SRL88

SRL88's FM12 Journeyman Career

4,193 posts in this topic

Fantastic start and currently in a playoff place which is good,hope you can improve your form slightly to give you a better chance.

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A brilliant start to the league i think! I would also leave next year if I was you mate!

Thats my line of thought at the moment. If we somehow got promoted though I would have to seriously consider staying.

Fantastic start and currently in a playoff place which is good,hope you can improve your form slightly to give you a better chance.

If we can hit a consistant bit of form then I dont see why we cant make the Play-Off's but at the moment we're a little hit & miss.

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SRL88's Career - January 2016 - Darlington FC

League One

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What an excellent month January was for us with the only blip coming against Hull in a game we really didnt deserve to lose. We really took the game to them and could have come away with much more than a 3-2 defeat. I was pretty pleased with the lads so I wasnt to hard on them, but against Charlton I was preparing to lay into them. We were 2-0 down against them after 75mins and what followed was nothing short of a miracle. I tweaked my tactics to go more attacking, brought on Daniel to give us an extra body in midfield and we blew them away.

We took the confidence we gained from the Charlton result into the next two games against struggling opposition. We had to battle for victory over Orient but deserved a victory before we got our best result of the season with a fantastic win over Brentford.

FA Cup

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A pretty shocking performance led to a poor and annoying defeat. Crawley were by far the better side and deserved to go through. One again our FA Cup run ends in the 3rd Round.

I brought the lads back on loan who I had from Liverpool. Their loan deals expired in December and I made them my main targets for the window. I also brought in Dean Marney on a free transfer till the end of the season to add experience to the squad and also to give us a bit of quality in the midfield.

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A nice month there SRL! Barring the Crawley game ofcourse. Things looks like they are going well, I'm sure you're going to go up. :thup:

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Hat-tricks against Charlton & Brentford give the Liverpool youngster a fully deserved award.

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A nice month there SRL! Barring the Crawley game ofcourse. Things looks like they are going well, I'm sure you're going to go up. :thup:

Cheers Mali :thup:.

I can see us finishing in the Play-Off's, but not sure about promotion. I like the belief though!!!

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Cheers Mali :thup:.

I can see us finishing in the Play-Off's, but not sure about promotion. I like the belief though!!!

It's deserved. :p Only 7 points off automatic promotion, that's easy to get. :thup:

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It's deserved. :p Only 7 points off automatic promotion, that's easy to get. :thup:

Its going to be close I think.

Darlington Fixtures

Chesterfield Fixtures

Depending on how close we are, the last 2 games for both will decide it. I also take belief from the fact their squad is soooooooooooo small.

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Going right down to the wire,although Chesterfield have been impressive with such a small squad.

Hope you can snatch it :D

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Going right down to the wire,although Chesterfield have been impressive with such a small squad.

Hope you can snatch it :D

Fingers crossed!!!

If we can somehow get promoted, the work I have done with Darlington will be up there with my favourite achievements on FM :D.

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SRL88's Career - February 2016 - Darlington FC

League One

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Such a frustrating bloody month. We played well against Southampton and deserved a draw. To hold the pace setters (at the time) was a very pleasing thing. We followed that up with a very annoying defeat away to Hereford. It was an even game but the lack of composure we had infront of goal had me nearly throwing my laptop. We faced Bristol Rovers next in a game which should have been a walkover but ended up p*ssing me off equally. They went down to 10 men after 15mins and we scored 2 before half time. I was delighted and thought that should be it. Their confidence was low and we were in control, but guess what.....we thought we would just let them have all the possession in the 2nd half and they dominated with 10 men. In the end we hung on to win 2-1 when it really should have been more. Two more very annoying performances followed as we slipped down the table.

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A nice milestone reached during February :).

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Our latest set of youth intakes give me these three prospects:

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SRL88's Career - March 2016 - Darlington FC

League One

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We done alright but I am starting to become increasingly frustrated with life in Darlington. We were pretty shocking away to Preston but nicked a win before thumping Walsall which pleased me. Away to Luton we went down to 10 men early in the first half in what I can only describe about as bad as the sending off Gary Cahill received away to Spurs this season. Much to my shock we scored 3 goals in the first half and I was shocked. I really didnt expect it. Again, much like the previous month the second half was completely different. We were still 3 goals to the good after 70mins but we threw it all away and ended up luckily leaving with a 3-3 draw. We played sh*t against Millwall before a much needed win over Rochdale.

We seriously need to buck our ideas up to make the Play-Off's because I cant see us making them at the minute. We still have a League Two defence and midfield and its becomming obvious. The lads I have from Liverpool are all attacking minded which shows in our goals scored, but we are so bad in defence. We're our own worst enemy to be honest. I could probably make a list on one hand of goals that we have conceded from our opponents quality. They all seem to come from our own stupid errors and we need to cut them out quickly.

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Looks like you need to focus on playoffs for now.

I cant actually see us making them the way we're playing.

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SRL88's Career - April/May 2016 - Darlington FC

League One

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Well we done it...but it wasnt without nearly causing me a few heart attacks!!! What a weird end to the season it was. The amount of goals is ridiculous. We started April with a fantastic win over Peterborough with a fantastic 4 goals by Andy Lancaster, before a very solid victory over Tranmere.

A poor defeat to Torquay followed before we played Champions Chesterfield. I dont think I have ever played a game which has gone from a high to a low, to damn rigth annoying so quick. Rather than talk about it, just look. Another Sunday League match ended the season as we played our part in an entertaining yet annoying defeat to Exeter.

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I cant say that it suprises me. I have delayed the decision till the end of the season so I can see how we get on in the Play-Off's but I highly doubt I will re-sign.

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SRL88's Career - Darlington FC

League One Play-Off Semi-Final

So following our fantastic season, yet frustrating a the same time we achieved an amazing feat by reaching the League One Play-Off's. We drew Torquay in the Semi-Final and based off our past meetings Torquay had the upper hand.

1st Leg

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A much needed victory in the 1st Leg to give us the advantage. Its our first victory over Torquay and we needed it to give us a chance in the return leg and in doing so, we brought in a handy amount of cash.

2nd Leg

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Fantastic!!! We did exactly what we had to and put in a brilliant performance to battle our way to the Play-Off Final. I knew they would come at us so I set us up with a rigid style and to hit them on the counter. With Lancaster's pace upfront on his own and Daniel playing just off him it worked a treat as we grabbed a 2-2 draw to reach yet another Play-Off Final during my tenure and give us a great chance of a third promotion in a row.

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Good look in the final SRL88.

Even if you do get promotion, I would still consider your future, depending on what other jobs you reckon you could get/are offered.

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Good look in the final SRL88.

Even if you do get promotion, I would still consider your future, depending on what other jobs you reckon you could get/are offered.

Cheers Tom :thup:.

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Good luck in the final! :thup:

I agree with Tom, you should definitely look elsewhere even with promotion!

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SRL88's Career - Darlington FC

League One Play-Off Final

Following our victory over Torquay we moved into the League One Play-Off Final and standing in our way from a 3rd successive promotion was Bury. Having played each other twice this season we went in on even playing field with both of us holding a victory over the other.

Bury went into the game as favourites but we have defied the odds pretty much all season so I knew we stood a chance. I set up the side in similar fashion to the one that beat Torquay and remained confident of pulling off a victory.

The Match

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Unbelievable Jeff!!! I dont know whether to jump for joy at the fact of being promoted or be annoyed for the crap defending. I think I will go with the former in what can only be described as an unbelievable achievement for a club who when I took over 3 1/2 seasons ago were sat 14th in the Blue Square Premier.

The first half can only be described as unreal. We fell behind for the third game in a row in the 1st minute but we hit them back in extraordinary fashion with Andy Lancaster scoring an amazing five goals before half time. Every attack just seemed to fall to his feet and every effort on goal hit the back of the net. As we arrived in the dressing room following the half time whistle everyone was buzzing. I told the lads how fantastic they were playing but they needed to keep their efforts up, knowing that Bury Manager Richard O'Kelly would be blowing his lid in the opposite dressing room trying to get a reaction out of his players.

As the second half kicked off I could sense straight away that Bury would be coming at us. It never took them long and they pulled a goal back after 50 minutes and then got another not long after to make me wonder why every time I say this team is playing well and to keep it up at half time, we decide not to and just our opponents back into the game. This unbelievable game took even more twists as we broke up a Bury attack and hit them on the counter for loanee Daniel to tap in a 6th for us with 24 minutes to go. The ever reliable Jeff Henderson bundled a ball into his own net to give us what looked set to be a nervy finish, but from a corner with time running out, captain Matthew Saunders rose like a salmon to smash a header home to give us an amazing 7-4 victory as we capped off an amazing season, with an amazing promotion which means Darlington Football Club will be playing Championship football next season!!!

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Good luck in the final! :thup:

I agree with Tom, you should definitely look elsewhere even with promotion!

Cheers HC :thup:.

I think I will be moving on....but look up :p.

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Nightmare for their keeper, 8 shots on target, usually gets you around 2 goals maybe more.

You got 7.

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SRL88's Career - Season Review - 2016/17 - Darlington FC

League One - Results 1 - Results 2 - Results 3 (5th - Promoted via Play-Off's)

What a fantastic season. Im still coming to terms with what we have achieved. Following the success over the last two seasons I didnt think it could get any better but boy was I wrong. In what I expected to be a very difficult season and with the media pretty much giving us no chance, we ignored the script and found ourselves in the Play-Off spots for most the season.

Our form dipped after Christmas but we managed to secure a Play-Off spot and thats when we decided it was time to change our fortunes. Following a 4-3 aggregate victory over Torquay, we took another drip down the M1 to Wembley for the 4th time during my management. In what was an unbelievable Final, we played our part in a epic thriller to beat Bury 7-4 and earn the right to be playing Championship football next season.

FA Cup (Lost in 3rd Round)

We done well to get to the 3rd Round, but Championship side Crawley were to powerfull for us and we crashed out.

League Cup (Lost in 1st Round)

We put up a spirited performance against Hull but they were to strong for us in just our 2nd game of the season.

Johnstones Paint Trophy (Lost in 1st Round)

A poor performance which the result doesnt show. We really, really should have been beaten by more.

Transfers - Finances

Some really good transfers this season. The Liverpool players we brought in made the major differences for us, but the likes of Recktenwald, Marney and Ajagbe were solid signings who played their part in our amazing season.

The finances are ok I suppose. Attendances are getting better, but we were close to £1m in the red until our Play-Off success which majorly helped.

Squad

Could be better. Our defence and midfield was still effectively a League Two one and it showed in the amount of goals we conceded and often being bossed in the middle of the park. We made up for that though with a lethal attack in a Newcastle esk style of you score 2, we'll score 3 way.

My Top 3 Players

Georges Guerin

Daniel

Andy Lancaster

I couldnt really look elsewhere could I? Brought in on loan from parent club Liverpool, I can happily hold my hands up and say that these three really are the reason we have been promoted. Our best three performers, top goalscorer, the list goes on. If Darlington FC has any chance of survival in the Championship, these three lads really should be brought back.

Andy Lancaster is something special. He was a monster for League One. He broke record after record in a brilliant season for him personally.

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| Season | Team | League | Country | League Position | Notes |
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| 2011/12 | Kirklareli Spor | Second Division Group A | Turkey | 5th | Play-Off Quater Finalists |
| 2012/13 | Kirklareli Spor | Second Division Group A | Turkey | 3rd | Play-Off Semi Finalists |
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| 2013/14 | Darlington | Blue Square Premier | England | 4th | Play-Off Semi Finalists, FA Trophy Runners-Up, |
Appointed in October |
| 2014/15 | Darlington | Blue Square Premier | England | 2nd | Promoted via Play-Offs, FA Trophy Runners-Up |
| 2015/16 | Darlington | League Two | England | 3rd | Promoted |
| 2016/17 | Darlington | League One | England | 5th | Promoted via Play-Offs |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/Code]

[size=3][b]Next Season?[/b][/size]

Thats it for me with Darlington. What we have achieved is nothing short of amazing, but we wont be able to hack it in the Championship. Ive achieved all I can with this club because I cant see it going any further forward. Since Christmas especially I have been very stressed watching us and its affected my home life. I love the North-East, its where Im from and its nice to have given something to my community, but its time for me to move on. I need a bit of a break from the stress I have had in the last 5 month and hopefully I will get it.

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How are my Former Clubs Doing?

Kirklareli Spor

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| Season | League | League Position | Notes |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 2013/14 | Second Division Group A | 11th | - |
| 2014/15 | Second Division Group A | 9th | - |
| 2015/16 | Second Division Group A | 5th | Lost in Play-Off Semi Final |
| 2016/17 | Second Division Group A | 5th | Lost in Play-Off Semi Final |[/Code]

Another Play-Off defeat for the Turks. Add the Play-Off's we reached under my management thats 4 in 6 seasons and still no promotion. Wonder if it will ever happen!!!

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A Look Around The World

Here I will post the winners of the major competitions in and around the World. Any others, just ask and I can update for you!!!

Club - Domestic

English Premier League

2011/12 - 1st Man Utd 2nd Chelsea 3rd Man City

2012/13 - 1st Man Utd 2nd Arsenal 3rd Liverpool

2013/14 - 1st Liverpool 2nd Chelsea 3rd Man Utd

2014/15 - 1st Man Utd 2nd Liverpool 3rd Arsenal

2015/16 - 1st Man Utd 2nd Chelsea 3rd Man City

2016/17 - 1st Man Utd 2nd Man City 3rd Liverpool

FA Cup

2011/12 - Winners Tottenham Runners-Up Everton

2012/13 - Winners West Ham Runners-Up Liverpool

2013/14 - Winners Man Utd Runners-Up Norwich

2014/15 - Winners Wolves Runners-Up Birmingham

2015/16 - Winners Arsenal Runners-Up Barnsley

2016/17 - Winners Leicester Runners-Up Chelsea

League Cup

2011/12 - Winners Fulham Runners-Up Reading

2012/13 - Winners Tottenham Runners-Up West Brom

2013/14 - Winners Wolves Runners-Up Chelsea

2014/15 - Winners Arsenal Runners-Up Aston Villa

2015/16 - Winners Arsenal Runners-Up Liverpool

2016/17 - Winners West Brom Runners-Up Man City

La Liga

2011/12 - 1st Barcelona 2nd Real Madrid 3rd Athletic Club

2012/13 - 1st Real Madrid 2nd Barcelona 3rd Villarreal

2013/14 - 1st Real Madrid 2nd Athletic Club 3rd Barcelona

2014/15 - 1st Real Madrid 2nd Barcelona 3rd Valencia

2015/16 - 1st Barcelona 2nd Real Madrid 3rd At. Madrid

2016/17 - 1st At.Madrid 2nd Barcelona 3rd Real Madrid

Bundesliga

2011/12 - 1st Bayern Munich 2nd Werder Bremen 3rd Schalke

2012/13 - 1st Dortmund 2nd Bayern Munich 3rd Schalke

2013/14 - 1st Leverkusen 2nd Dortmund 3rd Bayern Munich

2014/15 - 1st Leverkusen 2nd Bayern Munich 3rd Schalke

2015/16 - 1st Bayern Munich 2nd Schalke 3rd Leverkusen

2016/17 - 1st Bayern Munich 2nd Schalke 3rd Leverkusen

Serie A

2011/12 - 1st AC Milan 2nd Napoli 3rd Lazio

2012/13 - 1st Inter 2nd Juventus 3rd Napoli

2013/14 - 1st AC Milan 2nd Inter 3rd Juventus

2014/15 - 1st AC Milan 2nd Inter 3rd Sampdoria

2015/16 - 1st AC Milan 2nd Parma 3rd Palermo

2016/17 - 1st Palermo 2nd AC Milan 3rd Fiorentina

French Ligue 1

2011/12 - 1st Valenciennes 2nd Bordeaux 3rd Marseille

2012/13 - 1st Lyon 2nd Marseille 3rd Sochaux

2013/14 - 1st Lyon 2nd PSG 3rd RC Lens

2014/15 - 1st Lyon 2nd PSG 3rd Marseille

2015/16 - 1st PSG 2nd Lyon 3rd Marseille

2016/17 - 1st Lyon 2nd PSG 3rd Marseille

Club - Europe

Champions League

2011/12 - Winners Bayern Munich Runners-Up Man Utd

2012/13 - Winners AC Milan Runners-Up Barcelona

2013/14 - Winners Arsenal Runners-Up Liverpool

2014/15 - Winners PSG Runners-Up Barcelona

2015/16 - Winners AC Milan Runners-Up At. Madrid

2016/17 - Winners Barcelona Runners-Up Real Madrid

Europa League

2011/12 - Winners Arsenal Runners-Up Rubin Kazan

2012/13 - Winners Bayern Munich Runners-Up Porto

2013/14 - Winners Chelsea Runners-Up Napoli

2014/15 - Winners Benfica Runners-Up Bayern Munich

2015/16 - Winners Man City Runners-Up Aston Villa

2016/17 - Winners Liverpool Runners-Up Roma

International

World Cup

2014 - Winners France Runners-Up Ghana 3rd Place England Hosts Brazil

European Championships

2012 - Winners Germany Runners-Up France Hosts Ukraine/Poland

2016 - Winners Spain Runners-Up Belgium Hosts France

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That's quite a wow.

That was kind of my reaction :lol:.

Nightmare for their keeper, 8 shots on target, usually gets you around 2 goals maybe more.

You got 7.

Haha. He did get a 4.9 ;).

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Linked

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Offered..........................Rejected!!

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Been a great time at Darlington.

It definitelty has. Really enjoyed my time with them but its time to move on.

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Sorry Mr.Chairman...but its time for me to move on!!!

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An improved offer, but Im still rejecting.

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So I officially hand in my resignation on June 1st 2017. I could have allowed my contract to expire but with players contracts expiring at the end of the month I thought it was a better idea for the club to bring someone in so they get the chance to sign players on a free whilst they still could.

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I wouldnt exactly say mass!!!

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Wonder where you will be next!

Not sure yet. There are jobs available, but I think I would like a couple of months with a break so I wont be applying for anything just yet.

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stevenlongstaffnewsinboa.png

An interesting offer and one which I amconsidering...but surely my reputation is a little higher than a team who finished 8th in the Hyundai A-League!!! Your thoughts?

Also, my replacement at Darlington is ex Leyton Orient Manager (at the start of the game) Terry Connor.

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SRL88's Career - New Job Update - New Zealand

Name: New Zealand

Nickname: All Whites

Stadium: North Harbour Stadium (26,500 - 21,500 seated)

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Well this is a bit of a turn. Ive received numerous job opportunities since my resignation at Darlington. Its been a month since I stepped down at the now Championship club and I have received offers to take over at Tianjin (China), Gold Coast Utd (Australia), SC Genemuiden (Holland) and Avai (Brazil), all of which didnt suit me at this time. I wanted a little bit of space and a break from management to be honest, but when the job offer came along I couldnt say no. It gives me a great opportunity to raise my reputation worldwide and also means Im back in management without it being full-time.

Expectations:

World Cup Qualifying:- Wont be judged (Qualified from Oceania section, waiting for Play-Off vervus CONCACAF Nation)

My Expectations:

World Cup Qualifying:- Reach the World Cup

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Its only 1 year until the 2018 FIFA World Cup. My aim is to get the nation there, play the tournament and then get myself back into club management.

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Great reading SRL88. Great choice with the Kiwi's btw, should get them to the WC no problems.

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7-4 in a playoff final...woah! :D

Good luck with the kiwi's, no club until after the WC though?

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Good luck with New Zealand, although I would have taken the Gold Coast job :cool:

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Great reading SRL88. Great choice with the Kiwi's btw, should get them to the WC no problems.

Cheers fella :thup:.

7-4 in a playoff final...woah! :D

Good luck with the kiwi's, no club until after the WC though?

Thats the plan at the minute, but if a job comes up in October in the Championship or in a nation whose season is actually finished then I will probably take one. The second half of the season at Darlington made me want to throw my laptop, so being offered the jobs I did I think I would have been doing the same again.

Good luck with New Zealand, although I would have taken the Gold Coast job :cool:

Cheers!!! I didnt fancy it mate. If I was going to take one it would have been Avai in Brazil. They had a £2m transfer budget & quite a nice wage one, but I just fancied a little break from the hustle and bustle of club management for now.

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Wonderful job in the playoffs - I knew Lancaster would be a hit! I'd be giving him games in the Premier League if I were the Liverpool boss so who knows why he dropped down to League One.

Good luck with New Zealand! I'd have taken the Avai job personally but a sojourn in international management should be good too.

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Wonderful job in the playoffs - I knew Lancaster would be a hit! I'd be giving him games in the Premier League if I were the Liverpool boss so who knows why he dropped down to League One.

Good luck with New Zealand! I'd have taken the Avai job personally but a sojourn in international management should be good too.

I strongly considered their offer more than any but it just wasnt for me. Fancied a bit of a change and thats why I accepted New Zealand.

As for Lancaster, he is still sat in the reserves on the loan list. Why Darlington havent gone back in for him is beyond me!!!

Good luck with New Zealand!

Cheers :thup:.

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Just thought I would pop along :p.

They were ok, but deserved to lose. Attendances are at about 10,000.

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SRL88's Career - Friendly - New Zealand

So my first match as Manager of the New Zealand national team is coming up in a friendly at home to Afghanistan.

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There is a limited range of talent available for selection in New Zealand so I doubt I will be able to give many people to much of a chance and it might be the same squad throughout my tenure unless players are injured. I decided to stick with Winston Reid as captain. My goals will be coming from the likely source of Chris Wood, but also from the talented Matt Stewart.

The Match

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I decided to go at it with a similar 4-4-2 formation to the one I used at Darlington. I know New Zealand arent the greatest nation in the world so I feel it would be best to sit a little deeper with a rigid style. Against the likes of Brazil, England et al we arent going to be having the ball as much...so if I try get the team used to this style of play in friendlies it should be good for us if we reach the World Cup.

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A good win for us in a game we dominated despite captain Winston Reid receiving an early red card. Will that play on my mind in my next selection? Maybe!! I brought on a defender to compensate and left Matt Stewart upfront on his own and he was fantastic. Afghanistan arent going to be as defensively organised as the bigger nations, but he suited being up there on his own. A goal and four assists deservidly gives him the MOTM award and we walk away with win number 1 in game number 1 under our belts.

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