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Hey all! Fresh from conquering both the Premier League & Europe with FC United, & in a bid to rid the other sub-forums of my ridiculous verbosity I thought it prudent to tie everything up here together in the one place so that I can ramble freely and no-one is forced to read/ignore/scroll frantically past my eclectic and constant stream of thoughts/consciousness! After having it suggested by a few people across the site, I'm finally (now that 19.3 has dropped) setting out on my first ever Academy Challenge! I expect it to be tricky and often demoralising but I'm nothing if not stubborn so let's see how far that can take me as I try to prove Mr Hansen wrong yet again! Naturally I'll be posting updates to the academy challenge thread, but I intend to use this as an additional dollop of thought process so my posts over there don't take a page on their own and drive the other challengers crazy! In an ideal world I'll be successful and move on to a new country afterwards and start the cycle all over again, but looking at some of the (awful, awful) attributes for my guys, let's not run before we can walk! With another Premier League title and Champions League crown in the bag, I could tell that the sun was beginning to set on my time with FC United of Manchester - an SI patch was on the horizon & with it came the lure & temptation of new challenges and opportunities! For once, the common FM question of "Where to go?" didn't generate the excitement I've come to expect - I guess after all these years it sometimes takes a little more than a change of country code to get the heartbeat quickening! The 'Where?' quickly became 'What?' as I wondered what realistically I had left to try in my FM career, stopping when I felt the age-old twinge of excitement as I recalled a few forum heroes mentioning early in my previous career they were taking on an academy challenge! Loathe to give up when I'd only just begun, I'd initially put the thought of winning something with kids to one side as I continued my quest to overturn the Manchester duopoly, but with that mission safely accomplished the time - as Moloko once sang - is now! From Manchester to........ Manchester? Erm, yes. Although I was satisfied with the progress in my last save, it didn't completely 'scratch the itch'; a lot of my last save was spent testing and working on The Mentality Masterplan and there was the small matter of a thing called 'Brexit' - it didn't ruin the experience but it certainly added a layer of frustration that perhaps took away from the fun just a little!? With Brexit having little effect on an academy save, let's call the last save a warm-up for this, the main event! One thing I always try to do when picking a team is find one that at least resonates a little - could be a location (favourite holiday spot/somewhere I've live or worked), a notable history/event/player (presumably why Bari are so popular this year!) or something so simple as a name (hence a career at Viking FK in FM15!) - irrespective, if I don't feel any sort of bond or affinity for the club I'm managing I usually get bored very quickly and find myself on the jobs board more than the squad screen! With that in mind I spun the 'Holiday Roulette' wheel to see what the FM gods had in store for my first attempt; the Vanarama National League South offered me a choice of Margate & Kingstonian, whilst the Vanarama National League North had a choice of Halesowen, Hyde, Kettering & Warrington. I'm sure by now that your eyes have already glanced below so the cat's out of the bag, yes I chose.... Hyde United Football Club That's right, from FC United to Hyde - a quick ride around the '62 or a short bus trip if that's your thing! When they showed up in the results who else could it be? I hadn't spotted them originally when scoping the possible teams, thinking Warrington or Stalybridge would be my likely picks (given their geographical allure) but once they came up I jumped at the chance! For anyone who's not aware, they've had a bit of a rollercoaster ride in recent years, with a bizarre sponsorship deal with Manchester City causing them to change their name to Hyde FC (City made it part of the agreement that they had to drop the 'United' from their name so's not to upset their own supporters), not to mention recolour their crest/strip & re-paint their stadium from Red - their traditional (and United's) colour to Blue. The stadium (Ewen Fields) is still blue to this day with the general manager quoted as saying "The ground today is still painted blue because it keeps better than the red, to be quite honest with you" - makes outrage at stadium naming rights seem a little trite in comparison! I take charge of Hyde in their centenary year with them having been founded in 1919, although as a further twist in the tale above, they had originally formed as Hyde FC in 1885 before folding in 1917 due to the war. They actually moved into Ewen Fields in 1906 as Hyde FC, but kept on using the ground when they rose from the ashes and still play there now! The Squad Obviously I'm still learning about these guys, but there at least looks like something to work with ability wise! There are 25 players, 4 of which are youths & 1 an existing loan. My biggest concern was what the squad 'determination' was going to be like as I'm laser focused on mental stats & personality when recruiting - if they're not green then they're not for me - so will be interesting to see how I adjust to that, rest assured I'll be hiring a new Head of Youth Development with a decent personality as soon as I can/finances allow to ensure our new players aren't crippled by an inability to train/handle pressure! A few of my new guys do have high Determination so I at least have a few potential mentors in the group! I'll post a bit more about the squad once I know a bit more about them, but let's just say that the media think we're up against it (and I don't have my beloved loan market to help me out!)! Facilities I'm not sure 'Horrific' is an actual in game term, but it should be added next year if not to describe teams like Hyde! Joking aside, they're not great but they could definitely be worse; the stadium (painted blue and in 'Average' condition) has a capacity of 4000, of which 550 are seats (installed by City as part of the sponsorship agreement mentioned above!). The rest of the facilities are rated as follows; Stadium: Ewen Fields Capacity: 4000 (550 Seated) Stadium owned by: Hyde United FC Undersoil Heating: No Roof: No (Although looking at that photo?) Surface: Synthetic Pitch condition: Good Corporate Facilities: Basic Training Facilities: Poor Data Analysis Facilities: None Youth Facilities: Basic Youth Level: 4 Stadium Sponsor: None Youth Stadium: Ewen Fields Junior Coaching: Fairly Basic Youth Recruitment: Basic That's all for now - next update after we've lost played our first few games!
The British Lions' Toothless Roar - a Talentless Eejit's Adventures A Head Coach/Youth Academy Challenge, In Which the Chairman and Director of Football don’t trust me to anything other than focus on tactics and coaching. Leagues loaded: England to Level 10 (DanBHTFC incomplete) Scotland to Level 6 (Claassen) Wales to Level 7 (Rainbowz) Rep of Ireland to Level 5 (Claassen) N. Ireland to Level 7 (Claassen) Gibraltar to Level 2 (Cel1234) I’ve made a few tweaks – Ranieri at Fulham, slipped in the odd Easter egg such as Craggy Island to the lowest Irish level, swapped a few teams, altered some reputations (e.g. our first club’s reputation is 200; all other L10 English clubs are 400) – nothing substantial other than setting up my job. Advanced Rules – don’t add players to playable teams, untick do not add key staff, untick attribute masking. Small Database, no additions, 37 leagues, c. 26K players, 4 stars speed. Start 25/6/18. Having left Plymouth Marjon under a wee bit of a cloud, my wife and I have crossed England so that I can return to North-East Essex where I grew up, to a village team just a few miles up the road from my childhood home. I vaguely remember Little Oakley as a sleepy nothing of a village, but my latest research shows me that this club is going places. I just hope we can be part of that journey. Here in the foreground is the village, with the football ground visible on the outskirts next to the red roof. It adjoins the town of Dovercourt with the port of Harwich on the estuary of the River Stour, serving the North Sea.