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snootyjim

The Gloucester Kids - winning the Champions League with youth products

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Great job getting promoted jim, love a good youth challenge!
This has been a great read. I love following careers that aren't boring instant success stories. Well done on sticking it out and finally getting promotion!
Nice job on getting promoted!
Congrats on promotion :thup:
Well done on a bit of success at last :thup:
Conference Premier here you come! :thup:
Well done Jim.

Cheers guys, thanks very much :)

Congrats on getting promoted and it was a brilliant season off Goodwin!
Goodwin looks awesome, well done on a fantastic promotion.

Yeah - don't think I would have done it without him, he's a top, top prospect!

Congratulations on your promotion. You should find the second promotion takes a little less time now you have a team established.

I hope so - the big question is how long it will take us to turn professional, but the board won't let me do it yet.

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So as you know, every year we have an absolutely woeful cup run.

This year, our luck has apparently changed.

9awh.jpg

kb5s.png

50ov.jpg

So, anyone got some tactical advice?

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5 defender and 5 defensive midfielders although you should get quite a bit of money from that tie :D

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Dodgy lasagne in the Arsenal hotel the night before :D

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Well, thanks to the money gained from the Arsenal match, I invested a little in the youth facilities. Wow!

Langdown will go straight into the first team, and while Ritchie will need some retraining to play as a striker, he looks another top talent. Taylor shouldn't find games hard to come by either. This is much more like it!

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2019/20 Season Review

Competitions

Skrill Premier (18th)

A very tough season, but we finished respectably in my opinion. 9 points clear of the drop zone, gained mainly from a really terrific run in the middle of the season - the aim was always to survive, so I'm very pleased.

Cups - Finally something to talk about in the cups! We did little in the FA Trophy, but easily despatched Concord Rangers and York in the FA Cup, before coming up against tough opposition in Bradford. We fought hard in the home tie, playing a very defensive game to earn a respectable 0-0 draw, and miraculously in the replay at Valley Parade an early Halliday (YP1) goal gave us a lead to defend, and defend it we did, even if it got a little hair-raising at times. To then draw Arsenal at the Emirates was a massive stroke of luck, and the £1.2m was of far more interest to me than the game itself, where Alan Ryan shocked everyone to smash the ball home from the edge of the penalty area. For a while it looked like we could keep it respectable, but their quality showed towards the end of the first half and there was no coming back. I'd be happy with this every season though!

Youth Players

I've added four more players to the list of YPs as they've come into the squad and impressed:

Marc Halliday (YP1) - Struggled at times this year, as did everybody - it's a huge step up. Had a hand in 25 goals though, which is very respectable.

Brendan Clinton (YP2) - Really, really awful. I only play him if I have to.

Leon Rae (YP4) - Not too bad, but not sure he's cut out for this level long-term.

Bob Walton (YP7) - After a couple of great seasons, he looked really out of his depth. Lost his place in central defence, and unlikely to win it back.

Roy Slocombe (YP8) - Pretty average, similar problem to Rae (YP4).

Neil Megson (YP9) - The strongest of our midfielders this season, he adds the necessary steel to the centre of the park.

George Wilson (YP10) - Pretty poor, but no-one has emerged to challenge him so he'll keep his place for now.

Howard Goodwin (YP11) - The reason we're still in the league. For a struggling team, 33 goals is immense, and 10 assists as well. He'd better not go anywhere.

Moses Makin (YP12) - A bit of a shocker according to the average rating, but I'm not convinced. Full backs seem to get comically low ratings for no reason. He should do alright.

Nathan Tubbs (YP13) - Not really showing his abilities yet, despite being a first time regular. Hopefully he'll keep improving.

Lewis Langdown (YP14) - The first youth I immediately gave a YP number. Should be a good addition - started well but fell away a little.

Carl Cunnington (YP15) - Taken 4 years to break through, but I gave him a chance and now he's the most reliable defender at the club!

Pete Butler (YP16) - Forming a decent partnership with Cunnington (YP15), but he's a got a long way to go to reach his levels.

Former Youth Players

Paul Fisher (YP3) - Decent season for Guiseley after leaving Tamworth, but he's injured and his contract is running out.

Ashan Perry (YP5) - Much better season for Cambridge, scoring 19 goals in 36 appearances, but still not a first team regular, tending instead to come off the bench.

John Lindsay (YP6) - According to my scout, he would easily make my first team, but he's had an absolute shocker. He's enthusiastic about his future, I'm not.

Club

Facilities - I agreed a youth level (academy) improvement with the board, but nothing happened. Bit confused about that one.

Finances - The Arsenal match made a tremendous difference. Not sure if we'll be able to sustain this level of spending too long, after the youth upgrades, but we'll see.

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Dodgy lasagne in the Arsenal hotel the night before :D

Should definitely have tried that.

Four four ****ing two.

Probably should have tried that.

What a fantastic intake mate, congrats!

Cheers, need a few more of these ideally! Premier is a big step-up for my older players.

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Well done surviving a league that many people are finding tough this year.

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Good job on surviving!

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Good work with survival mate!
Good job on surviving!
Well done surviving a league that many people are finding tough this year.

Cheers guys, hoping we can push on this year but it'll be tough!

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2021 Youth Overview

b6ev.png

Stewart Wood

Rhys Ricketts

So no first teamers to speak of, but the potential across the board is really impressive - really hoping that some of these players can start to make a breakthrough next season. We badly need a right back, so disappointed no-one came through in that department but we really need to improve across the board so no serious complaints from me.

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2020/21 Season Review

Competitions

Skrill Premier (10th)

Good improvement this year, up 8 places. We actually spent a long time in the playoff places, but we always looked unlikely to hold onto that position. Hopefully with a bit of player development we can make the leap to the playoffs, but it's a very tough league to get out of.

Cups - Back to normal pathetic standards.

Youth Players

Marc Halliday (YP1) - Poor season by his standards, I've been giving his place in the team to younger players.

Leon Rae (YP4) - Much better this season, I think the rotation really helped him.

John Lindsay (YP6) - Was available on a free, so I brought him back - barely played though.

Bob Walton (YP7) - Still really dodgy, trying to avoid playing him.

Roy Slocombe (YP8) - Not looking great, so hopefully others will take his place.

Neil Megson (YP9) - Alright, still doing the role of destroyer but not creating much. Unlikely to lose his place though.

George Wilson (YP10) - Slight improvement, but we really need someone to push him.

Howard Goodwin (YP11) - Equaled last season's performance in the league with 26 goals, but took him a while to get started.

Moses Makin (YP12) - Still appalling. We badly need someone else to take his place.

Nathan Tubbs (YP13) - Stop-start season with a few injuries, hopefully he'll get cracking next season.

Lewis Langdown (YP14) - Played almost every game this year, but very little improvement in attributes.

Carl Cunnington (YP15) - Another great season, first name on the teamsheet.

Pete Butler (YP16) - Mainly played at fullback, but really not great.

Richard Hayward (YP17) - Took over the leftback role, and made it his own this season.

Andrew Threlfall (YP18) - Played regularly instead of Halliday (YP1) and had a decent time of it. Hopefully he'll keep improving.

Former Youth Players

Brendan Clinton (YP2) - So bad I terminated his contract.

Paul Fisher (YP3) - Real waste of a season as Wrexham. Not looking good for him.

Ashan Perry (YP5) - Given a bigger role at Cambridge, but not making the most of it. They've given him a new deal now though.

Club

Facilities - Apparently the academy has been downgraded from a 0 to a 4. I don't get it either. Junior coaching has improved again which is great.

Finances - Losing loads of money this year, mainly because of the tax costs on last year's profits. Hopefully things will improve next year.

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Good improvement this season, shame you couldn't sustain the push into the play-off places

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Good progress there, hopefully you can secure a play-off spot next season jim :thup:

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Very good progress has been made,hopefully you can make the playoffs next season!

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Most excellent stuff. Starting to hold your own now :thup:

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The youth setup actually went up, the lowest level is 0, then 4,,then 3, then 2, then, 1. Cheers!

Ah, that makes a lot more sense. Don't know why it took until the end of the season to kick in, and the message was a bit odd - thanks for the info!

A good couple of seasons.
Most excellent stuff. Starting to hold your own now :thup:
Very good progress has been made,hopefully you can make the playoffs next season!
Good progress there, hopefully you can secure a play-off spot next season jim :thup:
Good improvement this season, shame you couldn't sustain the push into the play-off places

Cheers guys, was a decent improvement - just hope we can keep it up. Maybe this season, we can do it, but who knows yet!

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2022 Youth Overview

w0i1.png

Karl Pym

Matt Dicks

Great depth in this intake, and Karl Pym looks like a quality player. Again, it'll take a while for them to break into the main squad I fear, but we'll see what happens.

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2021/22 Season Review

Competitions

Skrill Premier (4th)

Playoff 1

Playoff 2

Playoff 3

We pushed for 2nd place for much of the season, but Hereford were well beyond us - the playoffs were tough, and a serious injury to Goodwin (YP11) meant that we were robbed of our best striker. Thankfully Threlfall (YP18) and youngster Liddle came up with the goals to sneak us past Braintree, and then when I thought we'd lost it after an early Telford goal, they both popped up again to send us into the football league.

Cups - Great attempt this year: Bradford represented decent opposition but they barely threatened away from home and we despatched them without too much difficulty. Leeds were a real step up though, and it was a miracle that we managed to keep them to 2 goals in the first match. The replay at Elland Road gave us little chance, but we made a bloody good fight of it, Goodwin (YP1) scoring a hat-trick to bring us level at 3-3 before a 77th minute goal ended the tie.

Most annoyingly of all, had we beaten Leeds, there was an opportunity to play Chelsea - but what can you do?

Youth Players

Marc Halliday (YP1) - Bit better this year, although I'm not confident about his chances next season.

Leon Rae (YP4) - And another dodgy one. Really not convinced at the moment.

John Lindsay (YP6) - Barely played, but okay when needed.

Bob Walton (YP7) - Best season in a while, but nowhere near the first XI.

Roy Slocombe (YP8) - Unimpressive generally speaking, overtaken by others in a major way.

George Wilson (YP10) - Still not convinced, but no-one's about to threaten his place.

Howard Goodwin (YP11) - Sensational, as ever. 41 goals in 43 starts.

Moses Makin (YP12) - Consistent first choice this season, and he did seem to benefit. Still not great though.

Nathan Tubbs (YP13) - Ever-present along with Langdown (YP14), and did pretty well. Becoming a very reliable player.

Lewis Langdown (YP14) - Like last year, played almost every game, but very little improvement in attributes.

Carl Cunnington (YP15) - Another great season, but under pressure now from Pym.

Pete Butler (YP16) - Formed a solid partnership with Cunnington (YP15), but will need to keep it up next year to hold onto his place.

Richard Hayward (YP17) - Decent leftback, hoping he will keep it up but not sure he's the long-term solution.

Andrew Threlfall (YP18) - Sensational season where he became the regular second striker behind Goodwin (YP11) - 23 goals is no mean feat for an 18 year old.

Former Youth Players

Brendan Clinton (YP2) - Rubbish for Alfreton.

Paul Fisher (YP3) - Another year, another move. Was alright for Halifax.

Ashan Perry (YP5) - Dreadful year that saw him transfer listed. It's not looking great.

Neil Megson (YP9) - Left all of a sudden for Dagenham & Redbridge, but played woefully and ended up on loan at Tonbridge.

Club

Facilities - Another boost to junior coaching, but it's costing us about £45k per month at the moment, which is a huge expense.

Finances - Another profit, courtesy of Elland Road - the big question is whether I can achieve sustainability.

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Congrats on winning the playoffs,football league here you come :D

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Just out of interest did you request the Academy upgrade or did it just happen automatically? On my save I can't seem to get a manual upgrade request to work for the Academy, but twice now the board have just announced that it is going to increase and that works fine, can't figure out why.

Fwiw I brought back one of my former academy players on my save, I told myself it was within the spirit of the challenge at least.

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Well done on the promotion, nice to have a good back up to Goodwin, what are the chances Threlfall will be first choice in the next couple of years...

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What a brilliant year! Making excellent progress in such a difficult challenge :thup:

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By the way, would bringing Perry back be in breach of the challenge rules?

I mulled this exact question over, and decided that provided I assigned a player with a YP number I would be happy to bring them back to the club. More than anything, I like the idea that a player in the future could go away, have an amazing career around the world and play out his final days at his home club.

You're correct that in the original rules I stated I wouldn't sign any players, but I've tweaked that to any players who I didn't bring through the youth ranks. I suspect it will be a rare occurrence though, certainly whilst we're climbing through the leagues.

I would definitely consider Perry, but now with some real quality up front and several youngsters pushing for their own places I'm not sure it would be a great move in the long run. Never say never though - if he was willing to sign on favourable terms I'd love to have him as a backup, provided he wasn't taking the place of someone more deserving.

Just out of interest did you request the Academy upgrade or did it just happen automatically? On my save I can't seem to get a manual upgrade request to work for the Academy, but twice now the board have just announced that it is going to increase and that works fine, can't figure out why.

Fwiw I brought back one of my former academy players on my save, I told myself it was within the spirit of the challenge at least.

Do you have the develop young players vision? It has made all the difference for me in terms of convincing the board to upgrade youth-related items. I don't think they've ever refused anything, actually. As for the process, I requested the upgrade after the Arsenal match, and the board immediately agreed. However, I saw absolutely no change to the facilities and had to wait until the end of the season when I got a message saying it was being downgraded - it was actually upgraded, as the board had previously promised. In short, it's a bit buggy.

And yes, agreed on the spirit point.

What a brilliant year! Making excellent progress in such a difficult challenge :thup:
Well done on promotion.
Congrats on winning the playoffs,football league here you come :D

Cheers guys, expecting this to be an incredibly tough season but we've got a great core of players now. I fear the pro status may make things very, very expensive fairly sharpish though!

Well done on the promotion, nice to have a good back up to Goodwin, what are the chances Threlfall will be first choice in the next couple of years...
Congrats on promotion bro. Threlfall looks superb, as does Pym.
Threlfall looks absolutely sensational.

A lot of Threlfall love here! Problem is, he's being a real pain in the neck about a new contract... I have a bad feeling about this :(

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:(

xl87.png

He wanted £150,000 p.a. to stay at Gloucester, and leaves for £23.5k. Apparently he's a little deficient in terms of intelligence.

I'm still sad though.

:(

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Apparently now that we're in League 2, it will cost us £170k every month for our youth setup, up from about £45k last year. Stupid thing is, I've made no upgrades - it's purely the promotion that has caused this.

It is going to bankrupt us, very quickly. Surely a bug?!

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Apparently now that we're in League 2, it will cost us £170k every month for our youth setup, up from about £45k last year. Stupid thing is, I've made no upgrades - it's purely the promotion that has caused this.

It is going to bankrupt us, very quickly. Surely a bug?!

Welcome to the joys of the Elite Player Performance Plan... shafting lower league clubs left and right! £170,000 a month seems like a bug though - depending on the level of your academy, of course.

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Youth costs seems very expensive in FM, I think I was spending around 240k a month in league 1, I am up to 340k a month in the Championship. My feeling is that it is related to the Academy upgrades, irl having a tier 1 status requires you to spend at least £1.5M a year, while tier 4 requires £100,000. For sure on my Stalybridge save I was always struggling for money due to youth costs.

I can't decide whether the youth academy implementation in FM14 is bugged or somehow tied into your training facilities and youth recruitment/junior coaching ranking. I have tried multiple times to get it increased from 3 to 2, and have had the news message to say that the increase has gone through, but the information panel still shows rank 3. I am pushing through a lot of facility upgrades at the moment so I am hoping it will auto-increase again.

Losing Threlfall like that is a sickener, the players seem super greedy this year, though some would argue that it is realistic.

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I can't believe I've only just spotted this thread.

I used to go to Meadow Park a lot in the late 80s, early 90s as a kid, so I'm chuffed to see Gloucester appearing in a youth save.

Congrats on the promotions!

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Well done on going up Jim.

Cheers Nobby :)

I can't believe I've only just spotted this thread.

I used to go to Meadow Park a lot in the late 80s, early 90s as a kid, so I'm chuffed to see Gloucester appearing in a youth save.

Congrats on the promotions!

Awesome, great to have someone who knows a bit more about the club than the fact that they're underwater around here! Thanks!

Glad you stuck with it after a tough start, made very quick progress after that. Keep it up!

Yeah, I did get a bit demoralised at one point but this is much more like it.

Fantastic work reaching the Football League. Shows that kids can achieve things.....

Yeah, it's great fun watching them improve compared to just shipping in a load of Premiership/Championship rejects. Especially with the volume of those I normally acquire in a normal savegame!

Welcome to the joys of the Elite Player Performance Plan... shafting lower league clubs left and right! £170,000 a month seems like a bug though - depending on the level of your academy, of course.
That's a serious drain of youth setup money!

And yeah - I've finally had an answer to that from SI, with many thanks to Stu Coleman's investigative work.

The short story is that

1) The develop youth philosophy appears to have made the board far too likely to approve junior coaching upgrades that they should have rejected

2) The expense of this in the Conference is bugged so it was far too cheap - as a result I thought this level of junior coaching was sustainable. I presume that SI never anticipated exceptional coaching in the Conference so didn't code it in properly

3) The expense of this in the League is correct, so now it's bankrupting me because I'm running a coaching programme like a top-flight club.

And the conclusion is that I need to concoct a way of convincing the board to cut investment in youth asap to keep us in the black, and try to survive in the league with what we have, and then start to consolidate.

That could be quite tricky.

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2023 Youth Overview

q6ua.png

Colin Chenoweth

John Thomson

Chenoweth looks absolutely fantastic, I'm really excited about his potential. 16 heading and 13 jumping should make for a great centre back, and we're not looking brilliant there at the moment with only Cunnington impressing. Thomson will probably end up at centre back in the end as well, but I'm hoping he might be able to fill in at LB where we're really struggling at the moment.

In terms of potential, it looks like a cracking intake but it will take a while to find out to what extent they develop.

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Getting good youths for your money anyway.

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2022/23 Season Review

Competitions

League 2 (21st)

An interesting season this - it felt like a very long-term arrangement, whereby we had to survive, and hope that the board would eventually agree to reduce junior coaching before we went bankrupt. On the final day of the season, I finally achieved both, but I fear that we might need another reduction before we become solvent, but time will tell.

Cups - Not great, very little to shout about this year. We drew League 1 Leyton Orient and Bristol in the FA Cup and JPT respectively, and Championship Peterborough in the League Cup, so I guess it's fair enough. Drawing Cheltenham was awesome though - our first real derby and we absolutely smashed the attendance record.

Youth Players

Marc Halliday (YP1) - As I predicted, he really struggled. Does not look up to the task at the moment.

Leon Rae (YP4) - Not bad, but another one who has struggled to make the step up.

Ashan Perry (YP5) - Managed to bring him back to the club, which was great, but he's not done very well at all. Hard decision right now as to whether I keep him in the first team or give younger players a chance.

Bob Walton (YP7) - Really overtaken by younger players, expecting him to leave at the end of the season.

George Wilson (YP10) - Really need a new keeper, but nothing on the way yet.

Howard Goodwin (YP11) - The main man, who kept us in the league.

Moses Makin (YP12) - Really bad, doing my best to drop him where possible.

Nathan Tubbs (YP13) - Consistently in the team at DM, but still not quite impressing as much as I hoped he might.

Lewis Langdown (YP14) - Still giving him chances, but he's not improving as I hoped he might. Not sure what more I can do really.

Carl Cunnington (YP15) - Not as good as he's been in the past - some youngsters really pushing him hard now.

Pete Butler (YP16) - Pushed him out to right-back, and he's seriously struggled. Not sure who else I can replace him with though.

Richard Hayward (YP17) - Dodgy. I'm expecting new intake lads Thomson and Mariner to give him a run for his money.

Karl Pym (YP19) - Not a great start, but he's very talented so he'll keep getting chances.

Rhys Ricketts (YP20) - Not a great start, but he's very talented so he'll keep getting chances.

Former Youth Players

Brendan Clinton (YP2) - Really rubbish for Bury Town in the Isthmian. Oh dear.

Paul Fisher (YP3) - Another year, another move. Was poor for Woking. Predictable.

John Lindsay (YP6) - Let him go again, and he's moving to Nuneaton. Not predicting great things.

Roy Slocombe (YP8) - Wasn't playing, so I let him go. Woeful for Maidenhead in the Conference Premier.

Neil Megson (YP9) - Poor at Boston, and weirdly I think they're playing him as a striker.

Andrew Threlfall (YP18) - Really lost it after having moved to Gateshead. Shame.

Club

Facilities - Got the junior coaching dropped, which as you can see in the following screenshot, was an absolute necessity.

Finances - We lost a whacking £1.67m this season, thanks to a £1.8m spending on the youth setup. The quicker we can drop the youth spend the better, but I'm a little concerned about the effects of that in the intake. It'll be a real balancing act financially in the next few years I suspect. A cup run wouldn't go amiss either.

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Brilliant intake this year, I'm really pleased. Hoskins will be going straight into the first team squad, and Groves will provide some competition for Tubbs in the DM position. Bamford is another I'll be keeping a close eye on, along with Holcroft, because the DR position is up for grabs at the moment if anyone is able to impress. Guttridge has a great chance as well, as I've let a lot of the fringe strikers go so far this season.

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Good balance in that lot, too - just need some decent left sided players!

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