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PaulHartman71

[FM17] The Hart Chronicles - Volume II: Adam Hart is 'Yes Man'!

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I've just been given a 1 year extension! The timing of this means it should put off any clubs from coming in for me at the end of the season too, so not bad overall. They haven't given me a wage increase, but I do have a clause in my contract that gives me an extra 15 percent if we go up. 

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Great last few updates, always dramatic and a good read.  


Glad you've got another year before the end of the season, I'm really rooting for a play off promotion for you.

Do you make sure your best XI are playing in their favored roles and positions?  Just trying to see what can give you the edge as Vale should be winning this league ideally, I think next season you should be going for a title win if you don't get promotion this year.

 

 

 

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The main trouble this season was Long Eaton were too strong. I'm not sure what's happened with them but they've got very strong resources somehow and have managed to win the 8th tier and the 7th tier on the bounce, improving all their facilities on the way and turning Professional on the way. It's not a Tycoon takeover but I think they must've got a fair chunk of money somewhere. 

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April

 

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We've ended the season in great form and qualified for the Playoffs with no trouble. We got a good win against Shaw Lane and a draw at Nantwich, before beating two of our Playoff rivals, in Liversedge and Hyde. This gives me a fair bit of confidence going into the Playoffs now. 

 

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Weend the season as fairly comfortably the 2nd best team. Hopefully we can make sure we are the 2nd team that get promoted. 

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We've got Hyde in the Semi Final. We just beat them 1-0 in the final game of the season, it was a fairly tight game but they didn't offer too much going forward really. Fingers crossed for a win. 

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Good luck in the playoffs!  What are you going to do if you someday get offered an international job - resign from the club or keep going with both?

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2 minutes ago, mjaferrie said:

Good luck in the playoffs!  What are you going to do if you someday get offered an international job - resign from the club or keep going with both?

 

I think I'm thankfully a long way off that just yet but I think I'll just keep going with both, unless the international jobs get a bit much alongside the club roles in which case I'd just stick to clubs and maybe have a little flutter with international management after "retiring" from clubs. 

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Another 1-0 win against Hyde. As you can see they had a man sent off in the 53rd minute, after that we shut up shop a bit, stuck to keeping possession and playing the waiting game whilst we tired them out. It took longer to get a goal than I hoped but it did come in the 79th minute and that killed them off, we parked the bus and kept hold of the win. 

We've got Workington in the final and tbh I'm a bit worried after they thrashed Gateshead and that Sang fella is in fine form, with 4 goals in 37 minutes in that game. We beat Workington at home but lost to them away, so it really could go either way on the way. 

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When you're 2-1 up in the first half in a Playoff Final and your 2nd choice keeper, who came on as a substitute for your injured 1st choice keeper, sprains his wrist just 10 minutes after coming on...

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This guy is looking ropey as ****! That save has probably taken it from a sprain to a break :D DeFreitas on the line to bail us out.

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With a fully armed and operational wrist he probably saves this. Right before half-time as well. 2-2. Peak times ahead I think. Not sure whether to keep him on or sub him for an outfield player with the best GK rating :D

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Not sure he saves this even with a proper wrist. 3-2 and we're just 5 minutes into the 2nd half. Not looking good. 

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It's all over. Another Playoff Final - another loss. I feel we got really unlucky with the injuries to the two keepers and I think without those we do win the game and go up, but unfortunately something as unlucky as that in just 1 game can cost you a whole season's work sometimes. 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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Season 16: Port Vale

 

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We did okay this season but should've gone up really, obviously got unlucky with the Goalkeeper kurfuffle in the Final though. I thought we did reasonably well in the Northern League Challenge Cup considering I didn't bother with it really until the Quarter Final. I would've liked to have done better in the FA Cup but we got unlucky with the draw early on. 


Squad

 

Overall we had a pretty decent team for this level, could maybe do with a few additions over the summer but that will depend on what sort of budget I'm given by the board.

Mark Pritchard ended up being the star of the show up-front, with 29 goals and 13 assists in 45 games. He's actually on a rolling contract after refusing to re-sign a deal at the end of last season, but rather than leave he stayed at the club and is still here a year later, I've tried to get him to sign a new deal but he's refusing to as we don't match his ambition etc. Seems a bit mad as I'd happily improve on the £600p/w deal he's on now if the board would let me, but he doesn't seem interested so I'm happy to let him take that deal still. Ryan Laird did sign a new deal and is on more than double what Pritchard is getting, yet he only got 20 goals and 17 assists. Laird will probably want a contract increase in the summer which I'm hesitant to give him, as I think for the money he's on I could get someone in who would score just as much anyway. Greg Hancock at left wing was a very good loan signing from AFC Telford - he's definitely someone who will need replacing in the summer if we can't get him again next year as he was always a threat. 

 

Career History

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season     Club                 Division                               Position      Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016/17    Ipswich Wanderers    Eastern Counties Premier League          8th         Eastern Counties League Cup winners
2017/18    Ipswich Wanderers    Eastern Counties Premier League         11th         Left in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18    Coventry Sphinx      Midland Football Premier League         13th         N/A
2018/19    Coventry Sphinx      Midland Football Premier League         10th         Left in December 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19    Carlton Town         United Counties Premier League           8th         United Counties League Cup runners-up. Sacked. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019/20    Basildon United      Essex Senior League                      3rd         Gordan Brasted Memorial Trophy winners
2020/21    Basildon United      Essex Senior League                     17th         Left in November 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21    Lincoln United       Northern Counties East Premier League   11th         N/A
2021/22    Lincoln United       Northern Counties East Premier League   17th         Left in December
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2021/22    Swindon Supermarine  Southern League 1st Division S/W        13th         N/A
2022/23    Swindon Supermarine  Southern League 1st Division S/W        18th         Left in January
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23    Trafford FC          Northern Premier League 1st Division N   7th         N/A
2023/24    Trafford FC          Northern Premier League 1st Division N  11th         Sacked in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2023/24    Hythe Town           Isthmian League 1st Division S          12th         Joined in January
2024/25    Hythe Town           Isthmian League 1st Division S           3rd         Left in March
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
2024/25    Canvey Island        Isthmian League Premier Division        23rd         Relegated 
2025/26    Canvey Island        Isthmian League 1st Division N          23rd         Sacked in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2025/26    Farsley Celtic       Northern Premier League 1st Division N  11th         Joined in January
2026/27    Farsley Celtic       Northern Premier League 1st Division N   5th         Left in March
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2026/27    Stourbridge          Northern League Premier Division        21st         Relegated
2027/28    Stourbridge          Southern League 1st Division C           5th         Promoted via Playoffs 
2028/29    Stourbridge          Southern League Premier Division        15th         Left in November
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2028/29    Lancaster City       Northern League Premier Division        21st         Relegeted. Sacked. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2029/30    Southport            Northern League Premier Division        14th         N/A
2030/31    Southport            Northern League Premier Division         5th         Left in April 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         3rd         Lost in Playoff Final
2031/32    Port Vale            Northern League Premier Division         2nd         Lost in Playoff Final
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

Eastern Counties League Cup    x1 - 2016/17 (Ipswich Wanderers) 
Gordan Brasted Memorial Trophy x1 - 2019/20 (Basildon United) 

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Allegri's Arsenal were back to winning ways this year, as they regained the Premier League, their 3rd in 4 years. There was a repeat final in the Champions League this season, with Mourinho's United retaining their crown after beating Zinedine Zidane's PSG. Doncaster Rover's Premier League dream didn't last long, as they finished rock bottom this season and will go straight back down. Not to worry though, as Huddersfield Town have replaced them as the plucky underdog side, as they won the Championship Playoff this season to go up. 

Elsewhere, Wayne Rooney's Cambridge United side came a Playoff final away from going straight up to the Championship having gone up in the League 2 Playoffs last season. Charlton Athletic finished rock bottom of League 2 and unfortunately have lost their status as a football league club. That same fate happened to Southend United last season, but they've come straight back up after blitzing the Conference. Barton Rovers continued their massive rise up the Pyramid as by winning the Conference North Playoff they've got promoted for the 3rd season in a row, having been an 8th tier side just 3 years ago. 

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Great update. really feel for you as like you said that keeper thing is just one of those things you can't make up!  

Really hope you can win the league, who is the side coming down and are they any good?

I think if you work hard over the summer to swap a few players you should be in a strong position.  The squad now, is it an ageing one or a youthful one that is improving?  

I'm very inspired by this thread, I think I'm going to start my own one but based in the lower Asian leagues, same idea re 'yes man' to all jobs.  I assume you never apply for jobs, just wait until you are offered them?  And you never tweak a contract, just accept whats on offer? 

This really has been a great read, can't wait for next seasons title push! 

 

 

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4 hours ago, mrdanbartlett said:

Great update. really feel for you as like you said that keeper thing is just one of those things you can't make up!  

Really hope you can win the league, who is the side coming down and are they any good?

I think if you work hard over the summer to swap a few players you should be in a strong position.  The squad now, is it an ageing one or a youthful one that is improving?  

I'm very inspired by this thread, I think I'm going to start my own one but based in the lower Asian leagues, same idea re 'yes man' to all jobs.  I assume you never apply for jobs, just wait until you are offered them?  And you never tweak a contract, just accept whats on offer? 

This really has been a great read, can't wait for next seasons title push! 

 

 

It's fairly youthful tbf and Port Vale have a couple of younger players in the U18s that could be useful as backup, probably helps that the facilities are far higher than usual at this level.

Yeah with jobs I've just waited for offers, but if I ever get sacked I have a limit of 6 months of waiting before I'll start applying for jobs myself. I just keep the contracts as they are usually, could probably negotiate them higher but obviously that would also put off bigger clubs coming for me. 

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We've got in 4 good players over the summer, with Kevin Stoyle a new Goalkeeper, Darren Butler a new CB and Rob May a new CM. Glen Webb will add depth to the CM department too. 

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August

 

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A decent enough start to the season with 2 wins, 1 draw and a loss. I was a bit annoyed to lose at Guiseley, but I was actually more annoyed to only draw at Shaw Lane, mainly because their late equaliser was offside by a mile! Gainsborough gave us one hell of a game this month too with a ding-dong 4-3 battle, which we thankfully came out on top in. 

 

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Frickley and Guiseley both off to very good starts. 

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Hopefully with a little bit more luck this season you can make that step up. Do the club have the resources for possible back-to-back promotions if you did go up?

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Ah man, was hoping for a stronger start!  IMO you really need to win 3 in 4 on average,  not a bad start but you don't want to lose more than 6 in a season.

Sounds like you've made some good additions here, always good to improve the spine of a team.  Can't wait for more updates, this thread is addictive! 

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50 minutes ago, wattzy said:

Hopefully with a little bit more luck this season you can make that step up. Do the club have the resources for possible back-to-back promotions if you did go up?

Unfortunately the club probably won't have the resources for that. The main issue is the lack of money the club has. We have enough to compete with teams at this level of course, but we don't have more than them and would likely have less than most in the Conference North. 

The main advantage we have is the higher stadium capacity (we'd hopefully make more money in gate receipts if we went up too), better training and youth facilities as well as maintaining a higher reputation. For example a few of the players we got this summer were linked with Conference North and South teams, but chose us as we're a bigger side. 

So the resources are kinda there to succeed, but it will need patience as we can bring through our good young talent and gradually build the finances up again. It's a project but obviously such as the nature of this save I'm not sure how long I'll be here for, so I've been reluctant to go all out with bringing through some of the younger players in a big way as I'd rather go for the league now. 

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September

 

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A great start in the FA Cup, with a Daniel Gould hat-trick and a 5-1 win. 

 

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We got an away tie with fellow Northern Premier League side Scarborough in the next round. They gave us a tough game but a Ryan Laird strike in the 2nd half was enough to see us through. 

 

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We've had a torrid time in the league this month. Just 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses. The month kicked off with a horrible 5-0 loss to Playoff rivals Gateshead - we did get a man sent off after 24 minutes, but even so, to ship that many is really bad. The next game was arguably worse as we were 2-0 up at half-time against Halesowen, so to lose 3-2 was diabolical. We did beat Farsley in our next game, but the 3-0 scoreline flattered our overall performance as before the penalty, Farsley were very much still in the game and could well have equalised. We then lost to Frickley which was a big loss as they're a Playoff rival too. We managed a 0-0 with Nantwich before thrashing a really poor Darlington 1883 side. The month ended with another 0-0, this time against Spennymoor.

 

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11 games played and we're lingering down in 13th place, with 5 points and a game in hand seperating us from the Playoff places, with Gateshead and Guisely both 7 points and 2 games in hand ahead of us at the top of the table. Even Southport are well ahead of us at the moment!

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Gosh :(  Defo need some tactical work I think?  Could be sacked if this continues which would be a massive blow as I imagine this is a golden chance of progressing up the leagues, sorry you probably dont need me to tell you that!

need a 5 win run really.

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51 minutes ago, mrdanbartlett said:

Gosh :(  Defo need some tactical work I think?  Could be sacked if this continues which would be a massive blow as I imagine this is a golden chance of progressing up the leagues, sorry you probably dont need me to tell you that!

need a 5 win run really.

 

The board have actually had pretty low expectations the whole time. The only reason the expectation was for Playoffs last season was because I pushed it up from mid-table finish. This year it is Playoffs too, but again only after I pushed it up from Upper Mid-Table finish. I think we should still be fine for the Playoffs as I think this is just a slow start/blip rather than outright terrible form. Hopefully we can turn it around in October as we have some winnable games, as well what should be an interesting match against old side Southport. 

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October

 

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We beat 8th tier side Chesham in the 3rd Qualifying Round with a comfortable 3-0 victory, they actually beat FC United of the Conference North in a replay to get through, so I expected more of them. I was pleased they knocked out FC United though as we failed to beat them last time we got them. 

 

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We got a tricky tie against Conference side Salford, who are currently flying high in 3rd place. I was pessimistic about playing a side 2 divisions above us, but we gave a really strong account of ourselves. We held our own against them for 200 minutes over the course of 2 games, it was only in the 110th minute that they got the goal which sealed the win for them. We did at least manage to get in 8,000 odd for the home replay, it was great to see the stadium almost full for change and of course got the club a bit of money. 

 

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Elsewhere, in the Northern League Challenge Cup we lost 3-2 to Albion Sports. 

 

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Whilst in the FA Trophy we went out to Farsley after a replay. I've got to be honest I was almost kind of annoyed that Grant scored that late equaliser in the first match, as I'm quite pleased we're out of these tournaments now and can focus solely on getting back up the league. 

 

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We did much better this month. We had 3 winnable games but we still had to win them, of course the highlight was besting my old side Southport at home, with Ryan Laird scoring a brace to put them down. Elsewhere we beat Scarborough and Buxton, with youth Academy graduate, Hubert McKenzie scoring in both games. 

 

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It's gradually looking better. We're in 10th place, with 4 points and a game in hand between us and the Playoff places, with even Frickley and Guiseley only 6 points and a game in hand ahead of us. 

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Another Goalkeeper related mishap as our first choice keeper is now out for the rest of the season. A shame as he is a step up from the other lad who was first choice last season, but the 2nd choice is still decent for this level tbf. 

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What the **** is happening in our training sessions :D  3 first team players injured in the space of a week. At least with Lee Palmer he's just been hit with a 4 match ban for an absolutely shocking challenge in a game which he got sent off for, so h'ed have missed most of that period anyway. 

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57 minutes ago, mrdanbartlett said:

Injury crisis!  When you start someone what is the min condition you set yourself?  I never start anyone below 90% personally. 

 

I tend not to start anyone unless they're above 90 percent. Trouble is most of these injuries have been happening in training rather than the matches, not sure what we're doing in training but it can't be good.

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November

 

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We had a tricky set of games this month with Hyde, Worksop, Ossett Albion and Guiseley all being teams who are in contention for the Playoffs this season. A really bad time for a tough run of games with the injury crisis mounting up. We lost 3-0 at Hyde but that was partially due to Lee Palmer getting sent off early doors for a horrific tackle that saw him banned for 4 games. We beat Garforth 4-2 after that to gain some momentum back, but then only managed to draw two games on the bounce, including a decent comeback at Ossett Albion which saw a late equaliser from 16 year old Steve West. We were 3-0 down at Guiseley and it actually looked like we might come back against them to, but we just couldn't get that 3rd goal. 

 

 

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It's been a tough month and we're still not where we need to be, but we've got some winnable games coming up so we just need to win those and hope the table looks better. 

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December

 

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We had a better time of it this month, with 4 wins, all in a row, as well as 1 draw and 2 losses. The 2 losses were big away games against Playoff rivals, but we did secure a big win against top of the table Gateshead even after going down to 10 men in the second half. We also picked up a late win against Ossett Town, as well as beating Shaw Lane and Gainsborough. 

 

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We've moved up the table and are within reach of the Playoffs now. If we maintain some level of decent form we should manage to get in there sooner rather than later. 

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January

 

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A great start to 2033 with two wins in a row, against Congleton and Playoff rivals Frickley Athletic. 

 

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This put us up to 6th place and in a good position to make the Playoffs, but as you can probably see, I am no longer Port Vale manager and will not get a 3rd crack at promotion...

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  1d28263812636eea0a6c1ec5d4fa1a02.png

 

I have to admit when I first saw this interview opportunity I thought I'd been poached by another 7th tier side that I hadn't really heard of, but in actual fact, Port Talbot Town are a Welsh Premier League side. I had something interesting going on at Port Vale, but the opportunity to go to Wales is exciting enough for this not to be a real blow. 

 

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I've been given a slight wage rise to, as they're paying me £400p/w. 

 

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Port Talbot are currently 5 points above the relegation zone, so there's not a hugely immediate danger of going down, but they did finish 5th last season so the board would like to move back up the table into a solid mid-table position. 

 

 

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We've moved almost 180 miles down the country to move to Wales. Let's hope it will be worth it! 

 

 

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Port Talbot is most famous for it's Steel Works, which apparently employs just over 10 percent of the town's population.

 

Image result for victoria road port talbot

 

 

Stadium wise it is certainly a step back down to reality after Vale Park. 

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We beat Bala 2-0 in my first match, with Carl Pockett picking up a brace. 

 

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We leap frogged them in the table in the process which is always nice. The table has now changed though. 

 

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An interesting part of the Welsh Premier League is that after 22 games the league splits. We will now play the teams in and around us and fight it out to avoid relegation. We're 7 points clear of Aberystwyth with 2 games against each side left, whilst we don't look in much danger, I imagine a run of bad form can really do you in especially since you're losing to teams in and around you. 

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Blimey that is interesting!  

 

Bit gutted you've left such a big club, I wonder how PT compare to PV in terms of rep?  What is the XI like compared to the one at PV?  

How is the budget looking?  

I really wonder where your next step will be now too.  What an interesting twist.

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34 minutes ago, mrdanbartlett said:

Blimey that is interesting!  

 

Bit gutted you've left such a big club, I wonder how PT compare to PV in terms of rep?  What is the XI like compared to the one at PV?  

How is the budget looking?  

I really wonder where your next step will be now too.  What an interesting twist.

 

Yeah it came as a bit of a shock at first, but the Welsh Premier League seems like such a small league that a good run of form early in the season could see you in contention for a high finish later on, with the chance of European football if you get top 3 or a cup win. I think this league is probably about on par with an average Conference or very good Conference North/South side, so the players themselves are a step up, perhaps just not in context of the other sides in the league this season.

The league itself is a much higher reputation than the 7th tier, as WPL is ranked as 94th, whilst the 7th tier is 137th, Conference North/South is 126th and Conference is 70th. So I'm not sure, perhaps a decent mid-table finish or something better next season could see me get a job in the Conference North/South or maybe even the Conference if I do really well and win the title. I think that will be very difficult though as TNS have had a bit of a monopoly on it for a while, but tbf last season, Afan Lido won it, which was  the first time TNS didn't win it for over 20 years. So perhaps times are changing in Wales. 

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January

 

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Not a whole lot to report on in the league other than the Bari game, but we did beat bottom of the table Goytre United 3-0 without any real worries. 

 

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We're still in 9th place, but if we win our game in hand we could overtake Barry to get into 8th place. The difference in finishing in a higher position is worth £2,500 a time, which for a club that only came out out of Administration at the start of the month (crazy right, I only just noticed myself!), is probably quite vital even if it doesn't mean a much in the grand scheme of things.

 

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I didn't expect too much against current champions Afan Lido in the Welsh Cup (sponsored by JD Sports, not Jack Daniels), we did put in a reasonable performance and looked decent at times, but overall they were too strong and knocked us out. 

 

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Just think you could go from Tier 8 in English Football to managing in the Champions League in a few seasons!

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11 minutes ago, andychar said:

Just think you could go from Tier 8 in English Football to managing in the Champions League in a few seasons!

Port Talbot were actually playing Europa League football just 3bywars ago, so European football is certainly a possibility if things go well! 

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February

 

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A relatively strong month which saw 2 wins in our away games against the two bottom sides, Aber and Goytre, as well as a draw away to 10th place Bala, before a home loss to top of the "relegation" table, Barry. I would have liked to beat Barry as if we had we'd probably be 7th right now, but they just got the better of us on the night, I think on a different day we could have nicked it as it was a very tight and open game. We did well to get a point at Bala though as they outplayed us for much of the game, it was only a late comeback that saved us. 

 

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We remain in 9th place, although 7th, 8th and of course 10th are within very few points of us. Aber and Goytre are basically down at this point, so the rest of this campaign will be for pride (and the extra money you get for finishing higher). 

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March

 

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It's quite weird going from the non-league to the Welsh league, mainly as there's way less games, especially at this stage of the season. We average 2 games a month with a 2 week break in between matches, certainly less worries about fitness! We picked up a good away win at Newtown, but unfortunately slipped up at Aber, with Rory Cusack's late penalty actually saving us from what would've been an embarrassing loss. 

 

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Bala have overtaken us to go 7th, but it's all still very tight with 2 points separating 10th to 7th. 

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April

 

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2 wins from 2, with an away win at Barry and a home defeat of Newtown. The Barry win was quite exciting as we blew a 2-0 lead only to end up winning it late on anyway. 

 

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We go into the last match day in 7th place. We've got Bala at home so this match will determine who finishes 7th. Not a lot at stake in the grand scheme of things but I'd like to hold onto 7th ideally.

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4 minutes ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Vale didn't go up again. :D

Far more chance of winning something with Port Talbot.

 

They ended up finishing 4th this season so will be in the Playoffs once again - maybe it will be 3rd time lucky! They've got Southport in the Semi Final in what will surely be a feisty game. 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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