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(FM11) Haverfordwest: a most excellent adventure Vol II

142 posts in this topic

Afternoon all.

Some of you might just recognise the thread title. A few months back I had a pretty decent career going in Wales but I'd only loaded British & Irish leagues so it ran out of steam. I just struggled to attract players, so I'm hoping by adding a few more leagues it'll add some longevity to the save.

The plan then is something similar to last time, to dominate Wales and then have a good run in Europe. I'm hoping that having the extra leagues will allow me to really grow the club, especially when you see some of the talent you can easily pick off in France. To repeat what I said last time, in all my time playing CM/FM, my greatest achievement came on CM 99/00 where I took Berwick Rangers to the UEFA Cup Final, and I'm yet to match anything like that since playing the new series of the game. I'm now searching for that kind of epic challenge, but as I've got plenty of experience playing in Scotland, I'm instead going to look at Wales (the lower reputation of the league makes it a really inviting challenge, too).

I had 7 years at Haverfordwest previously, but this time I'm in it for the long term. Fingers crossed I can win a few more trophies...

So then, the details:

FM11.3

Leagues loaded from England (BSS/N) France (National and above) Germany (Third Division and above) Italy (Serie C2 and above) Portugal (Second League and above) Ireland (First Division and above) Scotland (Third Division and above) Wales (Welsh Premier)

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Haverfordwest County AFC

Principality Welsh Premier

From Wikipedia:

The club was founded in 1899 and was variously known as Haverfordwest FC, Haverfordwest Town, and Haverfordwest Athletic before adopting the current name, and plays at the Bridge Meadow Stadium, Haverfordwest, which accommodates 2,000 spectators. The teams' first choice strip is blue shirts, shorts, and socks. The second choice strip is orange & black shirts, black shorts, orange socks.

Haverfordwest County were founder members of the League of Wales in 1992–93 but their stay was brief. Having accepted an offer which involved the redevelopment of their Bridge Meadow ground, and unable to find a suitable alternative ground of League of Wales standard, they resigned from the League in 1994. The decision to take a long-term view was fully vindicated by their return to the League of Wales three years later. The league has since changed its name to the Welsh Premier League.

Honours

The club have never won any real trophies of note, their best ever finish in the Welsh Premier League was third in 2003/04. A year later they made the semi final of the Welsh Cup.

From FM

Haverfordwest have fierce rivalries with Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, and additional rivalries with Port Talbot and Llanelli. The club has a valuation of £130,000 and 50 season ticket holders.

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I've instead told the board I can finish mid-table, and after putting all my transfer funds into wages I've got about £3,200 a week to play with.

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Pre-season 2010/11

Media expectation: 12th (of 12)

Board expectation: safe mid-table position

Much like last time I started at Haverfordwest, I was in a hurry to get a few very ordinary players off the wage bill. The most ordinary of them all was Lee Jarman, a quite simply awful defender earning £400 a week. Luckily I was able to annoy him enough to accept my offer of a mutual termination, which saved us plenty of cash. I was also able to push three others out of the club, giving us another £800p/w to play with. Plenty of money to rebuild the squad, although we do have 6 players hanging around on wages of £100p/w or more who are of no use to the club. Hopefully I can shift them before the season starts.

Coming in are many of the familiar faces of the last Haverfordwest save, plus a couple of extras. Here's the list, anyway:

GK 26 yo Phil Imray (ENG)

RB 28 yo David Cowan (ENG)

LB 27 Danny Murphy (IRE)

CB 20 yo Laurence Gaughan (IRE)

CB 27 yo Shane Sweeney (IRE)

CM 24 yo James Ashmore (ENG)

CM 33 yo Vinny Perth (IRE)

CM 33 yo Kuami Agboh (TOG)

ST/AM 32 yo Gareth Mullan (NI)

ST 19 yo Tim Hopkinson (ENG)

St 18 yo Tommy Amos (IRE)

ST 23 yo Martin Reilly (IRE)

ST 20 yo Alan Lynch (IRE)

CM 17 yo Joe Lolley (ENG)

GK 19 yo Chris Oldfield (ENG)

CB 18 yo Chris Sivers (ENG)

CM 18 yo Chris Kerr (IRE)

Last time my squad was strong enough to win the league in my first season, but I'll be happy with the top 3 this year. Certainly don't expect lightning to strike twice, but stranger things have happened. However, with two cups to play for I'm optimistic I can take some silverware this year. Anyway, ultimately Europe is my aim.

Of course, if I'm to have any success at all I need a strong partnership at the back, so a lot will depend on the form of these two, who will start as my main defensive pairing:

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Right, that'll be me done as far as transfers are concerned unless I can get a couple more players off the books. On to the friendlies we go...

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Friendlies

FR Haverfordwest 3-0 Frickley

Lolley, Hopkinson (2)

FR Haverfordwest 1-3 Mansfield

Mullan

FR Haverfordwest 2-0 Tullamore

Reilly, Mullan

FR Haverfordwest 3-0 Rothwell

Hopkinson (2), Mullan

FR Haverfordwest 1-2 Derby County

Lolley

FR Haverfordwest 3-1 Hitchin

Reilly, Perth, Hopkinson

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August

WPL Haverfordwest 3-1 Prestatyn

A good solid win in my first game, with goals from Hopkinson, Gaughan and Lynch

WPL Airbus 1-3 Haverfordwest

A double from Martin Reilly, and one more from Hopkinson secured a second win.

WPL Haverfordwest 4-0 Carmarthen

A first derby, and a perfect performance led from the front by Tim Hopkinson. Two more goals and an assist for Martin Reilly, before Tommy Amos scored his first for the club in stoppage time.

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September

WPL Neath 4-2 Haverfordwest

Ripped apart by Lee Trundle, who scored a hat-trick and made the other. Tim Hopkinson and James Ashmore with our goals, but ultimately we weren't good enough.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-2 Newtown

Disappointing performance, but we at least got a point. Goals from Reilly and Murphy, although we were missing Sweeney thanks to his red card against Neath and it really showed.

WPL Llanelli 0-3 Haverfordwest

A much better performance, and a first win of the month. Another goal each from Reilly and Hopkinson, and Gareth Mullan's first competitive goal for the club give us a fantastic victory.

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Good to see you back. I enjoyed your first career and will look for this one :thup:

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Good to see you back. I enjoyed your first career and will look for this one :thup:

Cheers man. I enjoyed Wales last time, and hopefully the extra leagues mean I can find a bit more quality this time.

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October

WPL Haverfordwest 1-1 Bangor City

Missed far too many chances and ultimately paid for it. Martin Reilly got the goal, but we conceded with 3 minutes left to play.

Loosemore League Cup 1st Round Haverfordwest 3-3 Bangor City (aet, 3-1 on pens)

Another nightmare performance defensively, but 2 more Martin Reilly goals took this to extra time and Tommy Amos took it to pens. Luckily, we just about had enough nerve to go through.

WPL TNS 2-6 Haverfordwest

The best performance of my short reign, and a thumping win over last year's champions. Goals from Ashmore, Mullan, Lynch, Reilly and Amos (2) gave us the points, although we're still struggling defensively. Too many soft goals.

WPL Haverfordwest 1-0 Port Talbot

Not the greatest of performances, but a Tommy Amos goal gave us the points.

Loosemore League Cup QF Prestatyn 0-3 Haverfordwest

Two from Reilly and one from Amos sends us safely through to the semis.

WPL Aberystwyth 1-4 Haverfordwest

Another good win against a rival, with goals from Ashmore (2) Collins and Amos.

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November

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Bala Town

Two screamers from Mullan and a great header from Lynch secure another win.

WC R3 Haverfordwest 2-0 Caernarfon Town

Not a great performance, but goals from Laurence Gaughan and Alan Lynch put us in the hat for the next round.

Loosemore League Cup SF 1st leg Llanelli 0-3 Haverfordwest

Goals from Martin Reilly, Tommy Amos and Gareth Mullan put us in a fantastic position for the second leg. We did however lose the only left back at the club for 2 months to injury.

WPL Prestatyn 1-3 Haverfordwest

Goals from Mullan, Amos and Lynch secured yet another win, although I'm a little concerned by Hopkinson's lack of goals.

Loosemore League Cup SF 2nd leg Haverfordwest 2-0 Llanelli

A James Ashmore free kick and an Alan Lynch header were enough to send us through to the final. Happy days.

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WPL Haverfordwest 5-1 Airbus

A thumping win, and at last Tim Hopkinson ended his drought. His goal was his first in 1,003 minutes, but he's still been in good form otherwise. Martin Reilly, Kuami Agboh, Alan Lynch and an OG were the other scorers.

WPL Carmarthen 0-5 Haverfordwest

A hammering here, although Carmarthen did have to play 75min with NINE men. A Tommy Amos hat-trick, another from Hopkinson and an inevitable Reilly strike secured an 11th successive victory.

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Hope you can recreate your previous success.

Cheers, man. Enjoyed the trophies before, but hopefully I can make more of a dent on Europe this time.

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Having missed your first thread, this is all new to me and it is looking great :thup:

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Good luck in Wales again, i'm seriously thinking about giving my old wales save one last go aswell!

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Having missed your first thread, this is all new to me and it is looking great :thup:
Good luck in Wales again, i'm seriously thinking about giving my old wales save one last go aswell!

Cheers lads. It's good to be back doing a challenge I really enjoy.

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December

WPL Haverfordwest 2-0 Neath

Tim Hopkinson is right back on the goal trail now, and 2 more in this game took him to 10 for the season.

WPL Newtown 0-3 Haverfordwest

Another game, another win. Two more for Reilly and one for Mullan continues our streak.

WPL Haverfordwest 4-2 Llanelli

This might have looked comfortable in the end, but it was anything but. Two behind at half time, I gave the side some real stick and made a double change. We responded really well, and a Hopkinson hat-trick and Vinny Perth's first for the club secured the points.

WPL Bangor City 0-2 Haverfordwest

A goal apiece from Amos and Reilly kept up our incredible run of form, sending us well clear at the top of the table.

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Mid season report 2010/11

Well, what a start to my second Welsh career. We are absolutely flying in the league, and have only dropped 7 points out of a possible 54, and with a cup final place already secured I've absolutely nothing to complain about. Not really thinking about the Welsh Cup yet, but if we can keep up this kind of form who knows, a treble could just be possible. I've certainly readjusted my initial top 3 target, anyway.

Here's the league table for you:

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Much like my last career, we're in a little debt at this stage of the season so I'm not anticipating having the funds to make any more signings. Having said that, if I can offload some of the players in my reserves then we shall see. I'd like to find some cover at left back and at centre half, but I'd rather sign the right player than just a body, so we shall see what I find. There's a little interest in some of my first teamers, but I'm not prepared to let any of them go. Hopefully offers aren't accepted over my head....

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January

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 TNS

Yet another Reilly double set us on our way, before Kuami Agboh slotted home a third late on. The only negative from the game was an injury to Tommy Amos, who is set to miss the next 3 months.

WPL Port Talbot 0-1 Haverfordwest

Awful performance, but a 91st minute Vinny Perth penalty secured the points.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Aberystwyth

Goals from Reilly, Hopkinson and Lynch keep this run of wins going. Can't go on forever, but 18 successive wins is pretty decent.

WPL Bala 0-0 Haverfordwest

Very disappointing performance, and three goals ruled out. We also lost another striker to injury, Alan Lynch is set to sit out a couple of months.

WC R4 Haverfordwest 3-1 Bala

A much better performance against the same side just a few days later, this time in the cup. Laurence Gaughan, Martin Reilly and Tim Hopkinson see us safely through.

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Wow, completely flying already.
Smashing the league already.

I've had plenty of luck, must be honest. Barely any injuries have really helped, especially when you consider how thin my squad is.

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February

WPL Port Talbot 0-4 Haverfordwest

Another thoroughly convincing win inspired by a Tim Hopkinson hat-trick. Vinny Perth scored the other from the spot.

WPL Haverfordwest 5-2 Newtown

The winning run continues, although we didn't play brilliantly. Goals from Reilly (2) Hopkinson, Ashmore and a Danny Murphy free kick sealed the points, and kept up our relentless march to the title.

WPL Neath 1-4 Haverfordwest

Despite being one down at half time, we responded brilliantly in the second half to take the points. Goals from Hopkinson (2), Laurence Gaughan and Jack Christopher saw us gain revenge for our defeat at the Gnoll earlier in the season. We did however lose yet another striker to injury, hence why Jack Christopher made it onto the pitch. Martin Reilly is out for 3 weeks, meaning he'll miss the cup quarter final.

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WPL Haverfordwest 2-1 Carmarthen

Carmarthen will feel like they were mugged here. How we won this I'll never know, but we have Christopher and Perth to thank for the points.

WC QF Haverfordwest 4-2 Carmarthen

A brace apiece for Jack Christopher and Gareth Mullan send us safely into the semis.

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Congrats on the title, the first of many.

Hope so, man. I'd also like to hope that we get some strong rivals in the coming years though.

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That didn't take long!

22 wins in 26 matches certainly helps!

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Well, that was a breeze :D Now what?

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March

WPL Haverfordwest 3-0 Aberystwyth

Two from Hopkinson and one from the returning Martin Reilly secured another victory. We did lose a couple of players to knocks though, including Phil Imray for 3 weeks.

WPL Haverfordwest 2-1 Port Talbot

A victory made in Ireland. Martin Reilly's 25th of the season levelled things up after we fell behind early on, and a Stuart Pearce type free kick from Danny Murphy secured three more points. Cannot believe this winning run, it's unbelievable!

In other news, Haverfordwest reject the opportunity to sign former England international striker Francis Jeffers. With wage requests of £300p/w and expectations of being a key player, I decided he simply wasn't worth it. I'd rather use that cash to give a couple of players a pay rise.

April

WPL Newtown 0-3 Haverfordwest

Really poor first half performance, but second half we hammered them. Two more from Hopkinson and an OG ensured the run goes on (and on... and on...)

WC SF Llanelli 1-3 Haverfordwest

Another game where we didn't play well but got another win. Two more from Hopkinson and one from Mullan, who's scored 10 from midfield, see us safely into the final. Even if we lose the cup final, we'll still make more prize money than winning the Welsh Premier. Weird but true, although it's only £20,000 for finishing as runners up.

WPL Haverfordwest 3-1 Neath

Had the double-act of Hopkinson and Reilly (2) to thank again. They've now scored 55 goals between them this season, which goes a long way to showing just how I've won the title.

WPL Carmarthen 0-2 Haverfordwest

A goal apiece from Tommy Amos and Gareth Mullan ensures our penultimate league match of the season finishes with a victory.

WPL Aberystwyth 1-2 Haverfordwest

I made lots of changes for this one as it was three days before the cup final, but we still had just about enough. Goals from Jack Christopher and Gareth Mullan secured the points.

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The Loosemore League Cup Final

Saturday 30th April 2011

Haverfordwest County AFC Vs The New Saints

The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

As you can see from the previous months, we've gone into this game in an unbelievable run of form, and luckily there is only one first teamer currently out with injury. With morale sky-high and pretty much my entire first 11 available, I'm quietly confident of grabbing a second trophy of the season against struggling TNS. For the record, I've gone for a more attacking system than normal, pushing my trequartista up with the front two into a 4-3-3.

First half

We've been on top from the first whistle, but plenty of opportunities missed. We do however have the lead, James Ashmore drilling home an 8th minute penalty.

Half time

Haverfordwest 1-0 TNS

Second half

The pattern of the game continued, us making chances and not being able to take them, and ultimately we were pegged back 5 minutes from time, when Neil MacKenzie drilled home to take the match to extra time.

Full time

Haverfordwest 1-1 TNS

Extra time

It was more of the same in extra time, but finally we were able to take one of those chances. Laurence Gaughan powered in an Ashmore corner from close range, and we clung on to secure a second trophy of the season.

Final score

Haverfordwest 2-1 TNS

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The Welsh Cup Final

Saturday 7th May 2011

Haverfordwest County AFC Vs Newtown AFC

The Gnoll, Neath

Plenty of tiredness going in to this one, and three players out injured. Having said that, I'm quite happy with what I have available, and so I have everything crossed we can clean up all the domestic trophies. I only managed one treble in my first career, so it'd be incredible if I can win it in my first year this time around. Tactically I'm going to stick to 4-3-1-2, but the main reason for this is the injuries to both Alan Lynch and Martin Reilly. Tommy Amos will partner Tim Hopkinson in attack, with Jack Christopher ready to come off the bench if required.

First half

In a complete contrast to the league cup, we started very poorly and found ourselves behind after less than 60 seconds. Steffan Gaisie was left completely unmarked in the area and tucked his header in the corner. Newtown were largely on top for the entire first half, although we threatened a couple of times on the counter. A rethink required.

Half time

Haverfordwest 0-1 Newtown

Second half

Newtown again started the second half strongly, and got their rewards in the 61st minute as David Collins drilled in a scorcher. That left me with no option other than to go all out attack, and 11 minutes from time Tim Hopkinson gave us hope. Five minutes later I thought it was 2-2, but Tommy Amos was denied by the flag of the referee's assistant after drilling home a Murphy cross. Alas, it was not to be, and Newtown had won the Welsh Cup to go with their second place finish in the league. Gutted.

Final score

Haverfordwest 1-2 Newtown

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Haverfordwest County AFC: Season Summary 2010/11

League

Media prediction: 12th

Finished: 1st (champions)

Cups

Welsh Cup: Finalists

Loosemore League Cup: Winners

Top scorers

Tim Hopkinson: 42 apps/ 40 starts – 29 goals/ 25 in the league

Martin Reilly: 36 apps/ 35 starts- 27 goals/ 21 in the league

Tommy Amos: 27 apps/ 17 starts- 14 goals/ 11 in the league

Gareth Mullan: 40 apps/ 38 starts- 12 goals/ 8 in the league

Positives

Plenty! What an opening season that was, and finishing with two trophies was a fantastic way to start my new career. An unreal number of goals scored, and with just two defeats all season long I’ve got plenty to be positive about. Despite the fact we’re finishing the season in a little debt, no matter what happens in Europe we’ll have enough money to be back in the black very early in to the new season. I also have more than a £1,000 a week leaving the wage budget in the summer, so hopefully we’ll have a bit of a hole to allow a couple of signings.

Concerns

Not many, I’m not worried by the little debt we’re carrying, although there are a few vultures circling the club for my better players. I’d like to be able to offer a few new contracts, but of course that depends on the budget we’re given. Indeed, it is possible that despite our great season next year's budget could yet be reduced.

Ambitions

Trophies, trophies, trophies. I’d love to go one better next year and win the treble, although of course the league is the most important. As for Europe, I’ve zero expectations next year, although with a favourable draw who knows?

League table

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Surprise of the season

Winning the title so convincingly in my first year has to be the shock, surely?

Player of the season

Martin Reilly

Average attendance

347 in the league

376 in all competitions.

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Great first season, good luck in the champions league, i think you'll need it:p

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Great first season, good luck in the champions league, i think you'll need it:p

You're not kidding! Still, no matter what happens it'll make me a few quid, which will hopefully give us a healthier budget for my third season.

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As suspected, my budget has been lowered for the new season, while expectations have gone up. I still have a couple of players left to leave the club, so I'll have about £350p/w to play with for new signings, and I'll ask the board for a bigger budget once we've received any money from European competition. In addition, I've also tied down the majority of my better players to new and improved deals already, so fingers crossed we'll be fine.

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Why don't you splash out on a few players for your champions league campaign with that £15 :lol:

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Why don't you splash out on a few players for your champions league campaign with that £15 :lol:

Nothing if not generous eh, MadDog? :)

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So your transfer budget will buy coffee for the backroom staff for a match?

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So your transfer budget will buy coffee for the backroom staff for a match?

It will do if the coffee is muck, if they want a decent cup they'll be buying their own!

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Haverfordwest County AFC: season preview 2011/12

Media expectation: 3rd

Board expectation: qualify for Europe.

With the excitement of my first season out of the way, I'm just about ready to get underway for 11/12. With the board's decision to reduce our budget, new signings were always going to be at a premium and that's been the case. However, my first job was to sort out the club's back room team, with two or three members of staff's contracts expiring. My awful assistant manager left and 44 year old Gareth Evans came in. His judgement stats look pretty good, as does his man-management, so I'm pretty hopeful he'll become a Peter Taylor type figure. I also signed a new scout and physio, as well as signing Kuami Agboh on player/coach terms.

I had a list of twenty transfer targets from the end of last season, although unfortunately it turned out most of them were unrealistic at this stage. About half of them are still available on a free though, so maybe if they struggle to find clubs as the season goes on, I might have an opportunity to sign them then. My main target was a new centre half, and although both of my main targets were ultimately unavailable (one signed professional terms at his club, the other is still available) I did sign Joseph Shaughnessy from Aberdeen, who both my scouts and assistant believe is already the best centre half at the club, although his stats are pretty average. I also signed a couple of midfielders in the shape of Marc Bridge-Wilkinson and Nathan Rooney (deja-vu perhaps) who will both strengthen the squad for the new season. I'm still on the look out for a back up left back and a young fifth striker, but if I have to start the season with my main 4 and Mullan, who can play up there, I'll get by. I've also signed three promising young defenders, all of whom will go in to the U19s for now.

At this stage the only players to leave the club are the ones whose contracts had expired, but that might change as the window goes on. This update is very early (still early July in my game) because of the Champions League ties, but I'll keep you posted if any do leave.

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Friendlies

FR Haverfordwest 4-0 Hyde

Hopkinson (3), Ashmore

FR Haverfordwest 2-0 Sheffield

Reilly (2)

Just the two friendlies for me then, the second one played just 5 days before we go to Poland. We're just about at full strength too, but I don't give us much of a chance of getting a result. Anyway, fingers crossed.

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Great result, good luck in the next round. Going to be a tough match.

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NIce job in the CL and best in the next round.

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Back after a week away on holiday. Was great, but suffering withdrawal symptoms from lack of FM, so I'm going to have to throw myself back into it this evening. Will try and get an update in later on this evening.

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Haverfordwest County AFC: Season Summary 2011/12

League

Media prediction: 3rd

Finished: 1st (champions)

Cups

Welsh Cup: Winners

Loosemore League Cup: Winners

European competition

Champions League: beaten in 3rd Qualifying round (0-4 on aggregate by FC Copenhagen)

Europa League: beaten in Play Off (3-4 on aggregate by Litex Lovech)

Top scorers

Tim Hopkinson: 46 appearances/ 44 starts - 22 goals/ 16 in the league

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson: 47 appearances/ 46 starts - 16 goals/ 9 in the league

Martin Reilly: 32 appearances/ 29 starts - 15 goals/ 11 in the league

Positives

Well, after winning the treble I have to say there are plenty again. Only conceding 12 goals in the league is pretty impressive, although we did lose a couple of extra games this season than the year before. We've also finished the season with a bit of money in the bank thanks to our involvement in Europe, and with nearly £1,000 a week left over in the wage budget. The board even agreed to relay the pitch!

Concerns

Not many, although the goals have dried up in the league a little. We scored 33 less goals this season than last year, so I might have to work on that a little in the transfer window.

Ambitions

Once again the target is trophies, but I'd like to go one better in Europe and qualify for the group stages, although I can only see that happening in the Europa League at the moment.

League Table

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Surprise of the season

Winning the treble! I've an infuriating habit normally of choking in cup finals, so to win all three trophies is fantastic.

Player of the season

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson

Average attendance

344 in the league (decrease of 3)

451 in all competitions (increase of 75)

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The league's already a bogus journey for everyone else :D

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Love Tim Hopkinson :) I had him in an English save and he grew with my BSS club and was still a great player in the Championship.

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The league's already a bogus journey for everyone else :D

Yeah, we've taken a bit of a grip of it in two years. Not that I'm complaining!

Love Tim Hopkinson :) I had him in an English save and he grew with my BSS club and was still a great player in the Championship.

He was great in my last Welsh save, but I've never signed him as a first-teamer in England. Maybe next time... 51 goals in 2 seasons is a pretty solid start to this career!

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