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santy001

[FM18 Network Game] Harrogate & Salford [Seasons Complete: 54 | Total Trophies: Harrogate: 95 / Salford: 114] Finished

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Introduction

Greetings to anyone who wishes to keep tabs on this. Myself and a mate @oliscott often have network games each year, in May we started one with Crewe (myself) and Portsmouth. And so began a 40 year battle for supremacy that ran through to the 2056/57 season before we called it a day for FM18. That network game ended in resounding domination for Crewe, as I finished playing in a 96,000 capacity stadium and winning the vast majority of honours. However, this is best explained by one defining point in time. In the 2030's Crewe received a tycoon takeover, and when both clubs were looking to move grounds and while I had it fully funded by my tycoon; Portsmouth had to fund it with loans and the finances really began to play an enormous role after that.

This year we decided to go lower down the pyramid, for the sake of convenience the only rule as such was to take a professional team to prevent the possibility of one getting stuck at a huge disadvantage of an AI chairman not willing to turn the club professional for one reason or another (no knowledge if this could be a factor, but since it might and we don't want to invest time to find out this seemed the best way to proceed).

The main aim of this is to serve as a sort of logbook/record for us to look back at in many months time and see the highlights of what we have done. Each post will be something of a season recap of transfer activity and club achievements, and perhaps some screenshots of interesting players as I could only provide a 1 sided narrative.

The first post will serve ultimately as a sort of record of achievement for both clubs, I will be the manager of Salford and he will be the manager of Harrogate. 

Season 1 (moved up from post 2):

So the first season has ended. Harrogate started strong, and were in contention for the title right up until the final game. For myself at Salford, inconsistency marred my season, especially early on and only securing a play-off spot very late in the season. Overall, it was a very tight season. Blyth who were champions finished just 6 points ahead of Stockport in 6th place.

Salford were beaten in the play-off semi finals, after having beaten Darlington next up were York who won 2-1. Harrogate finished 3rd, also in the play-offs with a free pass into the semi-finals to face Telford, but lost to them on penalties.

Here is the final league table:
 a6750d059d14c232718e3b22c3383614.png

The transfer activity for Harrogate:

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The transfer activity for Salford:

cc52dd49a9a20167f194247f8e93a044.png

* Neither club had any transfer out, so I haven't included these. 

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Going to use this as a hall of fame of sorts.

Harrogate vs Salford Head to Head Record:

Games Played:
Harrogate Wins:
Salford Wins:
Draws:
Harrogate Goals:
Salford Goals:

Last Meeting:
 

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Strong start by myself but just couldn't keep the momentum going bit gutting when one more win would have done it for me.

Stand out players below

image.thumb.png.6c8b6b7244acabc731ae64703e79f000.png

image.thumb.png.a0f348b2464ac0af8e2756813f23676e.png

 

Edited by oliscott

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Shame, so close to a massive playoff final.

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Just a small update from me coming up to the end of October, apart from a few loses the team is going strong. Just aiming to outscore the opponent more than keeping it tight at the back. New signings have gelled well and the front three are contributing between them, hopefully be able to keep up the form this year and go up automatically.

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image.thumb.png.7ef55c79d8fbf7264570cd69f879f658.png

 

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Exciting times ahead I hope with news the chairman is wanting step aside, in our previous Pompey/Crewe save this was a turning point for Santy so I'm hoping for something of the same.

 

image.thumb.png.ed13fd2c7fba14ba90dd304891898794.png

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Right on cue the takeover goes through

image.thumb.png.cd029f1d7094cd859c6713c64ee3fa66.png

Edited by oliscott

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21 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Could Chester scupper you both?

It was a very real worry, they went unbeaten in the league until October when they lost to Chorley and then Harrogate. 

They have since fallen away very abruptly, losing 2 or 3 in their last 5-6 games. 

ec6e8f0f4a3e77bcc859204b6efbdd65.png

It's become a straight out slog between Salford and Harrogate for the title now.

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Few of my interesting players in the game so far...

41 year old Gary Jones - been an absolute beast in midfield. Surprised me greatly, but averaging a 7.54 this season from 19 appearances. It's a shame he's retiring this season as he probably has got another year in him.

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Anton Brady - a free signing from Queen of the South, this season looking for players who were good enough to improve the squad led me to search the lower leagues of Scotland and he has proven a bargain.

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Fraser Campbell - a 16 year old who I also came across in the lower depths of Scotland, a 1k signing from Alloa and he's had an impressive start. I'm hoping he'll be one who can step up a few leagues without needing to be replaced.

c6f73e7d4738c884f2b4f32b9b28da3e.png

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35 minutes ago, santy001 said:

41 year old Gary Jones - been an absolute beast in midfield. Surprised me greatly, but averaging a 7.54 this season from 19 appearances. It's a shame he's retiring this season as he probably has got another year in him.

5093d11154fef492560e8756baa94698.png

Didn't realise he was still knocking about!

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@BoxToBoxIt is a surprise, I only expected to have him for the first year considering he was 40 already at the start.

The title race tight as well at the moment: 

e5800f8b94527e9f4d22247a7388af7c.png

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Season 2:

So the second season has come to a conclusion.

It's been a strange season as the early part was dominated by Chester and @oliscott at Harrogate. My side only lost a couple of games from Christmas onwards though two late season losses brought the title right back into contention. This season also marks the point where our futures diverge, for at least a year. In the early stages of the season I really expected Harrogate to end up winning the league. Or as mentioned by Nobby that Chester could've taken us both, as Chester had the longest unbeaten run in the league stretching well into October. 

Final League Table:

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Harrogate Transfers:

f16f7bb4be48df1a15d428198057b489.png

Salford Transfers:

d22ec3216d76f1111b5556a2da2b1308.png

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Really did just fall apart for me after Christmas, again aiming to just outscore the opponents but conceding a lot more than I should.

image.thumb.png.b6e500128faeb101d403a67b1bcc027b.png

 

Stand out players again this year were the strikers show goals just kept me in it, hopefully next year I can keep the defense tighter and get the league wrapped up.

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Also probably a good screenshot is the one below that shows how we fared in the league over the past season.

image.thumb.png.20ac89cd09e0f01d4034a6a626f9b3ff.png

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Am following the journey you both take and looking forward to how it ll pans out.  Any chance you both could post your tactics?

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2 hours ago, Black and Yellow said:

96 points and still missing out. I'd be fuming - even more so in a network game! 

I’m used to missing out on titles to @santy001 by small margins, we’ve had a few go down to the last day and goal difference before so could have been worse.

1 hour ago, nonleague said:

Am following the journey you both take and looking forward to how it ll pans out.  Any chance you both could post your tactics?

I’m playing a 4-1-2-3 currently that swaps to a 4-3-3 when I need to push for a win or playing a smaller team. I’d post a more in depth screen but I already have problems playing against @santy001 as he’s head and shoulders above me in the tactics area so giving him more scope wouldn’t help me too much lol.

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I adjust an awful lot, depending on player availability and such. In my first season I started out with@Mr U Rosler Oathbreaker formation. Since then I've used it more as a foundation for different things I've been trying, and tweaking it best to suit particular players as my squad wasn't built to perhaps get the best out of the default Oathbreaker formation.

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Sitting top of the league again but I was about the same last year and it didn't turn out too well, a few goals off what I was achieving last year at this point too.

image.thumb.png.101894e972d42b62fd551c0619a966ab.png

 

Squad at this point with the strikers scoring the majority for me, really missing Kellerman from last year who lumped in with a few from midfield.

image.thumb.png.0976af10d20d5f88f3603dd2aef9a86a.png

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Season 3:

The third season of our save has drawn to a close, with a much more interesting finish for @oliscott than myself. We both secured automatic promotion but Harrogate nearly bottled it again, relying on AFC Telford losing on the final day of the season to secure the Vanarama National League North title. There were some high running emotions for Oli as he nervously began to worry he had thrown it all away after leading for so long.

Meanwhile a division higher, I strode home to the title with a few games to spare. Tranmere were the early season contenders, but fell away around Christmas only to be replaced by Maidstone who lost their way towards the end of the season. 

Vanarama North Table:

3f313e2b30966b30b03646c34548f1cb.png

Vanarama National Table:

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Harrogate Transfers:

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Salford Transfers:

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- - -

Salford:

A bit more on my own season, it was a bit of a strange one. I shed a few players released on frees as I got promoted, but the young Fraser Campbell attracted a lot of interest in January and eventually left in a deal worth up to 250k. Kevin Nolan came in initially as my replacement for Gary Jones, but decided in December he had enough of football and was retiring at the end of the season. Then in a follow up the next day he just retired there and then, he has since gone on to manage Plymouth.

As the table shows, it was a strong performance from my squad, we lost a few here and there but on the whole it was surprisingly strong. My other young Scottish player Darren Smith became one of the standout players with his contributions. Here's a look at my end of season squad:

707bfc1bb837006e08140084599c1ddd.png

 

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Had this year wrapped up until about eight games to go when I decided to lose a game then lose to second place Telford and have to salvage it on the last day getting lucky with Telford losing to Chorley.

Again stand out players were the strikers with the goals just blitzing opponents at time despite the high amount conceded.

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This just shows how I let it go at the end to salvage it on the final day.

image.thumb.png.5990c819ed688cdcc1e22dadc867c3dc.png

 

Edited by oliscott

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Tragic news for my League 2 promotion bid as Jack Redshaw my all time top goalscorer has been struck down with a damaged achilles tendon. Considering he's 29 years old, and the level of football and facilities we're at I suspect this could be the end for Jack Redshaw. The more telling problem however is that no one else has come close to the goals he's scored. I've scraped a couple of wins in the games without him, but the goals are drying up.

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In light of Jack Redshaw's untimely career ending injury Ive got some good news, the board have decided to increase my transfer budget!

image.thumb.png.a2ff5f1724117ab4ed2b932ea555ca15.png

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Sometimes in life you have an upcoming game against the team bottom of the league.. and then Chesterfield decide to hand an 18 year old lad his debut and this happens. 

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I've been meaning to find a goalkeeper since the first season, but never been able to find one I wanted to bring in permanently who would actually join me, so I've been getting by with what I had and loan signings. 

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Title wrapped up with five games to go, going to try for most points total and goals scored now.

 

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Season 4:

Our fourth season has drawn to a close. Both of us secured our titles, but with the untimely demise of Jack Redshaw I found it very difficult at Salford. Without his goals it was a very sluggish second half of the season and the club did get promoted quite comfortably, but nowhere near as comfortably as we were on track to do. While @oliscott had a brief period of concern as well he did end up smashing the points and goals totals for the league as Stokes brought over 40 goals to the table.

Vanarama National Table:

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League Two Table:

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Harrogate Transfers:

fe992ac5bdef4e5b14f7c91b1d7b8783.png

Salford Transfers:

a74589d64857b8bb70aba7792c183991.png

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So the season finished with a league and cup double, really did take the league for all it was worth this year, destroying the points and goals records. The front three tore up the opposition and Im hoping to go into next year doing the same.

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Edited by oliscott

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@Uncle Buck Plays FM Yes, its FM Touch, for a network game we can progress a lot faster and have a lot less hold ups during game play.

While speed isn't of the essence, a lot of the main game features just don't line-up as well with being able to play on more limited time.

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1 minute ago, santy001 said:

@Uncle Buck Plays FM Yes, its FM Touch, for a network game we can progress a lot faster and have a lot less hold ups during game play.

While speed isn't of the essence, a lot of the main game features just don't line-up as well with being able to play on more limited time.

Never actually tried FM touch,which leagues did you guys load?

 

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Here's a screenshot of the leagues we have active to save typing them all out.

2 minutes ago, Uncle Buck Plays FM said:

Never actually tried FM touch,which leagues did you guys load?

 

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1 minute ago, santy001 said:

Here's a screenshot of the leagues we have active to save typing them all out.

e002ea4d0badf1ef8cf7ce9f19458676.png

Does it not affect going over the reccomendation at the bottom of the screen?

 

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@Uncle Buck Plays FM Not especially, I think its on tablets that its a locked requirement but I'm hosting the network game on a PC with an i5 7600k at a little under 5ghz so it plays smoothly. I think I could've easily had a 100,000+ player data base but keeping it lighter as I would expect that size database to have more issues when we get further down the line.

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1 minute ago, santy001 said:

@Uncle Buck Plays FM Not especially, I think its on tablets that its a locked requirement but I'm hosting the network game on a PC with an i5 7600k at a little under 5ghz so it plays smoothly. I think I could've easily had a 100,000+ player data base but keeping it lighter as I would expect that size database to have more issues when we get further down the line.

very true...anway enjoy your game looks good!!!

 

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11 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

You're both going great guns now.

It has been a couple of strong years, I anticipate I'm really going to struggle in league one next year however. 

£39k p/w wage budget, £0 transfer budget and the club sitting a few hundred grand in the red meaning no work is being done to improve any of the facilities. 

We continued a small way through the summer window on Sunday night, and I was getting blown out of the water for signings by everyone. 

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That sounds like me with Newcastle Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division in my FM16 save. Three seasons of survival so far after winning the First Division South playoffs in the first season.

Except put a decimal point between the 3 and the 9.

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I still had almost £20,000 p/w in the wage budget as the window was closing and made the most of what had presumably been a bit of a reputation adjustment once showing my team wasn't completely floundering.

I'd also sold another promising youngster for around 100k which brought in some much needed money and was finally able to get a few players that had no interest from other League 1 sides.

I'll get screenshots up later tonight hopefully, but I'm actually in the promotion spots in League 1 right now, committed half a million (mostly clauses based on success, and sacrificing wage budget to achieve this deal) on signing a player from Bristol City who had barely scored in the last 4 years but he's raw and fast which has been a great outlet for creating goals and been a massive feature in my attack again just outscoring opponents.

Redshaw has slowly recovered from his injury and been scoring again, he's not the top goalscorer, the free agent I signed last season when he got injured (Bradley Fewster) is spearheading the attack, but its good to see that Redshaw is making the step up every year, despite having had 2 bad injuries during his time with me.

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Here's Jack Redshaw: 

dc4f67f04a0eda9569aaeaf4c42f6d32.png

110 goals in 4.5 seasons so far. 

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Here's his injury history, the knee ligament injury pretty much ended his season, I genuinely expected the achilles tendon injury at around 29/30 years old to be the end of him.

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Here's his attributes, there's nothing at all special about him but it wouldn't surprise me if he could still continue performing even in the Championship. 

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This is the current league 1 table, just keeping Salford in the automatics by goal difference, quite a bad defence again but I'm still hoping that relying on just overloading the attack with pacey players is enough at this level.

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Bit of an update from League two, cant really keep any consistency to mount an automatic promotion place. Hoping to slip into the play offs is my best hope this season I think, really need Stokes to start scoring as well.

image.thumb.png.b90de5d394b3e81b0c3739cf794e82a8.png

 

 

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Season 5:

Spectacular collapses. That is the only way to sum up the 5th season for both of us. Both Harrogate and Salford failed to make the play-offs. Both of us suffering from the same issues, the strongest attacks, but by far the weakest defences in our leagues.

Calamitous defeats against relegated teams Rochdale and Ebbsfleet in the final run in cost me a play-off spot.

League One Table:

5d01fd3d310ef16d560fcbc6a28e1d03.png

League Two Table: 

d7f9308d3c41d777fc99c6c971023f67.png

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Just a quick update, still in season five going into the final stretch and the automatics arent looking out of reach really now maybe even the title. Had a decent run to the third round in the FA Cup before being knocked out to premiership opposition in Brentford, the other cups were a right off really. Stokes has died down and is not struglling to get to the 15 goal mark these days, luckily ive brought in a youngster called Farley from Huddersfield who is smashing them in.

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@Nobby_McDonald I didn't notice that Port Vale relegation myself, but they were pretty poor when I was in League Two as well. 

We should finish season 6 tonight, both myself and @oliscott hoping not to bottle it in the title race, although both of us were again having a tricky spell of poor form when we saved up. 

Like Stokes, Redshaw is also slowing down, averaging 1 goal in 3 games this season, but he is 32 now and has continued to suffer with injuries. It's a shame I couldn't have gotten to the Championship sooner, I think if I'd been there with him 2 years younger he could've done some damage there too. 

I am slightly having to worry about my future though, as apparently the new Salford chairman (my 3rd now) is saying that despite the club having a positive bank balance they can't afford to offer me a new contract. 

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Newest chairman might be a nut, the least he can do is make an offer...

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Season 6:

As we reach the end of the 6th season it was good news for us both, as we both secured promotions once more. My chairman finally offered me a new contract at Salford after the close of the season which was a relief. @oliscott relied on the play-offs to get promoted, but will be in League One next season, and apparently has money coming in with profits announced of £1.2m for the season. Meanwhile, at Salford the finances are still somewhat concerning, the club posted a loss of £450,000. Despite being well under budget, and selling players at a profit at Salford, the on-going money issues keep rumbling on, although I'm hoping Championship revenues will fix this.

We're reaching a point now where our reputations are slowly starting to rise, while almost definitely still going to be the lowest reputation club in each of our leagues, we're not the lowest reputation by far and still lower than half the teams in the league below too. Which should begin to make player signing become a little easier.

League One Table:

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League Two Table:

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Harrogate Transfers:

515831ef987a7e2c991fb8324601e284.png

Salford Transfers:

2065e7fabee997641302a8b86f765bb8.png

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