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Hey, Nineteen (The Saga of FMS FC)

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Yeah I'm a pretty cool guy, so cool that I don't even need a squad status!

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Grays 1-1 FMS – 3rd August 2013 – Friendly #5

Bo Jose, Nygma, Fantu, Preece, Rudyard, McCracken. Subs: Clarke, von Lichtenstein, Martin. Unused sub: Fuller.

Goal: Fantu 63.

The word went out in whispered form about von Lichtenstein and it wasn’t good. He wasn’t at all ready for the season, insiders said, and he needed to work harder in training. That said, Crewe was interested in loaning him.

International update – 4th August 2013

Dubb (England u-20 1-1 Argentina, u-20 World Cup) – full match, MR 6.9

Right at that time, Clarke became the next to go. Sunderland came in with an offer of £220,000 for the Ireland u-21 performer and the club took it. The Nineteen had been nearly halved, with Clarke being reunited with Warner as a Black Cat, right before earning another Ireland u-21 callup

Marks had been training with West Brom’s reserves, and earned man of the match honors in the team’s first fixture of the season, a 1-1 draw with Crewe, before earning yet another callup to Wales u-21s for their championship qualifier against Kowalski’s Scotland, with the defender moving up from u-19s. So the newest Baggies would face each other on the international stage.

Nygma remained with the Tartan u-19s for their friendly with Qatar.

International updates – 7th August 2013

Dubb (England u-20 2-0 Algeria, u-20 World Cup) – man of the match, full match, MR 8.7

The remainder of the Nineteen still with FMS were now ready to begin life in the Blue Square Premier against freshly relegated Oxford United, a match the Writers would not be expected to win.

Blankley called upon Nygma to lead during his first pre-match news conference, despite Whitbread retaining the armband and van Liefthuizen remaining vice-captain.

He also tried to downplay expectations for the team, which was expected to finish mid-table. But given the player sales, Blankley wouldn’t guarantee it.

“We don’t have a real chance of winning anything but we will do our best,” he said. He also tipped their first opponent, Oxford, to win the league and bounce straight back up after a highly disappointing relegation from League Two the season before.

But first, the FMS Fire Sale continued.

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Seems we have lots of guys leaving. However, the owner appears to be a Moneybags Malone as well.

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MoM at the U20s WC. That should make Gus Poyet sit up and take notice and bump me to the Brighton first team. Maybe.

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Von Lichtenstein, the player who needed to work harder, would get that opportunity as the third member of the Nineteen to join West Brom, for a fee of £160,000.

That same day, QPR nabbed another Writer, with Preece leaving for £200,000 more to join Rothery in the reserves.

Oxford United 0-1 FMS – 10th August 2013 – BSP #1

Fuller, Nygma, Fantu, Preece, Rudyard, McCracken. Subs: Bo Jose. Unused subs: none.

Goal: McCracken 9. Man of the Match – Nygma.

The remaining Writers pulled off the upset at the Kassam Stadium to open life in the Blue Square Premier. The Forgotten Striker, McCracken, opened his account by scoring the only goal of the match.

Nygma earned man of the match honors, though, in a match that provided a first. For the first time, every remaining member of the original group of outfield players was included in the match squad, and all started, with only van Liefthuizen not making the final group of sixteen for the match.

The newly re-minted manager, Blankley, sang Nygma’s praises after the match as one would expect him to have done. Shill.

Despite eleven departures from the original Nineteen, none of the goalkeepers had as yet attracted interest from another club – curious given that the season before, Blankley had listed that position as the strongest in the team.

Now, though, van Liefthuizen would get his chance. Fuller strained his groin stretching for a ball 22 minutes into the match and would miss three weeks. Bo Jose was going to get his chance.

He had a big ask – the club’s clean sheet was its sixth straight dating back to last season and that was a record.

Just as big a story, though, was Dubb’s appearance for England in the u-20 World Cup. His match rating of 6.4 wasn’t so hot but the team’s 3-1 win over Mexico certainly was.

And then, another one left.

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Oh hello, is that Vinny Jones and the song staying alive?

(you might need to google it if you don't get the reference)

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This story was always a lot of fun to write. Very nice to have it up and running again.

___

As a public service, here are the players and their nomes de football:

Goalkeepers

Ortega van Liefthuizen - gavrenwick

Jose Bo Jose - BenArsenal

Chris Fuller - CFuller

Defenders

Law Martin - Lawlore

Cieran Clarke - mistahc

Edward Nygma - swagat sinha

Stuart Dubb - Edgar555

Mike Kowalski - Celtic_1967

Gavin Mathieson - Spav

Midfielders

David Preece - STFCOP1990

Ashley Marks - Manxie_Ash

Joel Hochstetter - soccer.joel

Chester Fantu (aka Leon Sandcastle) - chesterfan2

Oscar Rudyard - Offspring8

Ulrich von Lichtenstein - Panpardus

Strikers

Lee Rothery - LEEMOD

Marco Baroni - Mark Wilson27

Phil McCracken - salkster2102

Matt Warner - Matt_no_7

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Straight out of the first match of the season, Preece was taken aside to inform him that QPR’s bid had been accepted.

The fee was ‘only’ £200,000, but just like that, the midfielder was off.

Right back on, though, was Clarke. In his first match for Sunderland Reserves, he scored a goal and won sponsor’s honors in a 4-0 thrashing of von Lichtenstein’s West Brom. The match marked the first time that two members of the original Nineteen had played a club match against each other.

Warner also connected from the spot in that game for the Black Cats, which saw the FMS youngsters line up alongside former Manchester United defender Wes Brown.

Fantu then left.

Reading’s offer of £275,000 was accepted by Sovietskymafia as the profit-taking continued at the Love Shack.

There were now seven still at FMS: all three of the Nineteen’s original keepers plus McCracken, Martin, Nygma and Rudyard.

Dubb sat England’s next match at the u-20 World Cup, a 2-0 win over Cuba that saw them into the quarterfinals. Nygma then turned around and helped Scotland u-19s crush Qatar 4-1 in a friendly, again earning man of the match honors.

The newly-departed Preece and the FMS-anchored McCracken couldn’t help England u-19s overcome Germany, falling 2-0 in Ingolstadt, but the few remaining Writers from the original group still had league football to play.

FMS 2-1 Kidderminster – Blue Square Premier #2

Van Liefthuizen, Fantu, Rudyard. Unused subs: Bo Jose, Martin.

Okay, so it wasn’t Bo Jose. Blankley opted for Van Liefthuizen in goals as the Remaining Writers went top of the Blue Square Premier with a home win at The Love Shack.

The only member of the original group who didn’t make the team sheet was McCracken, which had everyone wondering why.

Well, not everyone.

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Okay, you're going to Liverpool.

Pwned. :p

___

Dubb didn’t see the field as England won another 2-0 decision over Cuba at the u-20 World Cup on 13th August, but the story of that day was Hochstetter’s season-long loan from Schalke to Third Division Energie Cottbus for the coming season where he was promptly not given a squad number.

A quick callup for von Lichtenstein to his country’s u-21’s resulted in another 4-0 loss to a team featuring Clarke, as his team was humbled by the Republic in Dublin, though Clarke didn’t see the field. Mathieson sat on the end of the bench as well, as his Dutch u-21s fell 2-1 to Poland in Radomsko.

Marks was on the wrong end of a 4-0 thrashing by Scotland u-21s while playing for Wales in a match that featured no other Nineteen players. Bo Jose kept a clean sheet for Norway u-21s as they humbled ten-man Faroe Islands 5-0, but then everyone found out why McCracken hadn’t dressed for the last FMS match.

The club agreed to an offer from Reading, just a day before doing the same for Fantu. The striker went for £250,000, and the defender £275,000, with both young men off to play for new boss Alan Curbishley.

Shades of Rob Ridgway. The papers were crowing about the Royals’ double swoop for FMS starlets but the team’s plans for McCracken were different than they were for Fantu.

Woking 2-1 FMS – Blue Square Premier #3

Van Liefthuizen, Nygma, McCracken. Sub: Bo Jose. Unused sub: Martin.

Both keepers played as van Liefthuizen was frankly shocking in goal. He was replaced on the hour mark by Bo Jose, with Martin watching from the stand.

It was now the three keepers, Rudyard, Nygma and Martin left from the original Nineteen still with the club.

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Thank you, Mark! Good to get back into this!

___

At this point, the narrative is going to change again. With most members of the squad now scattered all over England and Europe, I will write about international callups as they happen but with so many players mixed between youth squads, reserve teams and loans for the coming season, those players who make the news feed will get the most attention. Remember that this is a career save and careers do have ebb and flow.

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Dubb played quite well for England in a 3-0 win over France in the u-20 World Cup quarterfinals to start off the second half of August.

Kowalski made noise for West Brom in the u-18s first group match, despite losing 1-0 to Liverpool. The Scot was man of the match while teammate von Lichenstein started but didn’t impress.

FMS 2-2 Braintree – Blue Square Premier #4

Bo Jose, Nygma, Rudyard.

With Fuller still injured, Rudyard joined him on the injury list with a concussion suffered during the 2-2 draw at The Love Shack, Martin again didn’t make the match squad but was doing yeoman work with the reserves, having already earned a man of the match award along with a 7.15 average rating.

However, Dubb, like the rest of his teammates, wasn’t up to snuff in England’s 4-1 dismissal by Brazil in the u-20 World Cup semifinals. His 6.0 match rating was about par for the course for a sorry England side. He was better, though, in the side’s 3-0 win over Holland in the third place match.

Preece, in training with QPR, strained his groin and would miss a month of time. Von Lichtenstein strained knee ligaments while playing with West Brom reserves, and would miss 5-6 weeks.

Fantu, for all his bravado, was not going to stay with Reading. The Royals loaned him out to League One Scunthorpe on the 24th August for five months, where he was expected to step straight into the side.

Mansfield Town 2-1 FMS – Blue Square Premier #5

Bo Jose, Nygma. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

The Writers had trouble, and lots of it, in a 2-1 loss to the Stags at Field Mill. The club was starting to find life a league up a bit rough, but with so many members of their all-star cast gone or injured, who could blame them?

And then, the first two members of the Nineteen made first-team debuts away from their old club.

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Wow, I've actually learned a new phrase from this story, because I'd never heard it before- suffice to say, I like "yeoman work" quite a lot. Cheers, 10-3!

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One was Clarke, who played in Sunderland’s 2-1 extra-time win over Peterborough in the Capital One cup.

The youngster started the match and lasted the first 64 minutes, setting up a goal in the process, but had tasted blood with a Premiership side.

The other was McCracken, who also made his debut for Reading, but his didn’t go as planned. Coming on as an 18th minute substitute for the crocked Joshua King in a 2-1 Capital One Cup win over Coventry at the Mad Stad, he in turn left with a sprained ankle fifty minutes later that will leave him out for 4-6 weeks.

He also accepted a loan move away from Reading that day, after the match, to League One Port Vale, but his injury status kept everything up in the air.

Mathieson won a Holland u-21 callup, moving up a level, and also became the first member of the Nineteen to be valued at £1 million that same day. Clarke got his usual Ireland u-21 call, while Baroni, who had had a quiet preseason at Napoli, made the Italy u-21 side. Marks made Wales u-21, with Hochstetter surprisingly spurned from all the Australia teams.

The nearly-fit Fuller earned an England u-19 selection along with Dubb. Kowalski made the Scotland u-21 group and Nygma made the u-19 team.

FMS 1-1 Newport County – Blue Square Premier #6

Bo Jose, Nygma. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen. Man of the Match: Nygma.

And thus ended the month. And the transfer window.

FMS FC

August record: 2-2-2 (8th points, 12th place, Blue Square Premier, seven points behind Oxford)

Where the Nineteen wound up

Bo Jose – FMS

Fuller – FMS

van Liefthuizen – FMS

Martin – FMS

Clarke – Sunderland

Nygma – FMS

Dubb – Brighton

Kowalski – West Brom

Mathieson – Arsenal

Preece – QPR

Marks – West Brom

Hochstetter - Cottbus (loan from Schalke)

Fantu – Scunthorpe (loan from Reading)

Rudyard – FMS

Rothery – QPR

von Lichtenstein – West Brom

Warner – Sunderland

Baroni – Napoli

McCracken – Port Vale (loan from Reading)

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Okay, I lied. There was one more late-night deal on deadline day.

Thus Nygma.

Yet another of the Nineteen departed for pastures greener, with the defender going to Nottingham Forest for £275,000 at the deadline.

That left only the three keepers, Rudyard and Martin as the original members of the Nineteen still at FMS FC. Call them The Five.

Alfreton Town 0-3 FMS – BSP #7

van Liefthuizen. Subs: Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

The Writers won for the first time in five matches in the league thanks in part to smart goalkeeping from van Liefthuizen. The recovering Rudyard made the match as a substitute but JoBoJo was the only other player to make the sixteen from the original group.

The bigger news that day, though, was Nygma’s Scotland u-19s defeating Dubb’s and Fuller’s Auld Enemy, or in this case Young Enemy, 2-1 at Valley Parade. Neither Englishman featured, though.

Clarke’s Ireland u-21s fell 1-0 to Bulgaria, while Baroni was selected for Italy u-21s but didn’t make the match squad for their two matches on 6th and 9th September. However, that squad had won twelve consecutive matches and it was hard for the 16-year old to break into the team.

FMS 4-1 Hyde -7th September 2013 – BSP #8

Rudyard.

It was an all-time low for the old group with only Rudyard suiting for FMS. Everyone else was either gone, injured, or on international duty with the exception of Martin who was in the reserves, but Blankey’s Boys won for the second time on the spin before 3,808 at the Love Shack.

Mathieson agreed professional terms with Arsenal, but the Gunners’ precocious 17-year old was playing for the u-18s at the time. Still, now valued at £1.2 million, he could afford to wait.

Fuller warmed the bench for England u-19s in their 3-1 win over Japan in Swindon, with Dubb coming on as a substitute. Nygma started for Scotland u-19s as they humbled Bulgaria 4-1 in Blagoevgrad, which was a heck of a place to go to have to do something like that.

Marks found the net for Wales u-21s, scoring his first ever goal for his country in a 1-1 home draw with Poland, while Clarke was a late substitute for Ireland u-21s in a 3-0 home win over Ukraine.

FMS 1-0 Cambridge – 10th September 2013 – BSP #9

Rudyard.

The team ran its winning streak to three, edging out Cambridge on an 84th minute goal from Mo “Omar” Sharif. The team was playing well, but there weren’t many team members around to enjoy it.

Meanwhile, van Liefthuizen got the start in goals for Holland u-21s, playing on the team with Mathieson, but the Oranje were disappointed to draw 1-1 with Israel in Tel Aviv. JoBoJo backstopped Norway to an identical 1-1 draw against Romania in Drobeta, in a game where the home team had much the better of the play.

And when everyone got back home, Nygma put in a huge shift for the Tricky Trees in his debut with the reserves, thumping Birmingham 4-0 in his first game in the colors and winning man of the match honors.

Back from England duty, Dubb then won a match award for Brighton despite his team losing 2-1 to Portsmouth in u-18 action.

Barrow 3-0 FMS – 14th September 2013 – BSP #10

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub – van Liefthuizen.

Ten-man Barrow ended Blankley’s Boys’ winning streak in a big way at Holker Street. Fuller’s return to action for FMS was wrecked by a clinical performance from the home team. But the win streak had raised the Poison Pens – or now the Poison Pencils due to their decreased number – to fourth place in the Blue Square Premier table.

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Clarke and Nygma had the best starts to the second half of September, with each man playing well in reserve matches against Crewe Reserves and Huddersfield u-18s respectively.

Halifax 2-3 FMS – 21st September 2013 – BSP #11

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

The FMS boys rebounded from their heavy loss to Barrow with a narrow away win at The Shay. Despite conceding twice, Fuller had the third best rating on the team, behind Rudyard and man of the match Callum Nurse.

Van Liefthuizen, who agreed professional terms on a two-year deal with FMS the next day, didn’t play in the match. Nobody really knew where JoBoJo was, though it was believed he was working on a #Blankleyout Twitter campaign.

Preece finally got into action for his new club, QPR, on the 23rd September after recovering from his injury, and immediately bossed his first match, against Brentford Reserves. However, Nygma wound up on the shelf for two months after breaking two ribs in Forest’s reserve match against Sheffield United, ruling him out for Scotland selection later in the month.

Marks was starting well at West Brom, winning man of the match in their 1-0 win over Bolton Reserves that same night, in a match where Kowalski warmed the bench.

FMS 2-1 Salisbury – 24th September 2013 – BSP #12

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

The Writers survived going a goal down in the first ten minutes against Salisbury before rallying to win before 3,268 at the Love Shack. Again, Rudyard started but didn’t finish and van Liefthuizen and Martin didn’t see the field.

Meanwhile, the forgotten England u-19 man, Lee Rothery, agreed professional terms with QPR on a two-year deal. He hadn’t been forgotten in that club’s u-18 side, though, having netted five times in 18 u-18 and reserve matches to that point.

FMS 2-0 Tamworth – 28th September 2013 – BSP #13

Fuller, Rudyard. Subs: JoBoJo.

Once again, Bo Jose deputized for Fuller, who went down with concussion 53 minutes into the match. The Norway u-21 finished up the clean sheet for the club which was humming along nicely after buying players from the sale proceeds of Bo Jose’s friends.

And he shut down his Twitter long enough to play.

FMSFC

September record: 6-0-1 (19 points)

Overall record: 8-2-3 (27 points, 2nd place, one point behind Oxford)

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Hereford 2-2 FMS – 1 October 2013 – BSP #14

Bo Jose. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

Bo Jose didn’t get a lot of help in goal as FMS drew at Edgar Street to start the month of October. It took late on heroics – as in, two goals in the final three minutes – to erase a 2-0 deficit and escape with a point. Stuart Fleetwood connected from the spot in the 87th minute and Steven Craig got the equalizer two minutes later.

A look at how some others are doing:

First team results – non FMS players

Clarke – two cup matches for Sunderland, 7.35 average rating, 1A

Hochstetter – two substitute appearances for Cottbus, average rating 6.10

Fantu – two first-team appearances for Scunthorpe, average rating 6.60

McCracken – one substitute appearance for Reading (Cup), rating 6.40

Reserve/u-18 results

Martin – 4(4) for FMS Reserves, average rating 7.08

Nygma – 6 for Nottm Forest u-18, 2A, 3MOM, average rating 7.97

Dubb – 10 for Brighton u-18, 3A, average rating 7.01

Kowalski – 13(3) for West Brom Reserves/u-18, 4A, average rating 7.73

Mathieson – 6(4) for Arsenal u-18, 1G, 2A, average rating 6.99

Preece – 3(2) for QPR u-18, 1A, average rating 7.22

Marks – 16(2) for West Brom Reserves/u-18, 5G, 2A, average rating 7.74

Rothery – 11 (7) for QPR Reserves/u-18, 5G, 1A, average rating 6.94

von Lichtenstein – 3 for West Brom u-18, 1A, average rating 6.60

Warner – 6 (8) for Sunderland Reserves/u-18, 4G, 3A, average rating 7.14

Baroni – no appearances for Napoli

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The international callups had better news for the group.

Rothery got another England callup and so did McCracken, joining Fuller, Dubb and Preece with the Three Lions u-19 side for European Championship qualifiers against Estonia, Norway and Montenegro.

Van Liefthuizen made the Holland u-21 group, moving him up a team, with Kowalski going to Scotland u-19. The suddenly invisible Baroni was left off the Italy u-21 team due to lack of match fitness while Fantu, overlooked internationally, took out his frustrations on Barnsley u-18s for Scunthorpe.

Dubb then received horrible news, tearing a hamstring while in action for Brighton u-18s in a win over Dag and Red. Captaining the side, he went down in the 68th minute and would miss three months.

Gateshead 2-2 FMS – 5th October 2013 – BSP #15

Bo Jose, Rudyard. Unused Sub: van Liefthuizen. Man of the Match: Rudyard.

At The International Stadium, Gateshead and FMS played to a 2-2 draw with Rudyard putting in an excellent shift and Bo Jose deputizing for the injured Fuller. FMS played with ten men after Adie Whitbread was given a straight red card 22 minutes into the match (like we had never seen THAT before).

The Twitter feeds among the group were buzzing, though, after Rothery fired his agent.

The QPR 17-year old thought that Adam Leary wasn’t doing the job for him, but one wondered how a player on £55 per week could afford an agent in the first place. Warner tweeted him that the agent’s ten-percent commission amounted to lunch money, and that sparked a conflagration.

Before heading to international play, Kowalski bossed West Brom u-18’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Preece was named man of the match for England u-19s as they drew Estonia 2-2 in Podgorica. Rothery played as a substitute while Fuller and McCracken watched.

Hochstetter, meanwhile, celebrated a u-19 performance for Cottbus against Nurnberg by breaking his arm, putting him out for a month.

Despite being invisible, though, Baroni penned the second-richest contract yet of any member of the Nineteen, signing for £220 per week with Napoli on a two-year deal without having made a single appearance for the team.

Van Liefthuizen kept a clean sheet for Holland u-21s in a goalless draw with Japan. Kowalski watched from the bench as nine-man Scotland u-19s still managed a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic at Rugby Park, qualifying for the second round of the championship tournament. JoBoJo backstopped Norway to a 1-1 draw in Khimki against Russia in u-21 action.

And Von Lichtenstein won another full international cap, playing the whole match as his nation beat Latvia 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Vaduz.

Clarke was man of the match as his Ireland u-21 side drew 2-2 with Belgium in Dublin, and Preece and Rothery were both in the starting eleven as England u-19s beat Norway 1-0 away. McCracken came on as a substitute for Rothery and earned his first England junior cap in the process.

Marks put in a solid shift for Wales u-21s in a 2-0 away win at Kazakhstan. And meanwhile …

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FMS 1-2 Wrexham – 12th October 2013 – BSP #16

Rudyard.

The Writers saw their league unbeaten string end at five in a 2-1 setback at home to Wrexham. It was the first home defeat of the year for Blankley’s Boys.

Kowalski was man of the match in Scotland u-19s 2-0 win over San Marino, but then you or I could have done that. (Just kidding, Mike. Please don’t hit me.)

Preece was the only member of the Nineteen in the England u-19 eleven in their 1-1 draw with Montengro while Fuller finished a complete waste of his time by sitting for the third straight match. McCracken and Rothery both played as substitutes.

Dartford 1-2 FMS - 15th October 2013 – BSP #17

Fuller, Rudyard.

A late goal from someone named Theo Lewis helped FMS to an away win at Princes Park. Now breathing down Oxford’s neck for the league lead, the Poison Pens got solid performances from both Fuller and Rudyard in this match. Both JoBoJo and van Liefthuizen were in transit home from international commitments and were unavailable to play.

Von Lichtenstein played again for his country in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying loss at home to Bosnia, but wasn’t fit enough to start the match after playing the full ninety a few days prior. Eden Dzeko scored both the goals in the match for Bosnia.

Marks was left out of the Wales squad for their 3-0 u-21 win over Iceland, which saw the team propelled to second in its qualifying group, a point behind Scotland, and Clarke was left unused by the Republic of Ireland as they dismissed Liechtenstein u-21s by 3-0.

Mathieson started, but didn’t finish, as Holland u-21s blitzed Hungary by three goals to nil in Den Haag and Bo Jose was impeccable for Norway in their 4-0 win over Macedonia.

Then it was Fantu’s turn to find the trainer’s table, breaking an arm for Scunthorpe u-18s against Bradford, which was unfortunate as he had had a modest run in the first team prior to that.

FMS 2-1 Forest Green – 19th October 2013 – BSP #18

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

A season-high crowd of 4,253 at The Love Shack saw the Writers knock off Forest Green. Blankley’s Boys had cobbled themselves together fairly well after most of the Nineteen had been sold, and this win saw them keep up with Oxford at the top of the BSP table.

Warner, who had been playing well for Sunderland’s youngsters, broke down with a sports hernia in training and was expected to miss a month.

Meanwhile, back at FMS, Blankley said Rudyard had played enough football for awhile and was considering sitting out the youngster for the pending match against Barnet. Rudyard couldn’t be heard in reply, as he had been wrapped up in duct tape and shoved into a hall closet to prevent him yelling that he wanted to play.

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Kowalski was man of the match in Scotland u-19s 2-0 win over San Marino, but then you or I could have done that. (Just kidding, Mike. Please don’t hit me.)

I think you must be mistaken as Mike Kowalski never played for Scotland at any level. It says so in Jumping Through Hoops. He's never admitted it but he's quite bitter about it!

Clearly your age is affecting your memory.

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Clearly your age is affecting your memory.

My what? :p

___

Von Lichtenstein earned praise from just about everyone for his man of the match performance despite his West Brom u-18s losing 2-0 to Liverpool. The youngster did everything but score, it seemed, but did it all very well. Except the scoring part.

Barnet 1-2 FMS – 22nd October 2013 – BSP #19

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

So much for resting Rudyard. He got hurt instead, turning an ankle that forced him to leave the 2-1 win at The Hive just before the half. The injury wasn’t believed serious but as the manager said, the youngster needed the rest anyway.

And it was yet another injury for Fuller, who sprained his ankle in training two days after the Barnet match. Bo Jose could be seen snickering and filling holes in the ground in the keeper’s six-yard box in the training ground.

Macclesfield Town 2-0 FMS – 26th October 2013 – BSP #20

Bo Jose, Rudyard. Unused subs: van Liefthuizen

This one wasn’t so pretty. Town dominated from start to finish and dismissed the Writers at Moss Rose. Bo Jose deputized for Fuller but didn’t get much help from a defense that once again didn’t include Martin, who was starting to get unhappy about it.

Kowalski continued his strong play for West Brom u-18s, earning man of the match honors in a 2-0 loss to Spurs.

Anyone remember Marco Baroni? Napoli finally did, making him the first player of the original group to appear in a top-flight regular season match.

Baroni was brought on as a 55th minute substitute in Napoli’s 1-1 draw with Roma at Olimpico, but didn’t score. Sadly for him, that is the only action he’s seen all season.

October record – 3-2-2 (eight points)

Overall record – 11-4-5, 37 points, third place (seven behind Oxford)

# # #

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This is getting startlingly close to my short-lived Sunday league career... banished to the reserves, the forgotten man. I'm gonna tell my dad on you.

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All I can say is you aren't the only one. But I've played ahead and I can just say "keep the faith". :p

___

The Writers were now ready for their FA Cup run, starting with a Fourth Qualifying Round matchup against Canvey Island. Installed as 1-20 favourites by the bookies, just about everyone was looking for a huge and comfortable win.

FMS 4-0 Canvey Island – 2nd November 2013 – FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round

van Liefthuizen, Rudyard. Unused subs: Martin, Bo Jose.

There was a Law Martin sighting, but even that wasn’t enough to get the chomping-at-the-bit youngster onto the park for the big win over the part-timers in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

3,554 fans turned up to help the now-hugely profitable home side to the easy win. Van Liefthuizen played in place of Bo Jose, who would otherwise have played in place of the injured Fuller.

It was at that point, though, that the first member of the Nineteen made an appearance in a real, live, actual Premiership match.

It was Preece. The midfielder came on as a 72nd minute substitute for Adel Tarrabt in Rangers’ 3-0 away defeat at the hands of Manchester City. He had won the Nineteen’s race to the top flight.

Clarke played well for Sunderland Reserves in a 2-2 draw with Bolton that same day, but Preece’s text to the group made that look not quite as important. Preece was a Premiership footballer, and he was first.

# # #

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Clarke continued his strong play in November. Though playing for Sunderland’s u-18s, the defender was still man of the match in his team’s 3-1 Youth Cup win over Dover on the 9th.

That day also marked FMS FC’s First Round FA Cup appearance.

Oxford United 2-0 FMS – 9th November 2013 – FA Cup First Round

Van Liefthuizen, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

Well, so much for that. Van Liefthuizen’s match rating of 5.9 was the lowest on either side. Oops. United being a fellow Conference National rival didn’t help, and neither did Blankley’s assertion two days later that his team’s conquerors would win the league. Way to build up confidence, gaffer.

Preece celebrated his old club’s elimination by winning man of the match for QPR in their u-18 Cup win over Cardiff, a 3-0 tour de force that reportedly had Harry Redknapp smiling.

Steve Clarke became a managerial casualty at West Brom, with a number of former Writers involved in playing for a new boss, whoever that would be. Dick Advocaat moved to Spurs from PSV, setting off another race to replace him in Eindhoven.

McCracken scored from the spot for Reading u-18s in their 1-1 draw with Bristol City in a group match on the 11th but again took a back seat to Preece, who was man of the match for the second time running in QPR’s 1-1 u-18 draw with Crystal Palace.

Law Martin, meanwhile, continued to plug along, relegated to FMS Reserves but still trying to force his way into the first team. That process was put on hold due to a broken jaw suffered against Bishop’s Stortford, which would sideline him for a month.

FMS 2-0 Lincoln City – 13th November 2013 – BSP #21

Van Liefthuizen, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

The Writers played 63 minutes with ten men and still won at a canter over Lincoln. Both of Graham Cummins’ goals came with FMS reduced to ten men.

International summary – 14th November

Clarke (Ireland u-21 0-4 Germany u-21, European Championship Quals) – late sub, no MR

Baroni (Italy u-19 0-1 Portugal u-19) – played entire match, MR 7.4

Von Lichtenstein (Liechtenstein u-21 1-2 Bulgaria u-21, Euro Champ Quals) – played entire match, goal, MR 8.0

Bo Jose (Norway u-21 2-0 Faroe Islands u-21, Euro Champ Quals) – played entire match, MOM, MR 7.6

McCracken (England u-19 3-0 Denmark u-19) – started match, goal, MR 7.8

Rothery (England u-19 3-0 Denmark u-19) – second half sub, MR 7.1

Preece (England u-19 3-0 Denmark u-19) – late sub, no MR

Warner (England u-19 3-0 Denmark u-19) – played entire match, goal, MR 8.4, MOM

Marks (Wales u-21 2-1 @ Scotland u-21, Euro Champ Quals) – played entire match, MR 6.7

Kowalski (Scotland u-21 1-2 Wales u-21, Euro Champ Quals) – played entire match, MR 8.1, MOM

Bo Jose’s performance was particularly pleasing to him. Despite being rooted to the FMS bench which robbed him of playing time, the Norway keeper turned in a ‘mature performance’ against the Faroes according to the press, eliciting snickers from anyone who actually knew him.

# # #

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What you haven't mentioned is that the broken jaw was sustained from seeing the bossman actually turn up to one of the reserves games.

genie-jaw.jpg

I just couldn't believe it.

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I can tell you, I would love nothing better than to see your guy succeed. Your posts make this thread for me.

__

FMS 1-3 Stockport – 16th November 2013, BSP #22

None.

So, they deserved what they got, I guess. And at home, no less. With no senior goalkeepers available due to international duty, it was ugly.

International update

Marks (Wales u-21 0-1 @ Greece u-21, Euro Champ Quals) – started match, MR 7.6

Baroni (Italy u-19 2-1 Finland u-19) – started match, MR 6.7

Van Liefthuizen (Holland u-21s 2-0 Andorra u-21s, Euro Champ Quals) – played whole match, MR 7.9

Mathieson (Holland u-21s 2-0 Andorra u-21s, Euro Champ Quals) – started match, MR 6.9

Preece (England u-19s 1-0 Turkey u-19s) – started match, MR 6.7

McCracken (England u-19s 1-0 Turkey u-19s) – started match, goal, MR 7.3

Warner (England u-19s 1-0 Turkey u-19s) – sub, MR 6.7

Rothery (England u-19s 1-0 Turkey u-19s) – sub, MR 6.7

Rudyard (England u-19s 1-0 Turkey u-19s) – late sub, no MR

von Lichtenstein (Liechtenstein u-21s 0-5 Belgium u-21s, Euro Champ Quals) – started match, MR 6.5

Nygma (Scotland u-21s 4-0 Kazakhstan u-21s, Euro Champ Qual) – DNP

Clarke (Ireland u-21s 3-0 Bulgaria u-21s, Euro Champ Qual) – started match, MR 7.8

The fun part of the second half of November came when the England u-19 roster of 22 contained five former Writers. That team defeated Turkey 1-0 at the Madejski Stadium with McCracken scoring the only goal of the match, renewing his scoring rivalry with Warner.

Von Lichtenstein’s Liechtenstein crashed heavily against Belgium and was knocked out of European Championship consideration with two dead rubbers still ahead of them. Baroni’s first competitive match in some time was also on the cards as he featured for Italy u-19s in a 2-1 win over Finland.

FMS 1-0 Boston United – Saturday, 23rd November, First Round FA Trophy

van Liefthuizen, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

The Writers began their FA Trophy campaign with a sluggish win over Boston United at York Street. Despite having much the better of possession, the Writers struggled to generate chances and were actually on the short end of both shot attempts and shots on target. Still, a win is a win.

Back to club play, and Kowalski continued to impress for West Brom. Now elevated to the reserves, he was man of the match in the team’s 25th November 1-1 draw with Bolton.

There was also a Chester Fantu sighting as the player led Scunthorpe u-18s to a 3-1 win over Grimsby at Cheapside. Fantu, on loan from Reading, was an easy winner of the man of the match and opened the scoring in the 15th minute. He had missed six weeks with a broken arm and immediately praised manager Tony Daws to the media because he is just that nice of a guy.

FMS 0-1 Oxford United – 30th Novenber 2013 – BSP #23

BoJose, Rudyard. Unused sub – van Liefthuizen.

Man of the Match – Bo Jose.

JoBoJo was returned to Blankey’s favour for the visit of the league leaders to the Love Shack and the Norwegian impressed greatly, turning in several stunning saves and earning the sponsor’s award – but the Writers lost and now are in a bit of a crisis in the BSP.

While still in third place in the league, the Writers have claimed only three of the last twelve points on offer and haven’t won in the league since a 4-0 win over Canvey Island on 2 November. Trouble for the Good Ship FMS? We shall see.

November record – 1-0-2 (three points)

Overall record – 12-4-7, 40 points, third place (11 points behind Oxford United)

# # #

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Come on lads. I did my bit against those damn scholars from Oxford. You guys better help me out here!

:p

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JoBoJo is a man on a mission!

___

December began with Joel Hochstetter in pain.

The youngster who had already had an injury-marred season since his loan from Schalke to Energie Cottbus, suffered a sports hernia in training on the first day of the month that would rule him out for the rest of the calendar year and into January 2014. He had made three substitute appearances and no starts for Cottbus in league play.

The next day Nygma came back with a man of the match performance for Nottingham Forest u-18s in a 2-1 win over Hull.

And again, Kowalski had tongues wagging at West Brom, after a dominating 9.1 match rating in a 2-0 win over West Ham on 2 December in which teammate von Lichtenstein opened the scoring.

FMS 2-0 Oxford City – 4th December 2013 – BSP #24

Bo Jose, Rudyard. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

The Writers got back on the winning track with a 2-0 win over the other Oxford team in the BSP, Oxford City, in a match where they dominated territorially at the Love Shack. Bo Jose continued to play well in goals with a clean sheet.

For the second straight match, Nygma won a sponsors award for Forest, this time with the reserve team as they crushed Hull again, 3-1. His 9.3 rating was easily the best on either team.

And just for fun, the World Cup group stages were drawn:

Group A – Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, South Africa

Group B – England, USA, Ivory Coast, Chile

Group C – Brazil, Holland, Guinea, Jamaica

Group D – Spain, Portugal, Costa Rica, Paraguay

Group E – Italy, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Colombia, Iran

Group F – Cameroon, Uruguay, Turkey, Australia

Group G – Argentina, Greece, Sweden, Japan

Group H – Nigeria, Croatia, France, South Korea

FMS 4-1 Woking – 7th December 2013 – BSP #25

Bo Jose. Unused subs: van Liefthuizen, Rudyard.

FMS won at a canter to pick up a second consecutive Blue Square Premier win in four days at home. Bo Jose continued to be preferred to van Liefthuizen in goal, giving the manager a decision to make when Fuller returns from injury.

Rudyard, who had featured regularly in fixtures in recent weeks, was given the day off.

# # #

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Based purely on that draw, I'm betting on a Brazil v Holland final. They'll both get out of the group with ease, and then (I think) not be able to meet again until the final.

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Quite the interesting draw, yes. Will be fun to see how it turns out, and which of the Nineteen will eventually be the first to play in the tournament.

___

Then it was Marks’ turn to go out injured, suffering a broken cheekbone in a training accident with West Brom. The painful injury would not only rearrange his beautiful smile, it would sideline the young man for about a month.

Clarke, back with Sunderland u-18s, won man of the match as the Black Cats youngsters lost to Everton 2-1 on the 8th at the Academy of Light. Warner scored the Sunderland goal in a losing effort. He then cemented his reputation as a hard man by coming back the very next day to win man of the match again as Sunderland Reserves beat Crewe 3-0, with Clarke scoring the first goal of the match.

That was a big day for ex-Writers – four of them received honors in their matches on the same day. In addition to Clarke, Kowalski (West Brom u-18 1-1 Aston Villa), Nygma (Nottm Forest u-18 0-0 Stoke) and Preece (QPR Reserves 1-0 Millwall) all won man of the match honors on the same day, with Rothery scoring the only goal for QPR in a match captained by former Manchester United workhorse Park Ji-Sung.

On the 11th, Kowalski’s 9.9 match rating in West Brom 18s 3-0 destruction of Gavin Mathieson and Arsenal wasn’t enough to win him the trophy – because von Lichtenstein scored all three Baggies goals and took the honor for himself with a perfect 10.

FMS 3-1 Dartford – 14th December 2013 – FA Trophy Second Round

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

FMS marked Chris Fuller’s return from injury with a 3-1 win over Dartford in the second round of the FA Trophy at the Love Shack. The Writers dominated despite Adie Whitbread’s dismissal in the 48th minute, scoring all three of their goals with ten men.

Fuller, who had missed six weeks with a badly sprained ankle, celebrated by being knocked out cold with three minutes to play and eventually being diagnosed with concussion. Since FMS was out of substitutions, Bo Jose could not deputize.

It appeared as though cup ties were unlucky for former Writers too, as Mathieson fractured two ribs in Arsenal’s 4-3 penalty win over Crystal Palace in the FA Youth Cup. Before he left, though, his 9.1 match rating earned him a trophy.

Warner continued his scoring touch for Sunderland in the same competition, scoring a brace in a 3-0 win at Gateshead – but losing man of the match to Clarke.

With the end of the month coming up, Writers and former Writers alike were jockeying for their trips to the big time.

# # #

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The von Lichtenstein fan club was again seen at the crowd, his hattrick bring on another chant which the small crowd took up.

'He's blond, he's zen, he deserves the perfect ten!,

Lichtenstein! Lichtenstein!

He's blond, he's tanned, he comes from another land,

Lichtenstein! Lichtenstein!'

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Love the chant...and injuries are part of the game for players getting so much playing time at so tender an age...

___

The second half of December was a bit slower than the first.

Clarke didn’t let a little thing like losing 1-0 to Bolton u-18s stop him from continuing his rich run of form on the 16th.

Kidderminster 2-0 FMS – 17th December 2013 – BSP #26

Bo Jose, Rudyard. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

Harriers stopped FMS cold in a 2-0 win at Aggborough that ended the Writers’ brief winning streak. Bo Jose was again preferred to van Liefthuizen in goals with Fuller still a week away from a return from injury.

And the next day, there was a Law Martin sighting, as the defender scored a goal and earned man of the match as the Reserve Writers roughed up Tamworth 3-0. Van Liefthuizen kept a clean sheet in goal as the team vaulted into top spot in the Group 3 Reserve standings ahead of Barnet.

Fantu celebrated the near holiday season by scoring for Scunthorpe u-18s at home to Hartlepool and earning the award for an 8.3 match rating.

Rothery and Preece were both on target for QPR’s youth at Sparrows Lane against Charlton with Rothery earning the man of the match award before a crowd of several.

After lasting nine months as manager of Fulham, David Moyes, recently fired by the Cottagers, took over at Sunderland on 23rd December, becoming Clarke and Warner’s new boss.

That same day, the Writers had a new highest-paid player – and it was Law Martin.

Turning professional allowed him to increase his wage to £425 per week, highest among the original group even though he couldn’t get out of the Writers’ reserve team. Now valued at £100,000, Martin was attracting interest from Nottingham Forest before signing a three-year deal with FMS.

Braintree 1-2 FMS – 26th December 2013 – BSP #27

Bo Jose, Rudyard. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

For some reason, sixth placed Braintree was installed as a 1-6 home favorite over the Writers, who made the bookies pay when Callum Nurse got the winner two minutes from time. Bo Jose again got the start in goals for FMS.

FMS 2-2 Mansfield Town – 28th December 2013 – BSP #28

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

FMS was then made home underdogs against the Stags, but managed a 2-2 draw. Fuller came back from injury but, unfortunately for him, played like he was still concussed, managing only a 5.8 match rating and allowing a howler of a goal to Mansfield’s Jake Speight just 36 seconds into the match.

Von Lichtenstein twisted an ankle at West Brom training that same day, earning himself three weeks’ rest.

The injured Hochstetter agreed to his first professional contract on the 31st December with Schalke, at the standard £55 per week wage.

On the 31st. to the surprise of virtually no one, Lionel Messi claimed the World Golden Ball and World Player of the Year award, but much more importantly, Callum Nurse claimed the December BSP Player of the Month award for FMS. The on-loan Peterborough player, who looks surprisingly like a cartoon character in team pictures, has scored eleven goals in sixteen matches for the Writers.

Southampton loanee Lloyd Isgrove won young player of the month for FMS as well. Evidently he is a midfielder.

It had been a good year for the Nineteen. Year’s end saw all of them capped internationally at various levels, and a few had even gained their initial first-team experience. Great days were ahead.

FMS FC summary

December record – 3-1-1 (ten points)

Overall record – 15-5-8, 50 points, fourth place (eight points behind Oxford United)

FA Trophy: Third Round

FA Cup: eliminated First Round

# # #

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Statistics through December 2013

[TABLE]

[TR]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]first team where applicable

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Goalkeepers[/TD]

[TD]Apps[/TD]

[TD]Con[/TD]

[TD]Cln[/TD]

[TD]Rtg[/TD]

[TD]MoM[/TD]

[TD]Cards[/TD]

[TD]Value (k)[/TD]

[TD]+/-[/TD]

[TD]Notes[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]Club[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]Notes[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Jose Bo Jose[/TD]

[TD]11 (3)[/TD]

[TD]16[/TD]

[TD]4[/TD]

[TD]6.75[/TD]

[TD]1[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]50[/TD]

[TD]+5[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]12 u-21 caps (Norway)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]FMS[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Stats are first team[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Chris Fuller[/TD]

[TD]10[/TD]

[TD]12[/TD]

[TD]2[/TD]

[TD]7.01[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]160[/TD]

[TD]-10[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (England)[/TD]

[TD]FMS[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Stats are first team[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Ortega van Liefthuizen[/TD]

[TD]7[/TD]

[TD]5[/TD]

[TD]4[/TD]

[TD]6.77[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]110[/TD]

[TD]n/a[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]8 u-21 caps (Holland)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]FMS[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Stats are first team[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Defenders[/TD]

[TD]Apps[/TD]

[TD]Goals[/TD]

[TD]Ast[/TD]

[TD]Rtg[/TD]

[TD]MoM[/TD]

[TD]Cards[/TD]

[TD]Value[/TD]

[TD]+/-[/TD]

[TD]Notes[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Cieran Clarke[/TD]

[TD]20[/TD]

[TD]3[/TD]

[TD]4[/TD]

[TD]7.35[/TD]

[TD]9[/TD]

[TD]3/0[/TD]

[TD]275[/TD]

[TD]+115[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Ireland u-21 captain (4 caps)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Sunderland (reserves)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]2 first team cup appearances, one assist[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Stuart Dubb[/TD]

[TD]13[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]6[/TD]

[TD]7.08[/TD]

[TD]2[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]130[/TD]

[TD]+20[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-20 level (England)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Brighton (reserves)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Mike Kowalski[/TD]

[TD]23 (4)[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]10[/TD]

[TD]7.93[/TD]

[TD]10[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]200[/TD]

[TD]+50[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]1 u-21 cap (Scotland)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]West Brom (reserves)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Law Martin[/TD]

[TD]7 (4)[/TD]

[TD]1[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]7.29[/TD]

[TD]2[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]100[/TD]

[TD]n/a[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (England)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]FMS (reserves)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Gavin Mathieson[/TD]

[TD]16 (4)[/TD]

[TD]1[/TD]

[TD]3[/TD]

[TD]7.14[/TD]

[TD]3[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]1.7m[/TD]

[TD]+1.48m[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]7 u-21 caps (Belgium) 4 u-21 caps (Holland)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Arsenal (reserves)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Edward Nygma[/TD]

[TD]14[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]4[/TD]

[TD]7.9[/TD]

[TD]6[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]240[/TD]

[TD]n/a[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (Scotland)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Nottingham Forest (reserves)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Midfielders[/TD]

[TD]Apps[/TD]

[TD]Goals[/TD]

[TD]Ast[/TD]

[TD]Rtg[/TD]

[TD]MoM[/TD]

[TD]Cards[/TD]

[TD]Value[/TD]

[TD]+/-[/TD]

[TD]Notes[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Chester Fantu[/TD]

[TD]4 (1)[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]6.55[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]275[/TD]

[TD]+35[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]2 u-20 caps (USA)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Scunthorpe (loan from Reading)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Scunthorpe first team stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Joel Hochstetter[/TD]

[TD]0 (3)[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]6.45[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]350[/TD]

[TD]+50[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]7 u-21 caps (Australia), 0 goals[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Cottbus (loan from Schalke)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Stats are first team[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Ashley Marks[/TD]

[TD]23 (2)[/TD]

[TD]7[/TD]

[TD]5[/TD]

[TD]7.10[/TD]

[TD]5[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]240[/TD]

[TD]+60[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]14 u-21 caps (Wales), 1 goal[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]West Brom (reserves)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]David Preece[/TD]

[TD]12 (6)[/TD]

[TD]3[/TD]

[TD]3[/TD]

[TD]6.50[/TD]

[TD]6[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]240[/TD]

[TD]+110[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (England)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]QPR (reserves)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]1 Premiership sub appearance[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Oscar Rudyard[/TD]

[TD]25 (1)[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]9[/TD]

[TD]6.88[/TD]

[TD]1[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]180[/TD]

[TD]+50[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (England)[/TD]

[TD]FMS[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Stats are first team[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Ulrich von Lichtenstein[/TD]

[TD]9 (1)[/TD]

[TD]6[/TD]

[TD]1[/TD]

[TD]7.53[/TD]

[TD]3[/TD]

[TD]2/0[/TD]

[TD]210[/TD]

[TD]+40[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]4 full caps (Liechtenstein), 0 goals[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]West Brom (reserves)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Strikers[/TD]

[TD]Apps[/TD]

[TD]Goals[/TD]

[TD]Ast[/TD]

[TD]Rtg[/TD]

[TD]MoM[/TD]

[TD]Cards[/TD]

[TD]Value[/TD]

[TD]+/-[/TD]

[TD]Notes[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Phil McCracken[/TD]

[TD]4 (3)[/TD]

[TD]4 (1)[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]7.27[/TD]

[TD]2[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]250[/TD]

[TD]+30[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (England)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Reading (reserves)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]1 LC sub appearance[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Lee Rothery[/TD]

[TD]22 (9)[/TD]

[TD]9[/TD]

[TD]5[/TD]

[TD]6.92[/TD]

[TD]2[/TD]

[TD]1/0[/TD]

[TD]300[/TD]

[TD]+80[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (England)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]QPR (reserves)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Matt Warner[/TD]

[TD]12 (10)[/TD]

[TD]9 (2)[/TD]

[TD]3[/TD]

[TD]7.16[/TD]

[TD]1[/TD]

[TD]3/0[/TD]

[TD]220[/TD]

[TD]+60[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 4]Capped at u-19 level (England)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Sunderland (reserves)[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]reserve stats[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Marco Baroni[/TD]

[TD]0 (1)[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]6.1[/TD]

[TD]0[/TD]

[TD]0/0[/TD]

[TD]500[/TD]

[TD]+360[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 3]Capped at u-19 level (Italy)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]Napoli (u-20)[/TD]

[TD]

[/TD]

[TD=colspan: 2]only appearance has been first team[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

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I am perfectly happy at getting paid more money to do nothing. I've got great plans for that £425/week, great, great plans. Got my eye on a nice secondhand Peugeot.

Also, let's not forget this...

(PS: Sent you a private message 10-3 :p )

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think they are being saved.

boom boom.

Oh dear.

Maybe the boss is just looking at them and thinking... "Yep. He's a keeper."

:cool:

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Newport County 0-0 FMS – 1 January 2014 – BSP #29

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: JoBoJo.

Absoutely nothing to report from Rodney Parade as the Writers opened calendar year 2014 the same way they ended 2013 – with a draw. Rudyard had a solid game but still has yet to score for the team in the campaign.

Meanwhile, Joel Hochstetter opened the new year by firing his agent.

Scott Salter represented luminaries like André Bikey, Emmanuel Ledesma and Paul Konchesky but once Hochstetter opened his first two week pay packet from Schalke and found a cheque for £110 in it, the end couldn’t be far away.

But then another member of the Nineteen had a transfer bid accepted.

This time it was Law Martin, he of the new contract, with the club accepting an offer from Nottingham Forest worth up to £140,000. Forest was the tail-end team in the Premiership and maybe … just maybe … Martin would make a senior appearance.

FMS 2-1 Alfreton Town – 4 January 2014 – BSP #30

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused sub: van Liefthuizen.

It was perhaps symbolic that the crowd of 4,444 which came out to see the first match of calendar 2014 at the Love Shack reflected the number of the original Nineteen which were still with the club. That is to say, four.

Fuller returned to his starting role as the Writers opened the year with a home win.

Fantu was so happy he ruptured himself, literally, during a Scunthorpe training session, with the resulting sports hernia putting him on the sidelines for five weeks.

At the same time, the papers were starting to pontificate about a full Norway callup for Bo Jose, due to his recent good form for club – a story which received the due amount of cold water from Norway boss Egil Olsen.

He didn’t say “who?” in reference to the keeper, but the resulting headlines of “No Way, Bo Jose” was a gimme.

Martin, for his part, finally left FMS for Forest on the 6th January. He was so excited to leave he took a pay cut – from the £425 per week he made at FMS under his new contract to the standard youth deal of £55 per week. That was odd.

He also reacted surprisingly well when the Tricky Trees immediately loaned him to League One Rochdale for three months to hopefully get him, at last, some playing time. So much for the Premiership.

West Brom and Sunderland’s youth match on the 8th reunited several Nineteen members. Marks, freshly back from his fractured cheek, limped off with a strained hamstring less than a minute into the match, won 2-1 by Sunderland thanks to a Warner brace. Clarke also played for Sunderland and, as usual, Kowalski was man of the match for the Baggies.

Rothery and Preece helped QPR reserves dismantle Brentford 3-0 with Rothery picking up a goal and the man of the match.

Hyde 0-3 FMS – 7th January 2013 – BSP #31

Fuller. Unused subs: Bo Jose, Rudyard.

FMS breezed to an easy win at Ewen Fields, with Fuller keeping a clean sheet and more importantly, rediscovering his form. The win increased the team’s league unbeaten streak to five, and cemented the club in the promotion places.

But then, the thorn in FMS’ side reared its ugly head again: Oxford United, conqueror of the Writers in the regular season and in the FA Cup as well. Drawn against each other in the FA Trophy, their Third Round match with the Blue Square Premier leaders was upcoming.

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"It is an honour and a joy to be able to follow in the footsteps of so many legendary players in wearing the blue of Rochdale, a side who hold the record of spending the most seasons in the lowest league tier of English football. I look forward to emulating the likes of... uhm... well, there was... hmm. Give me a moment, I will think of someone. Rickie Lambert?"

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I have it on good authority that Law Martin is already being referred to as "The Next Craig Dawson" at Spotland. :)

___

The 11th saw the return to action of Stuart Dubb, who had missed three months for Brighton after tearing his hamstring in October. He did well in his return, earning man of the match for his part in a 2-1 u-18s win over Oxford United. He played the entire ninety minutes and earned a match rating of 9.4.

Two days later, Clarke nabbed honors in Sunderland u-18s 1-1 draw at home to West Ham, in a match where, for once, Warner did not score. Rothery and Preece both scored for QPR u-18s in a 4-2 win at Reading’s Hogwood Park, with McCracken finding the range for the Royals youngsters in reply. Preece’s 9.6 earned him man of the match.

Then Nygma had a loan offer accepted by Forest – from Rangers, who figured to give the Scotland u-19 more playing time.

As expected, the Light Blues were carrying all before them in Scotland’s Second Division, dropping only six of 66 points on offer with a goal difference of +54, with a 26-point lead over Dumbarton and Airdrie. (And yes, Mike Kowalski, Celtic is walking the SPL as well!)

FMS 0-0 Barrow – 18th January 2014 – BSP #32

Fuller, Rudyard. Unused subs: JoBoJo.

Zzzzzzz.

The 20th saw Rothery go down with the ever-unpopular groin strain while playing for QPR Reserves against Charlton, but Ashley Marks overcame a significant boyhood conflict of interest to lead West Brom Reserves to a 2-1 win over Manchester United at Moss Lane. He swiped man of the match honors from Kowalski in that contest.

Nygma made his debut for Rangers that day as well, starting in central defence as his team defeated East Fife 3-0 at New Bayview. His match rating of 8.4 nearly stole man of the match honors from Lee McCulloch as well.

# # #

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