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(FM11) Haverfordwest: a most excellent adventure Vol II

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Much better budget for the new season, so I'm hoping I can bring in four or five who'll make a real difference.

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Haverfordwest County AFC: season preview 2012/13

Media expectation: 2nd

Board expectation: title challenge

After the upheaval in the back room team last year, I'm pleased to say that I'm sticking with what I have this time around. My assistant manager is really good at this level, and he's recommended some absolutely brilliant players.

I've had quite a busy transfer window so far though, despite the treble from last season. Now I've a little more money to spend I've been able to attract some of the players I was watching last season, as well as letting some of the fringe players leave the club. My weakest area was in midfield, so I've signed former Reading midfielder Jay Tabb and the young Polish attacking midfielder Mateusz Szczepaniak, who I've been tracking since his release from Auxerre last summer. Both of whom add some much needed depth in the middle of the park, and when you include 17 year old Roy Brand to those two, I'm pretty confident we should be much stronger this season. We also signed versatile defender Chris Hegarty who is likely to come straight in to the heart of the defence.

Leaving the club are a few key players from the last couple of seasons, with defender Laurence Gaughan heading back to Ireland for a fee of £28,000 (which is a new record transfer.) Also leaving is his fellow centre half Shane Sweeney and 20 year old midfielder Chris Kerr. We've also had a couple of offers for Joe Lolley and Vinny Perth, both of whom I'm happy to let go but I'll leave the decision up to them.

Again, this is a really early update so I might have to add a few more later on, but here are a couple of images:

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I think I'm still a striker light and I'm on the look out for a new keeper, but I'd like to think we're stronger than last year.

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Not sure what happened but despite the message that I would be starting in the first round of qualifying for the Champions League, we've maintained our place in the 2nd round. Certainly not complaining, but a definite glitch....

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Unfortunate about the seedings, maybe they'll take place next year? Looking good in the qualification rounds though, Tel Aviv should provide a tough test.

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The messages telling you which round you're going to be in are a bit flawed.

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I've decided I'm going to slightly change the way I write up my thread, so I'll not be updating monthly anymore. (Quite simply, at this stage I'm sick of writing about the domestic stuff, although I'm still loving the challenge of the career.)

Now I'll do my customary pre and post season updates with a more detailed mid-season post, but I'll continue the individual posts about European games and Cup finals. Hope that's ok for those reading.

Cheers.

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Congrats on making the groups! Money great as always, theres points to be had with Kobenhavn there too.

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Congrats on making the groups! Money great as always, theres points to be had with Kobenhavn there too.

They battered me 4-0 in the qualifiers last year so I'm not so sure! Still, the money will allow us to upgrade our training & youth facilities, so no complaints from me.

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They battered me 4-0 in the qualifiers last year so I'm not so sure! Still, the money will allow us to upgrade our training & youth facilities, so no complaints from me.

Then it's time for payback! :thup:

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Excellent progress in the Champions League. You'll be swimming in cash now.

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Champions League Group F

Arsenal 4-1 Haverfordwest

A bit of a baptism of fire, but I was delighted to at least score our first ever Champions League goal. Tim Hopkinson scored a scrambled effort from a corner.

Haverfordwest 1-2 CSKA Moscow

Really good effort against the Russians, although ultimately we came up a little short. Young striker Alex Brister scored our goal.

Haverfordwest 2-1 FC Kobenhavn

Goals from Tim Hopkinson and Alex Brister give us our first ever Champions League win!

Kobenhavn 2-1 Haverfordwest

Really tight game in Denmark, and ultimately we just came up short. Tommy Amos with our goal five minutes from time.

Haverfordwest 0-5 Arsenal

Well, we were due a mauling, and that's exactly what happened. Still, Arsenal will beat much better teams than us 5-0 this season! Doesn't help our goal difference, but there's still an outside chance of making the Europa League if I can take something in Moscow and Arsenal beat Kobenhavn.

CSKA 2-1 Haverfordwest

Really tight game in Moscow, but ultimately we just didn't quite have enough to nick anything. Pretty gutted though as Kobenhavn finished just 1 point clear of me and have gone into the Europa League. Alex Brister got the goal, his 20th of the season. Not bad for a youngster!

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Some close games in there, at least you managed some points which is an achievment. Hope you can build on it next year.

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Haverfordwest County AFC: Season Summary 2012/13

League

Media prediction: 2nd

Finished: 1st (champions)

Cups

Welsh Cup: Winners

Loosemore League Cup: Winners

European competition

Champions League: qualified for group stages. Finished 4th in the group

Top scorers

Alex Brister: 47 appearances/ 36 starts - 32 goals/ 20 in the league

Tim Hopkinson: 52 appearances/ 50 starts - 22 goals/ 13 in the league

Martin Reilly: 35 appearances/ 14 starts - 13 goals/ 3 in the league

Positives

Qualifying for the Champions League group stage, winning our first ever Champions League game, and securing a second back-to-back treble. Tell me something that's not a positive!

Concerns

With £7m in the bank, the club turning professional in the summer and all of our key players already on full time contracts, I'd have to say that concerns are very limited. On top of that, the board are also upgrading both our youth and training facilities, so all we need is a youth academy for the full house. I'll have to work on that for the next few months...

Ambitions

More of the same, I'd like to make the group stages again, but obviously the draw will be a critical element. If the original message I had about the Welsh league being downgraded is true, I'll have four rounds of qualifiers to get through, which could be really tough.

League Table

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Surprise of the season

Either the brilliance of Alex Brister, qualifying for the Champions League, or my reserves winning the reserves title.

Player of the season

TBC

Average attendance

341 in the league (a decrease of 3)

494 in all competitions (increase of 43)

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Port Talbot relegated? so odd seeing that considering my save.

Great to have you back. Already more success in Europe then last time around eh? Also, good choice on not reporting the domestic stuff. At this point in my save I do not even play the domestic matches anymore.

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Good job in the league and domestic cups!

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Cracking season and a sterling effort in the Champions League.

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Cheers for all your comments, lads. Been pretty busy the last few days since I updated so I've not been on, which is inevitable since I'm in the midst of a really enjoyable career! I'll try and get on the case again in the coming days.

Going to have a read of a few other threads too. About time I caught up with how you're all getting along.

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Finally back! Don't you just hate life getting in the way of FM??

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Haverfordwest County AFC: season preview 2013/14

Media expectation: 2nd

Board expectation: title challenge

So after a couple of weeks away I'm back for another season in Wales. It has been a big pre-season for the club, with the board announcing the club have gone professional as well as beginning upgrades of both our training and youth facilities. Despite the board giving me a huge transfer budget, I've barely spent any money at all (although we have broken our transfer record with a £55,000 fee paid for a new goalkeeper.)

A couple of players have left the club this summer, with full back Matty Collins leaving for £9,000 and striker Tommy Amos on a free after both became surplus to requirement at the club, and four or five youngsters have gone too. There's been a bit of interest in Tim Hopkinson and Jay Tabb, although at this stage I've been able to keep them both. Fingers crossed that's still the case when the window closes!

As for players arriving in, I've mainly concentrated on the future, with 4 teenagers arriving on a free. I've added to the midfield with Irishman Stephen Rice coming in to replace the ageing Kuami Agboh, and goalkeeper Jonathan Bond coming in from Watford to challenge Phil Imray. I'm hoping to add both a striker and a central defender before the window closes, but if not we should be OK with what we have. Here's an image of the new keeper and one of the teenagers:

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EDIT: just to complete this, I've signed a couple of more players in the run up to the season. 28 year old defender Byron Anthony arrived on a free from Bristol Rovers, while 20 year old striker Jake Cassidy arrived on a 2 year loan deal from Wolves. Quite pleased with both signings and even more so as both are Welsh, something which was really lacking in my side.

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SOme good physical stats on your midfielder coming in.

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Yeah he looks pretty good, picked him up from Man United and beat several SFL1 and League Two sides in the process. Hopefully he'll develop into a useful player.

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Good Work against Zagreb.

Cheers man. Had a decent bit of luck with the draw this season, so much so I was actually one of the seeded clubs by the play off draw! Madness I know.

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Don't you just hate it when normally reliable players simply won't perform for you? This is an interesting season so far to say the least!

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Don't you just hate it when normally reliable players simply won't perform for you? This is an interesting season so far to say the least!

Happened to me a couple of seasons ago, he happened to be my captain so i took it off them and they performed, dont know if its the same for you though. Looks like you could sneak a point in your CL if your lucky.

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Happened to me a couple of seasons ago, he happened to be my captain so i took it off them and they performed, dont know if its the same for you though. Looks like you could sneak a point in your CL if your lucky.

Wish it was that simple, no, it's Tim Hopkinson, who has been my main goalscorer. Can't hit a barn door and I can't seem to motivate him, even after dropping him to the reserves. Might have to sell him, we'll see what happens.

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Afternoon all.

Finally back to this after a few weeks away again, so I hope to post an update later on.

Cheers

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Champions League Group F

So then my Champions League campaign has come to an end. Unfortunately I can't write as much detail as before as I don't remember many of the matches. Instead I'll add a couple of images for the table and results:

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As you can see, we took some real pastings this season, although taking points both home and away against Fiorentina was a pleasant surprise. Still a long way from concerning anybody in the latter stages, but qualifying for the group stages for a second time is definitely progress.

I'll post a mid-season update in an hour or so to let you know a little more detail as to how my season is going. Before then I want to get to the transfer window.

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Some of those losses must have hurt, but you were playing against some big clubs. Good job on getting Wales into the Champions League! And welcome back! :)

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Mid season report 2013/14

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A few hours back in to my career, so I think I'm in a position to update. Firstly, there's the league table at New Year 2014:

It was nice to make the Champions League again, although we really did take some hidings. I think I've got a lot of work to do before I can think about making it into the knock out stages, but I'm more than happy with qualification for now. We've been a little inconsistent in the league, which explains the 4 draws (more than all of last season) but we're well placed to go on and win another title. We've also made the League Cup final again (which means I haven't lost a League Cup game in my entire career!) On top of that, we've the Welsh Cup coming up as well, so the domestic treble is very much on again.

As for players, I'm fairly happy with my squad although I'd like another centre half or two. My first choices are quality for this level, but my reserves are nowhere near up to scratch, especially if I'm thinking about Europe. Indeed, some of those hidings in Europe were due to having to use second choice defenders. In other areas, I finally ran out of patience with Tim Hopkinson, and so when Billy Paynter became available on a free I snapped him up, although he wasn't eligible for the CL. Nevertheless, he's scored 12 goals in 15 games, which is a decent return.

In job news, I've been linked with a couple in France although there's been no offers, but I'm now regularly being linked with Juventus. I'll be honest, if that comes up it'll be a struggle to turn it down, but there'll be no applications for it. Let's see what happens.

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Some of those losses must have hurt, but you were playing against some big clubs. Good job on getting Wales into the Champions League! And welcome back! :)

Yes fella, some of those were pretty rough, Atletico really made me suffer! And thanks.

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Great results against Fiorentina.

Cheers man. It was nice to get some points, although I'm not sure it makes up for my goals for/against record!

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