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  1. [FM18] Welsh Dragons - Carmarthen Town

    I'm really enjoying your writing style and the level of detail that you're providing is really appreciated. You also seem to be making great progress at the club with the nations coefficient coming along nicely too. Hopefully next season you can get a more favourable draw for the Champions League qualifier 1st round so that you can ease into the competition better as your team regains fitness. Great so far, KUTGW.
  2. Zikic looks a really special player to me. I don't recall ever seeing such a young player with the Perfectionist personality in any of my saves before. I think with him you could be capable of pushing for a top 4 finish.
  3. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Dollingstown F.C. Season 2036 / 2037 Season Expectations I really would like to retain the Champions League and break new ground by winning the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup at the first attempt. League Table - Another unbeaten season that was made special by the fact we only conceded 6 goals. It is also nice to see that next year we will get our full contingent of N. Irish teams competing in Europe. UEFA Champions League - We managed to retain our title and in some style too as we nearly went through the campaign unbeaten. The team performed brilliantly in the final which I take as a positive sign of progress given how much difficulty we had last season against the same opposition. FIFA Club World Cup - Our jaunt off to India proved to be a fruitful one as we became world champions without any major problems. Winning the trophy didn't give us a 5* reputation as I expected as we had to wait until we lifted the Champions League trophy again to achieve that. UEFA Super Cup - The lack of quality penalty takers really cost us here, at least the team gets another chance to win it next season. Domestic Cups - I decided to throw the Irish Cup final by playing my youth team so that we could get our rightful 3rd Europa League place. We lost the Livingston game because of international games which left the squad threadbare, we didn't embarrass ourselves though. I'm seriously considering throwing the Mid Ulster Cup final too as the prize money for that competition has become rather decent at ~£500K, for us it is not a significant sum but for a team like Portadown or Glenavon, it would be a great help for them on their way to professional status. Reserves - Another perfect season which again indicates to me that the players in the squad are too strong to be playing at that level. The backup players would be far better served playing at other N. Irish clubs and getting a competitive level of football. Under 18s - A lot better in Europe than in previous times and perhaps signing the entire youth intake helps as it allows players to rest. Squad – I was determined to improve the quality of the squad and I felt I achieved that which is proven by the performances in Europe. I'm going to need to get in another quality RM but outside of that, there isn't a lot more improvement that can be made without it costing more than the club can afford. Transfers – I decided to bring Craig ST back to the club as he was just wasting away at Arsenal with the constant loaning out and lack of regular football. He cost an absolute fortune but he provides another HG option for us and will get regular games which should help his development. The signings I was most pleased about were Hopkin DC who is a consistent and big game player, Silvestre DC who is in the same mold as Hopkin, Ilic DL who is a quality left back and Aldrovandi MR/ML who provides great cover and whose relationship with AC Milan had turned sour because of a lack of playing time. I decided to sell the players (apart from Arendt, Parker & Kalman) as they wanted to try at a higher level which I understand so cashed in for them. The club made a significant loss in the transfer market this time but the money we gained from winning the trophies we did more than covered it, additionally, a number of transfer clauses were sold which also shrank the deficit. Player Of The Season Richard Glover – ST - Average Rating: 8.23 The media describes the England international as an elite striker and I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment. I was gutted for him that he had to miss the Champions League final through injury but his contribution this season has been exceptional. Now that he is entering the peak years of his career I can't wait to see what he has to offer going forward. Young Player Of The Season (U21) Martin Ptacek – MC - Average Rating: 7.78 He is potentially a great player which I hope hasn't peaked as my coaches believe. The reason why I'm concerned is that whilst he has some great attributes in some areas he is also rather lacking in others which I feel are needed to truly become an elite central midfielder playing in a 4-4-2. His off the ball and positioning concern me for a player that I need to be an all-rounder in the central midfielder (support) role. He's also not very combative which means he wouldn't be very good in the central midfield (defend) role either, hopefully, he still has some room to grow. Finances – As you can see the finances have taken a rather sharp dip but not enough for us not to be considered rich. The wage bill has been creeping up with the renewal of contracts but I'm happy enough with that as it gives us confidence that should we need to sell players that we can get a good price. Our non-champions league related revenue has also been increasing which is a positive sign and we are selling out games regularly for the first time. Once again we will be falling afoul of the dreaded release clauses but I'm confident we will be able to replace players if necessary. I'd like to build up a nice balance for the new stadium also as I don't really want a massive debt over the club which would lead to massive cutbacks. Facilities – The training facilities will be getting maxed out after downgrading again. There has been no news on the new stadium, I'm hoping that next season the planning permission gets approved and we can start building. I'm hoping that now we have a Worldwide reputation that they might be more ambitious with the build and at least start with a capacity which is larger than any other in N. Ireland. Youth Intake – I signed them all, I'd be very surprised if any of them have what it takes to forge a career here but given the right environment perhaps they might thrive. League Reputation – It was nice to see us moving up again which was helped by two factors. Cliftonville and their appearance in the Europa League and Ballymena United who became the 2nd team from N. Ireland to qualify for the Champions League group stage (helped no doubt by the loans I made to them). Better still they won a game against PSV in the group and might have nicked third. I'm hoping that run will change them forever like it did for us and hopefully make it easier for them to qualify in future. Club Domestic Reputation – I was a disappointed to see Crusaders get relegated and Limavady United stay up. I want to see the top flight become totally professional so that the teams can begin to close the gap and start attracting better players into the league. Club European Reputation – We're still some way off the summit be we are climbing steadily.
  4. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Thanks @noikeee, I really wasn't expecting it and after we went 2-0 down I thought we were just having a repeat of last season against Monaco but the players didn't give up and here we are European champions.... I think the squad personality really helped, having a lot of determined players allowed us to dig ourselves out of difficult situations at numerous points in the campaign which made the difference I feel.
  5. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Dollingstown F.C. Season 2035 / 2036 Season Expectations After last seasons unbelievable run to the Champions League final, anything close to that would be a great result. League Table - We suffered our first loss in a long time as I rested players against Cliftonville in preparation for the Champions League semi final. No 3rd entrant into the Europa League again . UEFA Champions League - The stuff dreams are made of, our first of what I'm hoping is many wins. Domestic Cups - Poor Hanover, I tried to throw the Irish Cup final by playing my youth and reserves but they still managed to win on penalties. I'm a bit torn on what to do about the Europa League qualification bug. If I throw the Irish Cup completely I deprive other teams of gate receipt money and lose out on a trophy I can easily win but if I win it I deprive the country of its 3rd Europa League spot, what a terrible situation to be in. Reserves - Stop the presses, they finally lost a game!!...Won all the others though. Under 18s - If this was a youth only save I'd be in serious trouble if their performances in Europe are anything to go by. Squad – In terms of ability, we are far away from the elite clubs in Europe and needed a perfect combination of events against Atletico Madrid to give us a chance against them. We have however got a good young core of players which are improving which should help us to continue closing the gap. There is still plenty of room to improve though, we could do with strengthening the flanks and getting in a world class striker. If we can do that then I see no reason why we can't be challenging for the Champions League on a regular basis. We will need to find another class central defender however as Kron had his release clause of £40M activated by PSG. Transfers – Only one screenshot this time as the most significant signings are contained within it. Astonishingly we still made a great profit as we attracted some very large fees for our players. The signing of the season without a doubt is Lems DC from Ajax who is truly world class even at the age of 21. If I can keep adding that caliber of young player to the squad we will be in great shape. Ptacek MC was also a revelation and for that price an absolute bargain. Player Of The Season Vladyslav Kamenyuka – MR - Average Rating: 8.20 The biggest compliment I can pay to him is that while he was signed to be the backup for Guzman, he played more games than Guzman and provided more assists than anyone else. The Ukrainian is a real class act. Young Player Of The Season (U21) Darren Dempster – ST - Average Rating: 7.88 I gave him an opportunity and he never let me down. He is in the team because he helps us to meet the HG requirements but he has developed well enough to get the occasional run out in Europe. If I'm being honest he's never going to become world class but can have a decent career and I'll be interested to see how he gets on with N. Ireland at Euro 2036. Finances – If last seasons balance was comfortable this seasons balance is ridiculous. At one point in the season, the balance was over £130M which is really stupid when you think about it. What's the point of having all of that money lying in the bank when the clubs infrastructure is at its maximum level? Aside from the interest which is actually pretty nice, I'm better off investing in the playing squad which is what I'll be doing next season. Facilities – We didn't really fill the stadium on a regular basis but the board has decided that it's time to move on from Planters Park and are in the process of finding suitable locations for a new stadium (which shouldn't be too hard given that the current ground is surrounded by countryside). I'm not too thrilled by the starting capacity proposed as that is still smaller than Windsor Park but hopefully, if we can push our reputation to 5* they might be a little bit more ambitious. Youth Intake – There is some decent talent in there with Kirkwood ST & Jackson DR looking promising. I decided this time to sign the lot and give them all a chance as whilst they are no good for us even the worst should be able to forge a career at another N. Irish club. League Reputation – The fall was inevitable and was no doubt assisted by only having 1 team in the Europa League group stages and having only 2 Europa league entrants. Club Domestic Reputation – We are now known around the world with our 4.5* reputation which I'm hoping can be pushed up to 5* with a victory in the World Club Cup. Even though a number of the clubs in N. Ireland now have 'Secure' finances many teams seem reluctant to turn professional after the early rush which saw another 4 teams turn pro. The top 5 in N. Ireland are miles ahead of the rest and the gap is getting larger and larger. Club European Reputation – Even after two brilliant seasons in Europe we are still miles off the summit.
  6. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Season 2035 / 2036 THE FINAL The superb looking Nou Camp is slowly filling up and the atmosphere of excitement is at a fever pitch. Will the match live up to the fantastic venue? Our squad Their squad I'm actually looking forward to this, unlike last season. The players have great morale, are fit and raring to go so I'm sensing we can at least make more of a game of this than last season even if we ultimately end up losing. Last time we had issues going into the final where as this time Atletico Madrid seem to have a couple of issues going into the game. Their star striker Kaue who happens to be their top scorer is still suffering from a knock and their top provider of assists is out of the final entirely. Final Here's how the two teams lined up: Diego Simeone is still there so we will face a straight up battle of the 4-4-2's. My hope is that Kaue's injury severely handicaps their attacking potency and that we can take advantage. If we can leave that pitch at the end having given it our all I'll be happy. Result Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, CHAMPIONS!!! What a final that was!!...Utter and complete ecstasy to lift the trophy. The resolve we showed to turn around what looked an impossible task was sensational. When they scored two goals within 5 minutes to put us 2-0 down after 71 minutes I was feeling mighty down in the dumps as they were dominating the play and it looked like a case of damage limitation for us. We had held out for so long and I felt that the two goals had completely demoralized us and broken our spirit. The first goal they scored came from an uncontested cross from the left flank that was tapped into the roof of the net at the near post by our former club favourite Rajkovic which was like a dagger through our hearts. The second goal we conceded was even worse for us defensively. They were awarded a deep free kick centrally which they played out to the left flank again to an unmarked winger who played in a low cross with 3 completely unmarked players in the centre of our penalty box. The ball landed at the feet of Pelayo and he slotted the ball into the net. A complete shambles and at that point I was severely disappointed to be losing to such sloppy defending. To my pleasant surprise though we found something, I knew that in order to have any chance we needed to get back a goal quickly and we did which reignited our challenge. A deep and wide free kick from the left flank was whipped in by Galasso which was met with a stunning header into the top right-hand corner by central defender Kron. That meant it was game on with just over 15 minutes to get the equalizer. Then came the moment which Andre Luis (who incidentally I highlighted as one of their key players) will have nightmares about for the rest of his life. He played an absolute shocker of a back pass to his goalkeeper from 20 yards out from his goal. It was never going to make it and sensing the opportunity substitute De Gori nipped in and blasted the ball into the right-hand corner. How quickly my mood changed from despair to elation as now we have the momentum all behind us. They are the ones which are looking tired and nervous and then we deliver the killer blow. Piggott receives the ball around 40 yards from their goal in the half space on the right-hand side. He then does something which he wasn't doing throughout the game and delivers a peach of a ball over the top for the fresh De Gori to chase. Pelayo who is now really tired can't keep up with him and he is in behind. De Gori then crosses a lofted ball into the centre of the box as he sees Scannicchio flying in between the two defenders. Neither of the defenders can intercept and he bullets the header past the goalkeeper. All we need to do now is hold and given how hard we've worked to get into the position I lock it down and go Very Fluid and contain to ensure everybody comes back. It works!!...They don't get another chance and we lift the trophy. Absolutely brilliant. EUROPEAN SEASON REVIEW I didn't expect to even get to the final so to win the whole thing just blows me away. What an incredible season and what an end to it. This will be the last of the in-depth analysis reports.
  7. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Season 2035 / 2036 ROUTE TO THE FINAL After last seasons heroics in reaching the final, the Northern Irish minnows find themselves in a 2nd final in 2 years. They have had another miraculous run beating some impressive and more reputable teams along the way. They have no domestic competition which enables them to focus on Europe and it is perhaps that ability to rest players for the Champions League games which has allowed them to travel so deep into the competition. They entered at the group stage once again and were drawn into Group E. Drawn into Group E with them were the surprise top seeds Galatasaray, Koln and Olympique de Marseille where they managed the following results. Qualification was looking unlikely after 3 games with them sitting in 3rd and adrift of 2nd placed Koln but a perfect record in the final 3 games propelled them to 2nd. The group table finished as follows: There were some impressive victories in there but it wasn't enough to catch Marseille, in the next round they would face shock winners of Group C, Schalke 04. This was a relatively easy tie for them as they managed an impressive 5-2 aggregate win. In the quarter finals, they were drawn to face group competitors Marseille. A magnificent and entertaining first leg with both teams going at each other but ultimately they couldn't be separated. On home ground, the result was far more comfortable and once again Dollingstown scored 5 goals in a knockout tie. The final hurdle they drew was 3 times Serie A champions Juventus. After the 2-1 loss in Turin, it looked like the end of their journey but the away goal gave them hope and a narrow 1-0 win at home gave them the victory on the away goals rule. They will go into the Champions League final as the underdog in what looks a harder game than last season. In order to stand any chance they will need all the players to play at the very peak of their ability but especially record signing central defender Dennis Lems and top striker Richard Glover. They face a monumental task but in one off games anything can happen, will this be the year of the underdog?
  8. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Season 2035 / 2036 ROUTE TO THE FINAL Atletico Madrid have been playing really well during this Champions League campaign and rightfully deserve their place in the final. It's the 5th Champions League final they have made in their history. They have yet to chalk up any victories so will be looking to change that record on home territory with the final being staged at the Nou Camp. They have established themselves as regular challengers for La Liga, last season they won the title with the team finishing 4 points ahead of city rivals Real Madrid. They entered the group stage as all Spanish clubs do and were drawn into Group A. Joining them in Group A were Chelsea, Olympiakos and FC Basel where they managed the following results. They were almost perfect in the group stage conceding only twice in 6 games. They managed to top the group which finished as follows: Thanks to the 2-0 home victory against Chelsea they pipped them to 1st on the head to head record, in the next round they faced Italian giants Inter. They went to Italy and lost and would have been disappointed with the performance but emphatically corrected it with a 4-0 thumping at home leaving their opponents stunned and progressing to the quarter finals. Strangely, they drew the other side of Milan in the quarter final and completed the humiliation of the Milanese teams with another 4-0 win at home and managed a more respectable draw in the San Siro. Seemingly flying their way through the competition up to this point, the last obstacle was the mighty Barcelona in the semi finals. It was a close run thing in the end but a 3-0 win in the first leg all but booked their place in the final. They will go into the Champions League final as strong favourites after notching up some fantastic results during the campaign. They will be depending on key players such as their Brazilian pair of superstars, striker Kaue and majestic midfielder Andre Luis to see them through. They will be determined not to let this opportunity go to waste as no doubt this is the easiest opponent they have yet faced in the final. If they put in a performance it should be a comfortable victory for them.
  9. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    It definitely feels like we are punching well above our weight but the gap is shrinking and because I've been signing only high potential young players it feels like time is on our side where as teams like Monaco are aging and look ready to decline. To my surprise, we managed to make our way to the Champions League final again for season 2035/2036 so we get another crack at it.
  10. Great stuff, your 4-4-2 is looking strong. When you win, you win well and score loads which should put you in good shape for the Premier League.
  11. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Dollingstown F.C. Season 2034 / 2035 Season Expectations After last seasons appearance in the quarter finals of the Champions League the aim is to equal or better that result. League Table - No problems at all although that bug of losing our 3rd Europa League spot has appeared again. UEFA Champions League - A great run punctuated with euphoric highs and terrible lows, we're getting really close now. Domestic Cups - I think that our winning of the Irish Cup may be the culprit behind why the nation lost its Europa League spot. Reserves - Perfection, 22-0 is a new record win. Under 18s - They did fairly well in Europe and were dominant domestically. Squad – I think we are getting really close to becoming European champions but perhaps the squad needs to be trimmed slightly. I couldn't give Boriosi ST the games he wanted in the league so he became very unhappy which meant poor morale for months which might have cost us, so he will be leaving. Outside of that I think we could benefit from some stability in the playing staff and I will only delve into the transfer market should I need replacements. Cash Transfers – We were really busy in the transfer market as I sought to bring in some exceptionally talented youngsters into the squad while shipping out some of the older players to give us a bit of a refresh. Still made a great profit and now hopefully we have laid the foundations for the squad which will develop and take us to the very top. Free Transfers – I'm very pleased to have acquired South African international Vilakazi DR as even though he entered the club without a work permit after spending a little time on loan I reapplied and it was granted. In the end it proved vital as Fulton DR broke his leg and was out for a large part of the season. Player Of The Season Gianluca De Gori – ST - Average Rating : 8.35 A superb striker who was even better this season than last. Young Player Of The Season (U21) Philippe Graf – MR - Average Rating : 8.50 The wonderkid has blossomed into a lethal winger chipping in with important goals and assists. At 19 he is already great, another year playing at the highest level and he could develop into something truly special. Finances – The club is stinking rich and the trend is upward. I don't know why it shows that we would fail the FFP as we made over £50M in profit over the period, in the end we passed. Facilities – That expansion to the stadium takes us to its maximum size, now we wait for a new stadium. I'm hoping that I can win the Champions League soon to encourage a larger build. Youth Intake – After careful analysis of the players, Regino GK & Flynn ST look like decent prospects and a few of the others made the grade but the rest were cut. League Reputation – We are soaring high and I don't think I made it to 7th even after all the time I spent at Chimney Corner winning the Champions League in FM17. I'm astonished that I'm writing this at all but 5th and 4* reputation looks a real possibility. Club Domestic Reputation – Both Cliftonville and Ballymena United made it to the Europa League group stage for the first time although they only managed one 1 point between them. Club European Reputation – I'm really impressed to be so high.
  12. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Season 2034 / 2035 THE FINAL The scene is set, the Amsterdam Arena is ready to host and both teams are in great condition and raring to go. Who will prevail? Our squad Their squad I'm really nervous about this as my main central defender Fonte is carrying a knock and my best striker has terrible morale. I'm going to need to see some great maturity from the youngsters and hope that the occasion doesn't get to them. Here goes.... Final Here's how the two teams lined up: My best hope has to be on the counter and hoping that I can take advantage of any over enthusiasm from Monaco with sending players forward. The longer we can stay in the game the better chance we'll have of pulling this off. We can't afford to concede early as this team could easily destroy us if we have to chase the game. Result AS Monaco 2 Dollingstown 0 Totally deflated after that.... It was going well enough and we managed to keep the game goal less even though we were being pummeled by them but in the end it was too much to expect for us to be able to keep them out all game. We held out until the 64th minute but once that goal was scored our dreams of winning faded and when they added a 2nd in the 82nd minute they died. I take the loss on the chin as I didn't expect us to win so I'm not disappointed by that but the manner of the defeat is what hurts the most. We hardly posed any threat to them what so ever and I feel the players didn't do themselves justice at all, totally toothless in attack and if I'm being honest they should have beaten us by a bigger margin. I'm not sure whether I can blame the tactic for the way we lost but I feel that the Fluid shape didn't help us at all in this game as we spent so much of the game just defending in numbers as they pinned us back in our own half. Our passing was atrocious and we couldn't seem to get any form of buildup play working. If you can't relieve the pressure on the defence against such strong attackers then you're not going to do well. EUROPEAN SEASON REVIEW A great experience which I've learned a lot from, would have been nice to lift the trophy but we must take heart from this and use it to push forward next season. We're close just not quite close enough. From next season I'll only report on finals (Europa League / Champions League).
  13. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Season 2034 / 2035 ROUTE TO THE FINAL Entering at the group stage, Dollingstown will be appearing in the clubs 1st Champions League final in their history. This is truly a historic run for the N. Irish club who have surpassed their previous best of getting knocked out at the quarter final stage. Domestically they are dominant having won the last 12 DBP titles in a row and have managed to take advantage of the weaker opposition domestically to focus on Europe which has led to this miraculous run. They were drawn into Group D alongside Liverpool, AS Monaco and Olympiakos where they managed the following results. The 3-0 win against Liverpool was the best moment while the 5-1 loss in the away fixture was a moment they'd much prefer to forget. The final day victory against Liverpool allowed them to claim 2nd with Group D finishing as follows: Finishing 2nd meant they would draw a group winner in the 1st Knockout Round and that was Chelsea. A late winner in the first leg gave them a lead to take to London to defend. They recovered exceptionally well after going down a goal early at Stamford Bridge but two away goals ensure that their progress wasn't ever seriously under threat. In the next round they would face Atletico Madrid. A tie which will go down in the Champions League history books as one of the most exciting. After a remarkable victory in the first leg they almost threw it all away but in the end a 4 goal deficit proved too much for Atletico Madrid to make up so Dollingstown marched on into the semi final to face defending champions Manchester City. Another remarkable tie which provided much entertainment for the neutral fans but which was gut wrenching for the two managers. The second leg was the performance of their Champions League run so far showing fantastic resolve and spirit to turn around the first leg deficit. Dollingstown will go into the Champions League final as the underdogs with their hopes pinned on wonderkids Christof Horvath and Philippe Graf putting in a great performance if they are to have any chance of lifting the trophy. They have been magnificent this season and have shocked the world of football for them even to have reached this stage. Can they do the impossible?
  14. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Season 2034 / 2035 ROUTE TO THE FINAL Entering at the group stage, AS Monaco have been on one of the most fascinating runs in the history of the Champions League having beaten a number of the elite European clubs on their way to a 3rd Champions League final in their history. They have yet to win the Champions League but have been dominant domestically winning the last 2 Ligue 1 titles with the previous seasons win being particularly impressive when they finished a full 12 points ahead of deadly rivals PSG. They were drawn into Group D alongside Liverpool, Dollingstown and Olympiakos where they managed the following results. The stand out result being a 5-2 battering of Liverpool. This enabled them to top their group with Group D finishing as follows: After narrowly topping their group beating out Dollingstown on the head to head record they drew last seasons runners up Real Madrid. It was an interesting pair of games against the team of Galacticos with late goals proving to be the factor which swung the tie in their favour. In the first leg played in the Bernabeu they managed a late 87th minute away goal which they then surpassed by scoring 2 late goals without reply to win the 2nd leg at home and progress to the quarter finals to face Barcelona. Seemingly making a habit of scoring late goals, once again this talent was exhibited with 2 late goals to beat Barcelona at home after they took an early lead. They then held them to a goal less draw which dispatched yet another perennial challenger for the Champions League trophy. Next up they would face a domestic tie against sugar daddy owned PSG. A carbon copy of the previous round with a narrow win at home followed by holding the opposition to a goal less draw away. They go into the Champions League final as the favourites with manager Jair Ventura hoping to see a continuation of the impressive form of key players such as club captain Michel Kamel and top scorer Mohamed Oudghiri. What ever the result of the final they will be rightly proud of their impressive run and will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that 3rd time is the charm and that they lift the trophy.
  15. Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

    Season 2034 / 2035 THE DRAW The other semi finalists are Man City, PSG & AS Monaco. Over two legs I think we'd have the best chance against Monaco. I feel the team would struggle against Man City or PSG. Who did we draw? Oh dear!!...If we perform anything like the 2nd leg of the quarter final we are going to take an absolute hiding. Our squad Their squad I'm surprised about the quality of their team. They have an aging team with over half their squad being 30 or older, add to that their tiredness and maybe we have a better chance of getting a result than I thought. Semi Final 1st Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: I think I'm happy to face another 4-4-2 as it means that they will only defend with 8 and if they commit men forward we might get some joy with counter attacks. Result Manchester City 4 Dollingstown 3 Even though they dominated the game I'm left with mixed thoughts about this. On the one hand I'm happy as we have 3 away goals and only need a 1-0 win at home to get through but am left with a sense of disappointment as up until the 81st minute we were 3-2 up. I thought we might have escaped with a great draw but an injury time winner from them scratched that hope. We have a great chance of making the final if we can be more solid defensively. Semi Final 2nd Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: We have to believe we can turn this around. Result Dollingstown 2 Manchester City 0 Dollingstown win 5-4 on aggregate They gave me everything I wanted from them in this game. Solid defensively and fearless going forward. One of the best moments of the career so far and quite rightly we book our well deserved place in the final. Can we do it? Can we make history? Off to Amsterdam we go!!