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  1. Few more pre WC betting thoughts if you're interested, (and quick!) at my blog here.. http://thecolumnofcertainty.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/the-best-ante-post-world-cup-bets/.Good luck everyone
  2. Hi Guys, My blog previewing who will be the Top Scorer can be found here if interested.. http://thecolumnofcertainty.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/world-cup-2014s-top-marksmen-a-top-goalscorer-preview/ What are we are thinking for the Golden Boot? Fred is a real stand-out for me, and the value of Paulinho too..
  3. Is it possible to edit the database with the official Gibraltan League update on it? I've gave it a go but can't seem to choose Gibraltar as a league to load at all?
  4. The Skrill Premier Table with 5 games to go: As you can see we have fought hard - not a bad effort for a team with a 16 year old leading the line and major injury problems! Darren Stephenson might just return to fitness in time for the last 2 games.. surely not? We do have to play both Wrexham and Luton in the run in, aswell as a tricky tie away at Aldershot. Halifax have a pretty easy run of fixtures, Alfreton and Staines are the teams I'm hoping to cling on to. The great escape isn't dead just yet!
  5. Did I say the home game against Salisbury was a MUST win? Seriously stunning stuff , rare I actually celebrate these days playing Football Manager, but that Stuart Giddings goal was right up there with Stephenson's late winner at Halifax last season. Next up came Macclesfield away.. And no wonder so many manager have grey hair - Football is a cruel game... We play Alfreton who are 20th, and 4 points clear of us (with a game in hand) at home next - again, a MUST win clash... Come on Chorley!
  6. Chorley Town F.C Season 15/16: Skrill Premier The Half Way Mark: Two words, not good. After entering our first ever campaign at a level as high as this optimism was through the roof, although it appears the pressure of the situation and also that created by the new chairman is what shone through to the players in the end. We've really struggled - after looking through a good deal of the opposition's squads I knew we were in trouble, something only further established as my assistant manager pointed out we were dead last in nearly all of the stats comparison tables, but we had fought well against higher opposition sides in the cup last year and I was confident we could turn Victory Park into a mini-fortress. But that was blown out of the water in the first seven games of the season - Our record stood at :W 0 D 3 L 4, and had up rock bottom of the league already. When in the eighth game, away at Alfreton, Darren Stephenson smashed in a hattrick only for Alfreton to score their fourth goal of the game in the 89th minute to consign us to another defeat I feared I would be out of the door before Christmas. We did recover though, and scrapped our way out of the relegation zone somehow by the middle of November, although it was still of course incredibly tight. But that was when the injuries kicked in and really knocked us for six. The players have been knackered all season to tell you the truth (I have no idea what I'm doing in the training section of FM these days and just let my ass.man get on with it), and injuries hit our threadbare squad hard. It was bad enough for Hackney, Pullen, Giddings, Fell, Jarvis and Jansen to have long term injuries, but when that included Darren Stephenson, our star striker who had scored an impressive 14 in 28 despite our struggles we were done for - he would miss over half of the season with a broken toe, before further bad news saw Hassan Bacchus our colossal centre half ruled out for 3 months at the same time, ending his remarkable run of 76 consecutive starts for us in the process, leaving us with quite frankly a pathetic starting XI for this level. Since then it's been dire - we've picked up a shocking 7 points from a possible 42 in our last 14 league games, ONE win and 4 draws to go with 9 defeats and are now comfortably in the relegation zone. A massive seven points from safety I don't think we stand a chance (Especially with Stephenson missing for the rest of the season). The FA Cup provided a brief respite as we reached the 2nd Round, but we suffered another humiliating defeat in the FA Trophy, going down to Skrill North side Hyde one nil. Thankfully I'm still clinging onto my job - My job Status is now 'Secure' (from 'Untouchable' at the start of the season) and I'm just hoping and praying the ambitious chairman will give me a chance to come back from a relegation - something I think we could be capable of, especially considering the improved youth facilities would give us a better shot second time around. Results thus far: The League Table *shudders*: I've almost given up on survival already (although we play bottom of the league Salisbury at home next, a MUST win in every sense), but I will not give up the battle - we have to try until the very end to finish as respectably as possible to try and not anger the chairman too much, will he be able to remember the work I did last season? For you, The fans: Do you think I stand a chance of avoiding the sack? And also.. Help?!?
  7. Thanks mate - with the old chairman I would've used it, not sure it's worth a risk with Mr. Ambitious at the helm! Quick note on Pre-Season, not a lot of activity (bar the massive takeover news of course), no transfers in or even out. Tactically after having a look at some of the Skrill Premier sides' I have to admit I'm pretty nervous about our chances, there are some very good sides in this league. With defence being my main area of worry, especially in behind given the chronic lack of pace back there I'm opting for a deep 4-5-1 system, with the Anchor man there in midfield to hopefully block the gap between my defence and midfield that will be created with us playing deeper. Starting XI: GK: Pullen - Superb last campaign, we need him to have a big season. DL: Fell - Steady campaigner, capable of playing at CB too, in which case Stuart Giddings will come into the side. DC: Bacchus - as always. DC: O'Brien - A monster in the air, but slow. Hope he can step up. DR: Ross - Pretty mediocre, but always puts in a shift. Could get exposed at this level though, and very little backup to him. A: Vermiglio - The old head, vital experience and battle in the holding role, again, not much pace. AP: Jarvis - Is there a theme developing here? Another slow player who I hope can keep up, good technically. BWM - Witham, finally somebody who can get around the pitch! Vital for us to break up attack and bomb on when possible. AML: Hackney - Slow (shock) for a winger, but decent ability. AMR: Roberts - The nippier winger, was excellent last season. SC: Stephenson - Of course.. Advanced forward or a Complete forward, I'm not sure yet. From the youth academy, Williams and defender Vershawn Lake will be in and around the squad, whilst I have plans to loan out Rob Mather and Gavin Mitchell, two youths who were already at the club when I joined, to Colwyn Bay. Here goes - Up the Chorley.
  8. So just casually strolling through pre-season, obviously a quiet period with this challenge before BANG - Everything changes in a second! (Click all pictures to see them bigger) So it's a new era here at Chorley, a consortium with "big plans" - But will I survive?! Clearly this new chairman is hugely ambitious, and he already has a new manager in mind in Nas Bashir - he was sacked as manager at Sutton United last season. A youth challenge is hardly the perfect fit with an ambitious chairman like this is it! I imagine he will imagine instant success and new signings for two.. I was hugely nervous, and initially thought that was it, I was dead meat. However... Wow - I've never seen anything like this in all my years of playing Football Manager, incredible news as he has already decided to upgrade both the youth and training facilities; something that surely would never have happened under the previous regime. A nice 35k boost to the coffers too, it was badly needed. Hardly a massive praise of my managerial abilities though, "considering letting me keep my job" - Come on the people of Chorley, I'd expect a revolt if he decided to wield the axe.. The drama goes on: I'm safe! Mr. Miller has apparently been 'persuaded' to keep me on.. Did his car windows get smashed as he drove through the town centre perhaps? Either way it's excellent news. He has laid down the law - and came in straight away and cut all ties with our parent club, Preston, stating that he sees Chorley going in a different "direction" - thankfully I've kept the 'give youth a chance' philosophy, which hopefully will bide me some more time if things don't go to plan on the pitch. In total these are the changes to the club after the new changes: - Training and Youth Facilites increased (170k spent) - Youth Facilities increased (85K spent) - Not entirely sure what this means along with the changes above, I just tried my luck straight away and he agreed.. - Junior Coaching increased - Link with Parent Club Preston scrapped - Link with Feeder Club established (Colwyn Bay) - Cash injection of £35k - Number of coaches allowed increased from 2 to 3 - Experienced midfielder Jamie Vermiglio is now a player/coach, after setting his sights on retirement from the full time game at the end of the season. So huge changes - I am VERY excited, drama like this does not come around at this level very often! The start to the season is going to crucial - if we are badly out of depth and getting thrashed week in week out I won't be here for much longer. If I can survive however, the future is very bright.. Can I stay up?
  9. Cheers mate, will hopefully do your boys proud! As long as it that doesn't mean back to back promotions then I should be alright...There has been some MASSIVE news here at Victory Park, a new chairman is in town.....
  10. Chorley Town F.C Season Review 14/15 - Skrill North As I left you we had finally departed from the cups, and a fierce battle at the top of The Skrill North was developing nicely - with just the league to focus on, we gave it everything; Stephenson kept scoring, Roberts kept providing and Bacchus & Co kept defending. But Halifax were too strong, (despite us with 12 games left going to The Shay and grabbing a miraculous late draw with Stephenson completing his brace in the 94th minute to preserve top spot) after that draw with us they went on a charge, winning 10 and drawing one of their last 11, an outstanding effort meaning they in the end cruised to the title, with 87 points. We had fell off the pace, tiredness setting in for my small squad, but did, mainly thanks to big Darren's goals, manage to pick up enough vital wins to comfortably keep us in the Playoffs, which were at this stage obviously where we going to end up. With around 3 games left we were guaranteed of a Playoff spot, and after seeing what I thought was a decent batch of youngsters come through a month or so previously I threw them in the side after deciding I wasn't bothered which of the other Playoff sides I faced. They did well - especially Jon Abel and Darren Williams, the pacey striker I had picked out from the youths. What I didn't realise is that the highest placed finisher got home advantage in the playoff final, but thankfully the kids did well enough, to beat Nantwich on the final day to secure 2nd place (Williams scoring the winner). The Playoffs: We were drawn against Leamington, a side who had like us overachieved, and like us didn't play with much guile, relying on strength and aerial domination - we had taken 4 points from the two league games against them and I was in confident mood. The first leg was a nervy affair at The New Windmill Ground (), we had the best chance in a game lacking of quality, but we were perfectly with the game finishing 0-0. At home we faced a major blow as top goalscorer Darren Stephenson was ruled out with a dead leg - I threw caution to the wind and threw 15 year old Darren Williams in the starting lineup, as we went for it with an attacking 442. It was an ugly game, as yellow cards mounted rapidly, and both sides giving away a penalty in the first half - both were scored as we went in level at the interval. Leamington were reduced to ten shortly after the interval and the game was ours for the taking - on came Jansen for what was probably his last ever appearance, and when he set up Paul Jarvis in the 78th minute to score, we looked certain to progress. However, almost straight from the kickoff, Leamington remarkably scored, and the game ended 2-2, meaning extra time and the potential of penalties. Extra Time was a total non-event, we made a great chance in the 91st minute, but James Dean's header bounced back off the crossbar and after that Leamington defended like Trojans and weathered the Chorley storm - it was to be penalties. I was surprisingly confident in the shootout, as our goalkeeper James Pullen had been in superb form throughout the season and had already saved 4 out of 9 penalties he had faced - a terrific record. My confidence was justified as we scored our opening four penalties, before Pullen saved the Boston fourth, which let in Matt Fell to smash home the winner. We were promoted! Phew - A really interesting season, and great to be promoted. It's going to be hard next year, especially as my direct tactic seems to have suffered at the hands of the new patch! We will have to tinker. My Overall Season XI (4-4-2, L-R): Pullen - Fell, Bacchus, O'Brien, Ross - Jarvis, Vermiglio, Witham, Roberts - Stephenson, Dean Season Review in Numbers: Predicted Finish: 20th Actual Finish: 2nd - League Table FA Cup: 1st Round Replay - Lost away to Northampton (Lge 2) 3 - 0. FA Trophy: 1st Round - Lost at home to Hednesford (Skrill North) 0 - 3. Income brought into club from transfers: £0 Income brought into club from cup competitions: £3,750 (FA Trophy), £24,010 (FA Cup) Income brought into club from league finish: £26.17K (20th in BSP) Estimated club Value: £210k 23rd of June Projected Balance: -£298,000 New Parent club: None New Feeder club: None Top Scorer: Darren Stephenson(38) Top Assists': Will Roberts (16) Highest Av. Rating: Darren Stephenson (52 Apps, 7.20 Av.Rating) Most MOTM: Darren Stephenson (10) Yellow Cards: Jamie Vermiglio (10) Young player of the year award: N/A - Next season and onwards Senior player of the year award: Darren Stephenson - For obvious reasons, he was phenomenal. Thankfully he has signed a new deal until 2017. Senior player of the year (runner-up): Hassan Bacchus - Unbelievably played in every single minute in every game this season. A real rock. Club record league Apps - Dale Witham - 167 Club record league Goals - Darren Stephenson - 53 Next Season Aims: Survival, a decent cup run, a feeder club, and a nice run in the side for Darren Williams. And to you, Mr. Reader - as always you're thoughts/comments/opinions on the team are welcomed! Cheers.
  11. It's awful in my experience: Far more bugs now than before, playing running from the ball in the wrong directions, far too many penalties now, players randomly falling over / sliding in despite being nowhere near the ball, players who has the chance to run with the ball and counter attack now just smashing it straight to opposition goalkeeper "He's taking no chances there?!". Goalkeeper distribution absolutely abysmal, the body collision looking utterly ridiculously.. Struggling to keep playing at the minute.
  12. The Youth Intake Right you lot - this is where I would really appreciate your feedback.. The Youth Intake is of course the crux of the challenge, and here it goes. I have signed all but two of the intake, but would love your thoughts on the crop, who I should focus on, who is the best, and how to train them!The bunch (ones I feel could possibly contribute): Tim Howarth (SC) : A big targetman, and a real team player - could he be James Dean's long term replacement? Craig Creamer (AML/SC): Hilarious name, he is quicker than Howarth, a decent finisher and I like his composure. Shay Freeland (ML): Doesn't really jump off the page, but could perhaps develop into an OK wide midfielder. Joseph Hamseer (DM/MC): A useful option potentially, decent tackler, not the worst with the ball and not useful physically either. Mark Stitch (D/RC): Limited, but a big lump who could rough it out in the Skrill divisions potentially - Impressive mentally and very determined. Ben Upson (D/RC): More a right back probably, but useful in either position. Good physically and a real grafter, but disappointing technically. Vershawn Lake (D/RLC): Are there many Vershawn's in Chorley? Half Antiguan, he looks good, versatile and a decent athelete, but determination of 2 is not what I was hoping for. Jon Abel (D/RLC): The defenders keep coming - is he the best of the lot? A giant at 6'6, he is excellent in the air, not the slowest for his size and determined. He will almost certainly get a decent chance. Kerry Musselwhite (GK): Eccentric, which is an instant turn off, but not the worst. Good in the air, and loves to punch - he will be interesting to watch. I do need a keeper with backup Sam Ashton not at all happy at the moment! Darren Williams (AML/SC): I'll save the best to last - already promoted to the first team and made his debut, he has pace, is a pretty hard worker and a decent long shot. His finishing is far from impressive however and he is does have some concerning physical attributes, he might get bullied in this league, but I think he's a prospect. And that's your lot - Thoughts from you the fans, massively appreciated!
  13. Chorley Town - Season 1 (2014/15) The Half Way Mark: We have continued to make superb progress - our brief foray into the FA Trophy is over, and we have just the Skrill North to focus on, but we now TOP the league. Exciting times! League Table As you can see it's very tight - Boston are a fine all round side, whilst Nuneaton have two very good strikers firing them on. As I predicted both Halifax and Chester are in the mix and neither can be ruled out - Chester especially, who have recovered from a very poor side and have won all 6 of their recent games. At home we have been decent, but prone to the odd hammering, which has affected our goal difference - away however we have truly magnificent - in all my time playing FM I've often struggled away, but we've won an astonishing 8 of our 11 away games, including wins at Telford, Chester, Altrincham and Brackley, giving us 25 out of a possible 33 points on the road. Can we continue that? Recent Results, Goalscorers and Attendance Info We are starting to spread the goals around a bit instead of just relying on Stephenson which is nice, but he is still scoring a hatful (23 in 29 for him now), and is very happy playing at the club at the moment which is great to see. We always look capable of scoring, and have managed to notch at least once in the last 12 league games. The last three games have been outstanding, all won; two tough away games against sides in the top half both won without conceding a goal, whilst the home game against Nuneaton was an absoloute epic - we raced into a 2 nil after literally 90 seconds, got pegged back to 2 - 2 by half time, went down to ten men and still managed to come away victorious thanks to that lethal double act Stephenson and Dean. As you can also see the crowds are getting behind us now too, with over a thousand fans at our last two home games - the town is buzzing! The games to come aren't too bad, although a massive away clash at Boston beckons in less than a month - if we are still top after that I would feel very confident of at least making the playoffs. The FA Trophy experiment: As I mentioned I was using the FA Trophy as a testing ground really, both formation wise (trying to develop a tactic for Jansen) and also giving fringe/young players a game. It was a struggle; a weak side laboured to a home draw against lowly Poulton. In the replay Jansen maintained his starting place in behind the striker, and I brought back Stephenson - he made a huge difference as we hammed them 4 - 0, although the performance was still disappointing. Jansen got his goal but again struggled to really get involved. The 1st Round proper was the end for us - I this time went for a 4-2-3-1 with two attacking wingers, Jansen as a Treq and young Gavin Mitchell upfront as a poacher, but it was a disaster and we were hammered by an average Hednesford side at home. Oh well! Unsung Heroes: Two players have caught the eye recently and deserve some recognition: Hassan Bacchus - The tall centre back has been superb, and almost unbelieveably has played every single minute of every single game (30) this season. Outstanding and a real rock. Will Roberts - The young winger has come alive in the last month and is full of confidence - always looking to take on his man and create a chance he is flourishing. At just 20 he is a one to keep an eye on for sure. For you, the fans: Firstly some more tips on a formation that can accomodate an attacking midfielder in would be brilliant - everytime I've tried it I've struggled, my two formations at the moment are my classical direct 442 which is used regularly, whilst I sometimes opt for a counter attacking 4-5-1 with a DM and two advanced wingers, which is very solid and has been useful away from home. Apart from that, I'm struggling. Also, has anybody leaked a board decision that you don't agree with to the press? I still can't manage to persuade them to give me a feeder club, something I really want, and I am thinking of doing this considering my job status is untouchable and the morale is so good at the moment. Does it work? Cheers all - Onwards and Upwards!
  14. October/Early November: We continued to defy the odds, and have maintained pace with the playoff pack - we had some superb matches in this period, including some very interesting cup ties. In the FA Cup, we overcame Bury Town and then Skelmersdale in the opening qualifying rounds, which handed us the chance to make it into the 1st Round proper if we could topple Cambridge City at home; they were a decent side who were overachieving like ourselves in the league, also in the playoffs despite being promoted with us at the start of the season; FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round: Chorley 2 (Dean 51, Stephenson 56) - 1 Cambridge City (Dawkin 81) Att: 897 - A fine victory and the superb double act up top grabbed all the headlines once again. Our direct 442 is not always pretty, but with two decent wingers and these two big lads upfront we can be a real handful. Stephenson grabbed the MOTM award, whilst Stuart Giddings surprised everybody by getting through 90 minutes! FA Cup 1st Round: Chorley 3 (Vermiglio 70, Stephenson 76, O'Donovan (o/g) 89) - 3 Northampton Town (Vermiglio o/g 73, Nicholls 77, Toney 78) : WHAT. A. Game - Stunning stuff was dished up for a bumper crowd of 2,521 people at Victory Park, with six goals being scored in the last 20 minutes as we gave League Two side Northampton a massive scare. Captain Vermiglio had a bizarre four minutes, poking us ahead from a corner before diverting into his own net, but when Stephenson scored yet again I thought we had won it, given the fact that we had been the better side throughout; I was wrong, Northampton almost unbelievably scored straight from the kick off, before scoring straight from OUR kick off aswell, turning the game on it's head with two goals in about 30 seconds. I threw caution to the wind for the last 10 minutes, and late sub Matt Jansen produced a superb free kick in the 89th minute which was turned into his net by Roy O'Donovan. A stunning performance, and we were so unlucky not to win it. Could we give them a good game in the replay? FA Cup 1st Round Replay: Northampton Town 3 (Carter 78, Toney 84, 86) - 0 Chorley - Very harsh on us, we played well again and young winger Roberts hit the post in the first half (as he had done also in the 1st leg), but a calamitous error by keeper Pullen let Carter score a wondergoal from fully 45 yards with only ten minutes to play. Hard to take, we went for it again in the last ten minutes but were ruthlessly disposed of by the quick substitute Toney. Still, a fine cup run, totally a decent £16.55k in revenue (not including ticket sales). In the league we had some brilliant results and after 15 games sit in 5th place, 4 points from the top spot, including a brilliant 2 - 0 home win against Halifax (Dean + Stephenson again), and arguably the best game of the season away at a strong Chester outfit. With 89 minutes on the clock we trailed 2 - 1, but Dale Witham smashed home a leveller, before a counter attack saw Hackney skin two players and cross for the unmarked Stephenson, who wasn't going to miss out on a 93rd minute winner. Unbelievable scenes! We've had four ever presents this season and they really are the spine of our side, with keeper James Pullen, big centre half Hassan Bacchus, midfield dynamo Dale Witham and of course star man Dale Stephenson all starting every single one of our 20 games so far this season. Stephenson has an astonishing 17 goals, and has signed a new contract until 2017 thankfully. If we don't go up soon though, he won't be sticking around - I've already notice him often being a bit off with me during team-talks and can be complacent on the pitch too. We have to keep him happy! Objectives in the next two months: - Maintain our push for a playoff place: Obviously, the FA Cup has gone but we are still looking a real threat in the league. - Get as far as possible in the FA Trophy whilst resting players: I WILL be experimenting in this competition, with fringe players getting a go and also importantly I will try and use this cup to try and make a tactic to suit our creative players, like Matt Jansen and Paul Jarvis. As Reedy_1988 suggested, I will go Jansen a go as a Treq. Probably in a narrow 4-2-3-1. - Sign the better players up for as long as possible, as I have with Stephenson already. And that's about it - on a side note my job status is already at untouchable - do I risk it all and have a go at my board for not letting me have a feeder club / upgrade youth facilities whilst I am so highly rated? I will certainly be knocking on the door. Onwards and Upwards!
  15. Early Beginnings: A little mini update I like to do early in the season (normally first 10 or so league games) to give you a flavour of how the season is going and give you the chance to give me some feedback on how you feel I'm doing: Pre-Season was short - I hadn't realised, but we only had one friendly arranged. We gave League One side Preston a good game and went down to a narrow 2 - 1 defeat. Ah well. Aside from that it was quiet - I asked for an improvement to the youth facilities, a parent club and a feeder club and all were turned down, but that was to be expected at this early stage. Onto the season, and I decided to go with a pretty standard 4-4-2 for this level - two wingers, two battling midfielders and two lads to be a handful upfront; James Dean (wonderful name) to be the targetman, whilst Stephenson the goalscorer (hopefully) who is also a big lad. It meant no starting place for the two technically gifted players we had, Paul Jarvis, and of course Matt Jansen: Starting Tactic: http://i1364.photobucket.com/albums/r725/Steboyuk/Chorley_TacticsOverview_zps91b95261.png We've started the season very well - 9 games into the league campaign, and we sit 4th in =136024685&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=3"]the league with 17 points. James Pullen has been superb in goal (making up for a pretty dodgy defence), the midfield have battled well enough, and the big talking point has been the form of Darren Stephenson - he has been phenomenal, scoring 9 in 9 league games including in every home match we have had thus far. James Dean has been a perfect foil for him, doing a very good job as target man - the one disappointment? Stuart Giddings - looks on paper our best player, but is clearly VERY injury prone. We can't get him on the pitch. We've suffered some tough injuries recently and the lack of squad depth is a bit of a worry, but I am aiming to try and maintain a playoff place. Onwards and Upwards! For you, the fans: I do have one query for you lot - =136024685&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=2"]Matt Jansen - would he make it into you're starting XI? He's shown glimpses of quality when he's got on the pitch, (I've mainly used him as a DLF) but does seem to struggle to get into games; understandable at this level considering his poor physical ability. How long will he play for I wonder.. Next update will be after January.
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