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Comrades in Arms- a Youth Development Challenge

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Ballyclare_Comrades.png

Information

Ballyclare Comrades is an intermediate, Northern Irish football club playing in IFA Championship 2. The club was founded in 1919 by veterans of the 1914–18 War, most of them from "C" Company of the 12th Royal Irish Rifles - a battalion made up entirely of East Antrim men, who fought at the Somme and in many other famous First World War battles.

The club hails from Ballyclare, County Antrim and plays its home matches at Dixon Park, which it shares with tenants Ards. Club colours are red and white. The current manager is Gordon Chambers, who replaced the long-serving Jamesy Kirk in November 2008.

From 1990 until 2003, the club enjoyed senior status, but reverted to intermediate status when the Irish Premier League was established and the number of senior clubs was reduced from 20 to 16.

The club also has a large amount of youth teams, from under 10s through to under 18s.

The club was relegated to IFA Championship 2 in the 2010–11 season after finishing 14th in IFA Championship 1.

Ballyclare's rivals are Carrick Rangers and Larne and games between the three clubs are referred to as "The East Antrim Derbies".

Screenshots

Information- you will notice the nickname that I used in the thread title.

Finances- up to 100k after I organised a money spinning preseason,

Facilities- The youth facilities are terrible but hey, at least we have some! a few teams dont even have any... I have already had junior coaching increased and a highlight is already having average youth recruitment.

Squad- We are predicted to get promotion and our squad has good depth with lots of players that have similar ability.

Board Expectations- we have to get promotion this season or I might be sacked! a bit of a reality check that I only get a £140 a week wage budget to do this even though I wont be spending a penny of it on new players.

The Challenge

I wont be buying a single player. This is a youth development challenge and I want to develop all my players to fit into a team.

Long term goals

-Win promotion to the top division

-Win the Premier division

-Produce a Northern Ireland international

-Get Northern Ireland to qualify for a major tournament

-Get into the Champions league group stages

-Max out youth facilities

-Get Northern Ireland into the top 5 of the UEFA coefficients

-Win the Champions League

These aims are a long way away but hopefully I can achieve them. I have taken some inspiration from dafauges thread and the youth only challenge done with IK Tord.

Aims for season 1

- Get promoted (or sacked!)

- Improve some kind of club facilities

- Work out what date I get my youth intake (might ask dafauge)

I think thats it. Lets hope I have just started a rollercoaster ride!

Every season I will tag the best two players from my intake with YP and then a number.

Updates will be every season and I first season should be up in a couple of days :)

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Good luck. Looking forward to you getting it up and runing.

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Good luck. Looking forward to you getting it up and runing.

about to get it up now. Just got back from watching Leeds lose 2-0 :(

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Good luck with Ballyclare, I've actually played on their pitch before. It's a nice pitch for the level of football they play at. Hopefully you'll get some cracking youth through in the near future!

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From the thread title i thought it was going to be in Russia, good luck!

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From the thread title i thought it was going to be in Russia, good luck!

Thanks, why did you think it was in russia may I ask :)

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Good luck with Ballyclare, I've actually played on their pitch before. It's a nice pitch for the level of football they play at. Hopefully you'll get some cracking youth through in the near future!

Thanks, I hope so too!

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Thanks, why did you think it was in russia may I ask :)

Because of the comrades part, at least Russians on American movies always use that word. :)

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Ballyclare Comrades - Championship Two - 2011/12

The aim for the first season was simple, too get promotion.

League Table

League Positions graph

A very disappointing season for me as I believe the squad was more than good enough to win promotion. The problem I had was the tactics. The one I started using (an attacking 4-2-4 with wingers) just wasn’t working and I took too long to see that. Once I changed to a narrow counter attacking 4-3-3 I didn’t have any trouble and went on a run of 19 games unbeaten in the league. Unfortunately I took a while to tweak the tactic and had been on a run of 6 draws. After the final tweaks, we finished very well with 6 wins from our last 7. But would it be enough to keep my job….

Cups

For some reason it won’t let me filter the fixtures to show the competitions I want to take screenshots of as it just has two options ‘all competitions’ or ‘no competition’. So I don’t have screenies of the Cups.

We got all the way to the final of the Co. Antrim Shield where we lost on penalties to Glentoran. However, we beat Linfield and Distillery in this competition so it gave me hope of avoiding the sack.

Don’t ask me why Northern Ireland has so many pointless mickey-mouse cups (or why SI has put them in the game) but out of the other important cups (Irish and League) we failed to impress and went out.

Squad- We have plenty of depth and lots of players to cover positions. There is also a fair bit of potential. Our top scorer only having 8 goals and being a centre back says it all.

Player of the season- Lee Rushe gets this with an average rating of 7.02 and 6 MOM awards.

Finances- I got them up to 100k with preseason friendlies but we are now slightly in the red.

Facilities- No improvement due to lack of funding.

Youth Squad- A good intake with a few high potential players and i tryed to take a screenshot of the intake but it didnt register. Three players got YP tags and they are;

· Darren Duffy YP01- Some great pace and composure but I wasn’t sure this boy could finish his dinner :D. He proved me wrong though, bagging 5 goals in 8 appearances.

· Stephen Mills YP02- Good all round stats for a full back with decent tackling, marking, Positioning and pace stats.

· Martin Dougherty YP03- A good young Goalkeeper but he needs to work on his handling and kicking.

YP Watch

This will be a roundup of all players that have a YP tag at the club and their progress from that season.

Expectations for this season

Get promoted- NO, we failed to win promotion

Improve some kind of club facilities- Apart from junior coaching at the start of the season, NO

Work out what date I get my youth intake (might ask dafauge)- I get it on 8th March

Expectations for Next season

Get Promoted

Improve Facilities

Play YP tagged players at least 10 times each

 Season       League           Position    Achievements    Top Goalscorer (Goals)    Player of the Season  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                         
2011/12  Championship Two       6th          None            Ryan Byrne (8)              Lee Rushe     

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Keep up the good work and i'm sure the intake will help you gain the promotion your looking for :)

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Keep up the good work and i'm sure the intake will help you gain the promotion your looking for :)

Thanks TM :)

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I did pretty much the same as you in the County Antrim Shield in my Brantwood thread, they'd just been promoted to the 2nd Division out of the non-playable leagues, it didn't stop me winning 2-0 at Distillery, 1-0 at home to Linfield, 2-1 away to Crusaders before getting to the final and losing 2-0 to Glentoran :(. You seem to have done slightly better though, good luck for next season!

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I did pretty much the same as you in the County Antrim Shield in my Brantwood thread, they'd just been promoted to the 2nd Division out of the non-playable leagues, it didn't stop me winning 2-0 at Distillery, 1-0 at home to Linfield, 2-1 away to Crusaders before getting to the final and losing 2-0 to Glentoran :(. You seem to have done slightly better though, good luck for next season!

Thank you! I will check out your thread now :)

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Thank you! I will check out your thread now :)

It might take you a while, it was back in the FM11 days ;).

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It might take you a while, it was back in the FM11 days ;).

I wondered why I couldnt find it :o

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RichardInesonNews_Inbox-1.png

I have mixed emotions about this, I am really happy that I have a youth player called up already but at the same time I am wondering if Ireland poaching my northern irish prospects is a sign of things to come. The main point of the challenge is at club level but I was still hoping for northern ireland to progress.

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Youth Intake

StephenMcConnellYP04Overview_Attributes.png

He was the only player with decent potential this year but I'm struggling on what I should do with him. I dont believe he would make it as a poacher and he doesnt really fit into a deep lying forward role either. He is a target man if i'm honest and the target man role isnt very effective in fm as crosses never go to the head. I am toying with the idea of making him a half decent centre back and sticking him on corners. Ideas?

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His marking, tackling and positioning are far too bad for him to become a CB. Might as well just get his finishing up a bit and if he still doent fit then sell him off.

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Ballyclare Comrades - Championship Two - 2012/13

The aim for the first season was simple, too get promotion.

League Table

League Positions graph

Another below par season but at least we showed improvement in getting 3rd place. We were as close as 3 points away from second with around 6 games to go, but then we hit a bad patch of form and fell away.

Cups

Yes! The filter is back! I will just post the Irish cup and the league cup as the rest are pointless.

Irish Cup- We went out in the third round to Warrenpoint, who are in the division above. This is the important cup as you can get European qualification from it. I believe the quality difference between the leagues in NI is quite small and I believe we could scrape into Europe with one good run.

League Cup- Got to the second round where we went out on pens to premier league Coleraine.

Squad- Still lots of depth although I released some dead wood. You will notice that Darren Duffy YP01 is top scorer with 17 goals! The next two in the scoring charts are also strikers who are in double figures. This is a great change from our 8 goal centre back last year.

Player of the season- Has to go to Darren Duffy YP01

Finances - Much better this year, we have over 75k in the bank and this is down to me organising friendlies throughout the season.

Facilities- We have improved junior coaching to average.

Youth Squad- A pretty shoddy intake. One player with potential that doesn’t really fit into my side.

· Stephen McConnell YP04- A player with great target man attributes but he doesn’t fit into my team. I have taken a gamble and tried retraining him as a centre back. He isn’t very happy about it but hopefully he will respond. He also scored from a corner playing CB.

YP Watch

Darren Duffy YP01- A great season for him scoring and assisting for fun but his attributes didn’t improve that much.

Stephen Mills YP02- has improved well with first team action.

Martin Dougherty YP03- Is being kept out the team by paddy flood and hasn’t progressed well. I will give him games next season.

Expectations for this season

Get Promoted- No, but we were closer

Improve Facilities- Yes, Junior Coaching is up

Play YP tagged players at least 10 times each- 2/3 got 10 games

Expectations for Next season

Get Promoted

Improve Facilities

Get Darren Duffy to score 20 or more goals

 Season       League           Position         Achievements              Top Goalscorer (Goals)    Player of the Season  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                         
2011/12  Championship Two       6th               None                      Ryan Byrne (8)              Lee Rushe     
2012/13  Championship Two       3rd      Narrowly Missing Promotion      Darren Duffy YP01 (17)      Darren Duffy YP01

I dont know why the league screenshot links are black but they still work

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His marking, tackling and positioning are far too bad for him to become a CB. Might as well just get his finishing up a bit and if he still doent fit then sell him off.

I agree those stats are terrible but i believe he could score 10+ goals a season off corners with his heading and jumping stats. I have plenty of good striker prospects so if McConnell doesnt develop I will just release him :)

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I think i left it a bit late to give dougherty game time. Flood now has better potential than him so he will stay number 1.

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