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[FM14] - North Street Hooligans

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Excellent stuff in the second half of the season!

After losing to Barnet on the 15th of November, our league record was 17-7-1.

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2015/16 Pre-season

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Media prediction: 21st

Title odds: 33/1

Board expectations: Be competitive in the league, FA Cup 2nd round, be competitive in the League Cup and the JPT

Captain: Luke Howell

Vice: Tom Shaw

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With only two relegation spots, a good start can make all the difference in this division. We've had a strong summer in the transfer market and assembled a good squad, so I am confident of pushing for mid table.

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Transfers:

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Luke Howell - An industrious central midfielder with a lot of league experience with Dag & Red.

Joslain Mayebi - Flamboyant 'keeper who played for Wimbledon last term.

Anthony Malbon - Classy attacker from Kidderminster, can play right across the front three.

Troy Brown - Signed from Cheltenham, can play centre half or as a holding midfielder.

Harry Lennon - A season loan from Charlton and is our best defender on paper.

Lucas Akins - A tricky right winger, signed from Stevenage.

Marvin McCoy - An attacking right back who replaces the departed Josh Law.

Dominic Collins - Signed to provide defensive depth.

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Pre-season:

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Won the ones we should have and lost the two we were underdogs in. The fans got a treat with a strong United side visiting North Street.

We kick off the campaign with a trip to Wales to take on Newport County, before heading to Elland Rd in the League Cup first round. Our first home game is against Chesterfield.

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Good stuff to read chap. Glad you got revenge after missing out on promotion first time round. How has Dillon progressed at celtic so far? What happened to the 500k burning a hole in your pocket? notice you didnt spend it?

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Well done winning the Conference.

Cheers - would love to see them get up through the playoffs in real life. Would be amazing to see a club of that stature get into the Football League.

Good stuff to read chap. Glad you got revenge after missing out on promotion first time round. How has Dillon progressed at celtic so far? What happened to the 500k burning a hole in your pocket? notice you didnt spend it?

He's actually only played a handful of games due to injury.

As for the funds, they are still sitting there, but there's no one worth spending the cash on that would actually join. I'm able to scout all of UK/Ireland now though so maybe a young newgen will pop up somewhere.

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Congrats on promotion - always better to go up as champions rather than through the playoffs :thup:

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August 2015 - League Two

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Undefeated in the league and a competitive loss in the League Cup represents a pretty good first month as a Football League side. We took an early lead at Newport, holding out until the 69th minute before settling for a point. Championship side Leeds were far too strong for us, despite taking another lead, while our first home match produced an exciting draw with Chesterfield.

We scored in the first minute at Accrington and finished the job, and another two draws to finish out the month kept us in securely in the top half.

Unfortunately, muscle tears were also the theme of the month; Robinson and Malbon injuring a calf and a hamstring respectively. On the transfer front, Antoni Sarcevic joined from Fleetwood for the season, and left back Jordan Mustoe signed a two year deal for depth.

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Congrats on promotion - always better to go up as champions rather than through the playoffs :thup:

Cheers, and I agree, especially when you chase someone down.

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September 2015 - League Two

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Another really good month, which keeps us well away from the bottom two and still in cup contention. We had to come from two behind at Mansfield to progress on penalties in the JPT, earning the right to host Notts County in the 2nd round. A lone Tomlinson goal kept up our excellent league start against the Dons, before two errors cost us at Luton in an otherwise tight game.

Three clean sheets in the next three was perhaps the most pleasing part, as we bagged another seven points to put a dozen between us and 23rd at this early stage.

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We have comfortably the best defensive record in the league, conceding only six goals and keeping five clean sheets in 10 league matches. However, we've only netted 11 times ourselves.

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Alfreton seem to be slipping in real life.

Yep needed to beat Grimsby yesterday, won't make it now.

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Going great there, back to back promotions on the cards? :brock:

I've struggled going up to L2 on this version, when I used to regularly get back to back promotions on previous games. I'll take mid-table and then look to strengthen our attacking options in the summer.

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October 2015 - League Two

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A bit of a down month; not so much in terms of results, but definitely in terms of performance, where our lack of goals is making it a real graft to get results.

We took a lead against lowly Morecambe but a point was a fair result, while we produced an excellent display to see off L1 side Notts County, putting us into the quarter finals of the JPT. Momentum didn't really kick in though, and we were lucky to get a point at home to Bristol Rovers, who controlled the game.

Cheltenham were 2nd when we played them, and despite taking the lead with seven minutes to play, we couldn't hang on, but a hard fought home win against Walsall eased that pain somewhat. Oxford were far too good, and we needed a late goal to rescue a disappointing home point with Torquay, who were 19th at the time.

Yet another key player goes down with a muscle tear too, as Marvin McCoy does a hamstring.

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Very good start in League 2

Cheers - don't think we're good enough to make the playoffs, but we're clear of the bottom two.

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November 2015 - League Two

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A month that has seen us lose touch with the playoff picture, but we're still grinding out enough points to stick in the top half. In fact, we're still creating enough which tells me the system is sound, it's just managing the players themselves.

We went out of the JPT on penalties and needed a replay to beat Basingstoke in the FA Cup, and also needed a last gasp goal to get a point at home to Wycombe. Southend was deplorable, as we were 1-4 down before getting a couple late, and Fleetwood was soul-destroying. 2-0 up with the opposition down to ten, we conceded from their only two shots and wasted countless chances of our own. Portsmouth are underachieving but it was still a good point.

My 'keeper Joslain Mayebi also managed to score THREE own goals in the month; one in each leg of the Basingstoke tie, and another at Southend.

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December 2015 - League Two

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Awful. Changes afoot in January.

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Still maintaining a gap to 23rd but another poor month and that will close.

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That's a rough spell.

Sure is. Where we were hitting short options and making intelligent runs, we're now hoofing long, missing simple passes and generally looking very static.

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How tight is the division? Three months with hardly a win yet just three points off a play off place. Going great and that money will help too. Brilliant stuff.:thup:

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January 2015 - Conference Premier

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A mixed month which could have been so much better. Accrington made it two wins in a row, and we held our own at Chesterfield before switching off in the 89th minute at a corner. We took a lead at Stevenage and had chances to take points, before Northampton scored a late equaliser after one of my centre halves inexplicably walked forward under a goal kick, allowing his man to get 10 yards in behind. Infuriating.

Wimbledon were 8th and we had 14 shots and a goal on the board before they could even muster one, but once again we switched off late. Playoffs are all but gone but we're still eight points clear of 23rd with a game in hand.

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With £300K still sitting around from the Dillon sale, and then a further £500K made available from the sell on fee, I gave into temptation and splashed the cash. Hungarian youngster Balázs Fajkusz first came on trial from Videoton FC, and then signed for £425K (although nearly half of this is in clauses). Big money at this level but more than justified given the funds coming in, and his "professional" personality hopefully means he will reach his potential as a decent Premiership striker.

We also made a deadline signing, bringing in former Fulham holding midfielder Jonathan Buatu on a free from Rotherham, while Donegan left the club after making only five appearances this campaign.

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February 2016 - League Two

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A better month as we picked up two wins, and were probably the better team in all four fixtures. Gillingham were sitting 6th when we traveled there and put in an excellent display, before Mayebi's 4th own goal of the season cost us at Rochdale, in a game where we only allowed them four efforts on goal. A Malbon strike on the half hour was enough against strugglers Luton, and once again we threw away a lead at home to Morecambe.

As far as the table goes, we are pretty much sitting in no man's land. Around 10 points from the playoffs and around 10 points from relegation, but that suits me fine as it gives me the chance to tinker in the final two months.

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March 2016 - League Two

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I made a couple of tactical tweaks this month. First I switched my anchor man to a ball winning midfielder, as I was concerned that we were too static in the midfield defensively, and then I switched my right winger from 'attack' to 'support', as whoever plays there has seemed far more inclined to shoot from tight angles than actually cross the damn thing.

The results don't really show it but I saw an immediate improvement in performance. We were actually 1-0 up and looking very comfortable against Scunthorpe, before one of our centre halves was sent off and I got my subsequent tactics hopelessly wrong in removing the holding midfield player. We then decided to have some fun with the title race, dispatching top of the table Cheltenham with our best performance of the season, and leading 2nd-placed Oxford until the 80th minute.

No complaints in Bristol as we were outplayed, but we had chances to win at Walsall and Wycombe as the fixture list threw up five away games in a row. Torquay held on for dear life before snatching two goals on the counter in the 77th and 82nd minutes, and the trip to Fleetwood was a great game for the neutrals as we came from behind twice.

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Two players signed but can't see either making much of an impact.

With just April to come the goal of survival has been assured, and with three home games to come we could push into the top half

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April 2016 - League Two

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A professional performance against Southend, a diabolical one against Portsmouth, decent against Port Vale, good without reward at playoff outfit Mansfield and a really pleasing win at Plymouth on the final day.

Some activity on the transfer front too as loan stars Harry Lennon (£120K) and Antoni Sarcevic (free) will join permanently in the summer, from Charlton and Fleetwood respectively.

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2015/16 - Season Review

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League: 15th

FA Cup: 2nd round (lost to Hartlepool)

League Cup: 1st round (lost to Leeds)

JPT: North quarter final (lost on penalties to Port Vale)

Top performer: David Viana (6.97 average rating)

Top scorer: Ben Tomlinson (13)

Most assists: Antoni Sarcevic (17)

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After the first ten games we looked like potential promotion contenders, but despite not being able to maintain that form, safety was realistically achieved fairly early on. 15th looks poor on paper, but given the close nature of the league, we only finished four points off the top ten.

In terms of players, we didn't really have anyone stand out but got a lot of decent contributions. Lennon and Yado Mambo formed a reliable central defensive partnership, and Sarcevic was the main creative force with 17 assists. Tomlinson scored 13 times but getting a 20-goal scorer will be the key to challenging for the playoffs next term.

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2013/14 - Conference Premier - 4th (lost in playoff semis)

2014/15 - Conference Premier - 1st (promoted as Champions)

2015/16 - League Two - 15th

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2016/17 Pre-season

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Media prediction: 21st

Title odds: 33/1

Board expectations: Be competitive in the league, FA Cup 1st round, League Cup 1st round, be competitive in the JPT

Captain: Mikele Leigertwood

Vice: Yado Mambo

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A fairly quiet summer in the transfer market, as I opted for experience over potential. We are given the same media prediction and odds as last season, but I am hoping to push into the top half.

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Transfers:

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Mikele Leigertwood - Vastly experienced utility man. Installed as captain and will be first choice as the holding midfielder player.

Mark Cousins - An experienced 'keeper to challenge for the starting role.

Andre Boucard - Trinidad international midfielder who can beat a man and pick a pass.

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Pre-season:

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A mixed bag, with two high profile friendlies against United and Everton netting us around £80K in gate receipts.

We start off with a home game against Wycombe. Starting right winger Lucas Akins becomes the 4th player in 12 months to suffer a muscle tear too, doing his calf in our penultimate pre-season friendly.

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August 2016 - League Two

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We burst out of the blocks, winning our first three league matches and conceding just one goal in the process. We also went out of the League Cup to Championship side Nottingham Forest at the first stage, although we were certainly competitive.

Torquay came to North Street and left with a scarcely-deserved point, and a disappointing display at Morecambe spoiled the good work earlier in the month. There was some consolation however, as we went to Sheffield Wednesday in the division above and returned with a handy cup win.

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September 2016 - League Two

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A trip to early leaders Port Vale brought about a solid point, before Fajkusz celebrated his first cap for Hungary with an early goal against Fleetwood, although we couldn't hold on. A trip to rivals Mansfield brought about a dismal second half display, however that man again popped up in the 93rd minute to give us an epic win at Coventry.

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Only two points off an automatic promotion spot, and well clear of the bottom.

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October 2016 - League Two

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Frustrated by the isolation of my front three, at half time of the Portsmouth game I switched from a 'rigid' to a 'balanced' fluidity, and the results were instant. After struggling to net a goal a game, we scored 16 in our next six, pushing up to 2nd in the league, and also getting through to the JPT quarters for a second season running. We also went into the 2nd round of the FA Cup after beating Kidderminster for a second time this season.

An odd occurrence against Plymouth too - I was given the option to postpone the Plymouth game due to having four players away on international duty, so it was postponed one day and played when they were still unavailable.

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Fantastic read mate. You're doing very well indeed, surviving in the League on your first attempt is no mean feat.

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Fantastic read mate. You're doing very well indeed, surviving in the League on your first attempt is no mean feat.

Cheers - I've tried to build from the back up, and we can be tough to beat. The luck with finding and then selling Dillon has been a key too, as it has funded a number of players and kept the club in good shape financially without needing a cup run.

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Excellent season so far. Might make a good promotion challenge.

We're definitely putting ourselves in the playoff mix, but there could be a couple of key players leave in January with recent developments.

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November 2016 - League Two

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Despite the disappointment of a horrible performance at Oxford, it ended up being another good month as we further strengthened our grip on a playoff spot. York was a good point, while we we desperately unlucky to bomb out of the JPT on penalties after a commanding display at L1 side Oldham (see pictures above).

Accrington was an opportunity missed, but we roared back with seven points from our next three league matches, including a first senior hat-trick for Fajkusz in a home romp over leaders Rochdale.

In the FA Cup we continued our domination over teams in higher divisions and set up a home third round tie with Fleetwood, which gives us a great chance to make the 4th round for the second time in three years.

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December 2016 - League Two

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Only three matches in the month. A disappointing draw with Southend was followed by an excellent comeback at Scunthorpe, as we withstood a home onslaught for much of the first half. Crawley are 15th but still a dangerous side, and it was a good point given we had the better chances.

On the transfer front, key defender and vice captain Yado Mambo has requested a transfer to a bigger club. With his contract expiring this season I'll look to sell in January. Left back Jamie Robinson also wants to move on, but will stay if we win promotion.

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Decent. A couple of postponed fixtures mean we make up our two games in hand in early January, but we're right in the mix for promotion.

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Wow, you are doing really well! Hopefully ManU can bring a bit of money into the coffers :)

On the side note, really happy you are doing an Alfreton save. I have had a couple on previous FM versions and have always had a great time and lots of success!

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January 2017 - League Two

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We continued our unbeaten run well into January, with wins over Morecambe and Wycombe shooting us to the top, and Fleetwood sending us into the 4th round of the FA Cup again. There we faced Man United, and any dreams of forcing a money-spinning replay were dashed in the first quarter of an hour as we found ourselves 0-2 down, and we did well to only concede one more.

Unofrtunately the loss seemed to linger as we only took a point from our last three matches. We were very good against Fleetwood and led twice before conceding a shocking winner, while Mansfield were the better side despite us again taking a lead. A trip to Torquay saw us 2-0 up in the first half and having the first 11 (!) shots of the match, but we still couldn't hold on.

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A busy transfer period but we've probably come out of it fairly well. Norwich are 7th in the Premiership so I couldn't deny Robinson the chance to make that move, and we were well compensated with a 30% sell on clause in addition to the £450K, and he was swiftly replaced with former Fulham youth left back Tom Richards for no cost. Vice-captain Yado Mambo also gets his move to a higher league, with us getting a fee for a player whose contract was expiring anyway, and is replaced with free signing Luke Wilkinson.

We also raided parent club Nottingham Forest for young striker Markel McCahill, as our poor luck with injuries continued with Fajkusz sent to a specialist after getting the dreaded FM "hip injury".

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Aye, doing very well.

Getting there. You'll be pleased to know I turned down a Port Vale interview approach.

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