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Avoiding The Sticky Patches: The Search For A Happy Ending!

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Is that David Grant the person off that godawful Fame Academy?

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Not to mention Carroll is crap and injury prone.

Newcastle really did see Kenny Dalglish coming with that one! :D

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Gateshead - May 2020 Update

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Urgh, that was a lot more uncomfortable than it ought to had been.

After a barnstorming January, February proved to be a much more challenging month, with the number of points dropped at home being the most alarming part of an unsatisfactory period. In fact, prior to the defeat to Walsall, we had the best record at home in the league, having been unbeaten up to this point. Thankfully, the tide was turned with a thrilling 6-1 win away to Wrexham, a game that saw Warren Owen take home the match ball after finding the net four times.

The Wrexham result really got our momentum going again, as we went through March unblemished, with some exemplary results too. This opened up a nice six point cushion at the top of the table, giving us some breathing space, as well as confirming that we would qualify for the playoffs at worst this season. However, what followed the Rotherham match was nothing short of a crisis. After being beaten by relegation bound Grimsby, the alarm bells started to ring, and by the time we had lost at home to Luton, our lead had completely evaporated, as we found ourselves down in second place. Thankfully, all the other teams in top seven had taken points off each other recently, so promotion was still secured with a game to spare. We then managed to regroup to win at Oxford on the final day, which was enough to go back above Luton and lift the League Two trophy.

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Looking at the table now, it still appears that we were good value for promotion, having won the most games, scored the most goals, as well as having the best goal difference. However, this doesn't tell the full story, as our bums definitely squeaked the loudest during the last few weeks of the season; we were very lucky to hold on.

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Everyone seems delighted by the promotion. My job status is now untouchable :cool:

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Some well deserved praise from the club's former heroes.

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Owen hit a real purple patch from the end of February through March, finding the net eight times in seven games. It's extremely unfortunate that he's refusing to sign a new contract, and I'm now resigned to him leaving at the end of the season.

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March was a blistering month, so it was a well deserved Manager of the Month award.

[video=youtube_share;cvAodsOi-YI]

And, finally, on a lighter note, here's 'Calamity Carson' at his best. :seagull:

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Is that David Grant the person off that godawful Fame Academy?

Quite possibly :D Although, there's no sign of his annoying wife.

Not to mention Carroll is crap and injury prone.Newcastle really did see Kenny Dalglish coming with that one! :D

That's what happens when you give an out of touch old man too much money to spend :D

Excellent season so far :thup:

Thanks, B.W.G :thup:

Ljubisa Tomazic is a bigger name than Scott Carson. He scores more in Football Scrabble.

Oh, most definitely :brock:

Fingers crossed for the second half of the season!

I think it turned out ok in the end. Just!

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Congrats AK, anyone have any idea why I can't see the videos? I'm via chrome on a nexus 7

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Gateshead - End of Season Review 2019/20

It's been a fine year, although quite nerve-jangling towards the end when we nearly lost the plot. I knew that the team was starting to take shape nicely, and that we could potentially challenge for a playoff place, but to win the league was nothing short of remarkable. We also had a nice run in the FA Cup, for the first time in my career, making it to the Third Round, which has helped nicely with the finances (they are now comfortably in the black).

Sky Bet League Two: 1st

FA Cup with Budweiser: Third Round

Capital One Cup: First Round

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: First Round

Average Attendance: 2114 (up 582)

Transfer History | Finances

We've been a lot more solid defensively this term, with Dominic Iorfa and Krystian Pearce building a strong partnership at the back. This, with the addition of Carson in goal, has made us one of the best defensive units in the division, and one of the main factors that has allowed us to challenge for promotion. At the other end of the pitch, despite missing the opening few weeks with injury, Challinor finished a third consecutive season as our top goalscorer. However, it's left winger, Warren Owen, who has taken all the accolades this year, notching up 30 assists, in addition to his 16 goals, which was enough to see him pick up Player of the Year. Quite rightly too!

Top Goalscorer: Callum Challinor (22 goals)

Most Assists: Warren Owen (30 assists)

Highest Average Rating: Warren Owen (7.37)

Fans Player of the Season: Warren Owen

Other Notable Contributors: Conor Chaplin (11 goals), Ljubisa Tomazic (12 assists), Dominic Iorfa (4 PoMs), Krystian Pearce (4 PoMs)

Gateshead Best Eleven | League Two Team of the Year

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His development has come along nicely this season, so it's a real shame he's decided to leave on a free transfer. A Championship side beckons, I hope, as that's the level I feel he should be playing. Maybe a call up for Wales isn't too far away, either.

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I think this is a fair decision. We won the league's 'Overachievers' award too; we were predicted to finish 14th, after all.

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The crowds are going up, although we still have one of the lowest averages in the league. I'm not convinced this will increased too dramatically in League One, either, which is likely to hinder our future wage/transfer budgets.

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups                             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        5th      Astro Piala First Round
2015       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        3rd      Astro Piala First Round, Piala Malaysia First Round
2016       Hougang Utd       S.League            5th      S.League Cup Semi Final
2017       Hougang Utd       S.League            6th*     * Resigned after 23 games (October 2017)
2017/18    Gateshead         Skrill Premier      4th*     * Promoted via Playoffs. Took charge October 2017.
2018/19    Gateshead         League Two          12th     FA Cup 1st Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round
2019/20    Gateshead         League Two          1st      FA Cup 3rd Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round

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Congrats AK, anyone have any idea why I can't see the videos? I'm via chrome on a nexus 7

That's strange, I'm on Chrome too. I'd be interested to here if anyone else is having problems viewing them, as they seem ok to me :confused:

Yes AK! Nearly bottled it at the end there but who cares! Congrats!

Thanks Duffy! Yes, it was quite nail-biting towards the end. I would have been furious if we hadn't achieved promotion, as we've definitely been one of the best teams in the league this year.

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Congrats on the promotion,hopefully you can find the right signings for your first season in League 1.

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Preparations were well under way for the season ahead with Gateshead, with

Matthew Upson agreeing to join me as my new assistant; a big improvement on my previous right-hand man. The signings of a few decent League One players had been completed too, with Harry Charsley, Michael Cornforth and Andrew Ellis all happy to help fight our relegation fight. I'd even persuaded the Board to improve both the training and youth facilities!

However, my head was then severely turned whilst glancing at the job vacancies, and I submitted a speculative application to a club in the Italian third tier.

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As expected, this caused a fair bit of grief, with the Gateshead Chairman issuing me with an ultimatum. I apologised in order to keep myself employed, but still decided not to withdraw the application, even after them proposing new talks in an attempt to persuade me to stay.

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I was shortly invited to interview for the Cosenza post, with the Board there nowhere near as demanding as I had thought. The only philosophy we entertained was signing young players for the first team.

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A week or so passed before a formal offer was made for my services, offering to double my salary, as well as the promise of a decent transfer and wage budget. It's a no-brainer, really.

Here's my manager stats up to my final day at Gateshead:

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How far do you think you'll take them before moving on?

I had been asking myself for a while now, eventually settling on my aim being to get them into League One. Now that I've done that, probably a season earlier than I had anticipated, it feels like a good time to move on, as we're likely to struggle with a lack of money coming into the club, which will have a big say on any further development.

Congrats on the promotion,hopefully you can find the right signings for your first season in League 1.

Actually, both Charsley and Cornforth should be excellent signings for a League One side, and will ensure there is a strong spine to the team. We were predicted to finish 20th before these two arrived, so they should improve matters to ensure relegation is staved off.

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Nuova Cosenza Calcio

Welcome to Southern Italy!

In addition to the decent finances on offer, another thing that caught my eye was that the club chairman is English; perhaps this is why I got offered the job, but I do wonder where he's getting the money from (he heads up a consortium). The teams play in a delightful red and blue vertically striped home kit; think Barcelona, and you're not a million miles off. Not that I expect to replicate their success, obviously, but we'll at least give it a good go at impersonating them. I also absolutely love Italian football, especially the cagey tactical battles, so will attempt to set the team up defensively sound. This could turn out to be quite a challenge, as my previous teams have been well known for their swashbuckling approach.

I negotiated the original job offer up to a three year deal, in order to ensure I get given enough time to make my impression on the club. With the level of investment we currently have, we should be aiming for Serie B within this time-frame, but it may not be an easy ride to start with, as I'll want to deploy my own cautious tactics on the squad first.

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Wage: £2.6k per week

Contract Expiry: June 2023

League Expectations: Respectable League Position

Coppa Italia di Lega Pro Expectation: First Round

Transfer Budget: £1,000,000

Wage Budget: £51k per week (currently spending 25k)

Philosophies: Sign young players for the first team.

Board Requests: None agreed

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Of course, there has to be a running track! We currently average about 7000 for our home games, so we won't be selling out the stadium anytime soon, but at least the infrastructure is already at a decent level to support us if we make it up through the leagues.

Stadium: San Vito

Capacity: 27879 all-seater

Year Built: 1964

Training Facilities: Average

Youth Facilities: Below Average

Junior Coaching: Average

Youth Recruitment: Above Average

Nickname: Lupi della Sila

Year Founded: 1914

Fierce Rivals: Catanzaro, Salernitana, Reggina

Other Rivals: Crotone, Lecce, Siena, Verona, Napoli, Rende

Finances: Secure

I've joined just before the players return from their summer break, so there's a bit of time to get the necessary backroom staff in situ. It's a good job too, as aside from the Chairman and Managing Director, all we have is a Director of Football, who's flipping useless and will be quickly replaced by someone better. We'll also need to recruit some scouts sharpish too, as I'll need to bring in some new faces before the competitive fixtures get underway at the end of August.

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You are aware of the Italian bug in 2014, right?

Only joking...

You bugger! I nearly **** myself when I saw that :D

The FM13 tax bug meant I couldn't manage in Italy as much as I wanted last time, so I'd be gutted if this save went the same way.

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A nice move to Italy,best of luck with Nuova :thup:

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Great team to move to - shame about the track as you say. Best of luck there! :thup:

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Cosenza - Pre-Season 2020/21

The club has spent the last two seasons in mid-table obscurity, finishing tenth last term, so the immediate aim is to better that performance. That said, given that we have one of the largest wage budgets in the division, I'd like to push to achieve a bit more that; I'd like to think that top six isn't out of the question. It's all quite complicated when it comes to promotion from this division, as the Lega Pro Prima Divisione is split into three regional groups, with the top team from each group gaining promotion. That's the easy bit, as there is potentially a fourth place up for grabs, dependent on the points difference between the teams finishing 18th and 19th in Serie B. If it's more than four points, then a playoff system between the best eight teams finishing 2nd-4th in their respective groups compete in a knockout competition for the remaining promotion place. Got it? Good!

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Media Prediction: 10th

Title Odds: 33-1 (Joint 9th favourites. Lecce 5-2 favourites)

Lega Pro Prima Divisione Girone C: Respectable Position

Coppa Italia di Lega Pro: First Round

Transfer Budget: £1m

Wage Budget: £51k (spending £34.2k)

Season Ticket Sales: 2836 (level)

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As I didn't join the club until 8th July, a few transfers had been organised by my predecessor/Director of Football, including the outgoing sale of Antonio Miggiano. On paper, he looks a brilliant centre half, so I would have probably liked to have kept him. The transfer window itself has been quite tricky to manoeuvre in, mainly due to the lack of scouts on my arrival; I always like a scouts recommendation before signing a player, rather than just relying on searching by attributes, so this was quite a hinder as I looked to make my mark on the squad. Still, I think all the players signed will feature quite heavily over the season ahead.

Key Players: Adriano Bertolino (AMC), Manuel Juncal (MC), Emiliano Faliero (DC), Corrado Cassarà (ST), Lorenzo Battagliarin (DM), Ivan Dzoni (ST), Carmelo Rosario Sassone (DM), Italo Ongaro (AMC), Giampaolo Pepe (GK)

On my arrival, I immediately noticed there was a distinct lack of wingers in the squad. Due to this, I had to make a quick decision on whether I would look to sign some, and try to implement a wide tactic, or strengthened the ranks with players of a similar ilk to those already at the club. In the end, I decided on the latter, mainly due to the quality we have in central midfield, and I have settled on the two tactics below (the one on the left being my preferred starting line-up). This is quite a big change in style from what I've been using before, as I am aiming for a more possession dominated, slow build-up game, which I think is suited to the style of football normally played out in Italy. I'm also excited by the prospect of utilising a Regista, as I haven't had a player capable of playing such a specialist role in my previous teams.

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This was already well under way before my arrival, but it's good that the infrastructure is being improved.

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And here's the previously mentioned kits. I really like them! Stylish :cool:

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Great move there!

Handy little warchest to work with too :thup:

It's been very handy indeed. I haven't maxed out the wage budget yet, as we already have the second largest wage bill in the division; hopefully, this hasn't been a foolish move by the Board, and it's sustainable expenditure!

A nice move to Italy,best of luck with Nuova :thup:
Great team to move to - shame about the track as you say. Best of luck there! :thup:

Thanks very much! I'm extremely happy to move to Italy; I've had a lot of fun here in previous saves :thup:

What is it with you and running tracks?

Great job at Gateshead.

I think I must be automatically drawn to running tracks. Who doesn't like a multipurpose stadium?! :D

Top work at Gateshead :thup: Seems a good time to move though and £1M to spend with Cosenza is a decent budget so good luck.

Thanks Dexter! I would say it's probably the largest transfer budget in the league, so I've got a very ambitious Board. I just hope it doesn't cripple the finances, so I have exercised an element of caution when splashing the cash.

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Just caught up with this. Good work with Gateshead. I approve :D, and nice move to Italy.

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And here's the previously mentioned kits. I really like them! Stylish :cool:

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Have to add that the badge is seriously cool as well :thup:

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Cosenza - October 2020 Update

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It may not have been the ideal start, with a defeat to Paganese in the Coppa Lego Pro group stages, but I've been encouraged with what I've seen from the team so far. Whether it's been by luck or judgement, it seems the tactics I've been using are having the desired effect, with us dominating possession in almost every game, passing the ball around nicely, before finding an incisive ball to open up the opposition defence. There's still some work to be done, as I'm not yet getting the most from my attacking midfielder, but the initial results are encouraging, and we're seeing a satisfactory amount of goals from a fairly cautious system.

It's the result away to leaders, Nocerina, that's been the most pleasing of the bunch so far, as this highlights the potential of the team, and it's ability to be competitive against the league's best teams. In this particular match, we won the possession battle, 60%-40%, created three clear cut chances (compared to their one), as well as fashioning half a dozen other goalscoring opportunities.

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With only one defeat so far, I think it would be fair to consider us in the group of teams vying for promotion. It's likely to be close race, with early season favourites, Lecce, starting to recover from their poor start; they are now the division's form team, who we'll come up against in our next fixture.

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Cassarà's been in fine form, scoring eight goals so far. And he's broken a record too.

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Just caught up with this. Good work with Gateshead. I approve :D, and nice move to Italy.

Cheers! I thought you would approve :D

Have to add that the badge is seriously cool as well :thup:

Seconded. It's a very classy club :thup:

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Cosenza - January 2021 Update

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November didn't start off too well, as we lost the promotion 'six-pointer' to Lecce. This was followed by another defeat to a promotion rival, Avellino, which was even more disappointing due to it being a home fixture, and brought our unbeaten home record to an end. A recovery of sorts came with a back-to-back wins over Paganese and Foggia, although neither was particularly convincing, and the signs were there that the Cosenza ship had started to list.

Thankfully, results improved as we moved into December, with the excellent away victory to Barletta starting an unbeaten run that has now lasted into the New Year. In our last match, we annihilated second from bottom, Aprilia, which has really improved our goal difference. Also helping this is the nice run of four games without conceding that we're currently on; we comfortably have the best defensive record in the division, at the moment.

One transfer of note in the January window, with central midfielder Alessandro Scalia joining the ranks. He's got the potential to be a first team regular if he integrates quickly.

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Nocerina are still motoring along nicely, and have now opened up a six point gap at the top of the table. They travel to Cosenza in a couple of weeks time, so that will be a great opportunity to try and reduce their advantage. If we don't, then it's likely any dreams of automatic promotion will be over, and we'll have to rely on the prospect of the playoffs.

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By playing such a narrow system, our full backs seem to get acres of space to play in, with left back, Tommaso Lo Monaco, becoming a creative force.

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Aprilia were dreadful, and have the conceded the most goals in the division this season so far; no-one we hammered them!

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Nice start to life in Italy, well amongst it :thup:

It's been a very good start, but considering how much we're spending in wages I'd be disappointed if we were languishing in midtable.

Have fun with the 4-1-2-1-2! It's my favored formation and I've had great success with it.

I must say I'm really enjoying it so far. I much prefer watching possession-based football, coupled with neat incisive passing, and this system is delivering on both fronts at the moment :thup:

Fine stuff in Italy so far.

Pretty much! There's a big game coming up against Nocerina, though, which will have a huge say in whether we can challenge for the solitary automatic promotion spot.

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This has been going rather well, though I am a little disappointed to see you have abandoned your reputation of having the highest goals total in the league now you've arrived in Italy. Are you going with the 'when in Rome' excuse to explain your lack of goal mouth action?

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Excellent start to life at Cosenza,hopefully you can keep that sort of form up :thup:

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Cosenza - May 2021 Update

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It hasn't been the clinical run-in that I would have liked, with the pressure taking it's toll on the team as we entered the final weeks of the season. Of course, there's no shame losing away to sides such as Foggia and Avellino, teams battling near the top of the table, but it's the points dropped at home to Taranto and Vigor Lamezi that have cost us dear; two wins from these games would have possibly seen us promoted as champions.

It could have been very different, too, if we had done the business against Nocerina back in February, as if the result had been reversed we would have overtaken them, and perhaps swung momentum in our favour. It was a pretty competitive game, which saw a clinical Nocerina side take full advantage on the counter attack; we had 59% possession and four clear cut chances (compared to their two), so can count ourselves extremely unlucky to finish the match empty handed.

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Slightly surprisingly, we still managed to finish the year off in second place, despite a few shaky performances. I suppose, on balance, Nocerina are just about worthy champions, having won the most games and scored the highest amount of goals, but it's slightly disappointing we let our good opportunity slip away. Alas, off to the playoffs we go!

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A very non-typical Italian result!

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Again, another record broken for goalscoring :cool:

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This is a difficult draw, with Lecce being the pre-season favourites for promotion. At least we have the advantage of playing at home, though.

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This has been going rather well, though I am a little disappointed to see you have abandoned your reputation of having the highest goals total in the league now you've arrived in Italy. Are you going with the 'when in Rome' excuse to explain your lack of goal mouth action?

It has been going rather well, hasn't it? :D

To be honest, from an FM point of view, I much prefer low scoring matches; a tactical battle won 1-0, is far more satisfying than a chaotic 5-4, in my opinion, as it's usually more difficult to keep clean sheets than it is to outscore the opposition.

Does 6-0 ever happen in Italy?

Probably not in real life, but I'm happy to take it :D

Seems the side have got their act together again now so there's plenty of time to overtake Nocerina :thup:

I thought this too, especially after a five game run without conceding. Of course, the following match was the Nocerina game, where we shipped five! :rolleyes:

6-0? That isn't very Italian like.

Definitely not! But Aprilia were terrible :D

Excellent start to life at Cosenza,hopefully you can keep that sort of form up :thup:

Thanks, but it's all gone a bit patchy recently. Need to get back on our 'A-Game' for the playoffs.

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Cosenza - 1a Divisione Playoff 2021 Update

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That could have gone better...

This was a typically cagey Italian affair, with very little to report in terms of goalmouth action. Lecce did their jobs well, disrupting our natural passing game, and restricting us to just the one shot on target. They didn't fair much better going forward, but still managed to make the most of a debatable penalty decision, before capitalising on a defensive error to double their lead and end our dreams of promotion.

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These are very much the silver lining from a disappointing match. The financial gain will be welcome, though.

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Cosenza - End of Season Review 2020/21

Despite the disappointment of the playoffs, it's still been a good season, which has seen us exceed the expectations determined at the start of the year. On our day, we've been practically unplayable, and it's been pleasing to see my tactics being played out the way I expected them too; there's just a few tweaks needed to perfect them, which may be enough to see us promoted next time around.

1a Divisione Girone C: 2nd

Coppa Italia Lega Pro: First Round

Average Attendance: 8603 (up 1587)

Transfer History | Finances

The squad is of a decent calibre for this level, and should be set for another promotion challenge next season. That said, a few improvements would not go amiss over the summer, with a consistent goalscorer being high on my list of targets, in addition to somebody to replace Emiliano Faliero at centre-half (who's been sold to Chievo). Due to the narrow formation I use, my full-backs tend to do well, with Lo Monaco establishing himself as an unlikely star player and the fan's player of the season. Attribute wise, he's nothing special, but still manages the excel in our system; despite his lacking in technical ability, I suppose his mental stats ensure he at least ends up in the right place at the right time.

Top Goalscorer: Ivan Dzoni (16 goals)

Most Assists: Tommaso Lo Monaco (13 assists)

Highest Average Rating: Tommaso Lo Monaco (7.48)

Fans Player of the Season: Tommaso Lo Monaco

Other Notable Contributors: Corrado Cassarà (14 goals), Stephen Sama (4 PoMs), Adriano Bertolino (9 goals, 6 assists), Lorenzo Battagliarin (9 goals), Emiliano Faliero (AvR 7.19), Marco Bigoni (AvR 7.19)

Cosenza Best Eleven

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Our record breaking left-back! :cool:

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That's quite a few accolades for the club.

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups                             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        5th      Astro Piala First Round
2015       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        3rd      Astro Piala First Round, Piala Malaysia First Round
2016       Hougang Utd       S.League            5th      S.League Cup Semi Final
2017       Hougang Utd       S.League            6th*     * Resigned after 23 games (October 2017)
2017/18    Gateshead         Skrill Premier      4th*     * Promoted via Playoffs. Took charge October 2017.
2018/19    Gateshead         League Two          12th     FA Cup 1st Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round
2019/20    Gateshead         League Two          1st      FA Cup 3rd Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round
2020/21    Cosenza           Serie C Group C     2nd      Serie C Cup 1st Round

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Subbed - pity about the playoffs, but with luck the cash might find it's way to your budgets.

To be honest, we probably don't need much more money, as we're already the top wage spenders in the division. I just need to invest it better.

Gutted about the promotion but reckon next year is your year :thup:
Cracking effort but it wasn't too be.
Just caught up on this, great stuff so far. Better luck next season!
Great effort, promotion looking likely soon.

Thanks all :thup:

I totally agree, and fully expect a promotion challenge next season. Unfortunately, though, with just the one automatic promotion place available, it does make it extremely competitive, especially if we end up with one of the better relegated sides from Serie B in our group.

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