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[FM17] When AI becomes a player... Or player becomes AI? Mission impossible

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Year 2017. Lviv, Ukraine. A local IT company creates a robot with AI - RoboMan (Robotic Manager). The main idea was to make an experiment whether the AI robot can become a successful football manager.

RoboMan was sent to Northern Ireland to take control of a local football club that was promoted to the 3rd tier after season 2016/2017. RoboMan has to do the impossible - win the Champions League with youth products.

And the story begins...

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Competitions

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Best Players

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Personnel

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Club

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Manager attributes growth

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***

Goalkeeper watch

  • Jonh McIlveen RETIRED - 2 goals, 3 assists (34 apps)
  • 18a Nixon GK (Bal) - 17 goals, 2 assists (116 apps)
  • 21a Copeland GK (FAmb) - 0 goals, 0 assists (1 app)

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On 04.11.2016 at 20:51, Black and Yellow said:

Having tried similar on FM16, I will follow with interest. Good luck!

P.s. don't expect any money until you reach Europe!!

Thanks! Yeah, the finances are... ehm... getting awful pretty fast.

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Ards Rangers

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

Season 2017/2018 Preview

With the pre-season underway, I (as RoboMan) decided to prepare two friendly tournaments + one additional game (7 in total) to see what am I going to work with. It is very hard to say who can become the star man in this team. Even some veterans can pull off a great performance at times. We will get acquainted with the players as the season goes.

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The situation is not critical (yet) but the squad is pretty much 28+ with two players being 40+! We are lacking in backup for the DR position and could do with an extra striker-DLF up front but that's up to the intake to resolve.

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On the outs, one player retired and 5 players (including a 44yo DC with dead physicals) were released.

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Talking about the intake... I am on the look for a HoYD, but all candidates have Balanced personality which is not good. The advert is currently active for about a month and there is no luck, so I might have to sign a Balanced HoYD until better times.

The board have agreed to bring in a Sports Scientist (hurrah!) but didn't allow me a Data Analyst (no hurrah...). So I am currently working with the following staff - Assistant Manager | Coach | Chief Scout | Head Physio | Physio.

The tactics are based on a 4-2-4 formation with a BWM+BBM in the center, two wingers and two strikers. Only the mentality and the set of instructions differ. This may change and get tweaked in the future, We were good at controlling the ball during pre-season though, which is encouraging.

 

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11 hours ago, Slugling said:

Looking forward to more, seems like it's going to be a very good read!

Cheers!

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Now then, before the first official game, I decided to instruct my players what to do during set pieces... and found out that my best keeper is the second best free kick taker in the club! Which means he will be taking them to become the new Chilavert (at least).

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And here is our HoYD. Balanced personality but it's the best we could get. There was one with Low Determination personality, so yeah. Have to work with this lad for a while.

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And he's gone... Andrew Wallace GK (Bal) moved to Glebe Rangers from a league below us... Yeah, very ambitious of you, Andrew!.. We are down to one keeper (who is crap). No keepers in the reserves or u18s... Disappointed,

At least Andrew managed to get an assist from a free kick :D.

This is a comparison with John McIlveen GK (Bal).

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Goal-scoring keepers, (well assisting keepers anyway). :thup:

Youth only. :thup:

What's not to like?  :applause:

The thing I remember most about N.Ireland, (other than goal-scoring keepers), is that in some of the Cup competitions, the Reserves of the bug clubs play the seniors of the small clubs, so make sure your goal-scoring GK plays in them because he should fill his boots. 

 

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4 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Goal-scoring keepers, (well assisting keepers anyway). :thup:

Youth only. :thup:

What's not to like?  :applause:

The thing I remember most about N.Ireland, (other than goal-scoring keepers), is that in some of the Cup competitions, the Reserves of the bug clubs play the seniors of the small clubs, so make sure your goal-scoring GK plays in them because he should fill his boots. 

 

Cheers. McIlveen GK (Bal) has only 2 for free kicks, so I'm not currently taking the risk. Hope a new keeper comes through the academy, but that's a long way ahead. (I'm playing the full flat 90 minutes per game :D ).

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2 hours ago, Shevchenko said:

Cheers. McIlveen GK (Bal) has only 2 for free kicks, so I'm not currently taking the risk. Hope a new keeper comes through the academy, but that's a long way ahead. (I'm playing the full flat 90 minutes per game :D ).

There is a school of thought that the reason GK's score more free-kicks than outfield players in recent versions of the game, is because the game uses the wrong attribute when calculating free-kick ability and SI don't know how to fix it.

If you look at the free kick attribute on an outfield player, you will see that it is the 6th attribute down on the list of technical attributes.

If you look for the attribute that is in that position on a GK profile then the 6h technical attribute down is handling, which just happens to be an attribute that is key to GK performance. Some people, (myself included), believe that the ME is using the handling attribute for GK free-kicks rather than the free-kick attribute and this is what gives them an advantage. :cool:

Playing a Youth only save while watching 90 minutes per match? :lol: Good luck with that. 

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1 hour ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

There is a school of thought that the reason GK's score more free-kicks than outfield players in recent versions of the game, is because the game uses the wrong attribute when calculating free-kick ability and SI don't know how to fix it.

If you look at the free kick attribute on an outfield player, you will see that it is the 6th attribute down on the list of technical attributes.

If you look for the attribute that is in that position on a GK profile then the 6h technical attribute down is handling, which just happens to be an attribute that is key to GK performance. Some people, (myself included), believe that the ME is using the handling attribute for GK free-kicks rather than the free-kick attribute and this is what gives them an advantage. :cool:

Playing a Youth only save while watching 90 minutes per match? :lol: Good luck with that. 

That's interesting... Didn't know about the free kick attribute for goalies!

AS for 90 minute madness.. Well, that's how I like to play for the last two FMs. And looking at the results so far (spoiler), it's a great decision :) . I can change instructions as the game goes based on STATS.

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Ards Rangers

August 2017 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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A very solid start to the campaign! I was very delighted that we managed to pull off some great performances against some solid teams. We started the campaign with a 3-0 thrashing of Ballyclare. It was a game where everything clicked perfectly and our ex-player Andrew Wallace GK (Bal) TRAITOR got his first and only assist for the team. We followed this up with a solid performance at home against Queens University with Tony Tumelty P (Bal) helping us with getting 3 points on the night. Newington was in 2nd place but felt short of expectations as Tony Tumelty P (Bal) once again was the difference. The last game was away at Banbridge where we suffered our first defeat of the season, although we played them off the park and had 20 shots to their 7...

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County Antrim Shield

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A surprise win at home to NIFL Championship side Larne after extra time saw us progress to the next round where we will face Donegal Celtic. The winning goal was a fluke cross from Gary Brown DR (Bal) ;) .

Steel & Sons Cup

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A goal bonanza and a game for the neutrals as we coasted past a non-league team. It was a game of two halves - we were winning 5-0 with 4 shots on target before the break only to concede 3 after the break... Oh well, at least we've won!

Irish League Cup

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A solid display as we got a 3-1 win against Newington thanks to a 2 minute double salvo. We then went out of the cup against a solid premiership side Portadown and my guys did the best they could on the pitch.

***

Player to watch

Tony Tumelty P (Bal) - 4 apps, 4 goals, 2 assists

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***

Highlights of the month

Andrew Wallace GK (Bal) TRAITOR getting the assist

 

Glenn Upton AMR (LHeart) goal against Queens University

***

Manager thoughts

It has been a very solid month, especially with the amount of games we've played. 

Downside: two injuries to DLs with only 3 DLs in the team.

Upside: Team performance. I have been using three tactics. Tactic 1 is Control-based and the same Tactic 2 is Counter-based. Tactic 3 is also Control-based but has a DM in the midfield to solidify the center of the pitch. All three tactics were used in different games based on the opponent formations (4-4-2, 3-5-2 and 3-4-3). We managed to control the ball better than the opponennt in EVERY game. And the only game where an opponent had more shots was the game against Queen University.

***

Other news

We have a Sports Scientist!

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Some quick thoughts about the situation  at the club.

1) We have a VERY aging squad and this is a massive test for any manager. The key problem is, of course, decreasing physicals and, as a result, players become weaker and slower on the pitch. For now, the board wants mid table which is achievable at this point. But when 35+ players begin to decline and decline fast, we will need to bleed in youth products that won't be superstars from the off. And if the board expectations stay as high as they are now - it is going to be a massive problem. 

2) I cannot offer players part-time contracts, just the non-contracts. We already have a traitor,  Andrew Wallace GK (Bal) TRAITOR, who left us for a team playing a division below us and some other teams have been trying to steal our better players. Luckily, they decided to stay with us. But if they leave... It's gonna be relegation battle year by year. And I should remember that the board expectations still sit at mid table...

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Ards Rangers

September 2017 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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We started the month with a massive shocker by losing 0-5 to promotion contenders Dundela. Not only did we lose heavily, we conceded from their first 5 shots on target... In reality, they were the better team on the pitch but surely not by 5 freakin goals! As a result, our morale went down the hill. Thankfully, we bounced back with a VERY had fought 3 points against top-of-the-table-at-that-point Annagh Utd. The game had everything - red cards, late drama... and 1st place for us. Another 3 points were gained in a goal bonanza against Newry City AFC as we stayed top of the table going into October.

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County Antrim Shield

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Another surprise win at home to NIFL Championship side, this time against Donegal Celtic, and again after extra time. We are now in the Semis and going to play premiership side Glentoran.

Steel & Sons Cup

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Two solid wins against fellow league Ballyclare Comrades and non-league Dungiven saw as enter the quarter-final stage. If everything goes right, we should coast through to the semis after beating another non-league side - Tandragee.

***

Player to watch

Johnny Nixon DL (Bal) - despite being injured most of the time, when he plays - he is our leader in defence. Currently one of the best performers based on the average rating.

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***

Highlights of the month

John McIlveen GK (Bal) getting his first ever assist.

The goal that put us top of the table.

***

Manager thoughts

Despite the 0-5 loss, this was a positive month for us. Morale is back up (though not excellent), my strikers are scoring goals and we continue to control the ball in each game. One more thing that I've noticed - Work Rate has gone up for some of my players. This is great news, as well as the fact Determination is not going down as well.

Downside: Most 30+ players are declining. And our midfielders are the weakest place in the team. This is a real concern.

Upside: I don't care about the cups and often play a weakened squad. But we somehow managed to do well and hopefully this will boost our confidence going into the league games. And I'm always happy to wn a small trophy.

***

Other news

The board won't allow a Data Analyst...

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Arrrrgh! Found a possible bug... Three of my players decided to retire in late October! And the retirement dates were 2.1.1900 in their profiles! Posted in the bugs forum... Three players! One of them deing crucial to the team and one having Resolute personality! :seagull:

  • Marc McCann AML (Bal) - 10(3) apps, 4 goals, 2 assists , 6.92. 37 yo.
  • Gerard Watson BMW (Res) - 7(3) apps, 0 goals, 0 assists, 6.69. 38 yo.
  • Darren Stirling DLF (FDet) - 8(1) apps, 3 goals, 4 assists, 6.93. 35 yo.

We are left only with one FPro, a 44 yo grandpa...

[edit]

Marc McCann AML (Bal) was the only natural AML in the team, now I have to put right-footed AMRs onto the left wing... Brilliant :seagull:

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Ards Rangers

October 2017 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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Just two games in the league this month. We scraped through to a 1-0 win against bottom of the table Tobermore Utd. The game against Distillery was a real thriller though. We went down 0-2 after 30 minutes and looked to be going for a very disappointing defeat but two yellow cards in the space of two minutes for Distillery's Joe McDonnell gave us a chance to get back into action. The highlight of the game was a Ronaldinho-esque goal against Seaman's England side (although this was not a free kick) from Craig Gardiner DL (Bal)

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County Antrim Shield

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Our best result this season despite the loss! It was a game the Ards Rangers fans will remember for years to come as we almost knocked out Premiership giants Glentoran out of the County Antrim Sheild. We were 2-1 up until the 81st minute thanks to Marc McCann AML (retired) and... John McIlveen GK (Bal) who scored from a free kick! But then everything broke to pieces - we conceded from the center of the pitch (yeah, after a poor cross from our keeper when taking a free kick) and then there was late drama after Conor O'Hara DC (Bal) made the decisive mistake at the back. So close, yeat so far...

Steel & Sons Cup

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As predicted, we cruised past non-league Tandragee into the semis. Nothing spectacular in the result here.

Intermediate Cup

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Same can be said about the game against Raithfriland. A hat-trick from veteran Paul Davies AF (Bal) and an assist from John McIlveen GK (Bal) were more than enough to beat a non-league side. The draw was not great for the next round - Lurgan Celtic from the Champioship awaits us.

***

Player to watch

Glen Upton AML (LHeart) - stepped up in his last three appearances, managing at least a 7.1 rating.

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***

Highlights of the month

John McIlveen GK (Bal) getting his second assist.

John McIlveen GK (Bal) getting his first ever goal.

Craig Gardiner DL (Bal) - a great goal to shock the Distillery fans.

***

Manager thoughts

I am not sure we have good news this time. Despite our great form, three players retired in late October. Paul Davies AF (Bal) will retire at the end of the season. And I don't know what the intake will be... We need DRs, AMLs and STs...

Downside: As said, player retirements...

Upside: We're still managing to fight for promotion...

***

Other news

John McIlveen GK (Bal) is now on 1 goal and 2 assists.

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Ards Rangers

November 2017 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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We are currently in a poor form if you look at the previous results. Mostly this is due to players retiring as I don't have a proper DLF up front and the tactics are not working the way I want. We started the month with a poor 1-1 result against Sport & Leisure where we had 61% of the ball and made over 560 passes... Just couldn't break them down for the second time, The game against bottom of the table Moyola Park was even more frustrating as we had twice as much shots and conceded the equalizer on the 89th minute.

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Steel & Sons Cup

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Destroyed non-league Derriaghy and we are through to the final! Brilliant stuff!

Intermediate Cup

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We were very close to another upset in the cups as we only lost on penalties to Championship side Lurgan Celtic. Unlucky but I really didn't care about the cup.

***

Player to watch

Glen Upton AML (LHeart) - once again our best performer, popping up with 3 goals in 3 starts this month.

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***

Highlights of the month

John McIlveen GK (Bal) getting his 3rd and 4th assist this season in one game!

Glen Upton AML (LHeart) - our last goal in the Steel and Sons Cup semis.

***

Manager thoughts

Mixed thoughts... A poor run in the league, although we are in the Steel and Sons Cup final. I need to figure out how to tweak my tactics to get more goals from our chances.

Downside: Draws galore in the league as we struggle to beat teams we should be beating.

Upside: We are going to play in our first cup final. And I bagged my National C license.

***

Other news

The Board is... arghhhhh! No national B license, no Junior coaching budget increase, no data analyst... :(

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For a team which just got promoted you are doing exceptionally well to be leading the table at the half way point as you are. Shame about the bug, haven't encountered that one myself but can see how it would be infuriating for you when doing a challenge as difficult as this.

As for the traitors, if you have some spare room on your wage budget I'd give the players you want to keep a higher appearance fee. Players on non-contracts seem more reluctant to move for equal or worse terms even to higher leagues but will gladly move for better terms (the rotten turncoats). Best to try and give yourself as much protection as you can seeing as you won't be signing any players to replace them

Good luck for the challenge, looks a fascinating career so far. KUTGW :)

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37 minutes ago, pheelf said:

For a team which just got promoted you are doing exceptionally well to be leading the table at the half way point as you are. Shame about the bug, haven't encountered that one myself but can see how it would be infuriating for you when doing a challenge as difficult as this.

As for the traitors, if you have some spare room on your wage budget I'd give the players you want to keep a higher appearance fee. Players on non-contracts seem more reluctant to move for equal or worse terms even to higher leagues but will gladly move for better terms (the rotten turncoats). Best to try and give yourself as much protection as you can seeing as you won't be signing any players to replace them

Good luck for the challenge, looks a fascinating career so far. KUTGW :)

Cheers. I actually do increase appearance fees for some players when an offer comes for them. But I still don't understand why would a good keeper playing for top-of-the-league team leave to play a division below... I think he was on a £25 appearance + a clean sheet bonus. And we had a lot of games due to cups. Will scout him to see his bonuses at Glebe Rangers.

There were offers for 4 or 5 other players this season already and they all stayed here.

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Toals Steel & Sons Cup

Final

 

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December 25, 2017

Seaview, Belfast

 

We are going into the final almost in full strength. Ards are our main fierce rivals - they are a Premiership side IRL, but in-game they got relegated to the Champioship where they are sitting in 3rd place. They are also a club from Newtownards but they are currently playing in Bangor. This is our best test ever as Ards Rangers have never been to a cup final as a semi-professional football club and playing in the final against Ards... This is going to be a challenge. So I decided to play with just one striker up front and a DM to secure the defensive line.

Starting XI: John McIlveen GK (Bal) - Johnny Nixon DL (Bal), Mark Drysdale DC (FSport), Cathal O'Kane DC (Bal), Gary Brown DR (Bal) - Jackie Kerr BWM (FPro) - Ruari McClean AP (FAmb), Daley Carnduff BBM (FDet) - Glen Upton AML (LHeart), Ryan Newberry AMR (FSport) - Tony Tumelty P (Bal)

Subs: Craig Gardiner DL (Bal), Steven Hislop BBM (Bal), Ryan Dunlop AMR (Bal), Warren Pinkerton P (Bal), Paul Davies AF (Bal)

Can we make history? We will soon find out...

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Toals Steel & Sons Cup

Final

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Incredible! We have won the Toals Stell & Sons Cup! It was a massive performance from the lads! We were 1-0 down after just two minutes but goals from Tony Tumelty P (Bal) and John McIlveen GK (Bal) gave us a shocking lead going into the break. We turned back to the 4-4-2 formation that we've been usually using to try and hit them on the break but Ards did well to get back on level terms. Extra time was full of nerves and both teams didn't really push hard, trying to score mostly from long range. And so the penalty shoot-out decided the faith of the trophy.

And you should have seen the shoot-out! This was a ridiculous drama! Ards started first and after 3-3 they missed... and we missed. Then they missed at 4-4... and we missed as well! and only at 6-6 they missed and we scored the winner! I'm just struggling for words here... WOW!

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John McIlveen GK (Bal) is simply a cup-run scoring machine! His goal gave us the 2-1 lead and his saves were crucial!

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Well, Barry, just relax, drink your beer and... YES WE HAVE WON IT, NOT YOUR ARDS, OUR ARDS RANGERS HAVE WON IT, DO YOU HEAR ME??? HURRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!! :hammer:

 

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Ards Rangers

December 2017 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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We are now only two points clear of Annagh Utd. The month started with a magnificent result against struggling Ballyclare. The game was even at 1-1 until their player got sent of at the start of the second half. From then on, it was all us as we put three more goals past their keeper. The result against Newington was disappointing as we collapsed seconds before the final whistle to concede from a penalty.

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Steel & Sons Cup

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:hammer::hammer::hammer:

Irish Cup

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A shocking loss to a non-league side, even I was disappointed the way we played. Oh well, at least I can finally confirm that we are out of all cups and can focus only on the league for the rest of the season.

***

Player to watch

Mark Drysdale DC (FSport) - he is quite a solid defender. His natural position is fullback but he's been mostly playing in the center of defence. Was crucial in the final of the Steel and Sons Cup,

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***

Highlights of the month

John McIlveen GK (Bal) getting 2nd goal of the season in the great win against Ards!

Glen Upton AML (LHeart) - he finished a brilliant counter-attack against Ballyclare.

***

Manager thoughts

Still can't believe we've won the Steel and Sons Cup...

Downside: Great... Paul Davies AF (Bal) and Jackie Kerr BWM (FPro) are retiring at the end of the season... That's going to be 5 players in total this season.

Upside: 10k to the bank and drinking all night on Christmas!

***

Other news

No Junior coaching budget increase, no data analyst... AGAIN! :seagull: :mad: I've won a trophy! It's Christmas! Jeez....

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Your cup win exploits should be named:

Against all Ards! :lol:

It just took 4 years in my save for my board to allow me 600 euros to take my first course, I can't even ask for a junior coaching budget increase. :rolleyes:

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25 minutes ago, MadCatPT said:

Your cup win exploits should be named:

Against all Ards! :lol:

It just took 4 years in my save for my board to allow me 600 euros to take my first course, I can't even ask for a junior coaching budget increase. :rolleyes:

It's not because of money, the board think we don't need an increase to junior coaching and we don't need a data analyst because we're doing great without him...

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Ards Rangers

January 2018 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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Just the two games this month. The 3-0 demolition of Queens University was very important to help stay top of the table. The game against Banbridge was very dull... A n even game with 30 shots for both teams, although only 5 of them were on target. Still, we somehow managed to stay top and that is what counts.

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***

Player to watch

Daley Carnduff BBM (FDet) - he is one of our best midfielders and he got his first gol this season in the 3-0 thrashing of Queens University.

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***

Highlights of the month

Tony Tumelty P (Bal) getting his first against Queens University.

***

Manager thoughts

For crying out loud! These retirements are making me :seagull:

Downside: OK, so the list of retired players is as follows:

  • Marc McCann AML (Bal) RETIRED - 10(3) apps, 4 goals, 2 assists , 6.92. 37 yo.
  • Gerard Watson BWM (Res) RETIRED - 7(3) apps, 0 goals, 0 assists, 6.69. 38 yo.
  • Darren Stirling DLF (FDet) RETIRED - 8(1) apps, 3 goals, 4 assists, 6.93. 35 yo.

The list of players to retire on May 26, 2018 is as follows:

  • Jackie Kerr BWM (FPro) - 44yo
  • Paul Davies AF (Bal) - 41yo
  • John McIlveen GK (Bal) - 34yo

That is basically all of our oldest players. The next oldest player is 32yo Ruari McClean AP (FAmb). And the worst part is that we won't have ANY keepers next season with the exception of any youth prospects that might come through in March,

Upside: Still top... somehow... And I have made a cheeky decision to sack my HoyD and sign Jackie Kerr BWM (FPro) to a Player/HoyD until he retires. I am VERY hopefull that his personality will bring some FPro players to the team.

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***

Other news

Almost in the red...

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Ards Rangers

February 2018 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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Two top of the table chashes, what more to ask? We somehow managed to steal three points from hardworking Annagh Utd as they simply played us off the park. Newry City AFC started well but overall it was an even game and a draw was a fair result.

No league table this time to make things interesting going onto the last 5 games of the season...

***

Player to watch

Jackie Kerr BWM (FPro) - I'll miss him, he's retiring at the end of the season as we know... A very solid player with good personality and mentals...

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***

Highlights of the month

Paul Davies AF (Bal) - the goal that won us the game against Annagh Utd.

***

Manager thoughts

We are really starting to struggle on the pitch. Most teams are playing better than us so it's all up to tactical tweaks and players' determination to win.

Downside: I don't know... Probably none this month. Except that heavy injury to Daley Carnduff BBM (FDet).

Upside: The youth intake is coming!

***

Other news

We are officialy in the red finanical zone.

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Ards Rangers

Youth Intake 2018

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Personalities are not the best and the spread of positions isn't great either, but.. it'll have to do. Everyone is signed to the youth team.

The lack of central midfielders and leftbacks in the intake may bite us in the future...

Most of our players have "Plays short simple passes" PPM, I think it was "inherited" from our HoyD.

*****

Goalkeepers:

18a Nixon GK (Bal)

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The only keeper in the intake. The only keeper we will have at the start of next season. The best CA in the intake. Not the worst keeper in the division.

*****

Defenders:

18e Doran DC (LDet)

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Nothing too spectacular here, just a 4th tier level player with no speed whatsoever.

18f Kerr DC (FDet)

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Despite me running faster than Kerr, he has the traits to become a key defender for us in the future. His two PPMs are also good.

18o Dickson DR (FLoy)

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Not the worst player in the world, and also plays short passes.

18p Larkin DR (LDet)

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Another right-back but has worse personality and no PPMs.

*****

Midfielders:

18g Kirk BBM (Unamb)

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I am still not sure of his best role but we need backup in the center of the park.

18h Smyth AP (FPro)

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The best personality in the intake. Has very poor passing but I think he can progress.

*****

Wingers:

18c Hamilton AML (LDet)

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Physically strong and has good technique. That's all.

18i Adair AML (Bal)

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No technicals whatsoever... What a surprise...

18j Haughey AML (FLoy)

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This one is physically better but again... I can cross the ball better than him.

18l Craigan AML (Slack)

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Really? He is our best technically gifted left winger - and he has a broken "Debski" face, a not needed "Shoots from distance" PPM and a personality that grants him with Pro=1. Fantastic...

18b Weir AMR (Bal)

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Not sure if he'll be up for it, too slow for a winger.

18d Marks AMR (LDet)

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Now this is more like it. We are struggling to find a solid performance on the right wing and maybe we've found a future gem... If he can grow mentally.

*****

Strikers:

18k Kelly TM (Bal)

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Hmm... I don't have a targetman in the team so this is a good way to change things up front if needed. He is surely not the worst player in the intake and may bring smth new to the team.

18m Watson P (EasDisc)

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A solid looking poacher. Despite his determination being 1, his Pro should be between 5-20, so I am hoping it's high enough for him to develop.

18n Waterworth P (Bal)

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And another poacher. This boy was "the highlight of the intake". Don't understand why.

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This is how the intake looks like after players have signed contracts.

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Most of them are now being tutored... No hopes here really, these players are 4th tier quality.

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On 23/11/2016 at 08:57, Shevchenko said:

18n Waterworth P (Bal)

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And another poacher. This boy was "the highlight of the intake". Don't understand why.

Maybe because of the hair? :D

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2 hours ago, MadCatPT said:

Maybe because of the hair? :D

Not quite. He looks good in the U18s. I moved all my players to the first team but made most of them lads available for U18 games. Just coz my first team coaching is better than U18 coaching where there is almost no staff.

I will also try to give 18h Smyth AP (FPro) maximum game time. He is currently being tutored by Jackie Kerr BWM (FPro). Determination has already gone up.

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Ards Rangers

March 2018 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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So close yet so far... Only 4 points this month, so a nervy end to the season is guaranteed. Dundela gave a real fight but we managed to grab all three points in a close encounter. We were closer to a win against Distillery but failed to use our chances. Tobermore Utd was the biggest shock of the month as they scored very early on from a corner. We had twice as much shots overall, triple more shots on target but their keeper just kept saving shots... As a result our lead at the top of the table was reduced to just 2 points with 2 games to go.

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***

Player to watch

Gary Brown DR (Bal) - a really solid rightback, was one of our best players this month.

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***

Highlights of the month

Tony Tumelty P (Bal) - our only goal this month...

***

Manager thoughts

I am trying to adapt a slow careful possession football. Two key reasons for this: 1) our youngsters mostly have "Plays short simple passes" which is a plus for possession football. 2) our youngsters are all 4th tier level and if we get promoted to the 2nd tier... It's going to be relegation battle, so we should be careful with how we play the ball to partners.

Downside: I think I'm getting too paranoid with protection football style, I just don't want to risk being hit on the break... This was one of the reasons why we got only 4 points this month.

Upside: We play Sport & Leisure (10th) at home and Moyola Park (12th) away. Should be easy games. Should be...

***

Other news

I am trying to build a U18 coaching staff.

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Ards Rangers

April 2018 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

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Holy guacamole! That was SO tight... How in the world did we earn just a point in these last two games - i have no idea... Although, maybe I do... Some of our players were very nervous, especially it showed in defence, when Mark Drysdale DC (FSport) got a 6.00 rating against Sport & Leisure. His error cost us the win.

Another error, this time a poor back pass from Cathal O'Kane DC (Bal), gave Moyola Park the lead and it was the first time when we were pushed from top spot... I made a massive change to tactics, with 3 strikers up front and a direct passing style with high tempo. At the start of the second half all of my strikers had the "nervous" and "very nervous" status, so it was a MASSIVE relief when Paul Davies AF (Bal) equalized o the 73rd minute in his last game of the season. This draw was enough to give us the title thanks to a better goal difference by just one goal... Very, very tense... Incredible stuff!

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:hammer:

***

Player to watch

Kelly TM (Bal) - a debut goal for the 16yo future Ards Rangers superstar :brock:.

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***

Highlights of the month

Paul Davies AF (Bal) - the title winner...

***

Manager thoughts

:hammer::hammer::hammer::hammer::hammer:

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:D

 

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Ards Rangers

Season 2017/2018 Review

NIFL Premier Intermediate League

Board expectation - top half Our result - Winners!

League Graph | Results | Transfers

***

Toals Steel & Sons Cup

Board expectation - Third round Our result - Winners!

***

Irish Cup

Board expectation - Fifth round Our result - Fourth round

***

League Cup

Board expectation - First round Our result - Second round

***

Intermediate Cup

Board expectation - Third round Our result - Second round

***

County Antrim Shield

Board expectation - First round Our result - Semi final

***

Awards and Stats

Club Awards | Best players| Best XI | First team

***

Season by season overview

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Ards Rangers

NIFL Championship

Season 2018/2019 Preview

Board expectations | Budget | Transfers

The board have given me a realistic assignment - attempt to avoid relegation. The media predict 12th place, so our job is to build our youth and try do our best. There will be 27 games in the league and we have to get around 30 points to survive and not get into relegation playouts against 2nd best team from the NIFL PIL. 

One good news - John McIlveen GK (Bal) didn't retire at the age of 34 but I will try to play 18a Nixon GK (Bal) as he has more potential and doesn't look much worse. And Nixon has better Free Kicks... :)

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Ards Rangers

August 2018 Review

NIFL Championship

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Pain... No goals whatsoever. Despite the poor form, we actually palyed some solid football. For example, we had 19 shots to Armagh's 9, but lost 3-0. I am trying to tweak the tactics, possibly play counter-attacking football but my wings just can't get a cross into the box...

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Steel & Sons Cup

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We started our campaign with a solid 2-0 win at home to a non-league side. Nothing spectacular here.

County Antrim Shield

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Not shocked at all, Larne are in the same division and we just can't get a win against championship teams...

***

Player to watch

GaryBrown DR (Bal) - the only stable (in a way) player in the squad.

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***

Highlights of the month

Tony Tumelty P (Bal) - he finished a great counter-attack with a great goal.

***

Manager thoughts

Downside: No wins, no goals in the league after 3 games. A bit shocked really...

Upside: None...

***

Other news

Incredible stuff, we now have a Data analyst!

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Ards Rangers

September 2018 Review

NIFL Championship

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That was a very difficult month with 8 games in all tournaments within 28 days. Despited the congestion, we managed to get some incredible results and get out of the relegation zone. The most comfortable result was at home against the synths Institute and it was our first win in the Championship as well. The most unfair result was the narrow 1-0 loss at home to the police of P.S.N.I. where we had 21 shots to their 7 and conceded on the 91st minute from a corner. Overall, we managed to balance our counter-attacking style of play and if everything goes right, we may have a chance of surviving. I should remind you that the board expects us to go down, no belief in miracles whatsoever.

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Steel & Sons Cup

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After comfortably beating 3rd tier Ballyclare, we crashed out of the cup from the feet of Harland & Wolff Welders. We will have to pass our trophy to another team...

Irish League Cup

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Nothing spectacular as we lost 3-1 at home to giants Glenavon.

***

Player to watch

18k Kelly TM (Bal) - popped up with 4 goals this month, just hope he will develop at least a bit...

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***

Highlights of the month

18k Kelly TM (Bal) - a fantastic finish against Glenavon despite being only a consolation.

18a Nixon GK (Bal) - his first ever goal for the club.

***

Manager thoughts

Downside: Crashed out of the Steel & Sons Cup after winning 1-0 before the break. We are also in the red financial one and the board won't give me money for Junior coaching or a National B license...

Upside: I can now focus only on the league as the rest of the cups are not important. I am also hopeful that some of my youngsters will start developing after being tutored (some of them should now have better personalities).

***

Other news

Basically, the data analyst helped us, his suggestions and analysis are just what the doctor ordered.

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Ards Rangers

October 2018 Review

NIFL Championship

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This time it was my fault. After crashing out of the Steel & Sons Cup, I decided to cheer the lads up during a team meeting. And they got demoralized coz I said we were doing great... We WERE doing great as we were not dead bottom of the league and having gained a few points... Morale is crucial and with players being down, we struggled to get anythin from these games. Although it is worth mentioning that we still had chances but the finishing is just horrific... The only bright light was a draw against Armagh but as usual, we conceded late on. We have also conceeded the most goals from corners in the league which is frustrating...

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***

Player to watch

Craig Gardiner DL (Bal) - his determination is what makes him weaker, but overall a very solid defender.

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***

Highlights of the month

Glen Upton AML (LHeart) - our only goal of the month...

***

Manager thoughts

Downside: Morale down, performance down, goalless strikers, teams starting to run away from us, 22k in the red zone

Upside: Managed to get morale back up... Hoping for some good performances.

***

Other news

No money - no improvements...

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Ards Rangers

November 2018 Review

NIFL Championship

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Yeah, I think we'll get relegated... The players are just not ready for this league.

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Intermediate Cup

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Nothing too spectacular here, just some wins against non-league opposition.

***

Player to watch

18m Watson P (LDet) - his first ever goals for the club as he banged a hat-trick against Larne Tech Old Boys.

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***

Highlights of the month

18m Watson P (LDet) - the hat-trick hero.

***

Manager thoughts

Downside: We are unlucky to be losing so many games in the league with the amount of chances created... But basically if we start moving from Counter-attacks to attacking football - we get very exposed at the back. When we use counter-attacking style, there is usually a lack of quality through balls and crosses due to poor technical ability and decision making within the team...

Upside: 18a Nixon GK (Bal) is developing well having played in all of our games this season. He is now a 2.5 golden stars player and he is equal or better in key attributes to Jonh McIlveen GK (Bal). The biggest weakness is his aerial reach. 

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Ards Rangers

December 2018 Review

NIFL Championship

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Another poor month in the league, although this time we managed to get 2 points. 

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Intermediate Cup

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A disappointing exit from NIFL PIL side Distillery, although I fielded some youth players to give the main core a bit of a rest. 

Irish Cup

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A hard-fought but deserved win as we walk through to the 5th round.

***

Player to watch

Ruari McClean AP (FAmb) - he can still pass a ball at his age although his physicals are dead.

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***

Highlights of the month

Warren Pinkerton P (Bal) - a nice shot from outside the box.

***

Manager thoughts

Downside: We continue to struggle with key passes to our strikers which hinders our chances of survival.

Upside: I have offered contracts to almost all of our key staff. Will try to find a better goalkeeping coach though. Jackie Kerr (HoYD) will have a chance to prove his worth...

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Ards Rangers

January 2019 Review

NIFL Championship

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A lot better this time as we finally grabbed a very important win against Larne which boosted morale before the massively crucial game against Knockbreda in February. Although I have to mention once again - we are struggling with taking our chances. That game against Larne should have finished at least 6-2, we had 5 clear cutters and tons of great chances while they scored thanks to a ricochet and a free kick. It seems our best chance of surviving is to secure that 11th place and win the relegation playout.

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Irish Cup

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Absolutely mental encounter against 3rd tier Tobermore Utd...

***

Player to watch

Warren Pinkerton P (Bal) - scored all 5 goals in the cup game, earning the Perfect 10.0 rating. Something really amazing for this level.

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***

Highlights of the month

Warren Pinkerton P (Bal) - the pentatrick man!

***

Manager thoughts

Downside: No adequate goalkeeping coaches applying. Might have to offer a deal to the current one.

Upside: Morale is back and February will be crucial. Yes, the league splits after 22 games, but it is important to get a good points tally right now before Knockbreda starts playing out of their skin to survive.

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