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FM14: The Skrill Premier, North & South thread

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Guest El Payaso
Do Kiddy still have Malbon in your game?
Yes. He's leading the assists chart at the end of september. We're having an away game against them in october and it's easy to see that goals will be scored... My defence will be in big trouble with that guy's pace I bet. Start of the season has been good for us, sitting second in the table after 12 games, Kidderminster leading.

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Guest El Payaso

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Forest Green-match was the first 'bad' game for us in the whole season and we've been poor after that. Cambridge gifted us the victory with strange defensive errors and by taking long shots all game long. Really not worried too much about our defence even after that Telford-game, three goals from set-pieces, just a bad day at the office I think. I decided to drop Locke for three games though and George Pikington will never be starting a game in our team in Skrill Premier again. Whichelow went quiet that month again, his start of the season was brilliant but now he'll be benched if he won't start improving in training and putting in some performances. Players like Montgomery, Smith and Richards are performing really well but Matty seems to be a real diva... Shame that he's a diva with good amount of potential.

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Highlight of october will be 7.10 and the game between us and Kidderminster.

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Guest El Payaso

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Tried to play counter but ended up parking the bus. Not the best defensive effort I've ever seen but lucky enough. Malbon had quite quiet day although he managed to somehow get the end of two crosses which lead him hitting the post once and one was saved by Locke. Jamie Smith with two assists was the key for us, not too bad from 2 star winger, shame that he just turned 25 and is not going to develope anymore? :( He had potential to be leading League-1 player and now he's stuck to be a good Skrill N/S player even though he's playing brilliantly.

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Our attacking ability has disappeared more and more the further this season has gone. Halifax-game was our first decent performance since that Wrexham-win. Shame though that we lost four of our midfielders through injuries in that game. Wes York is also out for rest of the year.

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Dave Boon now has big boots to fill as ever present Cox is out. Surely he will do well.

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Signed a dymanic young central midfielder by the name of Kyle Dixon, after he was released by Notts County in January.

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For the first time ever I actually remembered to go through all the non-league youth squads on intake day. While I didn't find the next Sir Les, I did manage to snag this kid from Boston United for minimal compensation...

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My scouts think he has the potential to be a good Championship striker. His determination attribute and personality type (determined) are both gold, however will make it difficult to find the right tutor to get the rest of his mental attributes up.

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I always seem to find myself in the tightest title races...

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There is a six point gap to 6th so it looks like the five playoff teams are nearly secured, and the only game against the other four we have is at home to Lincoln. I wasn't expecting to be in the promotion mix but I'll likely have to secure it to keep star striker Jamie White, whose 36 goals have him hankering for a move to a bigger club. My promise of promotion within two seasons was unfortunately not adequate for him.

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Well in my dorchester game, i think i said i got promoted to the Skirill Prem, well i won that and the FA Trophy(for the second time in a row) and now in league 2, we have just turned over to professinal status, however i only have a wage budget of 13k, and not many players are still interested, anyone know of any decent players which will cost less?

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2013/14 review - Conference Premier

League table

Graph

Squad

Transfers

I had my eyes on a solid top half finish, to build towards the playoffs next season, but the squad had other ideas. Behind firstly the goals of Jamie White, and then Dele Adebola, we kept rising until we found ourselves in a breakaway group of five gunning for the title.

After a home loss to Kidderminster on 29 March, we won our last six league games, culminating in a 3-1 win on the final day at Chester and promotion. This elevated both myself and White onto the club's favoured personnel list, and me winning the divisional manager of the year award.

---

Key players

Jamie White - Scored 28 in his first 23, then 13 in his last 27. Wants a move to a bigger club but the only team interested is same division Mansfield, and they don't want to pay more than 30K. So he'll be staying for now.

Dele Adebola - 39 years old? No problem. Scored the majority of his 26 goals in the second half of the season as we stormed to the title.

Brian Dutton - The skipper and our best defender. Set up loads of play from the back and chipped in with a few timely goals.

---

In addition to making my job security untouchable, the board gave me both transfer funds and a very healthy wage budget to build a squad for League Two. We're tipped to finish bottom but I think we have a chance at surprising a few.

My assistant manager (16 for JPA and JPP) has also tipped new signing Jacob Barnes as having the potential to be a good Premier League striker.

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Well in my dorchester game, i think i said i got promoted to the Skirill Prem, well i won that and the FA Trophy(for the second time in a row) and now in league 2, we have just turned over to professinal status, however i only have a wage budget of 13k, and not many players are still interested, anyone know of any decent players which will cost less?

And just like that, now I'm starting a Dorchester save to go alongside my other two.

I had a couple of epic saves with them on FM13 but never got past League One, so feel a bit of an affinity with them.

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Guest El Payaso

Nice season there City. I'm only about half way to my first season in the Premier but still sitting top of the table four points clear from Kidderminster. O'Loughlin once again is dominating the game for me with 7,30 average rating and Lionel Stone playing also well by his side. This super promising Kerr has been a bit of a disappointment as he really hasn't dominated the league, his average rating is only about 7,0 and much worse player Joe Carter has been equally good down the left side.

Grameme Montgomery has continued from where he left last season and all of my wingers except Matty Whichelow have been in good form. Noto finally got his first proper long shot goal from 25 yards out, absolute beauty, best that I've seen for years in FM.

Dan Fitchett has been the most clinical striker, netting 7 goals in 5 starts.

Central midfielders still too ineffective for me. Noto wont get 10 goals this season either and Wearen is just summing under 7 ratings all the time. Dave Boon has done really good work covering for Sam Cox and I'm now thinking about selling Ousmane Kone in the january window as he really doesn't have enough quality or even potential to play in much bigger leagues.

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And just like that, now I'm starting a Dorchester save to go alongside my other two.

I had a couple of epic saves with them on FM13 but never got past League One, so feel a bit of an affinity with them.

Get Matt Jay on loan from Exeter, he did well for me

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Did you get promoted first season?

We've had a roughish start, with five points from five games, but the football itself has looked good and we're unbeaten in three. Highest profile signing has probably been David Ijaha from Tonbridge, although I couldn't stop Arran Pugh leaving on a free as soon as he was fit again.

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Hi, I am bit late finding this thread..but thought I would post my progress so far

I started this save when I first got FM14 and have been messing around with some other saves but I have come back to this one. I'm originally from the Solihull area so I

decided to take on another local club and see how far I could take them (I'd played Solihull to death on a previous version) and I have always like the city itself. As you can see I picked Worcester City. Worcester start off in a ground share arrangement with Kidderminster and probably one of the lowest reputation's in the Skrill North. They have no history of note, except a sole Southern League Premiership win back in 1979. I'd like to be romantic and say it was before I was born, but unfortunately, it isn't..

The first season went well and we were promoted by the playoffs. I mainly used a 4-2-3-1 counter tactic (which two patches later, now seems defunct) so I wont bother posting it. I have also put a list of my 1st year transfers below.

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Nick Rogan, was a star for me on load from Hednesford. As you can see he scored an amazing 37 goals and I did manage to get him on a free transfer at the end of the season.

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I entered the Skrill Premier predicted to finish dead last and as this was before the contract bug was fixed half my team left on free transfers, unwilling to negotiate with me.

The wage budget was very low for the new season and the max wage was 350 per wk so it was hard to attract the players I wanted but as you can see I did manage to get

some freebies.

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So halfway season two is where you find us. We have been doing ok, but since the latest patch I have been in a pretty ordinary patch of form. We do still do have a bit of a buffer zone to the relegation zone and I will be happy just staying up this season. We will move to our new ground next year.

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Nick Rogan is having another terrific year and without his goals I'm not sure where we would be. We did enjoy a bit of a cup run, by forcing Chesterfield to a reply away and beating them at home 2-1. They were top 6 in League 2 at the time. We were drawn away at Brentford in the 2nd Round but we bowed out 2-1.

I'm now working on a basic 442 to try and turn my fortunes around.

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Did you get promoted first season?

We've had a roughish start, with five points from five games, but the football itself has looked good and we're unbeaten in three. Highest profile signing has probably been David Ijaha from Tonbridge, although I couldn't stop Arran Pugh leaving on a free as soon as he was fit again.

Yeah got back to back promotions both as Champions and won the FA Trophy 2 times in a row, the formation i used, i dunno if i got it on here or from the steam workshop was 4-1-3-1-1

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Guest El Payaso

Looking to get Alan Smith into my team in january. Just need to get rid of few players in the squad to keep the wage budget in control. Shame though that no-one is interested in my back-ups even for free. :(

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Another successful season finished!

We went into this season, on the back of our victorious League Two campaign, predicted to finish 22nd or so. But this season was the first one so far where I really think I bought well in the summer. I got a mix of decent young prospects and excellent older heads; in fact I signed something like 18 players for a sum total of around £800-900k, around 10-12 of which slotted straight into the first team picture.

Most importantly though this season was my first yet as Stockport manager where I knew my best team, and knew that they were definitely all at least above average for the division. So with a good head of steam I had high hopes for a season pushing for the playoffs.

...and my, what a head of steam we built up! My plan was to play Damien McClements and Aidan Kelly, my two newgen prospects, up front together all season, helping them develop and hopefully pushing for promotion next season when they were both ready to make the step up. But the two of them hit it off immediately, and we couldn't stop winning, to the extent that in February/March I was seriously considering throwing a few games to give us an extra season preparing in League One! I couldn't bring myself to do it though, and from January onwards we were untouchable. We'd previously been scrapping with 4 or 5 other teams for the automatic promotion spots, but somewhere around January the rest of the contenders all started dropping points regularly, whereas we didn't. Our lead stretched, and stretched, and eventually we were champions with about 6 games to spare.

I just hope I haven't got promoted too soon, my board keep investing heavily in the club's infrastructure and next season I'll be ground-sharing for the second year in a row while my stadium is expanded. We're leaking money and I need to be careful next year. A promotion push seems very unlikely so I need to keep things tight and consolidate for a year or two before pushing for the Prem.

The Cups

We met the board's expectations in all 3 cups this year - I don't remember exactly which round we went out of in each one but I know we beat Premiership Birmingham in the FA Cup before bowing out bravely 2-0 away to Chelsea in a money-spinning tie. We also did ok in the League Cup.

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy was another story though. I played my second string for the most part and my strikers just loved it; we beat Blackpool and Bolton away (both now languishing in League One alongside me but still tricky fixtures especially given the local-ish rivalry with both), and then we got very lucky with the North final, drawing Rochdale, struggling near the bottom of League Two but having a stormer of a cup run. We beat them easily and drew Colchester in the overall final.

I was expecting a tough match since I'd never beaten Colchester before (P3, D2, L1). But my team rose magnificently to the occasion, and this was the result.

The Squad

I've decided to do this differently this season - I've broken the squad down into Goalkeepers, Defence, Midfield and Attack and I'll go through them separately.

Goalkeepers

McCarey was the regular starter, although he threw a bit of a wobbly mid-season when he demanded a move to a bigger club. This was the 3rd time he's done it, and the first two I cooled him down by saying we'd get promoted to meet his ambitions. This time however he wasn't having any of it and threw a hissy fit, so I promptly benched him for a month or so until he calmed down. Otherwise he was solid as ever, getting around 20 clean sheets.

O'Brien has the potential to become a good Premiership keeper whereas McCarey is pretty much maxed out at good Championship level. The youngster benefitted from the games he played while the senior keeper was out of favour but he isn't as solid just yet, although his time will come. McCarey regularly keeps clean sheets against all the odds, whereas when O'Brien concedes he tends to let in 2 or 3. But he's only 21 still and he'll come good.

Defence

The starting back four were Osbourne (trained to Natural at RB although he's a DM by default), Roberts, Smith and Tamboura. All performed admirably, especially the centre halves, both of which are excellent tutors. Roberts is a fantastic captain and defensive hard man, whereas Smith is the quicker cover man in an excellent partnership. Tamboura was off on international duty with Mali quite often so Hutchinson got plenty of games as his replacement and also played well. When I had the first choice 4 together they were practically impregnable, especially with McCarey behind them, but players like Meregalli and Fontaine were invaluable backups, getting plenty of time on the pitch what with injuries and suspensions.

Midfield

My planned starting four were (from right to left) Durrell, Morsy, Lewis and Wallace. But Wallace broke an ankle on his debut and never recovered a starting spot. Burke was decent but unspectacular - his stats lend him to being a good winger but he's a natural striker. He never played up front regularly though. Sainz-Maza held down the LM spot for a while but eventually Turchetta showed his class and made the spot his own, picking up a fair few goals and assists. This was after he'd angled for a move due to a lack of first-team football. Fair play to the guy, I gave him his chance and he took it. Gosling was a handy loanee although he never really did much other than fill in for injured players (notably Morsy who was amazing when fit but picked up a fair few knocks over the year). Osei was a waste of money, he's a West Ham regen with high potential that I'd been following for years but when I finally got him I had no room for him, much to the chagrin of the West Ham manager.

Keegan was bought in January for backup and because he's an excellent tutor. He didn't play well enough to really nail down his spot ahead of Lewis though. Falcou is a newgen prospect I snapped up from some small French club, and I gave him some games once the title was won. Durrell was good this year, nowhere his Skrill Premier/League Two barnstorming best but solid with an average rating of around 7.15. I suspect the Championship will be a step too far for my FM14 hero.

Forwards

I took a risk this year, keeping Tom Pope and James Keene as tutors but never playing them. Instead I put my trust in my newgen youngsters, particularly my starting pair of McClements and Kelly. My faith was amply rewarded, with them scoring and setting up 35 goals each for the season. That's 70 - yes, SEVENTY - goals that one or t'other of them had a hand in. Lovely stuff.

McClements had a few drops in form so Russell stepped in and banged in 16 goals himself - I signed the lad on a free in October or November after he was released by Celtic and he has good Premiership potential. It was an interesting dynamic watching these three at work all season. Kelly was in the CF(S) role, dropping deep and roaming a bit and playing the AF(A) striker in with through balls. McClements has excellent positioning and off-the-ball movement and tended to predict the pass and make the runs before the ball was played, whereas Russell is a slightly less intelligent player, instead relying heavily on his blistering pace to get to the ball after it's been played. Both tactics worked very well over the year though. Kelly was consistent and his stats have jumped remarkably with so much first-team action.

I'm looking forward to helping these 3 develop at a higher level. Spear was backup, decent in a F9 role but he's out of contract and won't be retained after 2 years of useful but unspectacular service.

Overall, McCarey and McClements made the Team of the Year, and McClements scored the record number of goals for a single season by a Stockport player in his first full senior season. Very proud manager. McClements got 2 hat tricks this season - one in the first game of the campaign and one near the end when we were 2-0 down at home after 10 minutes. His half-hour hat trick got us back to 3-2 before half-time and we went on to win 4-2. Sums up the kid really. He's a big-game player.

The Prospects

Here they are, the stars of tomorrow. 4 stars = decent Premiership potential. 4.5 and 5 stars = good Premiership potential.

Robert O'Brien

Jimmy Falcou

Jordan Russell

Damien McClements

Aidan Kelly (just look at those stats!)

So there we have it, 4 league wins on the bounce and I'm heading for the Championship. I suspect this will be a tough year since I don't want to bankrupt the club by signing any players. We were £0.01m away from falling foul of the FFP rules for last season, making a loss of £1.99m. Too close for comfort. My ideal progression would be to consolidate in mid-table this coming season, push for the top half/playoffs the season after and then go for the title the year after, by which point my young prospects should be near enough reaching their potential.

It's an exciting time to be a Stockport fan!

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Guest El Payaso
Looking to get Alan Smith into my team in january. Just need to get rid of few players in the squad to keep the wage budget in control. Shame though that no-one is interested in my back-ups even for free. :(
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Everything went like expected. :D Luckily I did set him a tutoring assignment just before the match. Propably shouldn't have given him start immediately but it's too late now.

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Guest El Payaso

City you let Dan Fitchett go at the start of first season, why? He's been quality third striker for me in Skrill Premier and should develope into good League-1 player.

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Not at all... I think it was a bigger leg-up than I'd anticipated to edit my team's professional status and give myself the £5m bump when I started. That said, the £5m is long gone now, and we have a reasonably substantial loan (albeit with thankfully small monthly repayments). But I think it gave me a healthy headstart back in the Skrill North days. Plus I've clearly stumbled onto an effective and flexible tactic. Just a few tweaks here and there turn it from a direct attacking setup, built to dominate lesser teams, to a solid defensive unit that can hit fast on the counter. The latter was especially apparent in League One where plenty of times I'd be the team scoring from their only chance while the opposition wasted 5 or 6 good ones. And somehow I've got a setup that really closes down space in the box, so much so that the opposition will regularly have 70-80% of its shots from pointlessly long range.

One thing I've learned from previous iterations of FM though, which still holds true in this year's iteration, is that wholesale change when you go up a league is a very sustainable thing (in the lower leagues at least). It's always a good idea to aim high and be ruthless with your players that are no longer 1st-teamers. I've really struggled to move my players on for any money, so to save wage space I've literally terminated the contracts of 10 players or more every season, and I've kept to short contracts where I've known in advance that the player won't be good enough for the league above. That way I've basically had no U21 team the entire time I've been Stockport manager, but each year I have a more or less clean slate to build a new team and plenty of wriggle room in the wage budget to sign basically an entire new team for the new league. Obviously I stick to free transfers where possible.

Pretty sure I've stumbled onto a super-tactic though. I've had three consecutive promotions with Stockport on FM11 before but 4 in a row is definitely a first for me...

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City you let Dan Fitchett go at the start of first season, why? He's been quality third striker for me in Skrill Premier and should develope into good League-1 player.

I had him with Havant and he was good for me, however he was someone who was expendable to free up wage budget, as I had Jamie White to play his role.

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So after getting knocked out of the FA Cup by all grey Waltham Forest, I'm now getting played off the park in the FA Trophy by Heybridge "one touch" Swifts.

Why are these greys so much better than anything I face in the league?

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My first youth intake with Dorchester was definitely one of the better ones I've had, with the following already in contention for first team places...

Toby Smart

Steve Atherton

Carl Freeman

Luke Haslam

Ethan Neal

Dave Walker

Then, to add a nice bit of icing to the cake, my scouts found me this unattached 15-year-old shortly after intake day...

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My scouts say potential to be a decent Championship defender and my coaches say the potential to be leading League One. Either way he's already my best defender on paper and would only sign as a key player, but I'll have to be careful with him given he doesn't turn 16 until the off-season.

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Well excuse me for feeling just a little bit hard done by...

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First one was that annoying penalty where the attacking player is walking away from goal and just gets hacked from behind, the second the even more annoying set piece where suddenly it flashes up as a penalty ten yards away from the ball.

Can't see us getting a result there but it's been a successful season nonetheless.

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Nice.

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I won't dwell on the NINE defensive last ditch slide tackles by Ebbsfleet which prevented a clear shot on goal (yes, I counted), or the fact that they equalised with a third penalty over two legs; I'll just accept the fact this match engine works in mysterious ways.

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Guest El Payaso

Really tight situation in the Skrill Premier at the moment. We just haven't been able to escape from Kidderminster even though they've given us the chance. They are just playing so strangely; struggling at home against 'easy' opponents and then dominating us in our home turf. We've also been incosistant as you can see by looking at january's and february's results:

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Stats

Kidderminster are basically being succesful because of their striking force and we're clearly being more of a team instead of group of individuals. It's clear that there isn't too much room for dropping points at the moment.

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You really do seem to get all the bad luck City...

My Championship season is going well so far, I'm hovering a little way off the playoff places in late January, which is better than expected. I've had some good runs and some pretty bad ones, but Kelly and McClements up front have scored almost 30 goals between them so far so they're clearly up to the challenge of this new league. I've signed Steven Defour in central midfield, totally annihilating my wage structure (my top earners are on £4k per week and Defour is on £11.5k...) but he's an excellent tutor as well so it's probably worth it.

I also signed Steven Taylor on a free as Newcastle released him. He promptly got sent off twice in his first three games. I warned him for the first one - a straight red for a stupid lunge - which he accepted. I then fined him a week's wages for the 2nd one, which was for 2 yellows, and he threw his toys out of the pram and immediately demanded to leave. At which point I decided I'd had enough of him. He didn't play another game for the club and I sold him on a free on 1st January to St. Johnstone. Defour replaced him as vice captain.

Something very strange has happened though. In League 1, I ground-shared with Salford at their Moor Lane stadium (which also happens to be Stockport's reserve ground). This was while my board expanded Edgeley Park by around 5000 seats. This expansion was finished just before the end of the League One season, and just before I moved back into Edgeley Park, the board announced another expansion whereby 7000-odd new seats would be installed on the terraces. I was told that I'd be ground-sharing with Wigan at the DW Stadium while the improvements were taking place.

However the game clearly got confused, because while the works have been ongoing I've been playing at Edgeley Park, and now they've just finished, I've moved back into 8000-capacity Moor Lane. Which makes absolutely no sense, and is extremely frustrating since I've now spent a hell of a lot of money upgrading my own stadium from about 11000 seats to over 20000, only to end up in an 8000-seater that I don't even own. In other words, I've wasted well over £10m on upgrading a stadium that I now no longer play in, due to a ****-up whereby the game couldn't recognise which ground was mine due to a ground-share I had no control over.

Very annoying.

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You really do seem to get all the bad luck City...

Haha I have plenty of good luck too, I just don't whinge about that.

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Anyway, cracking work El Payaso. Looks like you're assured a playoff place and in really good shape to achieve back to back promotions.

Sammu - I did the same with I think Carl Piergianni. He played six matches for me, scored under 5.5 in three of them, accepted two warnings for poor performance and then cracked it when I fined him the third time. He never played for me again.

Now speaking of good tutors, I've managed to find another terrific non-league one in David Rainford who starts the game at Chelmsford. His personality type is 'leader' and he has the following mental attributes:

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I've immediately got him working with Jack Mills.

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Guest El Payaso
Anyway, cracking work El Payaso. Looks like you're assured a playoff place and in really good shape to achieve back to back promotions.

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We started april from this situation and the month really was epic... We started with 0-0 draw against Braintree away, really controlled that match and had better chances to score but didn't have luck infront of the goal. Then home game against Gateshead, 90 minutes of domination and managed to go 0-2 down from two free-kicks, pulled back just to concede from their third proper chance in the game. Kidderminster meanwhile were really convincing and managed to pass us with only one point, it looked like game-over for us as we were absolutely dominated against Grimsby at home. They got shot after shot and we managed to get nowhere, untill 89. minutes down and Jamie Smith through on goal and getting us 0-1 victory that kept our head above the water. Win against Dartford away was quite a basic performance, nothing fancy about that, 0-2 and one round left, we're still one point behind, Kidderminster just not looking to drop a point.

Last game of the season was yet another away game against our rival Lincoln. Really magnificent effort saw us win the game 0-3, though there came worrying information from elsewhere; Kidderminster had taken the lead against Whitehawk in 41st minute. But in the 64th minute there was another update; 1-1. And 83 minutes on the clock; 2-1 Whitehawk are winning! And they did it!

Don't have screenies yet but this was really really epic and I really can't remember the last time I've had such a gust of happiness due to Football Manager. We're up! :)

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That's massive. Back to back promotions into league football is no mean feat. Would be interested to see your current squad.

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Guest El Payaso
That's massive. Back to back promotions into league football is no mean feat. Would be interested to see your current squad.
Yeah I'll post it as soon as I can, tomorrow maybe.

By the way; the pre-season is already starting a we haven't turned into a professionals, why's that?

E: We just did, no problem there anymore.

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Seriously now, I can't stop my team winning. I've hit my usual January-to-April hot streak and I can't stop winning. My team is now up to 5th and is hot on 4th-placed QPR's tail (and I just beat QPR 1-0 away). The main reason is that Damien McClements CANNOT stop scoring. He's on the sort of hot streak Messi or Ronaldo would be proud of: 15 in his last 9 games. He's blasted Stockport's goals-per-season record right out the window, the same record he only set last season in League One. That makes 29 goals for the season so far, and that could well become 30 before this current match is over (we're 2-1 up away to Barnsley and McClements has scored both).

I have 8.5 games to go in the league, and I'm 5th. I actually really don't want to go up this season. I want to get my infrastructure properly sorted, get rid of all my over-30s and get a full squad of under-25 hot prospects (plus a couple of experienced heads). I then want 2 more seasons in the Championship, getting all those young prospects plenty of first team football, developing the team and the club so we're actually ready for the long haul in the Premiership.

Hopefully McClements will run out of steam soon...!? I don't have the stadium, squad depth, money, or youth/training facilities to go up to the Premiership yet!

EDIT: He got the hat-trick. Of course he did. That's now 16 goals in his last 9 games. 26 in 32 in the league this season, and 30 in 34 in total for the season, netting him a £50k bonus as part of his contract (I chucked that in to smooth over contract negotiations, since he's only on £6k per week despite being the top scorer in the 2nd tier).

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Took over Forest Green after two years out unemployed waiting for someone to get took over by a tycoon. Forest Green did and they were in the Skrill North. Went up as champions and now currently in Skrill Premier, should go up as champions again then the real fun begins once I'm in the football league.

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Any big clubs sniffing around McClements? I see he's already a full international.

Had a very handy off-season with Dorchester, putting the playoff defeat behind us. Brought in three excellent strikers for this level: Cliff Akurang is a perfect fit as the tactic's target man, while Sahr Kabba scored 40 for me at this level with Havant. Daniel Udoh also joins on loan from Stevenage and he looks handy too.

In midfield, I bagged Bromley central midfielder Danny Waldren and the aforementioned Rainford, and ex-Salisbury captain Brian Dutton signed as a centre-half. In goal I grabbed two experienced 'keepers, in Matt Bulman and Scott Bevan.

Started well with a 3-2 home win over Bath, who only had two shots for the whole game (one another penalty!) while we had 17 ourselves. I think it's a promotion squad so hopefully we can kick on.

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Guest El Payaso

52cff7eaba963.jpg

Here's the team. Roger Kerr got to England U-19 squad at the end of the season and now half of the Championship and Premierleague teams are chasing him, I won't sell though if I don't have to. Marsden quite promising keeper too and as he demanded some first-team experience, I gave him a chance. Might be the number one next season as Locke really hasn't developed in this second season. Boon is also highly talented youngster and he also should be able to play in Premierleague in the future, big teams chasing him also.

It's a big squad but you need to notice that espeacially these older players are mostly here for just tutoring. Don't need to buy too many players in the summer now, I trust that these guys will keep us up and develope even further.

Here's the final league table btw:

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And our april's performance:

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And Kidderminster's:

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Is Kerr a newgen? I noticed he didn't have a face before but thought you may have turned newgen faces off?

I used Eliot Richards a couple of times last year and he was lethal - does he still have the 'shoots with power' preferred move? He belted them in from everywhere for me.

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Just a short review this time. I can get some screenshots if anyone's interested.

I ended up coming 4th in the league, thanks mostly to a 15-odd-game unbeaten run as usual between February and May time, and lost in the playoff semi final to my real-life team Wolves (the winner was an improbable 35-yard free kick from their centre half whose Free Kicks and Long Shots were both around 3 or 4). My teams seem to build up real heads of steam towards the end of the season. We lost on the final day away to lowly 18th-placed Birmingham, which avoided the possibility of a 5th straight promotion, which is just as well really since funds are now running really low. McClements top scored with 30 league goals, Kelly ended up with 18 for the second consecutive season, and almost as many assists. It's great to see those two dovetailing up top; McClements in the AF(A) role was Championship top scorer, and Kelly in his CF(S) role got the most assists in the league. Lovely stuff. McClements is Stockport's Steve Bull.

So, another season in the Championship. I'm starting to feel the negative effects of having bombarded my board at every available opportunity with requests to improve my training and youth facilities, stadium, scouting range, everything really. My chairman has been fantastic and has spent a fortune trying to keep the club's infrastructure in line with its on-field progress, but now the money is really starting to dry up and the loans are really starting to pile up.

This summer construction started on the new 16000-seater Stockport Stadium (apparently 4 consecutive league wins isn't enough to get the ground named after me!), which came with a nasty £25m loan... I'm looking forward to the extra matchday and season ticket income when the stadium's finished since for now the coffers are bled dry. I was given a transfer budget of a whopping £300k this summer, as well as a wage budget of £140k per week - enough to sustain just 6 players's weekly wages at Wigan, the club with the highest average wage in the league. My key players are on £5-7k per week, whereas the average wage at Wigan is £24k/week - and that's taking into account all their youth players too!

So basically I'm broke and still ground-sharing in an 8000-seater due to the glitch last season. Predicted to finish 12th, so no great expectations, and a nice young squad of prospects who are all guaranteed a good deal of 1st team action, so I just hope no-one comes in with bids for my players since I doubt my chairman will be able to say no. McClements is now worth about £3.5m with a Continental reputation, no idea how he managed that. Hopefully the price tag will put suitors off.

Hoping for a nice comfy top half finish, holding out till the new stadium is built or potentially we get a takeover, and then pushing for the title next year.

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Guest El Payaso
Is Kerr a newgen? I noticed he didn't have a face before but thought you may have turned newgen faces off?
Yes he is and has the potential to be good Premierleague full-back in the future. I've never actually used these re-gen faces, don't like those.
I used Eliot Richards a couple of times last year and he was lethal - does he still have the 'shoots with power' preferred move? He belted them in from everywhere for me.
Yes he does. I used him on the right flank a lot and that's why he didn't score too many. My best finisher though. But York once again my first choice.

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Was he one of those unattached newgens at the start of the game?

Five from five for Dorchester to start with, hopefully can establish a lead at the top early.

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First post and I didnt realise this place existed having only been able to browse General posts without registration. Anyway im a bit late to the FM party this year having just bought the game this week, however after a few goes, I decided to have a crack in Non League... mainly as my mate plays for Eastleigh and I fancied trying to get him into League football again.

I knew they were quite wealthy (in Non League terms anyway) however I didnt expect too much and was looking at doing things more realistic .. Then I saw the players available and so my initial plan of being frugal and managing things carefully in order to try and gain promotion, went out of the window...

Basically I thrown the kitchen sink at a load of ex-Full time pros... and ive put the club into debt by buying out player contracts (in order to free up wage budget) :(

Somehow we managed to bring in Bosko Balaban and Luis Boa Morte... old but look more than capable of doing something at this level. They have been joined by Dele Adebola and Jon Macken as the 4 forward signings.

In Goal ive added Michel Kuipers, he is 39 but bags of league experience behind him. Sam Stockley, Simon King and Gareth Owen all add league experience to the defence, alongside signing Arran Pugh and Johnny Herd from fellow Skrill outfits.

Midfield has been harder to revamp, Gape and Moore join on loan from Southampton... Adelakun, Baker and Montgomery (@ 47k our only cash purchase) come in from Skrill teams, whilst O'Callaghan and Sturrock add some previous league experience to the middle.

Its a massive gamble, theres no chance I can balance the books bar having a miracle cup run... promotion is a minimum, but with a new squad, I need them to gel quick!

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Welcome toffifee, looking forward to hearing about your progress. However I am surprised at how many new faces you've brought in, as they already start with probably the best side in the division. Not sure all the strikers you've brought in would be an improvement on Strevens, McAllister and Fleetwood, but I had great success with Adebola at the next level up with Salisbury so he should do well.

Kuipers was a disaster for me but that may just be 'keepers in general on 14.2.1!

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Guest El Payaso
Was he one of those unattached newgens at the start of the game?

I'm not sure... I think that my scouts found him in march maybe. Just browsed the scouts' reports and spotted a 15-year-old 5 star player and checked the report which told him being a potential decent Premierleague full-back in the future... I was a bit dissapointed with his season; my best player and didn't really dominate the opponents' wingers too much and had kinda same ratings as my other full-backs even though he was easily the best of them. But he is improving a lot...

Evan Finnegan will likely be given a big chance as my starting left back in League-2, he started quite badly in last season when I was in middle of left back injury crisis but finished the season quite well.

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Well 1st season in the books and its been as expected really.... I mean anything other than Promotion with Eastleigh is probably a failure, id like to have been more dominant, but we had a blip when the FA Trophy and Weather clogged up our fixture list. However a title is a title and we have achieved the basic goal this year.

:: LEAGUE ::

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The table speaks for itself, over 100 goals scored, 30 wins... 20+ points clear of 2nd place. It was a romp, although it should have been better bar a 1pt from 5 game run that saw Tonbridge almost close in. Yet we had enough in reserve to edge away and guaranteed promotion with a 2-0 win at home to Whitehawk with 4 games remaining. You cant see it from this screen but Tonbridge did Whitehawk in the Playoff Final and join us in the Skrill Premier.

:: CUPS ::

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The FA Cup is the obvious 'biggy' and after a pair of easy wins against Sussex opposition, we faced Luton in the 4th Qualifying Round. In part I needed a glamour tie against league opposition to balance the books, but it wasnt to be as we lost out 2-1 to Luton in a close encounter.

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We fared alot better in the FA Trophy and exceeded my expectations. The run was quite exciting with games both home and away on route to an eventual Semi Final showdown with Chelmsford. We edged them out at Silverlakes (just) and setup a cracking final with Edgar Davids Barnet (top of the Skrill Premier and eventual Champions) at Wembley.

Just shy of 20,000 came to the home of football and we actually looked good for extra time when Fleetwood tied the scores at 2-2 with 10 remaining. Alas a last minute winner for the Bee's broke our hearts, but did not spoil a great day out for the club.

:: PLAYERS ::

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The obvious standout has to be Dele Adebola, a signing from Rushall, his 36 league goals and 46 in total was a remarkable return for the 38 year old. Fleetwood partnered him well with 24 goals and Balaban who failed to live up to his star name, etching 11.

I cant fault any of the team, the squad all did their bit.. the midfield trio of Baker, O'Callaghan and Montgomery put in a real shift, whilst the Saints loanees' Gape and Moore look to have a bright future ahead of them.

Kuipers belied his years to keep goal for over 50 games and be the starting point for a pretty solid backline.

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I'm not sure... I think that my scouts found him in march maybe. Just browsed the scouts' reports and spotted a 15-year-old 5 star player and checked the report which told him being a potential decent Premierleague full-back in the future...

This is really interesting. I had the same with Mills - no history or anything, but he seemed to generate unattached at the same time as youth intake day and has the potential to be Championship standard. I also picked up a striker this way on FM13 with Forest Green, who I ended up selling to Tottenham. I checked once I had finished that save and his PA was 180.

It obviously pays to have your scouts active in England around intake day if you're lower league.

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