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On 01/11/2018 at 19:55, phnompenhandy said:

Come tae think o' it, given your situation, I am including Stirling Uni in my level 6 too, so I could take on your smarter neighbours instead ;-)

It's going to be Edinburgh University - in Vanarama North! Trialling it now. Stirling Albion are in Van National; no Forfar I'm afraid. Tune in later ....

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5 hours ago, phnompenhandy said:

It's going to be Edinburgh University - in Vanarama North! Trialling it now. Stirling Albion are in Van National; no Forfar I'm afraid. Tune in later ....

Aww.. A bridge Forfar perhaps?

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3 hours ago, Deisler26 said:

Aww.. A bridge Forfar perhaps?

giphy.gif

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12 hours ago, Deisler26 said:

Aww.. A bridge Forfar perhaps?

Maybe the worst pun on the forum in my time, Fofar...

 

 

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On 02/11/2018 at 17:08, phnompenhandy said:

It's going to be Edinburgh University - in Vanarama North! Trialling it now. Stirling Albion are in Van National; no Forfar I'm afraid. Tune in later ....

Now that definitely should be interesting, I'll keep an eye out.

On 02/11/2018 at 22:23, Deisler26 said:

Aww.. A bridge Forfar perhaps?

Oh God, I don't even know what to say to that... Hopefully someone comes along with a suitable gif to sum it up for me

On 03/11/2018 at 01:49, ManUtd1 said:

giphy.gif

Ah, right on cue!

On 03/11/2018 at 10:28, BoxToBox said:

Maybe the worst pun on the forum in my time, Fofar...

My thread has achieved something! Yay!

 

So I've had a few days away, but I'm back and playing FM so hopefully a few updates today.

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1120656019_StationPark.png.9bb69751ad1f375e9acfe5e2fd5e4db7.png

Station Park would be our new home after the move to Forfar

Entry 16:

I hate upheaval. The move to Dundee has been a weird one for me, at least Stirling was a part of the world that I was somewhat familiar with, Dundee on the other hand is somewhere I don't know well at all and I was struggling with my change in surroundings. The commute to Forfar wasn't a bad one, and even with the all the dreaded change, I was still pleased with the opportunity presented to me. Forfar weren't a team in a downward swing, in fact last year their manager had taken them to the playoffs before resigning from the club of his own accord. I didn't get why until I arrived, discovering a very, very thin 13 man squad and our better players in sharp decline, I needed to react quickly.

Thankfully, it was a good time of year to join as I knew a lot of the bigger clubs would be letting their players walk, and knew with a club of our size and the finances afforded to us these were the kind of players we would need to go after. That's exactly what we did, with a total of 17 players arriving - not all would be in the first team squad, but a lot would be. It was strange having to rebuild a team that was so successful, but we were so short on players that I truly needed to. Lee Duncanson and Scott Gray were good young players to come in as backup full back options, Scott Reekie and Ewan Gourlay were great young centre back options, with former Dundee United youngster Scott likely to slot into my first team, and we were also able to snare a more experienced back up in Ross Dunlop from Alloa - The final centre half joining, Stuart Morrison is definitely a reserve option this year. In midfield we added a collection of Aberdeen academy graduates, Sean Linden would be an able deputy on the right side, while Miko Virtanen was likely to start in the middle of the park, and Lewis Duncan a really exciting option in the number 10 role, there was also Jack Chesser who would certainly be given opportunities to impress in the centre of midfield. Craig Henderson of Livingston and Leon Murphy of Queen of the South would battle it out for a starting birth on the left flank, while Cameron Palmer from Rangers is the kind of player that at 19 should be great for us at this level and will certainly go on to enjoy a career at a higher level. Up front was an absolute scatter gun approach, as only player/assistant manager John Baird was a recognised senior striker, and he is certainly in the twilight of his career. Joshua Jack and Matthew Grant will certainy get their chance here, with other signings Niyah Joseph and Jamie Gullan more likely to be used in reserve fixtures as we see how they develop.

It had been absolutely breathless being involved in all of these signings, and it has certainly led us to a few teething problems as we opened our season in the league cup.

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It was a group that I knew would likely cause us problems, and so it proved to be. The Stirling result was horrible to take, I got a good reception at the start of the game, but what unfolded was tough to take. A 94th minute equaliser for Stirling was followed by a shootout defeat and some post match comments that will likely see me never welcomed so warmly at Forthbank Stadium in the future. I was smarting from how the campaign unfolded, we should never be finishing 4th in that group, but that is where we ultimately ended up.

Hopefully these are just teething problems, and me trying to get myself adjusted to a new club, I've never liked change particularly, so I'm sure we'll overcome this as I settle in.

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Loons Considering Lawrence' Position

It's certainly still early days for Jack Lawrence in his tenure at Forfar, but fans are certainly not showing any faith or patience in the young manager, in his second role in management after leaving Stirling Albion at the end of last season. Sources close to the club have today confirmed they share similar views to the fans, and that Lawrence may already be on his way out at Station Park.

A comfortable win against East Kilbride in the Irn Bru Cup, and a dramatic late equaliser against local rivals Arbroath may not be enough to keep Lawrence in his job, with a faltering start including a loss to Falkirk and dropped points against Stranraer.

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Entry 17:

I tried to avoid gossip collums, with my mind set being as it is it doesn't sit well with me, and to be honest there's usually nothing to it. This, however, came to my attention and has really upset me. Despite some of the batterings I've taken from the press I've never shied away from them and always been accomodating to their questions, but the response I get is for them to just spin utter lies. Falkirk are a team who are far too big for this level and we certainly let them know they were in a game, and the results against Airdrie, Stenhousemuir and Arbroath are certainly respectable. I don't feel the pressure on me from the board, nothing has even been mentioned but here I am having to deal with this kind of stuff already.

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They better not sack me. I'm 2 months into a twelve month lease on a flat just outside Dundee, and to be honest it's the only place I ever venture to in the city. I'm really not yet comfortable with my surroundings. I wasn't able to bring Ally or Gordon with me to Forfar, and that lack of guidance is really hurting my confidence, add in that I'm hundreds of miles from friends or family and this is certainly the lowest I've felt in my footballing career.

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Entry 18:

Consistency and momentum are things I find really difficult to come by. When you're in a depression spiral, when you've really been struggling to face the day, and you've been unable to get out of bed for days on end, the hardest thing is to force yourself back into that routine, that sense of normality. I find football can be very similar, once you get into a habit of not picking up points, it's hard to see where the next one is going to come. Similarly, when you're doing well and in that routine, it seems a lot easier than normal for everything to just keep flowing in the right direction.

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The month started with a tactical change. While I didn't agree with the notion that we had been poor in terms of results, our performances hadn't been quite to where I'd hoped, and I ended up going a lot narrower with 3 central midfielders, a central attacking midfielder and two strikers. With this in mind, I took advantage of the international break and arranged 2 friendlies to get ourselves up to speed. We didn't see immediate improvement in terms of results, but the performance against Brecin would have been worthy of 3 points, we then thoroughly deserved to progress in the Irn Bru Cup, Dundee who were relegated to the Championship last year have started the season fantastically well, but John Baird's goal was no less than we deserved on the day. Edinburgh City at home was comfortable, and then the game against Clyde is one that they would have had no complaints if we'd beaten them by 2 or 3, we just couldn't find the back of the net on the day.

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So, while winning and picking up points hasn't quite become a habit for us yet, the performances are looking a lot sharper, and if we can make that become more habitual then I've no doubt we'll meet our aims of making the playoffs this year. We're just going to ignore Falkirk, though, I think.

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On 03/11/2018 at 17:28, BoxToBox said:

Maybe the worst pun on the forum in my time, Fofar...

 

 

Forfar vor, amigo?  :hammer:

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12 hours ago, King Cactus said:

I didn't get why until I arrived, discovering a very, very thin 13 man squad and our better players in sharp decline, I needed to react quickly.

It's just like Real Madrid! ;)

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Mid-table - raises the question if you're a glass half full or half empty.

The board should be looking at the table and thinking, 6 points from safety; only 3 points from the play-offs. You should be fine :thup:

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10 hours ago, phnompenhandy said:

It's just like Real Madrid! ;)

If I perform anything like Lopetegui then I'm uninstalling the game, haha.

8 hours ago, phnompenhandy said:

Mid-table - raises the question if you're a glass half full or half empty.

The board should be looking at the table and thinking, 6 points from safety; only 3 points from the play-offs. You should be fine :thup:

I'm not overly concerned, I promised the board playoffs so I'm slipping below 50% but we'll be fine.

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Lawrence Claims Manager Of The Month

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In a month that saw a more favourable run of fixtures for the young manager, Forfar seem to have finally gotten their season on track. The home loss to Arbroath had many fans suggesting that the youngster was out of his depth, and last season's good run with Stirling may have been luck, or solely down to his experienced backroom staff including Ally McCoist and Gordon Greer. Since then, it seems things are finally coming together, with an impressive 8 goals in the remaining three fixtures.

Detractors have been quick to point out that these results have come against sides really struggling in League 1, but Forfar chairman Ross Graham has defended his manager saying that his side are showing the signs of life he expects from them.

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Entry 18:

It's been rough. I'm winning people around, finally, but after the Arbroath game I was worried for a second there. That's a local derby and a game I expect us to perform much better in. The fixture that stuck with me most was our loss with Rangers Reserves, I know they're a massive club in comparison to us but I hate the notion that we should ever be losing to a team in our own country's reserves - that is something I don't want to ever experience again. The Morton result in the cup, on the other hand, was expected. Maybe I tried to be too positive against a well established side from the league above us, and that's something I'll look to learn from as the season progresses. Our cup results have meant that we now solely have the leauge to focus on, so no more excuses for faltering.

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We're still definitely in the hunt, I don't fear relegation at all, but the board don't want that to even be a question. I think we have enough about us to reign in Clyde who have really pushed me about in my managerial career, and I don't think Arbroath have enough about them to maintain where they are at this stag of the season. Falkirk, as I've already said, are so far above the level of our league it's laughable, so I'm not even thinking about them.

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We did make our first step onto our UEFA qualification badges, and it definitely came at the right time, as with our good run of form the board allowed me to instantly push into the Continental B licence, which I should hopefully conclude by the end of this season. I've managed to dust myself off from the early grilling I've taken from the press, I feel like I'm progressing again. I just need the players to do the same, now.

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Aye, steadily moving in the right direction - well away from trouble and into the play-off spots. 3rd should be easily attainable.

 

But wait a wee minute - Ally McCoist? He's MINE. My Director of Football, Pat Nevin brought his fellow TV celebrity to me at Edinburgh University :D

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9 minutes ago, phnompenhandy said:

Aye, steadily moving in the right direction - well away from trouble and into the play-off spots. 3rd should be easily attainable.

 

But wait a wee minute - Ally McCoist? He's MINE. My Director of Football, Pat Nevin brought his fellow TV celebrity to me at Edinburgh University :D

:lol: He was mine first! Keep an eye out for Gordon Greer! ;) I couldn't get away with Nevin, I know you need a DoF for your challenge, and I looked at him too but his stats were atrocious!

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2 minutes ago, King Cactus said:

:lol: He was mine first! Keep an eye out for Gordon Greer! ;) I couldn't get away with Nevin, I know you need a DoF for your challenge, and I looked at him too but his stats were atrocious!

He's found me, good players, though.

 

I can't choose any of my staff as well as players. No wonder I'm bottom of the heap on zero points, eh?

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Entry 19:

I hate what this does to me, but even more so I hate what it does to people around me. I've been struggling at Forfar, sharing a flat with strangers again has caused me to isolate myself through anxiety, I can't even go into the kitchen in my own home if I know someone else is in there. It's really causing a straing on my relationship with my parents, they keep insisting that I need to come home if the medication isn't helping or working anymore, but I just can't do it. I can't uproot my whole life again, and I can't give up on this career I'm forging for myself. I keep trying to insist that to them, but I'm not sure they understand.

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One thing I can say, is results have certainly picked up. The fact that I've been successful in what I'm doing should hopefully mean that if I do have to give up on what I'm doing in Forfar, I should hopefully be able to still get a job at a team slightly closer to home. The only other alternative is we continue to overachieve, and I get a job somewhere thatpays me enough that I can afford to not live with people and have those constant stresses in my own home.

January did see a slight reshuffle of the squad, youngster Sean Linden who we signed on a free in the summer was sold on for £10k + sell on fee as we weren't operating with wingers, while Lewis Duncan who had been operating well when given the chance behind the strikers was also sold to Hamilton for £14k + sell on fee, however this deal I also added in a loan until the end of the season. I wanted to strengthen the midfield and striking departments, and so loaned Russell Dingwall and Gregor MacDonald from Ross County, they should be more than capable at this level. We also added Mati Zata, an extremely capable midfielder from Dundee United, however I did have to part with £18k of the money we had aquired for his services.

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The media were consistently bringing it to my attention that my old club Stirling were performing admirably in League 2, sitting comfortably atop the table well beyond the midway point. They did seem to be wanting to goad a bitter answer out of me, but I'm pleased for them. I feel I had a part to play in righting that ship, and the fact those foundations have helped them push on slightly isn't lost on me, frankly long may it continue

***

I really need to try and make a dent in catching up on this haha. After that update I'm now about 17 months behind gameplay, which is mental. I don't think I've ever written anything more than 2-3 months in arrears. I suppose the bonus is if I decide to take a short break from FM I've got plenty cushion to write against until I get back playing, so any breaks won't be noticable. Anyway, starting to pick up with The Loons, by no means are we comfortably in the playoff places but we're there with 13 to go and that's what matters.

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"It Was Win Or Bust" - Shocking Revelation

In the aftermath of today's 4-2 win away at Stenhousemuir, Forfar manager Jack Lawrence admitted that if he hadn't secured a victory, his job was in certain peril. The win has at least secured Lawrence another year, who if rumours are to believed did sign a one-year contract extension with the club after victory at home to Edinburgh City last month. With just 5 games to go and the Loons on recent form looking likely to take a step back from last season's 3rd place finish, it may come as a shock to hear he has been given a new deal, but with their most recent run and some teams around them still to face they certainly are not out of the play off picture. Two goals from impressive January signing Russell Dingwall were enough to sway the result on the day.

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Entry 20:

So, sometimes the press aren't totally useless, and the only thing I can imagine is that the chairman has leaked news of my new deal, as I haven't even told player/assistant John Baird that I've signed a new deal. Hell, I haven't even gotten the nerve to let my family know yet. There was a caveat to the deal that I would now be earning £525 p/w before tax. About £1,800 per month which should be more than enough to rent my own place. The board did also make me aware that they weren't willing to fund me beyond the Continental B Licence that I should attain by the end of the season, so with me being part time this might allow me to do something on the side to earn a little bit more money on top.

It's a weight off my mind I suppose, just 2 and a bit more months until I can get out of this house, and my take home pay as it is in the minute means I've been saving a little bit every month, so we're definitely getting there in terms of living situation. However, as soon as my life looked settled off the pitch we had to go and fall off a cliff on it. It's very unlike us to not score, and the goals we're conceding are sloppy, but at least we're creating chances.

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With 5 games to go, Stranraer are gone and we can't be caught by Brechin, so I suppose at least we aren't going down, and while Arbroath haven't slipped up as I'd hoped they might, Airdrie haven't pushed on as I felt they would either. If we can just sneak into that last play-off spot and kill off the team from the league above again, I every chance of pulling this off. The only problem with that is, what the hell would we do with this club in the Championship?

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Entry 21:

A picture says more than I will ever be able to put into words. We bottled it. I'm gutted. None of the playoff teams were able to go up, but that's of little consolation to me as we fell short of our expectations for the year. The chairman wasn't angry but he certainly was by no means pleased with me, and some of the players I'd told we could do it were far from impressed. I did want to point out to a few of them that their performances had hardly helped us on that trajectory, but I held my tongue. It just isn't how I handle things and I didn't think it would help the situation, the best thing my dad eer taught me was "Just because you're right, doesn't mean you have to be right."

With the teams around us, remainingly largely the same, Alloa falling from the league above and my old club Stirling climbing from the league below, the league should be really close next year. With a few additions in the right areas and maybe some tactical tweaks I think this league is winnable, but do I really want to stay to find out?

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The final day at Dumbarton really hurt, they weren't in the conversation and had nothing but pride to play for and we just didn't turn up at all. I can forgive a loss provided we compete, but frankly we just didn't. The biggest area we would need if I do stay on is up front, Joshua Jack has been excellent and Russell Dingwall has done well in a 6 month loan spell, but we have zero depth and it really showed when they missed the odd game here or there.

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The upside to my time at the Loons is, with us at least performing ok as well as me continuing to get my qualifications, my stock is only rising in the Scottish game. I've already had to pack in a job in a pub near the training centre as too many people knew who I was and it was just awkward. The board have already said that they won't be putting me onto that next rung on the coaching ladder, and they do seem testy if we do have struggles, I don't know if I can mentally cope with that for another year. I haven't signed paper work on any new places to stay yet, because I honestly just do not know what to do.

***

Aaaaand that's season 2. Was really disappointed with how this played out. I could maybe have hung on at Stirling, got the same badges and had a competition win under my belt which maybe would have been better for rep, and I'm partially regretting the new deal as it means clubs may be put off me by compensation packages involved. Find out soon, I guess.

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An improptu 'holiday' to the idyllic Inverness

Entry 22:

Inverness and Graeme Murty part company by mutual consent was the banner on sky sports news as I sat in my flat, counting down the days until I'd have to find somewhere, or move into a hotel whilst I figure out my next step - any more than a few days of that would have started to test my savings and probably would have forced me to stay in Forfar for a second year. I got in my car immediately. I made no contact with the club, I just put the address of the stadium into my phone and set off, something felt right about it. I arrived at about 3pm having stopped for lunch, taken stock of the situation, and still deciding it was a good idea to go in, I waited around until 3:30pm having told the club receptionist I wanted to see the chairman, by 4:15pm he had finally caved and allowed me into his office.

"... We don't have permission to speak to you, why are you here?"

I'm the man for this job, and I agreed a payout in my contract when I signed it, £14,000 and I'm yours

"We can consider that. Now why should we consider you? You fell short of some very publicised goals."

We fell one result short, and I performed to expected standards or better above all other competitions. I'm ready to step up to a full time club, I can't keep leving pubs two weeks after they hire me because of awkward encounters with fans. Please.

"We don't have the parachute payments from the Premiership any more, money is tight. Are you sure you can handle the step up with those constraints?"

I drove 130 miles to be hear as soon as I heard about the vacancy. I have no doubt in myself, I've handled it before at other clubs, this is less of a jump than out of nothingness.

"Wait outside."

It felt like an eternity had passed. Graeme Rae seems like a sensible chairman, I'd surely be a cheap, low risk option, I'd never had a losing record anywhere and they're off the back of finishing 5th for the third successive season in the Championship. I knew I could deliver at least that.

"You're lucky. I caught Ross before he left the office."

That can only really mean Ross Graham, I felt the weight of every panic attack I'd ever had in a situation like this, but I know I deserve this, I held my nerve and opted against saying anything - my previous when opening my mouth when I feel like this invariably leads to me being sick, and I don't even have an elastic band in my pocket.

"£1500 per week, 1 year contract. I'm not negotiating"

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I have sputtered out a thank you and shook Graeme's hand. The club that beat me on my fateful first game at Stirling, comfortably, was now inviting me to earn full time wages at a rate beyond anything I could have dreamed, I'd have taken the offer for half.

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^ That's my team. Look carefully during a  lull in play and you'll see the dolphins frolicking in the Moray Firth :D

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I've been spending so much time getting my own game and career tale started that I hadn't had much time to read what other people were doing.  I decided to check out a few of the other threads here this evening, and I'm glad I did.  I just read through your thread, and it's excellent.  

Good luck with the new job, and keep up the good work!  Following.

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11 hours ago, phnompenhandy said:

^ That's my team. Look carefully during a  lull in play and you'll see the dolphins frolicking in the Moray Firth :D

I'm really excited to manage them! Got some Premiership potential, that's for sure. I've not actually done it as an away day, hopefully when they're back up some day.

8 hours ago, Greyfriars Bobby said:

I've been spending so much time getting my own game and career tale started that I hadn't had much time to read what other people were doing.  I decided to check out a few of the other threads here this evening, and I'm glad I did.  I just read through your thread, and it's excellent.  

Good luck with the new job, and keep up the good work!  Following.

That's really kind of you, man. Thanks.

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Entry 23:

I've found a home. I never had that feeling at Forfar, my living situation was stressful, my board never felt behind me, and I didn't see a long term. I cannot for a second say that with Inverness. They're a controversial club, the result of a merger of Caledonian and Inverness Thistle in August 1994, and all these years later some locals still refuse to follow the club, and I can't say I blame them in a sense. I mean, if Hibs and Hearts merged I'd be far from impressed and don't think I could follow that team. So those supporters are a lost cause, but what we can do is try and snare the next generation before they gravitate to your Celtic and Rangers, a great way to start would be to get the team back to the top flight. I've been here a short while and I already feel I owe the club, and the city that debt.

When I arrived it was a very similar position as I had encountered at Forfar, a squad very short on bodies with a few more slated to leave, but what we did lack at Forfar was a level of quality - we may not have much money behind us, in fact the chairman has refused to fund a coaching course for me as we find ourselves £1,000,000 in the red, but our professional status and recent history can still attract some talent. The first thing I wanted to do was add some staff, as we looked to overhaul a regime that had missed out on the playoffs by one place for the last 3 years, I needed to get that culture of falling short out of the club, and so we did - I honestly now feel our staff is the best in the league across the board, bar none.

After the staff overhaul, I was determined to add some real quality to the team that would allow us to push for the playoffs this year and hopefully push Inverness back to the top. Building from the back, I added Jamie Brandon a right back and Daniel Baur a centre back from Hearts - two players who are still young and could quite comfortably be Championship standard from the off. I also added the experienced Tam Scobbie as a depth option at centre back, this will be one of his final seasons in football but I still feel he can offer us something. Our final defensive addition was to bring Josh Meekings back to the club upon his release from Dundee, he was a player I always admired from afar in his first spell at the club, he doesn't seem to be the player he was before he left, so hopefully I can get some confidence back in him.

Moving into the midfield, I added a few more released players from Hearts and Dundee respectively, with Ross Callachan and Lewis Spence  joining to reinforce our central midfield options as back up, on top of this we were able to land Fraser Murray on loan from Hibernian, he's a player I could see making it at the team I support so I'm thrilled to not only be getting a talented footballer at this level, but also hopefully aid in his development. On loan from Hearts we add a back up left winger in Sean Ward, who seems to have all the tools to potentially be a problem at this level, confident on the ball and a great crosser who should cause problems. The final midfield addition was all down to our staff recruitment, as one of our new scouts alerted me that Estoril of Portugal had a midfielder named Fabio Martins running down his contract, I offered to take him on trial and by the start of July he had signed terms with us - he is going to be an absolute gem at this level.

Lastly we needed to overhaul up top, we had Nathan Austin on the books already, a very capable striker at this level, but I was hoping to simply things to 4-4-2 or some kind of variant here at Inverness, so I'd certainly need another few options. Scottish Cup hero James Keatings, who was on the pitch the day Hibs lifted the Cup for the first time in 114 years in 2016 came in after his release from Hamilton, he is certainly proven at this level and I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with a football player I respect so greatly. On top of him we were able to welcome Chris Kane on his release from St. Johnstone, and our scouts once again worked their magic to unearth Beto from Setubal in Portugal, we've now got an embarrassment of riches up top.

Amazingly, we were able to get this business all concluded to start July, and our preseason allowed us a fantastic run at the league cup. A competition I'd say I've never performed exceptionally in, although we did slightly overachieve at Stirling...

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We topped our group. Something I've never achieved as a manager, and now get to hose Hearts in the last 16 at home - I'm very excited by the prospect. It was a great run, all 4 of our striking options found the back of the net at least once, and we were able to take a well established top flight side in St. Mirren to penalties and win, which can only bode well for what lies ahead.

Away from football, I've even been able to find somewhere to live in comfort, surprisingly when I trebled my wages it has allowed me to rent a 2 bedroom flat to myself, hell I can even afford a cleaner on top of the rent and bills, and still have enough money to put away a couple of hundred pound a month. If you'd told me this is how I'd be living in a year's time when I signed the lease on a room in a shared house in Dundee, I'd have laughed, then cried at just how unlikely that prospect was.

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Jags Mixed Start

It's been a few months now since Inverness moved to approach young manager Jack Lawrence from Forfar, and it's fair to say that whil their league start has been solid, that Inverness are somewhat failing to make an impact across all competitions.

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It was a clash with newly relegated Livingston to open the season at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, and it resulted in an absolute breathless encounter, with new signing Beto bagging 4 on the way to a 6-3 rout of the preseason promotion favourites. Their was cause for concern as Caley crashed out of the Irn Bru Cup to local rivals Ross County, as well as throwing away a 1 goal advantage with 20 minutes to go at home to Hearts, Shaun Rooney the right back aving been given his marching orders with 55 minutes gone. In the league, out with their blip against Falkirk, they have continue to be strong going forward with plenty of goals scored, however troubles at the back may be early cause for concern for Lawrence.

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It's a tight table, but having missed out on the playoffs by one position for the last 3 years Inverness fans will certainly be enjoying being top of the table, even if they only lead local rivals and even next closest challengers Raith by virtue of goal difference.

***

Entry 24:

I'm very pleased with our start in the league. When I saw Livingston come up as our first game their was certainly cause for concern, as they're a good side at this level, but the new signings clicked really well and allowed us a great victory at home to start the campaign. A rotated side cost us a run at the Irn Bru Cup, and a silly red card cost us a go at the League Cup, which is a real shame as we could have done with some prize money to help slow the decline of the club's financial situation, and Shaun Rooney was dealt with approriately after the game. ther than that one minor incident, however, the players have all been fantastic, Beto has 7 league goals all of which have come against Livingston and Dunfermline, while last season's top goalscorer Nathan Austin has weighed in with goals against Partick and Morton to end the month on 3 league goals. 

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All of this meant I landed manager of the month in the Championship, the third time in my career I've landed the award, and the second time I've managed it in the opening month of the season. It's been nice to set a marker, as now more than ever my lack of experience and badges is being more openly scrutinised, there are some experienced names from the top end of Scottish football at this level, and some evidently feel like I don't belong. We've risen above this before, though, and I'm slowly starting to find the self belief that we'll do this every time we encounter this kind of adversity. It's been a crazy couple of years, and the way it has improved my mood, well, long may it continue.

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After a torrid run I needed a break

Entry 25:

What have I done wrong? How? How has this slipped so far, so quickly? After we capitulated away to Morton, I needed a break so I've headed the short drive to Loch Lomond as I take the Sunday off and tell the players to do the same. I know we have the talent, I know I have the staff behind me. What if I'm not cut out for football management at this level? What if I've fluked every result up until now. Just as I was beginning to get some belief in myself, I'm dragged back down to Earth.

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I don't think I ever want to mention this stretch of fixtures again. Hammered at Raith, a home loss in the derby, we may have beaten Partick, but brought abruptly back down to earth with a bump in a 2-1 loss away to Morton, and I honestly have no idea what I need to do to get this to click. We can't keep goals out, we've conceded a hideous amount on this stretch, but we just don't have the talent to defend a lead, so for now we need to keep going for it.

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It does leave us with the most midtable of midtable starts, as we go 4, 4, and 4 - there's quite an odd symetry to it that we also have a goal difference of 4. I'm beginning to worry that this Inverness team is doomed to finish 5th, in my time as a football manager they've managed to finish in the same place 3 times in a row. Surely, surely something has to give?

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Everything still to play for, I am sure you can turn the tide around! Loving your topic so far btw, keep up the good work!

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46 minutes ago, Aaps said:

Everything still to play for, I am sure you can turn the tide around! Loving your topic so far btw, keep up the good work!

It's tough when you're unsure on where the next win is coming from! Seems to happen at least once a season regardless of what club I am, unfortunately! Thank you very much, I shall do my best.

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Lawrence Claims Manager Of The Month

It was a blazing start to the season for rising young manager Jack Lawrence, the 6-3 win at home to Livingston had Inverness fans dreaming of returning to the top flight under the guidance of their stoic young manager Jack Lawrence. It threatened to get away from them, however, as they looked after 12 rounds of fixtures like a team destined to land in the mid-table mediocrity of the Ladbrokes Championship for the third successive season, and with mumblings of financial issues it seemed to many like time may be running out for Caley Thistle to return to the top flight before a major restructuring of the whole club would be needed to save them from extinction.

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Lawrence, now in his third manaderial role of his young career refused to bow to the pressure, however. Since then, in 9 league fixtures for the Highland side they have won a remarkable 6, losing just 1 in a span that has seen them charge up the table, and has some fans leaving behind those midtable fears and dreaming of returns to Celtic Park and Ibrox. It's hard to pin down an individual saviour for the team in this time, with goals flying in from all areas and all options of the pitch, in this 9 game run 4 different senior strikers have scored for Lawrence's charges.

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They also comfortably saw of League 2 side Brora in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup in this stretch, and have received a home draw to Stenhousemuir of League 1 in the 4th round, so a trip to the last 16 is certainly not beyond this side. There have been some concerns over the defence in recent games, as old habits of leaking goals seem to have crept back in, but their firepower has not faltered and certainly will have teams across Scotland taking notice of what they're capable of headed into the new year.

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***

Entry 26:

So another new year is upon us, 2021 is the last year I will spend the whole 12 months in my 20's, and when I take stock I've certainly seen an upward trajectory in my life in the last 12 months. It's obscenely tight at the top of the table, but our push for at least for the play offs is starting together some serious momentume. I haven't yet plucked up the courage to ask the board to push my contract beyond the initial 12 months I was given, as frankly at the end of October I was beginning to worry they'd be more inclined to sack me early than to keep faith in me for another year. One thing I really can't get my head round this year, is Falkirk. They beat me time and again at Forfar, which I could understand, but if we had picked up the results we should have against them, they'd be dead and buried by now and we'd have a 7 point cushion. It's honestly playing on my mind more than the title push.

I actually had no idea I would be collecting manager of the month in December, and part of me doesn't want to touch the trophy after we fell off a cliff in August upon receiving the award. I'm not exactly superstitious but I'm tempted to send my assistant to collect the trophy on my behalf. With January staring us in the face, hopefully any mallaise created by any manager of the month 'curse' can be lifted by reshaping the squad if we need to.

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25 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

What a read! Superb stuff and I think already at this early stage we have a early nomination for best newcomer!

Thank you very much! I dunno about best newcomer, but hopefully I get some longevity out of this story, already enjoying this save a lot more than I did my 2018 Journeyman attempt, so who knows? Thanks again.

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Entry 27:

Falkirk. I hate bloody Falkirk. I hated them when Hibs were in the Championship, I lived with a Dunfermline fan so hated them for him, and now I hate them more than I ever have in the past.

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We lived on the edge a fair bit this month in terms of goals conceded if I'm totally honest, but losing 4-1 and allowing them to climb off the bottom is completely and utterly inexcusable. We could be so much more comfortable at the top of the table if we had beaten them even once, and claimed a draw or two, but no we've handed them 9 points and with 11 games to go there's only a two point gap at the top. Thankfully the aim was playoffs and that looks more comfortable game by game.

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There was some activity in January, 17 year old Scotland under21 international Brad MacDonald was a product of our youth system, and had made 50 appearances for the club. He wasn't ready to wait for us to get to the top flight, and would move to Hearts in Edinburgh for £200k + 40% of profit on any sale. I'd have loved to keep him, but I simply couldn't justify it with our financial position, and with the squad on the cusp of achieving something this season I don't want to risk our positive atmosphere. To replace him we added Scotland under 19 centre Declan Malcolm joins on loan for the next 6 months to fill the gap in the squad.

There's 11 games to go, and we're still alive in the cup so hopefully some more revenue will help the club out and I'll be able to aim for my Continental A licence, but that's still a ways away. Getting to the top flight might close that ground, though.

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It's happening, it's really happening!

 

But what you doing at  Loch Lomond - you've got the whole of Loch Ness on your doorstep, plus the perfect way to chill is to take a boat out and enjoy those dolphins in the Firth.

 

And when you've recharged, get us back to the Premier League where we belong!  :hammer:

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7 hours ago, phnompenhandy said:

It's happening, it's really happening!

 

But what you doing at  Loch Lomond - you've got the whole of Loch Ness on your doorstep, plus the perfect way to chill is to take a boat out and enjoy those dolphins in the Firth.

 

And when you've recharged, get us back to the Premier League where we belong!  :hammer:

There was logic to it! I had been in Greenock, it was on my way back. Trust me, I've sampled Loch Ness in my 6 months at the club haha. Will be doing everything in my powers!

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Hamilton See Off Inverness In Replay

Inverness look likely to return to the top flight at the end of the season, but their Cup exploits have been ended in the last 16 at the hands of top flight basemente dwellers Hamilton. After a spirited performance and 0-0 draw at SuperSeal Stadium, home fans were confident as the Accies made the trip north to face Championship table toppers. It was once again a good performance from Caley who looked the more likely team to secure the result, but a 23rd minute striker from on loan Hearts striker Jordan Ross was enough to secure passage to the quarter finals where Hamilton will face Airdrie, Caltic loanee Declan Malcolm was sent off for the hosts in stoppage time.

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Entry 28:

The Hamilton defeat was a black mark on what was otherwise a succesful month where we really pushed home our promotion credentials. The fact that they've drawn Airdrie is hard to take, it would have been a chance to get to Hampden for my first time as a manager, outwith games against Queen's Park at the national stadium, and from a practical standpoint the tickets and prize money could really have eaten into our debt which seems to have steadied itself at the £1million mark.

An away draw at Raith coupled with 8 goals in two games to thump rivals Ross County and put severe doubts over any playoff aspirations that preseason title favourites Livi may hold, and it's certainly been a successful month. With 8 games to go, our gap at the top looks fairly comfortable, and I have to say my belief in the players and what we are doing is growing more and more.

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At Forfar I had built a team, and when we wobbled early I panicked. With Inverness, I didn't want to make that same mistake after how that fateful season panned out, and stuck to my principals of positive wing play, attacking with 2 pushed on wingers and 2 strikers - it's old school but I've always seen it as simple, yet effective. I'm very glad we stuck with the principals, because it's what this side was built for. I'm excited for the run in, as I feel we've got a real shot at this.

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I also received another monthly accolade for our February form, but I once again will not be collecting the trophy. After what happened in August, and the fact that we seemed to maintain in January after I didn't touch the trophy, I'd just rather not risk it. I'll collect them from the Chairman to take home once we're back in the top flight.

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Entry 29:

What a year I've had up in the Highlands, I've extended my flat, and my contract for that matter for another 12 months as the board has entrusted me to be the man to look after Inverness upon return to the top flight. It's been an absolute whirlwind few years, and as much as I love football and always fancied the idea of being a football manager, I never even dreamed about moments like this. To get my hands on some silverware is a feeling I can't describe, and now I've got a taste for it.

If I could pick a negative for this season, it would be that financially we're still in a bit of bother, after the prize money for winning the league came in we're still £800,000 in the red, hopefully promotion, bigger attendances, a slightly larger TV revenue, and the potential for much higher prize money, we should be out of this hole in 12 months time. It has led to my coaching licenses to stall at the Continental B level, and while at first the pressures of full time management kept me preoccuied, with the summer now here I'm painfully aware that I don't really have anything to do.

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It was a sparkling run in, the 13 goals in 3 games, the 4 wins on the bounce, and in the end it was enough for us to canter in, making a tight season look far more comfortable than it ever was. There were blemishes, there always are - the loss to OF COURSE Falkirk, and a last day loss away at Ross County were frustrating, but honestly with the title done and dusted I can somewhat forgive the players for being distracted with dreams of Celtic Park and Ibrox next year.

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***

NOTE: Soooo, confession time. I've always been fluctuating between 3 - 18 months ahead of the actual updates in what I'm playing, the eagle eyed among you may have noticed that Inverness are no longer highlighted blue on the final table, this is because I forgot to take this screenshot until about 15 minutes ago. I also don't have my fixtures from the period - now this is something that wasn't an issue when I moved on previously as Inverness never encountered Forfar or Stirling, so I could just screenshot when it came to the updates... I'm going to have to ask you to just follow the story and pretend you don't notice the obvious in some of the screenshots for the next while I'm afraid. Sorry chaps! Hope you enjoy this update anyway.

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Welcome to the SI career forums and some good results there to bring the team up to the Premiership. I assume you didn't get the sack while managing them.

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23 hours ago, King Cactus said:

NOTE: Soooo, confession time. I've always been fluctuating between 3 - 18 months ahead of the actual updates in what I'm playing, the eagle eyed among you may have noticed that Inverness are no longer highlighted blue on the final table, this is because I forgot to take this screenshot until about 15 minutes ago. I also don't have my fixtures from the period - now this is something that wasn't an issue when I moved on previously as Inverness never encountered Forfar or Stirling, so I could just screenshot when it came to the updates... I'm going to have to ask you to just follow the story and pretend you don't notice the obvious in some of the screenshots for the next while I'm afraid. Sorry chaps! Hope you enjoy this update anyway.

The plot thickens

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