AK22

[FM11] The Berwick Beauties

205 posts in this topic

Background

Loaded up 11.2.1

All Scottish leagues with a Large Database (9000 Players)

Normally, I play Journeyman careers, but thought I'd like to do a different challenge until all the creases have been ironed out with the job reputation problems etc.

Aim

Within 10 seasons, take a Scottish Division 3 team and get them into Europe.

Season 2010/11

I decided to start at

Berwick Rangers. Berwick-upon-Tweed is actually classed as a English town, where the town is split over two banks of the river. However, due to their location, it was deemed necessary for them to play in the Scottish league system to make travelling shorter for their fans. A bit more club background.

I signed a two-year

contract on £230 per week. The board wanted a mid-table finish, seems reasonable.

In summary, I inherited a decent squad and I thought with a few new faces we would be competitive. I brought in 1 defender, 3 midfielders and 2 strikers to try and baulk up the squad. I released all the deadwood and completely re-organised the backroom

staff. I also brought in another midfielder in the January window. Here's the summary.

As I thought, we were competitive. Montrose aside, I thought any of the other 9 teams in the league could get promoted. We were up near the top all season, but like the other teams, we were consistently inconsistent. With 8 games to go we were

top with a nice 6 point advantage over the pack.

We then went on to bottle it with only 1 win in the next 5 games. When ended up finishing

2nd behind Annan, losing out on automatic promotion by a single point. The playoffs beckoned, contested between Airdrie, Albion Rovers, Clyde and Berwick. We beat Albion 1-0 home and away to set up the final against Clyde. I was confident as we had beaten them 6-2 already this season.

We won 2-1 at their ground and survived a nervous

1-1 draw at our place. We were promoted!!!

The

board was delighted, so were the fans!

I was

awarded Manager of the Year, and my star striker was announced as Division 3 Player of the Year.

Season Summary

3rd Division 2nd P 36 W 21 D 6 L 9 GD +27 PTS 69

Challenge Cup 2nd Round (v Morton)

Co-op Cup 1st Round (v Ross County)

Scottish Cup 4th Round (v Ross County)

Biggest win

7-0 (v Montrose)

Finances are good and I sign a new contract on £575 p/w.

NB. Please note I am halfway through my second season when writing this up, so apologies if a bit sketchy. Wanted to make sure I could commit to the save before writing anything up!

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2011/12- Season 2 Berwick Rangers

The media predicted us to finish 8th in the 2nd Division. I thought this was more than possible and would be aiming top 5. Made a few

transfers and once again re-shuffled my backroom staff. The board had allowed me to scout the whole of Europe now, so I was hopeful that I might be able to attract some decent players to the club even if we are still Semi-Pro.

After some encouraging pre-season friendlies, we started well in the

league, remaining unbeaten for the first 10 games. Our defence seemed to be pretty robust but we were struggling to score. However, we did manage a 4-0 win over a respectable Peterhead side.

November 13th 2011 was a

momentous day for Berwick Rangers. It was the day they reached their first ever Cup Final. We would play Dumfermline in the ALBA Challenge Cup Final. On paper, we should not have had a chance. In REALITY we never had a chance. We lost 2-0 in a one-sided affair. The 12000 ticket sales, prize money and TV revenue will really help with the finances

At the half way point of the season, we are still sitting top of the

table even after losing a couple of games. We also have a 4th Round Scottish Cup tie at home to Partick Thistle. I'm hoping this will attract the biggest attendance at Shielfield Park under my regime. The finances are still looking good and I'm well under my wage budget too. Job status very secure.

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Season 2011/12 cont...

Unfortunately, the much anticipated Cup match vs Partick didn't get the attendance I hoped for, but it was still a decent performance against a bigger full-time team.

Now we were out of all the cups, I was happy to focus on the league. I was confident of getting a Top 4 finish and getting into the play-offs again. I also sign a nice shiny new contract. I also got approached by Peterhead after they sacked their manager after a takeover. I'm staying put tho...

With 5 games to go we had secured our playoff place, but our form was all over the place so I wasn't too sure where we would finish. We had a tricky run-in, having to go away to Peterhead, Ayr and Alloa as well as playing our main promotion rivals, Dumbarton, at home.

We played really well to win 2-0 away at Peterhead, but bottled-it in a feisty encounter with Dumbarton losing 2-1. This result levelled us and Dumbarton at the top of the table. Our goal difference was significantly better so we just had to match their results in the last 2 games to go up automatically as champions.

We lost 1-0 to Ayr and then scrapped a lucky 0-0 with Alloa. Dumbarton lost both of their games, so we were promoted by 1 point! It hard to believe that a team that only won 5 out of their last 14 games were good enough to win the league. The standard is pretty poor and inconsistent to say the least!!!

It will be Berwick first season in Div 1 since the 1980/81 season.

I was really pleased with my defence this season, having conceded the least amount of goals in the division. Hopefully this will continue next season. I will also need to add a consistent goalscorer as my top goalscorer only scored 11 goals this season.

Fans Player of the Year was Matty Hughes who was the rock in my defence. I get Manager of the Year again.

Season Summary

Division 2 1st (P 36 W 16 D 15 L 5 GD +23 PTS 63)

Co-op Cup 1st Round (vs Dumbarton)

Challenge Cup Runners Up (vs Dunfermline)

Scottish Cup 4th Round (vs Partick Thistle)

It will be a lot tougher next season in the First Division playing against big full-time team such as Dundee and Dunfermline, so I hope with a few decent signings, we won't be the whipping boys of the league.

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Quite enjoying this save so far. Seasons are flying by, shame I have to go back to work on Tuesday...

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Season 3- 2012/13 Berwick Rangers

Euro 2012- Winners Italy against England after extra time.

I am not overly confident going into the season. We are predicted to finish bottom by the media, and we are big outsiders for promotion. The board agree and ask to battle against relegation, which seems fair enough to me.

Transfers wise, I bring in 3 decent-ish players but nothing outstanding for this level. My scouts are not unturning the gems they were in previous seasons, so unfortunately I am going to have to battle with the small young squad I've got. As in previous seasons, I let a lot of useless players go on frees and also get in some new staff, including a new Assistant who will hopefully help develop my young squad. Finances are still good and I'm way under the wage budget, I just wish I could find some players to bring in!

We start the season well with 2 cup wins and a 3-2 win in the league away to Greenock Morton where we were 3-0 up! After 2 defeats in the league, we then go and win 2-0 in the cup away to Queen of the South who were a SPL side last season. They were all over us but I'm pleased with the snatch 'n' grab style victory. Next up in the cup are Celtic. Ironically, we outplay Celtic but still lose 2-0. What goes around comes around springs to mind. The gate receipts are a handy sweetner though!

After 9 games we are doing much better than expected but it is close. A couple of bad results will see us slip down the table quickly. Dunfermline, who are bottom, were the media favourites to win the league, so this proves how unpredictable Scottish football is (or how bad the media are)!

I'm also really pleased to see a big increase in attendances. We're now averaging 1500 compared to the 400/500 who were coming in to see us in Div 2 and Div 3. Only downside is that stadium is starting to fall-down...

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It seems that my team has a taste for cup football. After a

4-2 victory against Brechin, we face Dundee in the ALBA Challenge Cup final. This is the second successive season we have reached this final. It is played in Stavengar, Norway, which I find a bit weird... We claim a priceless 2-1 victory, hanging on by the skin of our teeth for the last 10 minutes.

Berwick Rangers win the ALBA Challenge Cup. The board are very non-plussed about it but I'm happy with the silverware in the trophy cabinet.

In other cup news, we reached the Quarters of the Scottish Cup but lose on a replay to Motherwell. The highlight was a 2-1 win over SPL side St. Johnstone in the 5th round. We were all over them!

I'm concerned that the stadium is still falling down... We only rent the stadium and the board are reluctant to buy the stadium. However, they have agreed to improve the training facilities, which is better than nothing.

In the league we finish 6th. I'm happy with this but it could have been higher. We were in the top 3 for 2/3 of the season, went off the boil towards the end. It's going to be difficult to get promotion from Div 1 as only 1 team gets promoted to the SPL and we are slightly out of our depth at the moment. With an average age of 22 I will be looking for some experienced players in the off-season.

I get Manager of the Year which I think is quite harsh on the Dundee manager. My goalkeeper gets in the Div 1 Team of the Year and my temperental Argie striker is voted Player of the Year by the fans. It has taken him 3 seasons to find his scoring boots!

Everyone is happy so I sign a new 2 year contract extension which I hope will give me job security to build for the SPL.

2012/13 Season Summary

1st Div -6th (P36 W16 D7 L13 GD-4 PTS 55)

ALBA Challenge Cup- Winners

Co-op Cup- 3rd Round (vs Celtic)

Scottish Cup- Quarter Final Replay (vs Motherwell)

Bring on next season, hoping for another year of consolidation.

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2013/14 Berwick Rangers- Season 4

So after a solid mid-table finish last season, I was hoping to build on this and aim for the top 3. The media consider us long-shots and the board only wanted me to avoid relegation which I thought was definately achievable with the squad I've assembled. Finances were looking good overall and I still had a fair chunk of my wage budget to play with. For once, I decided against whole-sale changes in my backroom staff and kept things as they were. The reason being I don't think I could get anyone better in for the level we are at the moment. My training facilities have been upgraded to 'adequate' and the board have agreed to improve the youth facilities, after I had to convince them 'basic' was not good enough!

We had an amazing start with the pre-season friendlies, including a 3-0 win over Rangers. I couldn't believe this! We started well in the league and after 9 games we were 2 points clear at the top of the table. Teams are finding it difficult to score against us, and now with 4 decent strikers, the team look more potent in front of goal compared to last season.

For the third season in the row, we reach the ALBA Challenge Cup final. Now I'm not sure if this cup really means anything to the participating teams in real life, but I'm really proud of this achievement. For some reason, this season's final is played at the Stadion der Stadt St.Polten which is in Austria?!

Anyway, in a close game against Ayr, we win 1-0 to defend the trophy. The fans are really pleased but the board aren't too bothered again. Do they even care at all? I would have thought I would have made it on to favoured personnel by now. On a negative note, my promising winger gets injured in the final and is now out for 4 months. Rubbish!

At the half point, here's a summary of my transfers so far, and in the league, we are still top with a four point lead and having only conceded 8 goals. I'm waiting for the wheels to fall off....

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2013/14 cont...

Well what a season this turned out to be! After our success in the ALBA Challenge Cup, we draw Hearts in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final. In a very competitive match, we beat them 3-2 but only just hang on for the last couple of minutes. In the Semi-Final we draw Dumbarton, who are in Div 2. We are favourites, which I think is a bad omen. I think we're better suited as underdogs and I am nearly proven right as we scrape a 1-1 but go on to win on penalties after missing our first two spotkicks. We are through to the Scottish Cup final!

Meanwhile, in Division 1, we continue our good start and remain top of the table all season. However, after a couple of poor results, we didn't clinch our promotion and the Division 1 Championship until Matchday 35 where we beat second-place Ross County 3-0. SPL here we come! We set a record for the most amount of points in a Division 1 season. The board, fans and players are delighted and I'm finally on the favoured personnel list! In the end, we end up winning by 11 points. A great result with the best defence in the league! This is a record high for Berwick too.

Cheekily, Inverness CT make an approach for me. Even with huge budgets and a big wage increase, I tell them where to go!

So last game of the season is the Scottish Cup final against Rangers. I don't think we have a chance so decide to try and play attacking football to try and catch them out. In our historic final, we lose a close game 1-0 but I am pleased with the effort the players have put in to make a competitive match. However, it seems that we might have become slightly too agressive in our plight!

To my surprise, we have qualified for the Europa League. As Rangers had qualified for the Champions League, we get their Cup Winners place. I thought it would have gone to an SPL team? We are going to have a lot to balance next season, and Europe may be too much of a distraction as I will want to just concentrate on staying up!

I'm named Manager of the Season again. Two of my players make Team of the Year. The fans decide our solid centre-back should be Player of the Year but I'm convinced it should be our creative young winger, even though he missed 4 months with an injury. He is definitely one to watch!

Completely out of the blue, we are hit with a £7m bill to install undersoil heating to our stadium to comply with SPL regulations. This hits our finances hard and sends us seriously into the red. We also have to ground-share with non-league side Tranent at Foresters Park while this work is completed. They only have a capacity of 2300 so our gate receipts are going to be horrendous next year too. Oh, and the board decide to pull the plug on my youth facilities expansion too. I can't wait to get back to Shielfield Park (in 10 months time!)

Luckily, the board restructure the debt (Chairman Loan £5m) and re-negotiate some sponsorship deals, so are just back into the black in time for the new season but I'm not convinced its enough money to make us competitive.

Season Summary

Scottish Division 1: Winners (P36 W23 D7 L6 GD +35 PTS 76)

ALBA Challenge Cup: Winners

Coop Cup: 2nd Round (vs Queen Of The South)

Scottish Cup: Runners Up (vs Rangers)

Next season really is going to be groundbreaking for the club. First ever season in SPL and Europe, as well as the renovations to Shielfield Park and financial constraints, I really do not know what to expect! But I'm looking forward to it!

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And I've just received the 'Scottish Hero' Steam achievement too!

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Well done AK. Maybe now you can renew Berwick-upon-Tweed's war with Russia now you are in the Europa League.

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Well done AK. Maybe now you can renew Berwick-upon-Tweed's war with Russia now you are in the Europa League.

Mmm, not sure we're ready to take on the whole of Russia yet, maybe next season! What about FC Baku of Azerbaijan? Does that count?!

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Haha, that's a good story. I bet the Russians were quaking in their boots anticipating the invasion of the Boarderers!

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I thought the mayor of Berwick had invited the Russian defence minister to Berwick and had lunch to discuss a ceasefire lol

It was on Coast on BBC1 last year and they discussed it. Russia did agree to a mutual restraint on military offensives ;)

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2014/15 Season 5- Berwick Rangers

After our promotion last year, my main aim for this season was just to maintain our SPL league status. Thankfully the board decided to turn the club

professional which means I can get more full time players/staff on the books. Unfortunately, with the board investing in the stadium, we have very little money to play with. However, I'm sure the TV revenue will come in handy!

Season

expectations are low and I've got very little money to play with in terms of wage and transfer budget. I decide to transfer all my transfer budget into the wages pot so that I can bring in a few new faces on free transfers. I'm hoping the lack of transfer activity will help keep the team gelled and, hopefully, will work their backsides off (Blackpool-esque!). Title odds are the worse I've ever seen!

2014 World Cup News- England win 3-2 against Brazil in the

final, including 2 goals from Connor Wickham (of Ipswich IRL). I quite concerned that Gareth Barry is still playing for England in 2014! FIFA has announced that 2022 will be in China (bad luck Qatar!)

Back to Berwick now. After being Runners-Up in the Scottish Cup, we find ourselves in the Europa League Qualifying Rounds and another historic moment for the club.

We dispatch FC Baku of Azerbaijan

4-3 on aggregate in the 2nd Qualifying Round. Next up a 2-1 agg win over KuPS of Finland. However, our 'Amazing European Adventure' end with a 2-0 agg defeat to Racing of Spain. I'm sure the fans enjoyed their first ever Euro-trip and it was fun while it lasted!

In the league, the fixture list computer was quite kind to us giving us 7 home matches in our first 11. This meant there was some games I was hopeful we could win...and we did!

The highlights were a

5-0 over St. Johnstone and a 1-0 win at Hearts. At the half way point we were sitting a very respectable 5th. The defence seems to be holding up quite well to the pressure from the SPL strikers, however, my main concern is that my strikers are struggling to find any kind of form. I doubt we can continue to scrape 1-0 wins for the rest of the season. On a side note, cheeky Bottom-of-the-table-St Mirren offer me a job...no chance!

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2014/15 cont...

Our good form in the league continued into the New Year. My mentality of trying to have a go at the opposition was paying off in the most, especially in a

4-3 win away to St. Mirren and 2-0 win away to Aberdeen. We also had a magnificent 2-1 win over Celtic in Scottish Cup 5th Round, however, they got their revenge the following Saturday in the league!

Come the end of March, the

upgrades at Shielfield Park had been completed. We can now boast of having undersoil heating and a capacity of 8765 (6000 seats).

When the league split at the

33 games point, we were sitting 6th so would play in 'Champions Group'. We took 5 points off the 5 teams above us, which was reasonably satisfying, meaning we finished our 1st season in the SPL in a very respectable 6th overall.

Cups were a bit disappointing this year. We couldn't reproduce our normal cup performance and went out in to

Dundee on a replay in the Scottish Cup Quarter Finals. This was the first time in 4 seasons we hadn't been in a cup final.

The fans decided our

young centre back would be Player of the Year. I tend to agree with them as he was our most consistent player averaging 7.13 and chipped in with 5 league goals too. Here's the Team of the Year. As you can see, scoring goals have been a problem I will need to rectify.

After our Europa League endeavour, we have moved up to

186th best team in Europe! And it seems the other Scottish teams are doing well in the continental competitions too.

Just as I started to prepare for next season, this

little gem dropped into my inbox. As Scotland had a good Fair Play record, there will be 6 Scottish team in Europe next season. I also decided to sign a new contract with a payrise and a 2-year extension and I will finally get my Youth Academy!

I also won another

Manager of the Year award too. I'm going to have to build a bigger mantelpiece!

Season Summary

SPL: 6th (P38 W16 D8 L14 GD-4 PTS56)

Co-op Cup: 3rd Round (vs Hibernian)

Scottish Cup: Quarter Finals Replay (vs Dundee)

Europa League: 4th Qualifying Round (vs Racing)

Next season my main aim is to get my hands on a striker thats going to score 20 goals a season. Hopefully we will retain SPL status and I would be really pleased to reach the group stages of the Europa League. Hopefully we should increase our average attendance from the 3785 we got for this season as we'll get a full season with the bigger capacity at Shielfield Park. This should help increase the bank balance to a position where I can continue to improve the squad and the facilities.

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2015/16 Season 6 - Berwick Rangers

After our top half finish last season, I was hopeful of more of the same. I wanted to get in a few new faces to freshen the team up but not too many to unsettle the balance. The

board just wanted to avoid relegation. Odds were lower this season at just 200-1! Worth a quid on, right?! I just wished the board would be slightly less thrifty, as even with a decent balance sheet, funds were hardly forthcoming!

Unfortunately, we didn't make to the groups stages of the Europa League as I had hoped. We got

knocked out by Stuttgart in the 4th Qualifying Round. We were completely outplayed as expected, but somehow I felt slightly disappointed by our performance. Oh well, we might make the Group Stages eventually!

We were competitive again in the league. We would go on a nice run of 5/6 games unbeaten and then get too cocky and then lose 2 on the bounce. Highlights included beating Hibs

5-2 and Rangers 2-1 at home. The defence seemed as tight as last year but we were scoring more goals. We were always in top half but nowhere breaking the 'Old Firm' monopoly at the top of the table. At the 'Split' we were sitting 3rd. However, we only won 1 of our 5 Champions Stage matches so ended up finishing 4th and qualify for Europa League action again. This is an improvement of 1 place on last season and we gained 8 points extra too. (Don't mention the cups this year- naff!)

Fans Player of the Year and my Player of the Year had to go to my young Italian midfielder, Alessandro Caputo. I picked him up on a free transfer from Milan and has got a great right foot for free-kicks and corners. The 18 assists he got certainly proves this points, and at only 21, should have a positive future at the club as long as I can keep the vultures at bay. I also win Manager of the Year again and the team get 'Overachievers' in the SPL.

Season Summary

SPL: 4th (P38 W18 D10 L10 GD+17 PTS64)

Europa League: 4th Qualifying Round (vs Stuttgart 1-6 on agg)

Co-op Cup: 3rd Round (vs Inverness 0-1)

Scottish Cup: 5th Round (vs Rangers 0-1)

Improvements to training and youth facilities were completed and (at last) a

Youth Academy was established in November. Hopefully, I might get less gash coming through the youth team now! The board have promised to improve further too!

I'm disappointed that 2 of my most experience first team players did not want to renew their contracts and will leave on frees in the summer. How dare they!

Neil Collins - A real rock at the back who will be hard to replace. Off to Cardiff.

Don Cowie - Had a habit of chipping in with an odd goal when we really needed one. Off to Coventry.

Next season I will need to invest heavily in the squad. Potentially, it could be weaker due to the departures of two key players, and it is apparent we are not going to get anywhere in Europe with the players we've got and certainly won't be challenging Rangers and Celtic for the league anytime soon. As the average attendance was up to 5025, I'm hoping that the stadium might get expanded too if I'm lucky!

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For just six seasons this is awesome progress, won't be long before you break the Old Firm at this rate! KUTGW, good luck next season :)

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making some real progress with Berwick there... good luck breaking up the big 2.

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making some real progress with Berwick there... good luck breaking up the big 2.

For just six seasons this is awesome progress, won't be long before you break the Old Firm at this rate! KUTGW, good luck next season
:)

I think it's going to take a good 3/4 seasons to get anywhere near top 2.

Unfortunately, there is such a big gap in finances/quality, so it's going to be a gradual building period while hopefully making some inroads in Europa League too to help with the funds.

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Euro 2016 (Hosts: France)

UEFAEuropeanFootballChampionshipInformation_Stages-1.png

Surprising to see Bosnia & Herzegovina in the knockout stages. Spain demolished the Italians

3-0 to win the Euros for the 3rd time in their history. Once again there was an Englishman in the final as Martin Atkinson was the referee!

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Euro 2016 (Hosts: France)

Once again there was an Englishman in the final as Martin Atkinson was the referee!

Good one. :)

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2016/17 Season 7 - Berwick Rangers

After finishing 4th last term, I was hopeful that we could consolidate our position in the top 4. The

board were only after a safe mid-table finish and our title-odds are starting to drop quite considerable now to 33-1. However, we lost a few decent experienced players over the summer due to them not renewing their contracts or wanting to move to bigger clubs. I guess the players were using us as a shop-window to move on somewhere better. On a side note, Hearts offered me a job with them. Lots of money to play with there, but I'm committed to Berwick and the challenge ahead with them.

With a lot of players wanting out, I had to get a lot of new faces in. I knew this would be risky as I didn't wanted to unsettle the team too much, but I still had to make sure we would have a squad that could compete at the top of the league.

12 new players joined the club for a total of £1.2m (the most money I've spent- got a bit sweaty over this!) The stand out player was:

Manuel Gill - signed for a club record £525k from Real Madrid. I hoped he would be a creative force in midfield. Potentially World Class!

The new players took a while to settle in and gel with their teammates (as expected) but as my tactics remained un-changed from last season, we managed to scrape together enough results to hover between

3rd-6th for the first half of the season.

Unfortunately, the 'European Dream' didn't materialise this season either. We got knocked out by Spurs in the 4th Qualifying Round (again!), talk about being drawn against one of the best teams in the competition (they reached the Semis!). Completely outplayed 5-2 in the first leg, we at least managed an morale boosting 2-1 win at home for the second leg.

In the New Year we really pushed-on and performance improved big time, we won 11 out of 14 between February and April. The highlights included a

5-0 win away at Hibs, a 3-1 away win to Hearts and a 4-3 away win against Dundee United (we were 3-0 down at one stage and launched a miraculous recovery!)

At the

split we were sitting a comfortable 3rd. Celtic had already won the league but we were just 2 points behind Rangers, who were having a shocker by their standards.

Our last league game was at home to Rangers. They were 1 point ahead of us but we knew if we beat them we would leap-frog them into 2nd and grab the Champions League spot.

We didn't! The players completely bottled it, so ending on a lacklustre note, we finished 3rd and once again will be in the Europa League next season.

In the Scottish Cup, we made the final where we faced Celtic. However, there was no silverware on the horizon once we went down to 10 men and faced an up-hill battle. The

2-0 defeat was a pretty fair reflection of a dismal performance by us. Well at least we all had a nice day out at Hamden Park!

Season Summary

SPL: 3rd (P:38 19-10-9 GD: +16 PTS:67)

Co-op Cup: Quarter-Finals ( 1-3 vs Celtic )

Europa League: 4th Qualifying Round ( 4-6 vs Tottenham Hotspur)

Scottish Cup: Runner's Up ( 0-2 vs Celtic)

Outstanding Players

Kirk Broadfoot- On a free from Rangers. Does the business at the back and scored 7 goals when forward for corners/free kicks.

Khalid Yilmaz- Picked up on a free from Brondy. Managed to chip in with 10 goals from midfield. Only 21 so could be a future star.

Alessandro Caputo- Continued his form from last season with 17 assists mainly from set-pieces.

Domingo- Fans Player of the Year and also top scorer in SPL. He also wins PFA Player of the Year. This little beauty cost me £425k from St. Johnstone and with 33 goals in 39 appearances has to be my best signing and, hopefully, the goal machine I need over the next few seasons (he's only 23). Only downside is that he gets booked nearly every match so keeps getting suspended! Lots of clubs starting to sniff around now though.

I also signed a 2 year

contract extension with a pay increase to £3500 per week. Big time Charlie now!

Board also agree to

improve training and youth facilities once again.

I think next season we might struggle to keep hold of some my star players, especially Domingo and Manual Gill who I reckon could play for top European teams. I also need a new keeper, and possibly, a centre-back as the defence wasn't as strong this season as I would have liked. I also hope that the Europa League draw is slightly more favourable to us so that we can make to the group stages... please... PLEASE!!

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Blimey, Spain thumped everybody.

In their 7 games Spain scored 23 (9 from Fernando Torres) and conceded only 3. Dominant!

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Pshhh, Scotland, they're practically a European Giant! :p

Great work, the progress you've made has been nothing short of miraculous :thup:. And I feel your pain about losing to Stuttgart!!

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2017/18- Season 8 Berwick Rangers

Board expectations were a lot higher for this season. They wanted us to compete alongside the top teams and gain European qualification but at least they backed us with a bigger transfer and wage budget. The media predicted us to finish 5th and the title odds dropped a bit more to 14-1. Season tickets increase by 148.

Facilities Overview - Still pretty basic but the training/youth facilities are continuously being improved by the board which is encouraging.

Finances - Looking good.

Wage Budget - Still not competing with the Old Firm but not bad for this level.

With the increased expectations, the pressure was on to get the results this season. Unfortuately, my star midfielder Manuel Gil, decided he wanted to become 'big time' so I offloaded him to Steaua for £3m with 20% of next sales too. Not bad for someone that cost me £525k the previous season.

Key players to arrive were:

Tomas Rodriquez (Free) - Arrived from Boca. I hoped this tall Argentine would form a deadly strike partnership with Domingo.

Nikos Argyriou (Free) - This Greek international GK arrived from Olympiacos. A big improvement on my current crop of keepers.

Elias Marchetti (£775k) - A fair chunk of the budget spent on this right midfield player from Bordeaux. Good workrate and stamina.

Stuart Armstrong (£925k) - Signed from St. Mirren, this former Scottish youth player should be the ideal replacement for Manuel Gil in midfield.

After an amazing

5-1 agg victory over CFR Cluj, we made the group stages of the Europa League at the fourth time of asking. The draw was reasonably favourable to us as we missed the big guys and drew Olympiacos, Nancy and Spartak Moscow (war with Russia back on!).

We had a couple of wallopings away to Olympiacos and Nancy but, in contrast, the highlight was our magnificent

5-1 win at home to Olympiacos. All in all, we didn't embarrass ourselves and a 3rd place was a satisfying end to our campaign.

SPL

Another solid season from

our perspective but the most interesting story was the fall from grace that Rangers suffered. By them finishing 4th, it gave us a good chance of clinching their usual Champions League spot. Unfortunately, it was not to be as Hearts beat us to it by 1 point. Their 3-0 victory over us in the SPL Champions Group turned out to be the crucial result. A total of 71 points was an improvement of 4 over last season. Another encouraging note was the couple of 'Old Firm' victories, a 2-0 win over Rangers on the last day of the season and a 4-3 goal-fest against Celtic.

Scottish Cup

We sailed through the opening rounds without any trouble. Having drawn Celtic in the Semi-Finals, I was sure that our cup run would come to an end here. We gave as good as we got and lucked a

1-0 win to take us through to the final to face Hearts. This was to be our third Scottish Cup final under my command. Once again, (it was not third time lucky), we lost 2-1 in a very mediocre game where it seemed most of my players were already on their summer break!

Key Players

Domingo - Once again this goal machine was SPL Top Goalscorer and also won Scottish Football Writers Association Player of the Year. He was voted Fans Player of the Year and scored 33 goals in 43 appearances in all competition. This guy could end being a legend (if I can keep hold of him!)

Tomas Rodriguez - Started well with 12 goals in 28 games until he broke his leg in January and missed rest of the season. One to watch as long he can get his fitness back.

Luca Ruggeri - This striker had already been with me for the previous 3 seasons. He finally found his scoring boots with 19 goals this term. Blows hot or cold, though, nothing inbetween. Either cabbage or caviar.

Alessandro Caputo - This guy loves the club and is extremely consistent in his performance. 16 assists over the season was another good return.

Stuart Armstrong - Working in the 'Engine Room' with Caputo, he chipped in with 14 assists.

Liam Cooper - My best defender who was ever-present in the SPL. At 26, he's starting to get itchy feet and I haven't been able to convince him to stay so may be sold in the summer.

I get awarded

Manager of the Year (not too sure why the Celtic manager didn't get a mention for winning the league!?) and our improvement in Europe sees us climb the rankings to the 191st best team. SPL doing well too, moving up to the 12th best competition.

Season Summary

SPL: 3rd (P38 20-11-7 GD +20 PTS 71)

Europe League: Group Stages (3rd in Group L)

Co-op Cup: Qtr Finals (1-2 vs Rangers)

Scottish Cup: Runner Up (1-2 vs Hearts)

Next season, my main concern is the defence. Having conceded 46 goals in the league, it is certainly not strong enough to be contending for top honours yet, even in Scotland! However, unless everyone decides to decides to leave, I will be making minimal signings in the summer so that the squad harmony remains good.

I've also convinced the board to buy the stadium (I say convinced, I told them I would leave if they didn't!). Even though we are still not selling out Shielfield Park (Average Attendance up to 5343), a capacity of 8500 (6000 seats) will not be enough if we are to consistently challenge the Old Firm.

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Pshhh, Scotland, they're practically a European Giant! :p

Great work, the progress you've made has been nothing short of miraculous :thup:. And I feel your pain about losing to Stuttgart!!

Great read mate, keep it up.

Thanks. Really want to start competing with the big boys soon. Europa League group stages are a must from now on to keep income high

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Well you're already getting there or thereabouts, even if that last step up tends to be very tricky indeed.

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Well you're already getting there or thereabouts, even if that last step up tends to be very tricky indeed.

I can sense we are getting quite close to a breakthrough but as the squad has a young average age, a bit of experience might be needed to help guide them to the top.

I can smell a top 2 finish coming.

Hopefully next year will be the one. I'd settle for a Scottish Cup win instead though.

Beaten by some Nancy boys. :D

Some people pay for that privilege, I got it done for free! :p

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KUTGW AK22 a great save so far. I always enjoy a good Scottish save.

Nice developments going on to build the club up. Lets hope you can match Celtic on day for support. With all those developments you need to keep a keen eye on the finances though.

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World Cup 2018 (Hosts: Russia Holders: England (!))

FIFAWorldCupInformation_Stages.png

Unfortunately, England did not prevail in the defence of their trophy after a meek performance against hosts Russia in the 2nd Round.

Unbelievably, Mexico steam-rolled to success, knocking out Brazil, Italy and Germany on their way. A 30 year old

Chicarito popped up to score the winner in the final. They will defend their trophy in China in 4 years time.

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Brief 2018/19 midseason update

Full details will come later in season summary, but its going well so far!

After beating Spartak Moscow in the qualifying round, we received a reasonable group in the

draw.

BerwickRangersBerwick_Fixtures-4.png

We put in some decent performances against teams with higher reputations than ours. We needed a bit of help from Parma on Matchday 6, but as they beat Stuttgart, we went through the knockout stages in 2nd place where we will face PSV. (

Full draw) I doubt we'll beat them, and to be honest, we've exceeded expectations and I intend to focus on the league as a priority.

UEFAEuropaLeagueInformation_Stages-2.png

In the league, things are looking good too. Celtic and Rangers have made a shaky start to the campaign and we (and Hearts) are taking full advantage by leading the pack.

ClydesdaleBankPremierLeagueInformation_LeagueTable.png

We have been very impressive at times. Goals have been flying in and the defence is looking pretty sturdy too.

BerwickRangersBerwick_Fixtures-3.png

We've had a few long term injuries which is testing the squad depth, so I will be looking to strengthen, if possible, in the January window.

Up next, we've got a HUGE six-pointer against Hearts in the league and a Co-op Cup Semi Final against Aberdeen. I will also be hoping that the 'Old Firm' don't make too much of resurgence in the run in to ruin the dreams of Champions League football. Hopefully my young team will show a bit of bottle and character and a shiny trophy will be waiting for us in May!

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I see you overcame the Russians. Berwick seem to be good at fending them off.

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I see you overcame the Russians. Berwick seem to be good at fending them off.

A sharp poke in the eye with a stick seems to do the trick!

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Nice going AK22 hang in there and stop the old firm. Well Rangers anyway :)

You need to hammer the board to get the ground up. I would forget the youth and facilities for a year or two.

You are gonna need 20,000 to get to the next level and maintain your push or Celtic and Rangers will peg you back as your wage bill increases year on year. Are you averaging 90%+ now? If so I would get knocking on the boards door.

KUTGW mate

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Don't fancy joining me in the Highland and Junior leagues? ;) Nice work getting to the SPL!!

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Don't fancy joining me in the Highland and Junior leagues? ;) Nice work getting to the SPL!!

Don't think I could face the Highlands, I'm a bit of southern-softy :cool: I would imagine Berwick would be cold enough for me!

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Good luck with the current season, are Celtic and Rangers still as dominant as they are now?

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Well done on your progress dude. You can conquer Europe!

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Good luck with the current season, are Celtic and Rangers still as dominant as they are now?

Celtic or Rangers have won the league every season so far but last season Rangers finished 4th with Hearts breaking into the top 2 and they look like maintaining it this year. Hopefully, we will soon and make it a 'Big 4'. The biggest battle will be competing financially long term as the Old Firm get attendances of 40000/50000 and we get 7000 on a good day!

Well done on your progress dude. You can conquer Europe!

Thanks for your optimism! Unfortunately, we are still a good few years away of becoming as big as Barcelona :)

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Just to give you some hope i did a 55 season save game test once and Dundee United and Ayr United broke the Glasgow hold on the league. Dundee United ended up winning something like 15 titles in the last 25 seasons and had an avg attendance of 55,000 and a massive stadium. Ayr won about 5 titles in the same period and had a 31,000 seater stadium.

Rangers got relegated after about 45 seasons and Celtic were struggling really bad and in the bottom half.

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