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173 "Just keep swimming"

About Me

  • About Me
    63* forever.

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Forest Green Rovers

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Hungerford Town

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  1. Sign new striker on non-contract terms. First match, he starts but is still short of fitness levels. I substitute him after 72 minutes, he's rated a 6.8 and it's still 0-0 so I want some fresh legs. The following conversation ensues: "Why did you substitute me, I was playing so well" "I wanted to preserve your fitness levels" "Sorry, you're wrong" "I'm your manager blah blah" "I can't work with you anymore" He leaves the club, two weeks after signing, because he was substituted after 72 minutes in his first game (while not match fit) and chucked a tantrum after a completely reasonable explanation. Honestly guys, kill the player interaction system with fire and rebuild it from the ground up. It's cooked.
  2. Player: I need a new challenge Me: Okay, I'll sell you *Five clubs make a bid, including club X* Player: Club X is my preferred destination *Player rejects all contracts* Me: *offers player out, no interest* Me: Mutual termination? Player: No Player: You broke your promise to sell me.
  3. My save with Yate is done. We started our second season in the Conference well with 10 points from the first four games, before 11 straight losses dropped us to the bottom, ruined player morale and pretty much just had me over it. The squad isn't good enough and I don't have the funds or reputation to improve it - and I'm certainly not tactically adept enough to get out of this rut! The last goal conceded (an attacking throw-in straight to the opposition who then ran the entire length of the pitch while my defenders ran back to their own positions) pretty much summed things up. Gonna have another crack with Bowers & Pitsea.
  4. It wasn't exactly a summer full of upgrades, but I did manage to get some quality in. The two big ones were former Reading youth Sam Hutchings, who looks like he could be a long term solution at the back, and Polish winger Bartłomiej Król, who started at Birmingham and then moved on to Braintree, where I tried to prise him from in January. There has been the usual collection of players not wanting to speak to me and then signing further down the pyramid, or asking for exorbitant wages and then signing for significantly less somewhere else (usually lower) but I usually put those instances down to location being a bigger factor in the lower leagues so don't get too bothered. For the most part, I've managed to fill some gaps and keep key players around so if we can hit 50 points I'll be happy. You on the other hand are making a mockery out of us lower league strugglers!
  5. 2025/26 - Yate Town - Conference Premier League Summary (19th, avoided relegation) One of the most challenging, but rewarding, seasons I've ever had on FM. After back to back promotions, a tough summer of recruitment followed as we were simply not able to recruit the quality of player required to compete at this level. This was not only true of permanent signings, but also loan signings - it seemed like every other club in the division was able to raid Championship and big L1 clubs for youngsters, however we would just get the "X would prefer Y play with higher quality players" message. So we effectively played out the season with last year's team, and the vast majority of players who had played for us two divisions below. Momentum carried us through the first month, but the losses started to get more frequent over the next few months, before a pointless December dropped us right into a relegation fight. An undefeated January, along with a couple of key defensive signings, kept us in and around safety. March was another nightmare month, however three wins in April, including the penultimate match against Halifax, ensured our safety. Leyton Orient, Barnet (promoted), Chesterfield, Barrow, H&R and Halifax (relegated) leave the division, to be replaced by Morecambe, Cheltenham. Boston Utd, Spennymoor, Dover and Bromley. Key Players It's a tough field, given we only had one player average over seven for the season, that being 'keeper Bryn Bartlett, and he only played 20 matches after joining in January. Centre half and fan favourite Lexus Beeden registered the highest rating of players to play a full season with 6.94, and duly won the fans' player of the season. Skipper Cam Healey added another 12 assists and also broke the club's appearance record (257 and counting) and Ricardo Rees scored 10 times in an injury-interrupted season (only 25 starts) to increase his lead as the club's all time record goal scorer. However, ultimately it was again the goals of Gary Fitzpatrick which kept us up. He scored 26 times and proved once again that, as long as you have a regular goal scorer, you're always in with a chance of avoiding the drop. Next Season The reality is, as much as I love loyalty and racking up the appearances for club stalwarts, we need better players if we are to progress. Otherwise it will again be relying on the goals of Fitzpatrick to get us through another relegation dogfight. The board still only requires me to fight bravely against relegation, so at least there is little expectation there. My best chance is probably trawling the released youth players from big clubs and hoping to land one or two "big fish" if I'm going to push for mid table. I suspect it will be another relegation scrap however.
  6. After going undefeated through January, we picked up four points in February, before a wretched March (one point from six league games) dropped up right back into the relegation places. In fact, if you took out December and March (0-1-11) we'd be a top half team. Thankfully, we have stopped the rot to start April with wins over Woking and Aldershot, leaving the table looking as such: Most of the teams below have games in hand, but I'd rather the points on the board. We still play Yeovil (a), Halifax (h) and Ebbsfleet (a), so I'm hoping a win against Halifax will be enough. Our goal difference definitely helps. We're also fortunate in with the teams below us pretty much all play each other in the run-in, with Barrow still toplay Chesterfield and Eastleigh, and Dulwich still to play Chesterfield, Eastleigh and H&R. The big change has been between the sticks. My scouts found Bryn Bartlett playing at Aveley, fresh out of Gillingham's youth set-up, and I duly brought him in on a free. This was a tough decision as Andy Hannah has been a mainstay for me and held the club's appearance record, however it was very clear he was out of his depth and I needed to try something. Since joining, Bartlett has since averaged 7.24 over 17 league matches, culminating in a heroic display against Aldershot: I don't think I've ever seen a match rating this high for a 'keeper, especially considering he didn't save a penalty.
  7. Bit harsh to "move on" from a 20-year-old striker who scores 46 times!
  8. Just about two thirds of the way in, and it is an absolute dog fight... December was a horrible month, as we lost all five league matches to drop into the bottom four. However, we have bounced back with a win and three draws in our four January fixtures so far, including four points from title contenders Port Vale and Leyton Orient and a backs-to-the-wall point at Wrexham. After a trip to Dag & Red (7th) which we likely won't get anything out of, we play H&R (h), Chesterfield (a) and Eastleigh (h), so it's probably not a stretch to say that little run will probably determine our fate. On the plus side, Ricardo Rees is back from injury so I'm hopeful he will provide some much-needed support to Gary Fitzpatrick, who is playing a lone hand with 20 goals. The reality is, however, I am mostly playing the same XI that got me out of the Southern Premier, and most of them are not quite good enough for this level. Even the teams around me all have 3-4 players who are far beyond what I have, so a re-build will be required whether we are relegated or not.
  9. I'm surprised he hasn't had any youth caps for Wales! I play with an inside forward at AMR and finding suitable players for that role is always difficult, too.
  10. @warlock Can you put up a screen shot of Price? Sounds like you might have a hard time keeping hold of him...
  11. Sometimes there are FM moments that literally have you jumping up and yelling to the point that your wife thinks you're nuts. 94th minute, away at Halifax in a key relegation battle, the AI misses a defensive header, and the ball falls to Gary Fitzpatrick... After a tough stretch through September, October and November, that one moment of brilliance keeps us afloat, as a draw would have dropped us into the relegation places. In truth however, we're on pace for 55 points which should see us comfortably safe, but it's such an even league that we're only just keeping our heads above water. We open December with Yeovil at home and host Woking soon after, so we have a real chance to put some daylight between us and the bottom four. We've also beaten Chesterfield, Wrexham, Dulwich and H&R so far, so we're at least winning the important matches. However, the reality is our squad simply isn't good enough for this level, and every match we're coming up against far superior players. To make matters worse, Ricardo Rees is out for three months with a torn calf, meaning we are basically only going as far as Fitzpatrick's goals (17 so far) take us. I am checking the loan and free transfer markets after almost every match, but there isn't a lot of quality there in terms of the players willing to come.
  12. Is it possible that they have been offered a contract by their current club but have rejected it (but the club hasn't formally released them)?
  13. You're right, I am just mentally preparing myself for when the standard is too high for him - hopefully not for a while yet!
  14. Don't you just love those players that seem to perform wildly above their attributes? This is Gary Fitzpatrick, who came to us via Boreham Wood and Havant & Waterlooville and plays up top in a 4-2-3-1 formation: As you can see, there is nothing all that remarkable about him. He is a decent finisher and not all that slow, but he's terrible in the air, not great off the ball, is slow to anticipate the play, makes poor decisions and lacks both strength and balance. He's not going to score many from outside the box (unless it's a free kick) and his composure is so-so. He doesn't have a great personality or any useful PPMs. My coaches think he is a Conference North/South player at best and he's never been within a sniff of any underage Ireland squads, let alone attracting any interest from other clubs. Yet, he is absolutely lethal. He almost never misses a one on one, constantly finds the corners and scores from just about anywhere inside the box. Across the keeper, roof of the net, near post, power finishes, finesse finishes, you name it. He scored 30 league goals in the Southern Premier (34 overall), 35 league goals in the Conference South (43 overall) and he's started with 10 in 10 in the Conference National. He really shouldn't be this good. (As an aside, this is one of the things that bothers me about the CA/PA system. A player scoring this many goals at such a young age would likely be getting interest from Championship clubs, but because his is (presumably) low, he's never once had a club interested. It affects immersion a bit as it shouldn't be this easy for me to hold onto him.)
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