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yatesiboi37

[FM18] Worldwide Journeyman - Season 8: O'Higgins Futbol Club (Chile) - Midseason Departures and Start of Copa Chile!

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Hello everyone! Some of you may know who I am (although I am sure most of you do not). I most recently started a story with FC Orsha in Belarus. Although that story was fun to write, the play through aspect got a little boring. 

Personally I have always enjoyed playing FM by starting at the bottom and trying to work my way to the top. That was sort of what I was attempting in Belarus but after just three seasons I started to receive job offers in England (for Championship sides) and it just felt like too much progression too quickly. I wanted to start a save even further down than I did in Belarus...

Fortunately, thanks to @claassen and his brilliant Megapack Update, there is a very fun and easy way of doing this. Some of you may have read @Makoto Nakamura recent stories based in Oceania and these types of saves have inspired me to start up a journeyman career of my own, starting unemployed, with a large number of smaller, previously unplayable nations, loaded. 

There is no real main aim for this story, although I will be keeping track of Hall of Fame points and of the number of trophies (if any) that I win along the way. The primary focus is going to be to experience a number of different leagues and set-ups that I previously never have on FM. 

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1. The Worldwide Managerial Hall of Fame:

Current Leader: Sir Alex Ferguson (Score: 4947)

Currently 20th: Jock Stein (Score: 1900)

Current Continent Leader: Vanderlei Luxemburgo (Score: 1742)

Current Nation Leader: Mario Salas (Score: 482)

Current James Yates Score: 191

 

2. Trophy Cabinet:

Domestic Division Titles:

  • 5x GFA Premier Division (Mount Rich - Grenada; 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)

Domestic Cup Titles:

  • 6x Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament (Mount Rich - Grenada; 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)

Other Club Trophies:

  • 1x North American League (Mount Rich - Grenada; 2022)
  • 1x Caribbean Football Union Club Championship (Mount Rich - Grenada, 2023)

International Team Trophies:

  • 2x CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup (Kenya; 2020, 2021)

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THE STORY SO FAR:

2017 - Mount Rich GFA Premier Division

2018 - Mount Rich GFA Premier Division

2019 - Mount Rich GFA Premier Division

2020 - Mount Rich & Kenya

2021 - Mount Rich & Kenya

2022 - Mount Rich & Kenya

2023 - Mount Rich

2023 - O'Higgins Futbol Club

2024 - O'Higgins Futbol Club

 

Edited by yatesiboi37

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4 minutes ago, Borussia Teeth said:

Great. So what leagues will you be loading up?

I have a whole host of places loaded at the moment:

Asia: Bahrain, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, Uzbekistan

Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Macedonia, Georgia, Kazakstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, 

North & Central America: Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago

South America: Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela 

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4 minutes ago, Borussia Teeth said:

Wow ok. Have you been successful with previous long-term saves?

I have gotten pretty far before on a few saves, none that I have written about though. 

To be honest, once I get a job I'll cut down on the number of playable leagues by a fair bit - adding some back in when I look to resign. Not all of these will be playable throughout the whole save. 

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As mentioned before, I have a lot of small, previously unplayable, nations loaded and this meant when I started my save (in June 2017) there were plenty of jobs available. 

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My manager, if you can even call this guy a manager right now, was created to be the worst possible professional I could possibly conceive and, as you can see from the above, he has a terrible set of skills to go alongside his Sunday League Footballer previous experience. Despite this, the reputation of many of the divisions I had loaded meant that interviews were actually pretty easy to come by and I eventually found myself in a position whereby I was able to select where I wanted to go. I looked for somewhere where their league season had not already started, as I always like having a full preseason to sort things out. 

I eventually found somewhere and so would like to welcome you all to James Yates' first club side, Mount Rich.

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Club Background:

Who? I hear you all cry...

Mount Rich are a very small, semi-professional side based in Grenada, one of the many Caribbean islands. They are a club situated in the northeastern corner of the island, more specifically in a town called Morne Fendue. They were formed in 1986 but they really do not have much in terms of a history, having won the Grenadian second division on two separate occasions but having never previously before played in the countries top domestic league. 

Within Grenada itself they do hold a national reputation rating but that equates to just half a star, the lowest possible on FM. 

Facilities:

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Is it weird that I was genuinely quite happy with these facilities. 

Our home stadium is the Plains Playing Field, and a quick Google image search suggests that calling this place a stadium is a bit of a stretch. It genuinely appears to have no stands, and instead the 700 fans just stand around the edge of the touchline in order to watch the action unfold. Despite this, the average price of a ticket is £8, which seems incredibly steep considering you do not get a seat for the 90 minutes!

Elsewhere, our training facilities (both senior and youth) are of the basic level but, given our semi-professional club status, I cannot imagine we will be developing too many players through team training so this does not really bother me. What is quite exciting is the youth recruitment level, which already sits at well established. Our junior coaching needs some work but I guess we at least have the potential to maybe recruit some youngsters who are ready for the first team.  

Competitions:

This is the main reason I wanted to start this type of save, to experience some different competitions. Thanks to the fantastic work of @claassen, we will be competing in two different domestic competitions this season.

Firstly, we will take part in the GFA Premier Division. This is the top tier of domestic football in Grenada and is currently ranked the 35th most reputable division in North America. There are currently 11 sides in the top division and everyone plays each other twice for a total of 20 fixtures. The league rules suggest that the division runs from July to December, so no idea what happens from January onwards - maybe the longest preseason ever?

There are not too many other GFA Premier Division rules. You are only allowed 4 foreign players in the playing 11, not that I imagine I will be attracting any, and the bottom three sides all are automatically relegated. Given that the division below is not accessible, this means finishing in the bottom three will cause me to automatically be fired.

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The media unfortunately seem to think that this is a distinct possibility but, with a predicted finish of 8th, I am hopeful that we can avoid relegation. A few interesting teams in this league including Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS), who are only allowed to field players under the age of 20, and Queens Park Rangers, whose badge looks almost exactly the same as their English namesakes.

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The most successful sides from recent times however have been Hard Rock FC and Paradise Sports Club, with the former having won the league title on a record four occasions whilst Paradise have five of their current squad players in the senior Grenada national team. 

Alongside the league we also take part in a domestic cup, which has to have the single best name for any competition ever, the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament. From what I can tell, it is a very simplistic knockout cup, involving primarily the teams from the top division and a few select first division opponents, for 16 teams in total. All fixtures are played over a single leg with extra time and then penalties being used to determine the winners in each round. 

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This tournament has been dominated by Paradise Sports Club, who have won the trophy a record four times and been named champions the past two seasons. The only really shock win here came in 2010 when Super Strikers picked up their sole piece of silverware. 

Grenadian Football:

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As previously mentioned, the domestic side of football in Grenada is relatively poor, with an entirely semi-professional league system and a top division lacking in reputation. To make up for things, the governing body decided to name their domestic cup with the greatest name I have ever read...

On the international front, the senior side are currently managed by Andrew Munroe, who was previously the national U20 manager for four years. They are currently ranked 156th in the world, behind the likes of Cambodia, Bangladesh and Madagascar, and have no historical achievements of note. 

They will compete in the CFU Caribbean Cup (a competition I managed in during my previous save when with Martinique) and they will also get to take part in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. There best player is Aaron Pierre, a defender who currently plays for Northampton in England. The most capped player in the squad however is Shane Rennie, a central midfielder who currently plays for Paradise Sports Club in his homeland. 

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So that concludes my introduction to Mount Rich, James Yates first ever managerial job. I am assuming most people here have never managed in Grenada before so I am hoping you guys enjoy this slightly alternative journey. 

I will be back soon with a preseason update, which will look at the delightful squad I have inherited and cover the few transfers I have been able to make. Thanks again for reading and please leave a comment if you are enjoying!

Edited by yatesiboi37

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Update 1: Preseason 2017

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

Having arrived on the sunny island of Grenada, there was no time wasted in getting stuck into preseason business with new club, Mount Rich. This update will cover the budgets, transfers, squad overview and friendly results, given you all an insight into what life is like in the GFA Premier Division. 

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BOARD ROOM:

The chairman of Mount Rich is a man named Jake Straker, the guy who was willing to sign an unknown Englishman from London for his small, semi-professional, Grenadian football club. In terms of finances, I was fairly happy with what I was given:

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I sort of gathered that I would not be offered any sort of a transfer fund but a wage budget of £862 was way more than I was expecting. Given that most players at the club are on very small part-time deals or on non-contracts, this was more than enough to cover my preseason spending spree. 

In addition, the board also made their objectives for the coming season known to me:

Board Objectives (2017)

GFA Premier Division - Avoid Relegation
Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament - Be Competitive

Both very much achievable in my opinion. I am hoping I can push for a midtable finish in the league and then who knows what might happen in the cup.

CLUB STAFF:

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When I joined, the club had an assistant manager, a physio and a single scout. I made it a preseason priority to build a basic backroom staff, one that would hopefully be able to apply sufficient coaching to our players. 

I ended up hiring a rather varied bunch of people, predominantly all regens, but from a variety of Caribbean nations. My backroom staff consists of two Grenadian nationals, two from Trinidad & Tobago, one from St. Vincent & the Grenadines, one from St. Lucia and one from Barbados. I am not sure if this will affect my youth intake at all but it would be nice to see us receive some players from the other Caribbean islands.

TRANSFERS:

I am not going to bore you with a list of all the out transfers as it was mainly me releasing players who were nowhere near up to standard for the club. I will look at released players in future seasons, when I have a bit more of an affiliation to and you guys have a bit more knowledge of the players departing. 

(In)

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I did add nine players to the squad though, with the majority signing on free transfers.

The weakest players here are probably attacking midfielder Nigel Modeste (22) and forward Kirani Greenidge (25). Despite their lack of skill, these two will likely be prime rotation options this year, having both joined on a non-contract basis from fellow GFA Premier Division sides. 

I signed central defender Earldon McQueen (28) from another GFA Premier Division league side, Super Strikers, and he will likely slot into the first eleven. 

One of the better signings here was that of Kimron Redhead (35), who we purchased for £25 from first division side Boca Juniors. Redhead has played 18 times for the senior national side and can operate in central midfield, as a shadow striker or up top and his versatility should prove extremely valuable this season. We signed another Boca Juniors player in the form of teenage midfield Chad Mark (19). The youngster has already represented the senior national side on one occasion and so should be right at home in our first eleven having become our clubs record ever signing, costing £240.

We then picked up a pair of fullbacks in Quinton Rennie (27) from Paradise Sports Club and Kimron Marshall (24) fromSt. John's Sports. Both of these guys were inexplicable signed to non-contract agreements at their respective clubs so we were able to lure them away for free. 

One of the best two signings of this window though is without a doubt Henson Cuffie (30).

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Do not get me wrong, this guy is not anything amazing, but at this level he is a pretty class midfielder. He has a fairly good set of physical attributes despite his age, including good pace and agility. What really impresses me is his technical skills however, he has high ratings for both passing and tackling, and should become an all-round monster in the middle of the park this year. 

He is another who has represented his country at international level, clocking up 13 senior appearances. 

The other signing that I was really pleased with was that of Uriah Enoe (19). 

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The young forward was signed from Hilltop Ballers, a team in the first division, on a fee transfer. He has already played a pair of games for the national U20 squad and at first glance his physical attributes would not look out of place in some of the lower European leagues. He has good pace, jumping, natural fitness and agility, all skills that can be keys to success in lower reputation divisions. He also has good dribbling skills to go alongside solid finishing and heading, meaning I am already predicting that this guy will be our top scorer come the end of the year. 

THE SQUAD:

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Unsurprisingly my assistant agrees that Henson Cuffie (30) will be a key players for us this season, rating him at 4.5*CA. The only five star player in the squad was one who was already here when I arrived, central defender Nicko Williams (27). He is a very solid defender and should prove very valuable this season given our weak goalkeeper situation. Fullbacks Kimron Marshall (24) and Quinton Rennie (27) both look like very solid additions.

We have already mentioned Chad Mark (19) and forward Uriah Enoe (19) who both look like solid, young, additions. One other player that I like the look of is midfielder Earldon Millette (18) who, despite his young years, looks pretty talented. Two other teenagers that I like the look of are attackers Kirani Noel (16) and David McQueen (16), both of whom should feature in the first team quite a bit as the year goes on. 

Overall, I am fairly happy with this squad. The first eleven are pretty decent but the glaring weakness here is clearly our severe lack of depth. I literally have only one left fullback and have almost no-one else who can play in the centre of midfield behind the three standout players. Our goalkeeping situation is also far from ideal, where I will be having to start Kuan Williams (16) between the sticks. 

TACTICS:

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A completely new tactic for me. If you read my other story you will know that I had loads of success with a winger-heavy, overlapping style and although I would have loved to replicate that here, I simply do not have the personnel to do so. Our squad is completely devoid of anyone who can play out wide and instead I have had to come up with something a little more creative. 

It is essentially a 4-3-3 but with a player filling in between the midfield trio and attacking pair. I have not played much FM using this style before so I am very wary of how it might turn out. For starters I realise that this set-up is very narrow so I will likely set the fullbacks to an attacking mentality, in order to try and provide some semblance of width.

I like to play primarily on a control mentality but with a fluid team shape as I think it is important to allow players to contribute to the different phases when asking individuals to overlap and when passing into space. This leads onto my specific team instructions, which include; pass into space, work ball into box, look for overlap, play narrower, and roam from positions. The whole idea is that we try to attack the centre of opposition teams, using our superior numbers through the middle. If this does not prove effective, we have the option to play into space on the overlap where hopefully our fullbacks will be working hard to get forward.

In theory this whole thing makes sense in my head but I have no idea how fruitful it will be when it comes to actual games. As always, every player has also been given his own set of individual instructions to ensure the worst passers do not try anything silly etc. 

Friendly RESULTS:

W = 2, D = 1, L = 2

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We had a fairly torrid preseason as the players failed to gel quickly and the tactic struggled to shine. 

We lost our opening fixture against fellow Premier Division side St. John's Sport before then struggling to a draw against another league rival in the form of Chantimelle. We then saw some real improvements during the final three fixtures. Firstly we played really well against a very talented St. Ann's Rangers team from Trinidad & Tobago. Despite the strength of our opponents we played very well and created a good number of chances. We finished the preseason with a pair of 2-0 wins, albeit against first division Grenadian sides.

I was fairly impressed with out abilities going forward as we did manage to score in every game. We did look a bit stretched defensively, especially against the better sides and this is a bit of a concern going into he start of the league season. Kimron Redhead and Uriah Enoe both had pretty good preseasons, scoring two goals each, whilst fullbacks Kimron Marshall and Quinton Rennie both looked very adept at playing in their attacking fullback roles. 

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There was no other news from the preseason. We stayed pretty much free of injury and will be going into our first league fixture with a fully available squad. I am fairy happy with the signings we made, I mean they definitely helped to strengthen the side, but we are lacking depth in so many areas that I really cannot see us challenging the top sides for any silverware this year. I am however confident that we can avoid relegation and my aim will be to push for a midtable finish. 

I will hopefully be back soon with an update covering the first month or so of competitive football in Grenada. Again, I hope you are all enjoying this rather alternative type of story!

Edited by yatesiboi37

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Update 2: August 2017

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

The preseason is over and the start of my first year in Grenada is here. The previous update highlighted some key new signings that I hope will be able to guide us to a safe, mid-table, finish. Alongside this however, the offseason also offered an insight into how much different managing in a small country might be. For starters, our tactic, which I have very little experience in using, looked pretty average throughout all the friendly games as we were simply unable to find any rhythm or consistency. 

This, alongside financial constraints and the strength of some of the opposition teams, had me thinking that I might have made a bad move in staring my career on this little Caribbean island...

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GFA Premier Division RESULTS:

W = 6, D = 0, L = 0

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Well this was a lot better start than I had envisioned. 

We started the year with an emphatic home win against a fairly weak Super Strikers side, netting four goals but never could I have imagined how good we would be from there on in. We followed this win up with three further games where we scored four goals, including a brilliant home victory over a strong Hard Rock team. 

We then hosted Paradise Sports Club, one of the better teams in the division and, in a true back and forth affair, we managed to come away 3-2 winners thanks to goals from Kimron Redhead, Uriah Enoe and Kirani Greenidge. Our final game of August saw us travel to Chantimelle and we continued our superb goalscoring record, finishing with a fine 3-0 win.

We were absolutely superb in August and most pleasing was our attacking prowess, a part of our game that was missing in the preseason, but the tactic has been crazily effective and we have created chances freely in every game we have played. Overall we scored a ridiculous 22 goals in our six fixtures, conceding just three, as we totally dominated all opponents in the GFA Premier Division. 

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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I apologise in advance if you are not that interested in statistics but I love analysing player performances, it gives me a real indication of the process behind that all-important average rating figure. Speaking of which, we finished the first month with an impressive 14 players holding an average rating of at least 7.0.

The key man thus far has been Kimron Redhead (8.45). The 35 year old former international joined the club at the start of the season and has duly impressed during his first seven games. He has played 13 key passes, clocked up 5 assists and added 7 individual goals from his deep-lying forward position. 

In defence, fullbacks Quinton Rennie (8.10) and Kimron Marshall (7.93) have both thrived within the tactic and played superbly. The duo have tallied five assists between them whilst Rennie is averaging 3.40 tackles/game. Central defender Earldon McQueen (7.76) has proved an excellent offseason addition whilst defensive partner Nicko Williams (7.18) is averaging a team-high 4.00 tackles/game at an impressive 94% success rate. Young goalkeeper Kuan Williams (6.85) has played reasonably but there is definitely room for improvement there. 

In midfield the key contributor has been 19 year old Chad Mark (7.52). The newly signed teenager has netted three goals whilst completing 83% of his passes. His strong play in the middle of the park has been supported by the performances of both Earldon Millette (7.32) and Henson Cuffie (7.18), with the later averaging 3.31 tackles/game whilst also leading the squad with an 86% pass completion rate.  

In attack, the key man alongside redhead has been new signing Uriah Enoe (7.54). The teenager has been a revelation and is quite clearly too good for this division having scored 4 goals in just five appearances. He averages 3.52 dribbles/game, highlighting his tendency to run at opposition defenders, a trait which I love at this level. Elsewhere, young attacking midfielders David McQueen (7.38) and Kirani Noel (7.08) have both impressed playing in the slot behind the two main forwards.

LEAGUE TABLE:

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TOP OF THE LEAGUE?!

And with a game in hand over second placed Hurricanes! I am very pleased with how we have performed though and to be ahead of some of the bigger sides, including Paradise Sports Club, is very pleasing. Hard Rock, who were also predicted to challenge for the title, have had a bit of a disastrous season thus far and currently find themselves down in 7th. SAB are the only side yet to win a game but to give you an idea of how crazy this league is, here are the results for Super Strikers, the side we beat on opening day:

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Talk about inconsistent form!

This has been a running theme throughout the league thus far, some really crazy games with an absolute ton of goals.

As previously mentioned though, our attacking prowess has been a real key feature of our early season successes. In the league, our 22 goals scored and +19 goal difference are easily the best in the division. Defensively we have been solid, having conceding just 3 goals, which is also the best record in the league. 

OTHER NEWS:

There was not much else in the way of other news this month but here are a few bits that might be of interest. 

Injuries:

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We had stayed relatively free of injury throughout the preseason but we did suffer a one fairly severe knocks when newly signed forward Kirani Greenidge pulled a hamstring during the opening game of the season.

Injuries at this level can have a devastating impact. Squads are small in size and three or four injuries to star players can really have a big effect given the lack of depth. Hopefully the injury bug stays away otherwise our lack of rotation options might prove costly.

International News:

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The first Grenadian squads of this save were recently announced and, amazingly, seven of our players were called up to represent their country. 

Firstly, young goalkeeper Kuan Williams was placed in the Under 20s, the 16 year old having started every league game for us this season.

Even more exciting was the news that Earldon Millette and Uriah Enoe, who were both previously in the U20s themselves, had received their first call-ups for the senior national side.

The other four players, central defender Nicko Williams, fullback Quinton Rennie, and central midfielders Henson Cuffie and Chad Mark have all previously represented their country at the senior level but it was still nice to see our early season form get some recognition on an international stage. 

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Unfortunately Enoe did not get to make an appearance in either friendly game but Earldon Millette was handed a start during the friendly against Puerto Rico and had a pretty solid game, with his side winning 1-0. Hopefully this will be the start of a long international career for the teenager. 

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So that brings to an end my first month of management in Grenada. We are currently on a superb run in the league and look unstoppable going forward, banging in goals galore through our first six games. Some of the new signings are proving excellent additions and we have managed to stay clear of any major injuries thus far. 

With just 20 league games in a season, we are technically a third through the campaign already. It is looking as though we will easily achieve our target of a mid table finish but now have an opportunity to push for an unlikely league title in our very first season!

Hope you guys are enjoying this Caribbean adventure. Is there any other nation/continent that you would like to see me managing in next? 

Edited by yatesiboi37

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Update 3: September & October 2017

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

Welcome back to my little Caribbean adventure where, as you may recall, I had recently joined Mount Rich on the small island of Grenada. In the previous update we got off to a superb start, winning all of our first six games, whilst scoring freely and showing a real attacking dominance. Despite the shortness of the league season, just 20 games, we had put ourselves in a very strong position to push for a possible title victory in our first year.

This update will cover the middle portion of the league season and a whole host of other news from the club and around the division. 

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TRANSFERS:

Firstly was the news that, despite a very short league year, Grenada actually has a midseason transfer window! Who knew?! Anyway, there was not much in the way of talent out there for me to purchase but I did make some dealings.  

(Out)

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We lost just one player, as 23 year old winger Cassim Bain signed a contract with First Division team Hilltop Ballers. Bain never played a game for us but that was mainly because he did not fit into our tactical system and he therefore drops down a division with his new club.  

(In)

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We signed one player during this window, Ariel Charles (26), from fellow league rivals Hard Rock. The central midfielder had played seven games for his former club during the first part of this season and now joins us as a very solid rotational option in the middle of the park. He only agreed to a non-contract agreement but hopefully we can hold onto him and he should get a reasonable amount of game time. 

GFA Premier Division RESULTS:

W = 4, D = 2, L = 2

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Not quite as sensational as our first month but still a very solid eight games of football. 

Our winning streak did come to an end at home to a very strong Hurricanes team where we were able to come away with a 1-1 draw. We followed this up with a pair of closely fought victories against St. John's Sports and then in a thriller against TAMCC. 

Our unbeaten run eventually came to an end when we fell to a very disappointing SAB Spartans team. We rebounded well from this disappointing loss, with a comfortable win against Super Strikers, followed by a tough drawn contest with QPR. We ended October with a remarkable 5-1 away victory over a very strong Hard Rock team, where there was a hattrick for youth forward Shavon Bishop. We then ended this run of games with our worst performance thus far, resulting in a terrible 2-0 defeat at home to Grenada Boys Secondary School. 

Overall, we maintained our decent attacking performances but struggled a bit more with regards to consistency, only managing the odd few games where we would score multiple goals. We did manage to net 16 goals in these eight fixtures though and defensively we did play okay but we definitely did not perform up to expectations, only managing to keep a single clean sheet and conceding 11 goals, at an average of more than one per game. 

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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Our slight dip in form has coincided with a small drop in the individual performances of our squad. We have still been playing very well though, and currently have 12 players with an average rating of at least 7.0. 

The key man here continues to be Kimron Redhead (7.75). The experienced forward has been prolific in front of goal, netting 11 times in his 14 appearances this season. He has also played 25 key passes to go along with his five assists. 

In defence our two fullbacks, Kimron Marshall (7.71) and Quinton Rennie (7.53) have both been excellent, with Marshall in particular impressing enroute to a team high 27 key passes played, whilst Rennie has connected on 20 total crosses, the most in the squad. Our central defenders have not been quite as brilliant, although Earldon McQueen (7.26) has played well and leads the team with 40 defensive interceptions. Nicko Williams (7.01) has also been solid and his 3.64 tackles/game are the highest amongst all defenders. 

Our midfielders have been very effective, especially the two teenagers, Earldon Millette (7.41) and Chad Mark (7.40). Millette has played 22 key passes and racked up five assists, whilst simultaneously averaging 2.30 tackles/game. Chad Mark has completed a very impressive 82% of his passes and also added four individual goals. The experienced Henson Cuffie (7.07) has helped to form a very effective trio in the centre of midfield, averaging a team-high 3.80 tackles/game. 

In attack, young forward Uriah Enoe (7.35) has formed a solid partnership with Redhead up front, scoring six individual goals and providing a further six assists. In addition, teenage attacking midfielders David McQueen (6.97) and Kirani Noel (6.92) have both been solid. One name that has really impressed recently is Shavon Bishop (8.13), a new name that you will not have heard of but one who recently joined as part of our youth intake (more on that below). Bishop has been very good, scoring on debut before then netting a hattrick in his second appearance.  

LEAGUE TABLE:

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A couple of league defeats are enough to see us drop to second place, as we now fall a single point behind a very strong Hurricanes side. They have only lost one game themselves this year and it is looking likely that we are now locked in a two horse race with our rivals for the title. We only have six games left to play in the GFA Premier Division and still have to travel to our main rivals for a very tricky away fixture late in the season, making this title race a real exciting one!

Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) have been on a terrific run of form recently and, alongside Paradise, are mathematically still in with a chance at challenging for the title. Hard Rock, who were up there with the preseason favourites, have had an awful year and currently find themselves in 7th position, fighting off the threat of relegation. Speaking of the drop, there are six teams who still have a realistic chance of going down and it looks like that battle will also go down to the final day of the season. 

Our 38 goals scored and +24 goal difference is easily the best in the division. Defensively, despite a bit of a form dip, we have continued to be solid and our 14 goals conceded is tied for the least alongside rivals Hurricanes. 

OTHER NEWS:

Quite a few bits of additional news to inform you of this update.

Injuries:

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The first month of the year had seen us remain relatively injury free, with very little in the way of major setbacks. The past coupe of months saw our already thin depth options et even thinner as we lost three players to lengthy ailments. 

Firstly we lost Nigel Modeste, a player capable of playing in attacking midfield or upfront, for two months after he broke a toe. The attacker had played seven games, scoring two goals, before his injury. We then lost young attacking midfielder David McQueen to a concussion before his replacement, youth academy product Kyle John-Brown, also went down with some pulled knee ligaments. 

We are now struggling incredibly with depth options behind our starting front three and hopefully this does not affect us too much going forward. 

Youth Intake:

Speaking of some of the new players, October in Grenada sees the annual influx of youngsters in the form of the ever-exciting youth intake.

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We have a pretty decent youth set up in terms of facility levels and therefore I was hoping for something a little bit better than this. Overall I was pretty disappointed with the current ability of this group, although there are a few players in here that could provide helpful for the first team. I signed the top two here along with the left back Reigh Millette and central defender Davier Ogilvie

The main player here though is Kyle John-Brown, the young attacking midfielder who was lost to injury on his debut. 

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He is probably the most talented player in this intake and has a decent personality (resolute). He has a very solid set of physical attributes for this standard of football, with solid ratings for pace and acceleration. His mental attributes are pretty decent for a 16 year old and I am especially impressed with his levels for teamwork, vision and work rate. He should get plenty of playing time in the first eleven, at least after he has recovered from his injury. 

The other player that I like the look of is forward Shavon Bishop

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The young striker has a less than ideal personality (unambitious) but still has high levels for determination. He also has a pretty solid set of physical attributes with good levels for pace, jumping reach and acceleration. Although his technical skills do not look that amazing, he has a well-rounded set of forward related traits; with reasonable finishing, heading, first touch and technique

Bishop has already had a superb start to his Mount Rich career, netting four times in three appearances enroute to becoming the clubs youngest ever scorer, at 16 years and 121 days. 

Managerial Updates:

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I managed to also complete my first ever career coaching qualification, netting my National C Licence. It is important to gain a few of these as I go along in order to make sure that I am capable of landing jobs in the multiple countries that I intend on visiting. 

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These courses primarily help to boost my managerial attributes which, as you can see above, are severely lacking! I am going to have to get a lot of these numbers closer to double figures if I am ever going to be able to successfully apply for solid European positions. 

Cup Draw:

Although this story has primarily been focused on the Grenadian domestic league, there is also a cup competition that is due to get started in November, the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament. 

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The first round draw has already been completed and we are due to take on T.A. Marryshow Community College, a fellow GFA Premier Division side. Our opponents are having a fairly decent domestic campaign and find themselves in 6th position. We have only faced off against them once so far this year, defeating them in a thrilling 4-3 win at home. 

This cup only has 16 teams competing in it, meaning just three wins will result in a finals appearance. We have managed to avoid any of the bigger teams in the opening round but this away fixture will no doubt be a tricky one to overcome. 

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That brings to a close another update from Grenada. We are still playing well in the domestic league but our overall consistency has become a bit more sporadic. The play of our forwards has been fairly pleasing although we have struggled a bit defensively as of late and I am thinking a tweak in tactics might be in order. 

We only have six games left in the season but will now require a slip up from Hurricanes if we are to stand any chance of winning the title in my first season of management. I have decided that it might be a good idea to set myself the aim of winning at least one piece of silverware in each country before I move on to a different job. For now though, I am happy in Grenada, where games in October are played under 33 degree sunshine! Living the dream!

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Interesting save so far! Definetly will be following.

In terms of leagues you could do next, i've actually never seen someone play in the European countries that start with A barring Albania, Bosnia or Estonia. Would be very interesting, although Venezuela sounds appealing too as that's the last FIFA league on the Wikipedia page. 

(First is Algeria but you didn't load it sadly)

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On 7 February 2018 at 12:09, Minuy600 said:

Interesting save so far! Definetly will be following.

In terms of leagues you could do next, i've actually never seen someone play in the European countries that start with A barring Albania, Bosnia or Estonia. Would be very interesting, although Venezuela sounds appealing too as that's the last FIFA league on the Wikipedia page. 

(First is Algeria but you didn't load it sadly)

Thanks for the compliments Minuy! 

I previous did a save in Armenia, which was pretty fun, and another in Montenegro. I think eventually I would like to end up in one of the smaller European nations for sure. I managed in Uruguay before but have not had much experience in the other South American nations. 

I considered the African nations but it would have been far too much for this save to handle unfortunately. 

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Great save idea. Really enjoyed your past one too. Quick question on the database - which leagues are included for Canada?

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2 minutes ago, cerud said:

Great save idea. Really enjoyed your past one too. Quick question on the database - which leagues are included for Canada?

Thanks cerud! Really appreciate the comment!

In terms of the database, the update has the following all included:

Canada: Canadian Soccer League, League1 Ontario, PLSQ, PCSL, Ontario Cup, PLSQ Cup

I do not know much about the Canadian set-up but that seems quite extensive?

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Ahh yes...the CSL..our bastard child. The CSL is a non-FIFA league that even the Canadian FA has disowned. Hopefully, when the Canadian Premier League begins next year, the database will be updated. In terms of the Canadian setup, it looks about right. There are tons of regional leagues across the country.

Did they update the database to include the winners of League1 Ontario and PLSQ in the Voyageur's Cup? This is new for this year.

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2 hours ago, cerud said:

Ahh yes...the CSL..our bastard child. The CSL is a non-FIFA league that even the Canadian FA has disowned. Hopefully, when the Canadian Premier League begins next year, the database will be updated. In terms of the Canadian setup, it looks about right. There are tons of regional leagues across the country.

Did they update the database to include the winners of League1 Ontario and PLSQ in the Voyageur's Cup? This is new for this year.

Without playing through I cannot be certain but on the surface it looks to be a very up to date update... I would definitely recommend downloading the megapack if you get a chance - it is very detailed and adds another layer to playing FM. 

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Update 4: November & December 2017

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

As you may recall, the previous update saw us drop to second place in the league following some rather inconsistent form, especially with regards to our play in front of goal. Despite this we still had a realistic chance of securing a historic league title for the club in what was also my first job in football management.  

This update, which spans two months, will cover the remaining GFA Premier Division fixtures and also see us embark on our domestic cup journey, in the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament. 

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GFA Premier Division RESULTS:

W = 6, L = 0, D = 0

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A superb end of season run sees us go unbeaten through six games and you might notice that we also defeated our title rivals Hurricanes during this span. Considering we were just one point behind our rivals at the start of this update. The mathematicians amongst you will realise our form, in particular this vital victory, will have some big consequences in relation to the league table, but more on that later...

We kicked off this run of games with a nice away victory over a strong Paradise side, courtesy of a Shavon Bishop goal. We followed this with a high scoring triumph over relegation threatened Chantimelle before the important game against Hurricanes. In a closely fought battle, that saw only eight total shots (four for each team), we came away with a vital victory thanks to a superb strike from experienced forward Kimron Redhead. We then smashed a hapless St. John's Sports side, scoring five very good goals against them, before finishing the season with a pair of clean sheets against two sides at the foot of the division.

Overall, I was extremely happy with our defensive improvements after our slight struggles during the past update. We kept four clean sheets and conceded just three goals in these six fixtures whilst also maintaining our attacking prowess, scoring 14 times. 

Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament RESULTS:

Alongside our league campaign, the month of November also saw the start (and completion) of Grenada's only domestic cup competition, the superbly named Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament. As you may remember, we had drawn a fellow GFA Premier Division side in the opening round and, with just three knockout rounds separating us and a finals appearance, I was confident of adding some early silverware to my career. 

First Round: vs T.A. Marryshow Community College (GFA Premier Division)

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Despite being drawn as the away side, we put in a thoroughly professional performance and easily dispatched our league rivals with a comfortable 3-0 victory. 

We totally dominated here from start to finish, racking up a very impressive 22 total shots. We took the lead just after the 20 minute mark when Kimron Redhead lashed home following a brilliant through ball from left fullback Kimron Marshall. We doubled our advantage just before the break when Uriah Enoe smashed home a strong finish from the edge of the area into the top corner of the net. Enoe added a second individual strike late on when he latched onto another brilliant pass from Marshall and placed a neat shot into the bottom corner. 

A fairly routine victory in the first round meant we cruised into the quarter finals where we were handed a very favourable draw.

Quarter Final: vs Fontenoy United (GFA First Division)

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Fontenoy United are a side who play their domestic football in the division below us and, given that we were also drawn as the home side, I felt very comfortable resting the majority of our first team players. This proved to be a very sensible decision as we cruised through thanks, primarily, to a brilliant first half performance. 

Central defender Earldon McQueen rifled home following a poorly cleared corner to open the scoring after just ten minutes. Just a couple of minutes later and we doubled our advantage, when youth academy forward Shavon Bishop tucked home following a nice pass from back-up midfielder Alister Ettienne. We capped a superb first period when Kirani Greenidge smashed home from inside the area after a nice knockdown header from strike partner Bishop. 

We never looked like conceding in this one, limiting our opponents to just 41% possession and just a single shot at goal. This win meant we cruised through to the semifinal where we were handed a potentially tricky draw. 

Semi Final: vs Paradise Sports Club (GFA Premier Division)

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The semi final stage saw us drawn against Paradise Sports Club, the competitions reigning holders and most successful side, having won the tournament on a record four previous occasions. Having to travel away added another tricky element to this tie but luckily we were able to come away with an important victory. 

We took the lead after just three minutes when central midfielder Earldon Millette cracked home a fine strike from the edge of the area and from there on in we slightly edged a rather nervously played out match. Both sides struggled to create any clearcut chances, as we managed just four shots on target for the whole game. Still, this was better than our opponents who genuinely failed to hit the target for the entire 90 minutes, having just five, off-target, shots in total. 

A fine win and one that meant we would be playing in the cup final during my first ever season in Grenada. 

Final: vs Chantimelle FC (GFA Premier Division) 

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What an amazing way to win our first trophy!

We ended up playing Chantimelle FC in the final following the relegation-threatened sides solid cup run but they were no real challenge for our clinical finishing. This game was played in the national team stadium, in front of a rather hefty crowd of 1,548 spectators. 

The highlight here was a superb, first half hattrick, from Uriah Enoe. The young forward scored a header, a close range finish and then rifled home a penalty to ensure that we were leading 5-0 at halftime in what turned out to be a very one sided affair. There was also a double from central defender Nicko Williams, who scored following both a corner and a free kick. The other two goals came from young midfielder Chad Mark, who slammed home a close range header, and substitute Shavon Bishop, who tucked home a neat finish late on.  

We completed a cup run that saw us conceded zero goals by limiting our opponents to just two total shots in the final. 

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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Our excellent end of season form was the result of some excellent individual performances through the final two months. We ended the year with an impressive 15 players holding an average rating of at least 7.0. 

The star man here was left fullback Kimron Marshall (7.80), who finishes the season with one of the highest ratings I have seen for a full FM season. The 24 year old racked up 8 assists and a ridiculously good 42 key passes from his defensive position as he became a real force going forward. He was not bad at the defensive end either, averaging 3.63 tackles/game and 28 interceptions. 

Elsewhere at the back, fellow fullback Quinton Rennie (7.50) had a very good year, adding six assists of his own and connecting on a team-high 36 chances. Central defenders Earldon McQueen (7.47) and Nicko Williams (7.30) both had very solid years, with McQueen leading the way with 68 defensive interceptions and Williams being successful with 94% of his tackles. Young goalkeeper Kuan Williams (7.01) improved his play in the second half of the year and finished with just 17 goals conceded in 24 games. 

In midfield, the key man was teenager Earldon Millette (7.63). The youngster, who won his first senior national team cap this season, scored 4 goals, collected six assists and led the team with 43 key passes played. Alongside him, fellow teenager Chad Mark (7.32) had a good year, scoring five individual goals of his own whilst Henson Cuffie (7.02) played well in his ball winning role, averaging 4.26 tackles/game. Ariel Charles (7.10) who joined midseason proved to be a very solid rotational option.

Up front, Kimron Redhead (7.55) finished the season as the clubs top scorer with 15 goals in his 23 appearances. He added a further 6 assist and led the team with 4 Player of the Match Awards won. His strike partner Uriah Enoe (7.35) was also pretty prolific, adding 12 goals of his own and leading the squad with 7 assists. Youth academy attacking midfielder Kyle John-Brown (7.30) looked very good in limited action whilst David McQueen (6.94) outplayed fellow youngster Kirani Noel (6.88).

STANDINGS:

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As you may have guessed, we ended up easily being crowned league champions! Our main rivals, Hurricanes, had an awful end to the year, losing three of their final six fixtures and actually ended up finishing 3rd, below Grenada Boys Secondary School.

Paradise Sports Club finished fairly strongly and ended up placing 4th whilst preseason favourites Hard Rock stumbled their way to 6th, just seven points clear of relegation. Speaking of the drop, Waggy-T Super Knockout finalists Chantimelle finish bottom and are relegated to the First Division along with SAB Spartans and Super Strikers, 

In fairness we definitely deserved this league title, our 52 league goals scored and +35 goal difference was easily the best in the division. Amazingly, Hurricanes actually conceded less goals than us over the course of the entire year but, with just 17 goals let in, we averaged less than one goal conceded per game. 

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Some really emphatic wins in there, with plenty of games finishing with us scoring 4+ goals. We were just so good going forward and managed to maintain this attacking ability through all 20 league games, resulting in a much deserved league crown during my first season in management. 

OTHER NEWS:

Not much in the way of other news, just some little bits and pieces from around the club to be aware of.

International News:

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The excellent domestic form of left fullback Kimron Marshall led to the defender receiving his first call-up for the senior national side. Quinton Rennie now has seven caps for his country whilst young forward Uriah Enoe scored his first international goal in a friendly against Martinique. 

Hall of Fame:

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Having won both of the domestic competitions in Grenada, the GFA Premier Division and the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament, I collected my first Managerial Hall of Fame points. 

These two trophies became the most reputable bits of silverware won by Mount Rich, having previously only won the Grenadian First Division. Unfortunately for me, the Grenadian domestic set-up is not the most reputable and therefore my double trophy success resulted in just 23 Hall of Fame points. Still, a start is a start and now I have to decide whether to stay in the Caribbean or look for a job elsewhere. 

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That brings to a close my first season in Grenada and what a successful year it has been, collecting two trophies and playing some very exciting, attacking football. The option to remain in Grenada still remains but I do feel as though I have achieved everything possible on this tiny island and therefore it might be time to look for a new job possibly. 

Does anyone have any suggests for where they would like to see me manage next or would you guys prefer me to carry on in Grenada for a bit? 

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Play in the CONCACAF Champions League if possible. If not, move on to whatever country has a lot of jobs available in the lowest division there is. At least go to one of the countries that has 2 divisions to expand the lifespan of this fun series.

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21 hours ago, Minuy600 said:

Play in the CONCACAF Champions League if possible. If not, move on to whatever country has a lot of jobs available in the lowest division there is. At least go to one of the countries that has 2 divisions to expand the lifespan of this fun series.

The only way for a team in Grenada to make it into the CONCACAF Champions League is to qualify via placing in the CFU (Caribbean Football Union) Champions Cup. From the looks of it, that competition is playable but I have received no notification stating that we have qualified so I think it might not happen unfortunately... 

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Update 5: End of Season Review (2017)

Club: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

I started out my managerial career at a small, semi-professional club, located on the Caribbean island of Grenada. Despite no previous experience, I was hired and went on to lead the club to a historic season in which we were crowned league and cup champions! We exceeded all expectations, considering the media expected us to finish near the foot of the table, and finished the year collecting the clubs' first ever meaningful silverwares. 

This update will take a quick look back at our record setting season and act as a platform for the clubs end of season awards. 

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COMPETITIONS:

GFA Premier Division. Final League Position: 1st

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Played: 20 (W = 16, D = 2, L = 2)
Goals Scored: 52, Goals Conceded: 17, Goal Difference: +35
Points Total: 50

A superb first year in Grenada saw us finish as league champions in my inaugural season as a football manager. Despite being tipped for relegation by the media and having a fairly low-standing board expectation we managed to play well beyond those suggestions and cruised to top position. Our clinical finishing was one of the most important aspects of this excellent year, with our 52 goals scored (close to 3 per game) and our +35 goal difference easily the best attacking figures in the division. 

In fact we only dropped 10 points all year, so we were not that far off having that elusive 'perfect-season'. In the end our closest title rivals, Hurricanes, fell away during the leagues' final few months despite briefly overtaking us into top position around the midday point of the year. Grenada Boys Secondary School, the team only permitted to field players under the age of 20, ended up placing second following some excellent end of season form. Preseason favourites Paradise Sports Club (4th) and Hard Rock (6th) both had disappointing years by their standards. Domestic cup finalists Chantimelle did not have the best of league seasons, finishing bottom and are therefore relegated along with Super Strikers and SAB Spartans. 

Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament. Final Position: Winners

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Played: 4 (W = 4, D = 0, L = 0)
Goals Scored: 14, Goals Conceded: 0, Goal Difference: +14

I could not have asked for anything more during our cup run this season as we cruised to victory in the Waggy-T Super Knockout following four flawless games where we did not concede a single goal. 

In the first round we overcame fellow GFA Premier Division side, easily beating T.A. Marryshow Community College in an away game. The second round saw us handed a very favourable draw as we came up against First Division team Fontenoy United and we recorded a second 3-0 win of the competition to progress to the semi-finals. 

This was where our toughest game came, as we had to play the reputable Paradise Sports Club in an away fixture. We ended up playing really well and an early Earldon Millette strike sent us trough to the final. In the last game we were drawn against the relegated Chantimelle and played our best game of the season, recording an emphatic 7-0 victory to gift us the league and domestic double!

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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We finished the season with a whopping 15 players holding an average rating of 7.0 or higher, a pretty impressive feat given that we only played 20 league games. Below are some key stats from our historic Grenadian campaign:

  • Kimron Redhead finished as the clubs top scorer, netting 15 times throughout the course of the season. Two other players managed to reach a double digit goal tally with Uriah Enoe netting 12 times and youth academy product Shavon Bishop reading 10 goals in just 12 appearances.
  • The leading assist provider this season was left fullback Kimron Marshall, who tallied 8 in total. Forward Uriah Enoe finished second, collecting 7 assists, whilst three other players, Earldon Millette, Kimron Redhead and Quinton Rennie, all reached 6 assists. 
  • Forward Kimron Redhead ended the season with the most Player of the Match Awards, picking up 4. Left fullback Kimron Marshall finished with 3 awards. 
  • Defensive midfielder Henson Cuffie led the team with an impressive average of 4.26 tackles/game in his 22 appearances. Central defender Earldon McQueen led the way with 68 defensive interceptions. 

All-time Best XI:

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Given that the Grenadian leagues do not have that much in the way of history, it is unsurprising to see that the Mount Rich all-time best XI is made up exclusively of players who played for us this season. 

Most of these selections were filly straightforward but it was interesting to see David McQueen and youngster Shavon Bishop named in the starting team ahead of Uriah Enoe, who is named as a substitute. 

PLAYER AWARDS:

1) Player of the Year: Kimron Marshall (LB) - 18 matches, 8 assists, 42 key passes, 23 crosses connected, 3.63 tackles/game, 3 PoM Awards, Ave Rating: 7.80

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Signed on a free transfer at the start of the season, left fullback Kimron Marshall really played well and ended the year with one of the highest average ratings I have ever had on FM. The 24 year old was a solid defensive performer but where he really impressed was on the attacking front, tallying eight assists and a very impressive 42 key passes played. 

This was pretty surprising given his relatively poor technical attributes but what I like the most about Marshall though is his impressive physical traits, with high levels for pace, acceleration, stamina and strength. The defender is under contract for the next couple of seasons and should be a mainstay in the starting eleven for many season to come. 

2) Defensive Player of the Year: Quinton Rennie (RB) - 20 matches, 6 assists, 28 key passes, 36 crosses connected, 2.90 tackles/game, Ave Rating: 7.50

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Another free signing at the start of the season, Quinton Rennie provided a solid option opposite Marshall in defence. The 27 year old, who has made seven senior appearances for the national team, connected on a team-high 36 crosses throughout the season as he provided another attacking option from the fullback position. He was also pretty decent on the defensive front but it was in attack that Rennie impressed the most. 

Again, this was a surprise given the relatively poor level of technical skills but Rennie also has some pretty solid physical attributes for this level of football, with good levels for pace, acceleration, agility and stamina

3) Midfield Player of the Year: Earldon Millette (CM) - 19 matches, 4 goals, 6 assists, 43 key passes, 2.61 tackles/game, 25 interceptions, Ave Rating: 7.63

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Of all our sold midfielders, the standout performer was without a doubt Earldon Millette. The 19 year old had an exceptional year and actually won his first caps for the Grenada senior national side during the season. He was an exceptional all around presence, proving a threat with the ball at his feet enroute to completing a team high 43 key passes whilst also being solid in defence, averaging 2.61 tackles/game and collecting 25 defensive interceptions. 

The youngster again has a solid set of physical attributes, which seems to be a running theme with my successful players in this league. He also has some reasonable mental attributes given his age and his technical traits, although not amazing, are pretty good for this standard. The youngster actually did receive some interest from a few Grenadian teams throughout the season but I managed to tie him up to a longer term contract. 

4) Attacking Player of the Year: Kimron Redhead (ST) - 23 matches, 15 goals, 6 assists, 40 key passes, 4 PoM Awards, Ave Rating: 7.55

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Our top scorer from this season was the 35 year old attacker Kimron Redhead. The veteran is capable of playing in midfield or just behind the main strikers but I almost exclusively utilised him as an out and out forward during this season, a decision that proved to be a very god one as Redhead rewarded me with 15 goals scored in just 23 appearances. 

Despite his age, the experienced forward still has a very good set of physical attributes, including good ratings for pace, acceleration and stamina. He has a good rating for finishing and first touch to go alongside a very solid set of mental traits. It will be interesting to see whether Redhead regresses much given his advancing years but, for now at least, he is one of the better players at the club. 

5) U21 Player of the Year Award: Shavon Bishop (ST) - 12 matches, 10 goals, 2 assists, 1.44 dribbles/game, Ave Rating: 7.70

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Despite only playing 12 times for the club, having joined from the youth academy midway through the year, Shavon Bishop proved to be a revelation in front of goal. The 16 year old netted 10 times for the club as he highlighted his keen eye for goal through his limited playing time. 

Despite his age he has a very good set of physical skills and his technical traits are pretty well rounded, with solid numbers for finishing, first touch and heading. He has a very high level of determination despite having a less than favourable personality. I am hoping to see more from the teenager as the seasons progress. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall, this has been a very enjoyable first season in Grenada and we have been extremely successful, completing an inaugural league and domestic cup double. All the new signings that we brought in have played excellently and we proved to be a real attacking force, scoring goals for fun in all competitions. 

As previously mentioned, our trophy wins gave manager James Yates his first ever Managerial Hall of Fame Points, albeit not that many, as it added 23. I was planning on departing Grenada following this season, given that I have won everything possible in the country, however this recent piece of news just landing in my email inbox

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I will look into the clubs we are playing in more detail during the preseason update but for now I just thought it would be worth noting that, as GFA Premier Division champions, we are permitted to take part in the CFU Champions Cup (essentially the Caribbean version of the Champions League). Given that this tournament runs so early in the calendar year I think I should at least give that a go before deciding whether or not to move on to a different club, especial given that the winner of this competition then qualifies for the CONCACAF Champions League!

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I hope everyone is still enjoying this story so far. I am very much looking forward to playing in the CFU Champions Cup and the idea of getting a Grenadian team into the CONCACAF Champions League is one that, although entirely unrealistic, is actually pretty motivating!

I will be back with a preseason update soon, detailing the opposition that we face off against in Group F of the Champions Cup this coming season. 

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Hm, why is the Monsterrat competition blanked out? Did it get removed in FM18?

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6 hours ago, oche balboa said:

Yes give it a go. Still this is a cracking read 

Thanks oche! I am very much looking forward to the CFU Champions Cup, it looks like a very extensive competition with so many different Caribbean nations taking part. 

 

5 hours ago, Minuy600 said:

Hm, why is the Monsterrat competition blanked out? Did it get removed in FM18?

 

4 hours ago, DefenseLover said:

I agree, That's weird, I mean, They have a league: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montserrat_Championship#2004_participating_clubs

I am really not sure why it is blanked out on that screen...?

On the team screens it lists them playing in the Montserrat Championship and the competition is clickable from that there. I am assuming it is just a glitch on the group draw screen as a result of the megapack update. Maybe?

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I am very pleased that so many of you appear to be enjoying this little Caribbean adventure. It has been very fun to play through thus far and we had an extremely successful first season, picking up a domestic league and cup double - the first top tier trophies in the clubs history. These bits of silverware also added the first ever Managerial Hall of Fame points of my short career. 

Before we get stuck into the new season I want to post a short update welcoming everyone back to Grenada and, more specifically, Mount Rich

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Club Background:

Prior to my hiring, Mount Rich were a club who had never won any silverware in the top division of Grenada. The small, semi-professional club can be found in the northeastern corner of the island, based in the town of Morne Fendue. They were formed in 1986 and had previously won the Grenadian First Division on two separate occasions but last years success in the GFA Premier Division and the Waggy-T Super Knockout was the clubs first major trophy wins in their history. 

The exceptional domestic season led to an obvious increase in reputation, where we still are recognised nationally but now hold a full star rating. 

Facilities:

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Or facilities are almost identical to last year, with just a single improvement recently being approved.

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Our youth set-up is actually pretty decent. We already have a well established youth recruitment and this upgrade means we now have an average junior coaching. Our youth intake last season was actually fairly good but I am hoping this improvement might see some even better players coming through. 

In terms of other facilities, our home games are played at the 700 capacity Plains Playing Field, a grass based, council owned arena that we struggled to barely fill last year. Our training facilities and youth facilities are not spectacular, sitting at a basic level. 

Competitions:

This coming season is an exciting one as it sees us enter a third competition and it is these competitions, ones that I have no prior experience or knowledge of, that made me want to attempt this type of save.

The main domestic league of Grenada is the GFA Premier Division. The top tier of Grenadian football is slightly different this year in that it has been reduced to just 10 teams, meaning that the season is even shorter, with just 18 league games. The top side, and the one finishing second, qualify for the CFU Champions Cup, whilst the bottom two sides are automatically relegated, with the side finishing 8th entering into a relegation playoff. 

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Our first ever top domestic title means we are the reigning holders of the league going into this season. Hard Rock FC are the countries most dominate domestic side, having won the league title a record four times but last season was a big shock with not only ourselves winning but with Grenada Boys Secondary School coming in second. 

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This year, the media are predicting us to be up there and challenging for a defence of our title. The two newly promoted sides, Ball Dogs and Happy Hill, both look pretty strong on paper and will be attempting to avoid relegation this season. The league looks like it will be extremely competitive this season, which a number of teams likely challenging for the top spot. 

The second competition that we will be participating in is the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament, the only domestic cup competition in Grenada. This tournament consists of just three rounds, played over a single leg, prior to a final with just 16 total teams competing. 

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As you may recall, we are the current holders of the cup competition having smashed Chantimelle 7-0 in the final last year. Paradise Sports Club have been the most successful side in this competition over the past five seasons and have actually won the trophy on a record four separate occasions. 

The final tournament that we will be participating in is the CFU Champions Cup, essentially the Caribbean champions league. For starters, this tournament is massive! There are 64 teams competing this season, in 16 different groups. The teams taking part are from a multitude of different Caribbean nations and the group draw itself has already been made

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We were drawn in Group F alongside Fruta Conquerors, North East Stars and Royal Montserrat Police Force.

The easiest side in this group is likely Royal Montserrat Police Force. They are only an amateur team and are predominantly filled with greyed out players but have won the Montserrat Championship on a record five occasions. 

The team that are probably the most similar to ours is Fruta Conquerors. The semi-professional outfit finished runners up in the Guyanese top division last season and appear to have a squad similar in strength to ourselves. They have some very talented players and are led by forward Anthony Abrams, who has won 54 caps for his native Guyana. 

The final team that we will be up against are easily the most challenging. North East Stars won the domestic crown in Trinidad & Tobago last season, a competition that is ranked the 9th most reputable league in North America. Their squad is made up almost entirely of native players but they are all very talented and this will be a very tough fixture for us. 

We only play each team once and have to finish atop the group if we wish to progress to the next round. Given the extremely tough draw we have received, it is looking like that will be a very difficult task, but you never know when it comes to continental football, stranger things have happened. 

Grenadian Football:

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As we have previously discussed, the domestic side of football in Grenada is relatively poor, with an entirely semi-professional league system and a very short running season. The GFA Premier Division is currently ranked as the 35th most reputable league in North America (below the second domestic tier of Guatemala) but the FA try to make up for things by having the best named cup competition that I have ever participated in. 

Andrew Munroe continues to manage the national side but there has not been much in the way of senior fixtures, with last year consisting entirely of friendlies. They have improved there ranking ever so slightly and at 148 in the world. I think this season will see them participate in the CFU Caribbean Cup and hopefully my players; Uriah Enoe, Earldon Millette, Chad Mark, Quinton Rennie and Kimron Marshall will get to experience that competition. 

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So that ends our re-introduction to life at Mount Rich in Grenada. The CFU Champions Cup takes place in March so I will hopefully have an update, detailing our performance in that, ready to post very soon. 

I obviously do not want to spend my entire career in Grenada, especially as I have already won all the domestic trophies possible in the country, but I think it would be fun to stay for at least one more season and get to experience the Champions Cup whilst also maybe attempting to defend my league crown. What do you guys think? I could look for another job in the Caribbean? Or I could go further afield? 

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Update 6: February & March 2018

Club: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

So, as you may recall, we had successfully qualified for the CFU Champions Cup having won the Grenadian league title last season. The domestic league preseason does not start until July (as does the next transfer window) but with Champions Cup running throughout March, I am going to be posting an update for that prior to entering into talk about transfers and tactical updates. 

This obviously means that we will be utilising the same squad from last season in the Champions Cup, a tournament that has a ludicrous 64 teams competing across 16 groups in the first round.  

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Friendly RESULTS:

W = 2, D = 1, L = 2

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Prior to the start of the CFU Champions Cup, we were able to arrange some friendly fixtures as a way of ensuring that our fitness was at an appropriate level going into the competitive games. 

I was not too fussed about the results here, given that the focus was to make sure that the squad was match fit and ready for the tournament, but we did actually have some good performances against some fairly strong opposition. We only played one game against Grenadian opposition, comfortably beating Grenada Boys Secondary School in an away fixture. The other four games saw us face off against opponents from the various division of Trinidad & Tobago. Given that most of these sides were stronger than us in terms of player talent, I was very happy with our performances, especially with the 4-2 victory over Defence Force SL. 

We failed to score in the opening game but then showed our attacking prowess by netting 10 times in our next four fixtures. Defensively we were not as solid as I would have liked, conceding nine times in these five games, and that is something that will definitely need to improve come tournament time. Speaking of...

CFU Champions Cup RESULTS:

The Caribbean Football Union Champions Cup is essentially a Champions League style event run for the teams of the various Caribbean nations. The first round, which consists of 64 teams across a whopping 16 groups, sees the group winner advancing to a Final Stage (4 groups of 4 teams) and the chance to then progress to the semi-finals. 

As you may remember we had been handed a pretty difficult group draw, having to play fixtures against Royal Montserrat Police Force (Montserrat), Fruta Conquerors (Guyana) and North East Stars (Trinidad & Tobago). 

Game 1. CFU Champions Cup Group F: vs Royal Montserrat Police Force (Montserrat)

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We kicked off our tournament with a game against Royal Montserrat Police Force, the one team that I expected us to dominate in our group. All fixtures for this tournament are played in neutral venues and this particular one was held in The Bahamas. 

We dominated the first half and grab two goals within the first half an hour, firstly from youth academy defender Davier Ogilvie heading home following a flick-on from a corner and then from Uriah Enoe, who slotted home a neat finish from near the edge of the area. We kept the ball well, owning 60% of the possession, but let our opponents score a last minute consolation which put a slight dampener on the win given that goal difference can be very important in tournaments such as these. 

Kyle John-Brown, our young attacking midfielder, was awarded Player of the Match following a dominate performance behind the front two strikers. All in all this was an efficient performance and one that put us in a good position going into our final two games. 

Game 2. CFU Champions Cup Group F: vs North East Stars (Trinidad & Tobago)

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We made the trip from The Bahamas to Mexico for this game against North East Stars, from the top domestic division of Trinidad & Tobago. This was our toughest game on paper but we played so much better than I thought we would. 

We again controlled the game, dominating possession with 59% of the ball, but we struggled to create chances, managing just 10 shots with only three on target. The best chance of the game fell to midfielder Chad Mark who rattled the crossbar with a rising shot from inside the area midway through the first period. We again defended pretty well though and limited our much stronger opponents to just four total shots. 

This was not a brilliant game for the neutrals but one that meant our chances of qualifying were well and truly alive going into our final fixture. 

Game 3. CFU Champions Cup Group F: vs Fruta Conquerors (Guyana)

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We left Mexico and travelled to Curacao to take on our final group opponents, the Guyanese league champions, Fruta Conquerors. 

Considering the last fixture was the most boring of games, this matchup proved to be the complete opposite! After a scoreless first half, one where we created chances but showed a lack of clinical finishing, things really spurred into life in the second period. We took the lead just before the hour mark when Shavon Bishop slotted home a nice finish but our advantage lasted just two minutes as our opponents managed to score with their first shot at goal. 

The next piece of action saw Fruta Conquerors reduced to ten men as one of their midfielders picked up a second yellow card. We instantly made our numerical advantage count as Bishop netted his second of the game following a close range finish from a superb cross. Uriah Enoe than got himself on the scoresheet, tucking home a controlled close range volley in the 73rd minute to extend our lead further. 

We again showed an inability to concentrate directly after scoring as we allowed our Guyanese opponents to again score, from just their second effort of the game. There was still time for Enoe to add his second, and a fourth goal for our team, in the dying minutes as he slotted home following a nice pass from Chad Mark

I was so surprised with how easily we dominated this game, having 20 shots to our opponents two, but I was very disappointed that we did not manage to keep a clean sheet. Still, this meant we racked up 7 points from our three fixtures and meant we would have to see how the other fixtures in the group played out before knowing whether it was enough to progress to the next round. 

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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We played pretty well during these three groups fixtures and had six players who averaged an individual rating of at least 7.0. 

The standout here was young forward Uriah Enoe (7.43), who netted 3 goals in his three appearances and picked up a Player of the Match Award in the final game. 

Elsewhere, Shavon Bishop (7.40) put in some good performances, bagging a double in the final game. Young attacking midfielder Kyle John-Brown (7.30) played excellently behind the from two, leading the way with 7 key passes played. Defensively, fullback Quniton Rennie (7.13) and experienced centra defender Nicko Williams (7.10) also had some good performances, with the later completing 100% of his attempted tackles. 

STANDINGS:

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Uhh! Goal difference!

We finish the group stage with an identical record to North East Stars but they smashed Royal Montserrat Police Force in the final game by a 6-0 scoreline to ensure their goal difference was way higher than our own. Unfortunately, with just one team going through, this means we miss out on progression with our Trinidad & Tobago rivals heading into the next round. 

We played really well throughout these six games but probably should have beaten the Police by a bigger scoreline in our opener or, if we had just managed to sneak one goal against North East Stars ourselves, then we may have been progressing in their place. 

Elsewhere there was one other Grenadian team in the tournament:

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Grenada Boys Secondary School also failed to make it through their group, losing out to Robin Hood from Bermuda. This group was way easier than our own and I would have definitely backed us to have gone through had we been in their position. 

To give you some indication of how tough our group was, this happened:

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In an absolute thriller of a final, North East Stars, managed to win the entire tournament, beating Arnett Gardens of Jamaica, and win themselves a place in the next edition of the CONCACAF Champions League. If we had been placed in an easier group I definitely think I may have had a chance at progressing further but I guess that is what makes these sorts of tournaments so unpredictable. 

OTHER NEWS:

Injuries:

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Firstly we lost Earldon Millette during the very first friendly game. He went on to miss the entire friendly schedule and although he returned in time for the Champiosn Cup fixtures he was horribly shy of match sharpness and did not have a very big impact in any of the group games. 

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These two injuries were even more costly as they ruled both players out for the duration of the Champions Cup. the biggest loss here was that of last seasons Player of the Year, Kimron Marshall. The left fullback twisted an ankle during a friendly game he was sorely missed during our group games, especially given that we have a severe lack of depth at fullback behind the two starters. 

We also lost young attacking midfielder Kirani Noel to another twisted ankle, this one suffered from kicking a ball... Luckily Kyle John-Brown has been playing well in Noel's position the season so this was not so big a blow. 

International:

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The highest number of call-ups thus far as 10 of our players were selected in the two Grenada squads. 

Firstly, the impressive Kyle John-Brown was joined by forward Shavon Bishop, goalkeeper Kuan Williams and central defender Davier Ogilvie in the U20 squad. Both John-Brown and Ogilvie went on to make their national team debuts during a victory over the Cayman Islands. 

Youngsters Chad Mark, Uriah Enoe and Earldon Millette were joined in the senior national squad by central defender Nicko Williams and fullbacks Quinton Rennie and Kimron Marshall, with leftback Marshall getting his first ever call-up. He ending up making his debut during the CFU Caribbean Cup, whilst Rennie has become entrenched as the countries starting rightback, racking up 11 senior appearances thus far. 

Squad News:

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One bit of news from the squad was the information that last seasons top scorer, Kimron Redhead, has planned to retire from playing at the end of this coming season. The experienced veteran is the clubs oldest ever scorer and was a key component of our attacking success last year. I could have attempted to talk him out of it but his skills are declining and it will be nice for him to go out on top. 

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So that concludes our CFU Champions Cup journey with Mount Rich for this season. We played pretty well, probably well enough to progress from most of the other groups, and incidentally finished below the side that then went onto win the whole tournament. I would love to have gotten further in this tournament, the idea of trying to get a Grenadian side into the CONCACAF Champions League is a very enticing one but one that I think would require me to stay at the club for many, many more seasons. 

What do you guys think? Do you want me to stay at Mount Rich and attempt to develop the club or would you like to see me move to another country/league and win some more silverware elsewhere?

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After a bit of thinking, I believe no one has ever won the CONCACAF Champions League with a team not already in the game by default, so... I still would like you to move on at some point but seeing this league develop and learning about the suprises that lie in Central America is a lot of fun so far.

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16 hours ago, Minuy600 said:

After a bit of thinking, I believe no one has ever won the CONCACAF Champions League with a team not already in the game by default, so... I still would like you to move on at some point but seeing this league develop and learning about the suprises that lie in Central America is a lot of fun so far.

As much as I would love to achieve this with a team in Grenada, I honestly cannot see it being possible. The entire league set-up is semi-professional and I have no idea whether there is even the scope within the game to turn a club such as Mount Rich professional. 

I think I would have a better chance with one of the Trinidad & Tobago or Jamaican club sides. For now I am going to spend another year in Grenada, the prize money for winning the league is actually pretty good and I would like another shot at the CFU Champions Cup!

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Alright, do as you must. I believe with enough years it is possible though, as the number 2 qualifies for that other tournament as well, giving them the opportunity to gets cash and turn professional too. Even with just 2 teams contending each year, the league can get much, much better.

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46 minutes ago, Minuy600 said:

Alright, do as you must. I believe with enough years it is possible though, as the number 2 qualifies for that other tournament as well, giving them the opportunity to gets cash and turn professional too. Even with just 2 teams contending each year, the league can get much, much better.

I am not really sure how turning professional works on this game? As in, what is the logic behind it? 

If I manage to save up enough financial will the board agree to turn professional? Either if every other team in the division is still semi-pro? 

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Update 7: Preseason 2018

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

Having failed to progress beyond the groups stages of the CFU Champions Cup, we had a fe months off before the domestic league season kicked off in July. In that time the transfer window opened, resulting in us making some additions, whilst we also managed to play through a full slate of friendly games. 

This update, although occurring after our first competitive games of the year, will cover all the preseason goings on before we begin the defence of our GFA Premier Division title!

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BOARD ROOM:

Our successful league campaign last year resulted in a pretty significant prize fund, meaning our overall bank balance sits at around £80,000 (way up from the £15,000 we had last year). This extra cash has seen the chairman willing to increase the amounts available for both the wage and transfer budgets.

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As you can see, despite the extra money available I am still spending way below what I am allowed, with almost £600pw of the current wage bill unused. That is mainly because I am able to sign the majority of players I want on small, part-time contracts or even on a non-contract basis. The board even provided me with a transfer budget for the first time, not that I plan on using it, but it is a good sign that financial we are heading in the right direction. 

In addition to the monetary side, the board also made me aware of their objectives for the upcoming season:

Board Objectives (2018)

GFA Premier Division - Win the GFA Premier Division
Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament - Reach Final

Well, our board have definitely changed their tune over the course of a single season! Last year they simple wanted me to avoid relegation but now, having totally exceeded everyones expectations in my first season, they want me to win the league and reach the cup final at a minimum. 

I am fairly confident that we will be there, or there about, come the end of the year but this adds a little bit of pressure this season that I was not expecting. 

CLUB STAFF:

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Not too many new faces here but, again, my backroom is made up of a fairly assorted bunch of people from various Caribbean islands.

The majority of my staff return following last season but one replacement was made with the goalkeeping coach position. We signed Jahvan Mason, from St. Vincent & The Grenadines, and he instantly helps to improve the weakest area of our coaching department from last year. We signed two more additional coaches in the form Jolanshoy George, who joins the club as the U20s fitness coach and then in Ricardo London, a very talented general coach who teams up with the senior squad.

TRANSFERS:

(Out)

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Not much happening on the out transfer front but we did lose two players, both of whom were on non-contract agreements and therefore chose to leave when approached by other clubs. 

Jake Marshall (27) was a back-up central defender who appeared sporadically for us last season, playing in 8 games an averaging a rating of 6.74. Nigel Modeste (23) was also a backup, one capable of playing in an attacking midfielder or forward role. He again did not see too much playing time, totalling just 8 appearances and scoring two goals. He choose to leave and join newly promoted side Happy Hill, so we will likely see him again at some point this season. 

(In)

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Despite only losing two players I decided to use this window to improve the overall depth available at the club, something that was severely lacking last season. 

Firstly I signed a pair of backup fullbacks in Kimron Belfon (18) and Nicko Budd (24). Behind talented starters Kimron Marshall and Quinton Rennie we literally had nothing at either fullback position so I made it a priority to find someone capable of playing should either of our two stars get injured or need a rest. 

I also signed another body who can play in the centre of midfield, Dwayne Leo (36). The experienced Grenadian has played 20 times for the senior national side and, despite his age, should provide a decent rotational option for the season. One area of the team where we were very weak last year was in goal and so I added another keeper to provide some competition for youngster Kuan Williams. Desmond Noel (43) might just be the oldest player I have ever managed on FM but he has still got some playing years left in him, having appeared in all 20 league games last year for division foe, Queens Park Rangers. 

Central defence was another area I wanted to strengthen and so I added Christon Noel (23) from recently relegated Chantimelle. He was probably the best player at his previous club and should see a fair amount of action this season in the middle of the defence. I also added another option upfront in the form of Quintana Ogilvie (32). The veteran forward previously played for Paradise Sports Club, for whom he scored five league goals last season. 

One of the most interesting signings of this window however is that of Christ Kisangala (21).

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The first thing you might notice about the big central defender is that he is not from Grenada! The youngster, who is from Democratic Republic of Congo, will become the first foreign player to ever appear for Mount Rich. Indeed he will be the only overseas player to play in the top division as ever other squad is made up entirely of Grenadian nationals. 

I have no idea how my scout found this guy, but he did just after Kisangala was released from TP Mazembe who play in the top DR Congo domestic division. He is not even that talented, I just wanted to show off the first non-Grenadian player of this save. He does have some good physicals though, with high pace, acceleration and jumping reach, and therefore I am hoping he can have an impact at this level. 

The most exciting signing of this window though was that of another forward, Shaddai Sampson (17).

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I had to make Sampson the highest paid player at the club in order to get him to sign but just look at those attributes... definitely worth it. 

The teenager was a product of Chantimelle's youth intake last season and ended up scoring twice for the relegated side in just five appearances. He has an outstanding level of finishing and first touch for this level, to go along with good pace, acceleration and balance. To be honest, I did not really need another forward but this guy was simply too good to pass up on. 

As you can see, despite only being a professional footballer for half a year, he has already made his debut for the senior national side, totalling bypassing the U20 squad and he has the potential to become not only one of the best players for this club, but one of the best ever for his country should he develop nicely. 

THE SQUAD:

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Here is an overview of the entire squad, minus some decent youth players, for the upcoming season. 

As you can see, the main thing here is that we have far more depth than we did last year. Every position now has a reasonable back-up option and some either have multiple rotational options. 

Unsurprisingly, my assistant agrees that young forwards Shaddai Sampson (17) and Uriah Enoe (20) have the potential to form a devastating partnership upfront whilst last years youth intake product, attacking midfielder Kyle John-Brown (17), looks the real deal as well - creating a very young trio of offensive weapons. The three excellent central midfielders from last year, Chad Mark (20), Earldon Millette (19) and Henson Cuffie (30), all return and provide some stability in the midfield. 

Defensively, new signings Christ Kinsagala (21) and Christon Noel (23) look most likely to partner star man Nicko Williams (28) in the centre of defence whilst talented fullbacks Kimron Marshall (25) and Quinton Rennie (28) look ready to man the wing positions. 

Overall, I am much happier with this squad than I was last year. We have some very solid defensive options and have actually managed to upgrade in a few areas, including at the goalkeeper position where ageing veteran Desmond Noel (43) is set to start the season opener. We managed to stay relatively free of injury last year, something which I would very much like to see happen again, but if it does not I feel much more prepared given our improved depth this time around. 

TACTICS:

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An almost identical tactic to last year here as we role with a 4-3-1-2 style. 

Again, the fullbacks will both be placed on an attacking role in order to ensure that they provide a wide option when we are in possession. The midfield trio performed excellently last year but I may have to ask them to do slightly more defensive work if we get caught with our fullbacks too high up the pitch. I played the man behind the forwards as a shadow striker last year but that never turned out to be very effectively. I am hoping that an advanced playmaker should be able to pick out one of our two star forwards, who will both be set as poachers, when in possession. 

As usual, I will primarily play on a control mentality but with a fluid team shape, used to ensure that the midfielders do their fair share of the defensive duties. Again I will be utilising individual instruction for all players and the following team instructions: pass into space, work ball into box, look for overlap, play narrower and roam from positions.

These all feed into my philosophy which is that I want to give my forwards as many chances as possible do score in and around the area. We have the option to play it wide for the fullbacks, who are under instructions to cross early and often OR we work it short through the middle using two of our central midfielders and our attacking midfielder to overload the centre of the pitch and create gaps/space for the pair of poachers to exploit. 

Friendly RESULTS:

W = 2, D = 5, L = 0

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We managed to go unbeaten throughout the entire preseason but ended up drawing a mammoth five games!

Defensively we were fairly solid but we failed to reach the attacking highs of last years league form, a concert that hopefully we can just attribute that to preseason rustiness in front of goal. We played a couple of fellow GFA Premier Division sides, holding out for 1-1 draws against both St. John's Sports and T.A. Marryshow Community College. 

OTHER NEWS:

Injuries:

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The biggest, and only really injury setback was this one suffered by star midfielder Earldon Millette. This was sustained midway through the run of friendly games but, with the regular season fast approaching, he is still 3 weeks away from returning to full fitness. This is a real shame since the youngster was our star man in the centre last year and will be sorely missed through the first month of league action. 

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That brings to an end another update from Grenada. The board have pilled the pressure on this season and expect me to bring home a trophy and be competing in the final for the other. We made some decent signings, most of which should ensure that our depth and rotational options are of a much higher standard than they were last year, and we also managed to obtain our first foreign player. 

The league season this year only contains 18 fixtures (since the league was reduced to 10 teams) and therefore we will need to ensure that we hit the ground running if we are wanting to defend our title from a year ago. 

I will hopefully be back soon with another update from the first month of the GFA Premier Division season and I really hope you are all still enjoying this adventure!

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Yeah, there's an option to turn professional in each and every country with each and every club if you build up a lot of funds. It's of course harder with weaker countries but with that international competition you and the number 2 are in, I think the competition can grow massively.

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16 hours ago, Minuy600 said:

Yeah, there's an option to turn professional in each and every country with each and every club if you build up a lot of funds. It's of course harder with weaker countries but with that international competition you and the number 2 are in, I think the competition can grow massively.

I guess the main aim would be to reach the CONCACAF Champions League, that would surely put us in a good place with regards to potentially being able to turn professional. 

I really intended this to be a journeyman save but for now I have become a bit attached to Grenada!

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Update 8: July & August 2018

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

The preseason has passed and now it is time for some more Grenadian league football. We failed to impress during the friendly schedule, playing solid defensive football but demonstrating a distinct lack of clinical finishing despite adding a number of different attacking players during the transfer window. 

As you may recall, we won the league and domestic cup double last season, in a year that no-one could have predicted. This time around, the pressure is on, with the board expecting another league victory and a cup final appearance to match. My personal aim is to finish in the top two spots and guarantee ourselves another trip to the CFU Champions Cup - anything less than that will be a disappointment. 

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TRANSFERS: 

Yes, the preseason might have passed, but the transfer window in Grenada remains open until the end of August. I do not usually like partaking in transfer activity once the season has begun but I did not really have a choice because of a few departures... 

(Out)

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Just the one player departed, back-up central midfielder Ariel Charles (27). The rotation man was one of the few remaining players who were with us on a non-contract basis and therefore he was able to freely speak to other clubs. 

T.A. Marryshow Community College, who are in our division, offered him a deal and, despite us offering him a similar contract, he decided to leave and join our league rivals. Granted he will likely get more playing time at his new club but this was still annoying considering my aim this preseason had been to build-up squad depth, not lose it. 

To make matters worse, we then had this happen...

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Dwayne Leo (36), who we signed just a month ago, decide to retire from football - completely out of the blue, without any warning. Kimron Redhead had announced his plans to retire at the end of the season but Leo decided to spring this decision on us after playing in four league games, demonstrating that life at Mount Rich definitely was not for him. 

Unfortunately, like Charles, Leo played in the centre of midfield and this meant that we lost two, very solid, rotational options in a matter of days. I had to then go out and scramble to find some replacements.

(In)

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I was unable to find two decent enough players but I did manage to acquire Quinton Daniel (22) from recently promoted Happy Hill. Unfortunately, he was only interested in a non-contract agreement and therefore we are liable to lose him in the future but for now I just needed someone who was willing to play as a central midfielder. 

GFA Premier Division RESULTS:

W = 4, D = 3, L = 1

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Far from the start I had planned for our league season. 

We stared well enough, beating two very good opponents in our opening games and keeping a pair of clean sheets but then things went downhill. We could only manage draws against St. John's Sports and newly promoted Happy Hill before conceding four away to Hard Rock and slumping to our first defeat of the season. Things did not improve on the defensive end as we conceded three goals the following week against bottom of the league T.A. Marryshow Community College, only managing a win thanks to some improved forward play. We then struggled to a boring 0-0 draw against a strong Hurricanes outfit before ending August with a closely fought victory over the other new side, Ball Dogs (great team name though). 

We played pretty well going forward, smashing in 19 goals in these eight fixtures but defensively we were awful after our first two games. The remaining six fixtures saw us keep just one clean sheet and concede 12 times, not the sort of form befitting of league champions. 

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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Our start of season form has been far from spectacular and that is reflected in the average ratings of our players. Whilst we do have 13 individuals who hold an average rating of at least 7.0, the actual ratings are way down on what we achieved last year. 

One person who has shone though is new forward Shaddai Sampson (7.59). The teenager has been excellent in attack, scoring five goals and adding a further five assists in just seven appearances.

Defensively we have been pretty poor. Last seasons Player of the Year, Kimron Marshall (7.26) has been good but his form is way short of the lofty heights he reached last season. Likewise, fellow fullback Quinton Rennie (7.07) and central defender Nicko Williams (7.06) have both been solid but not spectacular. New signings Christ Kisangala (6.87) and Christon Noel (6.55) have both struggled to settle whilst goalkeeper is a real issue with both Desmond Noel (7.00) and Kuan Williams (6.88) not looking great between the posts. 

Chad Mark (7.15) has been the best performer in the centre of midfield, playing 14 key passes and scoring a pair of individual goals. Earldon Millette (7.02) has struggled a bit upon returning from injury whilst ball-winner Henson Cuffie (6.79) has been pretty awful. This poor form has resulted in Kimron Redhead (7.08), last seasons top scorer, dropping back into midfield more regularly and, fortunately, he has been fairly efficient. 

Up top, Uriah Enoe (7.23) has formed a very effective partnership with the newly signed Sampson. Enoe leads the team with eight goals in just 10 appearances this season . Another new signing, Quintana Ogilvie (7.02) has provided an excellent option off the bench and has scored four times in his seven games. The player who I have been most impressed with though is Kyle John-Brown (7.13). The youngster was a product of our youth intake last year and, given the poor form of our central midfielders, he has really stepped up and provided a playmaking presence when going forward. The 17 year old leads the team in key passes played, with 27, and has also added four assists. 

LEAGUE TABLE:

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Fortunately for us, our poor form to start the year has not been punished as much as I expected as it seems everyone is struggling a bit. The only two undefeated sides at this stage are St. John's Sports and Happy Hill but these two have drawn 11 fixtures between them. Top of the league at the moment are a resurgent Hard Rock side who had a very poor campaign last time out whilst Hurricanes sit in third, with the same points total as ourselves. 

Two sides really struggling at the moment are Paradise Sports Club and last seasons league runners up, Grenada Boys Secondary School. Both are in danger of facing a relegation battle and, given that the season is just 18 games in length, they will need to turn their fortunes around very quickly!

OTHER NEWS:

Squad Happiness:

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One reason that we might be struggling a bit is individual player happiness. Our excellent season last year meant that a few of our players starting attracting interest from overseas clubs and that has only intensified during the first few months of this season. 

The screenshot above shows Earldon Millette's moral, after I denied him a move to Club Sando in Trinidad & Tobago. For now, he is the only one really unhappy and complaining to teammates but I have been refusing bids for the likes of Uriah Enoe, Chad Mark and Nicko Williams so things could really get out of hand if everyone starts kicking off. 

I would consider letting people go if the bids I were receiving were substantial, but at the moment no-one seems willing to pay anything above £2,000 and it just seems silly to let a player like Millette depart for that. 

International News:

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The latest Grenada squads were announced and there were a few big surprises with regards to our players. 

Four; Davier Ogilvie, keeper Kuan Williams, David McQueen and new fullback Kimron Belfon, were all named in the U20 squad.

The big shocks came in the senior side where both Chad Mark and Uriah Enoe both failed to receive call-ps, despite being two of our best players during this current season. In their place, Earldon Millette was named despite only just recently recovered from injury and there were first-time call-ups for both Kyle John-Brown and, amazingly, for Shavon Bishop, our young forward who has barely played a game for us this season! Shaddai Sampson was deservedly named to the senior side and will be looking to add to his two previous appearances for the national side. 

The Football Universe:

The main bit of news from the worldwide universe was that the 2018 World Cup took place in July and there was a shock winner!

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Alexis Sanchez and co beat France in the final to lift a first ever World Cup for Chile! The last match of the tournament was a pretty close affair but a solid first half saw the winners score three goals, with Sanchez netting a brace, and they were able to hold out for an unlikely trophy win.

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The run to the final was not easy for Chile, they had to beat Belgium and then Germany along the way so are definitely serving champions.

There were not too many surprises in the second round, although Brazil needed penalties to overcome a resistant Senegal side and Italy lost to Argentina whist Portugal could not overcome a tough Belgium outfit. England made the quarter finals but lost out to France, with the later then beating Argentina on spot kicks in order to reach the final. 

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That concludes the first few months of action in Grenada and it has not been the start of season I had hoped for. We have by no means played badly but I was not expecting us to be so bad defensively and therefore find ourselves in a real title battle. Failing to finish in the top two would be a massive disappointment but there are still 10 games left to play and we are very much in the running for another GFA Premier Division title - it is just looking a lot tighter than last time!

 

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Update 9: September & October 2018

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

Welcome back to Mount Rich in Grenada where the last update saw us struggle to find consistent league form, especially on the defensive end where we conceded a large amount of goals. Fortunately for us, no-one else in the league was able to take proper advantage of this and it resulted in a very tight looking league table, with just four points separating the top six sides. 

This update will see us play through the months of September and October, which include the majority of our remaining league games and also see the draw for the first round of the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament take place. 

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TRANSFERS:

Despite only having an 18 game league season, the Grenadian domestic scene still has a midseason transfer window. Not much business was done on our behalf but there were a few points of interest worth bringing up. 

(Out)

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The one big news item was that we agreed to sell troubled midfielder Earldon Millette. The youngster had a terrific season last year but had been riddled by injuries this time around. When offers started coming in for the teenager from abroad he made some real noise about wanting to leave and starting openly complaining to teammates. 

I obviously did not want him to leave but given the moral-sapping crusade he was on I thought it best to cut my losses now. He will join Point Fortin in the Trinidad & Tobago top domestic division at the beginning of next season. 

(In)

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With Millette departing in the future, I had no plans on letting him play any further part in this league season. In his place I signed another central midfielder, Kareem Coutain (24) from league rivals Paradise Sports Club. The 24 year old has played 15 times for the senior Grenada national side and had played nine times for his previous club this season, averaging a rating of 6.96. 

GFA Premier Division RESULTS:

W = 5, D = 1, L = 1

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A lot better to start September but we then had a few poor results to end October. 

We kicked things off with two remarkable victories over struggling Queens Park Rangers and Grenada Boys Secondary School sides. We won both of these games emphatically, with back to back 6-2 scorelines. We followed these wins with another pair of victories, firstly against Paradise in a game where we kept our first clean sheet in ages, and then against St. John's Sports, where we required an 89th minute winner. 

We then slipped to a poor defeat against newly promoted Happy Hill before conceding an 87th equaliser and missing out on what would have been a vital three points in the title race. We ended October with a solid win against a very poor T.A. Marryshow Community College side.

Our goal scoring ability was on full show during this run of games, as we netted an incredible 22 goals in just seven games. Defensively we again failed to find any sort of consistency, keeping two clean sheets but then conceding two goals in each of the other five games!

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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We have played pretty well overall but our defensive efforts have not been at the level I expected. In total though we have 14 players who average a rating of at least 7.0. 

Our key man has easy been young forward Shaddai Sampson (7.80). The teenager has been exceptional and has netted 15 times in just 13 appearances this season, whilst also adding a further seven assists. His clinical nature is what has been most impressive, he has only taken 22 shots for the season with 15 finding the back of the net. 

Defensively, fullbacks Quinton Rennie (7.33) and Kimron Marshall (7.27) have both been much improved, especially on the attacking end. Rennie leads the team with nine assists and a joint-high 33 key passes played. Our central defenders have also shown some personal improvements, with Nicko Williams (7.18) and Christ Kisangala (7.08) proving to be the number one partnership in the middle. Earldon McQueen (7.06) has outplayed Christon Noel (6.92) as the main rotational option. 

Kareem Coutain (7.40) has only played three games since joining the club but has been very impressive, notching a pair of assists to go alongside six key passes played. Young Chad Mark (7.20) has been the other solid option in the middle, adding three individual goals and a further 19 key passes. Elsewhere, our central players have struggled, with experienced veteran Kimron Redhead (7.04) being the next best option. Defensive-minded Henson Cuffie (6.98) has shown some improvements but is still playing well below the level expected in relation to his attributes. 

In attack, young forward Uriah Enoe (7.18) has formed a lethal partnership up front with Sampson. The 20 year old striker has reached double figures, netting 10 times in his 17 appearances. Elsewhere youth academy product, Kyle John-Brown (7.16), has been superb playing behind the front two. The 17 year old has collected five assists and a team-high 33 key passes in his 16 games. Young Shavon Bishop (7.15) also continues to impress and has scored four goals in eight appearances. 

LEAGUE TABLE:

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We remain in second place, two points behind the leaders Hard Rock but with a game in hand over our rivals. The keen-eyed amongst you will quickly realise that there are only three leagues games left in the season for us and we have a fairly tricky run; an away game versus Hurricanes before a home tie against Ball Dogs. W then end the season with a trip to Queens Park Rangers on the final day. In contrast, Hard Rock have just two fixtures left and host Grenada Boys Secondary School before having to travel away to Paradise. 

Going into the final few games, anything could happen, with any of the top four still being realistically in the running for the title. I am well aware though that three consecutive victories in our final games would ensure that we are crowned league champions. 

OTHER NEWS:

Youth Intake:

October sees the annual youth intake occur in Grenada and this year we received some pretty decent players. 

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Our youth set-up is actually fairly good and the improvement in junior coaching that we got pushed through at the start of the year seems to have helped. We managed to get four players with at least 1.5* of current ability. I signed the top two alongside Cassim Millette, a winger who I will try and convert to a wingback and Irvin Bain, a poacher with low determination. 

The best player here though, and the one I am most excited about is Patrick Walcott

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The one position that I have yet to find anyone of any talent has been in goal but now, this youngster looks like he might have solved that problem. On first look it would appear that Walcott is more talented than both of the two current shot stoppers at the club. He has a very solid set of physical attributes, including decent agility. He also has amazing handling but needs some work with regards to his other goalkeeping skills. 

Despite his age, I think Walcott will become the clubs number one straight away and it should mean the start of a long and successful career for the youngster. 

The other player that I like the look of is Joel Francois-Ravalier.

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He is listed as an attacking midfielder but I will likely get him to play in central midfield given his solid physical traits. He has very good natural fitness and should be able to keep up with the amount running needed in the centre of the park. His mental attributes are also pretty solid, with high levels for teamwork and work rate, whereas his physical skills do need some work. 

He also has a fairly determined personality so I have high hopes for him developing nicely despite our semi-professional club status.

Cup Draw:

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The first round draw for the Waggy-T Knockout was completed in October and we received a fairly favourable tie, having to play Fontenoy United. These guys are a side who play in the division below us and any dedicated readers out there will remember that we faced them in the quarter finals of this competition last year. 

We are also drawn as the home side so I am very confident that we should be able to come through this fixture unscathed. 

International News:

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A record 13 of our players were called up to the most recent Grenada national squads. Four of our latest youth intake; Joel Francois-Ravalier, Cassim Millette, Irvine Bain and goalkeeper Patrick Walcott joined fullback Kimron Belfon, central defender Davier Ogilvie and attacking midfielder David McQueen in the U20 side. 

The senior side saw a recall for left fullback Kimron Marshall and the newly acquired Kareem Coutain provides us with another international option. 

Managerial News:

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I do not plan on staying in Grenada forever but it is always worth while signing a new deal when offered one. The board expected me to win the league the season but right now that is looking a little less likely than I would have liked. 

Hopefully, even if we miss out on the top spot, the board will be willing to honour this contract!

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So that concludes another update from Grenada. We only have a couple of league games left and we are in for a very exciting (and tight) title race. Our next fixture, away to Hurricanes, is panning out to be a big one. Victory in all three of our next games will guarantee a second consecutive league title but any slip ups will see us relying on results elsewhere to fall in our favour... 

I will hopefully be back soon with our final few games! I really hope you guys are still enjoying this adventure. 

 

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Update 10: November & December 2018

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

We had spent the majority of this season sitting in 2nd place in the league table and, as some of you may recall, we ended the last update just two point behind the leaders but with an additional game in hand. With just three league games left to play we knew that three victories would secure us a second consecutive GFA Premier Division trophy. 

In addition to our league exploits, the months of November and December saw the start, and completion, of the Grenadian domestic cup. We won the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament last year and would be looking to add at least one trophy to our collection in this update. 

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GFA Premier Division RESULTS:

W = 2, D = 1, L = 0

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We knew that three victories would guarantee us the league title but we were unable to achieve that aim. 

Instead, we could only manage a 1-1 draw against a strong Hurricanes outfit in, what was, our game in hand. These dropped points meant we were a single point behind the league leaders, Hard Rock, going into the final two games of the year. Having struggled to find any consistency all season, we were truly excellent in the final two games. We beat newly promoted Ball Dogs by a 4-1 scoreline before registering a record, highest ever league victory, in the 7-1 away thrashing of Queens Park Rangers.

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The game saw young forward Shaddai Sampson set an individual club and league record for the number of goals scored in a single game, with a marvellous five! The result itself was even more remarkable given that we played 78 minutes of the tie with just 10 men after Kyle John-Brown was given his marching orders very early on. 

These results want that we were relying on Hard Rock slipping up during their final two league fixtures if we were to have any chance at winning a second consecutive title. You will have to scroll down a bit to see what happens...

Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament RESULTS:

As mentioned before, the Grenadian domestic cup starts in November. The follows amongst you will remember that we managed to win this competition last year, cruising to a 7-0 win in the final. Given that the league title was out of our hands, I was very keen to ensure that we performed well in this competition as it has the potential to be the only one where we could collect some silverware. 

First Round: vs Fontenoy United (GFA First Division)

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We were gifted a fairly easy first round tie as we came up against Fontenoy United of the league below us. The First Division outfit were our opponents at the quarter final stage last year, where we won courtesy of a 3-0 scoreline. 

This time around I fielded a very young side and, despite a few defensive hiccups, we were able to come away with the victory. Young forward Uriah Enoe continued his love affair with this competition, having now scored seven cup goals in just four appearances, by adding a brace. An own goal and a first career strike for youth academy forward Irvin Bain, gave us a 4-1 lead just after halftime and central defender Earldon McQueen's late header ensured any doubts were squashed after we conceded a second on the hour mark. 

We were excellent in front of goal in this one but again did not look solid defensively, although victory meant we easily progressed to the final eight!

Quarter Final: vs Hard Rock FC (GFA Premier Division)

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Anything but an easy tie for us in the quarter finals as we came up against our rivals and league leaders Hard Rock. We were drawn at home which gave us a slight advantage but make no mistake, these guys are a very solid team. 

The game was a fairly cagey affair throughout and, although both sides created numerous opportunities, the quality of finishing on show was very poor (we had four shots on target in comparison to their two). We slightly shaved possession (53%) but in the end the tie was decided by a moment of magic from forward Quintana Ogilvie. The experienced veteran has struggled for game time this season given the play of Sampson and Enoe but he came on as a substitute in this one a smashed home a glorious half volley from the edge of the area in the 69th minute to ensure victory. 

This was one of our better defensive performances of late and was a big reason that we were able to progress through to the semifinals. Given that we had knocked out the league leaders, and possible cup favourites, I felt very good with regards to our chances going forwards. 

 Semi Final: vs St. John's Sports Club (GFA Premier Division)

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Victory against Hard Rock led to a semifinal clash with fellow Premier Division side St. John's Sports Club. Our opponents had been excellent in the league during the early stages but had fallen away recently and currently found themselves in 6th position.

This was a game of very few chances, with just 12 total shots on offer, and we had to come from behind after conceding just before the half hour mark, St. John's Sports scoring with their one and only shot on target in the entire match. We managed to get back on level terms in first half stoppage time, with superstar forward Shaddai Sampson flicking home a header following a nice chipped cross from Quintana Daniel. The second half was relatively dull, although Sampson almost scored midway through the period when his wayward cross skimmed the top of the bar. 

The tie went to extra time and, to be perfectly honest, not a great deal happened until the final few moments when we stole an equaliser. With the game heading towards penalties, substitute Jean-Francois Ravalier collected in the midfield and released Sampson with a beautiful lofted through ball. The young forward raced away from the defence before slotting a controlled finish past the onrushing keeper. 

The extra time meant this tie was a lot closer than I would have liked but ultimately, a victory meant we would be competing in our second consecutive Waggy-T Super Knockout final!

Final: vs Paradise Sports Club (GFA Premier Division)

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CHAMPIONS AGAIN!

The final saw us come against a tough opponent in the form of Paradise Sports Club, the most successful Grenadian side in this tournaments history, having won the cup on four separate occasions. 

Having struggled to create chances in our previous two cup games, this fixture saw an explosion of attacking play with a total of 30 shots shared between the two sides. We took the lead midway through the first half when veteran Kimron Redhead thumped home a close range header, in a game that  turned out to be his final one for the club prior to retirement. 

The second half saw Paradise grow into the game and our opponents were back on level terms in the 69th minute when they scored following a poorly cleared corner. There were a few chances for both sides in the closing stages but ultimately this final headed to extra time. In the first period we claimed the decisive goal when a well worked throw-in routine fell for Quintana Daniel and the midfielder squared a neat pass for veteran forward, and the man I have started dubbing 'super sub', Quintana Ogilvie to slot home with a well placed finish. 

The second half saw us cling on despite some desperate defending and victory meant we were awarded our second consecutive Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament title!

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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Our superb cup run and solid end of season league form resulted in some very impressive average ratings and we ended the year with 14 players holding an average rating of at least 7.0. 

The key man here, without a shadow of a doubt, is Shaddai Sampson (7.77). The young forward has been absolutely incredible in front of goal and finished the campaign with an astonishing 23 individual goals in just 19 appearances. Add to that a further nine assists and you can see why he was such a key piece in our attacking set-up this year. 

Defensively we were inconsistent all year and this is reflected in our ratings. Fullbacks Quinton Rennie (7.36) and Kimron Marshall (7.28) both improved during the second half of the year, with the former tallying a team-high 10 assists and 37 crosses connected. Central defence was where we struggled but there was another solid season for Earldon McQueen (7.35). Despite, on paper, being the weakest of our four centre backs, the veteran consistently put in solid performances when needed. Elsewhere, my preferred partnership of Nicko Williams (7.23) and Christ Kisangala (7.23) were both decent with the later leading the squad with 71 defensive interceptions in his first full season in Grenada. New youth academy goalkeeper Patrick Walcott (7.11) looked very good in his limited action and could be the answer to our previous keeping woes. 

In midfield, the best two contributors were young Chad Mark (7.20) and the midseason addition, Kareem Coutain (7.20), both of whom had solid all-round seasons. The experienced Kimron Redhead (7.01) had an excellent final season for us prior to his impending retirement, scoring four individual goals in 15 appearances. 

In attack, young forward Uriah Enoe (7.26) formed a brilliant partnership up top with Sampson and added 13 individual goals of his own in 19 appearances. Young attacking midfielder Kyle John-Brown (7.12) had a excellent first full season having been promoted from the youth academy last season whilst fellow academy product Shavon Bishop (7.21) continued his efficiency in front of goal, netting six times in 14 games. 

LEAGUE TABLE:

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Ugh... so close, yet we just miss out in the end. 

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Our rivals Hard Rock managed to win their final two games, although they did need a 78th minute winner against Paradise to win the title! In the end we came so close but we drew five games, a few too many and had we managed to turn just one of those into a win we would have been celebrating another league title right now. Hard Rock, the league champions cemented themselves as the most reputable club in Grenada, claiming a record fifth GFA Premier Division victory. 

Finishing in third, and just a single point behind ourselves, were the newly promoted Happy Hill. They had a superb season and managed to overtake early frontrunners, Hurricanes, who slipped to 4th whilst Paradise Sports Club had a poor season by their standards, ending in 5th. Last seasons runners-up, Grenada Boys Secondary School had a torrid year and were relegated alongside T.A. Marryshow Community College, whilst Queens Park Rangers won their relegation playoff and will return to the division next season. 

We ended the year with the best attacking record in the division, scoring 53 goals and ending with a +28 goal difference. Defensively, our inconsistency proved costly as we finished the season with the fourth best record, conceding 25 goals, a total behind Hurricanes, Happy Hill and champions Hard Rock. 

OTHER NEWS:

Not much else in terms of other news from these few months but I do have a couple things to note.

Player Retirements: 

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The end of the season saw two of our players retire from competitive football. 

Firstly, 43 year old shot stopper Desmond Noel decided to hang up his gloves following a lengthy career. The veteran joined us at the start of this season and went on to make eight appearances for the club before being displaced by young Patrick Walcott. 

We then lost Kimron Redhead. Our top scorer from last season joined us on a free and went on to lead us to a league and cup double following 15 individual goals. This season he followed that up with a solid showing, adding a further four goals, and he finished his two seasons in Mount Rich with average ratings of 7.53 and 7.01 respectively. 

Hall of Fame:

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We may have missed out on the league title this season but we did manage to add another domestic cup to our ever-expanding trophy cabinet. Our second consecutive Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament win means we add a further 10 Hall of Fame points to my total. 

This now means I have a massive total of 33 Managerial Hall of Fame points! Still a long way to go if I want to get anywhere near the top but not a bad effort for just two seasons of Grenadian football.

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That brings to close another year in Grenada and, although it was disappointing to miss out on the league title, because we finished second we will still be competing in the CFU Champions Cup! Hopefully we will be given an easier draw than last year but then I need to consider whether I want to continue in Grenada or head further afield. 

What do you guys think should be my next managerial move?

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Update 11: End of Season Review (2018)

Club: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

I have recently completed my second full season of football in Grenada with semi-professional side Mount Rich. In my inaugural campaign we raced to a very surprising league and cup double thanks to some brilliant all-round football. This year was somewhat of a setback however as we failed to retain our league title, missing out on the top spot by a single point. We did still manage to pick up some silverware though, as we were crowned domestic cup champions for the second time in a row. 

This update will act as an end of season review as well as act as a base for the clubs' end of season award ceremony. 

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COMPETITIONS:

GFA Premier DivisionFinal League Position: 2nd

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Played: 18 (W = 11, D = 5, L = 2)
Goals Scored: 53, Goals Conceded: 25, Goal Difference: +28
Points Total: 38

This league result was the first time in my short career that I had failed to live up to the expectations of the board. After our shock double last season, the chairman was expected another league title this year but ultimately we missed out, placing in second by just a single point. Similarly to last year though we were clinical in from of goal and scored a league high 53 goals. Weirdly, this was one more than we managed last season despite this league campaign being two fewer games in length. Defensively was where we struggled however as this year we conceded 25 goals in 18 league games, in comparison to just 17 in 20 games last year. As to why we were poor in this department, I am not really sure. We added some talented defensive players and did not have a major tactical overhaul so I guess part of it may have been down to bad luck here and there?

Th team that usurped us to the title? Hard Rock FC, Grenada's most successful league side as they lifted the league crown for a record fifth time. In fairness to our rivals, they played very well and were led by the best defensive unit in the league. Finishing in third were the league's surprise package, Happy Hill. The newly promoted club had a terrific year and easily exceeded expectations. There was a down year for Paradise Sports Club as they finished 5th and there was an even worse slip-up from Grenada Boys Secondary School, as they were relegated one year after finishing 2nd!

Waggy-T Super Knockout Football TournamentFinal Position: Winners

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Played: 4 (W = 4, D = 0, L = 0)
Goals Scored: 10, Goals Conceded: 4, Goal Difference: +6

I could not have asked for any better in the domestic cup as we recorded back to back trophy wins. Last season we absolutely cruised this tournament, winning all four of our matches without conceding a goal. This year things were made slightly more interesting...

In the first round we came up against Fontenoy United of the first division and we easily beat them at home. In the quarter finals we were gifted an incredibly tough draw as we played league champions Hard Rock FC but we finally found some defensive form and held on for a 1-0 victory. The semi-finals saw us require extra time against St. John's Sports Club despite dominating the 90 minutes and the final, against Paradise Sports Club, saw us again require extra time but a late Quintana Ogilvie goal was enough to win us the cup!

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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We ended the year with an impressive 14 players holding an average rating of 7.0 or higher, a fairly impressive feat given that we only played 18 league games. Below are some key stats from my second campaign in Grenada:

  • Shaddai Sampson finished as the clubs top scorer, netting an astonishing 23 times throughout the course of the season. One other player managed to reach a double digit goal tally as Uriah Enoe scored 13 goals in his 19 appearances.
  • The leading assist provider this season was right fullback Quinton Rennie, who tallied 10 in total. Forward Shaddai Sampson finished second, collecting 9 assists, whilst fellow forward Uriah Enoe added 6 of his own. 
  • Forward Shaddai Sampson ended the season with the most Player of the Match Awards, picking up 6. 
  • Left fullback Kimron Marshall led the team with an impressive average of 3.71 tackles/game in his 20 appearances whilst central defender Christ Kisangala collected a team-high 71 defensive interceptions. 

All-time Best XI:

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Not too many changes here from last season but a couple worth noting. 

The back four and goalkeeper all remain the same, with new signing Christ Kisangala being named amongst the substitutes following an impressive first season. The recently retired Kimron Redhead moves from the forward spot to the midfield spot as a replacement for Henson Cuffie, who slides onto the bench. Kyle John-Brown gets the nod at the attacking midfielder position having had a very solid year following his promotion from the youth academy last season whilst up-front Shaddai Sampson is named alongside Shavon Bishop in the starting line-up with Uriah Enoe remaining on the bench, where he is also joined by veteran Quintana Ogilvie

PLAYER AWARDS:

1) Player of the Year: Shaddai Sampson (ST) - 19 matches, 23 goals, 9 assists, 23 key passes, 1.17 dribbles/game, 6 PoM Awards, Ave Rating: 7.77

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The easiest award of them all goes to Shaddai Sampson. The young forward was a revelation and, having joined on a free at the start of the year from relegated Chantimelle, he went on to score an outstanding 23 goals in just 19 games. The 18 year old has already racked up three senior appearances for the Grenadian national side and it was not just his goalscoring that I was impressed with as he showed a keen eye for setting up teammates, collecting 9 assists. 

The youngster may have a pretty poor personality but he has a very solid set of attributes, including some exceptional ratings for both finishing and first touch. Those, alongside his solid physical traits, have led to Sampson becoming one of the most feared attacking weapons in the division and I am hoping for even bigger things from him next year. 

2) Defensive Player of the Year: Quinton Rennie (RB) - 25 matches, 10 assists, 43 key passes, 37 crosses, 3.41 tackles/game, 2 PoM Awards, Ave Rating: 7.36

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For the second consecutive year the award for defensive player of the year goes to Quinton Rennie. The right fullback had a superb year going forward and was a key part of our attacking prowess as he led the entire squad with 10 assists and 43 key passes played. In addition he was solid on the defensive end and finished second amongst all defensive players with a solid 3.41 tackles per game registered. 

The 29 year old is definitely coming to the back-end of his career but for now his good physical attributes are enough to make him a decent player at this level. His high level for decisions has proved invaluable as he is one of the least mistake-prone players in the squad. 

3) Midfield Player of the Year: Chad Mark (CM) - 22 matches, 3 goals, 3 assists, 26 key passes, 83% pass completion, Ave Rating: 7.20

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With Earldon Millette on his way out of the club, this season saw the rise of another young midfielder in the form of Chad Mark. The 20 year old, who has accumulated 9 senior appearances for Grenada, had a very solid all-round season, completing a high percentage of his passes and consistently working hard to win back possession in the middle of the park. 

Attribute wise, he does not look particularly special but his high levels for vision and technique appear to equate to an accurate passing ability. The youngster has attracted a lot of interest from abroad for a while now and I am hoping he can remain focused, and ultimately stay at the club, something his predecessor Millette was unable to achieve. 

4) Attacking Player of the Year: Uriah Enoe (ST) - 19 matches, 13 goals, 6 assists, 19 key passes, 2.23 dribbles/game, 1 PoM Award, Ave Rating: 7.26

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Young forward Uriah Enoe has been at the club for two seasons now and in both campaigns he has collected double digit goal tallies whilst going relatively unnoticed due to another forward overshadowing his play. Enoe added another 13 goals to the 12 he collected last season, meaning that he is now the clubs all-time leading scorer. 

He does not have the exceptional physical attributes that some of my other youngsters have but he makes up for it with some very good technical ability, including high levels for dribbling, finishing, first touch and heading. He has been a solid goal threat in this division for a while now and his statistics have resulted in some transfer interest from abroad. I would love to keep him, as alongside Sampson I have the best strike force in the division without a doubt. 

5) U21 Player of the Year: Shavon Bishop (ST) - 14 matches, 6 goals, 3 assists, 2.23 dribbles/game, 1 PoM Award, Ave Rating: 7.21

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For the second year in a row the award for best youngster goes to Shavon Bishop. The youth academy product simply cannot stop scoring and added a further six goals this season, taking him to a career total of 16 in 23 club appearances. His fine domestic form also saw him win his first ever call-up to the senior national team before going on to make his debut as a substitute in a friendly against Dominica. 

His technical skills might not look amazing but he has a lot of things rated around the 8-mark which, for this level, is actually pretty solid. In addition he has a nicely well-rounded set of physical attributes, with solid levels for pace, acceleration and jumping reach. He has made some improvements to his traits as his career has progressed and, should we lose Enoe, I am safe in the knowledge that I have young Bishop waiting in the wings. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Obviously I was disappointed to miss out on a second league title but to lose by a single point shows that we have a squad capable of winning regular silverware at this stage. I was very impressed by the way in which we battled through in the Waggy-T Super Knockout given that we had some very tough draws including a quarter final against Hard Rock FC and a final against Paradise Sports Club. 

As previously mentioned, our second place league finish does mean one thing... that we again qualify for the Caribbean Football Union Champions Cup! The keen readers amongst you will remember that we failed to advance past the first round of this competition last year but I will be hoping to go one better this time around. The draw for the initial group stages has already been completed and below you can see ours and Hard Rock FC's opponents:

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I will go into more detail regarding who I have been drawn against when I return with my next update but bonus points to anyone who can name which Caribbean islands any of our opponents are based in (ideally without the use of Wikipedia or Google Search).

As with previous years, the winner of the CFU Champions Cup is granted entry into the CONCACAF Champions League, a feat no domestic side from Grenada as ever achieved. Since the Champions Cup runs so early in the calendar year I am planning to stay at Mount Rich for now before then deciding what career move I should make next. 

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I hope you are all still enjoying this save and I will be back soon with an update detailing the club position and specifically looking at our CFU Champions Cup opponents. After that tournament is over though I want to know whether you guys think I should stay in Grenada or possibly embark on a change of scenery? 

 

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Hi everyone, apologies for the delay in getting this update sorted but I have been busy with work-related matters recently. 

As you may recall, last year was my second in Grenada and, although it was a success, we took a slight step backwards as we failed to retain our Premier Division title. We did win the Waggy-T Super Knockout for the second consecutive season and our second place league finish meant we would again be competing in the CFU Champions Cup. 

Before we get stuck into those games though I want to post a short update re-introducing you all to my favourite club in the whole of Grenada - Mount Rich

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Club Background:

As you may recall, Mount Rich are a semi-professional team found on the small Caribbean island of Grenada. They were formed in 1986 and since then had played almost exclusively in the countries first division but following my two year spell in charge, the club has seen an upturn in fortunes and have quickly become one of the most current contenders in Grenada. We have won the main league title once, back in 2017, and recently completed consecutive domestic cup trophies having won the Waggy-T super Knockout the past two years.

Our improved fortunes since I arrived as manager has seen the club become one of the most reputable in Grenada. We still hold a 1 star, national reputation rating but we are now the 3rd most recognised club in the country, only behind Hard Rock FC and Paradise Sports Club. 

Facilities: 

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Our facilities are almost identical to last year but we have made one recent improvement.

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Having previously upgraded the clubs junior coaching, the board agreed to enhance our youth recruitment, sending it to the highest possible level. As far as I am aware, this rating affects potential ability whereas junior coaching affects current ability. Given our semi-professional status, I would prefer to recruit players with good current ability bit the board were unwilling to again boost the junior coaching level at this time. 

Elsewhere, everything else stays the same. I would love to improve training facilities but they simply cost far too much at this point in time. The pitch at our stadium has recently improved to very good in condition but the 700 capacity, council owned, Plains Playing Field is still nothing to get overly excited about. 

Competitions:

Our second place league finish means that for the second season in a row we will get to compete in three different competitions. 

The main focus will again be on the GFA Premier Division. The top tier of Grenadian domestic football saw a slight change last year as the league was reduced to 10 teams with 18 total fixtures. That restructure remains this year as does the relegation rule regarding the two bottom sides being automatically dropped and the 8th-placed team entering a relegation playoff. The top two teams again qualify for the CFU Champions Cup. 

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Last season saw Hard Rock FC wrestle the title back from us having previously won the division in 2016. Our main rivals from last year are the most successful club in GFA Premier Division history having won the league a record 5 times. It is also interesting to note that Grenada Boys Secondary School, the team who finished second in 2017, were actually relegated last season. 

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This will be the first time in my career that we are favourites to win the division having previously operated as underdogs, so it will be interesting to see if we can cope with the added pressure. It is no surprise to see Hard Rock FC and Paradise Sports Club rounding out the top three. Happy Hill had a brilliant year last year, finishing third in their inaugural GFA Premier Division season. 

Queen's Park Rangers managed to win their relegation playoff last year and therefore remain in the division, whilst the two newly promoted sides are Royal Grenadian Police Force FC and New Hampshire United. 

The second competition that we will be entering is the Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament, the only domestic cup competition in Grenada. As usual, this small cup competition will be played over just three rounds (prior to a final) with a single leg, extra-time and penalties deciding who progresses. 

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Paradise FC are the current holders of 4 domestic cup trophies, the highest number in the country but we are closing in following our second success in as many years. We managed to retain our title following a 2-1 extra-time victory over rivals Paradise in a hard fought finale last season. 

The final tournament that we will be participating in is the CFU Champions Cup. This competition is essentially the Caribbean version of the Champions League and is one that we took part in last year, where we failed to qualify from the opening round. As you may recall this tournament is huge, with a whopping 64 teams being placed into 16 different groups for the opening round. The teams taking part are from a multitude of different Caribbean nations and the draw for the opening round has already been completed. 

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We were drawn in Group K alongside Beaches, Cienfuegos and Western Warriors (bonus points to anyone who knows what countries those sides are from without reading below).

The weakest team in this group is probably Beaches FC. They are an amateur side and the most recent league champions of the top domestic league of The Turks & Caicos Islands. From the looks of it they were surprise league winners as this was their first ever trophy and they are only listed as the fourth most reputable side from their nation. 

Secondly we have another amateur side, Western Warriors from The Bahamas. It looks as though they finishing runners up in their division but they have won the top league on one previous occasion. They also played in the CFU Champions Cup last season but failed to win a game, or score a goal, and were dumped out in the first round. 

The final side in our group, and easily the strongest on paper, is Cienfuegos FC. They are a semi-professional side and have a reputation rating of 1.5 stars. They recently won their fourth domestic title in the top division of Cuba and have a squad that is full of Cuban international players. They did not qualify for the CFU Champions Cup let year so this will be their first experience of the tournament. 

Yet again we only play each side once, meaning one poor performance can have a devastating impact on qualification chances. It is already looking like the fixture against Cienfuegos FC could be a decider as I feel fairly comfortable regarding our chances of beating the two amateur teams. That being said, this is cup football and anything can, and will, happen. 

Grenadian Football:

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Andrew Munroe continues his reign as the head of Grenadian football. The 55 year old has now been in the job for two years and does not look like stepping down anytime soon. 

As previously noted, the domestic football in Grenada is not of the highest standard and the GFA Premier Division remains as the 35th most reputable division in North America. I am hoping that if a Grenadian side can make a decent run in the CFU Champions Cup then maybe this will increase.

In terms of the national side they had a reasonably good performance at the CFU Caribbean Cup where they reached the third round.

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They failed to progress beyond this stage though, finishing bottom of their group by losing to both Jamaica and St. Lucia. The next competition for the senior side will be the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. They enter the CONCACAF tournament and, although it is unlikely they would ever qualify for the finals, they have been drawn against a tough Puerto Rico side in the opening round. 

Their performances in the Caribbean Cup have seen them steadily increase their world ranking though and they are now up to 136th (was 148th last year). 

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So that ends my reintroduction to Mount Rich and to Grenadian football in general. We have been handed a far easier CFU Champions Cup draw this season following a tough one last year. If we can progress beyond the first round then that would be a huge step forward for the club and for the country of Grenada. As before, the Champions Cup takes place before the domestic offseason so I will be back very shortly will an update detailing our exploits in that competition. 

I again do apologise for the length of time between updates but finding time to write is become harder and harder with work commitments. I will try and get the next update out this weekend but in the meantime I hope you are all enjoying the fantastic stories on this forum!

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Update 12: March 2019

Club: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

Apologies for the length of time between these updates! I am continually trying to play FM but finding time in between real-life commitments to write up what is happening is proving to be more and more tricky. 

As some of you may recall, we finished in second place in the Grenadian domestic league last season and with that we qualified for our second consecutive CFU Champions Cup. This competition is essentially the Caribbean version of the Champions League and takes place early in the calendar year, prior to the domestic preseason, so I will be updating this before getting into the offseason work. 

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Friendly RESULTS:

W =3, D = 1, L = 1

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Having previously struggled to perform in the friendly fixtures of preseasons past we actually played relatively well through these five games. We kicked things off with a trio of victories, against two sides from Trinidad & Tobago and Avenues United from St. Vincent & The Grenadines, before falling to fellow Grenadian side Hard Rock. The final game saw us play out a very drab 0-0 with Police B from Trinidad.

I was very impressed with our defensive work through these friendlies, especially against the stronger sides, such as Club Sando Moruga. The main worry was that we failed to score a goal in the final two fixtures, not the best of preparations for our upcoming CFU Champions Cup group games. 

CFU Champions Cup RESULTS:

The Caribbean Football Union Champions Cup is an extremely large group/knock-out tournament that is participated in by 64 teams from the multitude of Caribbean domestic leagues. These sides are separated into 16 initial groups whereby everyone plays each other once with only the top placing side progressing to the next round. 

Those of you who have recently read through this thread may remember that we were drawn in Group K alongside Beaches FC (The Turks & Caicos Islands), Western Warriors (The Bahamas) and Cienfuegos FC (Cuba). This draw was, on paper, a much easier one than the one we received last year where we failed to progress past this stage of the competition. 

Game 1. CFU Champions Cup Group K: vs Cienfuegos FC (Cuba)

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We opened our Champions Cup campaign with a tough fixture against a strong Cienfuegos side from Cuba. This opposition were easily the most talented side that we would face during this group and we played excellently enroute to a resounding victory. 

As with previous seasons the Champions Cup games take place at neutral venues, with this particular game taking place in the USA. We got off to a flying start in the states as young forward Uriah Enoe scored the clubs fastest ever competitive goal, poking home after just 48 seconds of the game. Fellow strike partner, Shaddai Sampson, tucked home a goal of his own midway through the first period following a mistake from the Cienfuegos defence. We completed the rout just after the hour mark when Enoe grabbed his second goal of the tie, placing a nice shot into the bottom corner.

I was surprised at how error prone our opposition were and, even though possession numbers were pretty even, our opponents struggled to create chances as we defended well and countered effectively on the break away. This game was always going to be an important one and victory here meant we now just had to overcome the two weaker opposition and we would qualify for the next round of this competition for the first time in our history!

Game 2. CFU Champions Cup Group K: vs Western Warriors (The Bahamas)

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The second game of our tournament saw us travel to French Guiana where we clashed with Bahamian side Western Warriors. 

Again we were absolutely fantastic despite not dominating possession of the ball. We created chances freely in the first half, utilising our pace to cause numerous problems for the Warriors defensive line. The key man here was Uriah Enoe, the forward collected a first half hattrick which included a trio of controlled, close-range finishes. The youngster has an innate ability to get himself into excellent positions inside the oppositions penalty area and these often lead to simple goals. 

We capped off a devastating performance with a late goal for central defender Davier Ogilvie who smashed home following a poorly cleared corner in the games closing moments. This victory meant we entered our final game knowing a positive result would guarantee us a place in the next round of the competition - a feat that no Grenadian side had ever achieved before!

Game 3. CFU Champions Cup Group K: vs Beaches FC (The Turks & Caicos Islands)

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Our final group game saw us take on Beaches FC, the amateur side from The Turks & Caicos Islands. For this one we had to travel to Saint-Martin, where we played in front of our largest crowd of the tournament so far, 254 spectators. 

We looked nervous in the first half and our opponents actually had the better of the chances. My half time team talk was on the aggressive side and it seemed to spur us into life as we came out and played much better in the second forty-five. We took the lead after just seven second half minutes when young midfielder Joel Francois-Ravalier, who has really progressed since last season, placed home a tidy finish from the edge of the area. We then killed the game off just after the hour mark when Uriah Enoe netted his sixth individual goal of the tournament this far having latched onto a nice through ball from Kyle John-Brown

This was our poorest performance of the competition so far but we still battled through, keeping a third consecutive clean sheet in the process. As you can probably guess, three victories meant we finished atop our group and gained qualification for the next round.

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The superb effort for our victory against Cienfuegos was highlighted even more as the Cuban side smashed Beaches FC 8-2 and then finished with a 5-0 win against Western Warriors. We looked very good though, scoring nine goals and keeping three clean sheets in our three games. As winners we progressed to the Final Stage, whereby the 16 groups winners are placed into 4 groups. 

The draw for the Final Stage was made almost straight after the completion of the initial group stages so we now know we already know who we will be up against...

OTHER NEWS:

CFU Champions Cup Final Stage Draw:

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All three of these sides won their groups very comfortably and there will definitely be no easy games here as we are down alongside Central FC, Dandy Town Hornets and FC Villa Clara.

There are no easy fixtures here but the weakest of these three sides is probably Dandy Town Hornets from Bermuda but they are by no means a poor side. The reigning Bermudan domestic champions they have won the Premier League on a record nine previous occasions and have a number of full Bermudan internationals in their squad. 

FC Villa Clara see us have to take on another Cuban side having overcome Cienfuegos FC in the previous round. Our new opponents have won the top Cuban domestic title on 11 separate occasions and have a solid defensive set-up led by national team fullbacks Osvaldo Rivero and Marcelo Casamayor. They have recently started their domestic season and are currently top of their respective group having won their first four league fixtures.

The final side we face is Central FC from Trinidad & Tobago. These guys are easily the best side in this group, and probably are one of the top sides left in the competition. They have actually won the CFU Champions Cup on two previous occasions, in 2015 and 2016. Unsurprisingly their squad is filled with a number of talented Trinidadian nationals but they also have a number of foreign players including a pair of very talented Montenegrins. They also have Dayle Southwell in their squad, an Englishman who previous played for Boston United and Wycombe Wanderers as well as Kyle McFarlane who used to be on the books of Birmingham City. 

Grenadian Football:

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The other Grenadian side representing in the CFU Champions Cup were last seasons league winners Hard Rock FC. Our domestic rivals had a pretty solid campaign but were ultimately outplayed by a side we will now be playing. They opened their group games with a win against Rebels before falling to a 0-0 draw against SV Notch from Suriname. They finished their fixtures with a heavy 4-2 defeat against group winners Central FC, the side that we will have to play very well against if we are to get a positive result in the next round. 

Squad News:

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Overall we have a fairly young squad but there are a few experienced veterans left who are seeing their careers wind down. Once player who is seemingly set to retire at the end of this season is Henson Cuffie. The defensive midfielder had never quite lived up to the expectations since joining the club but he has made 38 appearances for the first team over the past two seasons. 

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So, we manage to achieve something historic in this update by qualifying for the Final Stage of the CFU Champions Cup. This is the first time in history that a side from Grenada has managed to get to this stage of this competition and no matter what happens from here on in we have achieved something very special.

The next update will see us compete in the Final Stage of the CFU Champions Cup. We have a very difficult draw but, given our exceptional for thus far, anything could seemingly happen although I cannot see us defeating the bigger sides like Central FC. 

Hope you are all still enjoying this story and want me to carry on writing! I am very much enjoying playing in this competition given that it is something that I have never experienced (or seen anyone else do) on FM before.

Edited by yatesiboi37

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Update 13: March 2019

Club: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

The previous update saw us competing in the CFU Champions Cup where we managed to top our initial group and become the first ever Grenadian side to qualify for the Final Stage. We played league fixtures and performed amazingly, winning all three games and keeping a trio of clean sheets in the process. 

We had been drawn against some very tough opposition for the next group stage but no matter what happened from here on in, we had achieved something historic. 

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Friendly RESULTS:

W =1, D = 0, L = 0

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With a two week break between the initial and final group stages of this competition I decided to arrange a friendly match against Trinidadian side Cunupia to ensure we stayed match sharp. 

We played excellently well and young forward Uriah Enoe continued his prolific scoring form by netting a hattrick. Defensively we were not amazing but Cunupia are a very solid side, a lot more talented than ourselves on paper, so I was very happy with this performance. 

CFU Champions Cup RESULTS:

The Final Stage of this competition is played out in an identical fashion to the previous round; with just three fixtures (one against each side) with only the top placed side progressing through to the next round, which would incidentally be the semi-finals. 

As you might recall we had been handed a tough group draw, having to play Dandy Town Hornets (Bermuda), FC Villa Clara (Cuba) and a superb Central FC (Trinidad & Tobago) team. 

Game 1. CFU Champions Cup Final Stage Group A: vs Villa Clara (Cuba)

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We opened our Final Stage journey with a tough fixture against Cuban side FC Villa Clara, played in The Turks & Caicos islands national team stadium. It is safe to say that we definitely did not deserve this victory and our opponents surely came away from this one feeling very hard done by. 

We were not totally outclassed by any means, we managed to retain 46% of the possession, but our Cuban opposition created chances throughout. Where they did struggle though was with their finishing, they had 14 total efforts but only five of these were actually on target. Our young goalkeeper Patrick Walcott made some smart saves, keeping us in the tie, until the 72nd minute when we grabbed an unexpected lead. 

A smartly worked throw-in around the halfway line resulted in Kimron Marshall clipping a beautiful lofted pass into the path of Shaddai Sampson. The young forward raced away from the defence a slotted home a clinical left footed finish into the bottom corner. 

We managed to hold on through the last few minutes and, with central defenders Christ Kisangala and Nicko Williams putting in some solid defensive performances, we were able to lodge an unlikely opening group game victory!

Game 2. CFU Champions Cup Final Stage Group A: vs Central FC (Trinidad & Tobago)

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We somehow remain unbeaten in this competition! The second group game saw us travel all the way to Canada for a clash with talented Trinidadian side Central FC.

Amazingly, I would say we played much better in this game then we did in our opening fixture. We again managed not to get outclassed, holding 45% of the possession, whilst also playing some very solid defence in limiting our opponents to just four shots on target. 

I must admit that I feared the worst when English forward Dayle Southwell gave the Trinidadian side an early lead but we remained compact and grabbed ourselves an equaliser just before the break. Central defender Christon Noel rose highest in the penalty area to smash home a header following a nicely flighted free kick from Kyle John-Brown. The second half saw very little in the way of action but again some solid defensive work saw us cling on and grab a very deserved point. 

We went into our last game knowing that a victory would at least give us a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals (although we would be relying on other results and goal differences) but I was so pleased with the two games played thus far. Considering our defensive performances were the most disappointing aspect of our play last year in the domestic league, we had been excellent throughout this tournament thus far, with this game being the first we had conceded in. 

Game 3. CFU Champions Cup Final Stage Group A: vs Dandy Town Hornets (Bermuda)

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We travelled to the Buck Shaw Stadium in the United States for our final group game against the amusingly named Dandy Town Hornets from Bermuda. These guys were without a doubt the weakest of the three sides in our group and, despite a fairly dull game overall, we were able to come away with a 2-0 victory. 

We struggled to create any real chances throughout the opening stages but again our defensive work was superb, limiting our opposition to just two shots on target. In the end, we opened the scoring via a set piece when Christ Kisangala angled home a header from a Joel-Francois Ravalier free kick. We doubled our advantage, and put the game to bed, early in the second period when Kisangala smashed a long clearance fortuitously into the path of Shavon Bishop. The young forward raced away from the defence before drilling a neat finish across the face of goalkeeper.

Kisangala's performance was outstanding as the Democratic Republic of Congo defender grabbed himself a goal and an assist but the playmaking role of Joel-Francois Ravalier was also impressive, as the 16 year old created three chances and played a game-high four key passes. 

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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A very impressive six games thus far in the CFU Champions Cup has seen us remain unbeaten and this form has been the result of a string of impressive individual performances. Albeit a small selection of games, we currently have 11 players averaging a rating of at least 7.0. 

The key man thus far has been forward Uriah Enoe (7.92). The youngster has smashed home six goals in just five appearances whilst also averaging an astonishing 3.77 dribbles/game. 

Also impressing has been central defender Christ Kisangala (7.90). The 22 year old is the only foreigner currently in the squad and took a while to settle last season but he has been truly excellent in these Champions Cup games, playing 10 key passes and notching a team-high 17 defensive interceptions. Fellow centreback Nicko Williams (7.32) has also been playing well, whilst 17 year old Davier Ogilvie (7.18) has progressed into the third central defender role. The two fullbacks, Kimron Marshall (7.10) and Quinton Rennie (6.90) have both played well but have not reached the heights of previous seasons. In fact, Rennie has been vastly outplayed by youth academy product Cassim Millette (7.73) on the right flank. 

In midfield, another of our youth intake players is really starting to impress. Joel Francois-Ravalier (7.46) looks like a really bright young player and has played eight key passes, scored one goal and collected an assist in his five games. The rest of the central players have been fairly disappointing, with Kareem Coutain (6.92) and Chad Mark (6.67) both having very slow starts to the season. 

Shaddai Sampson (7.78) has been playing excellently but the goals have not quite arrived for the forward in similar fashion to Enoe. Last seasons top scorer has managed to fire home two individual goals and add a pair of assists in his four appearances. In attacking midfield, youth product Kyle John-Brown (7.32) has been excellent and looks to be growing into a very solid player following his first full season last year. 

STANDINGS:

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What?! SEMI-FINALISTS!

I knew our unbeaten run would mean we would finish somewhere near the top of our group but ultimately our draw against Central FC was enough to see us finish atop the group. Our rivals, somehow, could only manage a 3-3 draw against Dandy Town Hornets and that resulted handed us a way through!

I cannot explain how amazing this achievement is! We are into the semi-finals and are now just two games away from qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League, something never achieved by a side from Grenada. Even if we do not win this competition, finishing in second or third would see us progress into the North American League (essentially the CONCACAF version of the Europa League), so we have a genuine chance at producing something special. 

OTHER NEWS:

CFU Champions Cup Semi Final Draw:

Having somehow made it into the semi finals of this competition, the draw was made and we received an opposition that are weirdly familiar to me...

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Le Club Franciscain! I know this side from my previous save where I was the international manager of Martinique. They have won the Martinique top division on a previous four occasions and their squad contains a number of senior international players, including midfielders Stephane Abaul and Christophe Jougon who I managed in my previous career!

Their squad is very talented though and this will certainly not be an easy fixture. We again have a long journey ahead of us as we will have to travel to Vancouver in Canada for this fixture, which will be played over a single leg with extra time and then penalties deciding a winner should the game be tied after 90 minutes. 

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We have done amazingly well to get this far but I now know that a win in our semi-final game would see us competing in one of the major CONCACAF continental tournaments, something that a side from Grenada surely never thought was possible! 

We have played some brilliant defensive football and shown a real clinical edge in front of goal. I have especially been pleased with the growth of our youth academy players, most of which are becoming important first teamers despite their youthful years. 

I will be back shortly with an update detailing the final round/s of the CFU Champions Cup. Is it possibly for my semi-professional Grenadian side to win the Caribbean Football Union Champions Cup or will we fall at the final hurdle and finish fourth, and be denied a fairytale journey to a reputable continental competition? 

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Update 14: April 2019

Club: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

Here we are, the business end of the Caribbean Football Union Champions Cup! The last update saw is miraculously progress through the final group stage of the competition and qualify for the semi finals. This is the first time in footballing history that a side from Grenada has reached this stage and we genuinely now have a chance at reaching one of the bigger continental competitions for this region of the world. 

The semi final (and final stage) of this competition take place at neutral venues and are played over a single leg, with extra time and then penalties being used to decide a winner if needed. 

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The previous iterations of this tournament have been dominated by the big Trinidadian sides, with the past four victories sides hailing from the same nation. Also mixed in here are a number of Jamaican club teams, with the only real outliners being Guyana side Alpha United, who finished 2nd in 2014, and Haitian team Don Bosco who placed third in 2016. 

You will see that Central FC, the side we knocked out in the previous round, actually won this competition back to back a few seasons ago and North East Stars, the side who knocked us out in the first round last season, are the reigning champions. 

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Saying that though, this year is going to be the first in a while to not have a Trinidadian side as champion. Left in the competition are ourselves, our Martinique opponents Le Club Franciscan, Haitian champions America Des Cayes and the Jamaican based University of the West Indies FC. 

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Friendly RESULTS:

W =2, D = 0, L = 0

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Yet again there was a two week break in between the Final Stage and the semi finals so I decided to schedule a couple of friendlies to keep us match sharp. We returned to Grenada for these two games and easily dispatched a pair of First Division sides. 

Uriah Enoe continued his prolific scoring form by netting a goal in both games whilst his strike partner, Shaddai Sampson, came alive in the second fixture and smashed an emphatic first half hattrick. There is always the worry of injuries when scheduling these types of games in the middle of a tournament but, thankfully, we were able to come through untroubled and would have a fully fit side going into our semi final clash. 

CFU Champions Cup RESULTS:

The semi finals had seen us drawn against La Club Franciscan from Martinique. As I mentioned before I have a weird affiliation with this club given my career as Martinique national team manager in my previous save. I also have knowledge of their players having controlled five of them at national team level and I knew from that experience that some of these individuals were very talented. 

I knew that a victory in this fixture would not only see us through to the final but also guarantee that we would be playing in the CONCACAF Champions League or the North American League as an absolute minimum. Could we do the impossible?

Semi Final. CFU Champions Cup: vs La Club Franciscan (Martinique)

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No we could not!

We travelled all the way to Vancouver in Canada for this clash and, despite the talent in the oppositions squad, we gave a very respectable account of ourselves but ultimately came up just short. 

Having spent the competition playing as underdogs and hitting teams on the break we actually matched our Martinique opposition pretty evenly, controlling 47% of the possession and having 14 total shots in comparison to their 15. We fell behind midway through the first half when Christ Kisangala, who has been so good u until this point, miscued a clearance onto our own crossbar, with the resulting rebound being turned home from close range. 

We battled back though and created a number of chances but our finishing was lacking, we ended the match with just four shots on target, but just after the interval a piece of prolific play from Shaddai Sampson gifted us an equaliser. The young forward smashed home an angled shot following a lay-off by Kareem Coutain and, all of a sudden, we were back in the tie. Both teams had chances to win the game in the closing stages but ultimately no-one could find a way through, with Nicko Williams particularly impressing in defence for us. 

The extra time period saw our fitness levels evaporate and our opponents started to grow into the game more. We held out well but then, just before the midway interval, Club Franciscan's talented regen Cedric Renou smashed home an amazing left-footed finish from way outside the box. It was a touch of class from the forward and one that we were unable to recover from. Our opposition added insult to injury when they turned home a late free kick to give the scoreline, what I would argue was, an unfair view.

Still, I had to be happy with our performance; we were not embarrassed and we gave a very good account of ourselves. Defeat would mean that we would not contest the final but that we would still have a Third Place Playoff to participate in. This was not just a throwaway game however, as the winner of third place in this competition gains qualification to the North American League...

Third Place Playoff. CFU Champions Cup: vs America Des Cayes (Haiti)

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And the North American League is where we will be heading! What a dramatic game to finish our Champions Cup adventure!

We were drawn against Haitian domestic champions America Des Cayes in the third placed game after they had lost 3-0 to their Jamaican opponents in the other semi final match. We had to travel to Saint Vincent & The Grenadines for this one and what a thriller it was. 

We somehow managed to edge possession and we created a good number of chances but our opponents posed a real attacking treat throughout and actually had 25 total shots at goal.

Still it was ourselves who took the lead as, after just 14 minutes, a superb cross from right fullback Quinton Rennie was turned home at the near post by goal machine Uriah Enoe. My halftime team talk seemed to inspire the troops as just 45 seconds into the second period we had doubled our lead. Another fine cross from Rennie, this time to the far post, was headed back across goal and into the net by the delighted Shaddai Sampson. I have to admit, I was in dreamland at this stage; we held a two goal advantage and given our defensive performances in this competition so far I was confident we could old on.

How very wrong was I... It took our opponents barely five minutes to pull a goal back as their Haitian international forward Mancini Telfort raced onto a flicked header and slotted home a cool finish. The big target man then doubled his account and draw America back on level terms when he grabbed his next goal just after the hour mark. Now, from having dreamt of victory, I was genuinely staring at a defeat as all the momentum had shifted to our Haitian opponents. 

We managed to cling on though and, for the second game in a row, we found ourselves playing out an extra time period. In all honesty not a great deal happened in those thirty minutes, with both sides seemingly more concerned with not losing than trying to win. Telfort saw a long range effort sail wide in the first half whilst our best chance fell to substitute Quinton Daniel who blazed over from the edge of the area, whilst Sampson failed to hit the target from a well-placed free kick. 

This resulted in the game going to a penalty shootout, the first of my managerial career and somehow we scrapped through. We went first and Uriah Enoe, the clubs nominated spot kick taker, confidently buried his effort. America scored their first attempt before 17 year old Cassim Millette cooly dispatched his kick into the top left hand corner. Patrick Walcott then saved a tame second effort from America before Joel-Francois Ravalier blazed wide with our third attempt to even things up. America netted their third kick and young central defender Davier Ogilvie side footed his effort in. America saw their fourth strike crash against the crossbar and then left Nicko Williams with the chance to win us the game. The experienced defender opted for pure power and rocketed his kick against the underside of the bar but it ultimately bounced in and we had won the Third Placed Playoff!

PLAYER STATISTICS:

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An absolutely fantastic tournament saw us end the competition with 12 players holding an average rating of at least 7.0. 

Shaddai Sampson (7.72) finished with the highest individual rating as he showed his all around worth enroute to four individual goals, two assists, 10 key passes played and a team-high seven chances created. 

Defensive we were very impressive. Christ Kisangala (7.49) was one of only three players to appear in all eight games and he lead the defensive line alongside Nicko Williams (7.14), who has 29 defensive interceptions. Fullbacks Quinton Rennie (7.07) and Kimron Marshall (7.03) both played well, whilst youngster Cassim Millette (7.38) looked very good in his rotational role. Young shot stopper Patrick Walcott (7.06) had a very solid tournament and has definitely asserted himself as the clubs number one. 

In midfield, Joel Francois-Ravalier (7.35) continues to be the standout. The youngster created five chances and played nine key passes in his seven appearances. His solid play has been more than welcome, especially as both Kareem Coutain (6.91) and Chad Mark (6.73) both continue to struggle. 

Our top goal-getter for this tournament was Uriah Enoe (7.56). The 21 year old netted seven goals in just seven appearances, finishing as the competitions second highest scorer. Kyle John-Brown (7.13) continues to play well just behind the front two but there was disappointment for Shavon Bishop (6.56) who looked outclassed at this level. 

OTHER NEWS:

CFU Champions Cup Review:

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University of the West Indies FC won the final, defeating our conquerors Le Club Franciscan but, understandably, we were named as the tournaments biggest overachievers. This was such a good tournament for us and we went way further than I ever could have imagined. Just reaching the Final Group Stage was a massive achievement in itself but to then reach the semi finals and ultimately finishing in their place is remarkable. 

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Victory in the Third Place Playoff means we have gained qualification for the North American League. Whereas the CFU Club Championship only incorporates sides from the Caribbean, this Europa League style tournament is competed over by teams from throughout the CONCACAF region. It looks as though this competition takes place later on in the calendar year but it is something to look forward to and gives me a reason to stay at Mount Rich for a little while longer. 

Club Improvements:

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Our surprising progress in the CFU Champions Cup resulted in some additional prize money and I set about spending it immediately. The board were more than willing to again upgrade our junior coaching and, given that we have already produced some talented youngsters, I am hoping this will help to bring through even more in the future seasons.  

North American League Draw:

Having finished in third place in the CFU Champions Cup we qualified for our first ever major intercontinental competition. The North American League is essentially the CONCACAF version of the Europa League and the initial draw has already been completed.

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The first round is a two-legged game and we have been drawn against CD FAS from El Salvador. Our opponents are a fully professional side who have won their domestic division on six separate occasions. 

Their squad consists of a number of full El Salvador international players alongside a few foreigners from Uruguay and Argentina. This was not the toughest of draws we could have received but I imagine we will find this game tough. Still, I am just excited to even be in this competition and the first leg will take place in early August.

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It feels like an age since we played any domestic football but my next update will see us return to Grenada for the league preseason. I have some interesting transfers planned and I am hoping to regain the league title that I lost last season.

I am well aware that I titled this as a journeyman save but I fear I am growing way too attached to this Grenadian side and cannot see myself leaving anytime soon. For now I want to experience the North America League and I definitely do not want to depart before winning back the GFA Premier Division title!

Edited by yatesiboi37

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Update 15: Preseason 2019

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

Having finally completed a remarkable campaign in the CFU Champions Cup we had a few months rest prior to the start of the Grenadian domestic league season. This down time also saw the opening of the transfer market and we made some important moves.

This update will cover all offseason news including friendly results, transfers, budgets and tactical analysis. This season I am determined to regain our domestic division title which we lost last season with rivals Hard Rock FC claiming the crown. 

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BOARD ROOM:

I have been improving the finances of the club ever since I arrived and, although we are by no means a money making machine, our balance is firmly in the positive. Given the extra cash that is being brought in, the chairman has once agin decided that an increase in budgets should be allowed.

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Both of these figures are an increase on what I had to spend last year. The main thing of note is that, despite the ever growing wage budget, I am still spending way below what I am permitted. The transfer budget is way more than I actually require as once again I will be focusing primarily on free agent additions. 

In addition to the financial aspects, the board also set out their expectations for the coming season.

Board Objectives (2019)

GFA Premier Division - Win the GFA Premier Division
Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament - Win the Waggy-T Knockout

The board have decided that, just three seasons into my managerial career, that the minimal expectation is for me to win both the domestic league and cup double. This was a feat that I managed in my first season and, in all honesty, I have developed a far superior squad to that one so should be aiming high. That being said, we lost the league trophy last season and we will have to be at our best throughout the year as no doubt a few of the other teams will be there or there about should we slip up at all. 

CLUB STAFF:

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Considering we are a semi-professional club I have managed to put together a fairly decent set of backroom staff. 

The majority of these guys return following last season but our increasing budget meant I was able to attract a few, fairly reputable, members of staff. I hired a new goalkeeping coach in the form of Grenadian Quinton Bishop, who I coaxed away from Queen's Park Rangers, as well as a new fitness coach in the form of Jabari Sparks from Trinidad & Tobago. I also hired a new general coach in the form of Antonius Myers from St. Lucia who has a specialism in tactics. 

I also signed a Head Physio in Francis Charles and a Chief Scout in Byron Lee, not that we do much in the way of scouting for players. 

TRANSFERS:

(Out)

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Not too much going on with regards to players leaving the club but we see six players depart. 

The main name here is central defender Earldon McQueen (30). The veteran joined in my first season and, although he very really became a regular first teamer, he had a solid two years with the club, making 34 appearances and averaging an individual rating above 7.0. The other big name here was Quintana Ogilvie (33), the veteran forward who we acquired at the start of last season. The experienced striker played 14 times in his only season with the club and netted six goals. He has decided to retire at the end of this coming season but we decided to release him early.

The other four players; Bradley Augustine (19), Byron Mark (17), Ariel Alleyne (17) and Nicko Budd (25) were all youth or rotational players that were deemed surplus to requirements. 

(In)

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As always I was busy with regards to bringing new players to the club, signing a total of 10 different individuals. 

Many of these were signings however were young players with some potential for the future. The least exciting of these guys were Shandon Debellotte (19), a youngster who can play in central midfield or in attacking midfield, young goalkeeper Kareem Murray (19), central defender Kennedy Ogilvie (19) and left fullback Irvine Straker (19). 

There are a few youngsters that have some very exciting potential. The first is goalkeeper Patrick John-Brown (19) who we stole away from league rivals Paradise Sports Club. The teenager has already made five appearances for the Grenadian U20 national side, despite not yet making his professional domestic debut. Another who has been a part of the U20 national squad is Shevon Greenidge (19), an attacking midfielder who we signed from Hard Rock FC. Greenidge had played 36 first team games for his previous club and has the potential to be a solid first teamer. 

Having seen Christ Kisangala florist since joining from Africa, we decided to return to the continent and sign a pair of foreign players. Firstly we picked up another goalkeeper in the form of Nigerian David Ibeh (18), who my assistant believes has some of the best potential at the club. We also signed a Zimbabwean fullback in the form of Tatenda Amini (19) who plays on the left hand side and will compete with Kimron Marshall for a starting role. 

We signed Ariel Jacob (31) from Grenada Boys Secondary School, an experienced player who can play in the centre of midfield and should provide some competition. Our final signing is the one that I am most excited about, as we picked up central defender Raymond Alleyne (27). 

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He instantly becomes one of the best players in my squad according to my assistant manager and he brings with him a wealth of experience having made 30 appearances for the Grenada national side. Despite his age he has a superb set of physical attributes, including excellent ratings for pace and acceleration. He should form a solid back three alongside Nicko Williams and Christ Kisangala, hopefully improving our defensive work which was a weakness last season. 

THE SQUAD:

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This is an overview of the first team squad for the upcoming season. We have a number of youth players in the U20 side who may feature in the first team depending on their developmental progress. 

Unsurprisingly, forwards Shaddai Sampson (18) and Uriah Enoe (21) look set to continue their devastating strike partnership up top. They are ably supported by youth academy product Kyle John-Brown (18) who will once again play just behind the front two. The most exciting player has got to be Joel Francois-Ravalier (16) who is one of the best players at the club despite his age. My assistant seems to think that he is most suited to an attacking midfielder role but I have been playing him in the centre of midfield and he has been thriving. Kareem Coutain (24) and Chad Mark (21) are seemingly the most likely to start alongside Francois-Ravalier in the middle. 

In defence, the newly acquired Raymond Alleyne (27) will link up with Christ Kisangala (22) and Nicko Williams (29) to form a much more solid defensive line. At fullback it looks as though my youngsters are set to takeover, with new signing Tatenda Amini (19) and Cassim Millette (17) seemingly looking ready to start ahead of Kimron Marshall (26) and Quinton Rennie (29) respectively. Patrick Walcott (16) has established himself as the clubs number one shot stopper. 

TACTICS:

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A slight change in tactic this season as we switch to a 5-2-1-2. 

I found last season we were relying on our fullbacks to get further forward and contribute to our attacking play. This was definitely positive, and they did their jobs very successfully, but it did mean we were left very short in terms of defensive numbers. 

In order to counter this I have decided to switch to a back three, with a couple of covering central defenders to cope with long through balls and the numerous pacy strikers that we have to face. The fullbacks have been pushed up higher, operating as supporting wingbacks and allowing them to primarily focus on attacking knowing they have plenty of cover in behind. 

This does mean we switch to a midfield two but I am happy to do that, especially given that Kareem Coutain and Chad Mark struggled for form during the CFU Caribbean Cup. Our attacking trio remain the same as last season and I would be silly to change anything there given our goalscoring prowess. 

As always, most players will be given individual instructions and we will operate with the following teams orders: pass into space, run at defence, work ball into box, look for overlap, play narrower and roam from positions. 

Friendly RESULTS:

W = 6, D = 0, L = 1

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A fairly impressive preseason, although it is nothing to get overly excited about as we played some very weak opposition. We did defeat Guaya United from Trinidad and also romped to an impressive 6-0 victory over fellow Premier Division side Queens Park Rangers. 

The most impressive, and pleasing, thing here was our defensive improvements, where we only conceded two goals and kept five clean sheets. If we can maintain that sort of form going into the regular season we have a real chance at winning back our title as scoring goals has never been an issue for us at all.  

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That brings to an end our preseason in Grenada but I should be back soon enough with some first news from the GFA Premier Division. I have made some excellent additions and finally feel as though I have a real squad. Previous years I have had some very good players but then made do with some real average rotation and back-up players. This year I have solid back-up options for almost all positions and we have a number of very talented youngsters who continue to grow and develop. 

As always we will be pushed by some of the other top sides, including last years champions Hard Rock FC but I have to expect a title win as the absolute minimum. Can we win back the league title and we will be able to win the domestic cup for a third season in a row? Come back soon to find out!

 

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So I managed to get amazingly far behind with regards to posting updates for this save but some fun things have happened in the two seasons that I have been away. I have not saved screenshots for everything but I am considering writing updates for this save once more and so I am hoping everyone around here might still be interested? 

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Update 16: 2019 Season

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

So when I last posted, we had just started the 2019 domestic league season having recently before finished third in the Caribbean Champions Cup. I have not managed to save everything regarding transfers and statistics but I will be able to post some screenshots detailing how we got on in the various competitions. 

COMPETITIONS:

GFA Premier Division:

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We managed to comfortably regain the domestic league title having lost out to rivals Hard Rock FC the year previous. We played some excellent football and were actually able to record the first ever unbeaten league season in the clubs history. Our points total of 50 was the highest ever in Grenadian domestic football history. 

In the end this league win was very comfortable with our two closest challengers, Hard Rock and Paradise, well off the pace. There was a minor shock as Hurricanes, who have been one of the better sides in recent years, found themselves being relegated to the First Division. 

Waggy-T Super Knockout:

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For the third season in a row we were crowned champions of the Waggy-T Super Knockout, Grenada's only domestic cup competition. We were easy victors in all for games we played and we had one of the easiest journeys to the final as the two other strong sides, Hard Rock and Paradise, created out in the First Round and the Semi Finals respectively. 

North American League:

Since we finished third in the Caribbean Champions Cup, we were entered into the North American League, which is essentially the UEFA Cup of North America. The format was fairly simple, a number of two-legged knockout games eventually leading to a final. 

We entered in the first round and that was as far as we made it.

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We were drawn against El Salvador side CD FAS and they duly dispatched us with a 5-1 aggregate scoreline. Despite being dumped out in the opening round this was still a significant result in Caribbean footballing history as we became the first side from Grenada to actually appear in the North American League. 

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I mean that sort of summarises the overall results of the 2019 season but obviously a lot more happened with regards to personnel, transfers, tactics and club information but I will address all of that when I start writing detailed updates again!

That is, if people want to start reading this again! Saying that, the reason I want to keep writing is because it is a fun way for me to document (and keep a record of) everything that is going on in this save. It has been one of my favourite to play through thus far and one that I think I will enjoy looking back on!

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Update 17: 2020 Season

Team: Mount Rich
Division: GFA Premier Division

I told you I have played quite a lot without updating! The whole of the 2020 season has been and gone also and this one was just as exciting as the last! I will again be able to update you with what happened regarding standings and competition results but do not have any statistics, transfer news etc saved as screenshots. 

COMPETITIONS:

GFA Premier Division:

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We recorded back to back domestic division titles for the first time in my managerial career. We failed to go unbeaten this season though, losing one game to Happy Hill but we still recorded a mammoth points total of 49 and ended the year conceding just eight goals. 

Hard Rock FC had a miserable season and almost found themselves being relegated! Our nearest rivals were a surprise Happy Hill side who, for a long while, looked like they might challenge us for the title all the way. Fortunately they dropped a few points just after the midseason point and we were able to clinch our third domestic title in just four years. 

Waggy-T Super Knockout:

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It is safe to say that I have a bit of a love affair with this competition as we claimed the domestic cup title for the fourth consecutive year! 

I have won this competition in every season since taking over as Mount Rich boss and this season was particularly straight forward as we once again avoided the bigger names. We only conceded once goal in the four knockout games and emphatically beat title rivals Happy Hill in the final with three first half goals. 

CFU Champions Cup:

Having won the domestic title the season before we were once again entered into the Caribbean Champions Cup. 

Initial Group Stages:

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We overcame a fairly tricky group and a shock draw against Saint-Martin side Marigot to finish as winners of our initial group. Victory over classy Jamaican side Arnett Gardens in the last round of fixtures was enough to ensure we progressed. 

Final Group Stages:

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Make no mistake about it, this was a tough group, but somehow we managed to come away with three victories and this meant we would be progressing onto the semi final stage for the second consecutive year. We managed three victories here, including a very important one over Trinidad & Tobago side Central FC.

Semi Finals:

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The semi finals saw us drawn against Cuban champions Villa Clara and we played out a highly entering tie against them. We actually led 3-2 at halftime but there was always going to be more goals in this one and when they took the lead in the 81st minute I thought that was the end of that. 

We popped up with a late leveller though, in the 88th minute and forced the game into extra time. We failed to take advantage when Villa Clara had a player sent off in the closing stages and instead saw the tie go to penalties. We missed two of our spot kicks and unfortunately were knocked out of the competition at this stage for the second year in a row. 

North American League:

We also lost in the Third Place Playoff for the Champions Cup but it did not matter too much as we still qualified for the North American League once again. 

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These results were all played over two legs and for the first time in Grenadian football history we managed to make it to the quarter finals. 

In the opening round we defeated Motagua of Honduras, courtesy of a 2-0 win in the away leg. The semis saw us face off against Costa Rican side Alajuelense. We actually managed to win the home tie by a scoreline of 3-2 but they smashed us 3-0 in Costa Rica and ultimately we were knocked out of the competition. 

Still, it is nice to see that we are making some progress with regards to continental competitions, despite still being a semi-professional side and originating from the small island of Grenada. 

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Whilst that concludes the domestic side of things for Mount Rich, manager James Yates found himself on the hunt for a new challenge this season and he was duly awarded a job in international management. 

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I was applying for the odd international job here and there when they became available and I actually got offered this one and the Panama one. Deciding that I wanted to consider something outside of the Caribbean I opted for this one and James Yates became the manager of Kenya. 

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It has been a pretty hectic first year in charge, with qualifiers going on for both the African Cup of Nations and The World Cup. Amazingly, we ended up qualifying for the Cup of Nations, progressing from a group that contained Uganda, Mauritania and a strong Democratic Republic of Congo side, and with the competition due to start in June 2021, that is definitely something to look forward to. 

The 2022 World Cup qualifiers also got started and we won both of our opening fixtures, against Benin and Liberia respectively. In order to have any chance of qualifying we must finish atop our group, one that also contains Egypt, and so whilst that looks unlikely, we have got off to a very positive start. 

The final international commitment for this year saw me win my first ever international trophy.

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The CECAFA Cup (which stands for the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association) is a yearly competition in which the 12 best East and Central African nations compete in a mini group/knockout tournament. 

We came through a tricky group thanks to an emphatic victory over Sudan before then smashing rivals Ethiopia in the semi-final by a scoreline of 5-0. The final was a much more nervy affair but we managed to secure a victory over Uganda following a very very tense penalty shootout. 

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There will be loads more to come this season from both Mount Rich and from Kenya as I will now revert back to full, detailed updates. I am sorry that everything has been on a bit of a speed-up but hopefully you now feel adequately caught up for when I start writing properly again. 

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Right, so following two whistle-stop updates where we got caught up with what happened over the past two seasons, I am now back to writing in a bit more detail. 

To start, I think it would be a good idea to take a look at Mount Rich themselves. I am entering my fifth year with the small Grenadian club and, during that time, they have risen to one of the most recognisable clubs not only in the country but in the Caribbean as a whole. 

Welcome everyone, to Mount Rich

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Club Background:

As you may recall, Mount Rich are a small semi-professional football club located on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Formed in 1986, the little club had won no notable silverware before my reign of excellence began. Since I joined, the club have won the domestic league title on three occasions and secured the domestic cup trophy four, consecutive, times. In addition, we have become regular representatives in the CFU Caribbean Cup, successfully reaching the semi finals stage the past two years. 

We still hold a one star, national level, reputation rating but we are now easily the most recognisable side in Grenada.

Facilities:

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Not too much has changed with regards to our facilities over the past two seasons. Despite winning quite a lot of silverware, the prize money on offer for semi-professional, Grenadian football has not been quite enough to fund much in the way of improvements to any training facilities. 

One area that we have continued to improve on however is our youth set-up. Our junior coaching is now up to an adequate level and our youth recruitment is extensive. This, coupled with our fairly decent Head of Youth Development, has seen a number of good prospects come through the youth system in recent years. 

Last season saw lots of opposing sides complain about the condition of our pitch, which currently sits at poor. Hopefully I can get that relaid before the new season begins. I would also love to turn this club professional, and I constantly keep asking the board whenever I can, but they repeatedly sight the clubs financial position as the main reason for not wanting to do so. 

Competitions:

The main competition that we participate in is the GFA Premier Division, the token domestic league tournament of Grenada. This top league consists of 10 different sides (with everyone playing each other twice for a total of 18 fixtures), with the top two sides qualifying for the CFU Caribbean Cup. The bottom two teams are automatically relegated to the first division, whilst the side finishing 8th has to contend with a relegation playoff to ensure their survival. 

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We have pretty much dominated the domestic scene in Grenada ever since I joined, winning three league titles in my four seasons with the club. We did have one slip-up in 2018 when we finished 2nd, behind Hard Rock FC. I would like to end my reign in Grenada by making Mount Rich the most successful side in history. To do so I would need to win six total league titles, which would surpass the current record of five held by Hard Rock FC. 

The second competition that we will be playing in is the domestic cup, the superbly named Waggy-T Super Knockout Football Tournament. This small cup consists of just three, one-leg, knockout rounds prior to a final played in the national team's stadium. 

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Whilst we have definitely dominated the domestic league the cup competition is where our superiority reigns supreme. Since I joined the club, four seasons ago, we are yet to lose a fixture in the Waggy-T Super Knockout. We have won four consecutive trophies and this means we are now tied with Paradise Sports Club for the most in Grenadian football history. My aim this season then is to win a record fifth cup trophy!

The final competition that we will be taking part in is actually the first to begin this season. The CFU Champions Cup is essentially the Caribbean equivalent of the champions league, yet it is absolutely massive. A total of 64 teams enter the opening round and are split into a whopping 16 different groups. The sides taking part are from all over the Caribbean but the first round draw has already been made.

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We were drawn in Group N alongside Helenites, RC Riviere-Pilote and SV Juventus!

The weakest side in this group is probably Helenites Sports Club. I am not sure why their division is missing from this page but they are from the US Virgin Islands and are the current domestic champions. They are an amateur team, yet they have won the top domestic title in their country on four different occasions and are listed as the nations second most reputable side. 

Next up are Sporting Vereniging Juventus from Bonaire. They are a semi-professional outfit and, like ourselves, are the most recognised side in their nation. They are led my a trio of very talented teenage newgens, all of whom are regulars in the countries senior national side. 18 year old defender Lacy Frans has already made 30 senior appearances for his country!

Finally, and probably our toughest opponents, we have Racing Club De Riviere-Pilote. This is another semi-professional team but from Martinique. We have played against opposition from Martinique before in this competition and I imagine this guys will give us a very interesting game. They have a number of senior internationals in their side but this appears to be their first foray in the Champions Cup, having won the domestic title for the first time ever last season. 

Yet again, we will play each side once with just the top placed team progressing, meaning one poor performance could easily see us dumped out of the competition in the early stages. Considering we have made it to the semi finals the past two seasons, I would be very disappointed if we failed to get out of this group but, unfortunately, in a tournament such as this, anything can happen!

Grenadian Football:

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When looking for international jobs I was constantly keeping an eye on the status of the Grenada job as that would be one I would definitely want to claim. Unfortunately though, Andrew Munroe is seemingly set to manage the national side forever and, to be fair to him, he has done a pretty good job thus far. 

When I started this save, Grenada were ranked 161st in the world but they have climbed to 147th thanks mostly to a pretty good showing in the CFU Caribbean Cup. They reached the second group stage round but were ultimately knocked out by Martinique. 

Still, things look fairly positive for the future and Munroe has developed a very young squad. A number of my players have become mainstays in the national set-up but the weirdest addition has been Kimron Sampson, an 18 year old newgen from Manchester City in England. This guy looks to be an insane striker and, despite having English as a second nationality, he seemingly has decided to represent his home nation at international level. He has only just appeared on the scene but has scored four goals in his first six appearances and looks set to lead the Grenadian frontline for the foreseeable future. 

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So that concludes my reintroduction to Mount Rich and to Grenada in general. I will be back shortly with an update regarding our CFU Champions Cup progress and then we will have a more in-depth look at the current squad and tactical approach that I am using. 

I will also post an update on my international exploits with Kenya which, up until this point, have been remarkably fun. I have the African Cup of Nations coming up midway through this calendar year so that should be very enjoyable to experience!

Thanks for everyone reading and hopefully the quick updates covering the past two seasons were enough to fill you in on what has happened thus far!

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Well done on improving Grenadian football, i've never heard of the 'North American League'.

 

Just wondering how many leagues you have open, as you refer to a lot of the teams you played like the Martinique and Cuban as "they have a lot of internationals in their squad", where as if this was my save they'd probably be all grey'd out players lol

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55 minutes ago, ryanlion28 said:

Well done on improving Grenadian football, i've never heard of the 'North American League'.

 

Just wondering how many leagues you have open, as you refer to a lot of the teams you played like the Martinique and Cuban as "they have a lot of internationals in their squad", where as if this was my save they'd probably be all grey'd out players lol

Thanks Ryan!

I have a fair few of the smaller leagues loaded up (including both Martinique and Cuba) and this has meant almost all of the Caribbean nations have a full international side! I'm not a fan of national sides having greyed out players but theres a setting you can tick when loading a custom database that ensures all 'current' international players are included when the game is loaded up. 

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11 hours ago, sc91 said:

Brilliant and detailed read as always, glad it’s back.

Thanks sc91!

Hopefully I will be able to keep up this time!

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