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Sysiphus

Boreham Wood - Arsenal's little brother

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Posted (edited)

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Hi all! In this thread I will keep those who are interested updated on my Boreham Wood career. I have little time on my hands so updates will most likely be rather irregular.

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Why Boreham Wood?

I chose Boreham because of their link with Arsenal, who I am a lifelong supporter of. Arsene Wenger always spoke highly of the club and you could see that the connection between the two clubs were more intimate than often happens in football. Arsenal's youth and ladies teams play at our stadium, Meadow Park, and Arsenal has played a big role in it's rejuvenation, by for example investing in high quality DESSO hybrid grass pitch.

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More on the facilities

The facilities are very good for our level (Vanarama National League), especially our youth facilities.

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The stadium

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Beautiful little stadium, pic from a pre-season friendly between BW and Arsenal.

Finances

Stable. No debts or loans. Room for squad improvements.

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More on the squad, expectations and tactics later tonight.

Edited by Sysiphus

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July 2018

The squad is pretty thin, so I'm anticipating about 3-5 ins and no outs in the summer window. I'm severely lacking wide players and if I'm unable to get suitable players there I'll be playing a wingerless formation. I'm also lacking a right back as my only natural right back (who is very good btw) is injured for 8-10 months. I do feel the squad is pretty strong though, with some good signings I can field a strong first 11.

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The youth squad is horrible and will be ignored for this season. So much for the excellent youth facilities. Let's see again in the spring when we get our first youth intake.

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My key players (almost all on loan) are pretty much all strikers, so I'll have to play at least 2 striker formation, which I like though so that's not a problem. Key players:

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And in the end; tactics. I want to play the 4-4-2 but if I'm unable to find good wide players I will be forced to play a 5-2-3 for the first season, a formation I don't really fancy but looking at the squad it cries out 5-2-3.

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Posted (edited)

August 2018

First things first - the transfers:

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I said earlier that I wanted to strengthen both flanks and get in a right back, which I was able to do. The right back isn't very good though but he'll have to do. I was so close to signing Venancio Monteiro on a free but at the last minute Aston Villa offered him a contract and of course he went there. Luckily I was able to secure him on loan instead. Denilson Carvalho is an ex-Arsenal boy so I'm really happy to have got him in. Looks well rounded to and could be made into a fine midfielder with his 10 marking and tackling.

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I made some staff changes but won't list them all here. This one was my favourite though:

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So - fixtures. I've been really happy with the games this month. When we've lost points it's been understandable or freak results, not because of us playing badly. Against Wrexham and Leyton Orient the opposition scores in 87th+ minute when we've been the much better team. Against Halifax we lost our centre half after 15 minutes because of a red card.

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This is the league, all very tight at the top:

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Edited by Sysiphus

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Posted (edited)

September 2018

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A good month for us! Ended it really strongly and as I love a cup run (regardless of the cup) it was nice to win Celtic's reserves, who were regarded as heavy favourites against me, in the IRN-BRU Cup. One concern I have is how badly were doing filling up our stadium. We have 1700 seats and should be able to fit 4500 people into the stadium but we're only getting between 500 and 1000.

I'm happy with the league table. The goal is to hang around the top 7 spots as long as we can and then see what our next step is. I'm under no pressure to gain promotion as the board only want me to avoid relegation.

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And to top it off:

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Edited by Sysiphus

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October 2018

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Happy with the month. Really unlucky against Aldershot in a very important game where a win could have put us 8 points ahead of a non-promotion playoff spot. Instead we are two points above the 8th place. Happy to proceed in both the IRN-BRU cup as well as the FA cup.

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Before the Aldershot game:

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Always aiming to improve the training and coaching, every bit helps:

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November 2018

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Happy again. We were okay in the league but that's fine. We're still sitting nicely in a play-off spot. We're through to the semi final of the IRN BRU cup and I would love it if we were the first non-Scottish team to win it. We're also through to the 2nd round of the FA cup, winning our replay against Lincoln. They sit 4th in League 2 so it was a nice win. Peterborough away in the next round, think they'll be a bit too much for us.

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Extended my stay for a year:

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1 hour ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

You've made a very good start.

Thanks Nobby, let's hope we can keep this form up.

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2 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Great start. KUTGW mate! Will definitely give this a follow :D 

Thanks mate!

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From experience, Boreham Wood has to be one the worst away days in the whole league. A very soulless ground and area as a whole with plenty of other factors adding to a general poor day out. Hopefully your football will make it more enjoyable for the home support and it seems to be doing just that, currently. Keep it up mate! :D 

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3 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

From experience, Boreham Wood has to be one the worst away days in the whole league. A very soulless ground and area as a whole with plenty of other factors adding to a general poor day out. Hopefully your football will make it more enjoyable for the home support and it seems to be doing just that, currently. Keep it up mate! :D 

Well, people definitely aren't turning up! We're only using 24% of our capacity (that's up from the 17% after the first month of the season though).

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December 2018

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A good month. I'm very happy that we managed to drag Peterborough into a second game in the FA considering they're amongst the top teams in League 1. With a bit of luck we could have knocked them out in the first leg as we were leading 0-2 at the 60 minute mark. We're through in the FA Trophy (not to be confused with the FA Cup) after a rather difficult win against Torquay. League still looks good and we will from now on definitely be aiming to finish in the top 7 spots and go to the play-offs.

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January 1st we'll lose our amazing goalkeeper who has played a big part in us being the best defensive team in the league (24 conceded in 27 games) as his loan ends and of course Brentford don't want a talented player like him playing in the Vanarama National. This is him:

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To keep our place near the top of the league we'll need some signings I feel. I want a player covering left back and the left flank and it would be a bonus if we got that in the same player as I don't want my squad to get too big. I was also thinking that we needed a cover for central midfield and then received this news:

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...and as Ricketts is a starter - we now definitely need a midfielder, and a rather good one if possible. Maybe two. Ricketts has played his last game for me I think as he'll leave on a free after this season. With the goalkeeper loanee leaving I might need a backup for Ryan Huddart but I won't force it if I don't find anyone cheap and suitable. I would also like a central defender who could step straight into the side as our best DC, Dave Stephens (our best centre back) only has 3 natural fitness so he needs at least a week to recover between games and rarely gets his condition above 92%.

Edited by Sysiphus

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Making Arsenal's Little Brother competitive might make Gunnersaurus angry.  You won't like Gunnersaurus when he's angry.  :lol:

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4 hours ago, keeper#1 said:

Making Arsenal's Little Brother competitive might make Gunnersaurus angry.  You won't like Gunnersaurus when he's angry.  :lol:

Hadn't really thought of that - might have to resign ;)

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January 2018

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A very good month which puts us second in the table - only losing to the league leaders.

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We made four signings. We signed a centre back to play for our first team, a left back who also slots into the first team, a backup for our left wing and a midfield backup with potential.

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February 2019

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Solid month but it was disappointing losing to Wrexham at home. Happy to through in both cups. Don't remember who we play in the IRN-BRU Cup final, might be Falkirk if I recall correctly. The league is looking solid but I've played one game more than the other teams. Still 10 games to go and I won't be dropping out of a play-off spot but would of course like an automatic promotion! We'll have to do very well in the final games to do so.

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Made one signing as Salford (who have the far best squad in the league and a gigantic wage bill) released Tom Walker. He looks very solid to me and can do a job across the midfield. Adds a good personality to the squad.

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It's very unfortunate for us to lose Carvalho to injury as he's been one of our best players so far. Hopefully the aforementioned Tom Walker can step up along with January signing Ahmed Salam.

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Always love a young player making an impact.

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Hope you can take over Barnet and finish champions ;) 

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Taking a short break while the Match Engine issues in Mac are being fixed. No stress on my behalf - it will be fixed soon enough I believe.

 

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Posted (edited)

March 2019

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Good month overall but the loss against Barrow was very infuriating as we were so close to go 1-2 up before they scored in extra time from a corner. Happy to be through to the FA Trophy final, which means that we have two finals coming up - the other one being in the IRN-BRU Cup vs. Bohemians who sit 5th in the Irish Premier Division. Getting a bit difficult to catch up with Barnet now as they had the exact same month as us results wise (and winning their game in hand as well).

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We got a golden generation in our youth intake which is pleasing as we don't currently have any players of note who are BW academy graduates. However, as you know the youth intakes in lower leagues can be deceiving as these guys may look good compared to our current players now - but who knows where we'll be in 5 years when they turn 21 and ready for first team responsibilities.

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Singled out the two most talented players - Goodman (professional personality (score!)) already being a rotation option for our midfield.

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Edited by Sysiphus

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18 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Welcome back Sysiphus.

Thanks Nobby!

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A cup win!

We've won the IRN-BRU Cup as the competition's biggest overachievers! Really happy with this, the board only wanted me to reach the 3rd round but we went three rounds more and then won the final being the much better team, although at one point I thought this game would be one of those were no shots seem to go in. We join the host of reputable teams to have won the cup in the last few years, including for example Rangers and Dundee Utd. Let's hope we'll also be able to claim the FA Trophy next month.

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April 2019

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A bad finish in the league leaves me with some concerns over our form coming into the play-offs. Will probably be looking to arrange a friendly or two against easy teams in the 12 spare days I have before the first leg of the play-offs. However, we finish the league in 2nd place which I, along with the board, am really happy with. Hopefully we'll manage to get the promotion but it's not the end of the world if we don't.

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Play-offs:

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Posted (edited)

FA Trophy final

Disappointing, but was always going to be hard being a man and a goal down after only 20 minutes.

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Edited by Sysiphus

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Play-offs

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Pretty routine victory against Hartlepool. Not much to say. On to the final.

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Super disappointing, conceding the equalising goal with 20 minutes to go and then the losing goal with only five minutes to go in extra time. However, I don't feel too let down by this as I didn't have expectations about promotion before the season. We'll go again. Will try to put together some sort of end of season update later today.

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Posted (edited)

Short season review

Very happy with the competitions. We came up just short on two occasions but that's football.

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Team stats below. As you can see I'm losing my best players who are on loan, Umerah, Ugwu and Shaibu are my only strikers and have carried this team. I really want to try to bring back Umerah and Ugwu but I feel like Ugwu is an unrealistic target because his parent club is Chesterfield, who are with me in the Vanarama so they'd be reluctant to let him go. I'm also concerned that Charlton will want Umerah to play at an higher level. The same concerns I have over Venancio Monteiro, my most talented player.

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Some focus here on improved players. Yassin Wassi has improved leaps and bounds and gone from a 2 star CA player I picked up out of bare necessity to a 3.5 star player who's name is the first on the team sheet. He's gained 4 points in marking, 3 in concentration and 2 in tackling and positioning. The before picture is above the after picture.

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Luke Goodman came through the intake barely two months ago, but has improved considerably in that short time period. Now he's a 3 star CA starter who will play a big part in my next season. The before picture is below the after picture in this case.

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Edited by Sysiphus

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Posted (edited)

June 2019

First, the outs so far:

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And then the ins, which almost all consist of players from our big brother, Arsenal:

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We managed to bring Umerah back on loan from Charlton and that could be vital in our promotion hopes. He was our top scorer with 34 goals in all competitions last season so getting him on only 250k p/w loan deal is a steal.

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Daley-Campbell is very physical, but in other aspects he is a very rough player. He'll be sent on loan to get game time in the Vanarama North/South and then return to us as a backup right back for next season.

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Matthew Smith, who I highly value in real life (amazing vision and passing) still has some way left to develop and might be sent on loan to maximize his game time.

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Folarin Balogun, another player who's been running riot for Arsenal u18's in real life comes into our team as a starter. I'm not expecting him to light the division up at only 17 years of age, but hopefully he'll score in double digits and develop well in the mean time.

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James Olayinka is a fast all-rounder. To make use of his pace he'll slot in the MR position, possibly as an inverted winger even though he's right footed, to give us that control in the midfield while we focus on building attacks down the left hand side of the pitch.

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Joseph Olowu is a very physical player, both fast and strong. He'll be a starter as well, playing alongside Zak Jules.

I still need a backups for the striker, centre back and right midfield positions. I've been getting pretty handsome bids for my young midfielder Luke Goodman, Bolton and Bristol City have been bidding up to 160k for him. He's worth much more than that though so I'm not looking to sell him for under a million. 

Edited by Sysiphus

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July 2019

One signing made, a good, young striker on a free from Norwich, who I'm also training to be able to play at right wing as I can't find a suitable backup for Olayinka on the market;

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And it has come to what I dreaded, finally the offers for Goodman were too high for the chairman not to come meddling. I'm pretty disappointed as I couldn't even negotiate the transfer but I'm looking forward to the day he moves on from Leeds as I'll get 40% of the profit Leeds make on him. However, 355k plus 260k if he plays for them is decent for a Vanarama team. Onwards and upwards

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This is how he looked on his last day at BW, a marvellous talent:

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Another ex-Arsenal has been added to my staff team (however not a specially good one, but I'll send him on courses). He's now assistant to u18's manager Tony Adams.

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Posted (edited)

August 2019

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Pretty solid start although we're not scoring enough goals. Let's see how September goes. Btw - only ex-Arsenal boys scored for me this month. I'm also happy with a much better turnout at games than last season where we struggled for thousand most of the season. Billericay and York were promoted from the North and South leagues last season and have started with a bang.

150640529_ScreenShot2019-04-04at17_32_38.thumb.png.88e3515ef28d2163d988996b29229ae6.png

Brought in a centre back for depth:

1599623208_ScreenShot2019-04-04at16_40_01.thumb.png.5fb4f9ae7efd3374c4923722a278305a.png

Edited by Sysiphus

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September 2019

883047224_ScreenShot2019-04-06at19_19_12.thumb.png.7b14391b2877d22193fcc1ddf2634c58.png

Very good month, although the draw against Ebbsfleet was bizarre (see below). Still undefeated and all looks good.

1707959991_ScreenShot2019-04-06at19_18_22.thumb.png.84cdcb9f445443db69b6675c669e915a.png

How we don't win this match is beyond me. My strikers probably slept terribly the next night.

1527623961_ScreenShot2019-04-06at18_07_38.thumb.png.2a820eeecfcba4044bc3ee304132aa3f.png

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Posted (edited)

October 2019

1792138796_ScreenShot2019-04-06at23_04_51.thumb.png.c688fbcdc46be6782ff9e41ca522094e.png

Great month and at the moment we're running away with the league. Scoring a bit more now and the defence remains solid.

620706190_ScreenShot2019-04-06at23_04_23.thumb.png.a6e92b447a64f2c9d0a6ea0eb88c457d.png

Edited by Sysiphus

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November 2019

1599168318_ScreenShot2019-04-07at09_29_48.thumb.png.913b517a130b7aa56a66b554a6e86e0f.png

It wasn't the best of months in the league but it doesn't matter as we hold our 12 point advantage at the end of the month (9 in fact now as other teams have played more games than us). I'm not too concerned about the game against Dover as we only conceded 6 shots on goal and Dover struck lucky.

407182015_ScreenShot2019-04-07at09_29_32.thumb.png.1155d8997eb2e2175324645ab835320d.png

We got Tottenham in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, would have loved it if we had got an away game though.

2051548722_ScreenShot2019-04-07at09_29_18.thumb.png.9a766a4fed4aaaba658ca49fc1e072a1.png

New two year contract for me:

2121077772_ScreenShot2019-04-07at09_14_48.thumb.png.0f2436e1e911578772eb84fc7d2dcf50.png

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December 2019

1411289128_ScreenShot2019-04-09at00_09_31.thumb.png.875189849b9b6226c3ad026eac435c15.png

The earlier part of this month was horrendous. No matter how well we played we absolutely couldn't win matches. We managed to turn our form around in the second half of the month though and hope that carries on into the new year. As can be seen Billericay have made up a lot of ground and don't currently look like losing their stride - let's just hope we can kick on.

598708305_ScreenShot2019-04-09at09_47_56.thumb.png.59c27ed8555da7c4d538536a6b1fe835.png

Some studying for me:

1917446244_ScreenShot2019-04-08at22_56_26.thumb.png.da2eef4e6ac50c160298d750f8dc8e9f.png

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Posted (edited)

January 2020

878812188_ScreenShot2019-04-09at15_11_47.thumb.png.183697c0f406e1c6a73cddbd06e25aa1.png

I'm happy with this month. Would have liked to win against Wrexham but no game is easy in the lower leagues of England - well except for the one against FC Halifax two weeks later! They had a man sent off after eight minutes though so there's the explanation for that. Super tight game against Spurs who played their strongest XI. Lucas Moura scored after 50 seconds and after that the game was pretty much 50/50. I had a shot to the post in the 86th minute but it wasn't to be. Against Salford we went a man down after half an hour played and were lucky to hold onto the draw. The league is getting a little tighter as always when I drop points some of York, Billericay or Chesterfield gain ground on me. Right now I have a 6-7 point cushion (depending on Billericay's game in hand) and I'm pleased with that.

452966488_ScreenShot2019-04-09at15_11_35.thumb.png.c6df53ded94b686bef68db9a2974da4a.png

A treat for you readers in the end - the goal I conceded against Eastleigh. What on earth is Ryan Huddart doing!? Glad it didn't end up costing me points.

giphy.gif.3d50904fc23a09a0f64b889afe377119.gif

A little milestone for me:

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 14.31.22.png

Edited by Sysiphus

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Short post on Callum Pitty

Still yet to finish January (am on the 31st) and I'm facing heavy pressure trying to keep my academy striker Callum Pitty, who's recently been lighting the league up. He's taken over Luke Goodman's throne as the academy star which has been vacant since last summer. However - I'm fearing that Pitty may end up going the same route as Goodman soon. I'm getting offers by the minute as you can see in the inbox here below. None of them are good enough, but it's only a matter of time before my chairman accepts one of those offers.

790096944_ScreenShot2019-04-09at16_21_54.thumb.png.903143a7268c23bf107bf18320cd99c1.png

This is how Pitty looks now and this is how he looked when he came through 10 months ago.

259010251_ScreenShot2019-04-09at16_20_15.thumb.png.aa555e7a652f3ed8ffbdea0f854d2b8c.png

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Would be a pitty (see what I did there? ;) ) to lose him whenever the chairman takes over  and accept the bid, he looks developing well :thup: 

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Posted (edited)

An update on Pitty

No sale! We managed to hang onto him for this window - but I'm not optimistic for the summer. Some accolades for him:

1608956852_ScreenShot2019-04-09at16_22_53.thumb.png.5f8f112b62971af0621d2aa703397b9e.png 

582935589_ScreenShot2019-04-09at16_23_02.thumb.png.a7ca7ac18966a4f2bc239153545c0a24.png

2 hours ago, john1 said:

Would be a pitty (see what I did there? ;) ) to lose him whenever the chairman takes over  and accept the bid, he looks developing well :thup: 

It would have been a "pitty"! :D He's been playing very well for the past two months.

Edited by Sysiphus

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February 2020

353896368_ScreenShot2019-04-10at16_31_02.thumb.png.cba33f1c1b05464c656cc99b2d49ce7b.png

A good month which sees us increasing our lead at the top. I don't think that we should lose the top stop in the last 11 games, but you never know. We're through to the FA Trophy semi-finals as well.

713763786_ScreenShot2019-04-10at16_30_43.thumb.png.eafbfd6ec9881a1110e05ac83f542667.png

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Youth intake

An update on our youth intake. I was thinking of including an update of our former intakes every year when we receive a new class of academy players, as the long term goal of this save is to have only players that have come through either our or Arsenal's academy.

This season (2020)

Overall, we got a handful of players who might be useful in the future. A decent intake:

1553888483_ScreenShot2019-04-09at20_28_26.thumb.png.87b6727fa6925b1ef6d8277229bcc0be.png

Players:

Camacho.thumb.png.9ed8c2803246575879fc41d6965c0d7c.png

The standout player is Reeche Camacho, a physical striker who could be the Calum Pitty successor we need if he leaves in the summer.

Banks.thumb.png.d223539ed532de458a110c24f51e87b6.png

Matthew Banks is labeled as a ball-winner, but I'll probably try to mould him into a box-to-box midfielder or a mezzala, should I play with one later. A decent talent, but I'm not sure he'll feature much if the club develops quicker than him.

Olukanmi.thumb.png.bd50eaed6afd31e29c2598b1dc37b1d1.png

I rate Daniel Olukanmi a lot more than our coaching staff - but he's got an unambitious personality along with 4 in determination, which I have to change quickly.

2019

Pitty.thumb.png.7c13e2d7809ba22d9e24aaf8d142c632.png

The much talked about Calum Pitty. He is a starter alongside Balogun, plays very well and gets better each month. Might lose him in the summer.

Andrews.thumb.png.92488a2e7699a24aaaf85150179b5e99.png

Jez Andrews is a starter as well. He developed super quickly, hadn't really paid much attention to him until about 5 months after the intake as he was improving leaps and bounds every month. Has gained up to 3 and 4 points on some attributes in only a year.

Vincent.thumb.png.f2175444b4794473edce787d0eb2eaaa.png

I'm starting to integrate Kenny Vincent to first team football now. He's got some way to go but he has the basic attributes required to perform okay as a winger in the Vanarama.

Maragh.thumb.png.27a178430722c9a03a3b7f366aaee2e5.png

Herman Maragh's progress has been a little slower than I hoped it would be. Got a couple of games in the end of last season already but has stayed at his two star CA. I'll maybe loan him out next season and see if he can kick on with regular playing time.

 

 

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This seems to be your year. Promotion is all but done and some quality looking youngsters. Pitty is insane, fantastic mentals and physicals for this level.

Boreham produced some fantastic newgens in my previous saves yet i never bothered to check their facilities. Wow... Just... Wow!

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3 hours ago, Constantine said:

This seems to be your year. Promotion is all but done and some quality looking youngsters. Pitty is insane, fantastic mentals and physicals for this level.

Boreham produced some fantastic newgens in my previous saves yet i never bothered to check their facilities. Wow... Just... Wow!

Yep, immense facilities! Don't have the game open right now but if I'm not mistaken they train at their astro pitch, which is also used by Arsenal ladies and the Arsenal development centre and partly paid for by Arsenal.

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March 2020

1305258235_ScreenShot2019-04-18at00_05_57.thumb.png.6ff1b6994a67cb2aa90f3f3094b6ae0e.png

Super month in the league where we won all of our games and are now on an eight game winning streak. We lost out to Wrexham in the FA Trophy semi-finals, but all of our focus has been on the league so that's of no concern to me. We're all but crowned champions now - can't see us dropping this lead.

109480788_ScreenShot2019-04-17at23_59_37.thumb.png.d1a30ff3b6e7eafce3eb43e5f80e7826.png

Some words on Folarin Balogun's progress. Started the season slowly but has been finding his feet and now has 15 goals in the league and is our best striker. Just tied him down to a contract expiring in June 2023 so he'll either stay here for a while or we'll make good profit off him.

1502230250_ScreenShot2019-04-18at00_08_39.thumb.png.4dcc6fe4405a72155999f007587795cd.png

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Posted (edited)

Season review (2019/2020)

Season 2018/2019 review

win.thumb.png.ef9adb0d29b3b459a0b4addec0c7993b.png

Automatic promotion! Very good season, our promotion bid was never really in danger from gameday 15 onwards and we ended up walking the league and equalizing the points record. Fine showing in both cups, in the FA Trophy we should have gone to the final but that competition was pretty much irrelevant. We were good in the FA Cup but unlucky to draw Tottenham at home and not away - still gave a good account of ourselves and only lost 0-1.

competitions.thumb.png.593f419d2cd8ea635fdc40d08441cc4e.png

Squad statistics:

squad.thumb.png.bd56d52e9ad1563231ebd115ab2fa9ae.png

Overall best eleven:

overallxi.thumb.png.230bdeafaafe26a44b0cc8131d1c6399.png

Pretty much everyone in the squad have their contracts running out in the summer and I will be picky about renewing. As I ultimately want to move to a full squad of academy players from Arsenal and Boreham Wood I will look at the contracts running out at Arsenal as I did last season and after that see where we have holes in our squad.

Youth level increase:

youthlevel.png

Edited by Sysiphus

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