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FM14: The Sky Bet Football League Thread - Sponsored by William Hill

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hey lads, was wondering what leagues you lot would recommend for me to add/set as playable for a league one save? my computer is rather fast so im planning a long term save.

cheers

I have a good laptop (sorry for bragging) and I have the following:

Argentina (1)

Belgium (1)

Brazil (3)

Denmark (1)

England (6)

France (3)

Germany (2)

Holland (2)

Ireland (2)

Italy (4)

Norway (1)

Portugal (1)

Russia (1)

Scotland (3)

Spain (3)

Sweden (1)

Turkey (1)

Wales (1)

Could do more, but I get a good few players and the regens are alright

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Hi all,

Started up a game with Hartlepool United in League 2. I had a great save with them on the last game, where I took them to the Premier League, only to collapse when we got there (Too much, too soon really - We still had the majority of our original League 1 side in my starting XI!)

The transfers I've made so far are essentially upgrades on the original squad at lower wages:

OUT:

Neil Austin (DR/L) - £80k - Hamilton

Simon Walton (DM) - £27k - Plymouth

IN:

Eddie Nolan (DR/L) - Free

Damien Mozika (DM) - Free

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Good luck Spiegel! Does Hartlepool still have Steve Howard? I can't quite remember, but if you do it'll be interesting to see how he fits into your side. He lacks pace, but he's still one of the best strikers in that league.

Keep us updated!

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He's at the club at the start of the game, but I think they released him IRL. He's on £3k a week, which is a bit of an issue.

Offensively, we look solid; From past experience, Luke James is an absolute monster at League 2 level. I'm already fighting off offers from Premier League clubs. Franks and Monkhouse are both very good League 1 players. James Poole's also a good poacher.

Defensively, Baldwin has the potential to be a strong championship level player. Sam Collins is good, but ageing. Christian Burgess is also at the club, on loan from Middlesbrough. Scott Flinders is among the best GKs in the league.

Overall, the first 14 or so players are excellent for this level, but the lack of depth is pretty staggering, with young players who shouldn't be anywhere near the team.

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I’m currently in the middle of July (2014) and have been working hard to improve the Portsmouth squad ready for our return to League 1. The preference to add some Israelis and Africans didn’t really work out last year due to work permit refusals, so I didn’t really focus on that in the summer. Likewise, I ignored Croatia, and instead gave most of my attention to our own domestic leagues. The majority of these arrivals have youth on their side, with only two of them over the age of 25. It's a big part of my evolution plans, to move on the older men and build my own, young and hungry team.

Transfers in: Patrick N’Koyi (Fortuna Sittard, free), Aaron Martin (Southampton, free), Ryan Mason (Tottenham, free), Dan Holman (Braintree, free), Aaron McCarey (Wolves, free), Lee Camp (free)

Loans in: Joshua Murphy (Norwich, loan), Cauley Woodrow (Fulham, loan), Anthony O’Connor (Blackburn, loan), Baptiste Martin (KV Kortrijk, loan fee £4.5k p/m), Ryan Colclough (Liverpool, loan)

Transfers out: Patrick Agyemang (Northampton, £20k), Yassin Moutaouakil (free), Liam Triggs (free), Nick Awford (free), Josh Warren (free), George Branford (free), Ryan Bird (free), Jack Maloney (loan)

So, 11 new players arrived, although four of them had been on loan last term. There was a small monthly fee for Baptiste Martin, but apart from that we didn’t spend a penny other than wages. I was pleased to recoup £20k for the sale of our leading scorer last season, the ageing Agyemang.

The club coffers were boosted by the sale of Stoke ‘keeper Asmir Begovic to AS Monaco for £7.75m, which gave us a welcome bonus of £450k. I also cashed-in a transfer clause relating to Joel Ward, earning a further £80k. Unfortunately the board were only allowing 10% of transfer income (later increased to 30%), and as the wage budget was already fully used up (just over £40k p/w) there actually was little to play with. I’ve adjusted this now, almost wiping the entire transfer kitty in order to leave a small sum available in the wage budget.

Squad review

Here is a review of the current squad, although the window has about six weeks to go. I’ve also mentioned a few extra players that were on my radar, to give a little more insight in to my approach.

Goalkeepers: I had originally planned to sign last year’s loanee Neil Etheridge permanently for free, but his wage demands were above what could be afforded. Instead, I snapped up Aaron McCarey from Wolves and latterly Lee Camp, who was an experienced free agent. They will compete for the gloves, whilst John Sullivan (who performed surprisingly well in regular appearances last season) will be third choice unless I can sell him on.

Defenders: My first target for right-back was Carl Jenkinson, on loan from Arsenal. I thought we had a real coup when they agreed a season-long deal for no outlay, but unfortunately the player rejected me. I then tried to nab Dwight Tiendalli from Swansea - and even agreed £8k p/m for his services until the end of the season – but he received an offer from the Championship. As luck would have it, Blackburn finally agreed to offer Anthony O’Connor on loan again - after originally making him unavailable - and I swooped instantly to bring him back to Fratton Park.

With Dan Butler making the left-back position his own, I wanted a left-sided central defender who could also cover Butler if required. Paul Dummett was the man identified, and a package was agreed – but he received a better offer from Millwall and moved there instead. Paul Hanlon was another contender, but we could not afford the young Scot, so I decided to abandon the idea for now.

Aaron Martin had been our player of the season in the first campaign when on loan, and was in the League 2 team of the season, so his permanent signing was a priority. I sealed that one quite early and have made him the new captain. Alongside him in the centre will be Baptiste Martin, a 29-year old Frenchman who made 30 appearances in the Belgian top flight last season for KV Kortrijk. He was approached after we were outbid for his fellow countryman, Alexandre Barthe of Ludogorets, and I expect him to be a key performer at this level. Defensive back-up will be provided by Sonny Bradley, Johannes Ertl, Adam Webster and Danny East. Webster is still being developed, and will provide cover across all back-four positions, but the other three are available if any semi-reasonable bid is received.

Midfielders: I didn’t want to over-stock in the central areas, and the trio of Simon Ferry, Romain Padovani and Jed Wallace will be the main men this season. Assuming I continue with a flat 442, it will be two from three selected, with rotation likely. Wallace can also perform a right-sided role if necessary though. I may be a player short in here and might consider a move if a more physical type becomes available, so Ertl remains a cover option for the defensive slot in the middle of the park. Earlier, Jake Livermore rejected a non-contributory seasonal loan, and a bid for Moshe Lugasi of Maccabi Tel-Aviv fell through, so I have halted the search for now in this area.

One of my new signings, Ryan Mason, can provide more attacking support centrally or on either flank, and his versatility makes him a good bench option in my view. The left wing should be safe in the hands of Joshua Murphy, who excelled in his brief loan stint last term. Danny Green had been earmarked to play on the right after a successful loan last time out, but his wage demands are currently way above my level. I then turned to Ryan Colclough (sold by Crewe to Liverpool last year), and I have now managed to grab him until the end of the season. He is likely to be given a chance on the right, but he can also play on the left whenever needed. Leandro Martinez, an Italian playing in Hungary had agreed to join for the season, but I eventually cancelled the deal with concerns over his physical attributes. An ambitious loan move for Feyenoord’s Jean-Paul Boetius was just out of financial reach too. In reserve, literally, are Ricky Holmes and Andy Barcham, who are both being offered out after failing to impress in League 2.

Strikers: I’m very comfortable with my striking pool now, and look forward to seeing how Patrick N’Koyi settles in England after a decent scoring record in the Dutch second tier. Alongside him is Ashley Harris, who looks to have a bright future at the club. Cauley Woodrow has re-joined on loan from Fulham, and I acquired non-league hotshot Dan Holman to provide further options in attack. Beyond this, David Connolly remains at the club until I can find him a new home, as does Tom Craddock, who is so far from my thoughts that I had forgotten to re-visit the U21 squad and offer him out again. Modibo Maiga was on the loan list but the wage contribution demanded by West Ham was too high, and Man City youngster Devante Cole (son of my coach Andrew) had also agreed to join on loan until I decided Woodrow would continue to offer me much more, and so the plug was pulled. Jamie Vardy was also available on loan again, but he seems to be heavily under-rated, so I passed him by this time.

Pre-season

I’ve played the first three friendlies, and have been very impressed so far. I’m still using a flat 442 but have players that can adapt to a 433 with two wide attackers and three central midfielders.

Portsmouth 3-2 KV Kortrijk (Murphy, Harris, N’Koyi), a terrific win against a top-flight Belgian team where we surged ahead and held on nicely

RC Lens 1-1 Portsmouth (Padovani), we opened the scoring against another decent European side, they levelled towards the end

Lowestoft 1-2 Portsmouth (Holman, Wallace), a very comfortable win - as expected - with a rotated side, a very late consolation flattered them

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Great update! I love the layout, hint, I'm going to have to take it!

I reckon Lee Camp will be the number one for you as long as his attributes haven't dropped significantly. A welcome bonus is his experience, he really should be better than League One.

Is Ertl not good enough? He was always useful in the DM position when I was Portsmouth. He doesn't have a great deal to offer going forward which means he is able to sit perfectly in front of the back four.

Shame that you couldn't get rid of Connolly. Did he perform for you? He always lacked a yard of pace for me, which rendered his (brilliant) attributes useless.

Good luck in the next season!

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Cheers for the kind words Michael.

Camp is slightly above McCarey right now, but I would be happy with either of them. He looks quite solid and is only 29 so has a couple of years left before I would move him out. I do want to give McCarey some exposure to first team football though.

Ertl is OK, but I don't play a DM, just a CM with defend instructions. He is useful as back-up for a variety of positions, but being over 30 and too slow for my liking, his time at the club will be limited.

Connolly scored 14 goals in 40 appearances last season and could probably play - but he is well past his best and I would love to get him off the wage bill. His contract expires at the end of the season, and he is just too old for me.

I have just sold off Ricky Holmes, to Mansfield for £48k and completed my pre-season. No other new arrivals have been considered yet - but there is still more than one month to go! We did well enough with our remaining friendlies, staying unbeaten. I've given most of the squad decent minutes on the pitch, and the only minor gripe is a lack of clean-sheets.

Portsmouth 1-1 Jong Ajax (N'Koyi), we probably should have done better here

Havant & Waterlooville 1-3 Portsmouth (Harris, N'Koyi x 2), comfortable winners despite the shock of going behind

Portsmouth 1-1 Reading (Colclough), a very satisfying result, earned by a late equaliser from my substitute

Eastleigh 1-3 Portsmouth (Harris x 2, Woodrow), an easy win, but a late goal against was a bit disappointing

League 1 action kicks off in one week, with a long trip to Oldham Athletic.

Edit: I've just completed the first month and thought I should do a quick update now that the transfer window has closed.

August 2014

Oldham 1-3 Portsmouth (N’Koyi, Harris, Woodrow), League 1

A superb performance in a match we dominated from start to finish. N'Koyi made his debut and looked very lively.

Portsmouth 1-0 Ipswich (Harris), COC Round 1

A very satisfying victory and a rare clean sheet.

Portsmouth 2-3 Bristol City (Murphy, Woodrow), League 1

We scored early but trailed 3-1 at HT and despite a late second, City held on in front of 20,209 fans.

Bristol Rovers 0-0 Portsmouth, League 1

We needed to tighten up after the last match and I was satisfied with this point away from home.

Yeovil 1-1 Portsmouth (Murphy), League 1

We fought back to earn a draw and remained unbeaten on the road. Harris sustained an injury in the first half which forced him off.

Portsmouth 2-0 Cardiff (Woodrow, N’Koyi), COC Round 2

Another superb Cup win (and shutout) against Premier League opposition. The reward is a trip to Swansea in Round 3.

Portsmouth 2-2 Notts County (N’Koyi, Sheehan own goal), League 1

We went 2-0 down but again battled back with two second half goals to grab a share of the spoils.

We end the month in a comfortable 12th position, but the struggles at home in the league that were evident last season have continued. In contrast the away form has been good, also continuing the trend of the previous campaign. The two cup wins at Fratton Park were excellent, which shows we can do it. The league pace is being set by Bolton and Huddersfield, both relegated last season. The formation and tactics are the same as before - a flat 442, standard and rigid.

Promising youngsters Bradley Tarbuck (Eastleigh) and Lewis Horsburgh (Bishops Stortford) were loaned out for match experience, whilst hot prospect Fabian Sporkslede, a defensive midfielder, joined from Jong Ajax on a season-long loan. No other signings were made, although free agent Lloyd Dyer had agreed to come to the club. The deal was going to smash my wage budget and was also costing £70k in loyalty bonus and agent fees. As much as I rate him, it was not good value considering I have Murphy and Colclough, and so I cancelled the move. Ade Mafe joined as a second fitness coach.

On the injury front, we started the season with two men unavailable due to injury. Camp (lower back stress fracture) was ruled out for seven weeks just days before the opener, whilst Baptiste Martin (groin strain) missed the first few games, but has since settled in to the team. Harris (twisted ankle) sustained an injury against Yeovil which put him out for four weeks. Both Camp and Harris should be back in about three weeks from now.

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After finding this thread I was inspired to start a new game after my long term save was getting abit boring.

So I chose the challenge that is Coventry City. After an excellent start it the league season 2 wins 2 draws the club was taken over by a Canadian tycoon. Although I was Really pleased I cant help thinking this will of course make this challenge a lot easier

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Welcome to the thread. I had great fun with Coventry in FM13 and really want to manage them again in this version, but wouldn't want a tycoon takeover either. The other issue is that the game sets them up in administration and everybody seems to lose one of their better youngsters (Christie) immediately, sold by the board. He was still going strong after six seasons for me last time and I can't bring myself to start yet with this situation. It's a shame, because they would be a superb challenge again - I reckon it may be fixed by the final update, but wonder if they will still have all the best players at the club after January. It's a dilemma - if it was me, I would probably start over - but good luck if you continue.

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i managed to keep Christie - and no players were sold

I have now gone on a losing streak - and cannot buy anyone one (due to transfer budgets being turned off in first window for more realism) i nearly got fitz hall on a free however i couldnt complete the deal as I didnt have the 90k to complete it. Badly need a center back.

i have boosted my coaching staff - with old english coaches

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Nice to see a few people playing as Coventry, my club. I've just started as them and off to an okay start but already the squad is stretched. Any recommendations on loans to bring in? So far every offer being rejected due to not being able to offer any % towards the wage. Cant bring in any free agents either due to being £10k over the wage budget already.

Oddly the club haven't been taken over yet but the debt has been refinanced twice and it now only shows £2mil owed. Im not sure if this means the club wont be sold now or whether its just going to delay it. Anyone else had this happen and whats happened next in your case?

Hopefully i can keep up the good early season form and avoid injury, midtable would be a decent season.

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It's good to see Coventry saves, and I'm now hopeful that the sale of Christie can be avoided, after reading the above.

@velvetsky - I'm trying to think of a CB who may be available for no outlay. I took Aaron Martin from Southampton but think I had to pay a small amount of his wages IIRC.

@liam - are there any positions you're particularly looking to strengthen?

Meanwhile, at Portsmouth...

September 2014

Cheltenham 0-1 Portsmouth (Woodrow), JPT South Round 1

A competition I don't care about, but we scored very early and held on comfortably.

Colchester 1-0 Portsmouth, League 1

I was happy with this performance until the 93rd minute - when we switched off and lost all three points.

Portsmouth 1-1 Bolton (Padovani), League 1

Another home game where we dropped points, we went behind but levelled just before the break.

Portsmouth 2-1 Leyton Orient (N’Koyi x 2), League 1

Finally, a home league win. Once again, we allowed the visitors to score first, but N'Koyi rescued me with a second-half double.

Swansea 2-0 Portsmouth, COC Round 3

We put up a spirited display against the Premier League side, but they were too good and scored in each half.

Portsmouth 0-2 MK Dons, League 1

Another disaster at Fratton Park, two second half goals in rapid succession stunned us when we looked set to go on and claim three points ourselves.

We end the month 18th in the table, and should be doing better with the squad at my disposal. I'm confident that things will get better soon enough, but we need to sort the home form out quickly.

With Camp now ready for selection, I allowed 3rd choice 'keeper Sullivan to join Barnet on loan for a month. N'Koyi made his first three international appearances this month (for DR Congo), scoring on his debut, notching two on his second appearance, and grabbing another on his third.

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I managed to get fitz Hall on a free for 6k out of my 9million budget in the middle of November however he has only played a couple of times as he has been injured. I also managed to get a parent club in Tottenham. No loanys as yet but hopefully I will get some later on. Just hit December and got though to the 3rd round of the Fa cup. In the league we are in 22nd place

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Going well velvetsky, and a useful link for the future!

@liam: you could have a look at Aaron Martin (Southampton) or Rob Kiernan (Wigan) for the CB, and check out Joe Partington (Bournemouth) or Paul Corry (Sheff Wed) for the CM. I'm not sure which of these you can get for no contribution (Partington is your best chance, and he can cover CB at a push too). Also, Jose Semedo (Sheff Wed) always seems to be available on loan, but IIRC you would have to pay some of his wages. Good luck and let us know if you manage to bring anyone in.

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Cheers for those suggestions. Still not managed to bring anyone in yet though . Everyone seems to want 20% contributed. I'd tried Aaron Martin before but was rejected, now he has been released from Southampton but hes not interested in talking due to the financial situation. My forms starting to slip a little now too, lack of height a real problem, majority of goals conceded seem to come from inability to clear set plays (unfortunately imitating real life). Still, should be good enough to avoid relegation then hopefully someone takes over and invests a bit of money before everyone's contracts expires.

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I guess I'll throw a post in here. I was doing a Sunday League journeyman save but I decided I didn't want to wait for SI to fix the bug that prevents you from getting hired. I edited my reputation back up to about an international level and got offered the Reading job. It's the 2015-2016 season and Reading have bounced back and forth between the Premier League and the Championship, getting relegated in 12/13, promoted again in 13/14, and relegated again in 14/15. I took the job after their most recent relegation.

We're currently sitting in 8th position after 16 games played in the league. We're 1 point away from a playoff place, 5 points off automatic promotion, and 10 points off Huddersfield who are leading the league.

The main thing holding us back is that we can't score. We are currently unbeaten in our last 7 league games, but 3 of those were frustrating 0-0 draws. We've only scored 2 goals or more in 2 of those games. Our only solid forward has been Lukas Jutkiewicz who signed last season from Middlesbrough. He bagged 7 in the Prem last year and already has 7 this year in 14 appearances, plus 3 assists. Nice! Unfortunately that's where it ends. We also have Pogrebnyak, but for whatever reason he's been dismal--no goals, no assists, no sign of life even. It's pretty bad. I also signed Danny Ings from Wolves in the preseason after he scored 14 goals last season, but he's been injured for almost the entire season and only has 1 league appearance so far.

Our wingers haven't been great either. Anicet, a Madagascar international who signed from Bulgarian side Botev at the start of last season, has been our brightest spot and has scored 5 times with a solid 7.12 average rating. Robson-Kanu has been okay but kind of hit or miss. I have Suso on loan from Liverpool and he's also been abysmal, I can't get him to do anything no matter where I put him or what I tell him to do. We generally create enough chances and have more shots than our opponents, but they're either not quality chances or we don't finish them.

November's almost over and we've got $250,000 in wages to spend. I feel like we have to bolster the side in January and find more scoring. I'm also concerned as to whether we can hold on to Alex McCarthy, our rock in between the sticks. He wanted out before the season started, he won't talk to me, but no one outside of the Championship came in for him and so he's still here (don't like to sell to teams in the same league). He's not happy about it but he is putting in phenomenal work and is a big part of how our defense has kept us in the running.

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Going well velvetsky, and a useful link for the future!

@liam: you could have a look at Aaron Martin (Southampton) or Rob Kiernan (Wigan) for the CB, and check out Joe Partington (Bournemouth) or Paul Corry (Sheff Wed) for the CM. I'm not sure which of these you can get for no contribution (Partington is your best chance, and he can cover CB at a push too). Also, Jose Semedo (Sheff Wed) always seems to be available on loan, but IIRC you would have to pay some of his wages. Good luck and let us know if you manage to bring anyone in.

Semedo is a good shout!

I'm further along than I've updated, so I'll need to update tomorrow. Got some good news actually, finally pushing on!

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Welcome to the thread to all those who've appeared while I've been away!

Not much to report really though as I've been away from my laptop doing the whole 'family at Xmas' thing. I have managed to finally play the first game of the 2014/15 season - a slightly improbable 4-0 away win to playoff winners Chesterfield.

My final transfers of the close season were Jack Barmby in on loan from parent club Man Utd until January initially, former FM fave Miles Addison on loan from Bournemouth for the whole season and after reading about other Argyle saves, Gary Martin for £40k. The latter two signings greatly improve my squad and the former should provide some good depth. I still feel like I'm short of an attacking player though - at the moment I'm going to try and use Jacob Gibson from the reserves while I scout.

Due to not really finding any quality (or even semi-quality) in the ML position, I've been training a 4231 formation. I normally don't like this due to the weakness in midfield, but I thought I'd give it a shot due to pre-season results. The result against Chesterfield looks promising too! I'm trying a Control strategy with hard pressing, but a slightly deeper line so we don't get caught out. I realise I will probably have to be more pragmatic against half of the league though or we could be tonked quite severely.

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Just reached January on my Coventry save. Currently 16th in the league after 21 games but have 2 games in hand of most other teams due to postponements. Performances haven't been anything special, seem to scrape most wins and had a couple big losses. ST's have been very hit and miss, all 3 of them have gone through droughts over 10hours at some point of the season so any advice there would be great.

Only managed to bring in one player on loan, Mesca (AML) from Fulham. Been lucky with injuries and suspensions so far, only lately have i had more than 2 first team players out at the same time.

Didn't get a takeover in the end, owners refinanced the debt and are paying off £500k worth of loans. Still haven't been given any money and half the squad run out of contract at the end of season so i may need to sell a couple of them now so they don't become free agents.

League 1:

PLD W D L FOR AG GD PTS

21 12 3 6 40 29 11 29

JPT South Semi Final - Coventry 0-2 Brentford

Capital One Cup 2nd Round - Sunderland 3-2 Coventry

FA Cup 3rd Round - Birmingham - Coventry

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Update to my Coventry save - went on an amazing run, and just missed out on the playoffs by 3 points - i would have finished 2nd without the -10 points at the start of the season.

I have over spent on wages and need to sell a few players in the summer to be in line with FFP - think i will struggle to keep a few out of contract players due to the wages - but hopefully i will be able to re build the team to push for promotion this coming season

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Update to my Coventry save - went on an amazing run, and just missed out on the playoffs by 3 points - i would have finished 2nd without the -10 points at the start of the season.

I have over spent on wages and need to sell a few players in the summer to be in line with FFP - think i will struggle to keep a few out of contract players due to the wages - but hopefully i will be able to re build the team to push for promotion this coming season

Did you have any luck trying to extend Christies + Thomas' contracts?

At January on mine and neither are willing to even open negotiations so im thinking i should sell both now and try and get a large Sell-on % on both even though the i wont be able to spend the money i make from them.

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yes i managed to get both on a longer deal til 2016

i am in desbrate need for a good striker - i have managed to snap up Clayton from Crewe and Lita from swansea after loosing Manset and clarke after they wouldnt sign a contract

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i have been taken over by a tycoon (start of 1st season) i have managed to sign Machedia who was on a free 10k a week but has just scored 2 on his league debut for us so hopefully this will continue

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Fair enough - was going to suggest a couple of good non-league strikers but if you're under a tycoon you're probably a bit more ambitious than that!

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Dan Holman (Braintree), Jamie White (Salisbury) and Anthony Malbon (Kiddy) would all do a job in L1 but unsure what they would cost, particularly Malbon.

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Holman delivered a good goal return for me in L1 at Shrewsbury (season 1), I paid about £47k for him and he developes very well. I'm now at Portsmouth and signed him for season 2 on a free transfer - his contract at Braintree ends June 2014. He hasn't had the game-time needed to make an impact yet at Fratton Park, but I know he will deliver again (as he did in FM13).

I'm liking all the Coventry saves, it's definitely one challenge I will take on again after I finish at Portsmouth.

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Just season my first season as Coventry, went a lot better than i expected but ended with a loss in the play-off final. This is probably for the best though, squad is nowhere near good enough to go up and cant see me being able to bring in many players in the off-season.

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Board didnt give me a penny all season so after selling Christie and Barton in January (also tried to sell Connor Thomas but he agreed a free transfer instead) i was able to bring in a few loanees. A couple were flops but Ness, Garbutt and Eaves all played a key part in the 2nd half of the season.

Got 3 signings agreed for next season costing 5k in total, 2 young regens plus a young GK so i can move Murphy along as he commits far too many howlers.

Got lucky with the youth intake a got 2 decent looking players, one of which looks decent for this level already and had played a few times for the 1st team.

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Hopefully with the big teams getting promoted and a few of my young players a year older i can challenge for the play-offs again next season, maybe sneak 2nd.

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A very valiant effort liam, but agree that it's not always bad to wait that extra season. Great to see the 16 year old already making an impact too! Good luck with your squad assembling ahead of season 2.

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A very valiant effort liam, but agree that it's not always bad to wait that extra season. Great to see the 16 year old already making an impact too! Good luck with your squad assembling ahead of season 2.

Thanks. Just got my budgets for next season, £70k transfers...£29k wage, £10k less than the current budget!! Looks like I'm going to have to sell a load unfortunately.

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Ah, that's really tough on you - not the reward you wanted for an impressive season. What is the board expectation?

In FM13, it frequently happened that you would go close, and the board would then raise the expectations and reduce the budget for the following season. One or the other is fine and realistic, doing both is not typical. What is your current wage spend - I assume it's at or near the max of £39k p/w?

Looking like another case of transferring any transfer funds in to the wage budget, trying to increase the transfer revenue percentage before any sales (maybe ask for loan-back clauses) and looking for loans and free transfers...

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Holman delivered a good goal return for me in L1 at Shrewsbury (season 1), I paid about £47k for him and he developes very well. I'm now at Portsmouth and signed him for season 2 on a free transfer - his contract at Braintree ends June 2014. He hasn't had the game-time needed to make an impact yet at Fratton Park, but I know he will deliver again (as he did in FM13).

He was excellent last year. White is a genius too but has poor physical attributes.

Liam - what skin is that?

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He was excellent last year. White is a genius too but has poor physical attributes.

Liam - what skin is that?

Its the 'Champions League Skin'. Not sure on the rules about links here but if you google "FM14 CL" its the top one.

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An update on life at Portsmouth...

October 2014

Shrewsbury 1-3 Portsmouth (N’Koyi x 2, Harris), League 1

Portsmouth 0-1 Bristol Rovers, JPT South Round 2

Crawley 1-1 Portsmouth (Woodrow), League 1

Preston 1-1 Portsmouth (Woodrow pen), League 1

Portsmouth 2-0 Brentford (Colclough, Woodrow pen), League 1

Portsmouth 1-0 Hartlepool (N’Koyi), League 1

This was a much better month in the league. We went unbeaten in five games, and finished with two much-improved home wins (and clean-sheets). Whilst the JPT was unimportant, losing in that manner to Bristol Rovers was an awful moment and did not go down well with the home fans.

November 2014

Whitby 0-2 Portsmouth (Harris, Holman), FAC Round 1

Crewe 1-2 Portsmouth (Colclough, Harris), League 1

Stevenage 2-1 Portsmouth (Woodrow), League 1

Portsmouth 0-0 Sheff Utd, League 1

Portsmouth 1-0 Rotherham (Colclough), League 1

Walsall 0-1 Portsmouth (N’Koyi), League 1

Brentford 2-0 Portsmouth, FAC Round 2

Decent league results again, continuing the rise up the table. The narrow loss at Stevenage was a blip, but they are riding high in 2nd place and haven’t dropped many points at all. The FA Cup exit was not satisfactory, after a comfortable win in our first tie, but we can now focus all of our attention on the league! Squad member Sporkslede returned to action after a seven week lay-off (torn groin muscle).

December 2014

Portsmouth 2-4 Huddersfield (N’Koyi, Harris pen), League 1

Port Vale 1-1 Portsmouth (N’Koyi pen), League 1

Portsmouth 0-0 Bradford, League 1

Portsmouth 4-2 Rochdale (Eastham own goal, Murphy, Ferry, Aaron Martin), League 1

Portsmouth 4-1 Oldham (Colclough, N’Koyi, Murphy, Baptiste Martin), League 1

Bristol City 1-1 Portsmouth (N’Koyi), League 1

The month got off to a tough start, hosting the runaway leaders Huddersfield. Despite taking an early lead they recovered and were good value for the three points. From there, we remained unbeaten in the remaining five matches of the year, and netted a few goals in front of the Fratton Park faithful. Unfortunately, Ferry has just been ruled out for three months (achilles tendon) and my best striker, N'Koyi, will miss up to seven matches (including the whole of January) after being called up to DR Congo's squad for the African Cup of Nations.

We end 2014 in 8th place, just two points outside the all-important top six, but with a game in hand on all above us. Huddersfield lead the way with an incredible 65 points from 26 games, Stevenage are second (55 points) and Bristol City sit a distant third (46 points). Our league record is PL25, W10, D10, L5, GF36, GA27, PTS40.

Like last year, the defence has been our strength - we have currently conceded the lowest tally in League 1. However, our goal return is also one of the lowest in the top half. The record reflects that we do sometimes struggle to turn draws in to wins – although the spirit seems to be good as we have the second least number of defeats in the division (behind Huddersfield).

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Another month has passed down at Fratton Park...

January 2015

Portsmouth 3-2 Bristol Rovers (Aaron Martin, Harris, Woodrow pen), League 1

Already missing N’Koyi (African Cup of Nations) and Ferry (three months, injury) we lost Wallace with a torn hamstring here - he will be out for three months now. On the pitch, this was a narrow but valuable win in the month opener.

Notts County 0-4 Portsmouth (Harris x 2 (one pen), Colclough, Holman), League 1

A truly outstanding display on the road, the margin of victory didn’t flatter the team at all.

Portsmouth 1-0 Yeovil (Colclough), League 1

Colclough continued his fine recent form with a second-half winner to maintain our momentum. On the downside, Harris had to be withdrawn with a twisted ankle and will be missing for four weeks.

Bolton 1-1 Portsmouth (Holman), League 1

We struck early and earned a good point at the home of our play-off rivals.

Portsmouth 0-2 Colchester, League 1

A poor home display against a team in mid-table, but we haven’t had too many bad days recently.

Leyton Orient 1-2 Portsmouth (N’Koyi x 2), League 1

DR Congo had been eliminated at the group stage of the African Cup of Nations, which meant N’Koyi could return early. I threw him straight back in, and he responded with a match-winning brace. My top-scorer played all three games in Africa, scoring once. He now has seven goals for his country in just nine starts (and one appearance from the bench).

Transfer window update

The squad was being stretched to the limit now, but bolstering would be tricky. We have six loan players already at the club, all of whom have the quality to be starting regularly. However with the current rules, we can only include five of them in any match-day squad. There would therefore be no point in making any loan moves in the window, as it would not solve my problems. The smart move was to rotate my team selections, leaving one loan-man out of each match-day squad.

However, it was clear that I did still need to boost numbers, particularly in midfield. This persuaded me to sign Pompey-supporting Joe Partington from Bournemouth on a permanent deal (for free, and very low wages) to add to my options in midfield. I also signed free agent Marc Pelosi on a similar deal. He can play a few different positions and was another low-cost option. They have both made brief appearances during the month, and I was also able to give young striker Conor Chaplin a couple of first team run-outs from the bench as a reward for his prolific form in the U18 and U21 squads this season.

I still can’t shift Sullivan, East, Ertl, Barcham, Craddock or Connolly – but Bradley will be joining Morton in the summer. Unfortunately he chose them above Mansfield, which is a shame as we missed out on a £40k transfer fee. Kim Jae-Heon was also allowed to join Dorchester on loan, he doesn’t look to have any future with us anyway.

Performance summary

We have spent the month fluctuating between 3rd and 6th place in League 1, and end in 4th with a record of PL31, W14, D11, L6, GF47 , GA33, PTS53. Huddersfield lead the way with 74 points, Stevenage have 64, and Bristol City have 53. Anybody else in the top half has a very strong chance of a play-off spot.

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Hi guys, long time no speak.

Apologies for vanishing off the face of the earth for a while. My own laptop died, then I was away for a bit and then I had access to a computer than just about ran the premier league and nothing else!!!

Anyway, good to see you all making good progress, some really good results there Jogo and MichaelBrown.

Hopefully will get a game started shortly, not a clue who as but there you go. Perhaps someone like a Burnley or something, a nice mid table/bottom end championship team. Due to my limited game time I don't really want to start at the bottom I/e League 2.

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Welcome back Sir! We were going to send out a search party for you and Gunner...

I think Burnley is a great shout, and one I may try myself. I've considered them, along with Leicester, Ipswich, Brighton and Reading (my team) if I ever get to take on a Championship challenge. I'd love to see Ings and Vokes performing well (although maybe the next patch could be needed for their attributes to be tweaked), and Trippier is also a great player for the level.

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Someone post screenies of Wells, Assombalonga and Wilson please.

Hie Reggae, I don't know who you're considering buying Wells for, but I signed him at League 1 Crewe in the summer of 2014 and he's been incredible for me. In the 14/15 season he scored 30 league goals in 38 appearances! And now I'm turning down bids of 1.2million pounds sterling for him.

Would highly recommend him. :)

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Welcome back Sir! We were going to send out a search party for you and Gunner...

I think Burnley is a great shout, and one I may try myself. I've considered them, along with Leicester, Ipswich, Brighton and Reading (my team) if I ever get to take on a Championship challenge. I'd love to see Ings and Vokes performing well (although maybe the next patch could be needed for their attributes to be tweaked), and Trippier is also a great player for the level.

Cheers mate. I am considering Burnley, Huddersfield, and Ipswich. Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton were in the mix too but not sure on them now. I don't want it too easy by going as a Nottingham Forrest or QPR or something, but fancy Burnley could be a good little challenge, plenty of room to improve and grow anyway. I am sure I read somewhere that Reading are pretty rich on the game aren't they?

How many seasons are you in with Portsmouth now, I've lost the plot with all the updates I've missed!

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yep a few high scoring game out of 37 game play only lost 7

9 game left of the season top of the table with a total of 78 points

bit of a gap between me and 2nd place there on 65 points

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