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[FM18] On Top Of The Weld: A Titanic Challenge

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On Top Of The Weld: A Titanic Challenge

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Introduction

The Harland & Wolff cranes Samson and Goliath dominate the skyline in Belfast. Now diversifying into repairs, civil engineering and offshore energy, Harland & Wolff are most famous for being one the greatest shipmakers of all time. The White Star Line ships Olympic, Britannic and of course the Titanic were all built by Harland & Wolff. In the height of it's heyday H & W employed thousands of people from the city and one faction of these, the Welders, decided to set up their own Football & Social Club in 1965. 

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In I come as a young up-and-coming manager with a dream of making Harland & Wolff famous for it's youth academy as well as it's ships. It's going to be a titanic challenge though, considering we're starting without a youth setup at all...

We're also expected to finish 11th out of 12, so it could be a tough first season.

Key Players

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Yes that's right, our best player is 41 years old :lol:. I reckon we can get a couple more seasons out of him.

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McKeown is exactly the kind of experienced player you need in your side, his mental attributes are very impressive, though his pace is woeful.

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Not the most technically gifted strikers, but he makes up for it with pace, movement and composure.

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Our only foreigner, but you certainly wouldn't mess with him! He's a man mountain at 6'5 and will sit in our midfield to win it in the air or on the ground and move it on.

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McMurray is the injection of pace in our backline, helping cover for the lack of pace in players like McKeown.

 

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15 minutes ago, bigmattb28 said:

Great idea for a thread mate. I'll be following! Good luck

Cheers @bigmattb28!

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I think this shows the gulf in ability between the top teams (Portadown in particular!) and those at the bottom....

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23 minutes ago, JDeeguain said:

For a 41 year old that guy is rapid, probably great for that level too.

Oh yes he's good for this level, goals and assists galore for him so far :D

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42 minutes ago, smp20 said:

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I think this shows the gulf in ability between the top teams (Portadown in particular!) and those at the bottom....

Knockbreda, there's a team name I haven't seen in years. Nepenthez had a save years ago which went into 50+ years game time, back before he went down the FIFA path. 

Good luck with this one, looking forward to seeing the 41 year old bang some goals in. 

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3 hours ago, ToMexico!! said:

Knockbreda, there's a team name I haven't seen in years. Nepenthez had a save years ago which went into 50+ years game time, back before he went down the FIFA path. 

Good luck with this one, looking forward to seeing the 41 year old bang some goals in. 

Cheers @ToMexico!! - I hope that my 41 year old can keep it up for a few years to come :p. Knockbreda are one of our minor rivals being another small club from Belfast :thup:

2 hours ago, SmileFaceGamer said:

The world watches...

Didn't know the World was watching :lol:...pressure's on then!

2 hours ago, Blah_1123 said:

Love the thread title. Following.

Cheers :D

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Harland & Wolff 2017/18 Mid-Season Report

League Results

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We started the season exceptionally well with 6-0, 7-4 and 3-0 victories, but this was swiftly followed by an extremely poor run of form including 6 straight defeats. We fell from the euphoria of being top of the league to just a point above a relegation spot. Luckily we regained some form and we're stable in the league.

League Table

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Institute are flying high but Larne aren't too far behind them. We're just 3 points behind Portadown who occupy the last play-off spot so we've got a chance of catching them. There are 12 games left, at 22 games the table splits and you play each other team in the half twice. Hopefully we will be in the top half!

Domestic Cups

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We made reasonable progress in Steel & Sons and Bet McLean cups, but it was our incredible run in the County Antrim Cup that has been the highlight of the season. We stormed past giants Clinftonville 5-2 and followed this up with a penalty victory against Linfield and extra time win against holders Ballymena in the final to lift the trophy for the first time!

Player Stats

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As you can see 41-year-old David Rainey has been our best performer, averaging 8.13, scoring 24 goals in 23 games and adding 11 assists too.

Youth Setup

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I've asked 3 times for JC/YR to be upgraded but had this response every time. Doesn't look like we'll be getting a youth setup anytime soon :(

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Euphoria followed by Despair!

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A spoiler for the end of season update but I need to update this now. We managed to get into the playoffs and emphatically beat Institute. However...

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We've hit a bug :( :( :(. Because the final playoff game is down as a Danske Premier Division game only registered players can play and of course I can't register any players. u20s don't need to be registered so it leaves me with the following lineup to face Warrenpoint:

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Wish me luck, but I don't think we stand a chance with this side. FFS.

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The youngsters did us proud against the odds :D :D :D Top flight football here we come!!!!

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League Table ~ Results ~ Finances ~ Club Info ~ Facilities

A fantastic first season, overcoming adversity in the end to be able to clinch promotion to the top flight for the first time in the club's history. David Rainey, now 42, is a firm fan favourite and has cemented his place as a club legend. We had a decent run the NIR Cup, making it to the quarter-final. I'm looking forward to the challenge that next season brings us as we should, on paper at least, really struggle.

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Rainey has decided he will play one top flight season then retire - I'm going to try to squeeze more out of him!

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As expected his pace is going, but he's still an asset to the squad.

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We may not have any players for the u18s but it's a step in the right direction and our fringe players can keep fit in the reserves :). Hopefully we can add a youth setup this season.

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Harland & Wolff 2018/19 Mid-Season Report

League Results

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Once again we started the season well with 3 wins in our first 4. Our form has been up and down but I'm very happy with some of our results this season.

League Table

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We're looking very comfortable in mid-table after playing every team twice. Still 16 games to go though, so we better make sure we don't mess up!

Domestic Cups

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We retained the County Antrim Shiled and made it to the Bet McLean semi-final. I'm hoping for a good run in the NIR cup! Oh and:

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Our reserves won the Steel & Sons Cup :D

Player Stats

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With the majority of our fringe players being placed in our reserves we're operating with a small squad, though I could bring players up to cover injuries. Ross Arthurs has been our key player so far, while Rainey is starting to show signs that he's made the right decision to retire at the end of the season.

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We now have access to great training facilities :D

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Great progress so far. Must have been stressful when you spotted that playoff bug. Smart idea with the shared facilities.

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6 hours ago, Blah_1123 said:

Great progress so far. Must have been stressful when you spotted that playoff bug. Smart idea with the shared facilities.

Cheers. Yeah I would have been very p*ssed off if we had been thrashed, but our youngsters turned up when we needed them to :). Yeah it's always a good idea to share with a clubs facilities if there's a team around from lower leagues with great facilities. Saves us forking out millions to get to that stage!

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League Table ~ League Results ~ Cup Results ~ Facilities ~ Finances ~ Club Info ~ Staff

A 5th place finish and cup treble is more than I could have ever hoped for in our debut top flight season. The team are so well gelled together and are 'willing to die for one another', consistently performing well above their actual ability. Glenavon retained the title, having not won in previously since 1960, while Glentoran managed to avoid relegation for the first time in their history by winning the playoff. Thanks to our cup runs and decent crowds in the league vs Belfast sides we are looking strong financially, though we are no closer to starting our own youth academy. I've been trying to add it into my contract negotiations but no luck so far and I need to sign a deal soon. We've got a decent backroom now, not going to bother with HOYD or U18s staff until we actually have players for them to coach...

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With the exception of Rainey who started to lose his starting place, we've got a pretty settled 11 now. We lost a couple of youngsters to Portadown - they weren't exactly high potential players but with a slimline squad we need as many players as possible. I've secured all first teamers to proper part-time contracts - Arthurs and Gwiazda are rewarded with decent money. The latter rejected a return to professional football in Poland to stay with us :).

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We say goodbye to Rainey, who made his last appearance for the club aged 43 in the Northern Irish Cup Final, playing the full 90 minutes and getting on the scoresheet. I've offered him a role as a scout - he's crap but I don't find throwing him £20 a week to keep him affiliated with the club :cool:

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Well that was probably the worst draw we could have got...

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A very, very good effort. Was expecting a thrashing! We may not have managed to score, but  1-0 aggregate defeat is something to be proud of.

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Thanks to the money brought in from playing in Europe, our chairman has decided to accept the addition of our own academy :D :D :D 

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Played FM for 10 years and never knew about the shared facilities thing :eek:, learn something new everyday and that.

Fantastic progress so far, hopefully the European draw next season is kinder for more dolla dolla bills.

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9 hours ago, JDeeguain said:

Played FM for 10 years and never knew about the shared facilities thing :eek:, learn something new everyday and that.

Fantastic progress so far, hopefully the European draw next season is kinder for more dolla dolla bills.

Cheers @JDeeguain! It's only something I've noticed and utilised in the last couple of FMs. Fingers crossed we have another shot at Europe soon.

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Harland Wolffpack 2020

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I wasn't expecting too much from our very first intake but I'm pretty happy with this first ''Wolffpack''. Agnew and Lamont with the right training and tutoring could become key first teamers - they're already straight into the squad.

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League Table ~ Domestic Cups ~ Facilities ~ Finances

On the face of it it looks like a poor season compared to last season, however I'm happy as we're still overachieving. Some of our key players are aging (indeed some retired already) so we were always going to start struggling, it's just as well we've finally opened our academy. We looked a long way from European football, but finishing top of the bottom half gave us a chance in the playoffs and we managed to beat Glentoran and Coleraine to steal the last spot in Europe. We've managed to improve our youth facilities once, which cost us £80k, and we've had 3 JC and 2 YR upgrades since opening the academy.

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It's clear to see our favoured 11, perhaps with exception to up front where Arthurs was injured for a while and McKay and Arbuthnot rotated. I'm going to give Agnew and Lamont plenty of game time next season to help get them ready to replace the old guard.

Oh and apologies for no mid-season update, I was too busy racing through the season!

 

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The only nation ranked worse than us now is San Marino...

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A good run in Europe to be proud of :). We almost screwed up in Macedonia after a cracking 5-1 win at home but managed to hold on and we kept it competitive with a far superior Genoa side.

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A great start to your career with the Welders and progress has been rapid to have qualified for Europe already. I'm impressed that you managed to get so much out of a 41-year-old and think it was a stroke of genius to get  QUB as an affiliate and use their great training facilities (wish I'd thought of that!!). 

I don't like the personality of some of the youth intake players though, a lot of low determination among the best prospects. Have you managed to hire a decent HoYD? 

Good luck with this although the way you have started shows that you're unlikely to need it. Will be following.

Edited by pheelf

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1 hour ago, pheelf said:

A great start to your career with the Welders and progress has been rapid to have qualified for Europe already. I'm impressed that you managed to get so much out of a 41-year-old and think it was a stroke of genius to get  QUB as an affiliate and use their great training facilities (wish I'd thought of that!!). 

I don't like the personality of some of the youth intake players though, a lot of low determination among the best prospects. Have you managed to hire a decent HoYD? 

Good luck with this although the way you have started shows that you're unlikely to need it. Will be following.

Cheers @pheelf - very happy with the fast progress with a squad that's no better than mid-table 2nd tier at best :). To be fair Rainey was pretty poor in his top flight season, but still got a few goals. QUB are a blessing, saving us millions! Just better hope they don't get promoted to the top tier (or us relegated) and have the tie cut as we're in the same division :lol:

I don't actually have a HOYD as I couldn't find a half decent one, but this is my u18s manager responsible for the youth intakes:

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He's had 3 spells at the club as a player, assuming he was a keeper given his great GK coaching attributes.

I'm going to be going back to read your Chimney Corner thread :)

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Further steps towards building the best academy in NIR!

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Whoops I wasn't expecting it to be that expensive :eek:

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Harland & Wolf 2020/21 Mid-Season Report

We started the season really well and looked like we might challenge for a top 4 finish, but we've slipped back into our familiar mid-table position. We're 5th, which I'm happy with tbh. We also got to the County semis, league cup final and of course still to play the NIR cup.

League

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Cups

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Player Stats

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Harland Wolffpack 2021

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A very exciting group of players with 3 ready for the first team. Conor Kelly will no doubt become our number 1, Aaron Topley has pace to burn and will be straight into our first 11 up top while James Hanna will become our right back.

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10 minutes ago, kidthekid said:

Topley should average at least a goal every 2 games for you

Good prediction, he's got 3 in 6 in his first season! I'm fully expecting 20+ goals from now on though, that pace is lethal in our 3 striker system.

Edited by smp20

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League Table ~ League Results ~ Cup Results ~ Finances ~ Facilities

Despite finishing with 5 wins in a row, it was ultimately disappointing not to have finished in the top half of the split which meant that this year we missed out on the European Playoff. We lost another final to Linfield and had our worst performance in the NIR yet. I'm pretty disappointed, but I could see it coming. Our defence is getting very old and the younger generations aren't quite ready for the step up yet. Can't fault our attacking side this season though, scoring more than any other side in the league. Financially we've taken a big hit after upgrading our youth facilities and we'll have no Euro money to compensate :(

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Amstrong, Spence, McMillan, McMurray and Harris are all starting to really decline now - Spence is retiring and I expect the rest will lose their places in the lineup to youngsters soon. We've got 5 youth products that have appeared for the first team, Agnew and Lamont featuring significantly.

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In the first full season of existence our U18s won the NIR league and cup showing signs of a promising future for the club.

Edited by smp20

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Harland & Wolff 2021/22 Mid-Season Report

We've found ourselves in a title run - but lets also all take a look at Linfield :lol:

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Harland Wolffpack 2022

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I'm very excited about Ben Roy - straight into the first 11!!!

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League Table ~ League Results ~ Cup Results ~ Facilities ~ Finances ~ Club Info

Our best season yet in terms of league progress, despite not picking up any trophies. We challenged for the title, but a 6-3 defeat at home against Glenavon ensured that they won the league for the 4th time in 5 seasons. Two final losses and one semi-final loss shows that we are competing on all fronts; our reserves even made the Steel & Sons final losing to Cliftonville AET. Our facilities and youth setup are now the best in the country and we should reap the rewards in future intakes. I'm glad we've got a shot at Europe as we're not in the best financial position - still in the black just!

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7 of our best 11 are now academy players which is good going considering it's only been open for 3 years! McDonnell came in as 'easily discouraged' but after some tutoring is now a decent option. He will be first team once Harris and McMillan have retired/deteriorated. Topley was the pick of the bunch; hardly surprised with his speed!

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Just wanted to post Glenavon's manager Gary Hamilton. He's been the big reason behind their success, utter class!

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