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arnoldinho

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  1. Arnoldinho: Buxton FC 2024/25 League Two Transfers ¦ League Fixtures 1 ¦ League Fixtures 2 ¦ League Table ¦ Cup Fixtures ¦ Finances Offseason and Transfers Ahead of our first season in the football league, there was less transfer action than I had been anticipating. We still had the highest number of signings in the window (we always do) as I added young players and looked to turn over the fringes of the squad, but ultimately turning pro and entering the football league wasn't as much of a draw for players to join us as I had been hoping. I kept holding out for higher quality players only to be disappointed, and so ended up starting the season with a similar squad to that which had won promotion. The main first team signings of note were Tim Penfold, to provide cover for Sodiende up front, and Luke Cundle, as an extra central-midfield option. What was different was our ability to bring in loan players, as with the whopping heights of a £30k p/w wage budget (21st of 24 in the league) we could now afford to pay the wages of a few. Kain Wilson, a promising young centre-mid who had played with new club captain Paul Glatzel in the Liverpool youth system arrived on loan in the summer - five other players would later join us for various periods (and with various degrees of success). Alongside all this I was trying to get Paul Glatzel signed to a new longer-term, full-time deal. While my initial efforts ended in failure, they did also give birth to the Robert Haas saga. When scanning a news story in my inbox, I saw that Glatzel's agent had just picked up a Swiss Under-21 international by the name of Robert Haas. I couldn't see much of his attributes but he looked useful so I brought him in on trial, and he looked more useful, so I decided to offer him a contract. Where Mr Agent was being a royal pain on Glatzel's deal, he was very obliging to sign Haas up to a £230/wk, 12 month deal. Haas joined the under-23s and I thought that frankly the main advantage might have been improving my relationship with the agent. How wrong I was. Haas started tearing up the U23s and when I brought him in to the first team (ironically in Glatzel's place after he picked up a knock) in October he responded with 3 assists in his first match and a string of 7.5+ average ratings. In December I extended his contract for a further 2.5 years, more than doubling his wages to £500 a week. But come January, teams came knocking and over the course of the window the offers went up from about £40k to more than 20 times that! Despite Haas himself being willing to stay provided I promised to sell him at the end of the season, the board understandably couldn't turn down a seven-figure sum and so when Aston Villa offered a cool million off he went to the West Midlands. I couldn't really complain, apart from the fact that the board refused my request to renegotiate and add a sell-on clause. But it was a rollercoaster of a six months. In the middle of that we also had a takeover by a fans trust. It was literally the least interesting takeover ever. The fans wanted to buy, the chairman wanted to sell, and the new board changed absolutely nothing in terms of expectations, budget or philosophies. So on we went... League Campaign In the meantime, our league campaign got off to a very solid start. I thought we were good enough to steer clear of the relegation battle, but 6 wins from our first 10 suggested we might be a bit better than that still. Six wins on the bounce later and I reckoned we could make the playoffs. A winless November cast doubt on those ambitions, but when Paul Glatzel hit form in December with five goals in five games we were not only in the playoffs but pushing for an automatic promotion spot. And then in the new year it was Victor Sodiende's turn to hit form, firing them in from all over the place as we lost just one league game in the first three months of 2025, leaving us top of league 2! Victory over second place Notts County at the start of April would secure our automatic promotion spot and we duly delivered, with none other than Sodiende getting the game's only goal. And then... inexplicably... with promotion secured we completely fell apart. Even if Notts County had won out (they didn't) we would only have needed two victories in our last four matches to claim the title. Instead we had one draw and three defeats, the last to a final day 93rd minute winner for Bradford City that sent them up in 3rd and pushed us down to 2nd. It was a frustrating end to a brilliant season. But still, back-to-back promotions secured! Cups After two seasons of great FA Cup runs this year we came unstuck at the first hurdle, falling to Chesterfield in the midst of our terrible November run. In the Carabao Cup we did slightly better - dispatching one Championship Team in Sheffield Wednesday before losing to another (Cardiff). But it was the Leasing Trophy where we had some real success - going all the way to the Northern Semi-Final. I'm not really sure how this happened - I wasn't all that fussed and was playing a half-rotated squad throughout but somehow we kept stacking up the wins, including three penalty shoot-out victories along the way, all of them after late equalisers in normal time. But in the Northern Semi-Final (which should really be called the Northern Final as its the last round before the national final!) we came seriously unstuck, losing 6-2 to Man Utd's Under-23 side. Still, should help with the scouting for this offseason's signings Finances The £1m from the Haas sale compensated for the lack of an FA Cup run and so we're solidly in the black despite the stadium, youth and training upgrades reported in my last update. Might look to do another round of upgrades this year before the finances tumble again. Looking Ahead I can't recall ever managing back-to-back promotions in FM before! So I'm expecting next season to be tough! Lower mid-table is my aim, steering clear of the relegation battle but not expecting much more than that. A return to form in the FA Cup would be nice as well. I think we are probably going to need to sell Paul Glatzel this offseason, as he is about to enter the final year of his contract and his demands are likely to be unreachable - better to cash in now I think if big teams come knocking. If Haas could fetch seven figures, he ought to too really although the fact he's a few years older might count against him. Because of real life commitments, I'm going to have to pause the save for a little while (or at least play much slower over the next month or so) - but I'll definitely be returning to it thereafter, thoroughly hooked now! Question for the Community Turning full-time I've struggled a bit this year with training. Previously I only had one to two days per week so it was generally some simple attacking and defending options and then if there was a second day we focussed on set pieces (an annoying part of my board's philosophy). Now there's such a myriad of options. Can anyone recommend a good, simple, guide to what works well that I can find on these forums or in the community? Not looking for a guide on where to click etc (I know that), nor some super exploit system, just a good simple way to approach thinking about it. Career Summary
  2. @Andrew Haines Congrats on the bounce-back: great effort and hopefully its onwards and upwards from here! @CMU Chips while good that you were so far clear of the bottom, hope next year's summary marks a big leap (forwards), especially with the bigger stadium. I really like your summary table - mind if I nick the format?! @lfc7 Congratulations on the first promotion - feels great doesn't it! Gribbin and Brown look insane for Vanarama North level - both will do well in the National as well if you can somehow find a way to keep Brown. Just about to start my offseason ready for League 2 - I suspect I'm going to spend a long time in the game before kicking a football again - a lot of contract re-negotiations to do! I've just realised that the board's plan is that we will go pro on July 9th - 9 days after players are released. That makes it really difficult to handle as I don't want to sign players to p/t deals only to immediately have to re-negotiate; also better quality players are likely to be willing to join us when we can give them f/t contracts. Thinking my strategy will be to try and bring top targets in on trial and see if that way I can at least delay others bidding on them until I've had chance to go pro. Going to be a lot of juggling required!
  3. Arnoldinho: Buxton FC 2023/24 Vanarama National Transfers ¦ League Fixtures 1 ¦ League Fixtures 2 ¦ League Table ¦ Cup Fixtures ¦ Finances Offseason and Transfers As we prepared for our second year in the Vanarama National, the big news of the offseason was the departure of star midfielder Olegs Sinelnikovs after just one season. Several Championship level clubs came fishing, and in the end he chose Brentford, bringing in a record fee of £300k for the Bucks, and with a 20% of future sale clause in there as well, I hope this is a piece of business that will benefit the club in the long-term. Buoyed by our financial stability, the board agreed to increase the weekly wage budget to the lofty heights of £13k - still the third lowest in the division and only 23% of that of top-spenders York, but a significant rise on last year's budget. I responded by bringing in 13 players in the offseason (and another 4 plus 2 loans during the season itself). Most were for squad depth, including previous loanee Archie Jones and Sierra Leonean youth international Prince Kamara. But three stood out. We snapped up Paul Glatzel, who appeared to be an even better version of Sinelnikovs, after he was released by Liverpool. Up front Victor Sodiende (ex Nottingham Forest) looked like the goalscorer we had been missing, and I surprised myself by signing a new keeper: while Jaros had performed admirably the previous season the opportunity to acquire Sweden's U21 goalie Johan Guadagno was too good to turn down. Behind the scenes, there were also some changes to the staffing with recently retired Ellis Deeney becoming my new assman after Shane Benjamin was poached to become manager of Truro. League Campaign We had a fantastic start to the season going a club record 14-games unbeaten to kick off the campaign, with Glatzel starring seemingly all over the pitch. And yet we still only sat in second place! My perennial Conference National frustration was happening again as a big club - this year Swindon - had been relegated and looked like they were going to run away with the title. As autumn turned to winter so our form turned cold as well - we just couldn't turn draws in to wins (with both Sodiende and last year's top scorer Viggars struggling to find the net) as Swindon pulled almost 20 points clear and FC Halifax overtook us for second spot. Still, we never looked like faltering from the playoff place that was my aim at the season's outset. With my focus on the cups (more on which in a moment) I almost didn't notice at first as Swindon started to slip in the new year. But remarkably, they won only one league game in January and February combined and suddenly, despite our own form being far from stellar, the title race was just about back on. We suddenly hit form in March, with Adedoyin (who had been quiet for most of the year), Glatzel and Sodiende linking up for some fantastic goals. As a result we took a 100% league record for the month, but unfortunately so did Swindon! And so we entered April just barely clinging on to our automatic promotion hopes. We had six games to go, and trailed Swindon - who had played two games more - by 11 points. We needed to win both our games in hand, and then beat Swindon themselves to give ourselves a chance. Barnet and Halifax were dispatched 2-1 and 3-1 respectively to cut the margin to 5, and when we beat Dulwich and Swindon could only manage a draw we were 3 behind with 3 to play and Swindon themselves at our place next. On a raucous wet Tuesday night we demolished them 3-0 at the Silverlands, not only catching them on points but the margin of victory meaning we pulled four clear on goal difference as well. Seemingly out of nowhere, two wins from our last two games would therefore almost certainly send us up! We dispatched Hereford 3-0 on the penultimate weekend but Swindon won as well, meaning it came down to the last day and a trip to my childhood team Port Vale. Having ignored the useless advice of my assman (seriously? wtf!) the team wobbled their way to a nervous 1-0 victory on the back of a terrific free-kick from Paul Glatzel and a terrible miss from Vale's left-winger late on (not that this actually mattered as Swindon only drew any way). And so - against all the odds - we were the champions and promoted to the football league! It was only when I looked back at the schedule that I realised we had in fact finished with 11 straight league wins, and we still only claimed the title by 2 points! What a day in Buxton history! Cups Alongside all of this drama (actually mainly during the part of the season that was drama-free in the league) we had another terrific FA Cup run. We beat Darlington in the fourth qualifying round, League 2 Bradford in Round 1 (after a televised replay that helped the coffers nicely), promotion rivals Halifax in Round 2 and, dramatically, League 1 Portsmouth in a third round replay at Fratton Park that we had earned via an 88th minute equaliser at home in front of the Silverlands' first ever capacity crowd. It was to be full again though for Round 4 as we (the only non-league team still left in the tournament) faced Premier League Aston Villa. Villa's class shone through and they won comfortably 3-0 but I was so proud of the campaign - as was our bank manager. With the FA Cup and our league position, I started off playing the reserves in the FA Trophy, risking the wrath of the board who wanted a quarter-final appearance. It was almost like a fun retro experience as much of our Vanarama North promotion side was re-assembled. Josh Boorn up front, Myles Bright on the wing, Ryan Hanson in the middle of the park. Plus a few new promising youngsters as well. They beat Farsley for the second year running in Round 1, dispatched Ebbsfleet after a replay in Round 2, and then crushed Hartlepool (R3) and Havant & Waterlooville (QF) to set up a semi-final with AFC Fylde. In a tense contest over two legs a mixture of the young guns and a few first teamers squeezed past Fylde 3-2 on aggregate to send us to Wembley! The final, against Barnet, was due to be three whole weeks after the season finished (is it like this in real life?!) so we were able to put out the first team for the big game - Glatzel, Sodiende and Guadango all playing their first ever games in the tournament! I probably should have stuck with the reserves though - Barnet deservedly beat us 2-1 after extra-time to deny us a famous double in what was our 62nd competitive game of the season. Finances Between gate receipts, prize money and tv rights I estimate the FA Cup run paid for our entire player wage bill for more than six months. Combined with the Sinelnikovs sale, we ended the season sitting pretty with over a million in the bank. But promotion means bigger expenses are just around the corner... Looking Ahead Football League here we come! A lot is about to change. The Board surprised me by asking if I wanted to go professional (which I thought was compulsory?) - given the relatively flush bank balance I said yes and we turn pro in July. However, the board then spent the entire bank balance on a stadium upgrade to bring us in line with League 2 regulations, on top of which they have also promised upgrades to the training and youth facilities costing around £400k in total. So I think we will start next year in the red and having to pay for full time contracts! If that is the case I think we'll struggle to hold on to Glatzel and Sodiende who are both attracting the interest of League 1 Champions Wrexham. I just hope the board hold out for a good price and don't sell them for peanuts. I also remembered in the nick of time that League 2 has a homegrown player requirement, so I have signed up a few of the slightly-less-awful guys from my Under 18's on to real contracts in order to ensure I am not stuck if Myles Bright, my only half-decent player with homegrown status, gets injured. In terms of positions of need, Defensive Midfielder is probably top of the list. I also need another striker - Ryan Viggars will not cut it at the next level - and a backup goalie as Jaros got fed up with the lack of first-team opportunities and is returning to the Czech Republic this offseason. Question for the Community An unsurprising one this time - what tips do people have for turning pro? I'm presuming that running a small squad to make sure there is enough cash to pay for reasonable quality players on full-time deals is the way to go? But any and all advice appreciated! As I've said in previous posts, I usually get stuck at the Conference level... Career Summary
  4. Sorry to hear it didn't work out with Cray, and good luck with Rushall! On the finances side of things, I think its hard to overstate how important the FA Cup is. The combination of bigger crowds, prize money and the potential for TV games is a real multiplier. For example, in my current season I drew League 2 Bradford City in the FA Cup 1st Round. We drew at their place so had a replay at home which netted me £25k gate receipts, £35k as it was televised and £37k in prize money when we won. That's £97k for one game, equivalent to about eight weeks of my entire team wage bill. As a result, the last couple of seasons I've found I've been resting key players for league games beforehand to make sure we're ready for FA Cup games.
  5. Arnoldinho: Buxton FC 2022/23 Vanarama National Transfers ¦ League Fixtures 1 ¦ League Fixtures 2 ¦ League Table ¦ Cup Fixtures ¦ Finances Offseason and Transfers Wrapping up promotion early the previous year meant I got a head-start on scouting Conference National level players, looking to strengthen the squad ready for our first attempt at my least favourite division. And we were going to need all the help we could get - our weekly wage budget of £8.3k was a princely 12% of that of the division's top spenders Notts County. The late season signing of central midfielder Harrison Biggins had plugged one hole in the squad, right-back Bradley Barry and 6ft target man Ryan Viggars up front filled the other areas of need in the first XI. Meanwhile, Archie Jones coming back for a second season on loan gave me depth in midfield and the signing of centre-back Oisin McEntee allowed me the luxury of being able to rotate three quality players at the heart of my defence, Redmond and Harbottle having returned. But the headline grabbing signing was undoubtedly 18 year old Latvian international Olegs Sinelnikovs arriving from Manchester United. Able to play up front or in an attacking role from midfield, on paper he was easily the best of the top flight youth cast-offs I had picked up in my three years at the club. League Campaign In short, it was an up-and-down season with heartbreak at the end. When we lost our first two games comprehensively I started to worry that we were going to be simply outclassed. But as the autumn wore on it was increasingly clear that wasn't the case. By the midway point of the season we had 10 wins and looked headed for mid-table obscurity. Then suddenly in the new year something changed and we hit form. 7 wins out of 8, featuring 6 goals from Ryan Viggars propelled us up in to the playoff places. Notts County were miles clear at the top of the division, and Woking and Bromley looked well set for 2nd and 3rd, but below that was a big scramble of teams, another 4 of whom would qualify for the playoffs. We were well in the hunt, and indeed when we upset Notts County 1-0 in early March we hit the lofty heights of fifth. And then our last eight games were a car crash. It happened in slow-motion at first - we only squeaked a win against lowly Macclesfield and had a couple of other tame draws as Viggars' goals completely dried up. But we appeared to have steadied the ship with a victory of fellow playoff contenders Cheltenham at the start of April, and when we took a fourth minute lead against cellar-dwellers Havant & Waterlooville I thought we have bounced back at just the right time. How wrong I was. Havant promptly went and put four past us at the other end, as did Sutton in the following game who leapfrogged us in to the playoffs as a result. As a result we needed a win and one of three results elsewhere to go our way on the final day to make it in to the playoffs. Dover obliged us by slipping up, but when we conceded two late goals at Hartlepool trying to turn a draw in to the needed victory, it was all over. 8th place, just outside the playoffs. A classic case of ending up being really disappointed with a position I would have been delighted with at the start of the year. That said, I wouldn't really have fancied our chances in the playoffs anyway if truth be told. Cups Presumably because of the winter world cup (?) this year there were no FA Cup replays, just extra time and penalties. And boy did we test out these new regulations! Every single one of our FA Cup ties went to spot kicks! We nearly fell at the first hurdle - playing atrociously in the 4th qualifying round against lower league Redditch, only to be rescued by a Ryan Viggars injury time goal and then a 6-5 shootout win courtesy of a cool head from Dan Jones. In the first round proper, we drew 1-1 against League 2 Carlisle at home and then dispatched them 6-5 in the shootout, with Dan Jones netting the winner. Spot a pattern emerging here? Second round, this time its League One Mansfield at home. To mix it up, we finished this one 0-0 and won the shootout 4-3. It was still Dan Jones with the winner though. So, the holy grail of the FA Cup Third Round and we bagged ourselves an away draw at Championship leading Watford, managed by Rafa Benitez who was telling the media before the game how easy it was going to be. In 90 minutes, his side managed 37 shots, but only one found the net (well, two did actually but one of them was offside) and so when Olegs Sinelnikovs scored our goal of the season with an 81st minute free-kick we forced extra time. By this stage penalties seemed almost inevitable, despite Watford having a further 12 shots in the extra half hour, and so we were in to our fourth shootout in a row. Alas this time it wasn't to be. Harrison Biggins the villain in a 7-6 shootout loss. After the game Benitez crowed to the media that he'd known it was going to be easy. Really Rafa? 120 minutes and 14 penalties to separate sides 3 divisions apart... In other cup news, we only went and flipping won a game in the FA Trophy. Farsley were dispatched 4-0 in the first round, before Chorley overturned us in Round 2 disappointingly easily. In other circumstances I would have been very annoyed at the defeat but coming on the back of such a good FA Cup run I didn't really care and neither did the board. Finances Unfortunately only 8000 Hornets fans turned up for our FA Cup 3rd Round tie so it wasn't quite the money spinner I'd hoped. But still, between that, the prize money, and a sensible wage spend we came out of the year £200k in the black. A good platform to kick on from. The board have decided to do some more minor tinkering to the stadium in the offseason but its not too expensive fortunately. I decided against asking for facilities upgrades at this stage, but did secure agreement for a bigger coaching staff. Looking Ahead I can't quite decide if this season proved or disproved my hatred of the Conference National. On the one hand, it wasn't as big a leap as I'd feared, and we performed pretty creditably. On the other hand, with only one automatic promotion spot, it just takes one big club like Notts County to get off to a flyer and everyone is else left playing for a playoff lottery ticket. For next season, the board have upgraded their expectations to top half of the table. I've agreed with that publically and with the players, privately I'm hoping we can make it to the playoffs. A few players will leave in the off-season including spot-kick hero Dan Jones (who contributed little other than his penalty prowess), and the weakest of the original fab four Elliot Vasalo. Centre-back Joe Redmond has also decided to return to his native Ireland so I will have a gap to fill at the back. And with big clubs sniffing around, there's always a chance of an offer I can't refuse (either metaphorically or literally if the board do it for me) for Adedoyin - who was fans player of the year for the second year in a row - or Sinelnikovs. Question for the Community In the latter part of the season, I kept having my physio tell me that players were jaded and in need of a rest. Most weeks I had several players skipping one of only two training days in order to catch up on rest and I feel like this may have cost us in those last few games. Do people have any tips for managing this when you're still a part-time club? (other of course than squad rotation in matches, which I've resolved to do more next year) Career Summary
  6. @_JHTB_ thanks for the info on the loans - at least confirms I wasn't missing something obvious! @goonergez congrats on the promotion and the very solid first season in the National! I have also just finished my first season in the National - will post my update tomorrow.
  7. Arnoldinho: Buxton FC 2021/22 Vanarama North Transfers ¦ League Fixtures 1 ¦ League Fixtures 2 ¦ League Table ¦ Cup Fixtures ¦ Finances Offseason and Transfers The offseason began with some (half) good news. Our solid run at the end of the previous year led star centre-back Riley Harbottle to decide he would sign a new contract after all, although top scorer Yassine En-Nayeh still decided he was leaving. Everyone else on part-time contracts (bar one) I let expire and began the task of completely rebuilding the team, mostly by raiding the youth releases from top clubs in the north of England (we actually started our first league game with no one over the age of 24 in our side). In goal, Czech U21 international Vitezlav Jaros arrived from Liverpool. The two Joe's, Redmond (CB) and Anderson (LB) joined the two returnees, Harbottle and Roscoe in the back four. Anderson was a particularly good signing - promptly rated by the media as one of the top players in the league, and allowing me to offer some variety in attack by making attacking runs down the left wing. In midfield, it was the Jones show with Dan Jones arriving from Sunderland and Archie Jones joining us on loan from parent club Peterborough. And when veteran Mike Jones arrived in October to add some experience to the squad we frequently played the Jones trio together in central midfield. But it was in the attacking positions that I was most excited going in to the year. I managed to pick up four quality signings - Myles Bright, Elliot Vasalo, Josh Boorn and Korede Adedoyin - who between them had enough flexibility that I could play any combination of the three across AMR, AML and STC in my 4-1-4-1 DM Wide formation. On the personal front, the board gave me a new contract and allowed me to start my first coaching course - indeed, by the time the year was out I would have my National C and National B licences and be halfway through National A. League Campaign No two ways about it - this was one of the best seasons I've enjoyed on Football Manager for many a year. We had racked up seven wins by the end of August, my ability to rotate the front four allowing me to run fresh legs at tired defences in the schedule mayhem. Korede Adedoyin in particular excelled, racking up 7 goals and a ton of assists in the fist 10 games. We had a brief blip in September (the only time we lost two straight in the league all year) but by the halfway stage of the campaign had amassed a 7 point lead at the top of the table. From there we never really looked back, staying in 1st throughout. Telford caught us on points at one stage but we had games in hand that we won to re-establish our lead and when we beat Telford in late February to go 8 points clear with 9 to play it was all over bar the shouting. I have never tried playing a 5'8" striker up front on his own before, but it quickly became apparent Josh Boorn was our best guy up top, and with an attacking, possession based tactic, his lack of height rarely mattered. In fact I was more often left cursing the poor heading ability of my wingers/inside-forwards when they consistently popped up at the back post only to head miles over the bar. Boorn finished with 29 goals while Adedoyin led the division in assists and won fans' player of the year. At the back we conceded the third fewest in the division. With 106 points we were worthy champions. Cups In amongst all this we also had an exciting run in the FA Cup. After despatching lower league opposition in our first two games, we saw off divisional rivals Kidderminster in the final qualifying round to reach the first round proper. There we drew near neighbours Macclesfield at home. In a game that was (slightly bizarrely despite being a local derby) chosen for television, we put away the Vanarama National side 2-1 with an early brace from Myles Bright. In truth we should have won by more. In the second round we drew another struggling Vanarama National side, Ebbsfleet. A tense first game at the Silverlands finished 0-0 setting up a replay at their place. In the interim, the winner was drawn against Leeds (albeit at home) in the third round. Sadly, though it wasn't to be for my Bucks. Ebbsfleet jumped out to a two-goal lead in the replay, and when we pushed forward trying to get back in the game bagged a third in the second-half. 3-0 flattered them, but in truth we didn't deserve to advance. Still, more than £100k in prize money and TV money made the cup run well worth it. In the FA Trophy I played the reserves, and paid the price, losing at the first time of asking to St Albans. Finances The FA Cup run got us back in the black by the season end, but then a decision by the board to spend cash installing more seats in to the stadium (the capacity will fall to 3,950 as a result) tipped us just back in to the red again. Still, we're not desperately struggling and that's without any cash injections from the board. Looking Ahead The Conference National is probably my least favourite division. From a quick scan it appears my 8k per week wage budget is probably going to be barely 10% of the top spenders! So we will have to be very selective. Myles Bright was the only one of the fab four not on a two-year deal, and so I have renewed him. But I also caved to a demand from his agent and gave Adedoyin a new contract on higher wages to keep harmony (to be fair, he was ludicrously underpaid before). At the back, Jaros, Harbottle, Redmond and Anderson will be sticking around. In midfield, Dan Jones (who the fans really don't rate for some reason) has re-signed, but Mike Jones will be let go as he hits 35 and I have a natural replacement already on the books. It remains to be seen whether I can get Archie Jones back on loan from Peterborough. If I can, then right back will be the only slot I absolutely have to fill in the off-season, although ideally I would like a target-man-esque striker to give me more options up top, especially for games against bigger teams where we may not be able to play our normal passing game. Beyond that though, I'll be able to look across the market and just try to pick up high quality players in whatever position they become available - the first time in this save I've had that luxury. Question for the Community So far in this save I've really struggled to get quality players on loan. My parent club Peterborough are usually good for one or two, but beyond that most teams want me to pay a player's full wage, when for me the main purpose of having a loan is not to have to pay a wage! There are some whose clubs don't want to charge for, but finding them seems to often require endless trawling through the loan lists, clicking on the Transfer Offer screen to see what is being asked for, then going back and scouting them if it looks like I might get them for free. Anyone have a more efficient method for doing this? Or indeed a better strategy for finding free loan players in the first place? Career Summary (let's see if this works)
  8. Arnoldinho: Buxton FC 2020/21 Vanarama North Transfers ¦ League Fixtures 1 ¦ League Fixtures 2 ¦ League Table ¦ Cup Fixtures Offseason and Transfers Taking over a new club at this level is always a bit of a lottery in terms of who might be in your squad to start with. I was relatively pleased with what I found - a passable goalkeeper, a couple of decent defenders and midfielders, and one reasonable looking Italian winger/striker. However, there was one glaring exception. Brian Wilson, a 37-year old centre back with Pace 4 was not only in my squad, but taking up more than 20% of my total wage budget with an £800/wk incentives laden contract! With no transfer budget, I tried to get him to agree to a mutual termination unsuccessfully, at which point he refused and sulked in the reserves all season - declining all transfers and sucking up squad morale as well as wage budget. In the end, my failure to move him on cost me my club captain Callum Chippendale, who I foolishly promised to put on a real contract rather than a rolling one and then couldn't afford to. He eventually walked in January. I did however have some success in the early free agency period, adding a range of players to my squad, most notably forward Yassine En-Nayeh (who would go on to become our top scorer) and young defender Riley Harbottle. Looking back through this thread it seems I was not the only one to alight on these two and they gave me a solid base for my attacking line and defensive line respectively. League Campaign Despite the fact the squad was still in flux at this stage we got off to a flying start, with only one defeat in our first eleven games. We were playing a counter-attacking 4-1-4-1 DM wide, and catching complacent opponents out with lightning quick breaks and some clinical finishing from En-Nayeh in particular. As a result for the first two months of the season we were hanging around the playoff places, and I wondered if we might be better than I had thought. But around the end of September, the worm started to turn, I think for two reasons. The ridiculous fixture schedule of the early part of the season caught up with my threadbare squad and injuries and exhaustion forced the rotating in of poor quality youth players. And as teams started to take us more seriously and play more defensively our counter-attacking tactics stopped working. We had a lot of draws - ending with a league record 18 - and then as autumn turned to winter more and more defeats. Some fiddling with tactics in the new year, and catching teams by surprise with different formations or approaches helped us stop the rot, and a strong finish with 5 wins and only 2 defeats in our last 10 saw us finish with more wins than losses, in a respectable 10th place. The fact our goal difference at the end of the year was precisely 0 summed it up really - although we were up and down, overall we were middle of the pack. In truth, if you'd offered me 10th at the start of the year I'd probably have taken it, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster to get there. Cups Awful. We beat lower league opposition in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, only to crash out to Vanarama South side Lowestoft in a 3rd Qualifying Round Replay when the fixture gods decided to give us four games in a week. In the FA Trophy, we were one and done, losing to local rivals Stockport. Finances Unfortunately I forgot to screenshot the finances page, but the lack of any progress in the cups meant we lost money on the year. The board are reasonably sensible though, and I stuck within the wage budget, so the losses weren't too terrible. My hope was that we could turn this around in Season 2. Looking Ahead As always during Season 1 I spent a lot of time scouting players with contracts due to expire in the summer, trying to build up a picture of my options for a complete squad overhaul. But I approached the start of season 2 with some trepidation, as neither En-Nayeh (top goalscorer and fans player of the season) nor Harbottle - by this point club vice-captain - appeared willing to sign new deals, and a couple of other decent but not spectacular players were asking too much money for their skill level. As such I ended May with only one player, right-back Brad Roscoe, on a part-time contract for the following year. All the rest were non-contracts or looking like they were headed for the exit. Question for the Community Thought I'd add one of these in to each post as I'm always keen to hear other people's views. Normally they'll be about the game, but my first one is really dull - how do I do one of those clever career summaries at the bottom of the post?!
  9. Hi everyone, Long time lurker in these thread and a many time starter of the challenge but usually get stuck/bored after the first one or two promotions. Same as usual this year - I started a couple of months back. However, in common with many FM-ers just now I appear to have a lot more time on my hands! So thought I'd try to ramp up the pace and give this a proper go. I have decided to take the reins at Buxton. A few reasons for this. Firstly, they are a middle rep team - I didn't want to take on one of the "big" teams in case the pressure from the board and fans was really high out of the gate, and I also couldn't be bothered to reload 100 times to get one of the really small teams! Secondly, I have family in the area so at least some sort of link! Thirdly, I figured geographically they're in quite a good spot where I might be able to persuade the rejects of big teams either side of the Pennines and either side of the Peak District to come and join me. And finally... they have sensible kit colours - blue at home, red away. Sounds silly but if you're planning to spend a lot of hours watching matches you don't want something too lurid... I've actually already completed two seasons - I will try to post my updates over the next few days.
  10. Welcome to Denmark and good luck! I also had a few difficulties signing an assman at the start but did manage to secure a decent one eventually (not sure if it helps that I play FMT though?) What's your overall budget for player wages? My board gave me 3.5k euros per week in the first season, rising to about 5k after that.
  11. Hard luck Shuttlecroc - that's really rough (and what I fear happening to me next if I'm honest) If you're looking for another country I can recommend Denmark - a lot of fun with three tiers and a relatively short season.
  12. Arnoldinho ¦ Boldklubben Sollerod-Vedbaek ¦ FMT June 2019 - End Season 3 Review The Date File ¦ Squad ¦ Transfers ¦ Finances ¦ Results 1 ¦ Results 2 ¦ Autumn Group Table ¦ Promotion Phase Table The Review First half of the season review can be found here. The second half of the season was very strange, but ultimately very successful - we got promoted! As with the first half of the season we were incredible when we went on hot streaks and awful when on cold streaks. This time we started hot, winning 4 of our first 5 and only being denied by a 94th minute equaliser (when there were only supposed to be 2 mins stoppage time...) in the other. So we were flying at the top of the league before entering a slump that saw us win only one of our next 5 and slip to 4th. Fortunately we turned it round again at the end and whilst the gap to leaders AB was too big by this point, 13 points of a possible 18 down the stretch saw us promoted in second place! The fans loved it (dancing on the streets of BSV anyone?) and the players naturally credited it all to my amazing managerial skills. Well, vice-captain Morten Andersen did anyway but then he's probably after the armband full time next season. It was also strange on the players front. Flyger, who had been so good in the autumn, picked up three separate injuries and only played two games. With backup forward Jensen also out I therefore started youth striker Mikael Rasmussen, who had been so disappointing last year but who had already signed a pre-contract with a superliga side to leave us this summer. Now that he's on his way out of course he went from strength to strength, banging in 9 goals in 15 games including a couple of absolute screamers. I also seemed to receive training reports on his progress every other week. Doubt I could have kept a hold of him anyway in the face of top tier interest but I'm now rather annoyed for not having tried! There was better news on the left-wing where Rasmus Rheindorf arrived and was solid in a position I'd struggled for, and at right-back where Simon Ustrup finally started living up to the billing my assman constantly gives him. Manager's Players of the Year Sebastien Gregersen ¦ Sorry to be repetitive, but this guy is just so consistent. To celebrate his third year as one of our top players, the crazy man asked for a 5 euro a week pay rise, which I generously granted. Daniel Flyger ¦ Only played half the season but was awesome when he did and won Division 2 player of the year for the calendar year 2018. Getting old and injury prone now though - whilst I've re-signed him for next year it may well be his last. Morten Andersen ¦ Signed at the beginning of the season to play DM, although injuries meant he spent time at CM as well. Was solid and consistent in both. Youth Corner Mikael Rasmussen ¦ 2016 ¦ 2017 ¦ 2018 ¦ 2019 ¦ As highlighted above, Mikael will leave us this summer to move to the Superliga - on a free. Gutting, as he's really developing fast now. I should have been smarter with his game time and contract. But it does show the difficulty of hanging on to good young players when you're a part-time side who can only offer one year contracts. Jakob Nielsen ¦ 2017 ¦ 2018 ¦ 2019 ¦ Another one who may be leaving this summer, disappointed at his lack of game time. Will be a loss if he does, but not on the scale of Rasmussen. Daniel Christensen ¦ 2018 ¦ 2019 ¦ Has re-signed. Already played a handful of games, likely to get some more starts next year. Where Next? Well, to Division One of course! Div 1 is the simplest of all the leagues in Denmark format wise. 12 teams playing each other 3 times for 33 games. At the end of the season the champions go up to the superliga automatically, second and third in to promotion playoffs and the bottom two are relegated. Where it gets more complicated is the (significant sums of) prize money, which is awarded three times a year for your position in each block of 11 games. This might suit us as a streaky side. The league is a mix of pro and semi-pro sides and it seems like a number of teams (including AB who went up with us) have bounced between Divs 1 and 2 on a regular basis. So we're going to have our work cut out - and that's before you factor in that the season begins less than 5 weeks after Div 2 ended! 10th place will do nicely for the first year methinks. Squad wise I need a new striker with Rasmussen leaving and Flyger injury prone. And I could use a new centre-back, Potoker who I signed last summer was already a bit of a liability at Div 2 level. Other than that I think we'll go through to the winter break more or less as we are (unless I can't get Ustrup to sign a new contract in which case I'll need a right-back as well) and then take stock. That said, I've also noticed that Div 1 sides tend to get young superliga players on loan, so I might also have a look through my parent club FC Copenhagen's prospects. Exciting times ahead, I hope. Career Summary Season | Autumn | Spring | Cup | Europe| Top scorer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2016/17 | 7th in D2 Group 1 | 3rd in D2 Relegation Group | 2nd Round | N/A | Sebastien Gregersen (10) 2017/18 | 6th in D2 Group 1 | 1st in D2 Relegation Group | 2nd Round | N/A | Flemming Meyer (10) 2018/19 ¦ 4th in D2 Group 1 | 2nd in D2 Promotion Group | 1st Round | N/A | Daniel Flyger (13)
  13. Arnoldinho ¦ Boldklubben Sollerod-Vedbaek ¦ FMT Jan 2019 - Mid-Season 3 Review Good news to report for our winter break update: we have made it in to the promotion phase for the first time! It was a slightly strange autumn period. We started really poorly, losing 2 of our first 3 in the league (including to bogey club Frem) and crashing out of the Danish Cup in the first round to lower league opposition. Then we went on a nice little unbeaten run and managed to sustain it despite a string of injuries in our central midfield core - including club captain Kristoffer Bonde going down for 2 months with a hip injury. The streak came to an end after 8 games (5 wins, 3 draws) and then promptly we looked awful again: being hammered by recently promoted Herlev and rivals Bronshoj in two of our last three games. But in between we squeaked a point against Avarta, which was enough to keep us in fourth place and hence in to the promotion phase. Our overall record was W6, D4, L4. Despite our inconsistency we had some terrific individual performances. In fact at one stage, we had the Division 2 (i.e. across all three autumn groups) leaders for goals, average rating, assists and POTM awards all in our squad! Top of the pile though was clearly striker Daniel Flyger, who racked up a fantastic 13 goals in 13 league games. He looked a threat every time he was on the ball, and had several terrific long range efforts which I find is unusual at this level. He was also named as the Danish Division 2 player of the year for calendar year 2018, a richly deserved award albeit one I almost buggered up for him by voting for the guy who ran him a close second! Unsurprisingly Flyger was backed up well by Gregersen, who racked up a 7.82 average rating in the league. The guy is a machine. Jens Riis chipped in with 4 assists from left-back which was also helpful (although we conceded a few goals from the gaps he left when bombing forward). So on we go to the promotion phase. We will take with us a record of W3 D1 L2 which makes us one of new fewer than six teams to begin the phase on 10 points. So everything is to play for. As I said at the start of the season, my aim is to finish in the top half. If we play like we did at the start and end of the autumn season there's no way we'll achieve that. But if we play like we did in the middle we might even have an outside chance of going up. So it should be an interesting time. Qualifying for the promotion phase seems to have resulted in a wider range of players being interested in joining the club so I might make a couple of winter break signings as well. We could use a centre-back (offseason signing Potoker has not been great) and we're still looking to fill a gap at left-wing after Christoffer Boateng eventually chose to sign for "bigger club" Marienlyst on half the wages I was offering him. It was therefore with great pleasure that I watched Marienlyst finish seventh in Group 2 and are actually now in danger of relegation. Oops. More generally, I am now really enjoying this save. The two mini-seasons within a season means there is always something to play for and every game matters. And the club has enough money to at least be competitive. I'm hoping that will continue and we can keep making some steady progress.
  14. Meanwhile, great progress XaW, fastbasher and larxus - I'm still at the stage of being pleased at dominating the lower half of the lowest division whilst you guys are fighting it out in Europe!
  15. Arnoldinho ¦ Boldklubben Sollerod-Vedbaek ¦ FMT Jun 2017 - End Season 1 Review The Date File ¦ Squad ¦ Transfers ¦ Finances ¦ Results 1 ¦ Results 2 ¦ Autumn Group Table ¦ Relegation Phase Table The Review First half of the season review can be found here. Having failed to qualify for the promotion phase I set out there that may aim was to top the relegation phase table. This we did - in style. Only one defeat in 16 games (22 counting the games from the Autumn Group that counted towards it) meant we clinched the top spot with 4 games to spare and wound up a whopping 17 points clear. That probably flatters us slightly - we won a lot of games by only one goal - but we were pretty clearly a cut above the rest. The main difference from the autumn was the goal threat we carried up front. Mid-season signings Boateng and Flygger were terrific, and I finally found the right balance in my tactics by having one full back hang back and the other bomb forward. This combination of having a symmetric formation on paper but asymmetric attacking options seemed to serve us really well and I reckon around half our goals came from an AMR or AML popping up at the back post or cutting in from the wing. Towards the end of the season we were able to blood some youngsters a bit as well, with somewhat mixed results (see below). Manager's Players of the Year Sebastien Gregersen Once again our most consistent player, Gregersen was the fans' player of the year as well as mine. Best coming forward from midfield but also ably deputised up-front during the autumn when we were short. Finished the season with a 7.34 average rating. Doesn't seem to realise just how good he is at this level, having just agreed to a contract extension at 70 euros a week. Christoffer Boateng A fantastic mid-season signing, Boateng carved up defences in the spring, bagging 8 goals in 16 appearances, including a hat-trick in only his third match at the club. Unfortunately he does know his value, having refused to sign a new contract and trying his luck in free agency. I'm still trying to negotiate a deal to get him back though, if we can afford it within our wage budget he'd be worth every penny. Flemming Meyer This third selection is perhaps a bit tough on left-back Jens Riis, who was terrifically consistent and created numerous chances bombing up the flank, but Meyer's ability to single-handedly win games when he was on song got him the nod. Our top scorer, he had 10 goals, 8 assists and a 7.08 average rating. If he could be as consistent as Boateng, he'd be at least as good as him. Youth Corner Mikael Rasmussen ¦ 2016 ¦ 2017 ¦ 2018 ¦ I was hoping for a big step-up from Mikael this year, but it never quite happened. He's not helped by the fact that our formation has only one central striker in a deep-lying position, which limits his opportunities to play and then get on the scoresheet when he does, but still he's just a bit anonymous when he's on the park. I've signed him again for next season, but starting to doubt he's going to make it. Frederik Christensen ¦ 2018 ¦ The one that got away. An exciting young prospect who I managed to pick up on a free, worked his way in to the side in the spring, and then decided (probably rightly) he had too much potential for us and refused to sign a new contract. He's since moved to a Superliga side. I might have a crack at getting him back on loan. Jakob Nielsen ¦ 2017 ¦ 2018 ¦ A solid start to life at the club from Jakob. Got more game time towards the end of the year as we were coasting the league and stepped up competently. Will likely again split time between the first team and reserve team this coming year. Daniel Christensen ¦ 2018 ¦ The only youth player to come through our system this year but he looks a cracker. My assman already rates him as my best keeper, but then he does seem to consistently under-rate my existing keeper Johansen. Where Next The aims for this year are pretty simple: qualify for the promotion phase and be competitive in it. I don't expect to go up, but we are steadily getting better and I am convinced we are already better than some of the sides in the promotion group; we just miss out as a result of the difficult autumn group. Although the finances are gradually going down we're not haemorraghing money and the board have agreed to maintain a workable wage budget. It feels like we're making progress. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless. Career Summary Season | Autumn | Spring | Cup | Europe| Top scorer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2016/17 | 7th in D2 Group 1 | 3rd in D2 Relegation Group | 2nd Round | N/A | Sebastien Gregersen (10) 2017/18 | 6th in D2 Group 1 | 1st in D2 Relegation Group | 2nd Round | N/A | Flemming Meyer (10)
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