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dafuge

dafuge's FM17 challenge

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1 hour ago, Thebaker said:

Are you under pressure from the owner after last season,they can't have been impressed with 11th.  i assume they want you to win the league now?

Actually not under any pressure at all. Last season the expectation after the takeover was still to avoid relegation, as it had been before the relegation. This season the expectation is still to avoid relegation, though my own expectations are higher.

I think they look at the reputation of the club when deciding the level of ambitions, and we are still quite low compared to other teams in the division. Though I think I will have to continually improve to keep my job.

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59 minutes ago, FreddyGuarin16 said:

I am going to get in on this, this year. 

However currently stuck between the following teams to choose: 

Frickley, Met Police, Enfield Town, Buxton or St Neots

Any thoughts? 

Frickley appealed to me as they are absolute minnows, but the finances are in freefall (the board have now withdrawn player bonuses!). Might be the same elsewhere. Buxton also appealed. Met Police did not!

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Adamant that I will find a rare team no one is using yet before I start. I did get Warrington Town to come up early on but didn't save it. Would prefer the Conference South anyway. Running out of options though I think.

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31 minutes ago, Mushtaq said:

Adamant that I will find a rare team no one is using yet before I start. I did get Warrington Town to come up early on but didn't save it. Would prefer the Conference South anyway. Running out of options though I think.

Yeah i have reloaded so many times waiting for Market Needham to come up, 

I am leaning towards Met. Police at the moment purely because it's a weird team name and wouldn't mind seeing Met. Police in the prem at some stage. 

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43 minutes ago, FreddyGuarin16 said:

Yeah i have reloaded so many times waiting for Market Needham to come up, 

I am leaning towards Met. Police at the moment purely because it's a weird team name and wouldn't mind seeing Met. Police in the prem at some stage. 

You should play Met. Police with hard tackling for extra immersion and police brutality.

Meanwhile I'm still reloading for Merthyr Town.

Edited by Soviet

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10 minutes ago, Soviet said:

You should play Met. Police with hard tackling for extra immersion and police brutality.

Meanwhile I'm still reloading for Merthyr Town.

So did I. About 100 reloads, and it didn't happen

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http://www.filedropper.com/dafugeclubs

 

I did an excel file with all the clubs. You can see basic info about the town (population and shire). Personally I like to pick my team based on town population. I don't feel it would be realistic that a town with 5k inhabitants had a PL team for instance.

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1 hour ago, Mr_Demus said:

http://www.filedropper.com/dafugeclubs

 

I did an excel file with all the clubs. You can see basic info about the town (population and shire). Personally I like to pick my team based on town population. I don't feel it would be realistic that a town with 5k inhabitants had a PL team for instance.

 

This is perfect actually, I totally agree, and looking long term you want to have a team that can attract big crowds , using that info, met police or surrey have a full 19k population, whereas Enfield albeit as part of London has 324k

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I've been getting quite a few job offers this season and from surprisingly high teams. I'm in my 4th season and still in the vanarama South but this season I have been approached by Swindon and Bury who are both in League 1. I haven't even completed a single coaching badge yet.

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@FreddyGuarin16 You got Buxton? Lucky you! Highest market town in England, famous water, highest stadium in England (The Silverlands) and it just so happens to be my hometown xD Personally I'd go with them but it's up to you :) 

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On 28/10/2016 at 22:34, Crispypaul said:

Errrr....Jamaica just won the 2018 World Cup in my save :eek:

I've stopped because of this I'm afraid, far too unrealistic.  Might return to the challenge if I get bored with my full release save.

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35 minutes ago, Crispypaul said:

I've stopped because of this I'm afraid, far too unrealistic.  Might return to the challenge if I get bored with my full release save.

Can relate. Brighton winning the FA Cup and the playoffs in the first season nearly put me off my save, but they normally become a top PL club in most of mine any way.

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I am not progressing fast with Basingstoke.

I had about 100 players in on trial. Started with a record of 2-2-0. 7 goals for and 2 against.

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14 minutes ago, Duroliponte said:

Can relate. Brighton winning the FA Cup and the playoffs in the first season nearly put me off my save, but they normally become a top PL club in most of mine any way.

Brighton won the FA Cup in the first year in my save as well, they beat West Bromwich in the final

Edited by Upside Down

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Enfield_Town_F.C._logo.png

Enfield Town FC - Vanarama South - 2020/21

This was our 4th season in the Vanarama South and I really wanted to push on this season after started brightly in previous seasons and fading away so missing out on the playoffs. This season we started with 2 wins followed by 2 draws and I was already thinking it might not be or year as I had completely revamped the squad. My team then gelled together and we were pretty consistent for the remainder of the season. We sat top for a little while in the mid season before a slight blip and we were overtaken by Maidenhead. We tried to chase down Maidenhead but after we beat them 3-1 in February they went on a run of 10 wins in the final 12 games and we just couldn't catch them as we dropped 11 points in the same time frame. We confirmed our position in the playoffs pretty early on and faced Boreham wood in the semi finals. We won the away leg 4-1 hitting them on the break with ease. We sat back in the return leg and withstood a lot of pressure and again hit them on the break to win 1-0 and set up a final with Maidstone.  We stormed into a 3-0 lead and just saw out the 2nd half and won 3-1 to gain promotion. 

League Table

Past Positions

Cups - We made round 1 for the 2nd consecutive season losing to Bristol Rovers. Sutton United knocked us out of the FA Trophy in round 2.

Squad - I had a massive revamp as a lot of good players came available. I brought in 18 new players and we had a solid side. My new strikers scored plenty of goals and I had plenty of assists from all over the pitch. The only survivors from the previous season were Gnahore and Hutchinson. 

Finances - Still in debt. Doesn't really change at this level unless you get a good cup run.

Key Player Profiles:

Andy Connor - Released by Bournemouth in the summer and put straight into my midfield. 12 Goals and 11 assists. 

 Samuel Boateng - Another released by Bournemouth. A slow start but came good with 20 goals. 

Joe Holmes - This guy was released by Arsenal and I picked him up to partner Boateng. Top scored with 26.

Next Season

Survive in the National League

Career Overview

Season          League                      League Finish     Achievements
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18         Vanarama South              9th                  
2018/19         Vanarama South              7th
2019/20         Vanarama South              8th
2020/21         Vanarama South              2nd               Playoff Winners

 

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1 hour ago, Hypanimz said:

This seems like a pretty good deal following promotion!

onTHYI7.png

Would have much preferred this to the Board building a new 4k stadium, putting the club more than a million pounds in debt!

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I haven't posted much this season, but hopefully will have an end of season update when I get there.

I was looking for a new scout when I found a name a lot of old timers in here will remember.  It was a bit bittersweet as he finally hung up his boots in order to sign with me.   @Jimbokav1971 , this ones for you buddy.   Over a decade later, and hes still fantastic for the challenge :)

Super Kyle Returns!

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Having a bizarre FA Trophy, just went back and looked, and only 4 of the 16 teams that made the 3rd round were from the National League, the others were from the North or South.  And the 4 weren't necessarily the best teams, currently 4th, 11th, 13th (us), and 24th in the standings.  And we all drew each other, meaning only 2 of the 8 teams in the 4th round were from the National League.  And then we drew each other again.  I'm playing Darlington 1883 in the final, they've had to play a replay match in 4 of their 5 rounds prior to the semis, and the semis for them went to penalties.

Edited by Warhawk

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13 hours ago, FreddyGuarin16 said:

Yeah i have reloaded so many times waiting for Market Needham to come up, 

I am leaning towards Met. Police at the moment purely because it's a weird team name and wouldn't mind seeing Met. Police in the prem at some stage. 

Was also thinking of Met Police as a youth challenge (graduate policemen only policy). Never completed this challenge let alone the youth one though so don't know why I'm considering that. I guess I have fun trying these challenges despite not going far.

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Enfield Town FC

Vanarama National League South 2018-19

Year-End Update

Calendar

   NgJFMc2.jpg  JtS23TZ.jpg 

Competitions

Vanarama National League

Being promoted to a new league comes with a variety of challenges, first and foremost to get the squad up to snuff.  To that end, my first task in the offseason was to add pieces that could be reliable contributors to a team at this level.  Sadly, this also meant we had to let some players go, including starting goalkeeper Nathan McDonald, some defenders who were kinda useless anyway, and the fans' player of the year, winger Bobby Devyne (the fans took that last one suprisingly well, actually).  Ultimately, I signed 11 notable players, 7 of whom were regular starters, and ended up spending a little over $30,000 on transfer fees.  The most notable of these are Max Melbourne, a 20 year old left fullback who looks to have a ton of potential, Emil Tansinda, a 19 year old right winger (who I actually probably played more often at left winger, and who is also an accomplished striker), Jon McCracken, an 18 year old goalkeeper who had been released from Norwich and who is a non-contract player, Rahul Parmar, a 20 year old right fullback, Callum Grogran, a 20 year old center defender, and finally my two last and biggest signings, Joe Ward and Jack Edwards, a striker and CM/DM respectively, both of whom I got from Billericay.  Ward, at $1,200 per week, is my highest paid player by a wide margin, with Edwards my second highest at $700.  And in many ways, the story of Enfield Town in 2018-19 is really the story of Joe Ward.

Preseason was reasonably successful.  We played several of the same teams as the previous season, and while we lost again to Luton and Barnet, our performances were stronger.  We turned a 3-1 loss to Billericay last season into a 3-1 win, and managed a win and a draw against League 2 Grimsby and Aldershot, respectively.

Ward scored a couple of times in the preseason - not as good as I was hoping, but we were subbing a lot.  So, we start the season a tad slow, with a 1-0 loss at Barrow on a defending error where the equalizer hit the crossbar, a 1-1 draw against recently relegated Morecambe where the last second winning shot hit the post, and a 2-0 loss at FC Halifax in a game in which we were the better team.  Through 3 games, we had shot the ball 33 times, and scored once.  In the 4th game, we quickly went down 1-0 at Tranmere, before Ward, who had not scored in a competitive game for us yet, was injured.  Nathan Corkery, my starting striker from last season, came in and scored 2 goals to turn things around and get us our first win.

Ward would be out for over a month.  In that time we had some moderate success, including wins against two teams who would ultimately make the playoffs, Gateshead and AFC Fylde.  That said, Gateshead contributed two own goals, and the winning goal in stoppage time against AFC Fylde was also an own goal.  However, this was followed by a stretch of 3 games we lost 7-0, including arguably our worst performance yet in a 2-0 loss at eventual league champions Newport Co.  Ward returned in our next game, but did not score over the next 3 games, and I did not play him in our FA cup game.

It was in our 16th game of the season, October 27th, that my premier signing, the highest paid player on my team, the focal point of my attack, finally scored a goal.  At this time we had 16 goals in 15 games, among the worst in the league, and had been shut out 6 times.  He failed to score in the next game, and at this point I start to wonder if my scheme has problems.  And so begins my 2 and a half game flirtation with a flat 4-4-2.  At Eastleigh we recorded a lucky 2-1 victory despite being badly out-shot, and we were outplayed even worse by Accrington in our subsequent FA Cup game (more on that later).  Finally, at halftime down 2-0 against Dag & Red where we had only 3 shots to their 14, I threw in the towel on the experiment and switched back to a 4-1-2-3 DM Wide, which let us at least win the second half, despite ultimately losing the game 3-2.  Ward scored his third goal in this game.

And then, Ward scored in the 6th minute in our next game at Ebbsfleet.  And then he scored in stoppage time in our next game against Bromley.  And then at Welling.  And then home against Woking.  And then in the FA Cup against AFC Telford.  And then at Boreham Wood, where he equalized it in the 5th minute after they had scored in the first.  Despite not scoring until October 27th, Ward would have 9 goals by December 11th, including in 7 games in a row.  After a couple games without scoring, he then scored in five straight games, including a hat trick in a comeback win home against Halifax Town and a 4-goal game home against Gateshead.  At this point we had played 29 league games.  Ward had not scored until the 16th, but was now 3rd in the league in goals.  He would ultimately cool off a bit and be relatively effective for much of the rest of the season, and finished tied for second in goals scored.

Our league position was largely uninteresting throughout the season, and while at times I was only 3 or 4 points out of the playoffs, at no point after the midpoint of the season did we rise above 10th or fall below 15th.  Instead of a long run of bad or good form, we were streaky on small scales - we would alternate between four or five good games and four or five bad ones.  We clinched survival at the end of March against Dag & Red with 6 games to go; at that point we were 16 points clear of relegation (most teams had only 5 games left at that time), and 14 points out of the playoffs.  We would ultimately finish 10th, with a record of 19-10-17 and a +2 goal differential - a perfectly average season, but outstanding considering the expectations of relegation the media had for us.

Final Table

8g2rQ8s.jpg

FA Cup

We began the FA Cup with a home game against Sutton Utd., who had last season been relegated from the National League and were leading (and ultimately won by a whopping 19 points) the National League South.  Despite being the betting underdogs, we put in a workmanlike effort and came away with a 2-0 victory, though Nigel Neita was injured for a couple weeks.  We drew Accrington at home, a bottom-feeder in League 2, who ultimately finished 22nd, narrowly avoiding relegation.  This was during my experiment with the 4-4-2, as discussed previously, which led to them dominating the game statistically.  Despite having no rights to win the game, the ever-reliable Scott Shulton put the team on his back, scoring a goal on an assist from Ward, a goal on a gorgeous free kick, and a goal on a penalty.  The final score was Scott Shulton 3, Accrington 2.

A somewhat fortunate draw home against AFC Telford was tougher than I expected, but their team had 3 players playing while injured, and that may have been the difference, as we won 2-0 in a pretty even battle.  This was our first appearance and first win in the second round.  This led to a dream draw at giants Liverpool.  The over $1,000,000 we earned from this match wasn't the only exciting thing about it, as Ward scored to take the lead in the 4th minute.  Liverpool outplayed us from then on, but we were more than respectable, ultimately losing 2-1, and just barely missing a few late opportunities to level the score.

FA Trophy

A bizarre FA Trophy with some crazy draws worked out pretty well for us.  When we drew away at Bromley in the first round, we didn't expect that that may have been the toughest draw we got the entire tournament.  We won that one 2-0; Bromley somehow managed to get off 24 shots, but they may as well have been from a different county as far from the goal as they were.  A game at Barwell awaited us in the second round, and while we dominated, we needed extra time as they tied it at 1-1.  Migel Neita, my personal player of the year last season, scored the winner, his first goal of the season as our new signings have relegated him to a rotational role.  Barwell nearly tied it at the end of extra time, but a good looking shot hit the post.

This is where things get strange.  Of the 16 teams in the third round, only 4 are from the National League, and only Hartlepool could be considered a top team (ourselves and Eastleigh were middling, North Ferriby was terrible).  In the third round, we drew North Ferriby and Eastleigh drew Hartlepool, ensuring that only two teams would make it to the final 8 from the National League.  We got a fairly relaxing 2-0 win, and Eastleigh upset Hartlepool.  Then, in the fourth round, we drew Eastleigh at home, ensuring that only one team in the semifinals could be from the National League.

We drew Eastleigh 0-0 at home in a lackluster game to send us away for the replay.  We put up the barricades, and the game was scoreless for 90 minutes.  With 2 minutes of stoppage time, at 91:45 Scott Shulton popped a free kick high into the box from the right wing.  Parmar headed it in Ward's direction, and Ward got his foot on it, putting it in the net for a dramatic 1-0 win.

At Kettering in the first leg of the semifinal, we were largely the more effective team, but unluckily suffered a 2-1 loss.  At home in the second leg, Shulton scored early on a penalty, and Grogan scored on a header after a corner kick that kept getting bounced back and forth, giving us a 3-2 aggregate win.  Finally, to close out our season we played Darlington 1883 in the final at Wembley in front of 19,000 fans.  Unfortunately, Edwards had got sent off a few games back and was suspended, and to make things worse, our backup DM (another signing this season) had gotten 2 yellow cards in our last league match, leaving us with Billy Crook, our starter from last season, who this season had only started 9 games, with 3 sub appearances.  On top of that, our goalkeeper was playing for Scotland in the U20 World Cup, and had to be replaced by our backup, Jordan Fell.  After a scoreless 90 minutes, it was fittingly Crook who broke the stalemate, scoring off a free kick from Shulton, who would then himself add a goal in the second half of extra time.  Darlington 1883 scored a consolation goal late, but a second one never came, making Enfield Town 2018-19 FA Trophy Champions.

 

Squad & Awards

Oz1sonU.jpg

The players I signed generally worked out pretty well, fan expectations and board griping about finances aside.  The best two signings were probably Jack Edwards, the new vice-captain and stalwart defensive midfielder, who had the second highest average rating on the team, and the aforementioned Ward.  The only real knock on Edwards is his excessive number of yellow cards (most in the league, despite our team overall having the 5th fewest, and 4th fewest fouls), but he was also had the second most tackles in the league, so perhaps that's to be expected.  Of the starters I brought in, the most disappointing, strictly speaking, is probably Melbourne, who was among the league leaders in mistakes, and who only contributed 2 assists, unlike his counterpart on the right, Parmar, who contributed 10 along with 2 goals.  Melbourne does seem to be improving gradually, however, and my coaches are gushing about his progression in training.  Aside from that, the 11 players on my first-team roster all contributed and did respectably.

As for a few interesting statistical notes, unlike last season where we dominated on offense and had a leaky defense, this season we started out with a strong defense but an impotent offense.  By the end of the season, however, we were pretty middling in both, reflecting our position in the league table.  We were middling in most stats, in fact, other than the aforementioned fouls and cards, and other than being the worst team in the league defending corner kicks, which I'll have to address (I think part of the problem is that we're not particularly good at heading either, and one of the shortest & lightest teams in the league).  We did have a high tackles made ratio; unfortunately, we also conceded the most penalties in the league.

Fans' and Manager's Player of the Season: Scott Shulton

Fans' Signing of the Season: Emil Tansinda

Manager's Signing of the Season: Joe Ward

Fans' Young Player of the Season: Jack Willbye

Manager's Young Player of the Season: Joe Ward

Shortlist for Vanarama National League Manager of the Year (4th in points)

 

FA Trophy Champoins

State of the Club

WgXrr0H.jpg

From a financial perspective, the club would have lost money over the season but for our FA Cup draw against Liverpool.  Excluding that income and the cost of an upgrade to our training facilities we have already paid for, our losses on the year would have been approximately $150,000.  Our payroll budget, which was at approximately $12,000 per week, has been increased to approximately $16,000 per week, and we have been given a transfer budget of over $160,000.  Several of our players who are more properly backup level players at this level have agreed to return as non-contract backups rather than wage players, which should free up some of our wage budget.  Our average attendance was 533, or 5% of capacity.

Goals for the upcoming season are as follows:

  • Get in the mix for the playoffs
  • Reach the FA Cup 2nd Round
  • Reach the FA Trophy Fourth Round
  • Upgrade with rotational players or starters at central defense, central midfield, winger.  Maybe get a better backup striker.
  • Attempt to keep under budget such that increases in attendance will result in sustainable financial health for the club.
Edited by Warhawk
Formatting

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Hypanimz congratulations on the promotion.

Warhawk, a great season, good to see. Congratulations on winning the FA Trophy and what a bonus from the game against Liverpool.

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I'm heading for a fiscal meltdown I think, over £500k debt and the board have cut the wage bill by over £1k.

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Lowestoft Town | Vanarama National | Season Four

 

Table better than last season, we are still trying to find a tactic that will work for us, but we need to start improving as we are starting to spend more money on our junior coaching.

Transfers

Finances

Bradley Catton decent this year, but to move forward he will have to be replaced.

Max Sheaf our cog in the centre of midfield, keeps us tickng and if we can get him on an actual contract then it will helps us a lot.

Robbie Burton same as Sheaf

Jubril Adedeji need a replacement for Reed? Found him.

 

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Well its taken me 7 games to record my first win in the Vanarama National. I'm really find this a step up. We have also drawn 3 of the 7 total games however I think I am in for a struggle this season.

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So I am in...  I have decided on Buxton Football Club. 

 

Buxton FC Season 2017/18

Image result for buxton football club logo

 

  

Full name    Buxton Football Club
Nickname(s)    The Bucks

Founded        1877

Ground        The Silverlands, Buxton

Capacity    4,000 (490 seated)

Chairman    David Hopkins

Manager profile on my first day: 

My Profile Profile.png

Looking at the playing staff, and the strengths and weakness's, I seem to have a lot more weakness's than strengths! 

Most of the stronger players have already been offered contracts and when I have tried to reduce them early on the players are instantly getting a bit funny so will have to let them be offered at what they are offered at.  Full squad evaulation underway at moment and back room staff. If this is going to be done it needs to be a ground up approach. So i have to get everything in order and working the way I want it to.

Buxton_  Overview.png

Full update at the end of season. Wish me luck! 

Oh and on my updates I will be posting a 'tune or an album that i think sets the mood for that update!' enjoy (dafuge, please let me know if this is against any rules!!!) 

 

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l97Ms0o.png

Ashton Utd

END of SEASON

2017/18

Vanarma National League North

18th

iE6WVwv.png

Alright, we survived!

When my keeper started new year by breaking his finger, and a horde of other injuries, I thought we’d be sent down to the abyss for sure. But the players recovered, and by the use of team meetings where we bolstered our spirits. I finally lost it with my wingers, which produced nothing ... no goals or assists whatsoever. So 4-3-1-2 with 3 CM midfielders and a midfield dominance kinda style landed us several points at the end! 

I’m convinced that my dance of tactics and a few emergency signings mid-season saved us. However our economy is suffering from it.

 

Top Scorer:

-        Daniel Mooney, 12 goals.

He’s nothing near special, but he ended up playing just a bit more than the other two attackers of the club, and that is the only reason why he was top scorer. I need a solid goal getter.

 

The fan’s player of the year:

-        Alaster Redmayne, RM.  

I disagree with the fans on this one, but his AVERAGE preformance has nonetheless made him player of the year. A winger with 5 assists in 33 matches don’t impress me. Fans plz cut down on the beer.

 

My players of the year

-        Joe Connor, CB.

He’s an oldie, but also the only decent defender we have. Without him we would never win the matches we won. When he played great, we collected points! He was also captain for the team, and played every single match. I like players I can rely on! He should probably have been the real fan player of the year.

 

-       Eddie Fulwood, RB

Doesn’t look all impressive maybe, but I thirst for good defenders. And Fullwood has taken a huge step in one year, and I can’t wait to see him next year.

Young talents

-        Jason Furbert, AMC

English- Bermudian player of 196 cm, produced by our own youth intake. I ended up using his as a sub late season for his free kick skill. I am very sure he will get more opportunities as a sub next year. Decent determination, but i’ll try to push it up.

 

Next season: Repeat the feat

I need at least three more quality defenders to sail this ship. And an solid attacker. I consider getting rid of my wingers, and just og with midfield dominance, especially if I can land a good LB which allows for some support from the back. Pre- season this year will need alot of tinkering and contract buisness. 

 

 

Season   |    League      |  Position  | Top Scorer          |  Achievments  |
---------|----------------|------------|---------------------|---------------|-----------
2017/18  | Vanarama North |    18th    | Daniel Mooney, 12   | Over red zone |

 

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Couldn't load my first attempt(forgot to have multiple saves :seagull: ) so started again. Kettering appeared again after a new career and holiday so went with them again as only Merthyr Town the only targeted team. Here is my Manager profile and I should have a end of season update done sometime today.

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Kettering Town F.C. - Vanarama National League South 2017-18

Table ¦ Past Positions Graph ¦ Player Stats ¦ FA Cup Results ¦ FA Trophy Results

Squad ¦ Transfers ¦ Finances

Loads of players in and out. Everyone who came in were on Non-contracts so financially I was fine to have a large squad but the non-contracts on the original players did not help as most of the players transferred out to teams were starters at the time. Financially we are in a good position and are making a small profit each month which is very rare at this stage for me in this challenge. 442 was the go to formation for most of the season but I did toy with my preferred 4123 DM wide and would of likely used it if I could find a suitable DM and LW as I'm not conformable with a 442 these days. In the Cup we progressed well but disappointed we couldn't get further in the FA cup to get a big tie but Harrogate proved too strong on the day.

The big test next season will be to hold on to the players Already lost two GKs and a RM since our last game. I would like to keep most on non-contracts but I may need to hand part time deals out if teams come calling and I can get players to accept . Going to be in another different stadium again next season while work is done on our stadium.

Season      ¦ League            ¦ Position  ¦ Achievements
------------¦-------------------¦-----------¦------------------------
2017/18     ¦ Vanarama South    ¦ 1st       ¦ League Champions 

 

Edited by Welsh Wizard

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Frickley Athletic (Youth only career)

2018/19 Season: Vanarama North

14dhvfb.png

 

 

League Position: 16th (Media prediction: 22nd)

Fixtures 1 Fixtures 2

My word, what a horrorshow this nearly was, possibly my toughest season in over 20 years of CM and FM! After a weak start we improved and I naively started dreaming of the playoffs. By the end I was so grateful to avoid the drop having gone four months without a win in the league. A switch to a more attacking tactic eventually paid off with a 6-0 demolition of Guiseley, the biggest and most important win of my career. But even then we continued to flounder and it wasn’t until Luke Lewis’s late late winner against FC United that I could begin to relax a little. The teams below us really must have been shocking! Still, three defeats to end the season and a beyond dire financial situation (the club are at this point refusing to renew my contract) don’t suggest I’ll be troubling the fifth tier anytime soon.

FA Cup: Third Qualifying Round

The only plus point here is that we experienced (and won) our first ever penalty shootout.

FA Trophy: First Round

I think cup football is beyond me at this early stage.

***

Notable Players

Cameron Rigby: Not particularly consistent, but my word, we needed those 19 goals.

Dieu Foukamene: The most reliable player in the squad, he rarely gave the ball away and provided some stability in midfield.

Jamie Jones: Highest average rating in the squad but I felt slightly let down by him in some of the big games.

Luke Lewis: One of a few ‘senior’ players who raised his game this season, I’d almost pick him for the FC United winner alone.

Rob Cooney: I’m probably being harsh as he was so good last season, but again, I was a little disappointed. On the plus side, his equaliser against Alfreton near the end of the season showed just how good he can be.

***

Season-by-season progress

Season Division Position FA Cup FA Trophy Top scorer Star man
2017-18 Vanarama North 10th 3rd QR 2nd round Rob Cooney: 13 Rob Cooney
2018-19 Vanarama North 16th 3rd QR 1st round Cameron Rigby: 19 Cameron Rigby


Aims for next season

I can barely look back at the aims I set out last time without wincing. I think for now a new contract and another year of survival is all I can wish for.

Edited by Duroliponte

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Ilkeston F.C.

2018/2019 Season - Vanarama Conference

Ilkeston_FC_logo.png

A magical season from the Robins saw us start in the playoff places and stay there for the rest of the campaign.  Despite being favourites for relegation, Ilkeston confounded the pundits (and myself) by pulling out wins and draws that they had absolutely no right in doing so.  Ultimately, a 3rd place finish in the table lead us to the playoffs.  A nervy 1-1 draw to Nuneaton was followed by an equally nervy 1-0 win at home in Ilkeston to send us to Wembley for a playoff Final and a spot in League football in the balance.

A cruel blow for the team occured two days before the final as our starting keeper and ever present Fabian Speiss went down injured, leaving the barely tested Marcel Wusiewicz to man the sticks.  We had our day at Wembley against Eastleigh, who were a very good side throughout the season.  I didn't really think that we stood much of a chance.  We took the lead through a Rob Worrall strike in the 14th minute, a fluke header that looper over the onrushing keeper.  Our lead lasted until the 22nd minute when Eastleigh equalized. At half time we were still in with a shout and we took the lead again through Rob Worrall, who put us ahead at the hour mark.  The lead was almost immediately in danger as we conceeded a penalty in the 66th minute, but Wusiewicz was up to the task, stopping Jack Munns to keep us ahead.  Unfortunately, in the 68th minute, Eastleigh equalized through Ben Bereton who was truly outstanding for them on the day.

It looked like it would be extra time when in the 88th minute, the ball fell to Ilkeston's left winger Matty Forster who slotted the ball into the bottom corner, giving Ilkeston a 3-2 lead!  With the Robins fans in raptures, right winger Adam Drury sealed the game two minutes later with an emphatic strike that put the game beyond doubt.  A late goal by Elliot Holmes only added to Eastleigh's misery and our delight.

We were Up

Final Table

Key Players

Dwyer - Last season's goal scoring hero had a decent year.  He was injured quite a bit and lost his starting role.  Decent enough when he came on, he's probably reached his level, though I feel obligated to take him to League Two with me.

Mbuti - Half of our excellent central defence pairing, Mbuti was quite good for us.  Think again that he's probably not league two standard, but I'm willing to give him a shot

Hare - The other half of our defence, Hare was probably the more consistent of the two centre backs.

Worrall - Our key striker was this man, Rob Worrall, a man with a knack for popping up with key goals.  25 goals and 13 assists shows you how central he was to our season.  Will get his chance to succeed at League Two level, but I feel he might be better suited to coming off the bench.

Speiss - Was pretty much ever present for us in the League before getting hurt before the playoff final.  He always played decently, but I was never really convinced.

Forster - The key left winger from last year was...decent this year.  He scored the playoff winner, so that contribution at least was deeply appreciated

Cups

Nothing to write home about

Youth

Ramsden - Barely progressed.  Seemed to have reached his full potential at 17!

Cartwright - Played pretty well when brought into the team, I loaned him out and he promptly got injured.  Figures.  Now that we are in League Two, he looks like he will never break into the team

McDonald - Our best from this year's youth intake.  Looks pretty handy, though his technical stats need improvement

Finances

Decently in the black

Next Season

I think we basically fluked a promotion, if I'm being totally honest.  Our backs are up against the wall in professional football.  We definitely need a season to consolidate ourselves before even thinking about promotion.  On the positive side, we have a new (albeit small) stadium, and we have turned pro.  We can now scout the full British Isles and perhaps the most important part is...there is only 2 relegation spots from League 2.  That means we only need to beat two teams to survive - and that's all we need to do. 

However, I'm not sure if we have a single League Two quality player in the side right now.  All of our players are good at one or maybe two things, but lack some necessary attributes, and I feel like many of them will be found out in League Two.  I'm hoping to bring in some veteran players to give the squad some stability, but I feel like I'll end up relying on loanees too much.  Should be a fun (and very different) sort of season.

History

2017-2018 - Vanarama North - 1st - Promoted

2018-2019 - Vanarama Conference - 3rd - Promoted Via Playoffs!

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Congrats @Amethyst21. I find going up the playoffs gives you more of a sense of satisfaction than automatic promotion! Good luck in League 2.

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2 minutes ago, Hypanimz said:

 

I went through the same a couple of hours ago. My team got wrecked.

I feel like the best option there is to just write-off the middle game and use your reserves.

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7 hours ago, Hypanimz said:

Well its taken me 7 games to record my first win in the Vanarama National. I'm really find this a step up. We have also drawn 3 of the 7 total games however I think I am in for a struggle this season.

1 Better than me --- 0 points and 1 goal from first 7.  Three 1-0 losses where I was scored on against the run of play.  Out played 3 of the final 4 of that batch in all areas except scoring chances (Possession, passing, tackling all superior) but just couldn't finish it.  The good news was that, after creating almost no chances in the first 3-4 matches.....we're not creating chances in the past couple of matches.....if I can get one goal....the floodgate might open. 

And we did get a goal and a 1-0 win in our 8th match.  We've two "easy" matches coming up --- here's hoping we can continue on this one little success!

A big thank-you to those enjoying my struggles in the steam chat group and on twitch --- love to have you all along!

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1 minute ago, G_D_K said:

1 Better than me --- 0 points and 1 goal from first 7.  Three 1-0 losses where I was scored on against the run of play.  Out played 3 of the final 4 of that batch in all areas except scoring chances (Possession, passing, tackling all superior) but just couldn't finish it.  The good news was that, after creating almost no chances in the first 3-4 matches.....we're not creating chances in the past couple of matches.....if I can get one goal....the floodgate might open. 

And we did get a goal and a 1-0 win in our 8th match.  We've two "easy" matches coming up --- here's hoping we can continue on this one little success!

A big thank-you to those enjoying my struggles in the steam chat group and on twitch --- love to have you all along!

Hopefully it picks up for you. We were creating in those early games but we just lost by the odd goal. Thinks have certainly picked up and I will hand an end of season update later. But here is a sneak peak.

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25 minutes ago, Warhawk said:

I feel like the best option there is to just write-off the middle game and use your reserves.

Had the same as well. Thought about posting it as a bug report, but I didn't have a save from before the schedule was set to give them.

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So I am reloading again after the sudden destruction of my Tonbridge save. I was really getting into the save and I thought things were going well so to have to restart for reasons other than being sacked is very disappointing. Hopefully I can find a team that I will enjoy as much.

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