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Stephanie McMahon's Secret Lover

The FM 'Give Youth A Chance' Challenge

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August 2009 - Sunderland Rhyope CA

The Season started and started well played 3 games and here is how they went.

The First game was at Gilford Park and was won by 2 penalties to me.

W 2-1

The Second was away to Whitehaven and was a bore draw.

D 0-0

The Third was against Hebburn and we were impressive we won comfortably even if the scoreline looked close.

W 2-1

I won manager of the month also.

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I got bored of the challenge after six seasons of Tier 10 football with Great Yarmouth Town. I decided to buy players (as the club went professional too, and expected me to win the league).

After 3 consecutive league titles, I have 'State of the Art Facilities + Youth Academy' with 'Top training facilities'. But I couldn't wait 3 more seasons to get the youth's I needed, then start training them. I was enjoying the game too much :(

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I have been thinking of this challenge lately and I dont really see the need for such strict and demanding start rules.

IMO people should be able to start from BSS/BSN, slightly lower or even foreign.

This challenge is just give youth a chance, IMO specifics dont count and either does where you do it.

What do people think ?

I personally think everybody should be on the same if not similar footing. The reputation differences and all that makes me think that it is fine as it is.

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CLYMPING - SEASON 1

Sussex County League Division 2

The first season started off with 3 0-0 draws in a row. The matches after that weren't going too well, after 15 games Clymping only managed to grab 3 wins. No real surprise there, as they were expected to finish close to the bottom of the table. After those 15 games points started coming our way. 3 consecutive 2-0 wins propelled us higher up the table, only to fall back again. The rest of the season was a bit like that. All these strings gave us a nice 11th place at the end of the season, something I was content with.

Compared to the league, the cups were all succesful. For the FA Vase, the board demanded a qualification for the 2nd Qual. Round, but we went on to the (regular) 3rd round, where Sevenoaks beat us after a replay. The Sussex Senior Cup was the shortest, after one win the 2nd round was the best we could do. Both Sussex Challenge Cup and Sussex Charity Cup were a huge success, as we managed to get through to the Semi Finals. Wealden and Whithawk proved to be serious stumbling blocks on these occasions.

As matches were played, the squad became more clear. Some players were underachieving, others just couldn't do better. I was happy with the players I got at the start, as I could play a squad with regular ages. There are some good 16 year olds, but I don't need them yet. The only one to make the starting lineup was Craig Chambers, a goalkeeper with lots of potential and decent CA. Another surprise was AMC Craig Davies' high stat on penalty taking (16). It was very helpful as spot kicks are quite common at this level.

Another good thing is the 2nd spot the U18's claimed in their first season. Propelled into the good position by some regular first team players, their strikers scored a lot of goals. We need them next year as the first team strikers proved to be really crappy players.

Next season we'll just see what the youth team can give us, and I'll use some of the U18 players more regularly to see if we can get a higher league position next year.

edit: Financially it was all ok, the prize money cancelled out the match day expenses to make sure we got a 7k profit over this first season.

Screenies:

Final League Table:

http://i46.tinypic.com/18okeb.jpg

Clymping Squad:

http://i49.tinypic.com/2gybvv6.jpg

Top Goalscorer Andy Hamilton:

http://i49.tinypic.com/2mdmnhf.jpg

Player of the Year Dean Ryder:

http://i50.tinypic.com/2q21ze1.jpg

Young goalkeepers Craig Chambers:

http://i46.tinypic.com/w2lvlh.jpg

U18 Table:

http://i47.tinypic.com/etid0m.jpg

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Why did I read this thread?! I'm now just getting started with this challenge - could wreck my marriage.. ;)

Mole Valley has a new manager!

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Mole Valley. I'm sure I've played them before.

Combined Counties League then?

Good luck :D

Had my first loss in about 10 games so I'm leaving that save for a while :)

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I have been thinking of this challenge lately and I dont really see the need for such strict and demanding start rules.

IMO people should be able to start from BSS/BSN, slightly lower or even foreign.

This challenge is just give youth a chance, IMO specifics dont count and either does where you do it.

What do people think ?

The rules are the rules. If you wish to play with different rules there is nothing stopping you from starting a thread of your own.

Non-English "give youth a chance" challenges are permitted in this thread as long as they start right at the bottom.

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Ugh, it really takes a lot time to even improve a little bit.

I'm having a hard time waiting for things to get better. Playing other saves doesn't help. After a few days I just want Clymping to be the best :p

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Seaford Town has finally hit the wall :(

After consecutive promotions from Level 10 to Isthmian Premier Division, we needed two seasons there to get promoted into BSS.

Our story in the league so far:

09/10 : Sussex County D2, 1st (expectation: Win)

10/11 : Sussex County D1, 1st (expectation: Win)

11/12 : Northern Premier D1N, 2nd (expectation: Promotion)

12/13 : Isthmian Premier, 7th (expectation: Top Half)

13/14 : Isthmian Premier, 1st (expectation: Title Contender)

14/15 : Blue Square South, 18th - 4 points clear of relegation (expectation: Mid Table)

As you can see Im starting to hit a brick wall now. My youngsters cannot cope with the tempo of BSS - Defenders easily outrunned and skimmed, Attackers more easily picked up and marked.

I do really enjoy the challenge, but it is starting to get on my nerves now.

And as you can see, the board has high expectations - I feel that it might be my way out the door if I cant produce results next year :(

Another thing: After flying high economically the 3 first seasons due to good cup runs, Im now loosing money rapidly. At the beginning of our Isthmian Premier journey we had 160k in the bank. Now, 3 seasons later? 28K :(

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I'm still up for this, but now, thanks to a loss of interest in other saves, I'm up and running with Knaphill. Rather suicidally, I'm not actually aiming for success in the conventional sense in this challenge. Basically, I will be playing a system of flowing, attacking football from the offset, I am quite aware my players won't be able to do this very well, and I'd get by fine, or at least better in the league by lumping it instead, but I am quite interested to see if, several years down the line perhaps, I can build a decent football-playing side from scratch. I seriously doubt it, though! That's MY challenge though. Wish me luck, I'll need it...

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I'm very intrigued by this challenge... I choose to take over Minehead in the English Western League D1.

profileka.th.png

This is who my coaching staff has identified as my best player :(

taylory.th.png

I just noticed that we had this dinosaur in the reserves too!!

oldj.th.png

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Performance-wise my team has been performing well so far (2 seasons done)! We got 11th in season 1 and was in promotion spots for much of season 2 until we slipped up a bit at the end and finished 5th.

performancej.png

But I'm sensing a major problem: our expenses are a lot more than our income. I think this is due to the stadium - I purposely chose a club with a larger stadium (3500, 350 seated) but nobody comes to the matches so I think it is backfiring on me :( Is anybody else having this problem? At this point unless I get more fans pretty soon or get a big cash prize for performance in cups/promotion I will just keep bleeding money!

mineheadfinances.png

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Has anyone made it to the football league yet this year? Also, Marky Mark, if you're there, I'd love to know how you're getting on.

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Great idea for a challenge, going to give it a whirl as Holker Old Boys in the NW counties Division 1.

1 question, what level of attributes are "good" at this level? Double figure attribuets seem rare, I'm guessing around 8?

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i wan to ask if i lose players with amateur contract to another club (because they offer them part time contract) can rebuy them or if they become staff for another team can appoint them as my staff??

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I am still around and determined to make it to the top flight, but have had not had regular internet access due to Christmas travel.

However, I am now back home and will be posting 2 season updates soon including a history making first season in the Championship! (as the seasons were completed some time ago the updates will likely be brief)

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FM09 - Merthyr 2024/25 Season Update - Championship- Marky Mark!

2009/10 - BSS, 2nd - Promotion through playoffs!

2010/11 - BSP, 18th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2011/12 - BSP, 6th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2012/13 - BSP, 18th

2013/14 - BSP, 14th - FA Trophy winners!

2014/15 - BSP, 2nd - FA Trophy Semi-Final, FA Cup 3rd Round, Promotion through playoffs!

2015/16 - League Two, 20th

2016/17 - League Two, 13th, JPT S Quarter Final

2017/18 - League Two, 9th

2018/19 - League Two, 1st, FA Cup 3rd Round, League Two Champions!

2019/20 - League One, 16th, FA Cup 3rd Round, Carling Cup 3rd Round, JPT S Semi Final

2020/21 - League One, 21st, FA Cup 4th Round, Relegation :(

2021/22 - League Two, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, JPT Winners!, Automatic Promotion!

2022/23 - League One, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Lost in playoff final

2023/24 - League One, 2nd, FA Cup 4th Round, Automatic Promotion!

2024/25 - Championship, 22nd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Relegation :(

This season was a struggle from the start, with the club never being far from the relegation zone, but at Christmas they were 3 points clear of the relegation zone, and hopefull of staying up. However a record equalling 5 losses in a row early in the new year saw me in the relegation zone, and despite fighting hard, with 2 games to go I was still 22nd, 2 points (and GD) away from saftey.

Rallying the troops, I managed to come from 2 goals behind to win 3-2 in the second last game of the season, but 21st placed Swindon also managed a gritty 1-0 win, still leaving me 2 points from saftey. In the last game of the season I went 2-0 up early, and saw that Swindon were 0-1 down, meaning that if things didn't change I would climb up to 21st! I conceeded a goal in the 2nd half, but still managed to win 2-1, however Swindon scored a late equaliser which saw both Merthy and Swindon finish on 43 points (10 wins, 13 draws, 23 losses), however my GD of -35 saw me relegated from the Championship in my first season... now to see if I can bounce back on my first attempt!

2025 League Table

Mark Quinn was again the best Merthyr player for the season with an average rating of 7.09 and 15 goals, plus 2 caps and 2 international goals (although Daniel Hudson was actually the top goalscorer with 17 goals). As mentioned previously I rejected a $9M offer for Quinn, however, after being relegated I notieced that the had a relegation release clause of $2M! I quickly negotiated a new contract, and despite it giving him a substantial pay increase and changing it from a 5 year contract to a 4 year contract, I managed to change the relegation release clause to $68M - much better!

2025 Seasonal Best XI and Overall Best XI

2025 Finances - Depsite being $12k per week under the wage budget and the Championship TV rights I still managed to lose money - around $1M, with ground maintenance being the single biggest expense... I guess maintaining state of the art training and youth facilities isn't cheap? Oh well, still have around $3.5M, so I can afford another 3 seasons of this before I have to start worrying.

Finally, since upgrading my youth facilities to state of the art the youth have been noticably better, but even then one managed to stand out above the rest this season... introducing:

Stuart Jackson - At 16 already has many key attributes in double figures, he looks to be a very handy central midfielder already... just a shame that that is already one of the strongest areas of the team, why can't I get some half decent defenders!!

New Club Records

Highest League Position: 22nd in Championship

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FM09 GYAC - Merthyr 1,000 Apperances Challenge - 2024/25 Update

(Record - Matthew Harris: 764 apps in 18 seasons)

Rob Simpson, DC, 32: 720 apps in 16 seasons

48 apperances this season, although his average rating of 6.44 is really quite embarrising. Despite this, the reason he is getting so many games is not so I can see him overtake Harris' record, but because there really are no better players to step into the side, despite Simpson now being 32. Should be able to break Matthew Harris' record next season if he stays injury free

Chirs Thompson, GK, 26: 500 apps in 10 seasons

Only managed 46 games this season due to some minor injuries, however after 10 seasons is averaging exactly 50 games a season, so if he can play on until he is 36 (quite possible) he is still on track to complete the 1,000 apperances challenge.

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Disapointing to be relegated from the Championship at the first attempt (my second relegation in this GYAC challenge, and also in my FM career), but I have also completed the 25/26 season, and that update will also be posted shortly!

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FM09 - Merthyr 2025/26 Season Update - League One (again) - Marky Mark!

2009/10 - BSS, 2nd - Promotion through playoffs!

2010/11 - BSP, 18th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2011/12 - BSP, 6th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2012/13 - BSP, 18th

2013/14 - BSP, 14th - FA Trophy winners!

2014/15 - BSP, 2nd - FA Trophy Semi-Final, FA Cup 3rd Round, Promotion through playoffs!

2015/16 - League Two, 20th

2016/17 - League Two, 13th, JPT S Quarter Final

2017/18 - League Two, 9th

2018/19 - League Two, 1st, FA Cup 3rd Round, League Two Champions!

2019/20 - League One, 16th, FA Cup 3rd Round, Carling Cup 3rd Round, JPT S Semi Final

2020/21 - League One, 21st, FA Cup 4th Round, Relegation :(

2021/22 - League Two, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, JPT Winners!, Automatic Promotion!

2022/23 - League One, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Lost in playoff final

2023/24 - League One, 2nd, FA Cup 4th Round, Automatic Promotion!

2024/25 - Championship, 22nd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Relegation :(

2025/26 - League One, 4th, Carling Cup 4th Round, Promotion through Playoffs!

After just failing to escpae relegation last season in the Championship, and with largely the same squad as last season (with a few younger players making more apperances as I start phasing out several of my 30+ year old players), I was confident of bouncing back up to the Championship, however the season did not start well, with too many draws for my liking, and it was not until Christmas that I had secured myself in the top 6, however I was still a way off the top 2 and automatic promotion, which was my aim (and what I achieved 2 seasons ago). The 2nd half of the season cemented my place in the top 6, and whilst I ended 6th place clear of 7th place, I was also 6 points shy of 2nd place, and finished 4th, in the dreaded promotion playoffs.

2026 League Table and Graph

My first playoff opponent was 5th placed QPR. The away leg was won 1-0 by Merthyr due to a Mark Quinn goal, though the side dominated (59% possession) and should have scored more. The home leg was also dominated by Merthyr, and despite Quinn missing an 8th minute penalty, the side still managed to score two first half goals (Quinn and Swann) to make it a 3-0 aggregate win and reach the playoff finals in very convincing fashion.

The final was against 3rd placed Derby, and in a fairly even game, it took a Derby own goal on the stroke of half time to give Merthyr the lead. Derby equalised in the 51st minute due to a penalty, and the match stayed 1-1 for quite some time, however an 83rd minute goal from Merthyr substitue Forde, and then another goal in the 4th minute of injury time by Hudson was enough for a 3-1 win and another crack at the Championship!

League One Playoff Final: 3-1 v Derby

As per previous years, young striker Mark Quinn was again the best player this season, picking up his 3rd consecutive fans player of the year in a season in which he was League One top goalscorer with 32 goals (a staggering 13 goals clear of 2nd place) and part of the League 1 Players Select, as well as setting new Merthyr records for Top Goalscorer (38), Top League Goalscorer (32), Most Goals in a Match (5, although 3 of those were penalties - also a League One record) and Highest Average Rating (7.38) - what a star! I was going to say the best Merthyr player ever (probably true), but given he has only scored 122 goals (in 6 seasons) opposed to Marcus Griffiths 296 goals (in 20 seasons), I might wait another season or two before I make that call. He also earnt another 2 Welsh caps, bring his international tally to 4 caps and 2 goals at age 22.

Whilst this season was a bit of a one man show, here is the rest of the Seasonal Best XI and Overall Best XI

Amongst all this god news though are two pieces of bad news. Firstly, my key central defender David Swann (another member of the League 1 Players Select this season) had been refusing to sign a new contract for the past 2 seasons, so finally, after the end of the January transfer window, I agreed to sell him to fellow League One side Burnley. However, as it turns out, Burnley got relegated this season, so whilst mighty Merthyr Tydfil will be again playing Championship football, Swann will be playing in League Two - serves him right! The transfer actually went through for $0, but with a 50% sell on clause, so hopefully he decides to move again soon.

The second bit of bad news is my finances. I lost just over $1M last season, this season the loss has increased to $2.6M, leaving my bank balance down to just under $800k, this first time it has been that low in many years - despite being well under the wage budget (coming into the start of my new Championship season I am now more than $12k per week under budget). The ground maintenance for the state of the art facilities are really hurting me!

2026 Finances

Finally, I have yet another youth prospect to introduce, and this is one I'm quite excited about, not only because at 16 he already looks half decent, but because he is a defender! In fact, 4 of my 6 new youth players were defenders, finally!! Introducing...

Craig Bennett - Ok, not the best stats in the world, but double digits in some key areas, and at 16 probably better than one of my first choice full backs. With Swann leaving and vetran Simpon soon turning 34 I think Bennett will get quite a bit of game time next season.

New Club Records

Highest Attendance: 9,992 v QPR League One Playoff Semi Final 12.5.2026

Top Goalscorer: Mark Quinn - 38

Top League Goalscorer: Mark Quinn - 32

Most Goals in a Match: 5 - Mark Quinn v Crawley Town 3.3.2026

Highest Average Rating: Mark Quinn - 7.38 (45 apps)

Oldest Player: Marcus Griffiths - 35 years 342 days v Brighton (H) League One 13.9.2025

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FM09 GYAC - Merthyr 1,000 Apperances Challenge - 2025/26 Update

(Record - Matthew Harris: 764 apps in 18 seasons)

Rob Simpson, DC, 33: 764 apps in 17 seasons

44 apperances this season in another season interupted by minor injuries, but it was enough to draw level with Harris for the most number of total apperances for Merthyr. Desipte enetering his mid 30's, the departure of Swann will more or less guarentee him game time next season, and he may well reach 800 Merthyr apperances next season, not bad for a player that was never really that good.

Chris Thompson, GK, 27: 556 apps in 11 seasons

Managed an impressive 56 games this season despite missing 3 games through injury to stay on track to reach 1,000 games - can he really do it?

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Well there you go, it seems the "/" in 'xxx.jpg/' is quite important in the links...

Link have been fixed, good to see someone is checking them!

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Took up this challenge with Farleigh Rovers in the Combined Counties League Division One.

Currently halfway through my second season after finishing 19th last season things started brightly as I lead the league through 15 matches (Mainly due to some immensely good youthies in midfield). However I made the great mistake of dreaming of success in this challenge and the rot has kicked in slipping to 5th.

Will do a bunch of screenshots once I complete this season.

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Man this is hard!

Came 4th in my fi4rst season as stone dominoes (love the name), even lead for a while where i conceded just 4 goals in 16 games. :cool: Collapsed in the second half of the season...

Halfway through my second season and i haven't scored a goal in 7 games :D

The luck of the regen draw has meant i have central defenders galore (and some quite good ones), but only 1 ML and a handfull of god awful strikers.

Will persevre..

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ive just started out as manager of Racing Club Warwick of the English Midland Football Combination Premier Division.

i have a transfer and wage budget of £0.

i decided to play as Warwick because they are pretty local to me.

im looking forward to playing this, cant wait to play Cadbury's FC, used to play against them when i was younger.

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FM10- Farleigh Rovers Season 2010/11 - Combined Counties League Division One

2009/10: CCLD1 - 19th

Firs thing is my profile i guess http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/7403/myselfy.jpg.

After an immense failure in my first season, which at one point saw me get the dreaded vote of confidence this season was spectacular in comparison. The bonus of having a poor first season was the board just wanted us to learn from the experience in all competitions and boy did we learn.

Aided by some amazing youth prospects in midfield (an area I was already quite strong in) and a quality left back we started to look like a decent team. The lack of a quality striker is a big problem with my 16 year old Welsh lad a greyed out player such was the lack of depth up front.

I felt mid-table was a reasonable ambition but after 15 rounds, we were top. However, I learnt a lesson, do not dream of success in this challenge and we quickly went on a run of 7 games without a win. However after a mid to late season revival we were back in 2nd with 5 games to play but our challenge was swiftly crushed with just 2 points achieved to round the season out in a rather disappointing 7th.

Table: http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/3646/2011table.jpg

Top Scorer: Peter Price (10)

Top Assists: Andy Green (8)

Top Ratings: Danny Remnant (7.18)

Fans Player of the Year: Danny Remnant (would have been second to Nick Cooper if I had my way)

The Players who help us tick:

Peter Price- http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/676/peterprice.jpg

Danny Remnant- http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/6963/dannyremnant.jpg

Elliot Soar- http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/6513/elliotsoar.jpg

Nick Cooper- http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/372/nickcooper.jpg

Mathew Morse- http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/4056/mathewmorse.jpg

Transfers: (showing I'm not cheating)

09/10- http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/5296/transfers10.jpg

10/11- http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/5118/transfers11.jpg

New youth:

Do not inspire me enough to show them unfortunately.

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You've got a few good players there marinerpompey, hope you can keep hold of them for next seasons push. Cooper's passing off 10 and creativity of 9 makes him a veritable Zidane at this level! :D

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First Season with Stony Stratford Town

http://i796.photobucket.com/albums/yy247/ironbluey/Stony10.jpg

Top Scorer gone to another Club now worth £300 pity could have used the money.

http://i796.photobucket.com/albums/yy247/ironbluey/Peters.jpg

Transfers just to prove not bringing in anyone

http://i796.photobucket.com/albums/yy247/ironbluey/transfer.jpg

Onward and Upward

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well, you never know. Can't be that much difference between these leagues. Have you gone PT yet?

Any tips on tactics btw? Mine have got a bit stale. Playing a high pressing, closing down often, direct 442 because these players aren't going to handle anything too fancy. In a rut though so would wlcome alternatives

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well, you never know. Can't be that much difference between these leagues. Have you gone PT yet?

Any tips on tactics btw? Mine have got a bit stale. Playing a high pressing, closing down often, direct 442 because these players aren't going to handle anything too fancy. In a rut though so would welcome alternatives

Club has gone semi-pro no control over that. Been playing a mixture of 4 1 2 1 2 and 4 1 2 3 always mark tight opposition strikers always attacking at home control defensive away.

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well, you never know. Can't be that much difference between these leagues. Have you gone PT yet?

Any tips on tactics btw? Mine have got a bit stale. Playing a high pressing, closing down often, direct 442 because these players aren't going to handle anything too fancy. In a rut though so would wlcome alternatives

Looks like you were right cheshirelad half way through the season

stonyssm.jpg

These are the tactics I've used so far all season Home and away

Stonytactics.jpg

I've also been using bubbabaytuna teamtalks which have worked wonders for me.

Here is my Squad Friar and Ludlow were at the club when I took over all the rest from youth

Squad.jpg

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FM09 - Merthyr 2026/27 Season Update - Championship - Marky Mark!

2009/10 - BSS, 2nd - Promotion through playoffs!

2010/11 - BSP, 18th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2011/12 - BSP, 6th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2012/13 - BSP, 18th

2013/14 - BSP, 14th - FA Trophy winners!

2014/15 - BSP, 2nd - FA Trophy Semi-Final, FA Cup 3rd Round, Promotion through playoffs!

2015/16 - League Two, 20th

2016/17 - League Two, 13th, JPT S Quarter Final

2017/18 - League Two, 9th

2018/19 - League Two, 1st, FA Cup 3rd Round, League Two Champions!

2019/20 - League One, 16th, FA Cup 3rd Round, Carling Cup 3rd Round, JPT S Semi Final

2020/21 - League One, 21st, FA Cup 4th Round, Relegation

2021/22 - League Two, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, JPT Winners!, Automatic Promotion!

2022/23 - League One, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Lost in playoff final

2023/24 - League One, 2nd, FA Cup 4th Round, Automatic Promotion!

2024/25 - Championship, 22nd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Relegation

2025/26 - League One, 4th, Carling Cup 4th Round, Promotion through Playoffs!

2026/27 - Championship, 21st

At my second attempt at the Championship (after being relegated last time), after a long and fairly disapointing season I managed exactly what I was after, survival from the Championship, securing 21st place and the last non-relegation place in the Championship, with 2 more points than I achieved 2 seasons ago in the Championship.

2027 League Table and Graph

Again striker Mark Quinn was the fans player of the year (4th year in a row), and this season proved once and for all that he is definitely the most talented player ever to have come out of the Merthyr youth system. In a team which struggled to 21st place, he was the standout player not only for Merthyr, but in the whole of the Championship, taking out the Championship Top Goalscorer (23 goals), being part of the Championship Players' Select, and managing the highest average rating in the Championship for the season (7.37). All of this meant he got a lot of attention, including the big 4, Real Madrid, AC Milan, FC Bayern, etc, but by lowering his asking price to zero, every bid I received was for zero, which meant no board accepting bids over my head... which is fine until his contract expired in June 2029, after then I could be in trouble.

Another sucess story was youngster Stuart Jackson, who came through the youth system last season. In just his 2nd season and at 17 he became a 1st team regular, and despite an average rating of 6.72, he picked up his first full international cap for Wales (as well as a heap of U21 caps). Already has several clubs interested in him, but still seems happy to renew his contract. Certainly one to watch for the future!

Another positive sign is that with my previous generation of first teamers now aproaching their early to mid 30s, I have had a new generation of players break into the 1st team, and I now have 5 of my starting 11 (7 of 16) 24 years of age or younger - bring on the future!

Squad Overview, 2027 Seasonal Best XI and Overall Best XI

Finance wise, the club didn't really lose money for once, but didn't really make money either, eanding the season on $538k (AUD)

2027 Finances

Now that I've survived a season in the Championship, lets see if I can consolidate next season!

New Club Records

Highest League Position: 21st in Championship

Average Attendance: 7,152

Most Games Lost in a Row: 6 - 2.3.2027 to 3.4.2027

Most League Apps for Club: Rob Simpson - 689

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FM09 GYAC - Merthyr 1,000 Apperances Challenge - 2026/27 Update

(Record - Rob Simpson: 809 apps in 18 seasons)

Rob Simpson, DC, 34: 809 apps in 18 seasons

Another 45 apperances this season sees Simpson reach over 800 apperances for Merthyr and grab the record. His stats keep on falling, but there is still not much competition for his central defence position, but with a batch of young defenders getting better and better, it can't be much longer until he loses his spot in the starting 11. Unlikely to reach 900, let alone complete the 1,000 apperance challenge, but still fairly impressive!

Chris Thompson, GK, 28: 605 apps in 12 seasons

49 apperances this season, but still averaging 50.4 games a season over his career, and amazingly still on target for 1,000 mark if he can stay injury free (and if he doesn't get poached of course)... can he do it?

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WillC - Wishfull thinking, but I have just completed the 2028 season (in fact completed it before the 2027 summary was posted), so you'll soon be able to see if the first part of your prediction is correct

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FM09 - Merthyr 2027/28 Season Update - Championship - Marky Mark!

2009/10 - BSS, 2nd - Promotion through playoffs!

2010/11 - BSP, 18th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2011/12 - BSP, 6th - Setanta Shield Qtr Final

2012/13 - BSP, 18th

2013/14 - BSP, 14th - FA Trophy winners!

2014/15 - BSP, 2nd - FA Trophy Semi-Final, FA Cup 3rd Round, Promotion through playoffs!

2015/16 - League Two, 20th

2016/17 - League Two, 13th, JPT S Quarter Final

2017/18 - League Two, 9th

2018/19 - League Two, 1st, FA Cup 3rd Round, League Two Champions!

2019/20 - League One, 16th, FA Cup 3rd Round, Carling Cup 3rd Round, JPT S Semi Final

2020/21 - League One, 21st, FA Cup 4th Round, Relegation

2021/22 - League Two, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, JPT Winners!, Automatic Promotion!

2022/23 - League One, 3rd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Lost in playoff final

2023/24 - League One, 2nd, FA Cup 4th Round, Automatic Promotion!

2024/25 - Championship, 22nd, FA Cup 3rd Round, Relegation

2025/26 - League One, 4th, Carling Cup 4th Round, Promotion through Playoffs!

2026/27 - Championship, 21st

2027/28 – Championship, 20th, FA Cup Sixth Round

After surviving in the Championship last season, I was hoping (although not really expecting) some improvement this season, however, despite topping the table after 3 games, most of the season was spent in the relegation zone, and come March I was still sitting there in 22nd place, due partly to star striker Mark Quinn being out for 2-3 months. However, Mark Quinn returned just in time, and Merthyr managed to string a couple of important wins together and reach the dizzying heights of 20th, just 1 point behind a Liverpool side burdened by debt (estimated value $79M, loan debt $247M). Interestingly enough, despite finishing one position higher than last season, I finished with exactly the same amount of points as last season (45 points).

2028 League Table and Graph

For the 5th season in a row Mark Quinn was the Fans Player of the Year, with an average rating of 7.29, although due to injury he only managed 17 goals from 33 appearances, plus 3 international goals from 4 apperances. The bad news though is that with 1 year to go on his contract he is refusing to sign an extension (and has been refusing for the past few seasons), so I am resigned to selling the $6.25M striker after the winter transfer window, meaning that unless he changes his mind he will be leaving Merthyr in Jan 2029.

In addition to likely losing Quinn next season, I was also forced to sell 30 year old midfielder Richard Baxter after the summer transfer window just gone for $250k + 50% (club record). Whilst Baxter wasn’t the best player to pull on a Merthyr shirt, he did manage 575 appearances in 15 seasons, and will need to be replaced in the starting lineup.

Some good news though, this little piece of news - I had 13 youth callups plus 2 full international callups to the Welsh side, a club record, indicating that my youth side have some potential, although given how weak the Welsh youth (and senior) sides are it may not count for too much!

2028 Seasonal Best XI and Overall Best XI

Finances wise I again managed to make some money (largely due to reaching the 6th Round of the FA Cup), resulting in a bank balance of $1.1M – still a long way from the $9M had 5 or so years ago, but at least it has been increasing in recent seasons!

2028 Finances

So, minor improvement in terms of league position, but it will be interesting to see how I go next season with the loss of one player (Baxter) and likely loss of key player Quinn half way though next season...

New Club Records

Highest League Position: 20th in Championship

Most Games Lost in a Row: 9 – 25.8.2027 to 19.10.2027

Most League Apps for Club: Rob Simpson - 727

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FM09 GYAC - Merthyr 1,000 Apperances Challenge - 2027/28 Update

(Record - Rob Simpson: 853 apps in 19 seasons)

Rob Simpson, DC, 35: 853 apps in 19 seasons

Finally had some competition for his spot in the starting XI, but still managed 44 appearances (13 as a substitute) and cracked 850 appearances for Merthyr – can he reach 900 apperances, and, dare we say it, 1,000 (given I’m still picking the team on merit, the later is extremely unlikely)

Chris Thompson, GK, 29: 658 apps in 13 seasons

53 appearances in another injury free season sees his career average rise to 50.62 games per season, and sees him stay on track to reach the 1,000 mark! Unfortunately, he is refusing to renew his contract, but with only one club interested in him, and another 2 years on his contract, hopefully he will change his mind!

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