Lenzar

County League Game Thread

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County League Gazette: 1st July 2010

The English County League was finally declared official today after nearly three years of planning. The idea was suggested back in 2007, when it was suggested that the teams of England were losing geographical allegiances. The idea was seized upon in 2009 by the Welsh FA, who were tired of running a sub-par league that was compared to the likes of England's semi-professional leagues. After a year of wrangling with UEFA, the Welsh FA were allowed to run the County Leagues, but the teams had to agree to not entering any other competitions besides those designed for them, and, later on, the UEFA contests. This was met by dismay among TNS and the Welsh 'elite', but they were promised that their league would still run, ableit without the chance to get thrashed 6-0 by the champions of Lithuania or Belarus.

The Association of British Counties were asked to create a roster of teams, and selected the 39 traditional counties of England, in addition to a Welsh side, would form two 20 team divisions, with promotion and relegation between them but no relegation out of the second division. 2 teams were to be relegated a year automatically, with the team finishing 18th in the upper division facing a playoff with the team in 3rd in the lower division.

The two divisions were called the English County First and Second Division - the league executives didn't see the point of a Premier Division. Investment quickly came from many sources, including the league's first sponsor, Carlsberg.

Three cups were established. The main cup was the County Cup, a cup that would start with 8 groups of five teams. Two would get through from each group and play two legged ties until the final, which would be held at the Millennium Stadium. The reason this cup was given this format is because the Welsh FA felt that a team should have to work hard for the Europa League place a victory in the cup would bring.

The second cup was the Challenge Cup, a straight knockout cup, though a replay would be held in event of a draw. This cup demanded 5 under-21s be picked for the first XI, with a total of 10 being required in the 16man matchday squad.

The final cup, which wouldn't make an appearence until the second season, was the Super Cup. This cup was simply a match between the Division One champions and the Cup winners, with the Division One runners up filling in in the case of a double.

All competitions had recieved permission from the EU to restrict the amount of foreigners, so long as it was possible for at least nine foreigners to get the chance to take part in the match day. As a result, the maximum in the starting XI was 6 foreigners, with up to 9 permitted in the match day squad.

With everything set, the draw for the league was held. Fourty teams were placed into the hat, with the first 20 out being assigned to Division One. These teams were, in order of drawing:

Devon

Durham

Staffordshire

Somerset

Derbyshire

Suffolk

Kent

Cumberland

Middlesex

Northumberland

Northamptonshire

Buckinghamshire

Yorkshire

Herefordshire

Berkshire

Norfolk

Cambridgeshire

Westmorland

Leicestershire

Nottinghamshire

Once this draw was made, there was no time for the lucky teams to celebrate as the balls were placed back into the machine, and mixed once again, this time to draw the groups for the County Cup. They were as follows:

Group A:

Devon (D1)

Hampshire (D2)

Hertfordshire (D2)

Rutland (D2)

Staffordshire (D1)

Group B:

Cambridgeshire (D1)

Cumberland (D1)

Gloucestershire (D2)

Northamptonshire (D1)

Welsh Counties (D2)

Group C:

Lincolnshire (D2)

Norfolk (D1)

Oxfordshire (D2)

Somerset (D1)

Yorkshire (D1)

Group D:

Bedfordshire (D2)

Cornwall (D2)

Durham (D1)

Shropshire (D2)

Suffolk (D1)

Group E:

Essex (D2)

Kent (D1)

Leicestershire (D1)

Middlesex (D1)

Surrey (D2)

Group F:

Huntingdonshire (D2)

Northumberland (D1)

Nottinghamshire (D1)

Warwickshire (D2)

Worcestershire (D2)

Group G:

Berkshire (D1)

Cheshire (D2)

Dorset (D2)

Westmorland (D1)

Wiltshire (D2)

Group H:

Buckinghamshire (D1)

Derbyshire (D1)

Herefordshire (D1)

Lancashire (D2)

Sussex (D2)

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Nice clean format, and a good read so far :thup:

D1 for Somerset :D can't complain. Is the County Cup seeded? Because that's a very suspiciously even spread of teams otherwise :p

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Cup draw isn't seeded, that is pure luck of the draw. In FM10 we had four seasons of cup draws with even groups like that.

First update will be coming tomorrow, hopefully.

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Division 1- all Cambridgeshire could ask for really. Looking forward to doing over Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Good start so far.

I'm looking forward to seeing this thread progress.

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Good read so far :)

Well second division for Huntingdonshire, although I'm sure that will change at the end of the season.

Three teams in D1 in the cup draw, we'll see who deserves to be there.

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It says D1 for Worcestershire in the Cup Draw but I can't see us in the main league? I may just be being dim. Looking forward to this one starting :)

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It says D1 for Worcestershire in the Cup Draw but I can't see us in the main league? I may just be being dim. Looking forward to this one starting :)

He's probably meant to put D2 cause 21 teams in the cup have D1 beside them and only 19 have D2

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Got a team in both leagues - Lets hope for success in leagues and cups :)

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:( How dissapointing, ending up in the second division. Good to finally be started though!

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County League Gazette: 11th August 2010: Challenge Cup Draw!

The draw for the first English County Single Match Challenge Cup, known simply as the Challenge Cup, was made today. In the first round, only the twenty second division sides are entered; four are given byes and will join the first division sides in the second round by default.

The matches are as follows:

Beds. v Gloucs.

Worcs. v Lincs.

Essex v Lancs.

Welsh Counties v Herts

Dorset v Cheshire

Sussex v Hunts.

Hants v Surrey

Cornwall v Oxon

The first cup match will be played on the 19th, between Bedfordshire and Gloucestershire. The rules state that at least 5 of the first XI and 10 of the 16-man match squad must be under 21. A draw will bring about a replay, with extra time and penalties only appearing if the replay is also tied.

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County League Gazette: 1st September 2010: August review

All three of the County competitions have begun. The league is in full swing, teams having played their first 3 games, while both cups have also seen action. So far, there is no team really standing out, although Lincolnshire and Wiltshire have provided a fantastic high scoring affair, Lincolnshire taking an excellent 9-3 victory in a Division Two game at the Stonehenge Stadium. Lancashire have had an awful August, losing every game and conceding 16 in the first 3 league games. Dorset, on the other hand, have scored 16 in their first 3, including 7 against Lancashire, 5 against Sussex and 4 in a 5-4 defeat to Bedfordshire.

In the Challenge Cup, two ties have been settled. Bedfordshire beat Gloucestershire 2-1, while Cornwall first drew 1-1 with Oxfordshire, before winning 4-0 in the replay. Due to frequent clashes with the league and County Cup, the remainder of the ties will be played on or near the 5th of September. The draw for the second round is as follows:

Essex or Lancs. (both D2) v Salop. (D2)

Cornwall (D2) v Northants (D1)

Herefordshire (D1) v Durham (D1)

Worcs. or Lincs. (both D2) v Berks. (D1)

Bucks (D1) v. Berks (D1)

Westmorland (D1) v Rutland (D2)

WCFC or Herts. (both D2) v Kent (D1)

Somerset (D1) v Devon (D1)

Norfolk (D1) v Yorkshire (D1)

Northumberland (D1) v Cumberland (D1)

Wilts. (D2) v Beds. (D2)

Middlesex (D1) v Staffs. (D1)

Derbys. (D1) v Cambs. (D1)

Dorset or Cheshire v Sussex or Hunts. (All D2)

Suffolk (D1) v Leics. (D1)

Hants or Surrey (D2) v Warwickshire (D2)

Division One summary

Top 3: Cumberland, Cambs. (behind on GD), Middlesex (-2)

Bottom 3: Durham (behind Northumberland on GD), Kent (-1), Suffolk (behind on GD)

Player of the month: Nathan Delfouneso (Derbyshire)

Young player of of the month: Leigh Griffiths (Berkshire)

Manager of the month: Gian Piero Gasperini (Cumberland)

Goal of the month: Ishmael Miller (Staffs. (v Derbys.))

Division Two summary

Top 3: Herts, Welsh Counties (behind on GD), Cheshire (behind on GD)

Bottom 3: Oxfordshire (behind Hampshire on GD), Wiltshire (behind on GD), Lancashire (behind on GD)

Player of the month: Robin van Persie (Herts)

Young player of the month: Mario Balotelli (Surrey)

Manager of the month: Sam Milne (Herts)

Goal of the month: Matt Thornhill (Rutland (v Gloucs.)

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Sounds like a fairly even start, hopefully I'm not too far off the pace!

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As with previous, I will gladly do screenshots of things and match videos if requested.

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As with previous, I will gladly do screenshots of things and match videos if requested.

Can you post a screenshot of the Sussex squad please, like to see what sort of players I have

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As with previous, I will gladly do screenshots of things and match videos if requested.

Can you provide screenshots of Middlesex and Hampshire squads.

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County League Gazette: 1st October 2010: September review

Cambridgeshire have so far proven to be the team to watch in the First Division, winning their first seven league games, a run that was only ended at Derbyshire's Thornton Park. Derbyshire also defeated Cambridgeshire in the Challenge Cup. Division Two's 'big boys' are currently Lincolnshire, the Ploughmen also boasting a record of played 8, won 7, drawn 1, their draw having been at home to Cornwall back as the season opener. At the bottom of Division One, Suffolk continue to struggle, though they have managed a win, beating Devon 1-0 in Ipswich. Lancashire have improved a little, managing two victories to take them away from the bottom slot in the Second Division.

In the County Cup, Warwickshire were totally decimated by neighbours Worcestershire, being defeated 10-0 at their own ground. Two weeks later they made up for this a little, beating Northumberland 5-0 at the Tyneside Stadium. Overall the group stage has been fairly ordinary in terms of action, with only Lincolnshire able to win four out of four, though others have played and won three. Just as in the league, Suffolk are struggling and have failed to get a single point as yet.

The Challenge Cup continues in earnest, with Cornwall, Lincolnshire and the Welsh Counties defeating higher division opposition in the form of Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Kent respectively. The draw for the third round has been made:

Lincs. (D2) v Herefordshire (D1)

Middlesex (D1) v Derbys. (D1)

Beds. (D2) v Cheshire (D2)

Hants. (D2) v Yorks (D1)

WCFC (D2) v Leics. (D1)

Westmorland (D1) v Cornwall (D2)

Cumberland (D1) v Salop (D2)

Somerset (D1) v Berks. (D1)

Division One summary

Top 3: Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire (-5), Buckinghamshire (-1)

Bottom 3: Herefordshire (-2 on Leicestershire), Westmorland (-1), Suffolk (behind on GD)

Player of the month: Richard Stearman (Derbyshire)

Young player of the month: Jordan Spence (Durham)

Manager of the month: Johnny Hollywood (Cambridgeshire)

Goal of the month: Richard Stearman (v Westmorland)

Division Two summary

Top 3: Lincolnshire, Cheshire (-1), Welsh Counties (-1)

Bottom 3: Lancashire (behind Wiltshire on GD), Rutland (-1), Warwickshire (-1)

Player of the month: David Wheater (Lincolnshire)

Young player of the month: Mario Balotelli (Surrey)

Manager of the month: Jacob Fox (Lincolnshire)

Goal of the month: Carl Baker (Lancashire (v Rutland))

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Unbeaten and top of the league...check

Knocking out higher division clubs in the cup...check

Manager of the Month award...check

I know the capricious God of football is getting ready to kick me in the pants.

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Lenzar, could you give me an indication of Cambridgeshire's first XI, as we're doing so well and all. Also, has Oxlade-Chamberlain had any impact as yet?

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Lenzar looking great man kutgw. Oh could i get a sxreenshot of durhams squad :)

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Is there any chance we could have a screenshot of the Division 2 Table? And maybe the Worcestershire squad? Thanks :)

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Woo top and manager of the month for the 1st update! if its possible could you do league table screenshots and the cups with the knockout tree view? Would make it easier to track the people who aren't top or bottom 3.

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Well no news on Huntingdonshire yet, I'm sure we're just biding our time outside the promotion places waiting for the early runners to fade away.

Shame we got knocked out the cup to the team bottom of D1, but we can concentrate on promotion ...

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Oxlade-Chamberlain has so far made only 2 league starts, coming on once as a sub. He has however started ll of Cambridgeshire's cup games, scoring one goal. His average ratings are around 6.7 in both league and cup, so nothing fantastic yet.

Division One table

Division Two table

Cambridgeshire First XI

Hampshire

Durham

Middlesex

Worcestershire

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Unbeaten and top of the league...check

Knocking out higher division clubs in the cup...check

Manager of the Month award...check

I know the capricious God of football is getting ready to kick me in the pants.

As I started to simulate October, sure enough, I noticed 'Shropshire 2 Lincolnshire 1' flash up on the processing panel. ;)

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Mid-table mediocraty for Sussex any chance of a team screen for them please Lenzar?

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Solid defense for Chesire. It's keeping me in D2 title contention :D

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At what? Throwing darts at youth teamers? Zing!

At least he's performing...

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At what? Throwing darts at youth teamers? Zing!

Yeah hes keeping his target practice up and his eye Co-ordination at a top level :)

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County League Gazette: 1st November 2010: October review

Cambridgeshire have yet again proven to be the team to watch, winning every league game in October. Only a cup defeat, 2-0 at home to the Welsh Counties side prevented a perfect month. Manager Johnny Hollywood has shown himself to be something of a genius, though many believe that the board takeover in August is the real reason behind the success story.

Meanwhile, Suffolk continue to struggle, although their record for October was much improved, winning one, drawing one and losing two, though the month was ended with a terrible 5-0 thrashing in Hereford - Herefordshire are only 18th and manager David Moyes is said to be furious at the performance there.

The Second Division remains a lot tighter, especially after Lincolnshire's loss to Shropshire. Whilst by now it is clear that Lincolnshire are still favourites, a poor run could let either Cheshire or the Welsh Counties into the top spot.

Warwickshire are still bottom, managing only one draw in the league, but they did manage to defeat high flyers Nottinghamshire in the County Cup, a result which may save van Basten's neck for another month. Pundits, however, believe the end is near and the Dutchman is currently 6-4 favourite to be the first County League manager to be sacked.

The Challenge Cup has reached the Quarter Final stage, with a number of Second Division teams having upset the odds on several occasions now:

WCFC (D2) v Cornwall (D2)

Berks. (D1) v Hants (D2)

Herefordshire (D1) v Salop (D2)

Derbys. (D1) v Cheshire (D2)

Division One summary

Top 3: Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire (-10), Cumberland (-2)

Bottom 3: Herefordshire (-2 on Westmorland), Leicesteshire (-1), Suffolk (behind on GD)

Manager of the month: Johnny Hollywood (Cambridgeshire)

Player of the month: John Terry (Staffordshire)

Young player of the month: Ciaran Clark (Durham)

Goal of the month: Luke Woods (Cumberland (v Yorkshire)) - REGEN!

Division Two summary

Top 3: Lincolnshire, Cheshire (-3), Welsh Counties (-2)

Bottom 3: Lancashire (-1 on Essex), Rutland (-3), Warwickshire (-1)

Player of the month: Michael Woods (Oxfordshire)

Young player of the month: Jack Rodwell (Dorset)

Manager of the month: Laszlo Boloni (Oxfordshire)

Goal of the month: Michael Woods (v Rutland)

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Mark my words, Huntingdonshire (always laugh when typing that name) are biding their time outside the top few of league 2 waiting for that late promotion push. Has Andy Carroll been banging them in?

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Steady mid-table for Somerset, I guess. Better than fighting to stay clear of relegation, I guess :p

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J.T. player of the month, wouldn't mind a look at the staffs squad if you get a chance.

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County League Gazette: 1st December 2010: November review

Cambridgeshire have begun to show signs that the pressure is getting to them. November has been their poorest month, with only two wins out of five league games. Two draws and a loss in Hereford has given Somerset, who had an excellent November, a chance to close the gap on the leaders.

At the bottom of the First Division, meanwhile, Suffolk and Leicestershire continue to flounder, despite Leicestershire managing to pull off an amazing 5-0 win in Exeter. Both sides also managed victories in cup games, possibly sparing their beleagured managers at least until December.

Division Two is less interesting for those who are hoping for a close league. Lincolnshire yet again won all their games, allowing them to maintain a strong lead over second placed Welsh Counties. Hertfordshire lay even further back, but are under pressure from Worcestershire and Dorset. Who will occupy the playoff berth at the end of the season?

At the bottom, Rutland have been extremely disappointing, failing to win a single game all month. Warwickshire have managed to do fairly well, amassing three wins and taking themselves off the bottom of the table.

In the County Challenge Cup, three Division Two sides are still in with a shout, with only one First Division side able to make it through to the semis:

Hants v Salop (both D2)

Cornwall (D2) v Derbys. (D1)

Division One summary

Top 3: Cambridgeshire, Somerset (-5), Derbyshire (-4)

Bottom 3: Northumberland (-1 on Middlesex), Leicestershire (-5), Suffolk (behind on GD)

Player of the month: Nemanja Vidic (Kent)

Young player of the month: Hal Robson-Kanu (Somerset)

Manager of the month: Jens Konig (Somerset)

Goal of the month: Wilfred Zaha (Somerset (v Leicestershire))

Division Two summary

Top 3: Lincolnshire, Welsh Counties (-9), Hertfordshire (-8)

Bottom 3: Sussex (-1 on Lancashire), Warwickshire (behind on GD), Rutland (-6)

Player of the month: Stephen Pearson (Wiltshire)

Young player of the month: Sotiris Ninis (Essex)

Manager of the month: Jacob Fox (Lincolnshire)

Goal of the month: Nathan Tyson (Worcestershire (v Cheshire))

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Cambridgeshire have begun to show signs that the pressure is getting to them.

No we haven't!! Shut up!

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I'm telling you all now, Derbyshire for the cup! :D

It just goes to show that Divison 2 is much harder than Division 1.

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