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FM15 - The Sky Bet Football League thread


Jogo Bonito

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Welcome to the FM15 thread for the Sky Bet Football League

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Championship preview (until 15.3)

3. League 1 preview (until 15.3)

4. League 2 preview (until 15.3)

5. Transfer budgets of all 72 clubs (from 15.3)

6. Club guide/preview of all 72 clubs (from 15.3)

Following on from the popular threads made by Plainlayzee (2013) and Hoarau (2014), I’ve taken up the mantle to do this year’s edition.

This is the place where I hope familiar faces and new visitors alike will come to enjoy the fun, tension and drama that you can only find in the Football League. There are 72 clubs to choose from, with 24 teams in each of the three leagues (Championship, League 1, and League 2). And you’re free to try as many of them as you like.

So, whether your desire takes you to promotion seekers at the top of the Championship, or to relegation battlers aiming to just stay in League 2, there are plenty of different types of challenge to keep you entertained. And don’t worry - promotion to the Premier League (or relegation to ‘Vanarama’ levels, if you’re brave enough to admit it) will not preclude you from continuing your stories in this thread.

Feel free to give updates on your team, your tactics, your players, transfers, results and anything else - as long as it's about a Football League club in FM15! You can make suggestions, share information, ask questions, or debate/discuss anything in our friendly little place.

So, without further delay, let’s take a look at each division (and each club) in more detail…

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Sky Bet Championship

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The second tier of English football is commonly referred to as The Championship, and because of the riches and rewards on offer for promotion to the Premier League, it is one of the most competitive leagues in world football.

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Two teams are promoted automatically, with the next four teams entering a play-off system (3rd plays 6th, and 4th plays 5th). After home and away semi-finals, it boils down to a Wembley final to find which other team will join the elite of English football. As a side note, the play-off final is often said to be the most valuable one-off club football match in the world.

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Author Preview 2014/2015

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Clubs in this league range from the sublime to the ridiculous, and here is my view on how they might rank. I've split this preview section in to probable trophy hunters, play-off chasers, mid-table nothings and finally the relegation battlers - but you can re-write history and show me how wrong these categories are!

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At the top end, you should expect to see successful campaigns from Derby - who were far too good to miss out last season – and a potentially strong trio of relegated clubs looking to bounce back (Norwich, Cardiff and Fulham). The league also contains a host of clubs with histories forged in the top flight – some recently and some not - and a number of these will be hoping to challenge for promotion again. The pick of these would probably be Nottingham Forest, who start with a whopping transfer budget of £6m (the biggest by far in this division), although Middlesbrough also seem ready to make a challenge.

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Ipswich, Wolves, Watford and Blackburn have endured a few lean years, but can also be considered decent prospects again, but recently relegated Reading and Wigan don’t look like making any impression. A better bet could be Bournemouth, who have assembled a good squad and might have enough momentum to surprise a few people.

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Brighton, Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford and Huddersfield look like mid-table teams at best - and then there is Leeds. With their managerial revolving door as it is, you stand a good chance of being offered the job in reality, but you can also try and restore them to former glories within the game if you like.

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Debt-ridden Bolton have fallen on hard times, but they’re still a far stronger outfit than the likes of much-ridiculed Blackpool, who are likely to be one of three teams fearing the drop to League 1. Other contenders for that dubious privilege are Birmingham, Millwall and Rotherham – who probably have less chance of staying up than Steve Evans trousers.

What kind of manager are you, and what is the right club for you?

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Below we run through the Championship teams, in order of the FM15 media prediction…

*Stadium Names & Attendance details are taken from within FM15

*Key Players are subjective

1. Norwich

Carrow Road (27,244)

Key Players: Nathan Redmond, Josh Murphy (prospect)

2. Fulham

Craven Cottage (25,700)

Key Players: Ross McCormack, Patrick Roberts (prospect)

3. Cardiff

Cardiff City Stadium (33,316)

Key Players: David Marshall, Peter Whittingham

4. Wigan

DW Stadium (25,133)

Key Players: Callum McManaman, Oriol Riera

5. Nottm Forest

The City Ground (30,576)

Key Players: Britt Assombalonga, Michail Antonio

6. Middlesbrough

The Riverside Stadium (34,733)

Key Players: Kike, Jelle Vossen (loan)

7. Watford

Vicarage Road (17,477)

Key Players: Troy Deeney, Matej Vydra (loan)

8. Reading

Madejski Stadium (24,197)

Key Players: Simon Cox, Jordan Obita (prospect)

9. Derby

Pride Park (33,597)

Key Players: Chris Martin, Will Hughes (prospect)

10. Leeds

Elland Road (40,287)

Key Players: Giuseppe Bellusci, Alex Mowatt (prospect)

11. Bolton

Macron Stadium (28,723)

Key Players: Lee Chung-Yong, Mark Davies

12. Blackburn

Ewood Park (31,154)

Key Players: Jordan Rhodes, Ben Marshall

13. Brighton

American Express Community Stadium (30,303)

Key Players: David Stockdale, Solly March (prospect)

14. Ipswich

Portman Road (30,311)

Key Players: David McGoldrick, Tyrone Mings (prospect)

15. Bournemouth

Dean Court (12,081)

Key Players: Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie

16. Wolves

Molineux (30,852)

Key Players: Bakary Sako, Nouha Dicko

17. Sheff Wed

Hillsborough (39,812)

Key Players: Keiren Westwood, Stevie May

18. Millwall

The Den (20,146)

Key Players: Ed Upson, Shaun Williams

19. Brentford

Griffin Park (12,802)

Key Players: Jota, Moses Odubajo (prospect)

20. Charlton

The Valley (27,111)

Key Players: Igor Vetokele, Jordan Cousins (prospect)

21. Huddersfield

The John Smith’s Stadium (24,590)

Key Players: James Vaughan, Nahki Wells

22. Birmingham

St. Andrews (29,409)

Key Players: Clayton Donaldson, Demarai Gray (prospect)

23. Blackpool

Bloomfield Road (17,000)

Key Players: Steven Davies, Ishmael Miller

24. Rotherham

New York Stadium (12,009)

Key Players: Richard Smallwood, Ben Pringle

Championship transfer budgets, remaining wage budget and club balance

*Details provided by 'lewis999'...many thanks!

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/409665-English-Football-League-Transfer-and-Wage-Budgets!?p=10004302#post10004302

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There is some great talent on show in the Sky Bet Championship, and here we just spotlight a few players who might really make a difference...

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Goalkeepers and defenders rarely make the headlines, but don't underestimate the need to maintain a solid shape and stop the goals flying in. David Marshall (Cardiff) earned plenty of acclaim despite relegation last season, and is arguably the best 'keeper in the division. Derby have few visible weakness in defence, and in Cyrus Christie and Craig Forsyth you have a pair of full-backs who can defend and attack effectively. Ipswich and Middlesbrough also have strong defenders, with Tommy Smith (Ipswich) and Kenneth Omeruo (Boro) amongst the best of the central options.

In midfield, again you have quality from Derby with Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick and Craig Bryson - but the likes of Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth), Michail Antonio (Forest) and Bakary Sako (Wolves) also have the skills to open up defences and weigh in with goals too. When it comes to strikers there is no shortage of hotshots, with Callum Wilson (Bournemouth - pictured above), Chris Martin (Derby), Lewis Grabban (Norwich), Igor Vetokele (Charlton), Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn) and Britt Assombalonga (Forest) arguably the most dangerous.

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That's a flavour of what you can expect from FM15 in the Sky Bet Championship. Hopefully this guide will help you to find and enjoy the right club. Good luck!

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Sky Bet League 1

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League 1 is the third tier of English football, and contains a variety of clubs with different stories to tell. Some have fallen down and are struggling to get back, whilst others have rarely if ever been above this level. Promotion to the Championship gets you significantly more exposure, and of course puts you one step closer to the 'promised land'.

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Like the league above, two teams qualify for automatic promotion and the next four contest play-off matches in the same format. Possibly the biggest difference here is that four teams suffer automatic relegation to League 2 each season - one more than in the Championship. There are still thrills, spills and rivalries, so don't expect an easy ride!

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Author Preview 2014/2015

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Clubs here are more evenly matched as, with one or two exceptions, budgets are very similar. Here is my view on how they might rank. I've split this preview section in to probable trophy hunters, play-off chasers, mid-table nothings and finally the relegation battlers - but you can re-write history and show me how wrong these categories are!

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Challenging for automatic promotion should be some of the bigger clubs in the division, namely Bristol City and Sheffield United. They both have strong squads, good resources (Bristol are having a ground development, whilst Sheffield already own a sizeable stadium) and good budgets and/or finances that should carry them through. Other contenders could be Peterborough and Preston - with the former having a much-admired ability to unearth lower league gems and other young talents, which they then sell on for big sums. In fact, the summer sale of one key player means they start with a massive transfer budget of around £1.4 million - by far the biggest in League 1 this year. An interesting team to include as dark horses are Swindon, who (like Bristol) have adopted a three man defence and wing-backs this season. That might provide you with incentive to tackle your opponents in a slightly different way to normal.

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Likely to be not far behind the leading group you would expect to find MK Dons and Barnsley, whilst big things were expected of Leyton Orient after going so close last time out. The step up looks too big for promoted sides Rochdale and Fleetwood, but two more decent size clubs (Notts County and Bradford) must start to show signs of progress soon. However, budget constraints are likely to inhibit all of these teams, and that is certainly even more true once you look further down.

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Mid-table obscurity would seem to be the height of ambition for many of the others - Oldham, Port Vale, Chesterfield, Walsall, Doncaster and Coventry probably falling in to this bracket. The latter are another club with a history, and having finally moved back to their own (much bigger) stadium in the city, they certainly represent a good choice as a club to build back up.

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Fighting against the drop in to League 2 (and providing stern tests of their manager) will be Crawley, Gillingham, Scunthorpe and Yeovil. Also in this category are two other teams, both with formulas that you could try and emulate. Crewe have a renowned pedigree for youth development, but seem to be finding it harder to succeed with this approach in recent years. Perhaps Colchester might offer an alternative here, with a tiny budget, relatively new stadium and a youthful squad that could improve.

What kind of manager are you, and what is the right club for you?

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Below we run through the League 1 teams, in order of the FM15 media prediction…

*Stadium Names & Attendance details are taken from within FM15

*Key Players are subjective

1. Leyton Orient

Brisbane Road (9,311)

Key Players: Dean Cox, Mathieu Baudry

2. Sheff Utd

Bramall Lane (32,609)

Key Players: Craig Alcock, Jamie Murphy

3. Bristol City

Ashton Gate (14,660)

Key Players: Kieran Agard, Joe Bryan (prospect)

4. Preston

Deepdale (24,500)

Key Players: Joe Garner, Josh Brownhill (prospect)

5. Doncaster

The Keepmoat Stadium (15,231)

Key Players: Harry Forrester, Theo Robinson

6. MK Dons

stadium:mk (30,582)

Key Players: Daniel Powell, Deli Alli (prospect)

7. Barnsley

Oakwell (23,287)

Key Players: Conor Hourihane, Dale Jennings

8. Peterborough

London Road (11,478)

Key Players: Gabriel Zakuani, Marcus Maddison (prospect)

9. Bradford

Valley Parade (25,136)

Key Players: James Hanson, Alan Sheehan

10. Yeovil

Huish Park (9,565)

Key Players: Aaron Martin, Kieffer Moore

11. Colchester

The Weston Homes Community Stadium (10,105)

Key Players: Freddie Sears, Macauley Bonne (prospect)

12. Coventry

Sixfields Stadium (7,653)

Key Players: John Fleck, Ryan Haynes (prospect)

13. Swindon

The County Ground (15,547)

Key Players: Massimo Luongo, Nathan Thompson

14. Port Vale

Vale Park (19,148)

Key Players: Tom Pope, Steve Jennings

15. Fleetwood

Highbury Stadium (5,311)

Key Players: Antoni Sarcevic, Mark Roberts

16. Notts County

Meadow Lane (20,300)

Key Players: Blair Adams, Liam Noble

17. Walsall

The Bescot Stadium (10,989)

Key Players: Paul Downing, Romaine Sawyers

18. Scunthorpe

Glanford Park (9,144)

Key Players: Paddy Madden, Hakeeb Adelakun (prospect)

19. Crawley

Broadfield Stadium (6,134)

Key Players: Izale McLeod, Joe Walsh

20. Oldham

Boundary Park (10,938)

Key Players: Jonathan Forte, Dominic Poleon (prospect)

21. Rochdale

Spotland (10,208)

Key Players: Matty Done, Ian Henderson

22. Gillingham

Priestfield (11,440)

Key Players: Cody McDonald, John Egan

23. Chesterfield

The Proact Stadium (10,379)

Key Players: Eoin Doyle, Gary Roberts

24. Crewe

The Alexandra Stadium (10,109)

Key Players: Chris Atkinson, Callum Saunders (prospect)

League 1 transfer budgets, remaining wage budget and club balance

*Details provided by 'lewis999'...many thanks!

http://community.sigames.com/showthr...2#post10004302

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There are some talented players in League 1. Some will go on to earn their clubs considerable fortune in the transfer market, and some (if kept) could propel you to higher echelons. How you will you approach it? Here we just spotlight a few players who might really make a difference...

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Arguably the pick of the goalkeepers in League 1 is Jamie Jones (Preston), and other key players that can help keep a mean defence would include Nathan Thompson (Swindon), Alan Sheehan (Bradford - pictured above), Luke Ayling (Bristol City), Gabriel Zakuani (Peterborough) and Craig Alcock (Sheff Utd).

Standing out in midfield will be the likes of the talented MK Dons youngster Dele Alli, Conor Hourihane (Barnsley), Dean Cox (Leyton Orient), Korey Smith (Bristol City) and Matty Done (Rochdale). And there shouldn't be a problem getting goals from trusted marksmen like Joe Garner of Preston, Eoin Doyle (Chesterfield), the emerging but raw Marcus Maddison (Peterborough) and another member of Bristol's squad Kieran Agard.

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That's a flavour of what you can expect from FM15 in Sky Bet League 1. Hopefully this guide will help you to find and enjoy the right club. Good luck!

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Sky Bet League 2

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League 2 is the fourth tier of English football, and is a real battleground. Most of the clubs here are small and with similar resources, so the playing field is fairly level (not always the case literally though). A few of the inhabitants have previously tasted life in the top flight, but a lot of them have never been above the bottom two divisions. This is also the entry point for clubs more familiar with non-league life.

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This league is a little different to the others, as the top three teams qualify for automatic promotion and the next four contest play-off matches (in the same format as the leagues above). Another variance is that only two teams suffer automatic relegation each season, but the fall into the Vanarama Conference can have serious and long-term consequences as teams often take many years to claw their way back. You can wave goodbye to budgets, facilities and pleasant surroundings - it's time to roll up your sleeves. Having said all that, it's now home to one of the coolest characters ever to manage at this level (see manager photo below)...

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Author Preview 2014/2015

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Clubs here are in the main very evenly matched, and budgets are fairly similar. Here is my view on how they might rank. I've split this preview section in to probable trophy hunters, play-off chasers, mid-table nothings and finally the relegation battlers - but you can re-write history and show me how wrong these categories are!

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There don't seem to be any real stand-out candidates for automatic promotion, but the most likely would be Burton, Bury and relegated Shrewsbury. Outsiders for this accolade could also include newly-promoted Luton, who are armed with a marginally higher budget than anybody else. Much-admired Burton went close last season and, like Bury, have some very good players for this level. The other two are entering the league from different directions, but should both give good value for money.

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The biggest two clubs in the division traditionally (Portsmouth and Plymouth) will probably find themselves battling it out with a cluster of others for play-off spaces, but do have biggish stadiums and a decent fan base to support their bids. Southend is another team who would also expect to be putting in a decent challenge, but Oxford don't seem to be capable of making it yet. An outsider in this category could be Morecambe, a small but well-run club with a tiny budget and little in the way of resources or history.

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Relegated trio Carlisle, Stevenage and Tranmere look to be short of the quality needed to leave this level after just one year, but Wycombe are improving. On the pitch they look better than their predicted finish, but aren't in the best of health financially. Promoted Cambridge look to have enough to survive, whilst a whole host of clubs (York, Northampton, Mansfield, Hartlepool and AFC Wimbledon) don't seem to have much ambition or chance to progress from a state of nothingness.

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Fighting to avoid the drop in to the ranks of non-league football you could expect to find Cheltenham, Newport and Dagenham & Redbridge (despite their surprisingly healthy balance sheet). But most likely to exit the league in the wrong direction are Exeter (who have serious financial issues) and Accrington Stanley (exactly).

What kind of manager are you, and what is the right club for you?

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Below we run through the League 2 teams, in order of the FM15 media prediction…

*Stadium Names & Attendance details are taken from within FM15

*Key Players are subjective

1. Portsmouth

Fratton Park (20,100)

Key Players: Jed Wallace (prospect), Danny Hollands

2. Shrewsbury

The Greenhous Meadow (9,875)

Key Players: James Collins, Jordan Clark (prospect)

3. Carlisle

Brunton Park (16,683)

Key Players: Danny Kearns, Brad Potts (prospect)

4. Tranmere

Prenton Park (16,200)

Key Players: Owain fon Williams, Cole Stockton (prospect)

5. Bury

Gigg Lane (11,313)

Key Players: Nicky Adams, Danny Rose (prospect)

6. Burton

Pirelli Stadium (6,912)

Key Players: Stuart Beavon, Adam McGurk

7. Oxford

The Kassam Stadium (12,573)

Key Players: Will Hoskins, Danny Hylton

8. Stevenage

Broadhall Way (6,722)

Key Players: Chris Whelpdale, Charlie Lee

9. Cambridge

The Abbey Stadium (8,696)

Key Players: Chris Dunn, Ryan Donaldson

10. Southend

Roots Hall (12,163)

Key Players: Daniel Bentley, David Worrall

11. Hartlepool

Victoria Park (7,856)

Key Players: Jonathan Franks, Scott Flinders

12. Luton

Kenilworth Road (10,110)

Key Players: Andy Drury, Mark Cullen

13. Plymouth

Home Park (16,388)

Key Players: Reuben Reid, Curtis Nelson

14. Morecambe

The Globe Arena (6,476)

Key Players: Jack Redshaw, Ryan Edwards (prospect)

15. Mansfield

Field Mill (9,392)

Key Players: Martin Riley, Rakish Bingham (prospect)

16. York

Bootham Crescent (9,196)

Key Players: Jake Hyde, Michael Coulson

17. AFC Wimbledon

The Fans’ Stadium - Kingsmeadow (5,339)

Key Players: Sammy Moore, Matt Tubbs (loan)

18. Exeter

St. James Park (8,830)

Key Players: Graham Cummins, Matt Grimes (prospect)

19. Northampton

Sixfields Stadium (7,653)

Key Players: Ryan Cresswell, Ivan Toney (prospect)

20. Dag & Red

Victoria Road (6,070)

Key Players: Abu Ogogo, Adeoye Yussuf (prospect)

21. Wycombe

Adams Park (10,264)

Key Players: Paul Hayes, Matt Ingram (prospect)

22. Cheltenham

Whaddon Road (7,133)

Key Players: Byron Harrison, Trevor Carson

23. Newport Co

Rodney Parade (11,676)

Key Players: Kevin Feely, Yan Klukowski

24. Accrington

The Crown Ground (5,070)

Key Players: Luke Joyce, James Gray

League 1 transfer budgets, remaining wage budget and club balance

*Details provided by 'lewis999'...many thanks!

http://community.sigames.com/showthr...2#post10004302

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League 2 occasionally produces prize gems, but you will have to search hard to find them. Strength, experience, desire and determination are amongst the most valuable commodities down at this level. Here we just spotlight a few players who might really make a difference...

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It's not uncommon for League 2 to be the breeding ground of young English goalkeepers, and looking likely to follow this path is Southend's promising gloveman Daniel Bentley. He already has plenty of admirers and at this level is a real asset. Defensive qualities can be measured in varying ways, whether it's through experience, like versatile former Austrian international Johnny Ertl (pictured above) and teammate Nicky Shorey, emerging talent like Curtis Nelson (Plymouth), Ryan Edwards (Morecambe) and Abu Ogogo (Dagenham & Redbridge), or a lower league dependable like Martin Riley (Mansfield) or Phil Edwards (Burton).

Midfielders likely to catch the eye will definitely include Portsmouth starlet Jed Wallace, Nicky Adams (Bury), Andy Drury (Luton), Chris Whelpdale (Stevenage), or prospects like Matt Grimes (Exeter), Jordan Clark (Shrewsbury) and Matt Palmer (Burton). In attack, you can expect good contributions from Reuben Reid (Plymouth), James Collins (Shrewsbury), Matt Tubbs (on loan at AFC Wimbledon), Byron Harrison (Cheltenham), Danny Rose and Ryan Lowe (both Bury), Jack Redshaw (Morecambe) or Burton pair Stuart Beavon and Adam McGurk. Amongst the young pretenders worth keeping an eye on are Adeoye Yusuff (Dagenham) and Ivan Toney (Northampton).

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That's a flavour of what you can expect from FM15 in Sky Bet League 2. Hopefully this guide will help you to find and enjoy the right club. Good luck!

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Sky Bet Football League Winter Update (Version 15.3 onwards)

Revised Club Previews (Media Prediction Order) including Title Odds

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1. Norwich (3-1)

Relegated from the top flight last season, The Canaries have enough ability in their squad to make a swift return - and they offer a colour presence wherever they might go too. You'll have about £1m to spend, although finding players ready for Premier League football for that amount will always be difficult. The club is in a very strong financial position, has a great stadium and pitch, and first class youth and training facilities. There is plenty to be chirpy about, but they won't expect to endure too many years of Championship football so don't head to Norfolk looking for a quiet life in the country. The squad contains a whole host of good players, with goalkeeper John Ruddy, defenders Russell Martin and Martin Olsson, wingers Nathan Redmond and Josh Murphy, and strikers Lewis Grabban and Gary Hooper just a few of the star men available to you. Beyond that, I'd also urge you not to forget the younger players from your U21/U18 squads too. I'd rate City as a really good pick, but it's always a competitive division so can you handle it? As Delia would shout (or slur) 'Let's be having you...come on'.

2. Fulham (5-1)

Any English club foolish enough to employ Felix Magath at the time they did last season, deserved to be relegated quite frankly. It brought to an end a sustained period of top fight football for The Cottagers, who were last at this level in 2001. They have struggled to live up to their expectations this term too, and haven't been able to make much of an impression at all. Your task, should you take over, will be to try and get them back up at the first time of asking - and the board have certainly backed you by making over £6m available for the transfer market (the highest in the division). Not only that, but a a fair bit of capacity remains in the wage budget too - despite having several high earners that you may wish to offload. The quaint old ground, right on the River Thames, has plenty of history and character - but they also possess some great youth facilities so they're not actually stuck in the past. An affiliate link with Tromso in Norway adds an interesting element too. On the pitch, you will inherit a proven Championship level striker in Ross McCormack, plus leadership and experience from ex-England midfielder Scott Parker. In addition, there are a whole host of young talents that can shape a brighter future - so don't be afraid of using defender Dan Burn, attacking midfielders Patrick Roberts and Alexander Kacaniklic, plus striker Cauley Woodrow from the start.

3. Cardiff (10-1)

The third of the relegated clubs, and always in the news it seems. We won't touch on some of the stories surrounding their difficult Premier League season, but controversial owner Vincent Tan has had to work hard to win over the fans again after changing their traditional colours from blue to red. With that situation now reversed (you'll need FM's 15.3.1 hotfix to cure this issue in the game), and a new badge planned for next season, hopefully the fans and club can finally pull in the same direction again. The club has a fantastic modern stadium now, but is deep in debt. Tan's backing will see you through this, but you'll have to go with what you have, or be very shrewd in the transfer market. On the pitch, The Bluebirds (or is it Welsh Dragons today?) have been another major disappointment this season, and a squad including experienced players like David Marshall and Peter Whittingham should be doing much better. Maybe you're the one to prove it can be done.

4. Watford (16-1)

This might be described as a bit of a marmite club, as you'll probably either love or hate their links to the Pozzo family's footballing empire, which includes Udinese in Italy and Granada in Spain. In some ways the club, which was always capable of producing their own young talent, has lost a bit of it's soul and identity. On the other hand, you can argue that the links to their affiliate clubs abroad enable them to attract players that would have been out of reach otherwise. The owners backing of The Hornets has certainly been serious, and a transfer kitty of over £2m is available to any new manager at Vicarage Road. The youth, training and corporate facilities are all commendable, and at least you can say that the majority of the squad is officially contracted to the club now. How the money for lots of those deals was allocated 'within the family' will remain a bit dubious, but it's definitely better than the farcical periods of recent years when much of the squad was on loan from their affiliate clubs. An attack boasting the likes of Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo, Fernando Forestieri and Matej Vydra (one of only three men currently on loan) is a luxury no other Championship team can afford, but there is strength in both depth and quality throughout this club. There's plenty to keep the fans buzzing, and if you go here, failure to achieve a first season promotion will be a poor effort. Your real challenge will be whether you can bridge the 'Watford Gap' once you get in to the Premier League.

5. Wigan (20-1)

I think the media men missed a zero off the odds here. Yes, they did OK last season, and went close. But I'd argue against anyone that says they looked good, and it's no surprise to me that they have struggled this season. In fairness, a lower mid-table position would have been my expectations for them, but they've launched themselves in to a full-on relegation fight instead, which is a little surprising. The Latics were never the most backed club, and deserve great credit for their rise through the leagues, and their ability to stay in the top flight for quite a few years. In game, your current chairman Dave Whelan can't really walk in to any more stormy situations, so you can get on with trying to justify this prediction. Affiliate links to Hamilton in Scotland, OB in Denmark, and Olimpia in Honduras (the nation which has been the source of a few Wigan raids over the years) provide some interesting possibilities, but you'll only have about £1m to make this work unless you sell. Looking at your squad, I'd suggest that's not a bad thing to do, multiple times.

6. Nottingham Forest (25-1)

The big change on the new (15.3) version of the game. Instead of starting with £6m for transfers, their overspending on both fees and wages has come back to haunt them - that kitty has now gone. A transfer embargo was applied and now Forest will have real trouble strengthening their squad. Late repayments on some transfer deals has also brought bad publicity to the club, but it's still kind of hard to dislike the men from Robin Hood territory. The legend of Brian Clough, who took a small provincial club to the top of both English and European football shouldn't be forgotten, but it won't be easy to ever get back to those days. Despite the financial situation, the squad at The City Ground is strong and will be very competitive at this level. The ace in the pack is talented striker Britt Assombalonga, a £5m signing from Peterborough in the summer. He gets goals at any level, but he probably needs to as that transfer deal was a significant symbol of their extravagance. Luckily, he won't have the year-long injury of real life if you take this job on, and that's a massive plus point. Chris Cohen, Henri Lansbury and especially Michail Antonio are all excellent options to support him, and an immediate promotion push should be on the cards.

7. Derby (25-1)

The Rams, in my view, were robbed of promotion last season. Along with promoted Leicester and Burnley, they were head and shoulders above the rest of the division last time out, only to be caught out by an average QPR side in the play-off final. I'd have had chosen them as favourites to make it this year instead, so I think this is a generous prediction. It's a decent club, with great youth, training and corporate facilities, plus a stadium capable of hosting top flight football when you get there. I'd strongly urge you to continue with the tried and trusted 433 formation used by Steve McClaren, where two wide forwards support a target man in attack. The club has quality throughout the squad already, with a strong defence, plenty of central midfield ability coming from the likes of Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick and Craig Bryson (plus George Thorne when he recovers from long-term injury), a handful of good flank players with flair, and proven scorers like Chris Martin at the sharp end. There is little or no need to raid other clubs for new players - but £2m is available should you wish to do so. There's only one word of warning really - four loan players are already at the club. Having said that, Tom Ince, Jesse Lingard and Darren Bent are a trio of class for this level and you probably couldn't have picked better yourself. Automatic promotion should be your aim here, but you may have some leeway if you don't manage it.

8. Reading (33-1)

A club that has shown really bad judgment in several areas over the last few seasons, and one that has gone from being well respected for doing things 'the right way' in to a bit of a shambles on and off the pitch. A bad ownership change (Russian) and lack of sensible investment left the only professional club from The Royal County (Berkshire) in trouble both on and off the pitch, but a new Thai consortium may put The Royals back on the road to recovery. The squad has quite a few players that have never lived up to expectations, and (like Wigan) a severe re-building process is needed. One thing the club can take great pride from is their excellent Academy, with plenty of good prospects in (or on the fringe of) the first team squad, and many others in their U21 and U18 ranks. I'd suggest this as an ideal management opportunity for those prepared to be ruthless in wielding the axe on many of the senior pros, particularly if you have the patience to take time on a slow-build project that makes the most of your youth players. To help on that side, the Academy squads information has been updated with more accurate detail just recently, with nearly all of them also having an in-game image (if you're a face pack user). A prediction of 8th is way too high for this team, but if you take an alternative approach like that suggested, it could be rewarding over time.

9. Middlesbrough (33-1)

Another club who have assembled a very good squad, and you can expect to mount an immediate challenge for promotion with Boro. You won't have massive transfer funds here (less than £1m) but it's a squad that doesn't need much added anyway. Success this season has been built on a solid defensive unit, including Ben Gibson at centre-back (son of the chairman Steve) and George Friend at left-back. Amongst the excellent midfield options are Grant Leadbitter, Adam Clayton and new signing Adam Forshaw, who needs to get his career back on track. Wingers Adam Reach (a former Academy graduate) and Albert Adomah provide spark and ammunition for the forwards Kike, Jelle Vossen and Patrick Bamford. The latter two strikers are only on loan, and you will need to be aware that there are five loans already in the squad (the maximum you can name in any match day squad), but there is little to be negative about. The club has an affiliate link with Chelsea (and Atletico Madrid's B and C teams), but also has a very productive and successful youth system of their own. The Riverside Stadium and general facilities are good enough for Premier League football, and that will be your first year target.

10. Ipswich (40-1)

The men from Suffolk have had to adopt a very cautious approach to their transfer business in recent years, and don't have the resources to compete with some of the other clubs in the league. However, despite that, they have enjoyed a good season so far, and are contenders for at least a play-off spot. Impressive youth and training facilities help the club to produce their own talent, and that will need to continue. Key players here will probably be your defensive block of Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith, Cristophe Berra and Tyrone Mings, whilst Luke Hyam and Teddy Bishop are two promising central midfielders that have come through the system. In attack, the partnership of David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy has lots of responsibility, but new signing Freddie Sears will be looking to offer support. Some years ago, both Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson were managerial legends of both Ipswich and England, and you might need to display similar skills to rev up these Tractor Boys. It won't be easy to finish higher than this predicted spot, but maybe you can bring the good days back to Portman Road.

11. Bolton (50-1)

The Trotters financial woes are in such a bad state that even the wildly optimistic Del Boy and Rodney wouldn't be promising 'this time next year, we'll be millionaires' if they happened to own Wanderers. Luckily they aren't involved here anyway, but a massive debt of over £100m (three times the club's current value) leaves you in a very difficult position if you have the courage to try and revive this outfit. You'll need to consider every option that might help reduce your debt, either by sales or loans if wages can be met. On the plus side, the club has good training and youth facilities, and you should pay close attention to this. One such player to emerge in recent times is forward Zach Clough, and a bright future is predicted for him. Josh Vela is another who may become an important player, whilst striker Adam Le Fondre (one of your four loanees) looks more likely to add goals than two veterans recently recruited (Emile Heskey and Eidur Gudjohnsen). Avoiding relegation should be possible based on the squad overall - but with the financial problems, finishing 11th would seem to be extremely doubtful.

12. Blackburn (50-1)

Rovers are another Lancashire club that have had to endure some tough financial problems in recent years, and you won't have much in the way of resources if you take on the Ewood Park side. What you do have, however, is a squad that has some decent Championship players and also some good facilities. The prize asset is undoubtedly striker Jordan Rhodes, a consistent and prolific marksman in his time here, and at Huddersfield before that. His partner Rudy Gestede has also been in fine form this season, and with two wingers like Ben Marshall and Craig Conway able to supply them you'll always have a chance to score. In the middle of the park, Tom Cairney always looks capable of influencing games too. The link to Indian club Pune FC might make the club more appealing to fans over there, but apart from the importance to your Indian owners, it wouldn't seem to deliver much in the way of a partnership. This is a club that will want to have a crack at reaching the play-off places, and if you don't chicken out, maybe they could do even better.

13. Bournemouth (80-1)

The Cherries are one of this season's success stories, and they've done it playing an exciting and attractive brand of football. They're closing in on an almost unthinkable promotion to the Premier League, and it would be a shame to see them pipped at the post. You will have around £1.5m to spend, but you'll have trouble improving on what you already have with that amount. This is a small club on the south coast, with a stadium that would struggle to cope at Premier League level, but it will still please most football fans if they manage to get there. Key to that possibility is the form of lively striker Callum Wilson, a superb replacement for last season's golden boy Lewis Grabban after he moved to Norwich in the summer. With excellent support from attacking midfielder Matt Ritchie, and a strong group of midfield options available to the manager, you'll be looking to finish in the top six at least. Bournemouth are a really nice club, and a fun team to manage.

14. Brighton (80-1)

After a good season last time out, this year has been a much tougher term for The Seagulls. The lean years when the club was homeless, ground-sharing and playing at places like Gillingham and the awful Withdean Stadium are well in the past now, and they boast one of the best stadiums in England (certainly outside of the top tier) since it was opened in 2011. On the pitch, the sale of their star striker Leonardo Ulloa to Leicester last summer has proven to be a major blow, and they're lacking a little star quality. Certainly the club has a reasonable amount of support, but I think you'll struggle to do much better than meet this mid-table expectation. Developing young players might be the best way to go here, or perhaps try and sign a good striker called Smith. That last idea could allow you to try and change the course of history with the famous commentator quote from the 1983 FA Cup final 'and Smith must score' - which he didn't of course. It would make me chuckle to see FM make some sort of headline out of that, especially if managing Brighton.

15. Leeds (80-1)

The Elland Road outfit have had a glorious past (although tarnished by the fairly accurate 'Dirty Leeds' accusations at the time), but since financial woes took hold of them in their final Premier League years, it's been difficult to see a way back to that level for the Yorkshire club. Undoubtedly shaken by the effects of their irresponsible overspending, it's taken a while to stabilise themselves back in the second tier, and some bizarre ownership situations have hardly helped their cause. It would clearly be a lie to say that Italian madman Massimo Cellini is a stable owner (just ask the likes of Brian McDermott and Dave Hockaday), but despite all the crazy shenanigans since he took over, there are the slightest signs that the club may be making a recovery. I'm not convinced that his reported involvement in team matters is helpful to anybody, and his insistence to recruit so many players that maybe only he rates from Italy, isn't a recipe for success. However, the club has good facilities, a great fan base, and some young home-grown prospects that have somehow managed to come through the system and shine at first team level. The pick of those are Sam Byram, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, and I'd suggest trying to focus on that part of the club as your best way forward. Seven loan players are currently at the club (a crazy number), and you should probably look to terminate all but one or two of these if you want to become a proper club again.

16. Brentford (80-1)

Last season The Bees were promoted back to the second tier for the first time since they enjoyed a one-year stint there in 1992/1993. Before that, you would have to go back to the 1950's to see them at this level, so it's quite a big thing for the London club. To their credit, they have enjoyed a very decent campaign so far - with good, fluid football and plenty to entertain the fans. Despite the success delivered by Mark Warburton, it's recently been announced that owner Matthew Benham (who has been very supportive in his time at the club) will change the structure of the club next season, regardless of where they finish. That will end Warburton's time in charge, but he will undoubtedly prove to be a popular candidate for a whole host of clubs once that happens. In the meantime, you can try and be the successor here, and a transfer budget of £2.5m will help you on your way. You can rely on the board to provide financial input, and that will be necessary as your ability to make your own income will be limited. A top half finish is definitely on the cards here though, and to do this with a core of young, hungry British players like David Button, Jake Bidwell, Harlee Dean, James Tarkowski, Moses Odubajo, Andre Gray, plus Spanish playmaker Jota (and Tottenham loanee Alex Pritchard) will be even more satisfying. If you're not already convinced, consider also the fact that Griffin Park is unique in having pubs on all four corners of the stadium. Cheers.

17. Sheff Wed (80-1)

Another traditional old club with a great history, but The Owls haven't had much to hoot about in recent times. They fought back from the third tier, but haven't been in the best of financial health and have not been able to make an impression back at Championship level. They now appear to have little debt, and with a sizeable following and a stadium that's old but large enough, they can definitely support Premier League football. On the pitch however, it's a squad that looks like it lacks the quality needed to get that far, and only a real outside shot at the top six exists. Goalkeeper Kieren Westwood is generally considered to be the star performer, and strong defensive displays are probably your best chance of doing anything. Tom Lees might also be important at the heart of your backline, and Stevie May is likely to be your most potent attacking force - he works hard, annoys defenders in a variety of ways, and comes with a good reputation from Scotland. I'd also recommend looking to French youth striker Franck Betra, who is very highly rated and could surprise you if given a chance. On the negative side, you'll have to endure Gary Madine, who might not be popular to many of you.

18. Charlton (100-1)

The Addicks can be compared to Watford in many ways. They're a club that had a fairly good record with their youth development, and a good few of this current squad have come through the ranks at The Valley. However, like Watford, the current owner has strong links with a variety of overseas outfits, including the likes of Standard Liege in Belgium, Ujpest in Hungary, and Alcorcon in Spain. Since that happened, the identity of the squad, and the club itself has changed quite significantly, and it hasn't always been popular with the fans. It will be hard to finish above mid-table, and the likes of home-grown youngsters like Joe Gomez, Chris Solly and Jordan Cousins will need to support the star man - striker Igor Vetokele - in order to achieve anything. Expectations are probably quite low here, and the Belgian owners will just be delighted if you keep taking on foreign players from their other clubs.

19. Wolves (100-1)

A double-relegation saw another proud and historical club from years gone by end up in League 1 ahead of last season. However, they re-grouped and performed like a club with their resources should do, storming their way to an impressive promotion. Back at Championship level, it was unknown how they would get on, but I'm very surprised at a predicted finish of 19th. Results on the pitch have certainly confirmed that estimate to be wrong, as they have enjoyed a nice, solid return - a late play-off bid is certainly within their reach. You'll have about £1m to play with in the transfer market, no debt to hold you back, a decent stadium and support, and good facilities at Molineux. Your key men are likely to be those that sparked the recovery last season - the attacking flair that comes from winger Bakary Sako, and the improving striker Nouha Dicko. The winter arrival of another promising front man, Benik Afobe, adds yet more power and pace to the side, whilst the midfield and defence can usually be relied upon to perform well enough. I'd expect a club like this to be in and around the top six, and that should be your aim. They definitely have the hunger to push on again.

20. Millwall (150-1)

The Lions are a club that has always held a fearsome reputation, although not always for the right reasons. However, on the pitch, they're not quite so dangerous, and I think most Championship clubs are quite happy playing against teams like this. One view is that they're too good for League 1, and not quite good enough to be anything in this division. Most of their recent time has been spent between the two leagues - with a couple of top flight seasons thrown in to the mix from 1988-1990. The club doesn't have the reputation or finances to attract top (or even average) players, but has been able to promote regularly from within as the training and youth facilities are good enough to find (mainly local) youngsters that can be developed. The current crop will need to be at their best to keep this club above the drop zone, but midfielder Jack Powell, abrasive central defender Sid Nelson (a card magnate), and Fred Onyedinma (on loan at Wycombe for the first season) give some hope for the future. In the short-term, Shaun Williams, Ed Upson and striker Lee Gregory (prolific in non-league football) will be under pressure to help the club survive, and there are doubts about whether they're good enough to influence games at this level. If you're up for a difficult challenge at a club with a good history of youth development, passionate supporters and a bit of a cult status reputation, this could be a good test of your skills. A relegation battle is quite likely here, in my opinion, but maybe you can get them roaring again?

21. Birmingham (150-1)

The Blues seem to have been in a mess for quite some time. Ownership problems - well, problems with the owners - for several years have seen them lurch along with little hint of a better future, but they did once have a better status in the game than this. Right now, it's a club that will be happy just to avoid relegation, and (like Millwall) any funds you want to generate will have to come through player sales. In two key areas though, they are a better bet to stay up than their London counterparts. Firstly, as you might expect from one of the few clubs located in one of England's biggest cities, they have a good level of support that will help them on the income side of things. Secondly, they do actually have a couple of assets that might be sold for good sums - if you wish to do so. The jewel in the crown is exciting young winger Demarai Gray - the subject of a £5m rejected bid by Bournemouth in the recent transfer window. I'd urge you to keep hold of him and turn him in to a club legend if you can, especially as the fans will hate you if you sell. Striker Clayton Donaldson and midfielder David Cotterill are the others that currently stand out here, but for how long remains to be seen. Facilities at St. Andrews are still very good, so if you get it right, there is a chance of creating something sustainable again. To start with though, it won't be the easiest task.

22. Huddersfield (200-1)

Believe it or not, Town used to be one of the major forces in English football. Sadly for them, this was a long time ago now - and it's unlikely to happen again. In current times, they're another of the clubs that struggle to stay at this level, but often look too good for the league below. The Yorkshire club, suitably nicknamed The Terriers, have successfully fought off teams with better budgets in the last couple of years - and to me seem capable of doing that for a few more years at least. They have a nice stadium, one of the first in a new wave of modern ones that 'less glamorous' clubs built, and good facilities too. They're stable financially, but won't ever be competing with the big boys. Instead, they shop well in less exotic markets, and generally pull a few good deals out of the air. One such swoop saw Bermudan striker Nahki Wells arrive from Bradford last season, and the £1.3m was money well spent as he settled nicely at this higher level. He remains your main threat, but strike partner James Vaughan is a handful too (when fit). Sean Scannell and Jacob Butterfield are other good assets in midfield, but perhaps the defence could be a little stronger. A mid-table finish is not impossible, and if you like to find good value from lower levels, it's a decent club to consider.

23. Blackpool (300-1)

The Seasiders have been really messed up by their owners. The Oyston family seem to be a strange bunch, although I can't and won't go as far as criticising them as this is only a game and this is only an opinion based on a game. Decent disclaimer, right? Now then, where do we start? In 2010/2011 they were playing Premier League football, and the 'Tangerine Dream' was in full effect. Under the wacky (or annoying, whichever you prefer) leadership of Ian Holloway, even the harshest of critics would struggle not to express delight at how they played in that solitary, money-spinning season. Entertaining and brave it certainly was, and the neutrals all loved them. But it ended in relegation, and it's been a disappointing few years at Bloomfield Road recently. The club and it's fans are at war with each other, and the summer chaos that saw them unable to field teams for friendlies made them a laughing stock. They eventually got some sort of patchwork team together, but it hadn't prepared, and in all honesty it wasn't good enough anyway. A season of woe has taken place since then, and it's no surprise to anyone that relegation is a near-certainty. I can't imagine anybody in this game doing much better, but if you think you can (and want to) make Blackpool rock again, please be my guest. You'll have to do it with Nile Ranger though - and if you hadn't already been put off, that will probably seal the deal.

24. Rotherham (1000-1)

I'll start by saying that - despite Steve Evans - I actually quite enjoyed their play last season. They had relied on quite a few 'borrowed' players, on loan from other clubs, but it had worked well for them. By the time the summer transfer window had ended (in fact, earlier than that) I could only find myself wondering what on earth they had done. Every day seemed to bring numerous deals involving The Millers, with players coming and going all over the place. Granted, it isn't the club with the best resources, but they just seemed to lose their identity and direction, and most of the changes didn't seem to improve them. It's been a tough season for them - and probably always would be, given their budget - but I don't think they gave themselves the best chance of consolidating. On-loan defender Jack Hunt, midfielders Ben Pringle and Richard Smallwood, winger Adam Hammill (on loan), plus forwards Danny Ward and Matt Derbyshire might be able to help, but this is a squad lacking in quality. Another club likely to be facing a big relegation battle.

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1. Sheffield United (8-1)

The Blades are a long-established club, which has seen highs and lows, but has a tremendous amount of potential now. Possessing a big stadium (32,609 all-seater), financial backing courtesy of the Saudi Royal family, and a squad that has been much-improved during the recent transfer window, this is a club that will be aiming for much bigger things. You'll be expected to slice your way through the leagues, so there will be pressure - but in my opinion failure to get promoted will be a surprise that should cost you the top job here. With an estimated value of £19m, and 12,500 season ticket holders, you may be forgiven for thinking I have put this in the wrong section of my guide. Good training, youth and corporate facilities are all present here too, and a squad including Jamie Murphy, Matty Done, Paul Coutts, John Brayford and countless others of some ability (not forgetting some highly-rated young guns), give you more than enough. Points records should be on your mind, and even in the second season you should be easily good enough at Championship level. If you're not there, you'll probably be back on this page looking for a new team anyway. Affiliate links with Irish and Indian (!) lower league teams, and A-League side Central Coast Mariners in Australia might not help you much, but it won't matter unless you particularly want to add something different to your squad in the future. This could be a great one to take on, either for a one-season test to see how you handle pressure, or a long-term idea to get them back to their Premier League past. A transfer budget of about £400k will help you ease in to the hot seat, and you might also benefit from several transfer clauses which could give you even more money to spend.

2. Bristol City (8-1)

Another side that is too good for this division, and I don't think it will take long for The Robins to be moving back to the second tier. They have been successful using a three centre-backs and wing-back formation this season, so trying to replicate that here could provide you with a different approach to normal. You have a healthy transfer budget of about £250k, and plenty of financial backing to achieve your expectations. A stadium expansion is due to be completed in June 2016, and with the support of an excellent board, everything is in place here. Your squad is full of quality, with wing-back Joe Bryan and midfield options including Korey Smith, Luke Freeman and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. Whether you use Kieran Agard as a central striker or as a right-sided attacker, I would suggest that another forward is recruited. The defence is very much sorted with lots of good choice, but a further central midfield player would also be a recommendation from me.

3. Preston (20-1)

Another club with a proud and successful past, and another leading contender for promotion. North End have a budget of about £300k to help you on your way, but are not as healthy financially as the top two favourites. Having said that, you already have a decent stadium and facilities, plus a squad capable of delivering. I don't believe you need to add much, if anything at all, in the first season - especially as you're lucky to have Joe Garner, a consistently good striker and serious candidate to finish top of the scoring charts. You should also be able to rely on winger Chris Humphrey, midfielders Daniel Johnson, Josh Brownhill and Alan Browne, plus centre-back Bailey Wright and forward Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to push you along. Amongst your four loan men are the talents of Paul Gallagher and Jermaine Beckford too, which is useful in the first season - but some words of caution should apply here. Firstly, you are limited in terms of how many loan players you can have - so there is little scope in that part of the market - and secondly, you can only name five in any match-day squad anyway. However, you have plenty of assets that could be sold if you wish to go down that path and make some more permanent signings. A really good choice of a club, in my view.

4. Leyton Orient (20-1)

A bit of a sad case, this one. After a superb effort last season, in which they narrowly avoided promotion, a change of ownership promised much to this East London club. Ranked amongst the top teams again when this media prediction was obviously made, many people expected a good season from The O's. The reality has been very different, with a relegation struggle taking place, and somehow a lost identity affecting them too. The squad still boasts a few decent players, like defender Mathieu Baudry, midfielders Dean Cox and Lloyd James, plus striker David Mooney, but you will do well to match this lofty prediction. There isn't a transfer budget to help you, although there are a couple of clauses that could prove handy going forward. I have a feeling that it might be some years before the club gets close to promotion again, but if you're a fan of The Italian Job, you'll be right at home here.

5. Doncaster (20-1)

Relegated Donny have been a bit of a yo-yo club in recent years, operating mainly between the second and third tiers after fighting their way back from non-league. They have a bit of debt now, and a lack of budget could make this prediction another hard one to match. However, they do have a reasonably modern all-seater stadium, and pretty good facilities still, so it's not all bad. A top-half finish should be expected, but I'm not sure if the play-offs are going to be beyond them. You could look to a centre-back pairing of Andy Butler (a great leader) and Luke McCullough (a promising young player brought up at Manchester United), creative midfielder Harry Forrester and winger Kyle Bennett for flair, and hope that your strikers like Theo Robinson, Curtis Main and Uche Ikpeazo (on loan from Watford) can finish your chances. One Direction band member Louis Tomlinson is also in your squad, but is marked as unavailable and I'm not sure if he would be up to the gig anyway. Rovers are a different kind of option to the teams ranked above them, but not a bad one to consider.

6. MK Dons (40-1)

Poor MK Dons. Not that most football fans will ever have sympathy for the club that is commonly referred to as Franchise FC following the tasteless relocation of the old Wimbledon (in London) to Milton Keynes in 2004. So why is it poor them? The winter transfer window has seen them lose their top two assets, with striker Benik Afobe moving to Championship side Wolves, and midfield prodigy Dele Alli making a lucrative move to Tottenham. The news on the latter is slightly eased by the fact that he remains on loan with MK Dons until the end of the first season, but it will leave a big hole after that. A modest transfer budget can be adjusted with the fairly decent amount of spare wage budget moved across, and you should expect to be making a play-off bid at least. However, the club does have debt, and the board seem to be strict on the financial side of things, so be careful of this. The club boasts an excellent, all-seater stadium (used for hockey) which is capable of holding 30,000 spectators. Unfortunately, they only have 5,500 season ticket holders, and will never get close to filling it unless they rise through the leagues. The excellent corporate, training and youth facilities should help, and you have a fairly decent squad at your disposal (and some less useful stone cows cut in to the hillside).

7. Peterborough (40-1)

The Posh are even more up-and-down than their League 1 rivals Doncaster. Generally seen as too good for League 1, and not good enough at Championship level, your task will be to try and get them back up to the second tier. In real life, this season they have been disappointing, so much in fact, that Darren Ferguson has recently been relieved of his duties. The club has earned a reputation over a few years now as the breeder of good young talents, particularly attackers, from the lower levels. Their policy of unearthing gems from non-league or youngsters undeveloped elsewhere has raked them in a small fortune, and the most recent examples of this were Dwight Gayle (now at Crystal Palace) and Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest). The sale of the latter, last summer, is the main reason why you will start with a massive transfer budget of £1.4m if you take over at London Road. That's a small fortune at this level, and if you use this wisely, you should be right in the mix for promotion. In addition to this, there are a significant number of transfer clauses that may come to fruition in the future, so keep an eye on these. Of course, relying on punts from lower leagues won't always work out, and the squad had to endure some fierce criticism from some of the staff that lost their jobs along with Ferguson recently. I'd suggest removing veteran 'keeper/coach Jimmy Walker from the club if you take over, as he was particularly vocal in that respect when he was forced out. You also have a rather 'fiery' chairman, but hopefully that won't be so bad in game - helped by the fact that Twitter rants have not yet been introduced (FM16 perhaps?). On the positive side, you do have some good players available if you take on the job. Right-back Michael Smith might deserve a slightly better rating in game, but defender Gabriel Zakuani, midfielders Jack Payne and Joe Newell, winger Jon Taylor, and forwards Marcus Maddison and Conor Washington are just a few players you may find handy. I think it's yet another good option (especially as they recently lost their manager), and one that is particularly good fun if you follow their usual transfer policies.

8. Barnsley (40-1)

Another relegated side, and The Tykes would also expect to be making a play-off challenge. They have a fairly stable financial position, a transfer budget of about £150k, reasonable support, and a squad with some quality in it. In defence, it looks like Martin Cranie may be the main man, whilst new recruit Josh Scowen (from Wycombe) is an additional option in central midfield, where Conor Hourihane is already progressing well. Luke Berry is also in there, having arrived with high hopes last summer from Cambridge, and further forward both Dale Jennings and Milan Lalkovic might offer some flair from out wide. Your goal supply is probably dependant on striker Sam Winnall firing, although you have a couple of other options. The squad also has some promising young players that could be developed.

9. Bradford (40-1)

The Bantams have become well known in recent times as Cup specialists, and they're a big club with excellent support for this level. It wouldn't take much to consider them as a good outfit to manage, although in my opinion it's probably amongst the most grim cities in England. With the kind of backing that almost 10,000 season ticket holders brings, and a Valley Parade stadium that can cope with the demand, you should see their questionable finances improve if you can bring success their way. For some reason though, when I look, their squad underwhelms me a bit. Target man James Hanson and left-back Alan Sheehan offer some unique attributes, which might be useful against more traditional opponents - the rest look decent but hardly spectacular for a club with greater ambitions. You'll need to improve this squad, but will only have around £100k to do so unless some rather surprising transfer clauses come to your rescue. If you can get City going in the right direction, their reputation should allow you to attract better players to the club.

10. Notts County (50-1)

Founded in 1862, it's the oldest club you can pick. They're no longer much of a force, overshadowed by their Nottingham neighbours alongside the River Trent, but do have history appeal going for them. Meadow Lane is an old stadium in a sports mad city, and still holds over 20,000 if you can find a way of attracting them back. The mid-table media prediction is probably about right, especially as leading striker Jimmy Spencer is injured for at least 15 months. The rest of the squad is a mix of youngsters and veterans (six players are over the age of 33 and will need to be quickly and properly replaced), with a real shortage of quality and depth at centre-back and striker seeming quite obvious to me. Not an easy one, and you might have to beg, borrow and steal to get these Magpies flying again.

11. Scunthorpe (80-1)

The Iron. What a great nickname, and is it just me that thinks it's quite a cool badge? Traditionally a smaller club competing in the fourth tier, they've had better days since the turn of the century, including three seasons at Championship level. A bit of a slump then saw them back in League 2 for a year, but promotion last season put them back to this level. They're in a fairly decent financial shape, and have a transfer fund of £150k to boot as they look to consolidate their position in League 1. It seems they have a squad capable of doing that, particularly with Paddy Madden in attack. He's now supported by new boys Kevin van Veen - who had enjoyed a good season at a lower Dutch level - and Billy Kee, who had done well with Burton. On-loan Tom Hopper (from Leicester) is the fourth decent option for goals, so that aspect looks well under control. Three other loan players from Premier League sides are at the club, and young winger Hakeeb Adelakun is a prospect to watch. Former England internationals (and Liverpool idols of some) Kevin Keegan and Ray Clemence, plus top England cricketer Ian Botham (who briefly played for them) are all club legends here, but they have also been well served by the likes of Gary Hooper, Billy Sharp and even Peter Beagrie in more recent times. In my opinion, a top-half finish is definitely achievable - but the defence needs to be improved.

12. Swindon (80-1)

The second set of Robins nesting in League 1 are to be found at The County Ground. I'm struggling to understand why they are predicted to finish 12th, as the squad has been doing very well this season, and although it's fair to say they have over-achieved a little, it was always a group that should have been in and around the play-off zone. They don't have the financial resources of some of their bigger rivals, but do start with a very decent squad - one that is more than capable of challenging at the top end. An affiliate link with Tottenham has served them well in the past, and might do again - although they don't have any loans from them at this stage. However, one possible negative is the fact that they do have five loan players already at the club - including a couple from their new favourites Southampton. You can't have any more than that in any match-day squad and you're therefore very limited in what business you can do. On the bright side, with Wesley Foderingham in goal, Nathan Thompson, Nathan Byrne, and three excellent loan defenders, Massimo Luongo (plus loanees Louis Thompson and John Swift) in midfield, and the likes of Michael Smith and Andrew Williams in attack, you really don't need to add much (if anything) in your first season. Swindon have been using a 352 system this season, with wing-backs providing the attacking width, and I'd urge you to try and replicate this yourself. If you're a transfer addict, this probably isn't the right club for you, as it will be difficult. To everyone else, it's a great club, with good players, and it should be easy to beat this mid-table prediction.

13. Yeovil (80-1)

It was a surprise when 'little' Yeovil made it to the second tier recently, after fighting their way up from non-league, and overcoming much bigger rivals along the way. Unfortunately, the odds were heavily stacked against them, and they could not survive in their one season at that level, and last season ended in relegation. Unfortunately, despite the media prediction here, it's quite likely they will be relegated again this time around, but you have the chance to help them stay up. They're without a manager at the start of the game, having recently sacked their well-respected leader Gary Johnson with a heavy heart. It's a club with little resources, and no obvious outstanding quality amongst their players, but maybe you can follow their previous manager in over-achieving. Avoiding the relegation zone should be possible, but a top-half finish would be very good work. Anything above that looks extremely unlikely - but then it did before the first time too.

14. Rochdale (100-1)

The Dale are another club that were always scrapping around in the old 4th Division, and in fact between 1974 and 2010, their entire existence was at that level. However, after a couple of years in League 1 had broken the cycle, they bounced back to this level at the second attempt with promotion last season, and seem to be consolidating well. The summer sale of top striker Scott Hogan to Brentford was seen as a major blow, but the likes of Ian Henderson, Peter Vincenti and Matty Done took up the mantle. Done in particular had performed so well that he earned a move to Sheffield United in January, and it remains to be seen how the club will perform without him. If you take them on, the lack of a prolific striker should be addressed at the start, although Henderson can be used well in this role. Elsewhere, there is plenty of good midfield support, including promising teenager Jamie Allen. A transfer kitty of about £200k should help address the striking issue if you wish to do so, and other clauses may give you even more cash. For now though, there is a decent squad at Spotland already - and I think they can achieve a higher position than this.

15. Walsall (100-1)

The Saddlers have spent most of their time playing third tier football, with a few seasons above and below that too. They have a small (but smart enough) all-seater stadium, adequate for their needs, and decent facilities too. They operate sensibly, and have managed to avoid debt. You will only have a modest transfer budget at this West Midlands club (unless a couple of clauses are activated), but you only have one loan player so there is some scope in that area if you can attract players. The squad here is quite young, with only three members over 30, but I think it's an attractive option to anybody looking to try and take a slightly smaller club upwards. Goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell is one of the best in League 1, central defender Paul Downing is capable, and midfielder Michael Cain (on loan from Leicester) should be able to act the part. Tom Bradshaw carries the burden of goals, and a quality partner or alternative forward may help your cause. I think another central midfielder could also be useful as Sam Mantom is injured for the first eight months, and would suggest giving some opportunities to young left-back Rico Henry. Finally, young winger Kieron Morris is out on loan at Wrexham for a season, but his Walsall contract expires in 2015. He should be awarded a new deal before it's too late. In my opinion, this is a decent little club who might be outsiders for the top six. They're solid, but maybe you can spur them on to greater things - a good pick if you go here.

16. Coventry (150-1)

The Sky Blues found themselves in a right mess with their ownership situation, stadium issues, points deductions, arguments and fan boycotts. It's hard to believe this used to be a well-respected top flight club, who fought against much bigger sides but managed to retain their status year after year. Relegation did eventually follow, and standards slipped, but it was still hard to imagine them dropping down another level to the third tier. With the move back to their proper venue, The Ricoh Arena, happening in September 2014, it was hoped that the fans would return after numbers dwindled to a trickle during their unhappy stay at Northampton. The support is definitely still there, but internal loathing is still clearly visible at Coventry. Unfortunately, the debt hanging over the club remains a big issue, and the club faces a battle to avoid the drop to League 2 now. This would be a challenge suitable for anybody keen on trying to restore a fallen club, and they should have enough to stay up in the first season. Midfielder John Fleck and forward Simeon Jackson might me amongst your better players, but it's a fairly average bunch in my opinion. Sadly, attracting (and affording) anything better is going to take some doing, so this is not a short-term project.

17. Port Vale (150-1)

This is another club that could probably do better than the prediction, especially now that they seem to have pulled themselves clear of their own financial problems. To get anywhere, you'll probably rely on goals from Tom Pope and Ben Williamson, and a supply line from winger Mark Marshall. Chris Lines in midfield also looks to be one of the better players at Vale Park, whilst the backline looks solid enough, without being exceptional. The club has done nothing of note since being relegated from the second tier in 2000, but mid-table should be your lowest expectation this time around. Celebrity fan Robbie Williams would probably take that.

18. Oldham (150-1)

The Latics are another team struggling financially, and it's hard to see them getting back to the second tier, let alone the top flight. Speedy forward Dominic Poleon might be a useful outlet, but although fellow front man Jonathan Forte has been having a good season, he might struggle to replicate that here. Instead, loan men Jake Kean (goalkeeper), Jacob Mellis (midfield), and Conor Wilkinson (striker) could be your biggest assets. Links to Manchester City and Newcastle remain, but it doesn't look like there are any great benefits from either partnership. Probably good enough to avoid the drop, but it's hard to expect much more. You'll also be unlikely to benefit now from the long-standing transfer clause on Micah Richards, who is almost certain to be a free agent at the end of the first season.

19. Fleetwood (200-1)

Some fairly heavy investment took The Cod Army from non-league up to their current status in League 1, and they are often criticised for that. However, although Town did have some good backing, it's still commendable that a small club made it so far, so quickly. There is little fan-base to speak of (they only have a small stadium in any case) and they're surrounded by better-established neighbours, but they are coping quite comfortably with their first season at this level. Contrary to popular opinion, they're not really a club that splashes the cash, with much of their business done on young players, many of whom come from non-league clubs. Right-back Conor McLaughlin, picked up from Liverpool, left-sided midfielder Josh Morris (on loan from Blackburn), and attacking midfielder Antoni Sarcevic are amongst the better players in the squad, but there is some doubt in my mind if you will get enough goals from David Ball, Jamie Proctor, and Liam McAlinden (who is on loan from Wolves). Stephen Dobbie (on loan from Crystal Palace) might also chip in with a few goals and assists, but I fear they're still short of quality there. Despite all that, I believe the prediction of 19th seems some way off, and again I think a top half finish is a realistic aim - or maybe higher. If you take them on, I would suggest trying to follow their pattern of finding non-league gems.

20. Chesterfield (200-1)

Another club promoted last season, and doing OK on their higher stage. Much of that prosperity could be down to the prolific form of striker Eoin Doyle, but his move to Cardiff in January will be a big blow to the Derbyshire side. Losing that amount of goals from any side is bound to hurt, but they are far from a one-man team, and a mid-table finish should be comfortably achieved if you take them on. This isn't a club with a great history, as they have been in the third and fourth tier every year since the 1950's, but they do now play at The Proact Stadium, a neat (but modest) all-seater venue built in 2010. The strength of this team is in midfield, with Jimmy Ryan, Sam Clucas, Sam Morsy, Jay O'Shea, Ollie Banks and Gary Roberts all capable of playing important roles. The defence is a mixture of young and old, but is probably not far short of adequacy - however in attack, new signing Byron Harrison will be under pressure to deliver goals. An additional forward of quality should be found if you want to achieve anything here, but packing the midfield would make sense in any case.

21. Colchester (200-1)

Another one of the smaller clubs in League 1, who seem to be regularly scrapping for survival. In their favour, they also have a nice enough, all-seater stadium, which was built in 2008 - and more importantly, they have good youth and training facilities. When you look at their squad, it's heavily populated with younger players (only three are over 30) and they're really given opportunities to play first team football here because they can't splash the cash. If you like the idea of a scrap, using younger players who may lack consistency, but might ultimately turn in to good players, this could be the club for you. It won't be easy, but it could be rewarding - think of it as a similar kind of job to Crewe.

22. Gillingham (500-1)

Well, to be honest with you, I find this prediction a little surprising. Clearly they're not going to be the best team in League 1, but they are in decent enough financial shape (I actually think it's better in real life than it shows in here), and they have fairly good fan support, again aided by their isolated location in Kent. It's another club with an all-seater stadium - which attracts fans to this level - and their squad is not looking to me like one awaiting relegation. Your main strength is probably in attack, where Cody McDonald and John Marquis (on loan from Millwall) should be able to form an effective partnership, but at the other end, John Egan is a very decent centre-back to own. The rest of the squad is fairly average, but there are lots that look worse. Mid-table should be your minimum expectation here, in my opinion.

23. Crawley (500-1)

This lot of Red Devils are not the most fearsome bunch, and what you have here is a small club with small resources operating in a small stadium. Central defender Joe Walsh might be a busy man, but he has some quality and is amongst the best of your players. Striker Izale McLeod will have to shine in front of goal, but there doesn't seem to be much else to get excited about here. The club is located very close to Gatwick airport, so perhaps an approach to signing players from overseas might make this a more interesting project? A genuinely difficult challenge to keep this club in League 1, whichever way you might try it. Definitely one of the harder tests in this division.

24. Crewe (1000-1)

The Alex are always a popular club due to their impressive youth development record, and general approach to the game. This season the odds seem stacked against them, as they find it harder to compete each year. However, whilst it won't be the easiest job, if you enjoy working with younger players, there are opportunities to improve plenty of them here. Great training and youth facilities await you, and the legendary Dario Gradi is perfect as your HOYD. Goalkeeper Ben Garratt, defenders Harry Davis and James Baillie, midfielders Billy Waters and Chris Atkinson, and striker Callum Saunders (son of Crawley manager, Dean) are amongst your top prospects, but how far can you go with these youngsters?

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1. Shrewsbury (5-1)

The relegated Shrews have a healthy balance sheet for this level, a reasonably modern all-seater stadium, and a strong squad that justifies their billing as title favourites. You should get goals from James Collins, whilst youngsters like Ryan Woods, Connor Goldson and Jordan Clark are just a handful of emerging players that should improve. Set in a charming town, this is a good choice if you want to be challenging for promotion in season 1, but you can expect it to be much more difficult in subsequent seasons if you do manage it. There was quite a high turnover of players in the summer, and with so many new arrivals, you may not be able to move on many of your squad in the first season - if that is your intention.

2. Portsmouth (6-1)

Still classed as fallen giants, Pompey have by far the biggest resources in the division, with over 11,000 season ticket holders and the biggest stadium in League 2. The arrival of a proven striker in Matt Tubbs solves a problem of finding goals, whilst midfielder Jed Wallace is one of the brightest talents in the lower tier. Young central defender Jack Whatmough is also one to make the most of (especially if you like wacky hair), but other ageing defensive options will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. This club can be taken all the way, but you will have to absorb the pressure of expectation if you want to revive this proud old club. If you do end up here, please can I ask you to ban that annoying bloke with the bell? Thanks.

3. Bury (33-1)

The Shakers have assembled an experienced group of players that should also be capable of making a bid for promotion, and the club has some ambition to match that goal. An affiliate link to Manchester City will probably be useful and with only two players on loan at the club already, this gives you scope to utilise the facility well. Danny Mayor, Nicky Adams, Hallam Hope and Danny Rose give you plenty of force going forward, but there are a fair few assets available in this squad. Defence might be the area to look at first, despite the allure of borrowing more dynamic loanees from your affiliate. The board will probably be expecting you to go close, so I would imagine that you'll be under pressure to deliver in the first or second year.

4. Burton (33-1)

A small but well run club who try to do things the right way and are a very good option to consider. The Brewers have state of the art training facilities (used by England), but the youth facilities and resources are much more modest. If you choose to replace the uber-cool Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager, you will inherit a bit of a legacy with three Dutch players having recently arrived. In my opinion the squad is very capable, with a blend of experienced British pros and younger guys. There are no real weaknesses here, although finding an extra striker might be sensible. Central midfielder Matt Palmer can become a major asset of yours as you grow, but your real challenge will be how to establish this club in a higher league. Be aware that the stadium is small, and the fanbase is limited - but a spell in charge of Albion would not be a bad choice at all.

5. Tranmere (40-1)

Relegated Rovers are struggling this year even at the lower level, and you might have serious trouble trying to live up to this media prediction. They're now a fairly typical-looking League 2 side, with lots of old pros alongside a handful of younger home-grown players. Amongst your ranks are returning club favourites Jason Koumas, Steve Jennings, Chris Shuker and Iain Hume - but they have all passed their best years now. The financial situation is not going to help you do much transfer business, but if you fancy trying to build something over time, midfielders Max Power and Jake Kirby, plus forward Cole Stockton are handy prospects to be in charge of. Another key asset should be striker Rory Donnelly, on loan from Swansea - he is more than capable of topping the League 2 scoring charts.

6. Stevenage (40-1)

Another of the relegated clubs, Stevenage may also be hard-pressed to make an immediate return. To their advantage, they do have transfer funds of about £50k available, which is a decent amount to strengthen your squad at this level. Your key man is likely to be central midfielder Charlie Lee, who is a determined leader in the middle of the park, whilst Chris Whelpdale - his former teammate at both Peterborough and Gillingham - is also a capable League 2 player. Younger players to be developed here are wide midfielder Tom Pett and striker Fejiri Okenabirhie, plus Adam Marriott - who notched an impressive 63 goals in his last 75 league appearances in the Southern Premier division. In your U21 squad, you have the emerging talent of Ben Kennedy, who has been making big waves recently, but sadly his attributes don't yet reflect what might come from him in the future. This is the club that launched the careers of Barry Hayles, George Boyd (and to a lesser degree Steve Morison), before they became members of the league - so they have pedigree there. You also have the quirky situation of your goalkeeper (Sam Beasant) having his more famous dad (Dave) as your rather impressive looking GK coach.

7. Luton (40-1)

Another former Premier League club, but this is one that has only just re-joined the Football League after several seasons absence at Conference level. Their top flight days are long gone now, but as impressive Conference champions, they carry some momentum to challenge at least for a play-off spot. Armed with the biggest transfer kitty in the division (£80k), after selling their main marksman (Andre Gray) to Brentford in the summer, you have an opportunity to make a few moves in the market. There's even a strong possibility of this sum being much more, but I won't spoil the surprise in case you don't get lucky. The Hatters policy in recent years has been to bring players from lower leagues, and I'd strongly recommend taking the same approach yourself. You're free to proceed differently of course, but it's a method I admire them for - and they now have a good blend of experienced heads and younger players. With over 5000 season ticket holders, this is a club that can make progress, and you might not need to add much to make it a good return to League 2. There are doubts about the strikers ability at this level, but you have three more options in the U21 squad to consider too. This pool can also be viewed for some extra defensive options, as the first team squad might at first glance look weak at left-back, and particularly in central defence. If you're lucky enough to use a facepack, you will be pleased to learn that only a couple of your U21/U18 team don't 'show up' in the game. I find that encouraging when taking over at this level, especially if you make use of the youngsters. One other thing to add here, is that two of your three club icons (Ricky Hill and Brian Stein) are unattached and might consider joining your staff.

8. Oxford (40-1)

Another club with a brief history in the English top flight, although they only made it after a short spell of over-achievement when featuring the likes of John Aldridge. In more recent times they sunk out of the league structure altogether, before coming back again a few years ago. Still struggling with debt, they haven't been able to rise out of League 2 since their return, and the poor financial situation makes that possibility a long shot again. However, they do possess a reasonably good (mainly young) squad for this level, and seem to have some handy attacking options available to them. I would expect you to generate goals from Will Hoskins, Patrick Hoban and Danny Hylton, whilst emerging prospects like James Roberts and Callum O'Dowda are also worth utilising. Joe Skarz and Jake Wright offer some defensive ability too, and with no transfer budget and loan debt hanging over you, it's a good job you have some handy players. Be warned - even if you try to sell some of your better men, you'll only get around 10% of any revenue earned. Oxford is a lovely old English city, and I think the club represents an interesting challenge to take on. Perhaps you can find the code to finally make Morse happy?

9. Plymouth (40-1)

The Pilgrims are one of the bigger fish in this league, and although their voyage from Championship to League 2 was swift because of financial problems, they now seem to be ready to set sail again. Argyle have a decent following, with over 4000 season ticket holders, and it's a club that can definitely attract fans due to their isolated location. The stadium will be big enough if you can take them through a couple of divisions, and it's probably defensive strength that is likely to allow you to do it. Curtis Nelson, despite his years, is an experienced and impressive central defender, and Anthony O'Connor is always a reliable performer back there too. Reuben Reid could be a big player in attack, and should have little trouble finding the net, and you have a sprinkling of young players that can become better. A negative that I see from this group is a severe lack of pace, particularly in midfield areas. Apart from Jason Banton, and on-loan Bobby Reid, that's a real weakness in the squad. Other than that, and the matter of owning Luke McCormick (who may not be to everybody's taste), it's a club that could be enjoyable to manage. The final word should be reserved for your board, who deserve credit for negotiating transfer clauses on five players that have left the club in recent years. Those sort of things can make a world of difference if they get activated.

10. Southend (50-1)

The Essex boys haven't done much in recent years, and should probably be at least one tier higher than they are. It's a regular theme, but they also have had some financial restrictions, and the media prediction is probably not far wrong. The main asset at Roots Hall is goalkeeper Daniel Bentley, who looks to have a bright future at a higher level than this. It might be tempting to cash in on him, but I would suggest he is kept on. If you want to take this club up a peg or two, he is one that can definitely play in better company, and it must be more appealing to do it with your best talent still involved. The club start with four loan players already, so you might be a bit limited in what you can do. One of those loan men, striker Joe Pigott, can probably be one of your better players, whilst David Worrall and Ryan Leonard are useful permanent members of your squad.

11. Wycombe (50-1)

An interesting one here. The Chairboys (I always thought it was Choirboys when I went there and heard them sing) are a club that has never been higher than League 1, after a long history in non-league. They currently appear to have a negative bank balance, and no financial resources to help you along - but actually have a reasonable squad at their disposal. After a few years battling against relegation, they might now be capable of making some better progress. A decent stadium and pitch are assets, but surprisingly for a club that produced Jordan Ibe, Matt Phillips, Kadeem Harris (oh, and Charles Dunne) recently - and Roger Johnson, Mike Williamson and Russell Martin before them - they currently have no youth set up recognized in the game. That's actually a bit harsh on them, because they do promote a thriving Elite Centre system, which has seen the likes of recently-sold Josh Scowen, and highly-rated current goalkeeper Matt Ingram emerge. Several other decent young players populate your squad, and in Millwall's on-loan Fred Onyedinma, you have one of the brightest stars of League 2. An outside crack at promotion is possible, but you'll probably have to do it from the players you start with (unless you can benefit from a couple of transfer clauses).

12. Cambridge (50-1)

The second club promoted last year, but I think this mid-table prediction is wildly optimistic. They did have some relatively successful days in the past, but they're a small club and find it hard to compete financially. Again lacking on the youth front, and with no transfer budget, you probably have to run with what you inherit. There aren't any stand-out players particularly, but you might find a couple of youngsters that could be developed from within. In my mind, this is possibly the hardest Sky Bet challenge in the game now, and a relegation battle is probably to be expected. Anything above that may be enough to earn you a University Diploma.

13. Carlisle (50-1)

Relegated Carlisle are not finding things easy in League 2, despite having dropped down a level. Their best days were some years back, and in the 1960's and 1970's they had a decent run in the second tier - plus a single season (1974/1975) in the top flight. On the positive side, due to their location, any form of success can attract reasonable attendances - and Brunton Park does have a capacity to handle it. An affiliate link with Newcastle might also provide some benefits, and the club value compared to debt makes them relatively stable. It's a fairly young squad, with a handful of more experienced players thrown in, but prospects like Brad Potts, Kyle Dempsey, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Patrick Brough and possibly Josh Gillies can become the core of a better future in Cumbria. For facepack fans, it's worth knowing that every one of your players and staff are 'pictured' in game too. A decent pick if you want a club that can be grown, especially if you fancy trying to do it with younger players. With no transfer budget at the start, and monthly losses coming your way, that's probably your only approach to this one anyway.

14. Exeter (80-1)

As most of you know, I have had a fairly long and very enjoyable save with The Grecians in FM15. In my opinion, they were one of the harder challenges on the original patches, due to their financial problems and lack of resources. That has changed slightly with the winter update, having sold Matt Grimes to Swansea. The money has gone in to clearing debt, so the balance is now OK - but there is still no money for signings or spare wage budget. The squad now is weaker than it was before, and you no longer have any major asset to raise funds if you wanted to. Nearly all of the winter signings made by the club are veterans well past their best, and my view is that might they not be the best club to take on any more. If you want a challenge then it certainly is that, and you still have Scot Bennett, Liam Sercombe, David Wheeler and Tom Nichols to help you achieve your aims. A mid-table position might be a struggle, and they have at least eight players over 30 that will need to be moved on quite quickly if you want to make any progress.

15. AFC Wimbledon (80-1)

The club receive lots of credit and affection for the way they re-launched themselves, and rightly so. It's a different animal now to the glory days of their Crazy Gang past, but it's good to see them back anyway. The small stadium might be a problem if you are looking to take the club to a higher level, but that might not be in your mind when you see your starting squad. The loss of your loan striker Matt Tubbs (who has joined Portsmouth) will make this an even harder task now, but the young Reading forward Craig Tanner is a good loan signing to replace him. Mid-table is probably as good as it gets in the first season, but I did spot one interesting thing that might grab your attention. Several of the main men from the original club's better days are available for hire - whether or not you can attract them back is not known, but Dave Bassett (legend), Marcus Gayle and Lawrie Sanchez (icons), Alan Cork and Chris Perry (favoured) are all out of work. Nostalgia fans might like to explore that possibility.

16. Northampton (100-1)

A club from a fair-sized town that can probably expect better, but they have had numerous relegation battles in recent years. It seems they have some transfer funds, although from what I saw it looks like they have quite a big debt compared to club value. The Cobblers, as they are known, have often lived up to that nickname on the pitch, and although I have fairly old affections and connections with the place itself, I don't see too much in their squad to get excited about. One player that does stand out is their teenage striker Ivan Toney, who can probably be developed to a level higher than League 2. Don't be afraid of using him right from the start, it's the rest of your squad that might struggle more.

17. Hartlepool (150-1)

Unbelievable Jeff! For those that don't know (probably only those overseas), this is the club supported by Sky Sports TV presenter Jeff Stelling, who hosts an incredibly popular show called Soccer Saturday every week. You may have heard of him through Champions League shows, but he is a bit of a cult hero in England. Anyway, the club was relegated last season and seem well on their way to making it back-to-back demotions. The Monkey Hangers appear to have a massive debt, appropriately, hanging around their necks, and I don't think you will be able to make drastic moves to revive them. The squad has plenty of experience, particularly in defence (you might translate that as too old) and some younger players that could be useful if you take the challenge on. Right-back Michael Duckworth and midfielder Aaron Tshibola (on loan from Reading) are probably amongst the better players, whilst I would suggest promoting striker Scott Fenwick from your U21 squad. Another striker and winger are probably needed too.

18. Mansfield (150-1)

This is a strange one. In their non-league days of recent years, they were known to be a club with a transfer budget of over £300k. Here they are just a few years later, under the same owners, operating at a higher level, and now with no real backing or resources. I'm not sure what changed, but I think it would be optimistic to expect an early promotion challenge with The Stags. The squad looks decent enough to survive without too much trouble, but it's lacking anything special. Matty Blair is a hard-working winger with plenty of pace and determination, but lacks other vital skills required for that role. Reggie Lambe is another wide player that shows some signs of ability and pace. In fact, pace in several of your other attackers is not lacking, whilst Vadaine Oliver gives an aerial option up there. Central defender Martin Riley is a fairly reliable player at the back. An affiliate link to Derby might be useful.

19. Dagenham & Redbridge (200-1)

The Daggers always surprise me. It's not the biggest of clubs, and they were for many years in non-league, but they seem to live within their means, and have a healthy balance sheet and a small transfer fund too. In attack they have the talented young forward Adeoye Yusuff, who was signed from Isthmian League club Chatham. He can be developed and should get goals in League 2 if given a chance. Alongside him is the veteran striker Jamie Cureton, who has been a prolific marksman over the years and still scores incredibly well at this level. In my opinion, the club are a little bit like Luton, in that they also recruit well from less exotic surroundings. In addition to Yussuf, they brought in another forward last summer from a lower standard of football - Christian Doidge - who arrived from Welsh Premier League side Carmarthen. The pair of them now have an opportunity to test themselves at a higher level, but Abu Ogogo had the opposite task after being released a few years ago by Arsenal. Since then, he has become a reliable and valuable performer at his new club. On the negative side, both Joss Labadie and Matt Partridge are rather unpleasant characters, and may not be to your liking.

20. York (200-1)

One of the most attractive cities in England, and home to a small club who have rarely achieved anything of note. The Minstermen had a good time last season but are struggling this term, and are fighting to avoid a return to Conference level. They don't have much backing, but are another club that has been fairly well run, and have an acceptable financial position. Their ground, Bootham Crescent, currently holds over 9000 fans, but is restricted to just over 7000 in usual circumstances. In a slightly odd move, they are moving to the new York City Community Stadium in July 2016, but it will have a further-reduced capacity there of just 6130. I'm not sure about the ambition, but maybe there is wisdom behind the idea. Strikers Jake Hyde and Wes Fletcher are probably the most talented of your squad, with Michael Coulson and Emile Sinclair other forwards that should help out. Winger Josh Carson is another with talent, but he starts off injured for between 5-7 months. Survival should be achieved, and it's necessary to do that twice ahead of the new stadium move.

21. Morecambe (200-1)

Another small club, but a well-run one. They arrived in League 2 from non-league in 2007, and have remained there ever since. They don't have the resources to compete with a few others, but have no debt and usually manage to comfortably finish clear of trouble. The squad isn't the biggest, and doesn't have many really outstanding elements, but striker Jack Redshaw is a big asset to the club. He will almost certainly score plenty of goals, and would probably continue to do so at a level above, should you ever find yourself in that position. Promotion may be tough, but mid-table is very achievable. One special match to look forward to is the bizarre 'Eric Morecambe Trophy', which will be contested when they host Luton in League 2. Named in honour of the deceased comedian, it's just a regular fixture between his hometown club and the one that he supported - but there is a trophy (mini statue) given to the winners.

22. Accrington (300-1)

The joke 'victims' of some rather tacky milk adverts on TV many years ago, which if my memory serves me correctly also featured some Liverpool legends of the time. Stanley, as they are known, have fought back from extinction (possibly more than once) and finally made their way back to League 2 in 2006. With one exception, ever since then they have had a really tough relegation scrap every year, and this season you probably can't expect any different if you take them on. Affiliate links with Liverpool, Burnley and Blackburn are a surprising bonus for such a small club, who have no financial strength. Whether you can persuade anybody from any of those clubs to join you is another matter, but if it's possible, you should try to milk Liverpool for as much as you can get.

23. Cheltenham (300-1)

Cheltenham joined the Football League just before the turn of this century, and are yet another club with modest resources. They manage to stay out of debt, and probably would expect to maintain their status in league 2, but you shouldn't expect too much more for a while. Losing arguably their best player (striker Byron Harrison) to Chesterfield in the winter transfer window hasn't helped their chances, although if you can ever get Mathieu Manset fit, he could score goals. Unfortunately, you have little chance of succeeding there where so many other managers have failed, and you'll probably be relying on some younger players to deliver anything of note. You'll have to use all your skills in this job, but I fear that on many occasions you'll struggle to be at the races.

24. Newport County (500-1)

Yet another club that has re-formed after dropping down to non-league level. The Exiles were mid-table in their first year back, and are doing surprisingly well this time around too. The media prediction here is very different to their actual exploits, where they are play-off contenders, and that makes me think that you can do much better than finishing 24th here. Don't be fooled, they don't have much in the way of resources (you start with £10k to spend), but they are debt free, and are careful in their business. They are also in line to receive a cash boost due to clauses attached to the sale of Conor Washington last year. Managerless at the start of the game due to Justin Edinburgh's move to Gillingham, this offers a realistic chance in a job that was recently vacant (the man actually just appointed to take them on, Jimmy Dack, will remain as your Assistant Manager in the game). I think you can do alright with a squad containing Rene Howe and Aaron O'Connor in attack, Yan Klukowski and Mark Byrne in midfield, and Kevin Feely at the heart of your defence. An affiliate link with Swansea could be useful, and for anybody looking for a challenge this could be a really good one. Mid-table or higher should be within reach, in my opinion.

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Glad this thread has been created. Thanks Jogo.

Thinking about starting a Crewe save, had a fun one with them in FM 12 or 13. Although I might pick another team not sure yet.

You're welcome. It's work in progress (Championship being done right now) but should be complete within a few days. In the meantime, you're welcome to pick a team and get posting. Enjoy your save :)

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You're welcome. It's work in progress (Championship being done right now) but should be complete within a few days. In the meantime, you're welcome to pick a team and get posting. Enjoy your save :)

As soon as I select a team, the hard part, I'll get posting. BTW I really enjoyed following your PNE career on FM14.

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As soon as I select a team, the hard part, I'll get posting. BTW I really enjoyed following your PNE career on FM14.

Thank you very much for the appreciation - I really enjoyed my time at PNE too.

I agree it's always tricky to pick the right team. If you need any help picking one, you can always mention a few of your requirements (league, expectations, type of challenge etc) and hopefully the community can offer some suggestions. Will look forward to reading about it once you find 'the one'.

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Shamefully I didn't get the time to even think about doing this thread so apologies Jogo, as I know the trouble you have with Internet access at times. That aside you've done a top class job man, can't wait to read it all and read your updates once you start.

I've yet to pick a football league save(far too many saves on the go as is) so may need some of that expert advice man.

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The Championship section is now completed.

It's nice to have the previous two creators back amongst us - and I hope I haven't let your standards drop guys!

@ ScottGooner: Narrowing down from 72 to 2 isn't bad at all! I think Tranmere should be a good challenge - but MK Dons have a strong squad. If you haven't decided within a few days, maybe my guide might help you ;)

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MK-Dons-logo-300x300.jpg

Currently managing MK Don's in the Championship.

Started the game with Barnet in the Conference, missed out on promotion in the play offs, so jumped ship and took over MK Don's for the 15/16 season.

2015/16; League 1 Play Off Winners

Transfers

As expected, didn't have much money to use in the transfer window. The club had just sold Deli Ali to Celtic, so that gave me some funds, but such a low transfer percentage being made available meant it was only really free transfers and loans. Star players that were signed were Jose Rodriguez. A technically gifted defensive midfielder coming in loan from Real Madrid, as well as Albert Ruznak, Chuba Akpom in on free transfers.

Hovered around in the play-off places all season, but poor away form meant I could never threaten automatic spots. Daniel Powell finished with League 1 Player of the Year - scoring 11, assisting 16. My top scorer was Chuba Akpom with 19 goals.

2016/17; 19th Championship

Transfers

Despite in a league higher, a was offered a reduced budget so could barely make any moves in the transfer window to strengthen the squad. Had to sell and loan out players to free up wage budget. Biggest sale was Ian McLoughlin to Chelsea for £1M. As you can see, didn't manage to strengthen the squad too much - Seko Fofana was picked up on a free transfer after release from Man City. The biggest signing though was another season long loan for Jose Rodriguez.

Struggled for the first part of the season, but picked up an ability to start scoring, and stop conceding so many around Christmas time. This meant for a much stronger second half to the season that saw me never really drop into the bottom four after climbing out of it. Was predicted 23rd position, so happy to have finished were I did. There seemed to be a lot of quality in the division so when taking into account the inability to adequatly strengthen a squad it was a decent finish. Top scorer was Albert Ruznak from a left midfield position, scoring 13. He developed into a star player who I quickly had to offer improved contracts to, to keep away bigger clubs pouncing.

2017/18; Championship - Pre season

5KNbXJt.png

Currently ending pre-season ahead of this season. Have been predicted a 19th place finish, but am targeting mid-table/play-off push. Have improved the strength of the squad, making numerous free transfers. All youngsters that have been released from bigger clubs, all with great potential, so am looking to strengthen my training and development approach to tap into this talent.

Most pleasing signature has been signing Jose Rodriguez. After two years on loan from Real Madrid he signed on a free transfer. He's become a favorite player of mine! Had to sell again this window so that I could free up funds to strengthen the squad. Ipswich came in for Albert Ruznak for £3M which I held off on. I signed him to a new contract, but saw that I'd have to sell him to generate much needed funds. No longer had be signed a new deal he saw sold to Fulham for £6M. :(

vWxWyjc.png

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Great thread again this year - obviously I'm a non-league guy but this is my favourite thread to browse.

Thanks a lot! It's my first ever thread, and with my internet facilities it takes absolutely ages - but I'm getting there. The format of your non-league one is always great too, and I'll spend most of my time in these two again.

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MB - Carlisle would be good. A different team to keep it fresh.

Tommo - Nice update there. I agree, you made some cracking signings there in pre-season. I love the number of young British players in that list, all without spending a penny in fees. Hopefully that will be enough to keep you up again, or maybe more. Are you at all worried that it's too much activity in one go and takes time to gel?

Edit: The League 1 section has now been added above.

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Great thread Jogo :thup:

Obviously now Leicester are promoted I won't be posting in this thread whilst that save is going on :( However, I do love the Football League so will definitely manage a team in there at some point! No idea who, as of yet, but it'll be fun deciding! I've still got many more seasons left in my current Leicester save though, so it won't be for a while

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Great thread Jogo :thup:

Obviously now Leicester are promoted I won't be posting in this thread whilst that save is going on :( However, I do love the Football League so will definitely manage a team in there at some point! No idea who, as of yet, but it'll be fun deciding! I've still got many more seasons left in my current Leicester save though, so it won't be for a while

Thanks Gizmo, and I can understand why you're busy on that Leicester save! Will look forward to seeing you back in the lower leagues again sometime though ;)

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Well done Jogo!

Unfortunately I doubt I will be very active in this topic this year (same as last year/work commitments) however will be in and out checking up on people's progress. I've started as AFC Flyde and hope to be in the Football League soon!

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Started as Bournemouth earlier today. Still in pre-season getting my staff together and eveything else. Going with an attacking 4231 as I have an abundance of wingers. Going to make a 4411 and also a 41221 once my main tactic has been learnt.

So far I have only signed Coric from Dinamo and have offers in for Grealish (Loan), Blackett (Loan), Savitskiy (Transfer), Ruben Neves from Porto (Loan). Also umm'ing and ahh'ing about getting Humam Tariq as I only have one natural AMC in my team and that's 17 year old Coric.

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Well done Jogo!

Unfortunately I doubt I will be very active in this topic this year (same as last year/work commitments) however will be in and out checking up on people's progress. I've started as AFC Flyde and hope to be in the Football League soon!

Ah, thanks Gunner. Another one not seen around these parts for some time - but it's understandable if time is limited anyway. I hope you enjoy AFC Fylde, and can strongly recommend the Vanarama thread on here to you if you want to share the experience!

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Started as Bournemouth earlier today. Still in pre-season getting my staff together and eveything else. Going with an attacking 4231 as I have an abundance of wingers. Going to make a 4411 and also a 41221 once my main tactic has been learnt.

So far I have only signed Coric from Dinamo and have offers in for Grealish (Loan), Blackett (Loan), Savitskiy (Transfer), Ruben Neves from Porto (Loan). Also umm'ing and ahh'ing about getting Humam Tariq as I only have one natural AMC in my team and that's 17 year old Coric.

Lewis, an excellent choice. I haven't managed them for a couple of years but it's a good club to lead. In FM15, I have played a season with Reading (through BETA and continued on full release) and Bournemouth won the league quite comfortably. With Wilson, Ritchie and a few others I think they have a cracking squad and should give you some positive results.

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I'm hoping they do. Can't wait to get the season started now, just putting everything in place. I really want to make this a long term save and the added challenge of a relatively small stadium is another reason why I chose them.

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I'm hoping they do. Can't wait to get the season started now, just putting everything in place. I really want to make this a long term save and the added challenge of a relatively small stadium is another reason why I chose them.

Good stuff. I'm about to pick a new club myself, and have a few in mind for each league - but I probably need to finish the League 2 section on here before I get started!

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Good stuff. I'm about to pick a new club myself, and have a few in mind for each league - but I probably need to finish the League 2 section on here before I get started!

Who are the clubs you have in mind?

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Hi have followed the posts in this forum and have been inspired to have a go and keep posting my progress or lack of it.Although i am getting on a bit and have followed football all my life i am not great on the tactical side of things and so any advice to where i am going wrong would be greatly appreciated.I have narrowed my choice of teams down to 3 and they are Swindon,Oldham or Southend will make a decision soon and keep you all informed of how things are going.

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Hi have followed the posts in this forum and have been inspired to have a go and keep posting my progress or lack of it.Although i am getting on a bit and have followed football all my life i am not great on the tactical side of things and so any advice to where i am going wrong would be greatly appreciated.I have narrowed my choice of teams down to 3 and they are Swindon,Oldham or Southend will make a decision soon and keep you all informed of how things are going.

I'd go with Oldham, be interesting to see how well Forte does given his goalscoring exploits in real life!

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Fenlander, welcome along and great to hear you've been inspired to join in. I'd tend to agree that Swindon might be easiest out of those three, but then it's not all about that sometimes. The other two would provide different challenges, and I imagine you'd be unlikely to get any funds with Southend (I'm not sure about Oldham). If you want to be brave (and different) managing Swindon you could try and copy their 352 of this season....

Gunner, when I checked, I have to say I thought Forte had been rated quite low. But to be honest his form this season has come out of nowhere, and I fully understand why his previous career record has been taken in to account on his stats.

Lewis, I'll have to come back to you on that once I've done the League 2 section!

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Decided on Swindon after much deliberation,on taking over the club found that we had only an ass.manager and no other coaching staff so my first tasks were to get together some decent coaching staff to this end i signed the following:-

fred barber......glk coach

frank barlow.....def. coach

john owens......att. coach

mick jones.......tactics

ade mafe.........fitness coach

I have only made a couple of signing both loanee,s we didn,t have a back up keeper so signed ben siegrist from villa and we were short of cover at lb so took on ball from spurs ,still in need of cover at centre-back but with only about 160k available and up to 2k wages am struggling a bit to find anyone decent.Am trying to stick to a 3-5-2 tactic and at the moment doesn,t look too bad but time will tell.The only player i managed to off load is branco who has gone back to brazil and we got a fee of 100k for him

The season has started well for us with a good win in our 1st league and then we had rather a scrappy win in the 1st round of the capital cup...

Scunthorpe (h) 4-0 league 1

Stevenage (h) 1-0 capital cup 1st round

Got a great draw in the 2nd round Man.Utd at home...lol

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Decided on Swindon after much deliberation,on taking over the club found that we had only an ass.manager and no other coaching staff so my first tasks were to get together some decent coaching staff to this end i signed the following:-

fred barber......glk coach

frank barlow.....def. coach

john owens......att. coach

mick jones.......tactics

ade mafe.........fitness coach

I have only made a couple of signing both loanee,s we didn,t have a back up keeper so signed ben siegrist from villa and we were short of cover at lb so took on ball from spurs ,still in need of cover at centre-back but with only about 160k available and up to 2k wages am struggling a bit to find anyone decent.Am trying to stick to a 3-5-2 tactic and at the moment doesn,t look too bad but time will tell.The only player i managed to off load is branco who has gone back to brazil and we got a fee of 100k for him

The season has started well for us with a good win in our 1st league and then we had rather a scrappy win in the 1st round of the capital cup...

Scunthorpe (h) 4-0 league 1

Stevenage (h) 1-0 capital cup 1st round

Got a great draw in the 2nd round Man.Utd at home...lol

There are plenty of CBs available on freebies that will want under 2k wages. Look for an Englishman named Angus, forgot his first name. And an Albanian named Valentine Gjokaj.

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Hi everyone, am new although have been lurking for a while reading everyone's exploits. Am not sure whether to jump ship or not, am at york city, i got promoted in my first year and won manager of the year although not winning the title. My reputation is regional as i started out as a sunday league manager with no experience. I am sitting just outside the playoffs with 21 points from 14 games which surprised me as we started off really poor, however we aren't dominating games and are having to withstand a lot of pressure and break quickly. I am thinking of moving simply because the new stadium is only catered to hold 6,000 and the finances are very tight, plus even if i produce a miracle and manage to get us in the championship or a good place in league 1, i cannot see the squad being ready to kick on. Just wondering what you thought.

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Fenlander, excellent stuff and I believe Swindon will be one of the best L1 options this time around (they're very near the top of my shortlist). As a matter of interest what was their starting budget?

Champ, that's a good start with York. I understand what you mean about stadium size, but was surprised to hear their new one would be so small.

Tommo, that's tough - but probably what you get with most people 40+ :(

Lewis, cracking start for you and interesting to see that pair are doing the damage. Wilson was in the top four for both goals and assists in the game I had (under AI management).

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Fenlander, excellent stuff and I believe Swindon will be one of the best L1 options this time around (they're very near the top of my shortlist). As a matter of interest what was their starting budget?

Champ, that's a good start with York. I understand what you mean about stadium size, but was surprised to hear their new one would be so small.

Tommo, that's tough - but probably what you get with most people 40+ :(

Lewis, cracking start for you and interesting to see that pair are doing the damage. Wilson was in the top four for both goals and assists in the game I had (under AI management).

yeah it is smaller than the stadium we currently have, but in fairness the fanbase isn't really there, averaging almost 6,000 a game about 1,000 up on last year but still will hamper the clubs progress especially with finances, as now debt is starting to become incurred even though the finances are classed as okay.

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Swindon has a transfer budget of £250k but only have just over £1k a week spare on the wages budget.

Fenlander, thanks for the info. That's not bad for a modest L1 side. It's useful they have that affiliate deal with Spurs (although strangely start with no loans from them this year, and two from Southampton). I hope you're getting on well and enjoying it.

Ginola, good luck to you at Ipswich. Hopefully it won't be your last attempt in the Football League for 9 years!

Champ, I thought the point of building a new stadium was to invest for the future, in the belief you will grow and to maximise match day income from that too. Capping it at that level seems odd, but I did some research and it seems to have taken them 7 years to get to that stage, and the initial plan had been for 10,000. I guess if they don't feel they will outgrow it, there is some sense in downscaling due to affordability, but in FM terms that's going to limit your potential as a manager.

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I'm going to start a game as Cambridge United. Years ago my mate and i used to play a very basic manager game on the Megadrive and he was always Brighton, I was always Cambridge so i'm going to give it a go and try to get them into the Champions League haha

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Which clubs in the Championship/League 1 have the biggest budgets? Thinking of starting with Brentford as they have a generous transfer kitty of ~4M€.

I'm not sure to be honest - it's something I asked for in the new features wish list, so that when you looked at the page before selecting your club, you knew this information.

I wish I could have had these budgets included in my league guides, but unfortunately I don't think it's possible without starting a save with all 72 clubs (unless any clever soul know how to access the data from the editor).

In Championship terms I doubt many would be bigger than Nottm Forest, but Brentford's is healthy if it's £4m. In League 1, I would imagine Sheffield United, then possibly Bristol City - but they're only educated guesses.

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I'm going to start a game as Cambridge United. Years ago my mate and i used to play a very basic manager game on the Megadrive and he was always Brighton, I was always Cambridge so i'm going to give it a go and try to get them into the Champions League haha

That's a great reason for starting with them and I hope it is an enjoyable return for you!

Edit: Apologies to all, as I had some connectivity problems, but hopefully I can finish the League 2 section by tomorrow.

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