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Hopefully so. I think I'm a long way off being offered any role in the higher divisions of Italy or any nation just yet. But I have the potential to build something here and I intend to do so.

Not really managed much in Italy before either so the rules are a bit of an unknown to me. I just know clubs end up with shed loads of players from the co-ownership processes :D.

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Hopefully so. I think I'm a long way off being offered any role in the higher divisions of Italy or any nation just yet. But I have the potential to build something here and I intend to do so.

Not really managed much in Italy before either so the rules are a bit of an unknown to me. I just know clubs end up with shed loads of players from the co-ownership processes :D.

I recommend not getting in to that co-ownership thing, it's not worth it in my opionion.

You can get players without that and it is much easier in the long run if you own 100% of the players rights.

If you at some point get to be in a high profile team, then you can try to lure lower level teams in to co-owning players if they have some really promising individuals on their squad ;)

Otherwise the rules are quite straightforward, you can get players from all around the world quite easily, i don't remember having any hassle with work permits etc.

On my save, i wasn't in Serie A fast either. I first had several years of somewhat succesful career in Norway, from there i moved to Piacenza and then eventually to Inter. It was a long road :)

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Casertana FC

2016-2017 Season

December 11th 2016

The Situation

I believe the only reason I got the job at Casertana FC is because no one else wanted it. I've taken over a club who are in serious financial trouble and that are battling against relegation. The club are in administration as well so it's going to limit us as to who we can sign in terms of players and staff. The club find themselves 17th in the league and despite our lowly position we're still in with a chance of pulling ourselves out of this mess.

The board are expecting us to be competitive whilst the media at the start of the season were expecting us to finish 9th. For me, being competitive for the remainder of the season would be to survive. I have inherited some large squads and unless a youngster fits in with the professional mould I'm trying to build he won't stay. Ideally they would be professional and determined.

First Team Squad 1 - First Team Squad 2 - Under 20s Squad - Under 18s Squad 1 - Under 18s Squad 2

The board have been generous and told me that should I need it or should I be able to spend it there's just over £4,000 in the wage budget left to bring in new players. Now I know why we maybe in financial trouble. Either that or the job was that unattractive they had to dangle a massive carrot to get anyone interested.

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Casertana FC

2016-2017 Season

December/January

Results

My first game in charge was against Noto. I decided to adopt my favoured 4-3-2-1 formation(wingers) and hope we could get one or two goals to secure a good win against a side who were in and around us in the league. Things didn't get off to a great start for us as Michel Panatti was subbed off within two minutes due to an injury. We pressed on though and looked to find a way through. Noto attempted to do the same and going into the break it was level. Francois Kabangu decided he would ruin my first game in charge as he scored the only goal of the game on 56 minutes. The ball was worked from a throw-in from left which saw the pull crossed in for Kabangu to head in from a couple of yards. Despite the loss I was pleased with how we played as we controlled the game and had majority of the possession. With a break of nearly three weeks before our next league fixture I decided to arrange two friendlies against lesser sides. The first side we played was against Pontecorvo and we won 7-0. We had managed to get 15 shots by the 23rd minute. Our second game was against Rinascita Bussese where we claimed a 3-0 win. Both games helped us gain some confidence which would hopefully stand us in good stead for the rest of the season. Our first competitive game of the new year was against relegation and fierce rivals Savoia. An even game ended in a draw as it finished 2-2. Luca Giunchi and Ciro Amelio grabbing our goals whilst Giuseppe Mercurio and Giulio Sanseverino got their goals. Eight days later we faced Ischia who were fighting near the top of the table. Away from home we somehow took the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to new signing Allesandro Morbidelli. The ball snuck through to him at the far post from a free-kick where he was able to finish from a tight angle. Ischia chucked the kitchen sink and more at us but we managed to hold on for a great win. In high spirits we faced promotion chasing Catanzaro at home. If this had been a boxing match the referee would have stopped it after 20 minutes. We couldn't get anything going and Catanzaro had 25 shots to our 5. They only got a 1-0 win and I was delighted with that. The winner coming on 58 minutes. Crotone away was next and another game where if we hadn't of turned up we'd have been better off. 3 second half goals just after half-time crushed us and we never came back. We were never really in it though as Crotone had 25 shots to our 2.

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League

In the league we had moved upto 16th and just two points off safety.

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Transfers and Contract Extensions

The past couple of months were busy times on both arrivals and departures. We saw a number of youngsters and a few senior players depart the club on frees or through termination of their contracts. The reason for this was due to them not fitting in with the criteria of how I want my squad to be or them not being good enough. This and this show the players who have left.

In terms of new contracts we saw 7 first team players sign new contracts. They were Ciro Amelio(DL), Andrea Cosner(DR), Nicolo Crotti(ST), Giacomo Piccolo(DC), Luca Giunchi(MC), Giuseppe Maimone(MC) and Andrea Migliorini(MC).

In terms of transfers in we saw 12 players arrive. They were Mario Bonaventura, Alessandro Morbidelli, Daniele Rosania, Francesco D'Angelo, Gabriele Boilini, Giacomo Cappai, Isaac Ntow, Jacopo Fortunato, Marcello Ahmetovic, Michele Suella, Mirko Carretta and Pietro Arcidiacono

Other News

I have passed my National A Licence but with the club's financial situation I don't think I'll be granted permission to take any further badges. The Lincoln and Savona boards confirmed my rejection for their vacant manager's position before the board restructured our debt, CVA and announced we'd started repaying some of the debt before the administrators announced we'd improved on our finances enough to be in a position to trade properly again. I'm not sure how as we're in a worse off financial position.

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Italy isn't a bad place to be. Lots of good players and the only restriction I know of is no more than 2 non-EU players on a roster in Series A. (I'm currently managing Bari in Series A in 2035) Make sure you get lots of Loan players as a Series C Team. Most of the Series A teams have more good players than they can find playing time for and are happy to loan them out for free.

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Casertana FC

2016-2017 Season

February

Results

The month of February was one to forget. We lost three games from four as we were unable to get out of the relegation zone. The game against Barletta was an even game and we took the lead only to be pegged back by two late goals. The games against Foggia and Reggina were even worse as we had a total of 50 shots conceded against us compared to the 9 we managed. As you can expect we lost those games quite comfortably. The final game of the month saw us face Messina. Messina are in the top half of the table and a good side. I decided to change formation as we went to a 4-2-4 with the aim of getting the ball wide to feed the front men. With 20 minutes to go we were 3-1 up and looking comfortable. Messina chucked the kitchen sink at us and found a second late on. They pressured us more but their shots were wayward and we managed to hold on to secure what could be a crucial win.

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League Table

In the league we sit 18th and six points off safety. With 10 games to go it's going to be tough but we'll give it our best shot.

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Casertana FC

2016-2017 Season

March

Results

The month of March started as well as it could have as we beat 19th placed Martina Franca. I decided to stick with the 4-2-4 from the last game as it served us well. Despite Martina Franca having more of the possession we had the better chances and more of them. A close start was somewhat ruined when Rosario Bucolo was sent off for them on 9 minutes. Just 5 minutes later and we had taken the lead through Arcidiacono. On 22 minutes we doubled our lead through centre half Rosania. Two further goals in the second half from Giunchi and Raffini in the space of 4 minutes helped us to a 4-0 win. Arzachena was our next opponents and it was an entertaining yet frustrating 4-3 win for them. They were 3-1 with half hour to go. We managed to claw it back to 3-3 before Arzachena converted an 83rd minute penalty to win the game. The game against Matera was a real backs to the wall game. Raffini put us 1 up on 8 minutes and we managed to hold on until the 51st minute when Matera equalised. They got the winner on 67. It took a 93rd minute goal from Nicolo Crotti to secure a 1-0 win against Taranto. They can feel harshly done by as it did look slightly offside. Our final game of the month was against promotion chasing Frosinone. They bossed the first 75 minutes as they grabbed two goals. We put them under pressure for the last 15 but couldn't find a way back into the game.

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League

In the league we sit 18th and five points off safety with just five games remaining. I think we may well be looking at a relegation play-off unless we can pull off a miracle.

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During March there was some good news and bad news. The bad news was Andrea Migliorini broke his leg which will see him out for about 7 months. Shortly after that Gianlugi Bianco broke his ankle which will rule him out for about 4 months. We also had youth candidates day and there was a few standout players.

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Those players are Davide Nucera and Vincenzo Pecoraro. Nucera doesn't quite fit in with the ethos I'm trying to build at the club but he's too good a prospect to let go.

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Casertana FC

2016-2017 Season

April/May

Results

We started off the month of April with a game at Benevento. We took the lead and despite being battered we managed to hold on for most of the game. Unfortunately when a team hammers your goal with shots they will eventually score and this was no different. They got the equaliser and despite us holding on and defending admirably, Benevento got the winner on 71 minutes as the ball beat the keeper near post as it struck the inside and went in. Our only point of the month was against Melfi. We played well again as for most of the month but we just couldn't get the result. Our next two games against Juve Stabia and Cosenza was the same story. After the Cosenza game the board called a meeting. I attended, tried to blame the players but they weren't having any of it. I begged to stay and they allowed me one game to get a win. That win didn't come and I was sacked.

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League

With two games to go the club were guaranteed to be taking part in the play-off games. With one game to go the club could still be relegated but luckily they weren't. The play-off games await but I'm not there.

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After the Cosenza game I started applying jobs and the Alfreton Job was the first job I applied for. The board issued an ultimatum to apologise and they rejected that. I then decided to apply for the Aldershot role as well considering my time was nearly up at Casertana.

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Unemployed

2016-17

After my sacking by Casertana I wanted to get back in the game immediately and with that in mind I applied for anything and everything within reason. Over the space of a week I applied for jobs at Alessandria, Almere City, Altrincham, Boreham Wood, Como, Cowdenbeath, Dartford, Margate, Montrose, Novara, Nuneaton, Oxford City, Rushall and Tranmere Rovers. The job that I really wanted was the Alfreton job due to it being the closest to Nottingham and with them having just sacked their manager of ten years it was a chance for me to steady myself again. Alessandria, Tranmere Rovers, Almere City, Novara, Como and Cowdenbeath all laughed off my interest and subsequently rejected my application. Boreham Wood considered my interest but in the end opted to appoint someone else. Montrose were the first side to offer me an interview and that was swiftly followed by Alfreton, Aldershot and Altrincham. Montrose rejected me after the interview stage which meant the only place I would be going would be England. Altrincham were the first side to offer me a contract and I decided to delay the offer. This was accepted and in that time I was offered the job at Alfreton along with interviews at Margate, Oxford City, Rushall, Dartford and Nuneaton.

I decided to accept a one year contract at Alfreton worth £600 per week. It's a part-time deal but they're a good club going places. My first task will be to try and get them back into the Vanarama Conference as they've been relegated to the Vanarama North for the new season. I have the whole of pre-season to build a squad. They originally only offered £525 per week but I managed to get them to agree to give me £600 per week.

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Alfreton Town FC

2017-2018 Season

Pre-Season

Board Expectations & Media Predictions

Vanarama Conference North: Above Mid-Table/Top-Half Finish

Media Prediction: 7th

Title Odds: 33-1

FA Cup: First Round

FA Trophy: Second Round

The Situation

Having taken over in the middle of May I've had plenty of time to try and shape the squad how I would like. I've also had time to think about how I would like us to play. I'd like to get my favoured 4-3-2-1(Wingers) formation working with a passing game. Whether that will be possible at this standard is another thing though. The board originally told me that the wage budget would be about £10,500 per week with a transfer budget of about £13,500. Unfortunately this wage budget was slashed in half upon the initial budgets being set. The transfer budget remained the same and upon the wage budget being properly confirmed it stayed at what was announced for the intial budgets. The only member of staff I had when I joined was an assistant manager in Russ O'Neill who has been at the club since 2007 and was Nicky Law's assistant throughout his spell in charge which was also ten years. He's not the greatest but he'll do for now.

The board were originally allowing me 2 first team members of staff and a three youth staff in total. I've since managed to get it increased on two occasions so we've actually been allowed to appoint four members of staff to the first team. I've also been able to get an under 21s manager role after the increase of the junior coaching budget. My first signing to assist me in the backroom was physio Jess Preece. Danny Webber, Karl Hawley and Glyn Anderson have joined the club as scouts. Mark Tyler and Jonathan Greening have joined the club as coaches whilst Scott Taylor has joined as a fitness coach. On the youth side of staff signings we saw Neil Woods join as head of youth development. Sonny Lee, Stuart Peach, Terry Abbott and Tim Howson join in various under 21s and under 18s roles. I was also granted permission to go and take my Continental C Licence which is another good step for me.

Transfers

In terms of incomings and departures at North Street we saw quite a few changes. The squad I inherited had some quality but it also had some players who don't meet the required standard to play for the club. We also said farewell to some players who were upset that we were relegated last season and not happy to try to regain our place in the Vanarama Conference. In terms of outgoing players we said goodbye to a number of youth team players whose contracts had expired whilst in senior departures 35 year old Danny Coles left along with Bradley Mason, Craig Lynch, Kellen Daly and Louie Swain. These players weren't deemed good enough to help us push for promotion so I happily allowed them to leave. There was however, four players who left the club who I would have liked to have kept. They were Charlie Walker, Anthony Howell, Elliott Justham and Callum Randle. Walker and Howell would have been definite first team starters and would have fitted into my formation nicely whilst Justham would have been first choice for the start of the season. Randle was offered a new deal but opted to go to Wycombe instead.

We saw 17 arrivals at North Street over the summer as the following players joined us;

Adrian Moogan - I was originally unsure whether he would be good enough when he was recommended by one of my staff. I decided to allow one of my scouts to see how he got on for a month or so before pushing ahead with a season long loan deal. He'll be battling it out with Max Allen for the ball winning midfield role.

Ben Whiteman - The former Sheffield United youngster joins on a free transfer. He'll initially be back up but I'm sure he'll be a good one at that.

Chris Anderson - The former Burnley man has travelled a little. I'm delighted to snap him up but it was hard work. He wasn't initially interested so I had to chat to him and try and sweet talk him round. It worked and he'll now provide a good option for my box to box role.

Dan Preston - My first signing as Alfreton boss and one who should help shore up our defence. At 25 he's still got room to improve whilst being a good option now.

Elliott Legg - Legg got nine goals last season and that's a good achievement for a right back. He's not that highly rated by my staff but he has some good attributes and will be a good option to have.

Fabian Rowe - Fabian is going to be back up for now but a great back up to have. Can cover either wing which is an added bonus.

Jason Mooney - The former York City man is a giant and gives me a major headache as to who to start with between the sticks. Only on non-contract terms which is a problem as he's a quality keeper.

Jordan Keane - Keane has been snapped up from FC United and has joined for his second spell at Alfreton. He didn't have the best of spells last time but he's grown since then in experience and age so hopefully he'll have a better time of it.

Leighton Field - Leighton was on loan with us last season and he was one I was tracking throughout the summer incase he was available again. He's versatile and young so should provide good options across the back. He isn't costing us anything as it's a season loan from Bury.

Lloyd Gardner - Another loan but this time from Huddersfield Town. He's small but pacey so whilst being a good option for the defence he should hopefully provide some width as well for the attacking side of our game.

Louie Theophanous - I signed him for Worcester and he didn't have the best of spells. I do believe he's a good player and with him still being on a non-contract at Worcester I've decided to bring him in. Hopefully he can repay the faith this season and get some goals to fire us to promotion.

Max Crocombe - The former Oxford United youngster only made a few appearances for them and when he was available on a free transfer he was my first choice target to bring in as keeper. He's going to have to be in good form as like Mooney they'll be fighting for the #1 jersey.

Myles Weston - Myles has travelled round the football league scene and dropped down to the Vanarama South last season. He did well for whoever he was with but when I found out he was available I wanted to bring him to the club.

Niall Byrne - Niall is a former Forest youngster that didn't make the grade. He's slowly dropped down the pyramid and ended up at AFC Telford United where he's been a good player for them. He wasn't my first choice and nor was he second. Unfortunately budget constraints meant he was brought in. He agent is laughing as he's mugged me of a £1,400 agent fee.

Nicusor Carnat - Nicusor is actually third choice right winger and may not get much game time. He's a cheap option to have and was only signed because I didn't feel we could afford to miss out on him.

Reece Hales - Another player signed from my former club Worcester. He repaid the faith for me and the new Worcester manager as he scored 14 goals in 36 league appearances to finish second top scorer last season. It's another step up this season for him but I'm confident he can make it.

Stephen Tomassen - Another right back at the club but a good option to have. He still has room to improve so hopefully he'll be a useful option.

Pre-Season Results

We started off our pre-season schedule with a tough game against Aston Villa at North Street. The only aim of this game was to get some fitness from it. We were never really in the game and a goal in each half from Villa secured a comfortable 2-0 win for them. Next up was Dunkirk FC at home and Dunkirk took a shock early lead. Niall Heaton levelled it up just before half-time and then Louie Theophanous scored our second on 62. A goalmouth scramble saw trialist centre-half Tolu Kayode score a stoppage time third. Our third game was a short trip to Ilkeston where we put four past them to record a comfortable 4-1 win. Trialist Bradley Goldberg got our first on 43 minutes before Tom Shaw converted a penalty just after half-time for a second. Ben Whiteman got the third just after the hour mark before Joe Tillen got the final goal in the 89th minute. Three days later we faced another local side back at North Street in the form of Belper. Once again it was another comfortable result as we won 3-1. Bradley Goldberg with our first on 34 minutes before Reece Hales got himself a brace with goals on 68 and 78 minutes. Against Doncaster Rovers we lost 3-0. However, we were the better side. A goal on 12 minutes put them infront before they grabbed two more just before half-time. Failure to convert our chances saw us lose a lot worse than we should have done. Burnley Under 21s travelled to North Street for our third home game in a row and it was our poorest performance of pre-season. We never really got going and Niall Heaton got our only goal on 29 minutes. The two final home games of pre-season against Glapwell and Teversal were letdowns. We needed a stoppage time winner against Glapwell in the shape of an own goal whilst Ben Whiteman got the equaliser in the game against Teversal in the 93rd minute.

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Finances

Our finances at the end of pre-season looked like this.

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We also announced a new two year kit sponsorship worth £7,500 per year and there could be changes to the structure of the club as well.

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Alfreton Town FC

Vanarama Conference North

2017-2018 Season

August

Results

We started off the season with a trip to Ashton United. The media had us as favourites and I felt we should win as well so I told the boys that we're favourites and to get out there and win. It backfired. We were one down inside ten minutes. Luckily Daniel Bradley didn't want to allow us to be pushed over and we scored shortly after on 15 minutes. Ashton United got their second before we got ours in the 60th minute through Louie Theophanous. Despite us being the better side and having more chances, Ashton United got what turned out to be the winner with about 15 minutes to go. I was frustrated that we'd lost but on another day we'd have put four or five past them and won with ease. Next up was a home game against Braintree. I didn't go with the 'we can win' mentality but the 'encouragement mentality'. It worked as we started well and continued with that. On 22 minutes right back Leighton Field stepped up to convert our first penalty. Going into half-time we were one up. I told the players they were doing well. This backfired as Braintree grabbed an equaliser just after half-time. Both sides were pushing for a winner and I thought it would end in a draw. But with ten minutes to go we caused a goalmouth scramble and hit the bar, post and everything before Jordan Keane was fouled by one of their guys. Louie Theophanous stepped up confidently to smash the ball home to give us a 2-1 win. Stockport was our third game of the month as we faced them in their own backyard. I'll be truthfully honest, but with their wage expenditure being close to £1m per annum I was scared. My players weren't scared as we came out the blocks and put them under pressure. Viv Solomon-Otabor put us one infront on 27th minutes before Louie Theophanous continued his good start to the season with a second in stoppage time of the first half. Going into the second half Jordan Keane picked up a second yellow just two minutes and we were down to 10. Not what you want in this situation. 17 year old Adrian Moogan dropped back as I went defensive with the aim of countering. We didn't need to as we withstood Stockport's pressure to secure a famous 2-0 victory. Our final game of the month was at North Street against Corby. A dull game in which neither side contributed much saw Myles Weston grab the only goal six minutes before half-time to gives us a win.

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League

In the league we sit second after four games. A good start and hopefully we can keep it up.

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Other News

Just before the start of the season we got some bad news on the injury front. Both Fabian Rowe and Reece Hales will miss about two months each. We then got news as well that the takeover was on the rocks before it collapsed. We saw one player arrival as Terry Simpson joins on a season loan from Chesterfield.

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Alfreton Town FC

Vanarama Conference North

2017-2018 Season

September to May

League Table - Fixtures 1 - Fixtures 2 - Remaining Transfers In - Remaining Transfers Out

September to the start of November was a cracking time for the club as we managed to extend our unbeaten run seventeen games in all competitions. However, we were soon brought back down to earth with a bang as we lost our next three games. This seemed to start what I would class as the consistently inconsistent phase of lower league football as after the three losses we won three, lost two and drew two of the next seven games which resulted in us crashing out of the FA Trophy North 1st Round. From the 23rd December we just couldn't seem to get that same form back that we had at the start of the season as we only managed to gain victories in six of the last twenty-two games. Of those twenty-two games, ten were losses. Unfortunately this meant that we finished the season in seventh, five points off the play-offs. In all seriousness, had we not had that great start, we'd have finished a lot further away from them.

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Alfreton Town FC

Vanarama Conference North

2018-2019 Season

Pre-Season - League Table - Results 1 - Results 2 - FA Cup - FA Trophy - Finances - Outgoing Transfers 1 - Outgoing Transfers 2

Transfers In: Aled Davies, Alex Jackson, Danny Haynes, Darnell Furlong, George Swan, Greg Rutherford, Jack Truelove, Jake Cook, James Hardy, Joe Fitzpatrick, Leighton Field, Liam Hearn, Lloyd Gardner, Madger, Nicky Herron and Rob Evans.

A season in which we can be proud of. The media were predicting that we'd finish mid-table and for the first half of the season they were right. We just couldn't string together a run of results that could catapult us into the play-off picture. By mid-October I was considering my position as we weren't playing the best and nothing was going right for us. However, from early November things clicked and we managed to get a good run going where we managed to win seven out of nine games with the only defeat coming against Solihull Moors which I believe was down to player tiredness. By the end of this period we were well and truly in the promotion picture.

As with all good runs there's a bad one just round the corner. It appears my players didn't like the new year as we failed to win a game in six. The frustrating thing for me was having bad weather and teams in other competitions postponing our games. At times we didn't play a game for two or three weeks between January and March. This meant we slipped down the table and whilst we had a number of games in hand, we would have to play them in such a short space of time that I thought our promotion chances had gone. How wrong I was! The players rallied around and we managed to string together a seven match unbeaten run which saw us claw ourselves back into the play-off picture and possibly automatic as well as we beat teams around us. With five games remaining we only managed to win one of those but we managed to secure our play-off spot and finish fourth in the league.

As a Forest fan I don't like the play-offs. So to be in them with Alfreton I wasn't confident. Having finished fourth we played Altrincham who had finished third. Despite not losing to them this season, I thought they were the better prepared side for the game. In the home leg they took the lead before a flukey own goal for us saw us nick a draw. Going back to their place I decided I was going to soak up the pressure. I was going to sit back and defend before taking it to penalties. We took them to extra time and heartbreak hit as they snatched a 112th minute lead. With eight minutes left I went all out attack and it worked. On 117 minutes Lee Angol smashed one in from the edge of the box. I had a sub left and I made that, bringing on my young keeper who could take penalties for Max Crocombe our first choice keeper. Both teams missed a penalty within their first five but it was us who eventually won and secured our place in the final.

Stalybridge were the other finalists and due to us being the higher ranked team, we played the game at North Street. We took the lead and shortly through the second half we found one of our midfielders get injured. Having remained with the same tactics for the Altrincham second leg, I decided to go even more defensive as I went to five at the back. It worked and we managed to shut them out. With ten minutes to go, Danny Haynes secured our promotion with a twenty yard screamer.

*Alfreton Town Vanarama Conference North Play-Off Winners 2018-2019*

Over the course of the season the board had attempted to get me to sign a new deal. I didn't want to commit to a new deal just yet and rejected them on three occasions. During December, lowly Nuneaton Town offered me an interview which I declined. Elgin City also offered me an interview in December but I wasn't successful with that. Dartford offered me an interview in February but I declined that. I was also offered an interview by Albion Rovers in March which I attended but failed to get the job. In March I took over the Ghanaian National Team after a successful interview and immediately I tried to get Kevin-Prince Boateng and Kwadwo Asamoah to come out of international retirement. Both refused. We lost my first couple of games in charge. By May we had fallen to 30th in the World Rankings. Also within March I had one of my mad moments as I applied for the York City job. The York board refused to pay the compensation so I remained at Alfreton. As you can imagine, the Alfreton board weren't happy and threatened to sack me. I begged to remain and they agreed. The condition that I agreed to remain was that I didn't apply for anymore jobs.

Upon winning promotion to the Vanarama Conference I wanted to open talks with the board about extending my stay at North Street. Unfortunately the board rejected this request. With that in mind I applied for League Two Bury's vacant managerial position. This application came with a high cost though as this happened.

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The only bonus was some of my trusted staff over the past two seasons decided to leave with me.

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Unemployed 2018-2019 Season

So with me now being out of work, I had to either sign on or get a new job. I don't fancy signing on so any vacancy that is available that takes my fancy, I am applying for it. Hoping that by some sort of miracle I could get my old job back, I applied for the Alfreton Town job. As expected they rejected me straight away. I also decided to apply for the Brighton, Chesterfield, Excelsior, Hartlepool, Heracles, Northampton, Macclesfield and RKC vacancies. Excelsior, Heracles and RKC laughed off my interest or had already completed the interview process.



Hartlepool, Northampton, Bury, Chesterfield and Macclesfield all offered me interviews. Chesterfield rejected me after the interview stage.

Of the clubs that offered me a deal, here are the offers;

Bury

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I asked to delay this for a week and it was agreed.

Hartlepool

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Macclesfield

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Northampton

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The Northampton job role has the same requirements as the rest in terms of keeping players happy and not applying for other roles.

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I would go for Northampton because of the "sign young players" clause, but that's just me...

It's the one I'm swaying for at the moment tbh. Just because the man who gave me the chance at Alfreton is also the boss at Northampton.

Danny Haynes has fallen far :(

He's had a nice little return to form in non-league football having reached double figures in the past couple of seasons.

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I suppose I should reveal where I'm going next then.

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Northampton Town FC

Sky Bet League Two

2019-2020 Season

So I've penned a one year deal and it's just coming to the beginning of June. I'll be looking at the squad I have and getting rid of who I deem to be not suitable and who I would like to keep.

One thing is for certain though, we have a big squad :(.

But a massive wage budget so all is fun and I'm confident of building a strong squad.

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Northampton Town FC

Sky Bet League Two

2019-2020 Season

Pre-Season to December

Board Expectations & Media Predictions

Sky Bet League Two: Mid-Table Finish

Media Prediction: 18th

Title Odds: 150-1

FA Cup: Second Round

Capital One Cup: Competitive

Johnstones Paint Trophy: Competitive

Pre-Season Results - League Table - League Results - FA Cup Results/Fixtures - Capital One Cup Results - Johnstones Paint Trophy Results - Transfers Out 1 - Transfers Out 2 - Finances(Joining) - Finances(Mid-Season)

Beginning

Upon joining the club the board had set their initial requests which were 'play more direct' and 'sign young players for the first team'. I decided to make a few requests of my own and they were to ask for the junior coaching budget to be increased, more coaches to be allowed and for the youth and training facilities to be improved. All requests were granted by the board.

Transfers In: Adam Collins, Alex Pritchard, Blair Turgott, Callum Roberts , Dan Jones, David Gregory, Jonathan Diba, Kenny Appleyard, Kevin Spink, Matthew Pennington, Niall Mason, Otis Khan, Paul Mullin, Sam Magri, Stephen Edge, Tom Burridge and Wes Burns

League

The season started off great as we managed to claim a good win against Scunthorpe in my first game in charge. Next up we faced a trip to Lancashire where we narrowly lost to Fleetwood 2-1. A six game unbeaten run soon followed as we started to stake a claim for the top spot. Occasionally topping the league. The game against Accrington was a disaster as we created about seventeen chances to their five or so. Unfortunately they had the better shooting boots and recorded a 2-0 victory. Another four match unbeaten run followed as we managed to get three wins and a draw. The draw should have been a win as we were the better side as Bolton were 22nd in the league at the time. That draw actually sent them bottom. The best result of my career, I think was also apart of this run as we dispatched of Grimsby 7-2 away from home. From the 22nd October through to the 23rd November we just couldn't buy a win. It wasn't as if we were playing badly, we just couldn't score enough goals and our defence, which has been bad all season just couldn't stem the flow of goals. A nervy 1-0 win against Newport had me thinking we'd turned the corner. I was proved to be wrong as we lost our next two games including a shambolic 4-0 loss to Scunthorpe. The Boxing Day fixture saw me reinvent us tactically as we managed to secure a 3-0 against Port Vale. Who played most of the game with ten men and the last fifteen with nine. The win against Port Vale saw us keep our sixth clean sheet of the season. For a side chasing promotion this is poor.

FA Cup

It's been pretty plain sailing in the FA Cup so far as we've managed to overcome Hayes & Yeading in a comfortable 4-0 victory and Crewe in a 3-1 victory. This sets up a third round tie against my current parent club Everton, who took over from Sheffield Wednesday during pre-season. Whilst we're playing away from home, Everton have just sacked their manager so I'm hoping we can spring an upset. Failing that, it'd be nice to make a few quid.

Capital One Cup

In the Capital One Cup we were paired against Charlton in the first round. With their being no expectations I decided to try and play a defensive style of football. Despite Charlton taking the lead we dug in and managed to take the game to extra time where Kenny Appleyard, dubbed the new Geoff Hurst popped up with a 112th minute winner.

In the second round we were drawn at home to play Swansea who are currently plying their trade in the Premier League. We took the league and found ourselves 2-1 up. Swansea pulled level just before half-time. About five minutes after the restart Craig Eastmond smashed in a thirty yard thunderbolt into the top corner. With ten minutes to go I was dreaming of reaching the third round. Unfortunately the ref had other ideas as he gave a harsh penalty before Swansea grabbed a late winner.

Johnstones Paint Trophy

Another trophy with no expectations and one I thought as time was progressing that we'd have a chance of winning. Our first game saw us play League One Notts County and despite us taking the lead they soon pulled level. On 43 minutes Richard Eckersley decided he'd pick up his first yellow card. Not finished there and determined to make life hard for us he went and got himself sent off on 45 minutes. A slight shuffle and change of style saw us surprisingly go into the break 2-1 up thanks to a stoppage time goal. After the break we kicked on and never looked like losing. We were that confident that my deputy keeper took a penalty in the 56th minute and scored. Having played back up players in this match and for the whole of the tournament I was delighted.

The game against Southend saw me again rotate the squad around and they proved my decision to be right as we secured a narrow 1-0 victory. The game against Shrewsbury was a tough one to take as I again played my back up players in this game. I had forgotten that this competition goes straight to penalties in the event of a tie and I hadn't swapped a couple of players around. Unfortunately sub keeper David Gregory missed his spot-kick as we went out.

Other News

Shortly after the start of the season I resigned from my position as Ghana Head Coach as I didn't feel I could commit fully to the post and it was only ever a stop gap if I was ever out of work. I was offered a new contract on the 11th October and was keen to accept. The board agreed to remove the request of 'playing direct football' as I secured a fairly decent payrise.

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Club captain Luke Berry was ruled out for three months which is a frustrating thing as he's such a good player.

I requested that the board try to obtain the next youth level and they agreed to look at improving our youth facilities again. I also asked if they were able to look into purchasing the stadium which they have agreed to.

A number of crucial first team players have agreed to extend their contracts further which means we should hopefully keep a strong core of a squad together for a couple of seasons. I've signed a number of backroom staff members including the likes of Dean Bowditch, Dean Lewington, Jonathan Greening and a few others.

I might do a January update as we have a few good players joining soon. Including a former England International. I'll let you try to guess who that is...........

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Northampton Town FC

Sky Bet League Two

2019-2020 Season

January

League Table - Results - Transfers Out - Finances

Transfers In: Micah Richards, Fraizer Campbell, Dan Ormsby, Liam Walsh, Sam Matthews and Senegal

I would class myself as a wheeler dealer manager and I'll always look for a bargain. Our bad form has caused me to look for further players in order to try and strengthen us and help us avoid falling into a relegation scrap and possibly gatecrash the play-offs. I'm delighted to bring Micah to the club and hopefully he can shore up our defence at right back or centre half. Outgoing we've seen a couple of first team players leave and a few youngsters go out on loan. Darius Charles wasn't getting much game time and with Richards arrival it'll be even more limited. He wasn't happy that I transfer listed him to start off with but after a quick chat he soon realised it made sense. Tom Youngs has been inconsistent for some time and being on £1.3k per week doesn't help. He'd moaned about a lack of first team football and despite trying to give him a bit more he still wasn't happy. £20k for him is a good deal. Blair Turgott moaned about Tom Youngs departure and he wasn't happy with my answer. No player questions me so he's sped up his departure as well by going out on loan to York.

Results

Our new tactical approach didn't last long as we faced Plymouth on New Years Day. We were the better side as we managed to create 23 chances to their 9. Unfortunately we just couldn't get into the game fully and get that win. Against Everton in the FA Cup I was hoping we'd be able to spring a surprise. Another tactical tweak didn't work and whilst we were never outclassed, they took their chances and secured the victory late on by scoring a third. Against Fleetwood we took the lead and I was hopeful we could hold out. Scott Wagstaff had other ideas as he scored a 75th minute equaliser. The game against Ebbsfleet was even more frustrating than Plymouth. We had 25 shots but just couldn't put them away. Ebbsfleet had 7 chances with only three on target. I suppose when you're top of the league, you're there for a reason. Things could be looking up for us now as we dispatched of Tranmere 3-0. Although it did take us until the 68th minute to break the deadlock. Against Shrewsbury and Hartlepool we secured two good points away from home but the Hartlepool game could have been different had they not scored in the 90th minute.

We're still only two points off the play-offs and we have a number of key players coming back from injuries. If we can string a few more good results together then hopefully we'll be able to climb back into the play-offs. Bolton and Tranmere are the other two sides missing from the table. Bolton are bottom despite being one of the favourites for promotion. They're on course for a second successive relegation.

Other News

The arrival of Richards prompted a message to appear of 'Big Name Signing Set to Boost Shirt Sales', so hopefully we can make a little bit of money from this. The board have agreed to give me another coach so an advert has gone out for that. I missed out on a signing as well which I'm slightly disappointed by. The player in question is Jaanai Gordon who moved to Fleetwood ahead of us and a couple of other players. He's had a decent career so far, especially over the past few seasons.

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Richards is a huge signing at League Two level. Good luck.

Indeed he is. He doesn't quite fit in with the ethos of 'sign young players for the first team' and he's a little injury prone now according to my staff. However, I think I can be let off as when a player of his calibre is available you do all you can to try and sign him. He's my highest paid player but he's worth it imo.

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Northampton Town FC

Sky Bet League Two

2019-2020 Season

Youth Intake Day

So it's that time of year again when teams are hoping they get a star in the making. This season is no different for me at Northampton. I was hoping for a couple of players with potential and I have them. All players have been offered a youth contract. Here is the full intake.

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The four players who I think may make it are;

Thomas Evans

Joel McDaid

Dwayne Stanford

Kevin Morris

It appears that most of my first team squad don't like Evans as they've all refused to tutor him barring Wes Burns. Evans then basically turned round and said he doesn't think Burns would be a suitable tutor. So he might have potential but his attitude seems poor.

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Northampton Town FC

Sky Bet League Two

2019-2020 Season

February to May

League Table - Results - Finances - Commercial Summary

Results

After a good end of January I was hoping we could continue our good form into February and for the rest of the season. With no cup games we could just look to try and see if we could secure a play-off place. Our first game of February was against Burton Albion and what a result it was, 4-1. Sam Magri put us infront on 24 minutes before Marcus Harness equalised in the 35th minute for them. A goal either side of half-time from Fraizer Campbell and Jake Clarke-Salter put us in full control before Magri calmly stepped up for his second and our fourth with a 69th minute penalty. Our game against Wycombe was one of real frustration. Despite them taking the lead we found ourselves 4-1 up with half hour to go. Unfortunately Wycombe pulled one back just after we'd scored our fourth. With 15 minutes to go we were still leading 4-2. Matt Smith decided he'd go and grab a late brace to make it 4-4. A win against Crewe followed as Craig Eastmond grabbed himself a brace before two draws against Accrington and Barnet. Late goals again being the theme against Barnet. Our next seven games saw us produce six wins and a draw which included six clean sheets. The draw coming against Southend United who were top so I was happy to take that. The game against Halifax was one where it nearly all fell apart. An even game and neither side could break the deadlock until the 73rd minute when they managed to get infront. A couple of minutes later and we had a goal disallowed for offside which was the correct decision. Thinking we'd lost the game you can imagine my delight when Lawson D'Ath smashes one in from 25 yards which also saw him net the goal of the month for April. From the 21st January until the Halifax game we'd gone sixteen games unbeaten and managed to get ourselves in with a chance of automatic promotion. An away trip to promotion chasing Plymouth was next up and it was a result to forget as they beat us 5-0. My teamtalk didn't work and Cole Stockton was in the form of his life. I thought we'd ruined our chances of automatic promotion but all other sides failed to capitalise. Luckily it was only a small blip as we managed to secure crucial wins against Hartlepool and Newport County to put us within touching distance of League One. The game against Port Vale, had we won would have seen us secure promotion but a last minute goal from them ruined that. It meant that we had to gain a draw against fourth placed Bury in our final league game in order to gain promotion. We were the better side but we just couldn't find a breakthrough and Jason Kennedy decided he'd try and ruin our dream as he scored in the 76th minute to put them ahead. I decided we had to go for it. Luckily we didn't need to go all out for it as Micah Richards, who was having his best game since joining popped up with a 81st minute equaliser as we drew 1-1 and secured second place and promotion from League Two.

*Northampton Town Are Promoted To League One*

Key Players

As with most successful league campaigns you have the squad and they're all key to the success in that particular season. However, for me, I'd like to point out there was a number of players who, had they not stood up and performed we'd have been nowhere near the top of the league. They were;

Alex Pritchard - The winger was a free agent until the end of November and I don't know why. In eighteen league games he managed to score eight goals and managed to provide nine assists. That kind of form was integral to our great run towards the end of the season. He's here until 2021. but I'm looking to extend that further.

Jack Marriott - The former Ipswich youngster is too good for League Two. Good job we'll be plying our trade on League One next season. He's slightly bettered his form from the season before as he's got a few more assists to go along with his fifteen goals at just under one every other game.

Sam Magri - Penalty taker, goal scoring central defender and immense leader. This player came second in our fans player of the season award behind Jake Clarke-Salter. Magri was my preferred centre-half over the season as he was great for us.

Jake Clarke-Salter - The former Chelsea youngster wasn't going to be staying long due to the mentality he had. But as that changed fairly early on during my Northampton career he became crucial to our backline. When one of him or Magri was missing, we looked a little lost. But both are young enough and good enough to make the step up.

Other News

I have been awarded the League Two Manager of the Year Award which means I've won one of these for the second year running. The board agreed to increase the junior coaching budget and we also saw the youth category rating improve. Unfortunately the new youth facilities were cancelled but the stadium was purchased successfully. It does now mean that we have a loan that we've recently had to start paying back. I requested some philosophy talks with the board to remove 'signs young players for first team' and they have agreed to remove it.

The board announced the provisional budgets and I have to say I do like them.

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Job Offers

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Both interviews have been rejected. Doncaster finished 19th in League Two last season and whilst they're slightly better in terms of reputation, why would I take what I consider to be a step back and miss out on a great chance to build something further at Northampton. Oxford have just been relegated from League One and they're a non-fierce rival of Northampton as well so it makes no sense to go here.

Question

My former assistant at Alfreton, Mark Tyler has me in his favoured personnel list and left Alfreton when I did. He's got Peterborough in his favoured teams list and Northampton happen to be a fierce rival. Could he be refusing to join me due to a dislike for Northampton? It doesn't say in his information screen but he's refused to open talks for a season now. Everyone else who left Alfreton with me has joined.

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Just had this come through.



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They've just been relegated from the Scottish Premier League. In the Scottish Championship there are some biggish sides who will all be looking for promotion. They are Dundee United, Hamilton, Falkirk, Dunfermline and Ross County.

Seriously unsure what to do.......

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