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ajcardall

[FM18] Welsh Dragons - Carmarthen Town

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Hello. Again!

So far on FM18, I've had careers with Sheffield WednesdayCoventry United and FC Suduroy. The latter two had to be paused/abandoned due to bugs found within the custom database and league files that were used. Wanting to try and avoid another situation like that, I've decided this time to just use the official database.

I want to try what I did in the Faroe Islands, take a team, improve then, dominate the domestic football landscape and attempt to improve the reputation and rankings of the country as a whole. I opted for Wales for a few reasons - the season start/end dates coincide nicely with the rest of Europe, they start low on the co-efficient tables and entry places into the European competitions, and it has a little extra spice with goals such as surpassing their neighbours - Ireland, Scotland and eventually, England.

I've picked Carmarthen Town as the club I'll (attempt) to lead to future glories.

Long term, the goal is winning a European competition. Lofty, but what the heck. 

I'll open up with the club overview, background, initial feelings etc soon. After that, it'll be updates every month/couple of months. Once the dominance is achieved in Wales, I'll probably change to yearly updates, but with more focused and bite-sized updates for any European matches.

For now, here's the game set-up:

  • Leagues Loaded: Welsh Premier 
  • Database Size: Custom 
    • All players of following nationalities loaded: English, Welsh, Irish, Northern Irish and Scottish
    • All players at clubs in continental competitions (Europe) loaded

Just the Welsh leagues loaded to help whizz through the seasons. The database size is custom - all players of UK/Ireland nationality are loaded, along with all players in European continental competitions. I've left the in-game editor enabled - not to use it to gain any advantage (what's the point?), but because as one who loves tracking progress and being able to see it over time, I can check the club reputation etc in terms of raw numbers, as well as min/max attendances. It won't be used for any player enhancements, adding monies, magically healing players of injuries etc, or other unfair means. I've also learned from the Faroe Island save it can help with any potential bug hunting - although I'm hoping I won't need it for that reason this time!

Right. That's the basic introduction. I'll reserve the next few posts for progress trackers etc, but then get started with the introduction proper!

Cheers, all!

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Trophy Cabinet

 

Season	¦ Honours & Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18	¦ Welsh League Cup Winners, FAW Cup Semi-Finalists, Premier League Winners
2018/19 ¦ Welsh League Cup Runners-Up, FAW Cup Winners, Premier League Winners
2019/20 ¦ Domestic Treble Winners (League Cup, FAW Cup, Premier League); Appointed Wales Manager; Club turn professional
2020/21 ¦ Domestic Treble Winners (League Cup, FAW Cup, Premier League); Resigned as Wales Manager
2021/22 ¦ Domestic Treble Winners; Unbeaten domestically
2022/23 ¦ Domestic Treble Winners; Reached Group Stages of the Champions League


TROPHY			¦ YEAR WON
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welsh Premier League	¦ 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
FAW Cup 		¦ 2007, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
League Cup      	¦ 2005, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Europa League    	¦
Champions League  	¦
UEFA Super Cup		¦
Club World Cup		¦


Season	¦ European Progress
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19 ¦ CL 2nd Rnd Qualifying; EL 3rd Rnd Qualifying
2019/20 ¦ CL 1st Rnd Qualifying; EL 3rd Rnd Qualifying
2020/21 ¦ CL 1st Rnd Qualifying; EL 4th Rnd Qualifying
2021/22 ¦ CL 1st Rnd Qualifying; EL Group Stages
2022/23 ¦ CL Group Stage

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Edited by ajcardall

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Co-Efficients and Reputation Tracker

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Edited by ajcardall

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Carmarthen Town, nicknamed 'The Old Gold' are a Semi-Professional club based in Carmarthen, Wales. Competing in the Welsh Premier, we will have to overcome and throw-down teams such as TNS if we're to establish a new force in Welsh, British, and European football!

The club play at Richmond Park, a 3,000 capacity stadium with seating for 1,056 supporters. The stadium is owned by the club, so no rents are paid. It's in average condition, and has a synthetic pitch (new type, soft).

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A club with a bit of history to their name already, so it isn't a blank-canvas by any means. The club won the theWord Cup in 2013 and 2014, but there have been no new trophies added since then.

The closest we came to challenging for the league title was in 2001 and 2014, finishing 3rd on both occassions.

So there is definitely some pedigree, and even more room to grow.

In terms of off-the-field set up, the Training Facilities are rated Below Average, the Youth Facilities are rated Basic, and the Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment are both rated Fairly Basic.

Here's a look at the full facilities screen provided at the outset:

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Meet David Priest, the newly appointed manager of Carmarthen Town. An unknown in the world of football (but with respect, so are Carmarthen) I've given myself no qualificaiton badges and no playing experience outside of Sunday League. The attributes have been dished out as follows:

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Here's the three squads at the outset:

First Team ¦ Reserve Team ¦ Under 19s

They're not in the worst shape, and if the assistant is to be believed, we have some decent players for this level, and some promising lads in the youth set-up. 

The first team needs some extra depth, especially in the centre-back position, with only two recognised centre backs in the First Team. I'll probably move Thomas Rees and Kyle Vince-Holt from the Reserves into the First Team to provide extra cover while adequate cover is found.

 

In terms of potential stars, the ones who immediately catch the eye are Paul Smith and Liam Walsh. At just 16, Paul Smith already has some impressive attributes for this level, and it'll be interesting to see both how he develops, and how soon clubs come sniffing around. Walsh is a little older - 20 - but again has decent stats for the current level. Need to find a suitable tutor to address his shocking determination, though.

 

I'll post a pre-season report once the friendlies are out of the way, along with any transfers in or out that have occurred in that time.

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2017/18 Pre-Season

 

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Decent friendly campaign. Hammered - as expected - by Blackburn, but managed a very credible draw against Bradford. The other games were pre-arranged, and all teams at a similar, or lower, level than ourselves.

 

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Very much outsiders going by the bookies predictions and odds. As expected, TNS are predicted to win the league this season. With a predicted finish of 9th, I'm hoping we'll be able to achieve at least mid-table.

In terms of board expectations, they tend to agree with the mid-table aim for this season. Not as worried about the cups, but any money they can generate will be more than welcome.

 

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Started work immediately on improving my abilities

 

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Four players signed so far to add depth to the team. 

Lee Phillips is a vastly experienced centre-back. At 38, I'm pleasantly surprised by his stamina and pace. His positioning is poor, but hopefully his experience will offset that.

Ross Weaver is a young centre back to add depth to the defence. Won't be a first team starter, but should be capable when called upon.

Liam Blake is a young AMC/Striker. Not the best stats, but he is decent enough for our level, and has room the improve in the future.

Luke Fitzpatrick is another young defender, and one brought in with the future in mind.

Doubtless more transfer activity will occur between now and the end of the transfer window, and any acquisitions/departures will be dealt with as and when.

Edited by ajcardall

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August 2017

 

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We've made a very good start to the season, unbeaten in our first 5 matches - 2 of which were played in the Welsh League Cup. I was particularly happy with victory against Newtown, as we had been expected to be on the wrong side of a defeat.

In the Welsh League Cup, we've been drawn against Goytre AFC, who caused a major shock in the 2nd Round when they knocked out Aberystwyth Town!

 

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Looking good in the league, although it is still very early days with just three matches played thus far. TNS have made a slow start, and are yet to record a win, but that won't last for much longer.

 

Liam Blake, one of the youngsters signed on a free, has been the star performer so far. Playing in the Advanced Playmaker role, he's picked up 3 goals and an assist - very impressive so far.

 

In terms of transfers, the window has now closed and the only other bit of business conducted was the departure of Kevin Jones on a loan deal to Queens Park (WXM).

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18 minutes ago, DazRTaylor said:

Yay!  I found your thread straight away this time.

Looking forward to your updates.

Thank-you :D Hope you enjoy the ride!

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It occurs to me now that I forgot the show the tactics! So, here we go:

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Exact same tactic that was successful in the Faroe Islands. So far, it's been just as good!

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September 2017

 

We made a solid start to the season, progressing in the League Cup, and unbeaten in three matches in the Premier League. September was a big test, with teams such as Bala, Barry and TNS all coming up this month. Depending on how we emerged from this month it would be a big indicator of where we are at, and what we should realistically be looking to achieve this season.

 

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To come through unbeaten is a superb effort, especially given some of the teams we had to face.

Also delighted with progressing to the Semi-Final of the league cup, beating Goytre 4-3 in the 3rd Round. That match wasn't as close as the scoreline indicates - we switched off and they scored twice in stoppage time at the end.

 

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Second in the league, and still unbeaten! Couldn't ask for a better start to life in Wales.

 

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Liam Walsh has been the star lately, averaging just under 7.5. A couple of goals and assists in what was a tough month, so pleased with his efforts.

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October 2017

 

A strong couple of months has seen us playing beyond the initial expectations, and October was a month with 5 games to be played, all in the league. Heading into the month, it was very much a case of looking to keep our run going, and hammering in as many points as we can to give ourselves a good, solid platform for the rest of the season. With 15 points up for grabs, a return of 10 or more would be fantastic.

 

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I'd targeted 10 points, and we ended up with 12 - 1 defeat and 4 wins. Couldn't ask for much more, and delighted with the month we ended up having.

 

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We are top of the league - albeit temporarily, as the clubs below all have games in hand. But we're looking very strong, and the tactic that was used to devastating effect in the Faroe Islands is doing the business in the Welsh valleys!

 

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Unsurprisingly, we're losing money. Most players are very small wages, especially the youth and hottest prospects, but I wanted to get them off of Amateur deals where they can be poached. Like the Faroe Islands, it's going to be a case of struggling financially and waiting for increased gates and European money to boost the bank balance.

 

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Busy month ahead, including the League Cup semi final. We face TNS twice (one in the cup) as well as Newtown. Glancing ahead, the target is going to be 7 points.

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November 2017

 

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The best month of the season so far, unbeaten, progression the FAW Cup, and into the final of the League Cup. Beating TNS twice was special, as they are the strongest team in the league, so very pleasing stuff indeed.

 

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Five points clear at the top heading into December, and things look very good indeed.

 

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Managed to bag the National C coaching badge, but was rebuffed when asked for funding for the National B badge due to poor finances.

 

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...and it's easy to see why. Still on the decline, but little to be done at the moment except ride it out.

 

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Give we won every match this month, I'm hoping we can have another great month in December. Bangor will be tricky, but outside of that game the aim has to be three wins.

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December 2017

 

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If November was our best month, than December was definitely the worst. We lost back-to-back games in the first two matches, before pulling it back and picking up 4 points from the next two matches.

 

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Just about clinging onto the top spot!

 

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Big month to come including the League Cup final! The chance to win a bit of silverware so soon is very exciting!

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January 2018

We enter the new year coming off of the back of our worst month to date, although we were still clinging onto the top spot in the league, but only due to our superior goal difference over second placed Bangor. January is also the time when the league table splits. After 22 matches, the top and bottom of the league are divided, and teams can no longer move out of either the top or bottom conference. After the split, the teams in each half will play each other twice - but don't play against teams in the opposite side of the league. Essentially, the top half battle it out for the title and European qualification, and the bottom half battle against the drop - although the 7th placed team do enter the playoffs (theoretically also 8th, depending on the FAW Cup winner).

When it comes to European qualification, the champions naturally enter the Champions League qualifiers (1st Round). 

The team in second place enter the Europa League qualifiers (1st Round)

Teams in 3rd to 7th then challenge in the European playoffs, to determine who takes the remaining league European qualification spot.

If the winner of the FAW cup finishes either 1st or 2nd, then the 8th placed team enters the European qualification spot

All clear? No? Good.

 

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A very special month that saw us win the League Cup, overcoming Bangor 4-2 in the final. We also made progress in the FAW Cup, and are now in the Quarter Finals there. Bit up-and-down in the league, with the 0-2 defeat to Cardiff Met Uni being a bit of a shock result, but we still returned 7 points from 12, which isn't to be sniffed at at this stage.

 

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Confirmation of the cup victory. No European place comes with winning the League Cup, but the £10,000 prize money is nice enough for our level.

 

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Here's the table. As you can see, the split has now occurred, and the top/bottom halves are locked in. Despite dropping a few points this month, we've managed to open up a slender lead (2 points) at the top.

 

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TNS and Bangor in back-to-back games, and they could well be crucial. Do well in them and I feel like the title will be ours to lose.

Also got the Quarter Final of the FAW Cup to contend, facing Cardiff Met Uni, so an opportunity to revenge after the 0-2 defeat this month.

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February 2018

Following the league split, we were top of the league and looking in decent form. Now was the time for us to kick on and reaffirm our position at the top of the table, and this month would very much be a litmus test as to how we're going to finish this campaign. With tough games against Bala, TNS and Bangor City, we needed to be at our best.

 

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We started very poorly, with two 0-3 defeats against both Bala and TNS. At this point I feared everything was going to fall apart and we'd choke. Fortunately we managed to right the ship and put in strong performances throughout the rest of the month, starting with the highly impressive 4-1 victory over then league leaders Bangor City.

We ended the month making amends against Cardiff Met Uni, dumping them out of the FAW cup and progressing to the Semi Final.

 

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We started top and ended at the top, but that is on the back of our strong end to the month.

 

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The two 0-3 defeats sent us crashing to 4th place, which shows just how vital it was that we turn it around and get back to winning ways.

 

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Going to highlight this impressive scoreline. A 7-2 victory for Barry, with Michael Byrne bagging an incredible 7 goals!

 

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March is a short month with just three fixtures to play. If we can pick up 7 points I'll be delighted. 

Just 5 games remaining in the league, so now is the time to really shine. We can't afford any more slip ups like we had at the start of February.

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Youth Intake

 

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The promise of a golden generation in our first intake of my career, although as experienced in the Faroe Islands, that's likely due to the low quality of players we have on hand right now!

 

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Regardless, there are some lads here who have decent potential, and one definite stand out.

 

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Carwyn Smith, according to the assistant, is already our best left-back at the club. He'll be moved straight into the first team and trained as a Full Back, rather than his preferred role of Defensive Full Back. If can improve his mentals, I think he'll be a bloody good player for us going forward.

 

Amongst there other stand-out prospects, here's a look at a handful:

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Given our tactics call for an Advanced Forward, young Aled definitely has some work to do if he's going to break into the first team. He has the ambition, it is a case of seeing whether his application can match up.

 

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Joe needs to focus on his passing,  composure and decision making, but if he can improve in those areas, he could be a decent Advanced Playmaker for the club.

 

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His mentals are a concern, but hopefully they can be improved upon, but his marking and tackling are good for our level.

 

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Rob needs to work on his attitude and his determination, but if he can get that right, I think he has a solid base to improve from and could be a decent ball-winning midfielder down the line.

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24 minutes ago, DazRTaylor said:

Carwyn Smith looks insane for that level.

Absolutely. Got him straight into the first team to help develop him as quickly as possible

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March 2018

This month saw us receive a decent intake, with one of the youngsters being immediately promoted to the first team. But in terms of on the field matters, we just had three games to contend with, and with the title race picking up steam - and us currently leading the way - it was vital we had a strong month to leave us in a strong position as the season draws to a close.

 

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At the end of February, I targeted 7 points as an baseline, and we managed to meet that target. Dropping points in the draw with TNS was expected, so I'm happy we managed to get the points in the remaining games this month.

 

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Both TNS and Bangor have been dropping  points lately, so we've pulled away slightly and now have a three point cushion at the top. With just two games remaining in the league, the title is seemingly ours to lose now. We are at least safe in the knowledge we're finishing in the top three this year.

 

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I was awarded a new contract this month. I added the caveat that I be allowed to use the Youth facilities to bring in players and ensure we have a continual supply of hot prospects coming through the ranks. Glad to have had this philosophy added as it means the board will be more forthcoming when it comes to improving our facilities down the line.

 

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Two tough games to end the season, but we have home advantage which could be crucial.

We've also got the FAW Cup semi-final to fight out as we look to add yet more silverware in what would be a fantastic first season.

Edited by ajcardall

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2017/18 Season Review

 

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We saw out our league campaign with minimal fuss, winning our last two games and ensuring that we finished my first season as league champions! A brilliant achievement and it was very satisfying to get over the line at the end. Looking forward to getting stuck in to Europe!

Sadly, we couldn't progress any further in the FAW Cup, and were eliminated at the Semi-Final. TNS eventually went on to win the Cup.

 

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It ended being Prestatyn who won the European play-offs, so will enter in the Preliminary Round next season.

We finished a comfortable 5 points clear, breaking a run of 6 consecutive title wins for TNS.

 

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A very good season all told. Two pieces of silverware and booking our passage into the Champions League qualifying rounds. Definitely not expecting to make much progress on the continent, but we shall do our best regardless. At this stage its about ensuring the European money is used wisely to ensure we have a good platform from which to launch our domination of Wales.

 

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Only took the one season to enter the Welsh hall of fame!

 

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Welsh Premier moved up the European competition rankings, which is a good start, and hopefully something we will continue to improve upon as we move forwards. The two Welsh cups also climbed their respective rankings.

 

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Secured a spot in the First Qualifying Round of the Europa League for the 2019/20 season.

 

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None of the Welsh clubs had any impact in Europe this season. Let's see what we can do next season!

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A bad season for our bank account, but the European money we're due to get next season will clear the overdraft and hopefully provide a decent platform for the club. No changes to our infrastructure, and I'll likely hold off for now until we can get some decent cash and income.

 

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Improvements for all our competitions, but the national team dropped down the rankings this year. Still no co-efficient, but that'll change next season.

 

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The 2019/20 season will see our first change to our entry spots in Europe.

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2017/18 Champions League

1st Qualifying Round

 

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We've been handed a tough draw (I suppose a club of our stature, they're all tough draws) against Qarabag in the 1st Qualifying Round.

If we are able to overcome that challenge, then either AIK or Floriana await in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

 

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A perfect first leg, establishing a decent advantage as well as keeping a clean sheet heading into the 2nd Leg.

 

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And a hugely impressive 2nd leg! We manage to qualify 5-3 on aggregate!

 

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As expected, we'll face Swedish team AIK in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

 

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The home leg saw us break our attendance record by a huge margin!

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Well and truly beaten over the two legs, never coming close or looking likely to challenge AIK.

We now drop into the Europa League 3rd Round Qualifying.

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We've been drawn against Lithuanian outfit Zalgiris Vilnius in the 3rd Qualifying Round.

I don't know much about them, but I think we should be able to overcome then and make the 4th Round.

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Despite an impressive victory on the night in Lithuania, we still exit the Europa League and our first European adventure is now over

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2017/18 European Round-Up

 

So our European ventures come to an end after exiting the Europa League in the 3rd Qualifying Round against Vilnius. However the brief run has made the club a lot of money:

 

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Not counting the gate receipts, we've managed to add £814K to our bank balance, immediately easing our financial worries and providing a huge platform from which we can improve our infrastructure and stave off any immediate concerns in terms of debt, etc. Of course it is now up to us to ensure we're able to achieve European football on a regular basis to ensure we continue adding to our bank balance.

 

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None of the other Welsh clubs managed to have any impact in Europe.

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2018/19 Season Preview & Friendlies

 

Undoubtedly, last season was a very special season. We managed to win the League Cup but also ended up Champions of Wales, winning the Premier League title by 5 points, which meant we competed in the Champions League. The financial rewards from Europe were superb, and as we start the new season, we sit with just over a million in the bank, which is tremendous at this level. Naturally this money will be used to improve our facilities to ensure we have a good chance of competing regularly.

 

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It was a very busy pre-season, what with all our European matches and the travelling. The friendly matches saw some good results, such as managing to beat Rotherham 4-3 in one game. I think we're in decent shape as we head into the new season.

 

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Despite winning the league by a decent margin, as well as winning the league cup and reaching the semi-final of the FAW Cup, our odds are still poor as we head into the 2018/19 season. I think we'll definite surpass these odds, and hopefully be up challenging for the title once again.

 

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The board are certainly in line with my thinking, expecting us to finish around the top of the league this season. Our cup expectations haven't changed, and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to reach the latter stages of both once more.

 

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The board have agreed to improvements in our Junior Coaching, Youth Recruitment and Training Facilities. As our funds decrease throughout the year, I'm fully expecting the planned Training Ground improvements to be scrapped due to lack of funds, but we shall see. The Youth Recruitment and Junior Coaching take immediate effect, which should boost our next youth intake in 2019.

 

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A few players brought in, and a few leaving on season-long loans.

 

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Owen and James have been signed to improve our first team squad, and Williams is one for the future, signed by the Head of Youth Development.

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October 2018

 

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Tremendous start to the second season, going unbeaten in the league and making it through to the semi-final of the League Cup. We currently sit on a 5 game winning streak, and at one stage had score 16 goals in three games. Clean sheets have been difficult to come by, but by and large we are able to outscore our opponents, but the goals being shipped are a slight concern.

 

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As we're unbeaten, it is no great surprise that we sit at the top of the pile, although TNS are chasing hard in second place. Bangor City have fallen away this season and will need a change in fortunes if they are to make it into European contention again this season.

 

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We'll be playing Cefn Druids in the League Cup semi-final in our quest to defend our title. Cambrian & Clydbach await us in the FAW Cup 3rd Round, and we should be looking to progress easily there.

 

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A few extra deals have been done, with more fringe and reserve players heading out on loan, and a few new players brought in, mainly to add squad depth.

 

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Liam Thomas has been our stand-out performer this year, and is currently in hot form, averaging 8.2 in his last five outings (4 goals, 4 assists). In the league he's scored 9 in 10, and contributed with 7 assists.

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January 2019

 

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Our strong form continued right until the worst moment, the League Cup final, when it fell apart and we were roundly beaten by Prestatyn 2-5 in the final. Our league form remains incredibly strong, and we've only dropped 4 points since the start of November.

In the FAW Cup 3rd Round we put in a professional performance against lower-league opposition and eased through into the 4th Round.

 

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Needless to say we remain top of the league. TNS are also having a very strong season and are just 4 points behind us. Then comes a huge gulf to 3rd placed Prestatyn, who lie 13 points behind TNS.

Bangor's poor season has continued, are relegation is a very serious concern for them this year.

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2019 Youth Intake

 

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Another promising batch of young hopefuls have arrived, and once again we may have some quality youngsters that we can bleed into the first team.

 

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A few players who could go on to be stars at this level, and one stand-out player who could well be featuring in the first-team already!

 

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Liam Hughes is definitely the stand out from the bunch, and already possesses very good skills and attributes for our level. I'll try and find a determined or professional tutor who can take him under his wing and give him that extra edge and determination.

 

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Griffiths-Bonner has a few weakness that definitely need ironing out if he's going to make it. His work-rate is atrocious and he will need to improve there, as well as other mental areas, if he's going to be good enough for the first team.

 

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Llion Bates is another who has some hard work ahead of him if he's ever going to step into the first team. While he possess some decent attributes, some of the others he requires to fit into my system leave a lot to be desired. He will definitely need tutoring.

 

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Owen Delaney is yet another who has some good strengths, but his weaknesses really let him down.

 

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Liam Walsh bucks the trend somewhat - his mentals aren't the worst, but some of his technical skills are lacking. Hopefully he can work on them and push on for a first team spot in the coming years.

 

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Lastly, a young goalkeeper. Kyle Hughes has bags of determination, which should stand him in good stead when it comes to working on his technical abilities. Could well be one for the future.

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March 2019

 

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We managed to put the disappointment of the cup final behind us, and despite one blip against a tough TNS side, we have won every single game since that disappointing final.

 

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10 points clear at the top of the table, and just 3 games remaining, so the current lead we hold means....

 

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...we retain the Premier League title, and once again will compete in the Champions League qualifying rounds next season, providing another cash injection to the club to re-invest over the summer.

 

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Entered the Wales Hall of Fame after the second title victory.

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Just started following this save. Great work so far, reminds me of the Faroe save.

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On 07/01/2018 at 04:06, kidthekid said:

Just started following this save. Great work so far, reminds me of the Faroe save.

Yeah the tactic I used in the Faroese save is working just as strongly in Wales. Thankfully. :D

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2018/19 Seasonal Review

 

We retained the league title, but failed to retain the League Cup. However we were still in contention for the FAW Cup - which is the bigger prize of the two. At the start of the season, we'd been predicted to struggle once again, but managed to confound the odds and ensured we'd be starting our European campaign in the Champions League, which of course means bigger prize money pots and, hopefully, higher gates. Our season was a very strong one, and despite some defeats at the end (see below) when I fielded several young players, it remains a season we can be very pleased with.

 

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So we dropped points at the end, but we had already secured the title so several youngsters were put into the first team in an effort to boost their development and progression, and to see how they'd fair at the higher level. The results weren't the best, but some of the young players did have good performances, so it wasn't a waste. As you can see, we managed to win the FAW Cup, beating Prestatyn in the final - the same team who beat us in the League Cup final earlier in the year, so to get revenge was pleasing.

 

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Confirmation of the FAW Cup win. Delighted with winning it, and hopefully it'll provide a nice boost both to our finances, and our profile.

 

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The final league table, including the European qualification spots following the playoffs. We came close to a century of goals, and would feasibly have achieved that milestone had I not rested as many players after we secured the title.

Interestingly, had Caernarfon not made the Championship Conference when the league split, then they would have been relegated with just 31 points! I'm sure that's of little consolation to the fans of Aberystwyth, though!

 

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A round-up of the various awards and season reviews. Some outstanding performances this season, especially from the two Liams - Walsh and Thomas!

 

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Improvements to our league and club reputations, which is nice. I didn't see (or maybe I missed it) anything relating to qualification spot changes, so I'm assuming they remain the same.

 

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Lastly, the proposed training facilities improvements went ahead, which is pleasing, even if it did mean we took a huge hit financially at the end of the season! But with next season's European campaign just around the corner, the monies will soon be recouped!

 

 

Edited by ajcardall

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Club Progress Trackers

 

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Improvements off the field and a good year for us financially. The large seasonal loss is primarily due to the upgrades to the training facilities that were approved at the end of the season.

 

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We made the co-efficients list, which is nice, and hopefully we'll be able to keep on rising up the ranks as the seasons progress.

 

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No improvement on my coaching badges, but the stats have all improved.

Edited by ajcardall

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European Report

 

Our title winning season means that, once again, our European campaign will begin in the 1st Qualifying Round for the Champions League.

 

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Unlike last season, we failed to progress to the 2nd Qualifying Round, having lost the 1st Round tie 3-4 on aggregate to Lech. We were never outclassed and have reasons to be positive.

In the Europa League, we put in a performance to remember when we played Icelandic outfit KR in the second leg. After losing the away fixture 0-3. it was going to take a big effort to get through, and a memorable 6-2 victory back home in Wales sent us through 6-5 on aggregate.

Sadly we didn't make it much further, as Sheriff went through on away goals after the tie finished 2-2 on aggregate.

 

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Elsewhere, only TNS had any joy in their European campaign as they made the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Europa League, before being dumped out of the competition by Odd.

Cefn Druids and Prestatyn both failed to manage to get on the score sheet in either of their matches, and were eliminated with ease.

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2019/20 Pre-Season

 

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Not the worst pre-season, but the 1-5 defeat at home to Rotherham was disappointing. I didn't expect to win, but didn't expect to be so roundly thrashed. Perhaps I was too optimistic? Regardless, still plenty of positives from our preseason schedule.

 

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Our odds shortened, which is good to see. Our expectations aren't too different, although the League Cup is now not viewed as a concern.

 

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Some good progress being made off the pitch, and we are using our European money nicely in terms of investment. Improvements to the Youth Recruitment and Junior Coaching are pleasing, and I'm similarly delighted the board agreed to change to a fully professional set-up, which will ensure we have our players on the training ground much more often and help development.

 

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Several new players brought in, and a few of the younger lads and fringe players allowed to leave on loan.

 

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Focused on strengthening at the back, and pleased with the acquisitions we have made. Hopefully they can make a difference and ensure we continue to reduce our goals against tally.

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2019/20 Mid-way Point

 

We've reached game 11 in the league, the half-way point before the league separates into the Championship and Relegation Conferences. While we haven't necessarily struggled this season, a couple of teams have performed much better, particularly TNS who are looking exceptional and already look like they're going to take some catching.

In the cups we are still alive and progressing, so positives on that front in our quest to establish our dominance over Welsh football.

 

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Looking at our results, one would be forgiven for thinking we'd be sitting at the top of the table. We've just lost two games and drew two, so are definitely playing well. As I said however, TNS are just that little bit better this year, as the table will show.

 

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Played 11 and won 10, so little surprise that TNS are steaming ahead in the table. Prestatyn are running them close, followed by us in 3rd place. We're four points off Prestatyn, and 7 off TNS, so really need to hope they hit a bad run of form before the lead is stretched even further.

We're in the semi-final of the League Cup, playing Flint Town. There are only Bala and ourselves left in the competition from the Premier League.

We've not begun the FAW Cup yet, but the 3rd Round starts in 9 days.

 

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Disappointed to lose Smith to a broken ankle, as he's been ever present in our midfield since he signed for us.

Liam Walsh has had two absences, both for ligament damage - although one was ankle ligaments, and the other was knee ligaments. Hopefully this doesn't become a common issue for him.

Those two aside, we've been lucky with injuries, with most being knocks and bangs.

 

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James Loveridge is the player of the season so far.  In the league he averages 7.63, and has 8 goals in 11 games. In the League Cup he's been phenomenal, averaging over 9 in his two games.

Hopefully he'll keep his form going and help keep us within touching distance of TNS and Prestatyn.

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2019/20 League Split

 

We've now reached the point in the season where the league splits into the Championship and Playoff Conferences, and we've made the cut and are in the Championship Playoff. TNS are still dominating the league, and we have 10 games left in which to overturn the points gap if we're going to retain our league title for the third season in a row. We have managed to catch up with Prestaytn, however, although it remains extremely tight in 2nd and 3rd place. In the cups, we're through to the league cup final for the 3rd year in a row, and we made it through to the 4th Round of the FAW Cup.

 

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Some decent results, although the defeat to Llandudno was very disappointing. As we look to chase TNS, we really can't afford many more dropped points!

 

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We're still 7 behind TNS, and as I said in the introduction, the race between ourselves and Prestatyn is very tight and no slip-ups can be afforded. Bala and Bangor, two teams who qualified for Europe  in our first season, have fallen away and are both struggling. We actually face Bala in our next fixture - the League Cup final. In the FAW Cup, we have a 4th Round fixture against FC Nomads, and a win is expected there.

 

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No new major injuries, and Price has returned from a specialist for his broken ankle, and should be back in contention soon.

 

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One player has left the club, and three have joined. All are youngsters, but all have high levels of ability and will be in the first team.

 

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At 17, Scott Bonnell is already one of the better players in the squad, and can still improve. He has decent levels of determination so should be able to kick on and reach his potential for us.

 

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Stuart Roberts is less of a finish product, but definitely has room to improve. Again, he has decent determination which will give him every chance of improving over the coming years.

 

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Owain Verburg is one who will need tutoring to improve his low determination and personality, else his promise may be wasted and he won't hit the heights he is capable of. However he is a decent player and will be in the first team.

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2020 Youth Intake

 

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It's that time of year when a new batch of hopefuls get promoted from the academy, pursuing their dream of professional football. This year we've got some more good prospects, although not really any who will be slotting straight into the senior side.

 

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There are six who have a PPA rating of 4+ stars. All players with 3.5 or above PPA have been offered contracts, and the rest will be released once the trial period expires in a few weeks.

 

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Tony Hughes (MC) is the best-rated prospect. He already has a great pass at such a young age. His tackling, workrate, teamwork and vision is also decent for his age. Looking forward I'm going to try and shape him into a ball-winning midfielder.

 

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Emlyn Fraser (MR) has the makings of a winger. My temptation is to either train him as an AMR - Inside Forward or as a CM - Mezzala, both are roles that feature in the tactics used.

 

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Sion Griffiths (GK) has a decent base from which to build from, but he needs to work on some key attributes as well as his mental side of the game.

 

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Scott Vince-Holt (MC) will be trained in the mezzala duty, and has some work to do. He has decent enough determination, so should improve as the years tick by.

 

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Ashley White (ST) has a good head on his shoulders, which he will need if he is to succeed as an Advanced Forward at the club, as he has a lot of work ahead of him.

 

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Danny Reynolds (DR) could be a decent defensive full-back, but will need to work hard if he's going to ever be a good enough full-back who can get forward up the pitch, which is crucial in the tactical set-up I use.

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15 hours ago, ajcardall said:

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I did not see this coming :eek:

Enjoying this. Did you accept it??

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