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dafuge's FM18 challenge

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I know I'm very late to the party, but I just got FM18 for my 40th birthday, and what better challenge to run with than the Dafuge. :) 

I've got to let my Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge rest on its laurels for now, anyway, as it was on FM17.


I originally started the challenge with Marine, but as it was my very first save on FM18, I had some problems adjusting to the new features.  I didn't have things set up well, and it showed once we hit competitive play.  I also didn't know that Marine did not have a U23 side, and that is vital to me -- so I restarted quickly, and will now play with Merthyr Town!

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EDIT: Kind of funny that I just turned 40, got FM18 for my 40th birthday, and my entry in to the challenge (for the first time in a few versions) is on Page #40.  Omen, perhaps? ;)

Edited by jaysdailydose

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Well, that was a real bummer... sacked before there's even another post in the thread. :(  

I was going to go with my Marine start again, but I did it at the very end of the night last night, and honestly, after sleeping on it, I decided I really don't want to try to go without a U23's side, for help with fitness and development, and, not unimportant, an extra coach with the senior setup in the U23's manager.   I hadn't done anything but the base interview with the chairman, and with this being such a long term save, I didn't want to be angry three years down the road in-game if I didn't have a U23's side.

I've honestly never looked to play with, or knew anything about the club I'll be taking over for my final attempt at the challenge, but I will be playing as the manager of Matlock Town F.C. for better or worse.  

I've still never completed this challenge in my "career" of playing FM, so this is big to me... hopefully, now that I've learned all the new features and the new scouting, I can actually be successful.  

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Edited by jaysdailydose
I was going to play with Marine, but decided to play with Matlock instead.

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Barwell F.C. - Vanarama North - 2018/19

With this being my first season in charge of the newly promoted team, we were expected to struggle in the league and the cups. The media predicted us to finish 22nd.

League Table - We defied all the odds to win the league by five points!

Past Positions - We spent the majority of the season in and around the top three.

FA Cup - We had a fantastic run, reaching the 2nd round. It's a shame we couldn't make it one round further and get a big money match, but there's always next season.

FA Trophy - Somehow we managed to battle our way to the final, where we faced Macclesfield. The final was a close one, but we pulled off a massive upset to secure the double.

Transfers - Quite a few players brought in, but not all of them became first team regulars. I did release a few players at the start of  the season as well, but they don't show on the screenshot.

Squad - I managed to put together a good squad of players, most of which were brought in by me after I took over. The dead wood is due to leave soon, to make way for hopefully higher quality players. 

Finances - We made a nice profit due to the cup runs and our final league position. Next seasons wage budget is quite low, which is a slight cause for concern.

Club overview - Still only a one star reputation, even after the league and cup double. We'll be playing our home games in Tamworth stadium due to a required upgrade to our ow  stadium.

Manager Profile

Key Players:

Elliot Rokka - Joined the club in December, but still became our top scorer for the season and second from top in the Vanarama North league. Can't wait to see how many he can bag next season.

Joel Logan - Loaned in from FC United. Played brilliantly on the wing, getting the most assists and winning Vanarama North player of the season. He'll be joining the club permanently from 7th June.

Chris Ward - He was rock solid at the back, defending with passion and getting the most player of the match awards for our club this season.

Cameron Mason - His performances in goal saved us on many occasions, especially against the bigger teams in the cups. A truly great keeper at the lower levels, with room for improvement.

Career Overview

Season    League                       Position    Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19   Vanarama Conference North    1st         Champions, FA Trophy winners   

Next Season

Our main aim for next season is to avoid relegation, and at a push achieve a mid-table position in the Vanarama National league. We'll be looking to strengthen the squad in a few positions to achieve this. Winning the FA Trophy again would also be great, as would another FA Cup run.

Edited by fcunitedfan
Changed a link

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Just got a new PC so I decided to give this a try.

Ended up at Whitby

20 games in we are sitting in 18th place, 5 clear of relegation and 12 back of the playoffs.

Huge problems in defense (47 conceded) but the goalscorers are doing alright. 

Makes me feel bad that the three newly promoted teams in the Vanarama South are 2nd, 3rd, and 10th but at least I'm ahead of one of the new teams in my own league :P

 

 

Edited by CMU Chips

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2 hours ago, fcunitedfan said:

Best of luck @CMU Chips.

Thanks, I didn't think I would need it when we were sitting 15th in the middle of February, but when you do this over the final 12 games of the season it ends up coming down to luck.

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Entered the final matchday 1 point ahead of both Halifax and Nuneaton for the final safe position, luckily only one of those two won.

I had no idea what to do in the transfer market; I started by signing anyone my scouts/assistant thought were first team players when they were on trial but many turned out to be pretty awful. After that I had some panic purchases. Most of these guys won't be back for next season. A fair few are non-contract players but I wasted way too much of the wage budget early on on sub-par players so I'm hoping next year I can make better decisions in that regard. 

Overall we were probably the second or third worst team in the league (thankfully King's Lynn was there for us) but the form in December/January/February was enough to barely keep us up. Gonna change things tactically over the summer and hopefully next season we can finish much higher in the table. 

 

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The main thing is that you survived to manage for another season. Fingers crossed you can do better next season.

Wow, that's a lot of players in! How far over your wage budget were you? How are your finances? 

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9 hours ago, fcunitedfan said:

The main thing is that you survived to manage for another season. Fingers crossed you can do better next season.

Wow, that's a lot of players in! How far over your wage budget were you? How are your finances? 

Since most were non-contract I think I was only between 3k-5k over wage budget (which is actually pretty large at this level), so finances suffered quite a bit but the board keeps injecting cash to cover the expenses so we are sitting around 50k in debt. I'm 3k over again this season and yet I'm still 21st in terms of salary in the league with only one of the newly promoted teams behind me. Got a few decent looking players who are out of contract with their clubs but won't talk to me since they don't think I can pay them what they deserve :(

Early season we are floating between mid-table and lower mid-table, so I'm hoping we can find some consistent good form at some point and push our way up.

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After unfortunately losing my save file when I updated to Windows 10, I'm starting again as Hitchin manager!

 

 

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Edited by Cloondawg
typo

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It's a shame you lost your save. I had my Kettering save corrupted somehow after my first season, which was annoying. Good luck with your second attempt.

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I've reached the FA Cup 3rd round, and this is the match I got drawn!

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I'm playing FA Cup holders Swansea at their stadium.

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Improvement, but we fell just short of the playoffs.

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We only spent one week in the playoff spots all season, and it was quite early on, but we were on the edge for the entire second half. Brackley spend 10 of the last 13 weeks in the playoff spots but lost on the last day and both Telford and Gainsborough passed them. Telford's second half of the season was insane, I think they have a real shot at winning the playoffs.

 

Transfers were much more subdued this time around, and of those most became important first team players. Squad season stats are here. I'll be looking to extend a couple more contracts, but there are some areas we need to improve upon. We had the third most goals scored in the league, but also the second most conceded. I'm looking for a first choice GK over the summer, along with a RB and possibly a LB+CB.

 

I originally told the players that I aim to be at least in the playoffs next year; they thought I was being too ambitious so to satisfy them I told them mid-table and they agreed that was fair. Since we were only expected to fight relegation this year I hope we can show a similar level of overachieving next season.

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Great progress @CMU Chips. Unlucky not to get into the playoffs. Next season will hopefully be your season to gain promotion.

You signed some good players. Tyrell McKenzie is a great striker.

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RUSHALL OLYMPIC

First Season Update: Relegated & Sacked (22th place after 38th week)

All Wins came in December and I win Manager of the Month.

My transfers usually were old folks Marcus Tudgay epitomies that and Ironically his career finished with hip injury (twice) 28 apps 16 goals 1 assist

Sorry for multiple pictures and not making it a story but I was very confident which I'm able to stay in division with Rushall.

 

 

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Going to give this a go after getting back into FM recently, still terrible at the game though.  After a few reloads I chose Witton Albion, quite a low rep team so expected to finish rock bottom and promotion odds of 300/1.  Not many players to start with so will need to make plenty of free signings.

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Not an exciting history, once runner up in the FA Trophy and spent most of the last 30 years in the Northern League apart from three seasons in the National League, in fact they were a newly promoted team into the Northern Premier last season so had two successive promotions into the Vanarama North.

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Barwell F.C. - Vanarama National - 2019/20

After our massive over-achievement last season, the prediction for this season was that we'd finish rock bottom of the league and go straight back down. The minimum prediction for us in the FA Trophy was 2nd round, which was a bit surprising as we won it last season.

League Table - I would have been very happy with a mid-table finish, as I thought that was as good as we'd achieve. I never thought we'd get into the play-off spots, but we somehow managed it. In the playoff 1st round, we were taken to penalties against Dagenham. We got through to the playoff semi finals, where Hartlepool took us to another penalty shootout. After an even more nerve wracking yet successful shootout, we met Newport County playoff final. They dominated the match, but we were able to score the only goal and gain promotion to League Two!

Past Positions - After a few draws which saw us I  the bottom half of the table, we found our rhythm and climbed to the play-off spots. That's where we stayed for the rest of the season.

FA Cup  - We went one better than last season, making it to the 3rd round. We were drawn away against last season's FA Cup winners, Swansea. They best us easily, but we got a nice pay day.

FA Trophy - With a minimum expectation of 2nd round, the pressure was off even though we were the defending champions. I wanted us to win it again though, and we did just that. It's a shame we won't be participating in this cup next season.

Transfers - This season saw me spend my first bit of cash to bring a player in, but he was a bargain at just £5K.  Apart from him, all the other players in and out were free transfers.

Finances - A couple of trips to Wembley and the FA Cup run saw us pass £600K at one point, but upgrading our training facilities brought us down to just over £500K. We have a nice transfer budget for next season, but I'll probably move most of that money into the wages instead.

Club Overview - We've gained half a star and become a pro club. We're also back in our own stadium, but for half of next season the capacity will be reduced due to one of the stands needing an upgrade to meet League Two standards. Good to see our season ticket holders doubled from the previous season. I'm hoping by the end of next season, we'll see my name with the other club icons.

Manager Profile - I gained half a star of reputation, which is nice I guess. I'm now contracted to the club for another two years. With my reputation overtaking the club's, I may have to leave for one of the many Premier League clubs who'll undoubtedly be coming for me next season! 😂

Key Players:

Mark Wood - Easily my best signing so far. Wood had a brilliant first season, earning himself Vanarama National player of the season. He also scored the winning goal in both the FA Trophy final and the playoff final. Definitely £5K well spent, and he's been improving in training all season as well.

Elliot Rokka - Another great season for the lone striker. He was Vanarama National top scorer. He's also signed a new contract since I took the screenshot, which is great for the club as he'll still be featuring in next seasons first team.

Marvin Ekpiteta - Came in on loan from eventual league winner Leyton Orient, and defended like a champ. I've offered him a permanent contract, which I hope he accepts.

Jordan Wright - Another new player to the club who had a great season. Wright spent the majority of the season embarrassing defenders on the right wing with his outstanding dribbling skills.

Joel Logan - FC United were crazy to let this guy out on loan last season, and even more crazy to let us have him for free this season. Another amazing season for Logan, as he make the left midfield position his own. He scored as many goals as he set up.

Career Overview

Season    League                       Position    Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19   Vanarama North               1st         Champions, FA Trophy winners
2019/20   Vanarama National            6th         Playoff winners, FA Trophy winners

Next Season

Playing in League Two is going to be a massive step up for us, after back to back promotions. I'll be pleased if we avoid relegation next season. Another run to the 3rd round of the FA Cup would be great. Getting past the group stages in our very first Checkatrade Trophy would be a bonus, but that'll be a big ask. I'm not too bothered about the Carabao Cup, but having a good run in that cup would be nice.

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@ozzymanborn it's a shame you got sacked. I also got sacked from Rushall on my first attempt at this year's Dafuges. Are you going to have another go with a different team?

@berty1978 good luck with Witton. They're a good choice of team. They have a really nice looking stadium in real life. I think I had a go as them in FM15 or 16, and had a lot of fun.

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Season 3:

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Boston Utd definitely deserved to go up with us; not only were they the best team in the league, but they averaged almost 5000 in attendance this season.

We caught a break in that Blyth beat Southport in the other promotion semifinal, so we got to play both the semifinal and final at home. In the semifinal we beat Tamworth 2-0, in the final we beat Blyth 2-1 with two first half goals. 

Transfers for this season. For the first time we actually had players willing to join us on loan! Whitfield became our starting LM while the other loanee was very solid as a backup.

Season stats. Everyone was pretty good!

All contracts save one expire in June, many agreed to come back after the final on non-contract, but I'm hoping we will be able to gain professional status and sign some better players at the next level. 

Finances are still not fantastic, we ended the year 50k in the red but it's actually an improvement over where we finished last year thanks to a 35k TV payout in the 2nd round of the FA Cup (replay). We have issues with the stadium: The pitch is in very poor condition and we only have 3,180 capacity where 4,000 is required for the next level. Not sure what's going to happen with that.

Lots of stuff to consider this summer.

 

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Congratulations on promotion @CMU Chips. You've definitely earned it.

Normally you're forced into a stadium upgrade when you're promoted to a league where you need a higher capacity. It's happened to me two seasons in a row with Barwell. This is my latest upgrade:

 

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8 hours ago, fcunitedfan said:

Congratulations on promotion @CMU Chips. You've definitely earned it.

Normally you're forced into a stadium upgrade when you're promoted to a league where you need a higher capacity. It's happened to me two seasons in a row with Barwell. This is my latest upgrade:

Yeah, was mostly worried about the cost and where the money would come from but it only ended up costing £80k with half of that coming as a bank loan.

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In some ways a very exciting season, though nearly a massive disappointment all around.

Professional status doesn't come through until the start of next season, and everyone I found early wasn't at the standard I wanted or refused to talk to me due to stature/finances. So transfers looked like this. The majority of these from the pre-season didn't do anything too impressive, though Blinco was surprisingly good despite his attributes not being outstanding. Every so often I'd see a recommendation from my scouts who looked good; most didn't get signed but a few did. Webb-Foster made the biggest contribution of the new signings, though from the season stats you can see that many of them featured regularly. You may also notice that most of our players came back as non-contracted players. Because of this, we were last in the league in terms of salary per annum at £126k. Due to this (and some things to be mentioned later) we have climbed out of the hole and have £132k in our balance with £46k debt remaining from a couple of bank loans we haven't finished repaying. Seeing this newfound wealth, the board have FINALLY agreed to cover the £600 to get my National C License over the summer. :lol:

Tactically I figured us to be one of the worst technical teams in the league but we had a couple of decent looking poachers so we set to drop deep and narrow and play on the counter. This led to us being last in the league in possession% and passing%, but we were first in the league in tackle%. In terms of results, this led to a few nice stolen wins but also a few games where we'd give up 4 or 5 goals which really killed our goal differential. Still, it was a very successful season in comparison to how the media thought we'd do.

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Unfortunately we couldn't hold on to a late lead for the last 10 minutes of our final game, and needing another goal we threw all 9 outfield players (thanks Tunnicliffe) forward but were hit on the counter and our dream of the playoffs was lost. We were also jumped on GD, and surpassed on points by Sutton, sliding us all the way from 8th before the game to 10th after. We certainly wouldn't have been favored in the playoffs if we had made it to face Billericay, but during the regular season we drew them at home and lost on a late goal 1-2 away so it wouldn't have been impossible. Still, that wasn't our final game of the season as we managed a surprise run to Wembley

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In front of nearly 20,000 people we almost had our second tragic collapse of the season as we watched a 3-goal lead evaporate over the last 20 minutes of regular time and eventually the match was decided on penalties:

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A save from Johnstone on the 4th penalty and a shot off the crossbar on the 5th gave us a chance to win and we did, despite our 60-1 preseason odds. The money came pouring in from this game; £63.67k for winning and our cut of the gate receipts (which totaled £114k thanks to nearly 15k Newport fans) was enough to bring us to financial security for this season and hopefully gives me more room to offer larger contracts to players next year. We need to sort out a few positions, namely RB, CM and RM if I can't get Rodgers back on loan again.

 

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Barwell F.C. - League Two - 2020/21

This season we were really up against it. After back to back promotions, the chances of us avoiding relegation were very slim.

League Table - If anyone had told me at the start of the season that we'd finish 2nd, I would have laughed in their face. Unbelievably, we defied all odds and finished just one point behind league winners Plymouth.

Past Positions - We had a strange start, drawing four or five games in a row. We then went on a very good run which shot us up to the automatic promotion places. I even spent a week in 1st. It's a shame we couldn't hold on to the top spot, but 2nd is an excellent result.

FA Cup - We once again made it to the 3rd round, this time travelling to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. They beat us with ease.

Carabao Cup - Considering it was our first ever Carabao Cup, we did well to make it to the 3rd round. We got to play Manchester United at Old Trafford, and we have them a run for their money.

Checkatrade Trophy - As if achieving automatic promotion to League One wasn't enough, we somehow managed to win the Checkatrade Trophy as well. We dominated Arsenal Reserves in the final.

Transfers - Brought in some great young players at the start of the season, with Kyle McFarlane being the best of the bunch. Released a few players who were out of contract and unneeded.

Finances - our finances are looking great, with just over £2M in the bank.

Club Overview - Our reputation has risen to regional, but we're still on one and a half stars. We're back up to full stadium size, and our training facilities are now basic. 192 season ticket holders is nearly 100 more than the previous season.

Manager Profile - Another half a star in my reputation is great. I actually had a job offer from Scottish Premier side Dunfermline near the end of the season.

Key Players:

Kyle McFarlane - I scooped up a fantastic player in McFarlane. He was the league's top scorer by a country mile. I can't wait to see how he does in League One.

Mark Wood - Another great season for Wood. He's improving all the time, and still creating and scoring plenty of goals.

Marvin Ekpiteta - Another player who took the step up to League Two in his stride.

Levi Shaw - At only 18 years old, Shaw is playing with the maturity of a seasoned veteran of the game.  He's one of a bunch of young players I hope will stick with the club for years to come. Higher rep clubs are showing an interest in Shaw though, which may entice him to leave.

Career Overview

Season    League                       Position    Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19   Vanarama North               1st         Champions, FA Trophy winners
2019/20   Vanarama National            6th         Playoff winners, FA Trophy winners
2020/21   League Two                   2nd         Promoted, Checkatrade Trophy winners

Next Season

I want to say we're going to struggle in League One next season, but this club doesn't seem to care about the odds and predictions. We should avoid relegation, and I'm hoping for good things in the cups again. The board have announced plans for a new stadium, but there isn't much information about it right now.

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This is sad news. I count care less about the money. Wood will be missed by the club. I couldn't stop the transfer as he had a clause in his contract which Ross County met. Levi Shaw may be on his way to another club very soon as well ☹

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Last year's disappointment was avoided through the playoffs. Our points total would've been enough for 1st three of the past five seasons (and one short the other two) but Boston Utd were an unstoppable force. Still, we came up to this league with them, now we are going with them to League Two. After cruising through the playoff semi-final with a 5-1 win at home, we had to go Wembley with 5 players on orange injuries (3 in training in the buildup week).

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Decent amount of drama there.

Transfers. Amongst those is probably our best player we'll get for quite some time: Oliver Dexter. He came through Tottenham's academy but made 0 appearances for them or anyone on loan. I wish I could clone him to play all four defensive positions.

Season stats. Our defense let in a lot but we did have the best strikeforce by a mile. 

We couldn't defend our FA Trophy, going out to Hartlepool in the quarter finals. Boston won that as well, so the last three FA Trophy winners won't be in the competition next season.

FA Cup we made the third round, but then got drawn away to Watford and absolutely destroyed. The paycheck was worth it though.

Finances aren't great because we have very low attendance and now have paid another 1.5million to expand the stadium. Still, they announced that they are searching for grounds to build a new stadium. Next season I don't expect much.

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Nice one reaching League Two. Oliver Dexter looks like a good player. Fingers crossed you can keep hold of him for a few more seasons at least. Two of my best young players have gone to bigger clubs, but I got about £150K for each of them.

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On ‎09‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 08:24, fcunitedfan said:

Nice one reaching League Two. Oliver Dexter looks like a good player. Fingers crossed you can keep hold of him for a few more seasons at least. Two of my best young players have gone to bigger clubs, but I got about £150K for each of them.

I couldn't even hold him through the summer window :P Wouldn't sign a new deal and I was scared to lose him on a free, only managed £90k and 50% of next transfer. He's been playing sparingly for Notts County in League One but hopefully someone in the top two leagues buys him and I make some more cash.

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so..... after attempting the dafuge challlenge twice previously I was planning on having another go with FM2019. But that's so far away! so, with apologies for the late start I've rocked up at Burgess Hill Town!

I'm under no illusions about the task ahead. The last dafuge challenge I did it took me 6 seasons to get my first promotion!

seeing you guys still playing the challenge has spurred me on! 

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14 hours ago, CMU Chips said:

I couldn't even hold him through the summer window :P Wouldn't sign a new deal and I was scared to lose him on a free, only managed £90k and 50% of next transfer. He's been playing sparingly for Notts County in League One but hopefully someone in the top two leagues buys him and I make some more cash.

£90k is still a fair amount for a player you got for free.

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2023/2024

 

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Came up one game short in the first season in League Two. It took us a couple months to find form but from November on we were as good as anyone.

A decent amount of transfers, most will be main players next year as well. Season stats.

The payout from the playoff final and the League solidarity payment took us out of debt, but our average attendance (1,815) isn't coming close to covering our expenses. 

Got smoked in both cups but optimistic for next season.

Edited by CMU Chips

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2018/19

Vanarama National League South

 

Expectation:      22nd (board expectation avoid relegation)     

Finish:                 19th

 

A real relegation battle! We had hardly any players so had to raid the free market, bringing in a young squad. The inexperience showed as we often let leads slip, 3-0 to 3-3 in our opening match set the pattern. A little run of good results would be followed by 3 or 4 bad ones and we were never able to pull ourselves clear. In the end an amazing 2-0 win away at champions elect whitehawk finally confirmed our safety with 3 games still to play.

 

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Transfers

Lots of free transfers, nobody really special, just filling out squad positions in a haphazard way.

Finances

Really poor! We stayed up but at a cost, around 150k in debt.

Notable players

Michael Shamalo – released from Luton, snapped up to lead our line and did pretty well. Often scored in bursts. Earned himelf a move to York reserves at the end of the season (!) so Ill need to find a replacement

Next season

A much stronger and more experienced squad first, then who knows? Most of the team will be let go at the end of the season. II always find the first promotion to be the toughest one in these challenges so it could take a while

 

 

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I'm so ****ing annoyed with my tablet! I woke up this morning and it was off. I tried turning it on, and it wouldn't start. There was some error with it, and I had to mess around connecting it to my PC just to restore it to factory settings. I lost everything, including all my FM saves! I'm so disheartened by this. I was just about to start my first season in League One, and now it's all gone. 

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6 minutes ago, fcunitedfan said:

I'm so ****ing annoyed with my tablet! I woke up this morning and it was off. I tried turning it on, and it wouldn't start. There was some error with it, and I had to mess around connecting it to my PC just to restore it to factory settings. I lost everything, including all my FM saves! I'm so disheartened by this. I was just about to start my first season in League One, and now it's all gone. 

Do you not have a back up save? Or have the game save to the cloud? I had the same problem and now I save twice and have a back up going to the cloud.

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I'm so angry about it. I can't even work out why it happened. I don't have a backup save, and I don't know how to use cloud saving. I'm just going to have to start over again.

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Screenshot_20180813_010344.png

Here we go again. Not sure if I can be bothered with a new save, but I'm going to give it a go anyway and see if I can get into it.

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After an aborted attempt due to PC death, I thought I'd give this another go for the last few months of FM18.

Meet the new manager of Grantham Town.

Harry Wilder 2018-06-25.png

Edited by That There Phil

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6 hours ago, fcunitedfan said:

Here we go again. Not sure if I can be bothered with a new save, but I'm going to give it a go anyway and see if I can get into it.

good luck! hope you do get back into it

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3 hours ago, libbyshuss said:

good luck! hope you do get back into it

Thanks. So do I. I was going to play for a bit after posting on here last night, but couldn't be bothered lol.

Good work on not being relegated by the way. The first season or two can sometimes be very tough. Good luck for next season.

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Is it weird that I pick the team I play as based solely on the colour of their kit? I always try and play as a team in yellow or orange lol. So far this year I've played as Slough, Rushall, Barwell, and now Gosport. 

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Burgess_Hill_Town_F.C._logo.png.88850d63e9c36b389a0fd00a97aef1f7.png

Season 2: 2019/20

 

League

Expectation:        19   

Finish:                 2

An opening day home defeat to Eastbourne didn’t really suggest what was to come next. 6 straight victories sent us top and we were still top 14 games in, playing some confident and excellent stuff. We couldn’t maintain it however and struggled after a broken collarbone rules out our star striker and started slipping. By march we were 7th and nervously looking over our shoulders but rallied to a fantastic ending to the season, finishing second and by far the most in form team in the division

After scraping through the semi-final the play-off final saw us take on Dartford at home, a team we had completely dismantled only 3 weeks previously. We struggled to break them down while two penalties were enough to take them through.

A devastating end to an otherwise very successful season

Cups

We reached the first round proper of the FA Cup! We drew Wrexham at home and were made the televised gme of the round, which brought in 70k, a lot of money at this level. We played really well, went 2-0 down, rallied to go 3-2 up only to concede a last minute equalizer. They did us in the reply

Transfers

Brought in a lot of experience over the summer and was then able to reinvest the cup money into some badly needed squad reinforcements, two of which were integral to our late season rally

Finances

Even after the cup run we see ourselves around 200k in debt as I pushed the wage restrictions as far as I could

Notable players

Odysseus Spyrides - A free signing after being released by West Ham, he hit the ground running scoring in each of his first 8 games. slowed off a little bit and then broke his collar bone, ruling him out for 3 months. Finished the season well, definitely one to hold on to!

Leon Lobjoit - We struggled for goals after Spyrides' injury so i invested some of our cup run money into a decent cover striker, Played so well I changed formation to play them both once Spyrides returned.

Next season

We’re aiming for promotion! All our best players are signed up for another season, we know we have a squad to compete now, a couple of decent summer signing should see us through! the board have decided to add 1000 seats to the ground so we'll have to move all the way to Lewes to play our home games.

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Altrincham - Premier League 2025/26 - Season 8

Bit of a delay in getting this season done as didn't have much chance recently to play but will hopefully get finished before FM19 comes out.

After our sucess in Europe last season it seems the board have got a taste for European football as they Expect us to finish in the European places again this season, though the Bookies and Media left our European hopes at the mercy of the Cup Winners. Whilst Strikers Weatherall and De Sanctis were among the favourites for the Golden Boot.

Reputation - Thanks to lifting a couple of cups last season our rep leaps upto four stars as we hit Continental.

Rankings - We climb 46 places to 39th putting us among the Russian sides.

Relocation - We finally move into our New Ground which at least has a decent amount of expansion capacity, though has half the capacity of Bolton's Ground which we've been using for the last couple of seasons.

Transfers - An expensive season as I went about signing some English players as we are at our FGN player cap, with a club record £40m spent on Defender Joe Gomez from Spurs and snapped up Midfielders Wells and Lawlor to add some squad depth and snapped up a couple of promising youngsters, whilst I had a quiet Jan window snapping up Ben Davies to add some quality on the Left. To fund my signings I sold off several squad players who weren't good enough with Club Legend Glatzel joining Boro for £10m (who they didn't register so he seemed to be a weird signing for them) before Taylor King left for a record £15m, I also loaned out several players to free up squad places and made a profit along the way. This left us with surprisingly the third highest Net Transfer Spend just behind Bournemouth but way behind Utd's net spend of £120m.

Community Shield - Not a great start to the season as whilst De Sanctis opened the scoring after 23 seconds a new quickest goal record things quickly fell apart as 10 mins later Utd drew level thanks to some woeful defending as we managed to get two mistakes lodged with just the one goal, but then worse was to come as my Left Back decided to just throw the ball to a Utd player from a throw-in giving them an easy counter to claim the first piece of silverware this season.

European Super Cup - We put up a good fight here against an insanely powerful Madrid side, though helped by the fact that someone must have been playing around with the goals as both sides lost any ability to finish which took the game to pens and we promptly missed all four - they weren't saved we just failed to hit the target with a single pen :(

League Cup - We made it to our second final in three years but made a mess of the early rounds, needing a GK howler to beat Newcastle in injury time - My Defender booted the ball downfield their Keeper came out to meet it but kicked air leaving van der Meer to tap into an empty goal, then in the Fourth Round we needed a shootout to beat Soton, we then at least smashed Championship leaders WBA thanks to a van der Meer hat-trick.

This set up a Semi-Final against Liverpool where we had a bit of luck as I was subject to a touchline ban, my assistant decided to swap my team around starting Young Striker Velasco even though I'd put him on the bench but it worked as he grabbed four first half goals as we thrashed them and this allowed me to rest players in the Second Leg which we were unlucky to lose but still went through.

In the Final we faced a Chelsea side we had a poor record against claiming just one win and one draw from six games and the final didn't go much better as we just didn't turn up and were all over the place defensively as we gifted Chelsea an easy victory.

FA Cup - This went a lot better as my second string easily beat Championship struggler's Ipswich and League One Birmingham, before we drew the Manchester giants as we first easily dispatched a surprisingly lacklustre City side and then played out an eight goal thriller against Utd which saw us miss a pen and saw Utd play half the game with 10 men.

In the Semi-Final we comfortably beat Everton to set up a Final against Stoke who we had a good record against having won five of our nine encounters so far.

In the Final we got off to a great start as Striker Velasco who was in for Gray who was on International duty opened the scoring with a fine solo goal. However Stoke hit back with their first shot as my defence were caught ball watching and then things got worse as despite being in control of the game we fell behind with Stokes second shot as we were caught on the counter after losing the ball cheaply and to make matters worse Woodburn looked offside when he received the ball and again we continued to dominate but just couldn't score until Hamilton drew us level in injury with a fine hit from the edge of the area to take the game to extra-time. In Extra-time we finally took control thanks to my subs as De Sanctis gave us the lead getting on the end of Leipertz's cross, before De Sanctis setup Neves who then added a second in the last minute after Soke failed to clear the ball. Which allowed us to retain the FA Cup.

https://youtu.be/AMwTFbtR7gI


Champions League - The Bookies didn't give us much of a chance, they also didn't rate Barcelona or any of the German sides. On the plus side this time we'd enter the Group Stage as Third Seeds and got a bit of luck drawing Portuguese Champions Benfica (who were one of the weaker Champions) and haven't done much in Europe only making it past the Group Stage twice, though they did lose the Europa Final in 2022. Next up were Germans Leverkusen were are surprisingly strong being one of four Worldwide rep German sides and have been one of the top German sides behind Bayern and have made it past the Group stage five times in seven seasons making the Quarters three times and making up the Group were Scottish Champions Celtic who we'll hopefully get some revenge on this season.

Group Stage - We got off to a great start thrashing Leverkusen at home in the opening game, then got revenge on Celtic with a win in Scotland putting us in control of the group, before suffering a poor defeat in Portugal to Benfica though Celtic did us a favour by beating Leverkusen, but we regained control with a home win over Benfica thanks to two late goals with Turk Gizlen opening the scoring with a rare free kick before Gray secured the points, and before we played our next game we secured qualification when Benfica drew to Celtic in the early game (though the game didn't think so) which was good as we then lost to Leverkusen in Germany and we then ended on a high note as my second string smashed Celtic
to secure top spot.

Knockout Round we drew Spanish side Sevilla who were having a poor season they were down in 10th in the League and they'd only made it this far twice before losing to English sides both times and this was only their fourth UCL season, though they had made the Europa Semi's three times. With the First Leg in Spain we blew them away thrashing them 5-1 with Weatherall grabbing a hat-trick and the Second Leg didn't go much better for them as another brace from Weatherall gave us an easy 4-1 win. We also lost Utd (A. Madrid) and Chelsea (Monaco) at this stage.

Quarter Finals drew us against French giants Paris, who'd finished second to Bayern and just about beat out Stoke in the Group Stage and beat Juventus in the last round, though they haven't managed to get past this Round yet losing on three occasions and have also been beaten by English sides on four occasions losing to City and Chelsea twice, though they did win the Europa League in 2020 beating Bayern whilst they'd lost the league title to Monaco last season on goal difference after they both ended up on 104 points. The First Leg in France was an even game as whilst Paris had plenty of shots they didn't really trouble us as we had the better chances but just couldn't take them with Paris taking the lead after we failed to clear a cross before Wonderkid Velasco came off the bench to rise high and nod in an important away goal at the far post. The Second Leg played out pretty much like the first Paris had plenty of soft chances but we took our chances when we got them Wonderkid van der Meer gave us the lead when we hit them on the counter before a brace from Weatherall gave us a commanding lead which we nearly blew giving away a soft pen before my Right Wing Back switch off to let Lozano sneak in at the far post to give us a nervy injury time.

Semi-Final saw us draw possibly the weakest team left in Barcelona (other options being City or Real) who had made it this far twice before both times going onto the Final winning it in 2020 but losing 2021 and in-between our games they'd just conceeded the title to Real finishing 30 points behind them in third. With the First Leg at Home we go off to a great start as Badea headed home a Davies corner, then after the hour mark we had a crazy three minutes with three goals as van der Meer extended our lead taping in at the far post from a Davies cross before we switched off from the kick allowing Bellerin to ghost in unmarked at the far post for a tap-in, before Weatherall restored our two goal cushion and their was still time for some late drama as De Sanctis missed yet another penalty :( In the Second Leg we just never got going but were looking comfortable until let on when Englbrecht could only turn a cross into his own goal and then the killer blow came in injury time as Griezmann scored direct from a free-kick to knock us out on away goals :(

In the Final City did at least get some revenge as Alli scored the winner in the 121st minute which is City's first Champions League and only Englands second, with Spain having five and France and Italy having one each.

Premier League - It was a great season as we went toe-to-toe with the other Manchester sides and just fell short in the end, as we got off to a Good Start as we kept pace with a dominating City in the first half of the season only losing to Chelsea and Utd and drawing to City before a boxing day draw to Soton finally gave City the edge. However in the second half of the season we struggled to keep up drawing to Spurs before suffering a frustrating 5-2 defeat to City conceeding three goals in the last few minutes as we fell out, whilst a meek defeat to Utd meant after 25 games we'd dropped down to third two points behind Utd and five behind City and then an awful run during March ended our title hopes as we lost to Bournemouth and Swansea and needed late goals from Velasco to claim draws against Everton and Burnley as the lose of Striker Gray to injury for a month hurt us more than I thought it would, which meant with just eight games left we'd fallen seven points behind both Utd and City and fell further back due to having a couple of games in hand but in the end neither ourselves or City could keep up with a Utd side that looked unstoppable in the second half of the season just dropping seven points from the 57 available of course the fact that they went out of the cups early helped them on the plus side we did get some revenge on Chelsea beating them 4-0 in the second to last game helped cost them a Champions League place as they lost to an injury time Rashford goal at Spurs on the final day allowing Southampton to pip them to fourth.

Squad, Home & Stat-Pack.

In Goal was Colombian Hugo Perez who had another solid season, with Pole Kamil Grabara again providing cover.

In the Centre of Defence was Romanian Bogdan Badea who again had a mixed season impressing in Europe but struggling in the League though switching him to a Stopper role brought some improvements to my defence. Playing to his Right was Joe Gomez who had a poor season as he just kept on making stupid and costly mistakes at the back, on the Left was German Robin Englbrecht who had a decent season and actually ended it strongly after recovering from injury, providing cover was Italian Gaetano Pascuccio who did okay but needs to improve to push for a first team place.

At Right Wing Back was Turkish Wonderkid Ilhami Gizlen who stepped up with some good performances to become first choice, providing cover was Jacob Blake who is a solid option but hasn't really pushed on as much as I'd have liked. Down the Left was Spanaird Sergio Santamaria who had a poor season as he just never got going, providing cover was German Till Leipertz who improved as the season went on though his broken leg seems to have wiped out his potential and in Jan I brought in Ben Davies to try and add back a bit of quality and he put in some good performances it's also nice to have someone who can actually take corners at the club.

In the Centre of Midfield was Scot Jim Hamilton who switched over to the Deep Lying Playmaker role and after a poor start improved as the season went on ending it strongly with another goal in a Final, partnering him as my Box-to-Box Midfielder was Czech Wonderkid Marek Kovarik who had a disappointing season as he struggled to make an impact. Providing cover was Turkish Wonderkid Ibrahim Yankidemir who is developing nicely and pushing hard for a first team place I just need to decide which position he is best at, the other option I have is Ian Lawlor who arrived on a free from Chelsea and put in some good performances and means I have some quality options in the middle going forward.

Upfront Leading the line was Academy Grad Arran Weatherall who had another solid season though his form did drop off in the second half of the season and I'm not sure if he's going to be good enough to push us to the next level. Playing on the Left was another Academy Grad Olly Gray who was in excellent form grabbing goals and setting them up as he sets a new Prem Assists record and fell one goal short of beating the club record, he also collected our first Young Player of the Year Award and was named European Golden Boy beating Weatherall to a hat-trick of awards. Down the Right was Italian Manuel De Sanctis who had a mixed season not helped by the fact that he kept on missing pens. Providing cover was Dutch Wonderkid Marco van der Meer who arrived from Ajax for £7.5m which is looking a bargain as he stepped up with some excellent performances and looks like he could be a great player with my other option being Colombian Wonderkid Jeferson Velasco who was snapped up for just £500K and put in some excellent performances.

Prem Select - Nice surprise as Gray makes the team.

Best XI - Couple of interesting choices here due to a fair bit of squad rotation, with Gray unlucky to only make the bench.

Overall XI - Only change here is Feeney randomly returning to Defence ahead of Kehinde, whilst Hamilton and Grabara are now the only starters left, though Perez and Englbrecht both make the bench and I'd expect Perez at least to make the team next season.

Facilities - Only improvement here is to our Data Analysis Facilities (though I'm not really sure what upgrading them actualy does?), as improvements to our other facilities has stalled since the new board took over, first they cancelled the initial improvements, then last years improvements got delayed a year, and the board have just announced further improvements which has just pushed the existing progress back to December and I really hope they aren't going to be stuck in the planning phase forever :(

In better news the board announced plans to Expand our new stadium upto ~20K capacity and have arranged for us to share Old Trafford next season so we have gone from the smallest ground in the league to the biggest :D (which will really mess around with our finances the season after if we start filling it).

Finances - Still nice and healthy though we did lose money until we got the end of season prize money which is a bit of a worry going forward. The main issue was match related income was down £10m due to moving into our smaller stadium, with prize money up £10m and sponsorships doubling to £30m. The main issue was an increase in expenses as our wage costs doubled to £50m (though we only out spent Burnley and Swansea), whilst we had a net transfer spending of ~£50m.

Commerical Summary - We add another £10m worth of sponsorship, whilst shirt sales tripe with Weatherall most popular with new signing Lawlor replacing the departed Glatzel.

Manager Profile - Not much difference here Attacking Coaching is up one point and Player Knowledge is up three, everything else stayed the same though I did play my 400th game.

World Cup 2026 - Bit of a shock here as Mexico win the World Cup which was hosted by Canada by beating Portugal in the Final, which means I now have a World Cup winner in my squad :cool: - Mexico's third choice Keeper is one of my youngsters who hasn't even made a senior club appearance yet. England went out in the Quarters to Mexico, whilst the USA were unlucky not to make the Final as they knocked out France and Spain before losing to Portugal in the Semi and then lost to Argentina in the playoff. Elsewhere NIreland actually made the World Cup but went out in the Group Stage (and had four of my former players in their squad) with the rest of the Home Nations and Ireland failing to qualify as did Italy.

Nationalities

20 ENG
5 GER
3 COL
2 ITA, MEX, IRL, TUR, WAL
1 BRA, CRO, CZE, NED, POL, POR, ROU, SCO, SRB, ESP, URU

Squad Rules

Currently I have 14 registered FGN players, with a further 4 unregistered.

For Homegrown rules we have 23 Club Grown and 8 Nation Grown with a further 15 due to become Homegrown 6 of which are due at the end of this season, and just 5 not counting at all.

Plans For Next Season

The hope is to continue to catch upto Utd and City, as whilst they are still way better than we are we are catching up as their squads are no longer a wall of five star players.

Transferwise the priority is again a quality Centre-Back, whilst a Target Man Striker to take the pressure off Weatherall and a Quality Left-Back would be nice, though I am up against the squad limits so hopefully we can find some domestic players whilst I clear out some of my FGN players.


Leaderboard points (FM Mode)(My Steam Username is same as here if anyone wants to add me)
(points / position)
Single Game: 7,103,549 (52,436)
Single Season: 1,659,357 (104,698)
Single Season England: 1,659,357 (58,049)
Single Season Premiership: 1,659,357 (57,304)
Single Season Championship: 177,858 (31,475)
Single Season League One: 709,941 (9,933)
Single Season League Two: 749,065 (1,360)
Single Season National League: 1,090,552 (153)
Single Season National North: 868,235 (94 :cool:)

Career Overview

Season League League Finish Achievements Leaderboard Points Av. Attendance
18/19 National North 1st Promoted & FA Trophy Winners  868,235 1,927 (31%)
19/20 National League 1st Promoted & FA Trophy Winners 1,090,552 / 1,958,787 3,022 (49%)
20/21 League Two 1st Promoted  749,065 / 2,707,852 3,920 (87%)
21/22 League One 4th Promoted - Playoffs & Checkatrade Trophy Winners  709,941 / 3,417,793 4,198 (98%)
22/23 Championship 2nd Promoted  177,858 / 3,595,651 5,000 (100%)
23/24 Premier League 4th League Cup Winners 888.542 /  4,484,193 25,146 (87%)
24/25 Premier League 5th FA Cup & Europa League Winners 1,659,357 /  6,143,550 25,721 (88%)
25/26 Premier League 3rd FA Cup Winners. UCL Semi-Finalists  959,999 / 7,103,549 13,792 (100%)

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So going to give this a go with a Hendon, I used to drive past their old ground until it was knocked down to make room for houses. 

 

9CiHOPQ.png

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19 hours ago, michaeltmurrayuk said:

Career Overview

Season League League Finish Achievements Leaderboard Points Av. Attendance
18/19 National North 1st Promoted & FA Trophy Winners  868,235 1,927 (31%)
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

The average attendances make me sad, we just set our record in our second season in League Two at 1,945.

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With just a couple months left in the season it was a four-team race for the final two auto-promotion spots. Our form was not that good, but luckily Yeovil couldn't keep up an incredible run which saw them unbeaten in 14 of 15 matches mid-season (the only loss was to us). In matchweek 41 we lost 4-1 to Oxford which ended up sealing them 2nd place but we kept pace with Wrexham and the slight advantage we carried in sees us promoted. Wycombe won the playoff with both Wrexham and Yeovil going out in the semi-finals despite good seasons.

A couple key transfers this season, though our most important transfer is not shown there as we extended the loan contract of Malyke Tufton for a second season. He had an incredible season and was named League Two Player of the Year; even more excitingly he will be joining us permanently starting next season. Seon Alleyne also re-joined us on loan, and Tufton, Alleyne, and the newly acquired Kevin Gonzalez formed a trio of English-born players who became CONCACAF nation representatives throughout the season.

Season stats. Steve Curran in particular stands out amongst the new signings as he was originally signed as a rotation option at goalkeeper and gave up 6 goals in his first start for the club in the Carabao Cup but became first choice keeper by the end of the season. I am slightly concerned with the strength of the squad going into next season as many of these players are very limited in terms of roles and ability so we may struggle without some key new signings. Money is okay, we are right around even as we had the lowest salary per annum in the league by a sizable amount. No cup runs this year as we were dumped in the first round of all but the Checkatrade trophy where we lost in the second round to Wolves U23s.

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I know I've started late but here is my first two seasons of my Kettering save 

Season 1 https://imgur.com/a/nOBBCXG

Season 2 https://imgur.com/a/mQ1YkaA

Been struggling to get any consistency out of my team. Hopefully after a successful 3rd transfer season I can push for top 10 or maybe sneak the playoffs. To do this i'm going to stop caring so much about how much I'm paying player and just go all out to win the league, as i feel like not improving again will annoy me. 

20180813145630_1.jpg

Edited by Shotgun_Love

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