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Everything posted by CityAndColour

  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.)
  15. Great work on another title - how many academy players have you got in and around the first team?
  16. A very challenging off-season for us as we prepared for our first season in the Conference National. As expected, due to our size and low reputation, attracting any players of note proved to be very challenging and we have effectively played the first month of the season with our Conference South XI. We did manage to make the loans of midfielders Antone Applewhaite, Pedro Pascoal and right back Luke Ige permanent for a total cost of £6.5k, however this represented our only transfer activity of note to date. I am hopeful that I can go back into the market around October/November and see if more players will be willing to speak to me as they remain clubless. On the pitch it's been more positive than negative: We started with a comfortable win at Solihull, even more impressive as they now top the table. Kettering equalised in the 91st minute and we were probably the better side at Sutton, however went down to a 6th minute goal. We then found our scoring boots for the last three games, with the win at Port Vale particularly impressive given they were just relegated and are clear title favourites. So we end the month in 7th, although only two points separate the top ten in what is a very congested table. I needn't have worried if our attack would be able to cope with the step up:
  17. I won the league/promotion and the two options I got for next season were "you are good enough to stay clear of relegation" and "you may well get relegated but I trust you to battle hard" - I picked the former and got players being hurt and offended. TBH it's one of the things I think is just really poorly implemented in FM - I get the intent is that players don't want to feel pressure above expectations, however no professional athlete is going to be offended when you tell them that you trust they can avoid relegation. It's just really dumb.
  18. Why are all my players "hurt" and "offended" when I tell them they're good enough to avoid relegation?
  19. 2024/25 - Yate Town - Conference South League Summary (1st, promoted as Champions) After being unable to get out of this league in umpteen attempts on FM20, we went and did it at the first time of asking this time around. In terms of recruitment, I opted for quality over quantity, only signing two first XI players and renewing two loans, preferring to trust the players that had gotten us promoted in the first place. This approach worked as it meant there was no time needed to gel, and we very quickly rose to the top few spots in the table (after an opening day draw, we never dropped out of the top five, stayed in the top three from game 12 onwards and the top two from game 19 onwards). It got very tight towards the end, with a succession of postponed fixtures meaning we didn't draw level with the sides around us in terms of games played until the penultimate fixture. A win over Maidstone in that one meant we only had to match Bromley's result on the final day, and we did so with aplomb, easily beating Kingstonian 3-1 in probably our best away performance of the season. Bromley would then go on to lose the playoff final in extra time to Hampton & Richmond, who will join us in tier five. Thankfully we weren't in the Conference North however, as Kettering amassed 106 points, with York winning the playoffs (after 96 points themselves). We also got the first player through in our academy with first team potential. Bobby Smith, while diminutive, looks like he could develop into a handy playmaker - the mercenary personality may not lend itself to being a team player, but it should serve his individual development well. Key Players It was really all about Gary Fitzpatrick again this season. Despite only being rated as a good tier seven player by my coaches, he scored 43 times in all competitions, including a succession of key goals in the final month of the season. He just seems to be one of those players who performs well above his attributes and I'll have no choice but to give him first crack at leading the line next season. His partner in crime, Ricardo Rees, chipped in with another 24 goals from the right wing, becoming Yate's first 100+ league goalscorer in the process. Remarkably, neither he or Fitzpatrick has made it onto the club's favoured personnel yet, although the coaches say that the fans really like both players, so perhaps it's just a matter of time. In the middle of the park, skipper Cam Healey was magnificent, setting up 19 goals as a deep-lying playmaker, also leading the division for key passes and clear chances created. My coaches only rate him as a leading tier seven player, but his leadership, consistency and mental attributes ensure he will be the first picked next season. In the heart of defence, central pairing Matt Bower and Lexus Beeden were magnificent, starting 44 of a possible 46 matches together and even combining for 14 goals from set pieces. The latter took home the player of the season gong with a 7.35 average rating and ranking top five in the league for key tackles, clearances and interceptions. Finally, our trusty custodian Andy Hannah had another consistent season, conceding less than a goal a game and achieving an average rating of over 7.02. With 212 appearances, he is now Yate's all time leader in league appearances. Awards Next Season: I always favour loyalty over changes, meaning the core of the team will get their chance at the higher level. The main areas to strengthen will be left wing, right back and the box-to-box role in central midfield, although if a quality centre half presents themselves I would have to look at that too, if only to create competition. The Conference National is my favourite league to manage in, so I am more than happy to battle relegation and spend a few seasons there.
  20. Just a normal season in the Conference South... Goal-scoring in full detail leagues is just mental. Four players in TOTAL scored 20 or more in all the other English leagues, which are obviously not on full detail while I'm in the Conference South.
  21. No one will ever convince me this stuff isn't scripted. Followed immediately by this... A crucial three points, but it shouldn't have been close. Instead it's the usual collection of awful finishing, the AI 'keeper catching shots from point blank range and making freak saves in the corners, a mountain of blocked shots and headers onto the crossbar. All it was missing was a disallowed goal and a missed penalty. Still, it keeps us two points ahead of Bromley going into the final game. We travel to Kingstonian (5th) and they travel to WsM (6th), so we both have tough fixtures. If they win, we have to win due to goal difference, however if they don't, we will be champions regardless.
  22. Since my update, we've just about been getting the results we need, and other results are mostly going our way too. First, a dull 0-0 at home to Concord, before we faced Bognor... We were the better team at half time, but it remained 0-0. I gave them a rev-up and just after the hour, we got sucker-punched twice, first with a set-piece header and then an own goal. Just as I was raging, we pulled one back, then another, went attacking and loanee Antone Applewaite put one in off the post just shy of the 90. Would this be our Macheda/Villa moment? Two late Gary Fitzpatrick goals (on 75 and 77 minutes) got us another three points against Havant, before we travelled to Hemel Hempstead two days later. At this point I made the decision to play a weakened team, due to fixture congestion and three home games to follow, and we duly lost 0-2 (although Dayle Grubb missed a penalty at 0-1). Following this match, talisman Ricardo Rees picked up his customary late-season injury, with pulled knee ligaments meaning we will likely have to secure the title without him. He will however be back for the playoffs if it comes to that. We bounced back, as this team so often does, with a tight win over Met Police, effectively clinching a top two finish and leaving the table as such: Our remaining fixtures are Billericay (20th) and Maidstone (11th) at home, the latter of which is our game in hand, before we finish with a tough trip to Kingstonian. On the other hand, Bromley host Concord and then travel to WsM on the final day. At worst, we will have home advantage throughout the playoffs.
  23. When you sign a journeyman in the lower leagues, who has played for 10-12 clubs. He scores and it's always "he's come back to bite the hand that feeds him!", "it was talked about pre-game and it's happened!" etc. Then you check his history and he played 3 games on loan for the opposition when he was 19.
  24. They always seem to pop up just when you need a win and have a home fixture against a weaker opponent scheduled... Great going with York, too - I see you bounced back from the Morecambe game in style.
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