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Bradley's Babes. Anyone who reads any of my threads will be aware that the main focus of any of my saves is Youth Development and as a result, very much centered around Youth Intake Day every season. I like doing something a little different with my threads and I want this to be completely focused around Youth Intake Day with very little attention paid to whether we win, lose or draw matches, (yes, I know, I'm weird). I'm actually running this alongside my career that I'm updating in my "Music" thread, but I don't envisage there being any crossover at all of players between the 2 clubs. Stade Rennais are battling at the top of the French League and I really have no reason to even look at a club who were mid-table in League 2 when I took over. If the Sunderland experiment goes well then the Stade Manager in me might want to sign some of the hot Sunderland prospects, but the Sunderland manager will be none to keen to let them go. I really don't think there is going to be any cross-over between the 2 at all. I am really enjoying my time in France, but unfortunately it is not the ideal structure for a Youth Save. For a start you can only loan out 7 players in 1 season to other French clubs. (Well that's no good. I want loan out 57 never mind about 7). The fact that players come through the Academies so young there, (14/15), is good, but it can be frustrating having to wait 2 years to give a starlet his debut. My plan for this thread is to not really bother with updates about how the club is doing, and instead concentrate on individual players. I might even do no updates at all other than Youth Intakes and comparisons to see how players have progressed. Brexit. I can't remember exactly what the deal was with Brexit, but I know I got a harsh one. I wasn't managing in England so I didn't really pay too much attention to it at the time. What do the League 2 rules say I wonder? Make of this what you will. I won't be buying players anyway. Background. Sunderland are languishing in League 2 and it's this that made them an attractive proposition to manage. I'm not really sure why they are struggling so much. Their squad is a little unbalanced in my opinion, but they certainly have enough quality to be doing better and financially the club seem to be on a sound footing, presumably because the Sunderland fans are still turning up in large numbers. Facilities. The Stadium of Light might have very well seen better days, but the fact still remains that if we can give them something worth watching, it's possible to cram 48,707 paying bums onto seats. Our average attendance in League 2 this season has been a quite remarkable 23,549, with a whopping 27,056 punters turning up to watch us draw 0-0 to Carlisle early in the season. The facilities that really matter are the Youth based one's and these are decent. Finances. Surprisingly, (at least to me), we are doing ok money-wise, and I would guess this is as a result of such phenomenal support in League 2. Bright prospects. I wouldn't have say that we have any Superstars hidden in the ranks, but we certainly have a reasonable amount of quality. We are after all playing in League 2, so they don't have to be amazing to look good. I haven't checked yet, (I am about to), but I suspect that we have produced better players via the academy in recent years, but anyone with any real quality would have been snapped up pretty quickly. Stewart (NIR) (Bal) HG is a player I really like. He featured only fleetingly under the previous Manager, but has already become an important part of the team under me. I have obviously extended his contract immediately. Tinnion (Perfect) HG is another who has been offered and accepted a contract extension. Actually he's quite an interesting player for me because I am not sure that I have any experience at all with Perfectionist personality. He's a very good player for League 2 and should be with us for a good few years. Perfectionist Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Amb 18-20, Tem 1-9 (Remember that these templates I'm quoting are the old one's from Cleon's Ajax thread and some are now out of date. I don't know if anyone has created new one's for FM18 yet). Ed (Bal), Gough (Res) , Rock (F.Loyal) and Martin (IRL) (Jovial) are all decent players, but they are not products of our Academy so I'm not going to bother talking about them. They will be replaced as soon as I can. Dowson (Bal) HG hasn't made his debut yet, but I will soon start rotating him with Gough (Res) until such time as I can cash in on him and then Dowson (Bal) HG will be 1st choice. He's just a little on the slow side, bujt otherwise looks decent. Bell (F.Pro) HG is a winger and I just don't plan on using them. When we have a good player like this, I will probably look to loan them out somewhere right from the off just to give them games. Karl (F.Pro) HG is probably my favourite player at the club. I just love the fact that he is a natural BWM. I've been trying and failing to shoe-horn players into a BWM role in my Strade Rennais save for a few years now and this bloke is just perfect for what I want. I like him, but he's not worth £800,000. Is he? Either way, hands off. He's got a 2 year contract with an option for 3 more. Before my arrival. Things were not going well, (hence the sacking of the previous Manager). They actually weren't playing badly, they were just drawing too many games. They were languishing in 12th place though and that just wasn't good enough for the Chairman, (and rightly so). The FA Cup and Carabao Cup didn't bring any respite from the League 2 woes unfortunately. The abomination that is the Checkatrade Trophy offered a small amount of light relief, but it was actually, (somewhat surprisingly) the loss to Sheffield Utd on penalties that cost the previous Manager his job. Since my arrival, (let's be completely straight here and admit that I am not even bothering with the IR button and instead just went straight on holiday), things started off slowly, but our fortunes soon started to improve. After going winless in our opening 4 games, we are now unbeaten in our last 9.