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Here we go then.

Wrote on here way back when, have played cm/fm since 1998 not so much until this year where circumstances mean I have more time. Have enjoyed FM17 quite a lot but want to document my latest save for that extra factor.

I start in England with plenty of leagues loaded (non-playable) with the aim of holidaying until Jan 2017 and taking over whichever side is bottom of League Two.

Turns out that side are Accrington Stanley, despite being 7 points adrift of safety the manager is not under pressure probably due to his excellent long standing service to this club. I feel bad replacing Coleman but I do so and join with the expected badges and qualifications for a club of this stature.

The squad is not great as you would expect but is by no means beyond hope. We are under a transfer embargo due to overspending on wages. My first aims are to stay up and get the club out of FFP and remove any high wage earners ASAP....

We had won ONE league game until I come all season but had lost a lot of games by the odd goal. We go with a 4-3-2-1 system mainly as we dont have many forward options and Billy Kee plays the defensive forward role better than most at this level, he will be key to keeping us up.

We beat Crewe 3-2 in our first game in a real end to end affair with us going 2-0 up they pulled us back to 2-2 they miss a pen and Kee nets a 82nd minute winner barely deserved but needed. Two days later we play the side once place above us in Hartlepool and win 2-0 quite impressively. We are now only 3 points from safety and things are looking rosy enough.

We win two games from the next nine with three draws and four defeats, we are never stuffed but the squad is tired and needs help. The end of the loan window we sign two players to add some pace to the side. Josh Clarke comes in from Brentford he is pacy and for this level has good technicals he hasnt played much football at any level for a 22 year old but we cant be picky he will go straight in the side. Jordan Lyden joins from Villa to the end of the season a right back who can play centre mid as well he will be in and around the first team. Massive thanks to both these sides for allowing me to pay 0% of the wages in exchange for football.

Josh Clarke scores a hat trick from right wing a 4-0 thrashing of Notts County on debut, just to quick and direct for them what a debut, Lyden also gets a 7.7 from full back.

We draw a lot of games for the next month with odd heavy win and even more close defeats. We approach the last four games of the season one point clear of the drop and with easier games left on paper.

We beat Crawley, Newport and Luton a combined 10-2 looking a top side, not sure where this came from but we look good, a defeat on the final game of the season matters not.

We are safe are out of FFP and can approach the new season with some hope, I tell the squad we are aiming mid table they agree. I want to touch the play-offs in honesty if we can mould the squad with no budget and continue to not pay high wages. A tough task.

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The players return with transfer interest in our better players. Scott Brown an experienced midfielder but no great shakes leaves on a free, Rommy Boco a Beninese international does the same as does Hartwig a German left back who cant defend or attack. This saves us nearly 1.2k a week in wages and suddenly we have a bit to play with,

Barnsley come sniffing around Luke Moran probably our best player, amazing mentals for a 18 year old and average almost 7.00 in midfield after he played every game for me since I came in. He was a future captain and all set to be our vice skipper this season. However I push Barnsley to 350k plus add-ons including some small payments over 12 months ideal for us. I would rather have kept him but when you are 300k in the red you cant be picky. He tells me he doesnt want to leave but realises we need the money I tell him he is welcome back anytime. I mean it.

Matty Pearson could play left, right or centre back and is excellent for the level defensively. That said we play attacking full backs he adapted well but Lyden from Villa has already agreed another year on a 0% wage deal and in essence apart from Pearson being more adaptable they are similar players. Plymouth offer 200k plus add-ons which is to good to refuse. He was a big earner relatively and like Moran he had a year left, good luck to him.

Suddenly we have 200k in the bank which should enable us to see the season out. We still have no transfer budget but have a big wage budget available if we need it.

We need a central midfielder and Liam Trotter is available on a free. He has been on loan at Forest in the championship and tbh I didnt think we could get him with me not wanting to spend more than 600 per week on any player. Surpisingly he eventually agrees to 500 per week with a relegation free release clause and a 50% promotion wage rise. Two year contracts at this level are not advised but the amount means its not so risky. He should add some creative juices from the middle, especially at this level.

Jerrell Sellars comes from Villa on a free, he has a lot of pace and gets there quickly but not a lot else. At 300 per week its a no brainer and should be effective from the bench.

Harley Willard is also a left winger like Sellars, he started at Southampton did well at Ross County last season and is a very different winger liking long shots and more direct. He should be pushing for a start 600per week is enough with a lot of min release clauses. If he does well enough to reach them we will depart happily.

We only really have Kee as a striker and he did well last season 18 goals which for a defensive forward is fine 14 of them came since I joined, One big issue is he is on 1.8k per week (ouch!) His contract runs out this season there is minor interest but no bids as of yet. He will probably start and just run down his contract with no chance of me getting anywhere near his current deal.

A few veteran strikers express interest on frees but want similar deals to Kee. We have a few affliates and I enquire to Liverpool if they have anybody who can help, step forward Taiwo Awoniyi. A raw physical beast who gets a work permit on appeal 0% wages and he will get a lot of time from the bench if not start depending on how Kee starts the season.

As previously mentioned Lyden the superb Clarke and Matt Penney a marauding wing back on the left all extend for this season and all are free, given they are up there as my best players this is a godsend. The four loan players are enough for now and I am happy enough with the squad. I will assess in Jan if we need reinforcements to either get close to the play-offs or to stay clear of the drop we more than have enough wage budget to do so.

Arguably we need a new keeper Aaron Chapman is ok hasnt made to many mistakes I have seen is on a big enough contract and again will be replaced when that expires end of this season regardless of where we finish. Youth product Jack Little is 18 but almost as good already he will play games this season.

Centre backs are ok but we dont have a dominate one rather four who are similar, I cant find anyone better who will join for the 600 per week cap so we sit and wait. The wing backs are fine but we lack cover. Midfield and wingers if anything we have to many but some were injury prone last season so all will get games. Kee and Awoniyi should be enough upfront.

The youth intake last season bought us a real gem in Sam Mcdonell. 17 he is an advanced playmaker/left winger. He has flair, pace and can dribble but lacks desire. He looks potentially a champ player if all goes well and he will play this season he eventully agrees a new contract and we get our resolute captain Seamus Conneely to tutor him.

Conneely  had a long league of ireland career and average 7.15 in midfield last season, amazing mentals he will be our captain this year but again has one year to go and seems unlikely to sign unless things change.

 

 

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The pre season we play Arsenal and Man City first (financial pure and simple) and only go down a goal to the gooners and by three to City, play well in both. We beat Dunfermline, radcliffe boro 2-0 each and then draw 1-1 with a full strength Blackburn and lose 3-2 to Burnley. We appear to play really well in all of these games and I cant ask for more, We have a hard start to the league on paper so need to get cracking heres the team for the first game of the season away to Blackpool.

 

Gk Chapman

Rwb Lyden

Lwb Penney

Cd defend Donacien

Cd defend Sykes

Cm defend Dolan

Advance playmaker support Trotter

Cm auto Conneely CAPTAIN

aml Mcdonell

amr Clarke

Stc defensive Kee

 

Of these Doland Conneely Lyden Penney and Clarke are the only ones safe of their places as we stand the rest are very much similar to other players I have so will be picked on performance only.

 

 

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In a dull game Matt Penny has a free kick 35 yards out after 15 minutes, he hammers it into the wall and deflects up over the wall the keeper flaps and it goes in. Possibly the worst goal ever from a free kick but they all count. The game flies through to 70 minutes the defence is playing well nobody else is I bring on Jordan Clark to replace the very quiet Clarke, Penney again fires in a free kick someone fouls Trotter Clark grabs the ball for his first touch and scores. A 2-0 away win in a game with nothing between the sides is most welcome.

 

I will return after a few months with a longer update, finances ok squad ok where are we going this season? Ill predict 10th.

 

 

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The season is going well lots of games won or drawn late on showing the mental character of this squad of players.

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After 11 games we are third winning seven drawing three with only one defeat

 

Very solid at the back mainly due to having 3 midfielders on defensive or at best support duties. We ended up signing Lloyd Jones from Lpool as he is miles clear of our best centre backs he has averaged 7.3 in 7 games and it to good for league two, his attitude is poor though and his stats are declining quickly veteran Mark Hughes who didnt play much last season is now his partner and is solid enough and already showing coaching apptitude.

Stay tuned

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At this stage of the season its already the realisation that most of this squad wont be here next season hits home.

Regardless of the division we find ourselves in the players in the last year will have to settle for much reduced deals. Conneely as skipper has been immense as the box to box midfielder and has added goals to his game he also never gives up and is it seems based on one player a superb tutor. I will try and keep him around,

 

Kee has reacted well to be super sub and has rotated with the loanee Nigerian and both have done well in patches

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Kee scores a 91st min winner in real life today, Fm mimicking real life or the other way round

 

or something just firing her up

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Its the 28th Jan and we are 6 points clear at the top and 14 points clear of the play offs with 16 games left we are close to securing at the very least automatic promotion.

We stalled badly around xmas but have won 6 of our last 7 to forge clear suddenly scoring lots with Awoniyi firing them home and Clarke on 18 assists from the wing my best signing so far by a street can we nab him full time if and when we go up? Ill be trying.

 

 

 

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We have only gone and won the league

 

Played 46 won 26 drawn 10 lost 10 for 92  against 57 gd 35  points 88

 

Won the league by 5 points quite the turnaround from last season. Lets look at every player who played a part this season and the future plans. first the transfers this season

 

Transfer In

 

Taiwo Awoniyi The Nigerian striker from Liverpool started ok on loan but looked clumsy and often gave it away uptop on his own. Whether it was the benefit of senior football or the switch to playing him as more of an attacking forward I am not sure but he ended with 29 goals in 36 starts 7.28 avg and 100 assists. I am trying to get him back on loan for league one which I have no doubts he can be effective in a superb talent for the level and lucky for me I have the Liverpool link in place.

 

Liam Trotter A hard player to evaluate with the ppm of  tries killer balls often he gives it away a lot and tries the risky pass perhaps to often. However nobody else in my squad is capable of some of the moments he is. He actually improved as the season went on didnt always start but averaged 7.02 in 38 appearances 4 goals 4 assists. (He however very often provided the pass before the assist). He has a year to go in his contract think will be a rotation option next season.

 

Jerral Sellars The free signing from Villa only played 3 times for us doing ok, decided to send him on loan to Wrexham and he scored 4 in 13 averaging 7.59. This was enough for me to give him another year on a similar cheap deal. Doubt he will play much but he has something.

 

Harley Willard Played around half the games from left wing, inconsistent potential averaged 6.96  scored 8 goals only 4 assists Can still get better but needs to his 650 per week contract is up next season if he does similar he wont be staying around.

 

LLoyd Jones The strong liverpool centre back did well overall but made several massive ricks that cost goals. he did score 4 at the right end and averaged 7.17 so cant really complain. His stats suggest a champ level defender in time I am not sure he will get there but if I can get him in on loan again it would be rude not to.

 

Will Jaaskelainen  Son of Jussi Was released by Bolton and still didnt have club by Feb. My young promising keeper had gone on loan to Wrexham so I needed competition for Chapman. Statswise he is probably similar to Chapman average to good at everything he only costs 220 per week and will be battling for a start next season with the returning loanee unless I can get a senior option who is much better.

 

That was it, not to many next Ill look at the squad as a whole.

 

As an aside I have encouraged the board to buy our stadium which they have, we had agreed to expand youth facilities and training but sadly they have been scrapped due to finance (despite being 300k in the black)

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You are all waiting with bated breath for the squad breakdown, here it is (quiet at the back please)

Players out of contract this season i.e. now are highlighted in bold

Goalkeepers

Will Jaaskelainen See Above

Jack Little Young keeper mentioned above did well at Wrexham last season 19 years old at very least he will be cup keeper next season and possibly start.

Nathan Wolland Another promising young keeper not as good as Little will be in and around possible to go out on loan.

Aaron Chapman Had a good season as Number one for most of it, on 1k per week and wants similar to stay Little is already as good (on paper) so sadly he is going, will be a solid signing for a league two side no doubt.

Have three other youth keepers of which one has potential to be a squad player, rest will be released from their youth contracts shortly.

 

Defenders

Matt Penney (loan) really like this kid was already here on loan before I came and glad he was, contract is running out at Blackburn and this hard working left wing back who has discovered the taste for assists, 11 this season with an average rating of 7.00. His stats are probably not even league one but he has improved a lot and like so many of the squad has excellent mentals. I want to sign this lad also was only on 275 per week at Blackburn so should be affordable.

LLoyd Jones (loan) see above

Jordan Lyden (loan) from Villa will look for another option this summer, he is ok but better defender than going forward with 2 assists in 85 career games for me tells you. Solid but I need more next season. Still has a year left on Villa contract unlikely Ill try and loan him again unless I really cant get better.

Ross Sykes young lad didnt play to much this season but is promising enough, will continue to be a backup option can also cover right back (not very well) has been given another season contract.

Janoi Donacien Saint Lucian international (wooooo) who has great physicals but has been mostly used as cover, wants a 1k to continue here which he wont get.

Mark Hughes the veteran defender wants 700 per week to stay which is to much for a backup did well this season and again amazing mentals so sad to see him go.

Omar Beckles similar to the two above good physicals not so good mentally but did ok when used is going as well.

Some other youngsters none of which looks good enough, our youth sides for whatever reason dont play matches I hope that changes next season

 

 

 

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Midfield

Liam Nolan played most games as a defensive centre mid agreed a one year extension, average in most things but again good mentals

Liam Trotter See above

Seamus Conneely signed a new contract for another two years on 1k a week, he is our leader and is actually a natural full back, he may end up there this season if quality can be bought in to the middle. An amazing captain didnt miss a minute and as said before a great tutor.

Josh Clarke (loan) quite superb 43 games 13 goals 24 assists 7.40 avg from right wing the focal point of most attacks He is out of contract at Brentford but that contract is 3k per week.... If we can get him here for half that ill push to it.

Harley Willard see above

Jerrall Sellars see above

Sam Mcdonell at 18 the great hope of our youth players 41 appearances this season 7 goals 3 assists a natural playmaker can play left wing

Harry Blackburn 19 and has improved massively stats wise another playmaker who can cover right wing, 18 appearances 3 goals 3 assists

Few other youngsters with some promise as well.

 

Attack

Taiwo Awinyi (loan) see above

Billy Kee a club legend, 6 goals this season mostly at start not as effective coming from bench but did always play defensive forward his prefered role. ends his time with 50 club goals at 1.5k per week he is just to much to renew as a backup in league 1.

Not much else in behind as of yet

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Been busy with the released players we had 8 first team members early July so we needed bodies.

Clarke wouldnt talk to us even (no other interest so we will try again if he hasnt been snapped up) lloyd Jones got sold by lpool but we couldnt afford him and Adoyini is loan listed but they want him playing higher.

We are in a  better league without our best defender best creator and all of our goals....

Two veterans came in on frees both on reasonably low wages Andy Butler the great leader from centre back from Donny (slow very slow but oh so tough) and Dimi The greek keeper from mboro he is 39 but still easily good enough for lg 1 and again a great tutor and wages fine.

Angel Rangel again a free again a professional player and again a reasonable wage, he will start at right wing back.

Lee O Connor was released from Man Utd and we got him against a raft of opposition, centre back who can play right back only 17 but will almost certainly be starting.

We had no strikers at all and a lot of my first choices wouldnt even talk we settle for Dominic Telford on a free from Stoke on the suggestion of a new scout. He looks ok good all round striker but has no experience at 21, however he is worth 110k already so even if he doesnt pay off we might get some cash.

Toni Gomes and Brooks Lennon come in from Liverpool on loan both look promising attacking options, Lennon can cover the right wing.

Phillip Sung is a regen from Southampton who is an england under 19 international right winger very very raw but potentially very very good, good to get him.

 

 

 

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sc91   
21 hours ago, Whoarethey? said:

Anyone reading this just so Im aware?

Of course, views are your check for these sorts of things bud. 

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On 23/08/2017 at 13:55, sc91 said:

Of course, views are your check for these sorts of things bud. 

Thanks very much appreciate that

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We are now days away from our first league game against Pompey.

 

We have 650k in the bank so are now sounds financially have by a mile the lowest wage budget in the league and have miles of wiggle room in our budget if we need it. Where am I aiming this season? Minimum mid table possibly play-offs. Past Fm experience tells me league 1 isnt miles better than league 2.

No more players in I tried to sign Jan Holldack from Brentford on a free, he went all the way to the premier with me in a previous save and is a great all round midfielder, sadly he chose Barnsley.... Never mind I will try for him again as it looks like they wont play him that much.

Pre Season

Hereford 5-0

Tottenham 2-0 (yes really)

Blackburn 1-1

Radcliffe Boro 4-0

Burnley 2-2

 

Couldnt ask anymore happy with team shape and all the bigger sides played close to full strength sides. Stars of pre season have been Telford and Sung both played well enough to at least start the season.

 

Team for start of third season

Goalkeeper =  Dimi will start solid pre season Jack little plays cup games

Right wing back = Rangel no real cover here so hope his legs hold out

Left wing back = Penney Back for third season again no cover at all

Left centre back = Butler starts and is our new vice captain

Right centre back =  Lee O Connor chucked in to learn and do the running for Butler , Sykes will also play here depends how O Connor does

Centre mid left = Dolan defensive role probably not good enough but yet to find better he is reliable and a trier

Centre mid Playmaker = Trotter/Mcdonell/Blackburn Either the erratic but flashy Trotter or one of my two best young uns

Centre mid right - Connelley But the skipper is out for a month so one of the above three will play here for now at least,

Left Winger = Mcdonell will start with Willard or Sellars if Mcdonell has to play in middle.

Right Winger = Sung with Lennon as cover

Defensive Forward = Telford starts though he needs to learn the role more Toni Gomez or even Lennon will provide pressure

 

Really not got any depth a few youngsters fill the bench and another central mid injury will mean I will have to dip into the short term loan market.

Our three best youngsters will all play which I like, lets see how we go.

 

 

 

 

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Eight games in and we are struggling badly

 

22nd lost 3 of our first 4 games with a draw, then two in a row including over Blackburn before losing a 1-0 lead to lose against mk dons and even worse a 3-0 lead (yes 3) at home to mansfield to lose 4-3.

The signings have frankly all been ****. Telford isnt suited to any role on his own is weak and wont get many more chances, Butlers lack of pace is being exposed time and time again, Rangel has been sent of twice already and Dimi cant get down to anything lower than his arse....

on the plus side the three experienced members are great tutors! And that influence is already showing.

After a slow start Lennon has found a home right wing, very surprisingly Liam Trotter has stepped up and has 3 goals in 8 and 7.19 average more encouragingly Harry Blackburn and Sam Mcdonell  have both average over 7 and  scored 7 goals between. Blackburn is currently playing as a shadow striker with no other striker doing enough (Toni Gomez been poor as well).

Ross Sykes our home grown defender is improving fast with games and is averaging 7.06 the only bright spot in our defence.

 

Will Jasskalaien will start in goal for the next month he is improving massively through tutoring from Dimi and Jack Little let in 5 in his only start. Our only other signing has been Jake Andrews on loan from bristol city  a midfielder who is not great at anything but brings some depth we dont have. We really missed our skipper so far and he is only just back. We are missing a natural right wing back bigtime as Rangel is better defensively and isnt even doing that. For now Connor will play here with Sykes in such form.

 

The new target is to stay up, with no recognised number one keeper no certain centre back of this standard and no goalscorers I think that is fair!

 

 

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Morale is low for a strange reason the skipper Connelley signed his new contract last season with the promise "plays first team football"

 

He has been injured until the last game since he signed that contract. The squad are all annoyed he hasnt been playing and feel I will be replacing him as captain, not sure what I could have done differently tbh but I have apologised and hopefully things improve,

 

 

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The reasoning for the disquiet is now clear the squad are not happy I have broken my promise to "give the current squad a chance to keep us up in league 1 next season" from last year.

I have signed 4 players! I signed another midfielder on loan purely as I had two starters for three roles when the captain was injured not sure of any way I could have handled that better tbh

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6 games to go...

 

We are 4 points away from safety which looks bad however we have won 3 of the last 5 to give us some kind of chance. I had to abandon the one upfront as we just werent threatening enough we now have 3 upfront! We have bought back Nolan from barnsley on loan as predicted and Harry Wilson liverpool winger just for more options. I also signed Tom Pope in Jan for the rest of the season on a free from port Vale. Have had Tom on other saves not a big scorer but a good target man and another good tutor.

We have a tough looking run in so still be hard to survive

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Rangel, Dimi and a few others left us in Jan some bad signings in there from me. They basically ended up tutoring people for6 months , well Dimi also managed to let in numerous easy shots tbf...

 

Ipswich came in for O Connor the free summer signing and offered 375k upto 750k with add ons he had been ok and could have been decent but I cant turn that down yet, left us even more weak at the back

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sc91   
15 hours ago, Whoarethey? said:

Morale is low for a strange reason the skipper Connelley signed his new contract last season with the promise "plays first team football"

 

He has been injured until the last game since he signed that contract. The squad are all annoyed he hasnt been playing and feel I will be replacing him as captain, not sure what I could have done differently tbh but I have apologised and hopefully things improve,

 

 

This is one my annoyances about this version, complaining about first team football when they've been out with an injury. Frustrating.

Nevertheless, keep it up bud. 

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Four games to go and for the first time this season we are outside the relegation zone via goal difference.

 

However we have to play 3rd away, 8th at home , 3rd away and 11th at home.... All teams bar Bradford on last day have something to play for which isnt promising.

 

 

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We get a fantastic 1-1 draw away to Bristol City but then can only draw 1-1 at home to Newport........

 

Sadly the other sides have picked up and we are now 3 points away from safety with two games left.

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Lose to Burton and after 80 minutes we are down however Southend drop from winning in the 88th minute to losing in the 92nd...

 

We need to win and hope Bury and Rochdale at best only draw (we have better goal difference than everyone around us thankfully)  and Southend have to lose (we also have better goal difference than them)

Bury are at home to Bristol City so thats difficult, Rochdale home to Newport so that very winnable and Southend travel to Swindon who are lower mid table but safe.

 

Need a minor miracle, first and foremost need to concentrate on beating Bradford

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We are winning 1-0 after 80 minutes Southend are getting thrashed and the other two are losing.

 

We have a corner we hit the bar they break and score... Gutted League Two it is

 

On we go

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Youth facilities upgrade cancelled yet again third season in a row, board instead pay for a training ground upgrade which they have done straight at a cost of 400k.

 

We now have 50k in the bank, most of the squad seem happy to stay except Harry Blackburn who has a release clause for relegation of a paltry 80k. Full squad breakdown to follow shortly.

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We have 11 first team players including the loans out of contract.

 

Liam Trotter had a better season in league 2 7 goals 4 assists and 7.06 average rating. He doesnt want a lot more to stay but he is 30 and he still does strange things on the pitch. I will try and get him on a cheap deal as rotation.

Harley Willard is still improving statswise but he is so inconsistent and at 21 hasnt really done masses on the pitch bar the odd moment of brilliance. He is on 1.1k per week and he can go, be interesting to see how his career goes as he has something.

Liam Nolan been a great stalwart but is not good enough for League 1 and is just not that good, he is on a cheap deal but I want a fresh start he leaves with our thanks for his hard work.

Ross Sykes has impressed me a lot this season, I didnt see him starting 43 games in League 1 considering he didnt play more than 12 in League 2. However he has averaged 7.02 in a relegated side and has just accepted the same deal again at 425 per week which is very cheap. He has benefited from being tutored by Butler and now is getting the same from Connelley who is a resolute leader. Sykes mentals have improved like I have rarely seen before on Fm. Determination gone from 10 to 14 through these two tutoring sessions. He could be a future captain or at least vice.

Tom Reilly been a young back up since I came done ok at times but this young midfielder is not good enough. Released.

Niall Watson young winger not played but gets a year extension as he has potential, need to find a tutor for him for him to develop.

Zehn Mohammed not a bad young defender but I have a better who is 16 and he is 20. Released suspect he will have a non league career.

Michael Reynolds young winger not good enough, hes gone.

Dominic Manning playmaker done ok in u18s but got loads of better options, goodbye.

Dominic Woodman I like him had a few games this season but at 20 he isnt good enough to start as a striker so he can go.

Time to find some players who are up for the fight.

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One bonus was during the season the board agreed to expand scouting within Europe. Very rare I find at league one level anyway. This has allowed me to get a good scout and I have lots of interesting young regens coming in free within the next two years. Some look ok some look rubbish and some look potentially excellent

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Stefan Maierhofer comes in as the new HOYD good stats and always good to have an ex wolves milwall and bayern munich targetman at the club :)

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We are about to start our pre seaosn tour of Scotland heres the squad as it stands

 

Goalkeepers

Jack little

Will Jas(e.t.c)

Kevin Stone

Still not 100% sure who starts but Little did well towards end of last season so will start. Stone is a young Belgian regen who my scouts love but I cant see it yet, he is only 16 mind

Defenders

Sykes

Butler

Axel Andresson

Rafael Marquez

Ronny Marcos

Tomas Jira

Loads of players here having not learnt the lesson from last season I have signed 40 year old Marquez on a free, however he was cheap enough wage wise should be another great tutor and he must be able to cope with League 2. Axel Andresson is a free from Reading and is a bit different to my other centre backs in that he is aggressive. I am currently considering a 3 at the back or 2 with Marquez holding infront.

Marcos is a left back/wing back on a free from the german second divison probably a tad better than Penney who is on a free but doesnt want to come for a 4th season on loan!

Jira is 17 but has 2 under 21 czech caps and is a natural wing back. No idea how he will do as looks very raw but a season in League 2 should make him a man.

 

Midfield

Seamus Connelley captain

Maxime Pauwels

Niall Watson

Harry Blackburn

Sam Mcdonell

Heribert Balitisch

No depth here at all with Pauwels and Balitisch being 16 but promising and they can cover and play in cup games. Mcdonell and Blackburn both agreed to stay aslong as we go straight back up. They both ended up with 12 goals in League One and will play every game available this season.

 

Forward

Tom Pope

Peter O'Brien

Ermmmm.... O Brien is a youth product who is not good enough yet but not  utterly useless. Pope is Pope he can only really play as a targetman so some kind of formation with Mcdonell and Blackburn supporting him looks likely at this stage.

 

I cant go the whole season with Pope upfront so Im looking for options. Loan signings are not as easy in League 2 or at least ones of quality.

 

Finances

900k plenty of budget for transfer and or wage still wont improve youth though :(

 

Team Report

Positives

Physically strong

Leaders and characters

good youth prospects

Negatives

Lack depth

need more strikers

passing quality poor

 

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Pre season went well enough as it always seems to

 

Beat Cowdenbeath 1-0, Blackburn 3-2, Radcliffe Boro 4-0 and lost to Burnley 1-0

We have played 3 centre backs with Marquez as an anchor, two wing backs one centre midfielder two in behind and a striker.

Pope looked slow and immobile which he is, I had to delve into the loan market and found Dougie Mclaughlin a scottish regen who is at Mboro labelled the next Giroud ideally suited to defensive forward which is ideal with Mcdonell and Blackburn in behind running onto him.

Connelley got yet another injury and is still out for a few weeks. We took in Ollie Banks in on a free at 400 per week good for a player at 26 who can play anywhere in midfield and is not to bad. Callum Chettle also joins on loan from Wolves. When Connelley gets back he seems more likely to play right wing back rotating with Jira than the middle purely due to the injuries.

 

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Mixed start to the season, a bore 0-0 draw with Port Vale on the opening day before a good performance against Wigan in the cup eventually losing on penalties. We then lost the next two league games by the odd goal to Exeter and Scunthorpe two sides expected to go well.

We were playing ok but I decided Marquez as a sitter was a bit wasted moved that position to help the other centre mid and we have since won 3-1 and 2-0. I have also put two uptop with just one in behind rather than the other way round.

 

Ollie Banks been the surprise performer so far as a DLP. Wayne Greening also came in on loan from Liverpool and scored a hat trick in the 3-1 win. Marcos has been good at left wing back but guess who? Yes Matt Penney is back on loan for the FOURTH season in a row! Again a free deal this time he is back up. Marcos already been sent off once and we have no other left back/wing back option in the whole squad including youth.

 

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