’d moved in a few of my own personal items, including Saints merchandise I’d had since I was a kid, and family photos. I’d also given the walls a lick of bright blue paint, and pulled up the moulded carpet, leaving bare but decidedly more aesthetic concrete flooring. Presently, I was sat at my new Ikea desk, with my notes on some of the key players in the squad in front of me. With training beginning tomorrow with a practice match against the reserves, I wanted to be sure of my opinions on each player before we started. The list was as follows: Paul Bastock – Goalkeeper – Veteran stopper recently voted Boston United’s greatest ever player. Was a key player of City’s 2005/06 Conference South promotion campaign, and was player of the season in 2007/08 despite playing just eleven games. Alex Bailey – Right-back – Full-back who is full of pace and attacking threat. Dribbling and crossing ability make him a possibility on the right wing, too, although his all round game leaves a little to be desired. Adam Everitt – Left-back – Solid defender who is equally adept in midfield as he is as a full-back. Can also play at the heart of defence, making him a useful utility player as well as a decent left-back. James Quilter – Centre-back – Tall and commanding defender who, if push comes to shove, can be deployed in the centre of the park. With good passing ability to add to his defensive qualities, ‘Quilts’ is arguably the club’s best defender. Ryan Frater – Centre-back – Despite his obvious defensive skill, his pace lets him down. With little on the ball skills, has a tendency to ‘hoof’ the ball clear and giving the ball away instead of looking for a simple pass. Bradley Thomas – Centre-back – The Jamaican has obvious talent as both a centre-back and a right-back. Would definitely be able to partner Quilts at the heart of the defence, but I haven’t seen too much of him as of yet. Gary Cohen – Right midfielder – One of the quickest players in the league, the former Grimsby man can offer a threat on the right side, or up top. His goal to game ratio, however, leaves much to be desired, and is better suited to punishing defenders with his pace and laying on goals for others. David Galbraith – Left midfielder – A different type of winger to Cohen, Galbraith prides himself on his ball skills, with dangerous crossing and dribbling ability as opposed to raw pace. One of the first names on the team sheet as he dominates that left-hand side. Solomon Shields – Central midfielder – One of the best players at the club, the young midfielder is a Leyton Orient youth product who can pick a pass. Dangerous when going forward, Shields isn’t afraid of getting back and helping out. Luke Thurlbourne – Central midfielder – When playing with Shields, forms one of the most fearsome midfield partnerships in the non-league game – and they’re not even in their twenties yet. Thurlbourne is a grafter, who covers every inch of grass, tackling hard and giving the ball to team mates for them to make something happen. James Fisher – Central midfielder – One of the longest serving players, one of the few positives from the two reigns before Castle. Works hard, does the simple stuff well, and is equally adept at playing at right-back. Paul Hakim – Forward – Striker who is a legend in these parts, in his second spell at the club. One of the best strikers in the division, can pose a threat all over the pitch. Drew Roberts – Forward – Quick forward who doesn’t stop running, will forge out chance after chance for himself and others with his agility. Can also play on the wing, but his supply is not the best. Daniel Chillingworth – Forward – A poor scoring record precedes Mr. Chillingworth, who has failed to impress me in the few times I’ve seen him play. Here’s hoping I’m wrong – we’ll need goals from everywhere if we’re to succeed this season. Looking down at the sheet in front of me, I smiled. Whether extra bits of quality came in or not, I knew that these players had the spirit and ability to do me proud this year.
  12. Saints and Sinners

    Thanks for the comments Crouchaldinho and Mark, the next installment will be up later today
  13. Saints and Sinners

    My First Day Ahmed Patel was a Review journalist. An Indian in his late thirties, he was plagued by thinning and greying hair. In typical football press fashion, he stood outside the stadium gate with notebook and Dictaphone in hand. In not-so-typical football press fashion, he was alone. As I approached him, suited and booted in my complimentary club suit (complete with the club crest on the jacket’s breast), he stuck the Dictaphone under my chin. ‘Mr. Rimmer, are you looking forward to your first day in your new job?’ he asked, with a Birmingham accent. ‘I am indeed, if it’s any of your business. And you are?’ ‘Ahmed Patel. The Review. Is it true that you only got this job because no one else applied?’ ‘It seems you have a lot to learn about me, Ahmed. I have several rules. A first is that, from experience, journalists are vermin - vile creatures that feed on your dignity like parasites - second only to the geeky one from Saved by the Bell in terms of creepiness. And secondly, I do not react well to vicious rumours. But yes, that one is true.’ Ahmed look confused, scared even, and it was a few seconds before he’d composed himself. ‘What are your plans, dreams and aims for St. Albans City?’ ‘To make it to the Football League has to be the ultimate aim. It is the same for any club in this division. We are just two steps away. It may take years, decades even, but I hope that one day we’ll get there.’ ‘Ambitious. And what is your immediate target – your aim for this season?’ ‘Without looking at the quality of the squad first, it’s hard to say. But I’d like to think that we can challenge the better sides in the division, and we can hope for a solid finish this year. Perhaps somewhere in mid-table, but if we can challenge the big boys, I’d be delighted.’ ‘Who do you anticipate will be your key players this year?’ ‘Provided we hang on to everyone, there are several guys who will be essential to us. Paul Hakim, for example, is up there with the best strikers in the division. The two midfielders – Shields and Thurlbourne – are young and hungry, and will work like dogs for us, while the usual guys like James Fisher and James Quilter will be key.’ ‘What is your opinion on Paul Bastock, the Saints’ veteran goalkeeper and fan favourite?’ ‘He’s been a fantastic servant to the club, he really has. Do you know what? I think he’s got the potential to be a fantastic manager. The mental toughness is there, and if I can get him working with me, as my right hand man one day, I’d be delighted.’ ‘And Mr. Rimmer, one last question, if I may. Are planning on bringing anyone in, or moving anyone on before the season starts?’ ‘I’m afraid our budget will not allow me to bring anyone in, unless I can grab a couple of loan signings that won’t require the club to pay their wages. Due to this, Ahmed, we won’t be moving anyone on – we need everyone we can get at this club.’ ‘That’s it for today, Mr. Rimmer. Thanks a lot, I appreciate your time.’ ‘No problem at all,’ I smiled, as I held out a hand. Ahmed obliged. ‘Just to let you know, I’ll be covering the team and their games this season, Mr. Rimmer,’ Ahmed smiled. ‘I hope that’s okay.’ ‘Could be worse,’ I laughed. ‘But I suppose you’ll have to get used to this ugly mug, won’t you? You know, for a slime ball journalist, Ahmed, you’re alright.’
  14. Saints and Sinners

    My Long Shot With sleep unable to come and save me from myself, I tried not to think about work, which was when something absurd popped into my head - an idea so absurd that I became sure that I was still drunk. Perhaps I was. But it suddenly seemed to make perfect sense. I was lying there, unemployed and penniless, while a job opportunity, however slim, sat out there in my living room (slash kitchen, guest room, dump etc). What was it John Gibson had said? They wanted someone ‘passionate.’ I was certainly that – the feeling I got when the Saints got promoted in 2006 was one of the best of my life. They wanted someone who ‘knows St. Albans City FC inside out.’ Having been a season ticket holder for twenty years, I felt I could argue that I knew the club as well as anyone. I may not have much experience, but I had helped my dad coach the local pub team and played enough Football Manager on the PC to basically qualify me for a Pro License. In cartoon style, I leapt out of bed and skidded into the living room, mobile phone in hand. Throwing myself over the sofa, I shrieked as I overcooked the jump and piled into the coffee table. That wouldn’t have helped my head. Undeterred, I flicked through the paper till I found the relevant page, and punched the number into my mobile phone. Dreading that I was too late, someone finally picked up. ‘St. Albans City Football Club, how can I help you?’ To my surprise, I found myself speaking to John Gibson. ‘Mr. Gibson?’ I queried, still unsure. ‘Is that you?’ ‘I’m afraid it is.’ He sounded tired and depressed. Join the club. ‘The secretary left with Steve. They all did. It’s only me and Billy still here.’ ‘Billy?’ ‘The desk. Billy the desk.’ He must have been more tired than I had first thought. ‘I was wondering, sir, if you were still taking applicants for the position of manager?’ ‘I’m afraid we’re not any more.’ I’d missed the boat. Gutted. ‘When?’ I asked, as if it was relevant. ‘As of now,’ came the reply. ‘You can have the sodding job. It’s yours. It’s been a week, and no one has applied for a job at a Conference South club. Not a soul. No one will come now. If no one’s come in the last week, then they never will. Besides, no one wants to work with me. I’m the stingiest chairman in the league, apparently, who hates the fans and everyone at the club. They just don’t understand, Mr…?’ ‘Rimmer. Tom Rimmer.’ I tried hard to keep the child-at-Christmas delight out of my voice. ‘Well Mr. Rimmer, this is a poisoned chalice, my friend. A tainted position at a ruined club, kid. With no Steve Castle, there is no St. Albans City, apparently. That’s what everyone says. I’ve done my best, but nothing’s good enough for anyone anymore. You really think you can save this club? We’re finished-’ Feeling he was ranting, and wondering whether he was just a little drunk, I cut him short. ‘Mr. Gibson?’ He grunted a response, which I assumed was my cue to continue. ‘Can I ask why Mr. Castle left the club?’ ‘What do you think?’ But he didn’t sound angry, just disappointed. ‘It was money, kid. It’s all about money these days. Everything is. And I had no more to give him. And I’m afraid it’ll be the same when you take over. Not a penny. Less than a penny, in fact. We’re almost half a million in debt here. I’ll tell you one thing though, kid.’ ‘What’s that?’ ‘You’ve got a hell of a task ahead of you.’
  15. Saints and Sinners

    Thanks chesterfan, I hope so too!