Mike7077

From Somewhere to Somewhere... via Somewhere!

245 posts in this topic

Thanks for the kind comments guys.

I've been horrendously under the weather of late (suffice to say very frequent dashes to the lavatory have been called for) so haven't been near the game. Feeling a bit better today so there be an update later today or at some point tomorrow.

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Season 2011/2012

DECEMBER

This Month's Fixtures

DecemberFixtures.jpg

Six games in December, so I suspect I'm quite to know what sort of season I'm really looking at once this month is over. There are tough fixtures throughout the month. I'm concluding that, because we're predicted to finish second-to-bottom, pretty much every fixture strikes me as difficult. At the same time, I feel there are points to be had in most of these games.

This Month's Results

Saturday December 3rd, 2011

Hyundai A-League

nib Stadium, Perth

Perth Glory 2-0 Gold Coast Utd

This was a catastrophe for my normally reliable captain and right-back, Michael Thwaite, who scored a bizarre own goal and followed it up by getting sent off. Shooting ourselves in the foot with borderline comedic defending is becoming a feature, and it's frustrating. Nevertheless, I don't begrudge Glory their win, which they fully deserved. But we helped them over the line. It's the first time I've suffered two defeats in a row.

MOTM: Glen Moss - The only player to come out of the game with any real credit was the New Zealander between the sticks.

Wednesday December 7th, 2011

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 2-1 Adelaide Utd

Happy birthday to me, I guess! But it feel like a present was coming when Adelaide took the lead. I thought at that point, we were heading into a genuine slump. We'd actually had the better of the first half, but it was the South Australians who broke through first. I made some changes, shifting an extra player further forward and pulling my wingers in, and it seemed to pay off. We pounded the Adelaide goal and snatched two late goals. It always feels nice to win this way.

MOTM: Maceo Rigters - The wingers was lively all game and his late winner is the highlight of my short tenure so far.

Sunday December 11th, 2011

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 0-1 Sydney FC

If you have one of those games when you're not at your best and you can't find the net, you want your defenders to do the basics right. To be fair, they were okay for the most part, but another utterly ridiculous own goal meant we lose our 100% winning home record. I predicted that Sydney would improve after our first meeting, but this was actually their first win of the season. It's a shame to lose at home, having beaten them away. But it's also a constant battle to remind myself that clubs like Sydney operate operate on a different scale to ours.

MOTM: Glen Moss - Again, I can't find much reason to praise any of the outfield players. Moss was calmness personified in goal, as he always is.

Friday December 16th, 2011

Hyundai A-League

Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

Adelaide Utd 2-2 Gold Coast Utd

What..A..Game. Well, what a second half, anyway. At half-time, I had no idea what was to come, and was happy to try and take a point. In the end, I was left gutted that a point was all we took. Twice, we had the lead. When Rigters rolled home from Kezman's pinpoint delivery on 88 minutes I really thought we'd see it through for our second away win. But it wasn't to be. I tried to console myself that it was a good away point, but it really hurts to miss out on the win like this. Worse still, Kaz Patafta faces months out with an injury. Great.

MOTM: Peter Jungschlager - The midfielder is, when he plays well, the heartbeat of the team. He works hard and links play nicely. He blows hot and cold, though. But today, he was right on song.

Monday December 26th, 2011

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 2-0 Brisbane Roar

Consistently inconsistent, that's us. Our second game of the season was the M1 Derby at Brisbane, and we were outplayed in a 2-0 defeat. This one followed a similar pattern, but with us taking the three points. Roar are a good side, but I'm starting to think that, on our day, we're better than was thought at the start of the season. Yes, we allowed Roar a lot of shots, but few were close range and even fewer were accurate. We had the cutting edge on the day. A great win.

MOTM: Maceo Rigters - Another eyecatching display from the wide man. I marked him out as a key player before we kicked off this season and he's starting to find his feet.

Saturday December 31st, 2011

Hyundai A-League

Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners 0-0 Gold Coast Utd

We've played the Mariners twice now, both times away. And both times have resulted in the points being shared. On the opening day, they should have beaten us. We were lucky. Today, it was a close-run thing and could certainly have gone either way. Despite that, I left wishing we'd been a bit more clinical because we did create several decent chances, particularly in the second half. Our first goalless draw.

MOTM: Ante Rozic - As the month went on, our defending did seem to improve. Rozic never worries me, unlike those around him. He dealt with Mariners' occasional threats.

League Table

A-LeagueTable-December2011.jpg

Player of the Month: Maceo Rigters - Several players impressed me during the month, especially my goalkeeper. But the most consistent performer was Rigters, who works his full-back really hard every game.

Monthly Reflection: Won two, drew two, lost two, so an inconsistent December. But we end it in fifth, with fourth spot available if we win our game in hand. This is far better than I expected to be doing and far better than we were predicted. It was a shame to lose at home to Sydney FC and a shame to allow Adelaide to score such a late equaliser, but wins over Adelaide and Brisbane Roar at home were excellent. A decent enough month for us.

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So... I've been thinking. There's no way I can manage this club long-term. That was never the plan anyway. December had plenty of games and gave me things to think about. It's a hard job and, sooner or later, I'll hit the limit of what I can do. I suspect I am already. The plan is to see the season out, then apply for jobs elsewhere if anything I fancy comes up. If it doesn't, I'll give Gold Coast another season, applying for jobs along the way. But whatever happens, I don't think I could do this job for more than two seasons. At the moment, the Perth Glory and Sydney FC jobs are looking wobbly. If they become free at the end of the season, they are moves I'd consider. But it depends on how we do as well, and how it affects my reputation.

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JhonPerezSigningSnip.jpg

JhonPirezSnip.jpg

I'm quite excited about the above signing. He's only 18, but he looks to have real potential, especially for the A-League. He'll have to wait until the transfer window before I can unregister one of my foreigners get him registered to play.

The below came in before our recent 1-0 defeat at home to Sydney FC.

OverachieveingSnip.jpg

How lovely!

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They've had very low attendances in real life - averaging between 3,000 and 5,000 for home games

My Uncle says the Gold Coast Titans Cheergirls would get a bigger crowd if they performed by themselves at Skilled than GCU do.

Hope you're getting better crowds.

Surfer's Paradise is one of the best names for a club ever, wonder if any edited files can make them playable.

I believe Powely-lad02 DB will allow you to play as Surfers Paradise, but you won't be able to be promoted into the A-League

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JungschlagerSnubSnip.jpg

JungschlagerFortunaSnip.jpg

If I am still here next season, it'll be without this key player. Back to Europe he goes. Gutted.

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Season 2011/2012

JANUARY

This Month's Fixtures

JanuaryFixturesSnip.jpg

With three of this month's five games at home, it gives us a chance to try and kick on and entrench ourselves in the top six. With arguably only Melbourne Heart among the better teams out of our opponents for January, it has to be said that, if we're as good as I'm starting to think we are, there should be a decent points haul available for the month.

This Month's Results

Wednesday January 4th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle

Newcastle United Jets 0-2 Gold Coast Utd

Even with the mighty Francis Jeffers up front, the Jets are really struggling. They had little answer for our display, which was assured and dominant. It would have been a travesty had we not come away with the three points. This is the first time we've begun a month with victory. And it was thoroughly deserved.

MOTM: Ante Rozic - We didn't come under too much pressure, but it doesn't mean a defender can't still stand out. Rozic is our leader at the back and he is also a threat to goal from corners, as he showed today.

Sunday January 8th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 1-0 Melbourne Heart

I cannot adequately convey just how in control of this match we were. I was worried about this fixture. I still believe Heart are a decent side, despite having now beaten them twice, but in the end it was as easy a win as you'll get. We spurned a number of chances, but Kezman came through for us in the end. This result lifts us into second place, which is just incredible.

MOTM: Daniel Severino - The left-winger has been kept out for much of the season by Joel Porter, but Severino took his chance today and impressed me a lot.

Sunday January 15th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 2-1 Wellington Phoenix

With Wellington struggling at the foot of the table with just one win all season, I would have been gutted not to win this. Perhaps my players were a bit too complacent because, in the end, we really had to grind this win out against the New Zealanders, who passed the ball better than either of our previous two opponents. In the end it came down to a screamer from substitute Joel Porter to edge us over the line. Three from three for the month. But this was hard work. Yet another clean sheet, though.

MOTM: Joel Porter - I rarely give this award to a player who played such a short period of the match, but Porter was the difference today. Not only was his goal a wonderful way to win any match, but he was alone among my squad in really testing Phoenix. At 33, he still gets up and down the wing at pace.

Sunday January 22nd, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney

Sydney FC 1-3 Gold Coast Utd

I will never understand how we went in a goal up here. Sydney are still having a very poor season, but they took the game to us and I cannot believe we were leading at the break. I could hardly complain when they got their equaliser immediately after the restart. However, we did grow into it in the second half and made the most of the chances that came our way. I still feel, overall, that a draw would have been fairer, but you always gladly take three points. What a fantastic run we're on.

MOTM: Ante Rozic - His injury time goal settled the nerves, but he did so much more than that. Rozic kept Sydney at bay throughout. He's a bit of a man-mountain.

Friday January 27th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 1-0 Central Coast Mariners

Our encounters with the Mariners are always tight affairs, and it took an inspired substitution from yours truly to decide this one. I decided that Kezman and Severino weren't going to make an impact today, so hauled them off, throwing on Joel Porter and Dylan Macallister. Macallister rarely plays and has already agreed a move to Greenock Morton. Anyway, Porter proceeded to dart off down the left before drilling in an inch-perfect cross for the onrushing Macallister to slam home. Deadly. We probably did deserve to win this, although Mariners played their part. We were missing both Ante Rozic (suspension) and Adama Traore (injury) at the back, so I was glad my makeshift defence kept a clean sheet.

MOTM: Glen Moss - It might seem strange to give your goalkeeper MOTM when your team was probably the better of the two. But, despite generally outperforming the Mariners, we gave them a handful of cracking opportunities to score, all of which Moss repelled. He's such a calm and assured custodian between the sticks.

League Table

A-League-January.jpg

Player of the Month: Ante Rozic - I'm so proud of the whole squad for what they've achieved this month. But nobody stood out quite like Rozic. He was impregnable at the back and threatening at the other end from set-pieces. I dread losing him to injury for any period.

Monthly Reflection: When I took this job, I told myself to treat every win as a bonus. Don't expect too much, just take each game as it comes. I never, in my wildest dreams, expected to put a run like this together. It can't last, of course it can't. But we're getting close to securing a play-off place, and that will feel like an achievement at a club predicted a second-to-bottom finish. And, for now, we can enjoy the high.

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During January, I was linked with a job for the first time.

WestBromJobLinkSnip.jpg

Flattering as it is to be linked with such a prestigious job, I have no interest in managing in the Premier League at this stage. I'd much rather build my career more slowly, progressing as I go. I doubt I'd be offered the job anyway, if it became available. But it shows I'm getting noticed for what I'm doing at Gold Coast.

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As you know I have had some problems with my internet so have been looking forward to catching up with this thread. Very decent start to your career and as you have already decided the West Brom job would be a no go much better to build up your career in Australia and maybe somewhere else before going to England.

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As you know I have had some problems with my internet so have been looking forward to catching up with this thread. Very decent start to your career and as you have already decided the West Brom job would be a no go much better to build up your career in Australia and maybe somewhere else before going to England.

Yeah, a job like West Brom is of no interest right now. I don't really want to stay at Gold Coast much longer, though. Finances are so tight, it would be impossible to build anything lasting. I might do one more season, but I wouldn't be surprised if I get a job offer or two at the end of the season.

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You get a choice of border types with the Snipping Tool. I was unaware of this when I first started taking snips, and found myself wondering why mine came out with red borders when nobody else's did. I guess it must have been the default setting. I haven't really felt inclined to go back and change them all, and I am a stickler for consistency so I don't like the idea of changing now, even if it would probably be wise to do so.

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Gold Star proving a promising place to manage around here, you're both doing really well.

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Gold Star proving a promising place to manage around here, you're both doing really well.

I have a really tough run of games in February so it might look a bit different after I've played that month. Enjoyed the good run, though!

Also, Gold Star? I think you'll find it's Gold Coast!

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You get a choice of border types with the Snipping Tool. I was unaware of this when I first started taking snips, and found myself wondering why mine came out with red borders when nobody else's did. I guess it must have been the default setting. I haven't really felt inclined to go back and change them all, and I am a stickler for consistency so I don't like the idea of changing now, even if it would probably be wise to do so.

Snipping tool?

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Snipping tool?

It's a tool used to crop an area of the screen where you want to take the screenshot.

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It's a tool used to crop an area of the screen where you want to take the screenshot.

You need to have FM open in windowed mode to be able to use the Snipping Tool for screenshots. It's a really quick and easy method but I didn't realise the red border would be there. Personally, I'm happy with the border, so it will be staying. If certain people don't like it, they won't be forced to return to the thread.

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GoldCoastUnitedLogo.jpg

Season 2011/2012

FEBRUARY

This Month's Fixtures

FebruaryFixturesSnip.jpg

After a brilliant and totally unexpected run in January, February looks a sterner challenge. Two matches against Melbourne Victory, who look comfortably the best side in this league, will really test us, despite the fact both fixtures are at Skilled Park. The match away at Melbourne Heart will be no cakewalk, while Perth Glory have already beaten us once on their own patch. I worry that if we lose our first game of the month, it'll be really hard to pick things up again against some really tough sides.

This Month's Results

Wednesday February 1st, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 1-5 Melbourne Victory

You know a good run has to an end at some point, but you never want it to happen like this. The really frustrating thing is that we were more than matching them for almost 70 minutes. The first half was pretty even, and after the break, we had a host of chances which we couldn't put away. Then the defence fell to pieces and started gifting Victory goals. True, their forward players are good and they did somewhat rip us apart. But it didn't feel like a 5-1. How on Earth do I pick the players up from this disaster?

MOTM: Peter Jungschlager - Doesn't seem like anyone really deserves it after today. I suppose the Dutch midfielder scored a penalty and, prior to the late collapse, created a few chances.

Monday February 6th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

nib Stadium, Perth

Perth Glory 1-2 Gold Coast Utd

I suppose if the opposition are going to score two goals for your, you stand a chance of bouncing back. We won 2-1, despite having just one shot on target! But don't be fooled by our lack of chances created. We were decent value for the win and I'm just really pleased that the players battled their way to victory. I saw it as a big ask, responding well away at Glory after the Victory debacle. But we were much more solid at the back. I made changes in personnel for this game and those that came in have earned another chance.

MOTM: Jonas Salley - I wish I could sign this guy permanently, but it looks unlikely. He plays in the defensive midfield position and does such a good job there. He epitomised a battling display from us in this match.

Sunday February 12th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 3-1 Adelaide Utd

This was the game I felt we had to win this month. Adelaide are the only lowly side we face, and it was over after half an hour. We raced into the lead, but the perfectionist in me as annoyed at the goal we conceded, the ball hitting the post and bouncing in off our 'keeper. We could have scored another four or five after Adelaide's goal, but I can't really complain. We've responded excellently to the the Victory mauling, winning two from two.

MOTM: Maceo Rigters - I've dropped Kezman of late, pushed Rigters up front and brought in Tahj Minniecon out wide on the right. Minniecon has really grasped his chance, but Rigters' two goals seal MOTM for him today. He's a good player at this level of football.

Friday February 17th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Melbourne Heart 3-2 Gold Coast Utd

Heart's first two goals came from long punts up the field after attacks of our own broke down. Such a horrible way to concede. I was thrilled when Ante Rozic drew us level at 1-1, but fuming at him for then getting sent-off. We were never going to find our way back after that, but we kept the score respectable. Still, Heart had been in poor form prior to this, so I'd rather hoped we could take at least a point.

MOTM: Daniel Severino - The 29-year old is another player to find his way into the team following the 5-1 defeat at the start of the month, and he teed up both goals today. A lively performance.

Saturday February 25th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 3-0 Melbourne Victory

I almost don't know where to start. We've just lost 5-1 to this lot, and our last match hardly went according to plan either. And yet, league leaders Melbourne Victory can consider themselves very lucky indeed that only finished 3-0. We controlled this game from start to finish. It's strange how different this match was to the earlier one, given as I changed almost nothing tactically. But Victory could barely muster an attack. I was so, so pleased with this. What a performance!

MOTM: Tahj Minniecon - This guy has a wonderful name, and he's had a good month. Before February, he'd made a handful of appearances off the bench. But the mauling at home to Victory saw me bring him in and he's done so well. A really good display.

League Table

A-League-FebruarySnip.jpg

Player of the Month: Maceo Rigters - Nobody stood out that much. We were good together and poor together at times. But Rigters does have a certain consistency about him and he really works the defenders. He had a good February.

Monthly Reflection: We've now guaranteed a place in the end of season play-off system. It's quite complicated, but the target now has to be to secure second spot and give ourselves the best chance of reaching the Grand Final. The month itself was satisfactory. In fact, I'd say it was better than that. Yes, we took a pounding against Victory and suffered a narrow reverse at Heart, but we also picked up three very good wins. It still well exceeds what I expected at the start of the season.

I've applied for jobs at Preston North End and Barnsley during February. Both clubs claimed to be flattered, but apparently didn't have the money to break my contract. So I didn't get them. If I want to move on at the end of the season, it looks like I'll have to resign.

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McGowanYoungPlayerSnip.jpg

This guy is a 20-year old central midfielder. He's Australian, but he's on loan to us for the season from Hearts (that's Heart of Midlothian, not Melbourne Heart). I'd like to sign him but it won't happen.

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Thanks, buddy.

I never expected when I took this job to be competing right at the top of the table come the end of the regular season. It's gone so well that I'm seriously considering staying for a second season. The club is in dire financial straits so I'm offloading a few players and, although I'm trying to bring players in, it could be a younger side that I end up with next season. That'll be a serious challenge.

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Season 2011/2012

MARCH

This Month's Fixtures

MarchFixtures.jpg

To secure second spot, I doubt we need more than one win from our last four matches. However, I wouldn't be satisfied with that. I really think six points is possible from the two away games. The home games are against tougher opposition, but I give us a fair chance of winning them. March could be a good month.

This Month's Results

Sunday March 4th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Wellington Phoenix 3-2 Gold Coast Utd

I don't enjoy playing Phoenix. They'd only won once prior to this and were miles adrift at the foot of the table. We'd already beaten them twice at home, but we'd had to battle hard for those wins. We certainly don't seem to sweep them away like others do, and here, we probably deserved to lose. Phoenix always impress me with their passing. It's a mystery to me how they've not done better. Still, I couldn't help but be diappointed with our own display. We led twice but were too generous at the back, and not for the first time.

MOTM: Tahj Minniecon - This guy continues to zoom up in my estimations. He's the epitome of a player forced to wait for his chance, and then taking it with both hands. I'm so impressed with what he's done since the 5-1 loss to Melbourne Victory saw him called into the team.

Friday March 9th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle

Newcastle United Jets 0-3 Gold Coast Utd

Ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. I'm left thrilled, furious, proud and ashamed in something like equal measure. The result is fantastic. But, oh, how we conspired to make it difficult. Firstly, Greg Owens, a winger who I was deploying at right-back with Michael Thwaite shifted across to centre-back to cover Rozic's suspension, gets a red card for a wild lunge on forty seconds! Then, two minutes later, Rigters gives us the lead. But on 14 minutes, Rigters makes a similar challenge and we're facing much of the match with nine men. I could complain about neither red. To lose these players for three matches is very frustrating, though. Amazingly, my nine men proceeded to dominate. I have to say, Jets look a team in disarray. We beat them with ease. 3-0 was not at all flattering to us.

MOTM: Kaz Patafta - The young midfielder has missed a good chunk of the season through injury, and started this game on the bench. After the second red, I felt we needed an extra midfield presence, so I summond Patafta. He didn't disappoint. It was his best display for me so far, and I really feel we might have been hurt by our indiscipline a lot more without Patafta's showing. Took him off towards the end to spare his weary legs.

Following the above win, we have secured second place, and the right to play Melbourne Victory in the Major Semi-Final. I'll explain how this all works at the end.

Sunday March 18th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 2-1 Perth Glory

I was nervous about this because I still feel that Perth Glory are a decent side on their day and, also, we were robbed of Peter Jungschlager through injury and Greg Owens and Maceo Rigters through suspension. At least we could welcome back Ante Rozic. It was quite a tense game. Despite having confirmed second place, I really wanted to win, even with those players missing. Glory had their moments, but I do feel the better side won. Going back in front so soon after conceding the equaliser was a relief.

MOTM: Ante Rozic - It was good to have him back. He scored his sixth goal of the season and was as solid and reliable as usual at the back.

Sunday March 25th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 0-0 Brisbane Roar

The last game of the regular season was against our bitterest rivals, and let's just be clear about the challenge we were left with: Greg Owens and Maceo Rigters were out with their suspensions; Mateja Kezman was on his third suspension for collecting five yellow cards, Peter Jungschlager was missing with a virus, Ante Rozic was out injured and Kaz Patafta was only fit enough for the bench after picking up a virus. I called in teenager Josh Brillante to play at right-back, while midfielder Howard Fondyke made his first start of the season. Joel Porter started up front. Based on all this, I was more than willing to settle for a draw, and a draw is what we got. To use the cliché of many a drawn game, it could have gone either way. Roar had more possession, but barely a shot at goal, while we made it into double figures.

MOTM: Josh Brillante - It's not reflected on the rating the game gave him for some reason, but I saw a young lad making his third ever appearance (his first under me), who played without fear, broke forward constantly and defended like he'd been around for years. Top quality stuff, as far as I'm concerned.

Regular Season Final League Table

A-League-March.jpg

Player of the Month: Tahj Minniecon - Two in a row for this guy. I misjudged his ability at the start of the season. But then again, all choices were based on pre-season performances. Still, Minniecon has truly emerged and could be crucial next season if he keeps this kind of form up.

Monthly Reflection: March was a tale of suspension and injury. It's the first time I've really had to go deeper into the squad. Results-wise, I'm pretty satisfied. At the start of the season, I'd have been viewing the idea of a month like this as very good, so I shouldn't complain. The defeat at Wellington Phoenix was annoying because we should be beating them, but we did enough to bag second place. It's a special season already.

So, that's the regular season over. For anyone following the thread who doesn't know what happens next, I'll try and explain. We go into a two-legged semi-final against first-placed Melbourne Victory. The winner goes through to the Grand Final, but the loser is not necessarily finished. Third-placed play six-placed while fourth-placed play fifth-placed. The winners then meet for the right to play the loser of the first-vs.-second match in a semi-final. The winner of that then goes through to face the winner of the first-vs.-second place in the Grand Final. I hope that makes sense!

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Aussie rules clearly.

If you're referring to the play-off, it's certainly different to anything we get in Europe. Seems silly to me that a side that finished 6th could conceivably end up champions.

--------------------

RecordHighFinishSnip.jpg

ManageroftheYearSnip.jpg

First season in management, at a club predicted to finish 9th, and I end up doing this. I've honestly loved this season. Might be one of my favourite FM memories ever. But this save has much distance left to travel.

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Well they can in Belgium.

I didn't know that. Wasn't a dig at the Aussies, anyway. I'd find it odd anywhere. I suppose you could say it's unfair that a team finishing 6th in the Championship can get promoted over a team that finishes 3rd.

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True but it's not quite on that level, and even having been on the receiving end (of a 'narrowly missed out on the top 2, lose to a side who just sneaked in' flavour as well) I can accept that.

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Look at us, posting in each other's threads at the exact same moment! Freaky stuff.

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TBF, the 10th best MLS team could win the MLS Cup through the playoff system.

Good luck in the playoffs!

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Look at us, posting in each other's threads at the exact same moment! Freaky stuff.

Great minds etc.

;)

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All Australian sports leagues have play-offs (aka a finals series). Plus you play each other three times, so the draw is never going to be even in terms of home and away games.

I think a league where top spot is the champion only works if you play every side an even number of times, home and away.

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It's a tool used to crop an area of the screen where you want to take the screenshot.

Ah I get you.

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Season 2011/2012

MARCH/APRIL

FINALS SERIES

Finals Stage Ties

FinalsSeriesMinorFinalSnip.jpg

FinalsSeriesMajorSemiSnip.jpg

So, as we all know, we face a tough semi against Melbourne Victory. I honestly believe we can get past them, but we will be hit hard by suspensions and injury for the first leg. I need to get the tactics right or we'll struggle. If we lose to Victory and have to play another semi, or if we get to the final, I'd fancy us to beat whoever we come up against, although I'd prefer to avoid a derby with Brisbane Roar. But that's premature. Victory will be a stern test indeed.

Finals Series Results

Saturday March 31st, 2012

Hyundai A-League: Finals Series

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 2-4 Melbourne Victory

And so, we have a mountain to climb. With five important players out injured or suspended, this was always going to be a tough match. Perhaps it was a bridge too far for a squad that's already performed miracles this season. We fell apart early in the match, as Victory's quality players toyed with us. It looked like they could score at will, so I made some changes and, to be fair, we did better after that. But we paid for a really sluggish opening. At least the pressure is off now. Nothing to lose in Melbourne.

MOTM: Tahj Minniecon - The right-winger is unstoppable at the moment. It might have been a disappointing result, but Minniecon was his usual pacy, direct self. It's such a great feeling when you see a player suddenly blossom before your eyes.

Sunday April 8th, 2012

Hyundai A-League: Finals Series

AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

Melbourne Victory 0-3 Gold Coast Utd (Gold Coast Utd win 5-4 on aggregate)

In front of a crowd of over 28,000 (mostly expectant Victory fans), we did something special today. More than special, something incredible. I don't know Victory tried to sit back and see the game out, or if having key players back made us so much better, but I suspect it was a lot of both. I felt relaxed about this came. I knew we'd get a second bite of the cherry and made my peace with probable defeat here. But from start to finish, there was only one side wanting the ball, only one side creating chances, and, while 1-0 at half-time, I had a little feeling we might do it. And in a recent theme, we were driven on by yet another fantastic display from Tahj Minniecon. But the whole team deserves praise. We put the best team in the A-League to the sword. And now we're one home game away from being crowned champions. I feel giddy.

MOTM: Tahj Minniecon - Do I need to comment? Whatever happens in the future, I won't forget this guy. He's been amazing.

Saturday April 21st, 2012

Hyundai A-League: Finals Series

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 3-3 Brisbane Roar (after extra time) - (Gold Coast Utd win 5-4 on penalties)

YEEEESSSS!!! Unbelievable. I mean... how much drama can a man take..? We got into a great position at 2-0, then let them back in. Then we got back in fron at 3-2 and I'm thinking we've done enough. But no, one last desperate Roar attack in the sixth minute of injury time results in a goal. A more up-and-down ninety minutes I cannot remember. I'm convinced we tried to throw it away. And when Alioum Saidou missed the crucial fifth penalty, I thought we were done. Putting aside my jpy at how it turned out and focusing on the match itself, Roar were fortunate to be anywhere near us. We dominated play, creating far more chances. But our rivals found joy in the ball over the top, with their apparently quick forwards burning my defenders off several times to score. I need a lie down...

MOTM: Ante Rozic - The Croatian centre-back finally returned from injury, and it seems appropriate that a player with a habit of scoring important goals, popped up with two today. He can always be relied upon.

Final League Table

A-League-FinalTable.jpg

Player of the Finals Stage: Tahj Minniecon - I couldn't really pick anyone else. The whole squad are stars to me now, but Minniecon was on fire. He perhaps didn't light up the final, but his inspirational display over two legs against Melbourne Victory got us there. Brilliant.

Reflection on the Finals Stage: A full season review will follow, but in reflecting on the Finals Stage, I wonder if this career will ever produce drama like this again. After losing 4-2 at home to Melbourne Victory, I was relaxed and hopeful we could still make the final, but obviously disappointed at how easily we rolled over. What happened in Melbourne will live long with me. I still can't believe how we turned it round against the team who, as I've said, I consider the best in the league. And then there was the final. My poor heart. At 2-0, I felt we were cruising. But somehow, it became as dramatic as anything I can remember; a comeback from two down, a Severino goal to go 3-2 in front, a late, late, late equaliser, and then an unbelievably tense penalty shootout. I'm so proud of what we've done here. Wow!

There will be a full season review at some point, but it too late now for me to stay up and do it. I'm going to try and sleep, but the adrenaline sure it pumping.

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Great work on winning a Championship at your first go. :thup:

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Thanks guys. Been a little busy but hopefully I'll do my end-of-season conclusion/summing up-type post later today.

It really has been an epic season. In all my FM history, which dates back to 1997, I don't remember punching the air and cheering like I did when Brisbane Roar missed their penalty in the final.

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Season 2011/2012

SEASON REVIEW

So it began with an unremarkable 1-1 draw at Central Coast Mariners in October, and ended in April with as dramatic a match as I'll ever be involved in as we conspired to throw away a lead against Brisbane Roar in the Major Final, before securing a sudden-death penalty shootout win. What the team achieved this season goes beyond anything I even dared to dream of and, taking off my pretend manager cap and donning my FM-play one, I honestly think I might be looking at my proudest ever achievement in a game I've been playing since 1997.

Player of the Season

As with my MOTM and Player of the Month awards throughout the season, I've gone on my own feelings here rather than what can sometimes seem like fairly arbitrary ratings that the game gives. The whole squad did me proud and gave me a season that it was a pleasure to play out.

3. Adama Traore

It was a toss-up for 3rd between my two full-backs, Traore and Michael Thwaite. Traore didn't win MOTM all season, but his level of performance was so consistent that I couldn't overlook him.

2. Maceo Rigters

Rigters really lived up to the billing I gave him at the start of the season. He had a knack for bagging goals when we really needed them, and eleven isn't a bad return for a player who spent the first half of the season out on the wing, only moving up-front after I decided Mateja Kezman wasn't reliable enough.

1. Ante Rozic

Quite simply, I cannot overstate how influential this guy was. He was a rock at the back, holding everything together and was the key reason we had the second-best defence in the league after the Regular Season. He was also a genuine threat in the opposition box, getting on the end of corners and free-kicks and notching eight goals, which isn't to be sniffed at. It's great when you have someone at the heart of your defence who you can always rely on.

Sadly, due to some kind of bug, Rozic's stats for the season aren't showing properly in the screenshot. But trust me, he was good.

Favourite Match

2MelbourneVictoryvsGoldCoastSnip.jpg

I could have picked the final, but that was too tense for me to really enjoy. So I've gone for our quite wonderful 3-0 win away at Melbourne Victory in the semis. I'm still convinced that Victory sat back too much, which allowed us onto them, but our goals didn't snap them out of it. We controlled it from start to finish and I'll never forget how I felt when Kezman stuck our third in. And when the final whistle came, I was left to reflect on guiding us to the final in my first season as a manager. Epic, indeed.

So why so good?

I've been wondering this. Just why did a side predicted to finish second-to-bottom end up finishing second-from-top and then winning the Major Final? Well, firstly, good players. Whatever the prediction at the start of the season, the squad is decent. I added some decent players to it, as well. Players like Rozic, Rigters, Traore, Kezman, Peter Jungschlager, Dylan McGowan, Michael Thwaite - these guys can cut it in the A-League. I also think I did a good job of keeping morale up. We never lost two in a row all season. Keeping the players happy and confident must have had something to do with it.

Thoughts on next season

I'm almost certain to stay for another season. I don't want to be here too long, but I've arranged some transfers which I really want to see how they go. I'm also looking forward to the continuing development of Tahj Minniecon and Josh Brillante, who both emerged at the end of the season. I don't forsee us having as good a season, especially with having to balance the Asian Champions League with the A-League. I'd be happy to make the play-offs again, though. I want to make sure my reputation continues to grow.

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Season | Team | League | Country | League Position | Notes |
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 2011/12 | Gold Coast Utd | Hyundai A-League | Australia | 2nd (R.S.) | Won Finals Series |[/Code]

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Season 2012/2013

PRE-SEASON

Against all my instincts last season, I felt I couldn't move on just yet. The main reason was that, towards the end of the season, I was busy shaping the squad for the forthcoming season and it seemed somewhat disingenuous to then walk out. I want to see what I can do with the re-shaped squad. In all honesty, I'm considering seeing my contract out, which would take me to the end of the season that follows the one about to start.

Transfers

Transfers.jpg

Despite our success last season, you can see that a few changes have been made. The most notable departures are Mateja Kezman and Joel Porter. Kezman didn't do enough to earn a contract extension. Yes, he popped up with the odd important goal, but his wages were high and I couldn't justify paying him considering how few goals he scored. Porter, at 33, is not necessarily too old, but he was muscled out of the team by the likes of Tahj Minniecon and Daniel Severino towards the end of the season. With the new signings I've made, I couldn't see a place for Porter. Unfortunately, I couldn't agree terms with Peter Jungschlager, the influential Dutch midfielder. He returns to his native Netherlands to play for Fortuna Sittard.

Coming in is a combination of youth and experience. Richard Garcia has Championship and Premier League experience with Hull City, as well 14 caps for Australia. Mile Sterjovski, at 33, is one of the leading Australian internationals of the last ten years, with plenty of experience in England. David Healy, although probably not as good as Kezman when both strikers were at their peaks, will hopefully offer more of a goal threat than the Serbian did. Sebastian Usai is a 22-year old goalkeeper signed from Blackburn Rovers who will hopefully offer competition to Glen Moss. I felt I needed a third goalkeeper of reasonable quality in the squad. I'm also thrilled to be able to sign Jonas Salley permanently, following his successful loan last season. Josh Mitchell is an experienced defender who leaves Perth Glory to sign for us. The only loan signing is Matt McKay, a 29-year old midfielder with tonnes of A-League experience and who played over 20 games for Rangers in the SPL last season. The other signings are pretty raw youngsters who will provide a combination of first team cover and potential for the future.

I'll be keeping an eye out for two players who feel like new signings, despite having already been part of the squad. My coaching staff feel that 22-year old midfielder James Brown is one of the best players in the squad. He played only twice last season, having been transfer listed at the start of the season for inexplicably missing training. He's done so well in pre-season that I may look to give him a chance. The other player I'll be keeping an eye on is Jhon Pirez. I signed the teenage Uruguayan striker last season, but couldn't register him due to already having a full quota of foreigners. This time round, he's in.

Pre-Season Results

Gold Coast Utd 2-0 Brisbane Strikers

Australian Institute of Sport 0-2 Gold Coast Utd

Canberra FC 0-6 Gold Coast Utd

Gold Coast Utd 1-2 Atletico Mineiro

Brisbane Olympic Utd 0-3 Gold Coast Utd

Gold Coast Utd 7-0 Victorian Training Centre

Gold Coast Utd 3-1 Redlands Utd

Gold Coast Utd 4-0 Rochedale Rovers

Eastern Suburbs Brisbane 0-3 Gold Coast Utd

Most of our matches were against minnows, which is how I like it in pre-season. You want to get your players fit and enjoying themselves, and it's fine for that. We overran most of the minnows we faced, with David Healy and Jhon Pirez both looking sharp. It was disappointing to lose to Atletico Mineiro, but perhaps not surprising. I think we gave a decent account of ourselves against the Brazilians.

Aims and Expectations: Some people would no doubt be thinking of at least matching their previous season. Despite the fact that I feel I've added some real quality, I don't think we can possibly do as well as last season. What I want to do is try and get in the play-offs again. That would satisfy me. If I can do that, I may not even bother with the final season of my contract. But that's not a decision I'm looking to make just yet. As for the Champions League, I haven't familiarised myself with the format, but as long as we don't disgrace ourselves and our league, I'm happy.

Finances: Decidely wobbly. I remember the way Harry Redknapp seemed to jump ship at Portsmouth just before things started going boobs up. Well, something similar might happen here. I definitely want to get out before it goes wrong, which it could do very soon.

Key Players:

Ante Rozic - After last season, it's hard to believe the Croatian centre-back won't be key to any success we have. What he lacks in pace, he makes up for in positional sense, strength and an eye for goal. I hope he can form a decent partnership with new signing Josh Mitchell.

Richard Garcia - Of my new signings, I suspect Garcia will be the most important. He plays in Tahj Minniecon's position, so I have to decide who to go with at first, but as the season wears on, I imagine Garcia will be an important player.

Maceo Rigters - I was right about Rigters last season. He scored goals and created them as well. He can play out wide or up-front and is the kind of player every team needs. He has much greater competition for his place this time round, but I see him as a crucial player nonetheless.

David Healy - It all comes down to whether he can force himself into the starting lineup and if he can score goals. If I do manage to get him firing, we will have one of the best strikers in the A-League. If not, it will be a shame.

So that covers pre-season. Time to get started on a new season. Will I match last season's heroics? Or will it be back down to Earth with a bump? Here goes...

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I look forward to seeing you move on, can't see myself at Colorado for longer than three seasons. Are your club in debt?

I think you are spot on about the morale of the squad. If you lose two or more in a row things go real bad. Great season will be hard to match but I have a feeling you will have jumped ship before you can attempt to match last season.

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Here's a screenshot of the club finances for you to peruse. Not great, but could be worse. The numbers will improve once the season starts.

Finances.jpg

As for the length of my stay, I'm not opposed to seeing my contract out. But at the same time, I'll definitely be applying for jobs that come up if I fancy them. The problem is that clubs seem not to have the funds to buy me out of my contract. I don't want to resign so I might have to wait until my contract ends.

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Season 2012/2013

OCTOBER

This Month's Fixtures

OctoberFixturesSnip-1.jpg

The A-League is a relatively egalitarian league, so I tend to think any run of fixtures looks potentially tough. Still, I'm glad we avoid the likes of Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory in the opening month. But kicking off with the derby away at Brisbane Roar certainly won't be easy. I feel confident that we can make a decent start, though.

This Month's Results

Tuesday October 16th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar 1-1 Gold Coast Utd

For the second season in a row, we begin with a 1-1 draw. There was plenty from this to please me. We were the better side throughout and certainly didn't deserve to go in a goal down. In the end, and not for the first time, it was substitutions that got us a result, as Tahj Minniecon and David Healy came off the bench to combine for our equaliser. Healy had only been on for two minutes. Not a bad way to introduce himself. I consider this a satisfactory start to the season.

MOTM: Josh Mitchell - My new centre-back was calm and assured at the back. I like the look of him. On the evidence of today, he should provide a more reliable partner to Ante Rozic at the back than Kristian Rees did.

Saturday October 20th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 0-0 Melbourne Heart

Melbourne Heart had already played twice, and had won twice - pretty convincingly. So I'm not disheartened by the fact we didn't win. Again, we were the better side, but we were far from clinical. If you have an off-day going forward, you want your defence to lend you a hand and we certainly dealt well with anything Heart asked of us. Perhaps we should have taken the three points, but I'll settle for this against a side I fancy to do well this season.

MOTM: Adama Traore - The Cameroonian left-back is such a good player and he was our liveliest player today. He got forward all match long and looked the most likely source of anything productive.

Wednesday October 24th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 2-0 Wellington Phoenix

This was our most comfortable performance against Phoenix so far, and we sealed with two first-half set pieces - David Healy's lovely free-kick and Maceo Rigters perfect penalty kick enough to claim the points. Phoenix had made a decent start to the season, but offered little here and the best team won. New signings Healy, McKay and Mitchell look to have slotted in well.

MOTM: Maceo Rigters - The Dutchman's penalty was immaculate, and this was his most eyecatching display of the month. He's a real threat going forward and always offers an outlet when we need one.

Saturday October 27th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle

Newcastle United Jets 0-0 Gold Coast Utd

A third draw from our opening four matches to round at the month. We're not exactly free-scoring at the moment. But our movement is good and we do look dangerous going forward. The Jets were much better than last season, when we beat them ease three times. This match was the closest one of October so far. Frustratingly, we did create chances to score, but so did Jets. A draw seems a fair result to me.

MOTM: Adama Traore - Another sterling effort by our left-back. Despite struggle for fitness, he never stopped running and was a constant threat down the left.

League Table

A-LeagueTable-OctoberSnip.jpg

Player of the Month: Adama Traore - He's still only 22, but I'm sure Traore could play at a higher level than this. He was exceptional during October. He can defend, but he's most adept at bombing forward, which he did to good effect this month.

Monthly Reflection: If we finish the season in this position, I'll be thrilled. But there's a long way to go. We need to become more clinical and finish teams off when we're dominating. It's nice to be unbeaten, but I want more goals. We could, and perhaps should, have left Brisbane with all three points and I really feel we should have beaten Melbourne Heart at home. All four games contained positives, though.

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Not a bad start and unbeaten, struggling for goals a bit though.

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Struggling a little for goals, and yet only one team has scored more than us. I guess everyone has come out the traps a bit slowly.

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I noticed that as I was typing my post. I think the goals will come as you go on.

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Season 2012/2013

NOVEMBER

This Month's Fixtures

NovemberFixturesSnip-1.jpg

There are two things we need to find this month - more goals and a few more wins. We've done okay, but I look at this as a month we should be taking plenty of points from. Adelaide Utd have made a poor start, while Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix were all beatable last season.

This Month's Results

Saturday November 3rd, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 2-1 Adelaide Utd

Adelaide have made a woeful start and I was as confident of winning this as I've been of winning any match. And we did proceed to dominate. Unfortunately, what should have been a comfortable and emphatic victory turned out far narrower and a lot more tense thanks to a terrible own goal from Ante Rozic. He's looked ropier this season so far, and, as Adelaide swung a ball in from out wide, with no attacker in the box, Rozic saw fit to slide in under absolutely no pressure and hand the South Australians a lifeline. But I can't complain about the team's overall performance. These three points send us top.

MOTM: Maceo Rigters - The two-goal Dutchman shows the increasingly impotent-looking David Healy how it's done. A top-notch all-round display from arguably my most important player.

Tuesday November 6th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners 3-1 Gold Coast Utd

This was keystone cops stuff. All the stats suggest that a comfortable Gold Coast win would not have flattered us. And yet, through a string of horrific errors, we were on the end of a defeat. First, Ante Rozic scored his second own goal in two games. This one was even worse than the last, as he stuck his head on an in-swinging but unthreatening cross to give Mariners the lead. At 1-1, and with half-time fast approaching, Rozic then attempted a stupid challenge in the corner of the area when there was no imminent danger, conceding a penalty. Despite how highly I rate him, Rozic will now be dropped for the next game. At 2-1 down, Rigters drills a penalty against a post, and you know it's not your day. And for their third, the always dependable Glen Moss bends down to pick up the ball, changes his mind, leaves the ball on the floor and waits for a striker to come and slam it in. I'll be having nightmares about this match tonight.

MOTM: Matt McKay - I shouldn't have replaced him as early as I did. The left-winger was lively. He gets so many chances at goal, I just wish he would convert a few.

Saturday November 10th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Syndey Football Stadium, Sydney

Sydney FC 3-1 Gold Coast Utd

In terms of individual errors, we were much better today. It was a competent performance. But Sydney FC have made a really good start and we couldn't handle their wide play. They kept getting in behind my full-backs and we had no answer. Tactically, I had no answer. Nevertheless, it took two late goals for them to win it, and they only got those thanks to the way we were pushing for a winner ourselves. In hindsight, maybe I should have tried to settle for a point in the end. The third goal, sadly, came as the result of another Glen Moss error. I'd drop him for the next game, but he'll be away with the New Zealand squad anyway. Overall, I can take positives from this. That was not true of the Central Coast game.

MOTM: Mile Sterjovski - In a decent enough effort by the team, the experienced centre-midfielder shone through. He created some good chances at 1-1. It's a shame Matt McKay was so profligate. Also pleased Sterjovski got his first goal.

Saturday November 17th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Skilled Park, Gold Coast

Gold Coast Utd 0-1 Melbourne Victory

Well, it looks like we're in a real slump now, but in truth, I can't be too harsh on the players here, either. We all know how good Melbourne Victory are (they had Nuno Gomes playing up-fron, for crying out loud), and we matched them most of the way through. Again, it was my own determination to take three points when one was within our grasp that cost us. We'd pushed up, allowing Victory to break quickly, and that finished us off. Young Sebastian Usai in goal made a few good saves, but had little to do really.

MOTM: Adama Traore - Traore plays well whatever the rest of the team are doing. He is occasionally guilty of being too far upfield, but he was our main threat today.

Sunday November 25th, 2012

Hyundai A-League

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Wellington Phoenix 0-4 Gold Coast Utd

This was just really, really impressive. Firstly, Phoenix don't look like the pushovers they were last season. Plus, given our current form, I'm so impressed with the way the players dominated the game and with how, finally, we looked dangerous in front of goal. I'm also pleased that McKay and Pirez scored their first goals for the club, and that Healy got on the scoresheet. I'm pleased with myself, too. I told the players to relax and enjoy. When the chips are down and things aren't going for you, it's easy to lose the sense of enjoyment. I just felt if the players could remember to have a bit of fun and relax, it might yield something. I also changed our system a bit, and it paid off. Brilliant.

MOTM: David Healy - Ante Rozic was finally back to his old self, but Healy impressed me most today. His movement was superb and he took his goal well. More like what I've been looking for from him.

League Table

A-League-November.jpg

Player of the Month: Maceo Rigters - He looks the most dangerous of all my attacking players and, although it was a poor month, really, Rigters bagged three goals and was always a willing runner.

Monthly Reflection: This is probably my most disappointing month so far, and yet we're no worse off than we were this time last season. But can we produce another run like we did in January? I don't feel like we can. What was most frustrating of all was watching usually reliable players turn in clown-like performances. It was a shock, to be honest. One thing's for sure, we needed the win in Wellington because December has a really tough run of games.

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Not a good month but ending on a win is important hopefully it can spur the team on a bit now.

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