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Sysiphus

Boreham Wood - Arsenal's little brother

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On 22/04/2019 at 20:37, Nobby_McDonald said:

Very well done Sysiphus.

Thanks Nobby! Let's see if these guys are up for the real leagues.

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Posted (edited)

June 2020

Transfer incomings update.

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Ben Cottrell is brought in from Arsenal to play as our right winger. He looks good but is small and with youngster Jez Andrews (163 cm) on the other flank that might become an issue. Lots of room for growth.

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Robbie Burton comes on a free from Arsenal as well and even though of his 3 star CA I genuinely think he's the best player in the squad attributes wise. Let's hope he can show me that in games as well.

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Tolaji Bola also comes in from Arsenal with physicality and will fight with Lewis Kinsella for the DL position. Kinsella is much better rounded and a better attacker, but I think we'll need Bola's strength, tackling and pace against stronger opposition this season.

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Daniel Ballard is yet another Arsenal player who arrives on a free. He'll go into the first team beside Joseph Olowu. I absolutely hate his determination though and will try to mentor it up a bit. I have such a young squad though that it might be difficult.

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Stan Flaherty is an Arsenal prodigy as well and will be loaned out. Has a bit of potential but currently I only play with CMs and no AM, and I can't use a player with 4 tackling and 2 marking in CM. If we maintain our position in L2 for the next season he might become useful.

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Arthur Okonkwo is the 6th player to arrive on a free from Arsenal this summer and will compete with fellow Arsenal prodigy Ryan Huddart for the no. 1 spot. Huddart is 24 iirc so Okonkwo has the development edge over him. Very tall but I want better command of area and handling from him.

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Josh Umerah is brought in permanently as his contract at Charlton ran out. He was happy accepting a backup squad status and rather low wages. He knows the club as he's been with me since the start of the save, and scored 49 goals in those two seasons.

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This is the squad registration page as it stands - and as you can see I only have to register 8 players, all the other ones are under 21 years old. That might be an issue the coming summer but let's hope these young guys catch on quickly. Only 7 out of these 26 players have come through other academies than Boreham Wood's or Arsenal's.

Board expectations:

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Reasonable I feel. Although I won't spend any of this transfer money I suppose, as the bank balance is currently at -200k.

Edited by Sysiphus

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Posted (edited)

July 2020

Brought in a left winger to rotate with Jez Andrews and now my squad is complete. He arrives on a loan from Ipswich and we don't pay any wages to him which is nice.

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Here are all my dealings. What isn't showing is the mass of players who left on a free, the most notable being Kieran Murtagh, D. Stephens, Tom Walker and Denilson Carvalho. Denilson, an Arsenal academy graduate, I wanted to keep but he had been unhappy for a year and wanted to play higher up the divisions. He's been out of contract for a month now and still without a team - if that's still the case around Christmas time maybe we'll see if he wants to take up negotiations again.

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This below is my preferred (not strongest though, a little emphasis on BW/Arsenal players ahead of others (only Wassi in the starting XI who doesn't fall into that category)) starting eleven and my preferred bench. I have some concern about the age of my squad, the average age of these first eleven is only 19.3 years! They'll have to be quick learners and show some maturity in the meantime. Tomorrow (August 1st) is the first game of the season at home against Blackpool. Let's go!

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Edited by Sysiphus

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Sorry about the lack of activity recently - haven't had the time to play the game. Will be back later next week.

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Posted (edited)

August 2020

Hectic first month of the season but we rose to the occasion. Only one loss and the rest are wins. We're through to the 3rd round of the Carabao Cup, where we'll welcome Brighton to Meadow Park, after a fantastic shoot-out win over Stoke.

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Top of the league. Not much to say.

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Added one player in the middle of the month, former Arsenal academy player Chiori Johnson joins us on a free after short stints at Bolton and York.

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Stadium expansion, looking good now. We're still only averaging about 2.300 people to matches, but hopefully that'll change.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 14.56.49.png

Edited by Sysiphus

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September 2020

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Not a special month in the league, way too many draws. Great showing from us in the Carabao as we knock out Premier League's Brighton. We sit in 3rd place with a game in hand.

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Huge draw for us in the 4th round of the Carabao:

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New contract for me:

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Transfer limitations

Until now, I haven't been restricting myself to any transfer regulations although I have preferred to sign players from Arsenal. Now, as I have a solid core of young Arsenal and Boreham Wood academy graduates, I want to put a strict ban on signing players who have never been at either Arsenal or BW. Ultimately I want to achieve success with only Arsenal and BW academy graduates, but I want to do it in steps - as follows:

1. It's enough for players to have played at some point for Arsenal or BW. Enforced as of today (November 1st 2020).

2. Players must come straight from Arsenal or have played for BW at some point. Will be enforced when (or rather, if) we get to the Championship.

3. Players must be either Arsenal or BW academy graduates. Will be enforced when (if) we have stabilized ourselves as a PL club.

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October 2020

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Solid month in the league, 13 points from 18 possible. Out of the cup by the hand of Man Utd, a bit unlucky there even. Top of the league now!

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Game against Utd started incredibly:

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But they had equalised shortly after half time and it went all the way to penalties where the big stage of Old Trafford provided too much of a pressure on the boys:

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Squad thoughts

Problems with having a young squad; inexperience, lack of leadership and determination. On the squad dynamics screen (one of the best FM19 additions imo) you can see that almost all my players are classified as "other players". The big problem is that all of my team leaders, the highly influential player and the influential player are all on the bench for me - i.e. they're not good enough and if we were to go up a league they'd be on their way out. Only one of them (Huddart) fulfils my ideal condition of being an Arsenal/BW academy graduate.

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If you take a look at the Determination column in the squad screen below, you can see that we have a very undetermined group of players. So far, it doesn't seem to have cost us, but ultimately it will, for example in the play-offs if we end there. This team's norm of having a sub-10 determination is dragging down all the higher rated individuals' determination, and every player seems to be on their way to a rating of 5 in that category (those under 5 are rising, those over declining). This is something I have to keep in mind in the following summer transfer window, although I don't have a big pool of players to choose from.

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November 2020

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Another good month. Good wins over Blackpool and Swindon to get to the 3rd round where we'll play N Forest. Qualified from our Checkatrade group, don't remember who we're facing in the next round. Only two games in the league - 4 points from them. We sit 2nd now with a big game away to Peterborough in hand.

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Random points from here and there

Great news for us as Balogun is no longer unhappy. Hopefully he'll go back to banging the goals in now.

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Our youth prodigy Calum Pitty is a wanted man... and January is around the corner. Luckily, we have him tied town to a deal until June 2023.

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Slowly getting there with the dynamics. Jo Olowu, Jez Andrews and Matt Smith who are all starters and Arsenal/BW academy graduates have moved up to "influential players". Olowu is a future captain of the club, unless we outgrow him quickly. Also happy with young Jez taking responsibility, one of my favourite players.

509024562_ScreenShot2019-05-31at23_23_16.thumb.png.73c220a016fcc6b13ece04ac3cede546.png

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December 2020

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Solid month, lots of points in the league but we're out of the Checkatrade which doesn't upset me in the slightest. We were really unlucky against Peterborough who have been on quite the run:

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But we're top of the league and aim to keep it that way!

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January 2021 transfer window

The board decided it was time to cash in on my best and most promising players this month. Calum Pitty left in a horrible deal which I had no chance negotiating. Only 17 years old, fairly professional and with leadership qualities, he's worth a lot more than this:

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This is what he looked like when he left:

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In the case of Kenny Vincent I was given the chance to negotiate the structure of the deal:

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What he looked like:

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In the case of Folarin Balogun I also got to negotiate the deal:

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So both of my best strikers left and given my transfer limitations I couldn't find a suitable replacement, so young Reece Camacho was promoted to the senior squad:

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The rest of the squad was unhappy for a while but were happy with my answer that I wanted to give youth a chance.

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January 2021

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Bit of a blip in the beginning of the month but we managed to end it strongly. Hopefully we'll be able to maintain that after losing three good players this month.

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Deadline day outgoing

When I wrote the January transfer update I still had one day left of the window in game but thought there wouldn't be any action. Enter Leeds, who came in with an offer for Herman Maragh which I negotiated to an acceptable sum. Now Leeds have bought off me three youngsters who came through the youth intake in the first season; Luke Goodman, Calum Pitty and now Herman Maragh. Maragh was on the fringes of the first team but isn't a big loss to me for that money. We managed to bring in about 1.2 million pounds this window and while our bank balance is healthier the squad has been significantly weakened.

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What he looks like:

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February 2021

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Pretty bad month, can definitely feel that we miss our departed striking partnership in Pitty and Balogun. We still sit top and have 10 points on Oldham in the 4th spot with 11 games to go and should be able to ride out a top 3 spot. Fingers crossed!

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Youth intake 2021

2019 intake.

2020 intake.

An update on our intake this season as well as an update on our most promising academy players from previous seasons.

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Solid group of players but nobody special. The best CA players don't seem to have much of a potential but they'll be given a chance to prove the coaches wrong.

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Danny Wright is definitely the most ready player as it stands right now. However, he plays in a position I don't use so he'll have to be converted to a midfielder (maybe a winger).

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Peter Kershaw looks pretty good. If he develops quickly he might feature for me next season.

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Jack Bedells is a hit and miss. Some good attributes, but some that need a lot of work.

2020

This was a pretty thin intake, but includes two players who are featuring for me as we speak.

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Reece Camacho has played a lot since Calum Pitty left and has done okay. I'm training him as a target man and trying to give him the 'plays with back to goal' trait. He's strong and has a good first touch and if I can get a fast AF by his side I think he'll do well receiving the ball and either play a through ball or turn and 'place a shot' which is another trait he has.

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Banks is on the bench for me now as Kenny Vincent's departure has forced James Olayinka to play as a winger instead of a backup to MC. Looks fine but still has some way to go.

2019

My strongest intake to date. Leeds has raided this youth class and taken three of these players away from me. Vincent has left for QPR as well. If I manage to get promoted I'm hoping to bring some of them back on loan next season.

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Luke Goodman is really good and could go on to become the first England international from Boreham Wood's academy. Let's see.

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Pitty has become super physical, very mentally strong and still only 17 years of age.

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Vincent is a physical crosser. Recipe for lower league winger. Will probably not make it on the big stage though.

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Maragh left for Leeds this January. Hoping to bring him back on a free in two years time as I'm not sure Leeds will renew his contract - he's not that good imo.

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Jez Andrews is still with me and is one of my best players. My top goalscorer this season with 15 goals. Natural leader, fairly professional and has never attracted interest from bigger clubs. Hope he'll stay with me for years to come.

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March 2021

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We're still not stringing any run of form together after the January departures but fortunately other teams around us aren't either. I think we'll definitely be promoted, and we have a game against Peterborough in the 42nd round - which might be a title deciding game.

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It's nice to see that the Arsenal u23s have enough quality to win the Checkatrade, as we'll be hoping to sign and loan some of those players in the next couple of years.

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Season review (2020/2021)

Season 2018/2019 review

Season 2019/2020 review

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Automatic promotion for the second season in a row! Never expected this before the season but it was never really in any danger. Cup competitions were solid as well as we got a lot of money from United in the 4th round of the Carabao.

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Squad statistics:

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Overall best eleven:

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Team of the year:

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Manager of the year for me:

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Posted (edited)

2021 summer transfer window

I thought that promotion to League 1 would grant me access to a lot more of Arsenal loanees than I've had before, but they always give me the message that they want their players to play with higher quality players, and then proceed to loan them out to my division rivals (who have more quality players tbf). So yet again I relied on free transfers - and made my first buy for money this save!

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We raised 225k by selling players we had got on a free last season and weren't needed. Always nice to make a profit as my bank balance has been red pretty much since day one. Now, however, it's far from it (think it's about 850k as it stands) thanks to my sales this summer and last January. So, on to the ins.

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Zech Medley is yet another centre back who relies on his physicality, much like Olowu and Ballard. These players are all okay, but ourselves and Arsenal have to begin producing better centre backs if we're ever going to proceed as a club.

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Tran Trong Nghia is a regen who came through Arsenal's academy two seasons ago, and they weren't interested in renewing his contract. I think he looks pretty solid, he's well rounded and physically mature for his age. He's determined, works well within a team and has a high work rate. I might loan him out this season due to us having signed a new definite first team right back in Tafari Moore and Daley-Campbell coming back from two year-long loans as a backup ready player. I might give him half a season though to adapt to his new environment before sending him out.

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I'm really happy with the signing of Tafari Moore on a free from Plymouth. He's one of the few players in this league that truly befits its level, and I thight he might be my best player as it standa. He's a player I was excited about in real life, I even watched 2 or 3 Utrecht games when he was out on loan there.

Missing from these screenshots is Ben Beechey, who I spent 40k on. He's a 17 year old striker who looks pretty good, but I seem to have forgotten to take a screenshot of (I'm at work now). I'll be doing a squad introduction in the next few days so you'll see his profile then. Lastly, I got Kenny Vincent back on loan from QPR. He went there last January but hasn't played a minute. He'll be a backup to Ben Cottrell but I'll mix in some more minutes for him than I'd do if he was just any backup (I aim to sign him back later on this save). I figured I didn't need to show you a screenshot of him as you can find it few posts above.

Edited by Sysiphus

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August 2021

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Should be able to reach those target easily I feel. Finances after the transfer window (finally rock solid):

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Very fine start of the season, although the Swindon game in the Carabao was hugely disappointing:

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League:

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Brexit update:

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September 2021

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Accidentally played one October match but doesn't matter at all. A very good month I feel, 16 points out of 21 and we sit near the top.

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Biggest job offer I've had so far:

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13 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Very good start to the season.

Yep, it's been good so far. But - wait for the October update (spoiler alert: it's bad).

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Posted (edited)

Squad update

As I have entered my 4th season with the Wood and the squad has changed a lot in that time, I think it's appropriate to give a short rundown of the current squad.

Goalkeepers:

Arthur Okonkwo: Young and very raw. Has been a starter for two seasons but hasn't developed much in that time. I feel okay about fielding him in League one, but if we gain promotion sometime soon I'll have to find a new keeper.

Ryan Huddart: Our backup keeper. Plays well when called upon and never complains - the perfect backup.

Defenders:

Joseph Olowu: Our right sided CD. Vice captain and will be our captain from the next season. Physical player who knows his limits.

Daniel Ballard: Our left sided CD. Gets stuck in and does it well.

Zech Medley: A human tower. Very physical, always puts in a shift when needed.

Zak Jules: Our 4th choice central defender. Might leave after this season.

Tafari Moore: Our right back is one of the best players we have ability wise. Only 23 years old so I reckon he should be with us for a while.

Vontae Daley-Campbell: Has had loan spells for the past two seasons and both played and developed well. Well suited to back Moore up when needed.

Lewis Kinsella: Our current captain came to us when we were still in the Vanarama and has been great for us. Now he's complaining about squad depth and youth not developing enough (which is absolute nonsense). As he has some teams interested, I might cash in on him after this season. Depends on what is available for us to replace him though.

Tolaji Bola: Came in to displace Kinsella but never managed consistently good performances and has been reduced to a backup. He seems fine with that though so that is of no concern to me.

Midfielders:

Robbie Burton: Plays as a B2B and is great at it. Our top goalscorer last season. Absolutely love him.

Matthew Smith: When he came to us in the Vanarama he wasn't considered good enough for that level and I considered loaning him out. I'm glad I didn't, as he has risen to the occasion each time we have gone up a level and now he has Championship teams making bids for him, which might mean that eventually our chairman will accept some stupid offer for him. Not indispensable for me though.

Connor Smith: Along with Huddart and Umerah, he was at the club when I took over. Very solid player, might be his last season for us though.

James Olayinka: Can play across the midfield. Very reliable backup and plays much better than his attributes would suggest.

Ben Cottrell: Very talented right winger, one of our best. Quick on the move and racks up the assists.

Kenny Vincent: On loan from QPR, came through our academy. Could become a very good Championship player, maybe even a solid lower table EPL player.

Jez Andrews: Came through our first youth intake and he's one of my favourites this save. Always developing and has started this season superbly.

Gabriel Maragh: Left wing backup to Andrews. Not good enough currently but will hopefully develop this season.

Strikers:

Ben Beechey: We're yet to see what he can do for us as he got injured shortly after he came to us this season. Have reasonably high hopes for him.

Reece Camacho: Academy player, has come far the last season and a half. A good player who will most likely be poached away from us in the next two years.

Josh Umerah: A very reliable backup striker who never complains.

Pierre Fonkeau: A good backup striker as well. Has the tendency to get moody.

Notable youngsters:

Tran Trong Nghia, Matthew Banks, Peter Kershaw, Lee Stewart, Jamie Gooch and Danny Wright. Of these, Tran and Banks sometimes play for the first team.

Edited by Sysiphus

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October 2021

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Horrible month in the league, absolutely horrible. However, we still sit in a playoff spot, but we'll have to turn this form around as quickly as possible.

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Milestone:

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November 2021

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That's the way to bounce back! Chuffed with these results. Back into contention for automatic promotion.

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Fantastic turnaround after terrible results in October! 

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1 hour ago, john1 said:

Fantastic turnaround after terrible results in October! 

And much needed as morale had started to drop significantly.

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December 2021

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We finish the year in a fine form with 5-0 and 0-4 victories against sides who were in the Championship only half a year ago. I'm very happy with the first half of the season, didn't  think we'd be so close to the top. Not expecting promotion and will be happy with the season regardless.

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Posted (edited)

Mid January 2022 transfer update

Luton offered decent money for our starting goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, and as his backup Ryan Huddart was not far off his ability, I decided to negotiate the deal and then accept it. I didn't include a sell-on clause as I don't really see any team buying him for money that would be significant for us in the future - rather I'd have more money now as our finances keep getting woeful over the course of each season.

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I managed to get Okonkwo back on loan for the rest of the season though, which I didn't expect as they didn't want to include that in the deal (so I had to make an offer the same day as the sale was confirmed), so this deal has worked out very well for me.

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More saddening was the excessive interest in Reece Camacho, our 17 year old striker. In the end it was Middlesbrough who snapped him up for 600k and 50% sell-on fee, our biggest sale to date.

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He gave us a fine gift in his last game though:

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Filling Camacho's vacant spot in our squad is Jamie Gooch, another academy striker. Only 16 years of age, he looks like he could become very good. He'll sit on the bench as we'll promote Josh Umerah to first team squad status.

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Edited by Sysiphus

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7 minutes ago, john1 said:

Decent offer to get for Camacho! :cool: 

Agreed! But wait for the next update in a few minutes...

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Posted (edited)

End of January transfer update 2022

Just after we had sold Camacho and promoted Gooch to the first time, offers started to rain in for the latter without him even having played a game for us. The bidding war ended with Cardiff raising our record sale by a million, whopping 1.6m + 50% sell-on fee!

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We responded by getting Camacho back on loan:

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Another sale was imminent as interest in a lot of our players built up for the last week of the window. Our backup left winger Gabriel Maragh (not to be confused with Herman Maragh who was sold to Leeds a season ago) left for 500k + 50% sell-on fee, which is money I was happy with.

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Maragh's void will be filled with academy product Jack Bedells, who could become a good player in 2-3 years:

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One last sale of the window came on deadline day when our young goalkeeper Sammie Stevenson left for 300k + 50% sell-on clause. He was on course to claim the no. 1 jersey in about two years time, but by that time I hope we'll have outgrown his potential.

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Overall transfers this season:

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Edited by Sysiphus

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Wow, that was quick :D Cracking offer from Cardiff tho :eek: 

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7 minutes ago, john1 said:

Wow, that was quick :D Cracking offer from Cardiff tho :eek: 

Yep! Leeds and Fulham went as high as 1.3m as well.

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Solid season so far. You must be hoping Fleetwood slip up at some point. The promotion playoffs can be very trying - especially if you're there year after year.

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5 hours ago, psychonaut said:

Solid season so far. You must be hoping Fleetwood slip up at some point. The promotion playoffs can be very trying - especially if you're there year after year.

Yes, I am. Although I'm not overly concerned about staying another season or two in League 1, might be good for our development and our bank balance if we can continue to field academy players, which I might not be able to do in the Championship. You always want to go up though, no question about that.

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January and February 2022

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I forgot to do this update for January so here it comes combined for January and February. The form in the league was rocky and we didn't manage any stability. The top two spots are getting further away from us so at this present moment I'm aiming for the playoffs. However, if we manage to put together a run of form like we did in November, we stand a chance for automatic promotion.

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Youth intake 2022

2021 intake.

2020 intake.

2019 intake.

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A very solid, lots of players who aren't far away from first team standard and this eases my nerves a lot for the upcoming summer transfer window.

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Max Powell leads the way this year in my opinion. He'll get a few games towards the end of this season and next season I expect him to be at least a backup for the first team, probably a rotation option. Really like the look of him.My only complaint is his fairly sporting personality, which I'm not a huge fan of.

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Junior Hooper is another one that I'm excited about. He might get the chance to be a backup for Ben Cottrell next season and then it won't be any need for me to try and loan in Kenny Vincent again.

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Lewis Thomas looks very good apart from his personality. If I can tutor that he could become a solid player.

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Sean Clarke is very similar to Junior Hooper and will fight him for the backup slot for MR next season.

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Liam Hooper isn't a world beater by any stretch of the imagination, but could become a solid rotation option.

2021

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It won't be long until Lee Stewart gets his chances in the first team. I'm really excited about him and could see him become our 4th choice DC next season.

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Jack Bedells is currently backup for Jez Andrews in the ML spot after Gabriel Maragh was sold to Fulham in January. A fine player but probably won't become amazing. Jamie Gooch, who generated 1.6m for us in January, was also a member of this intake but I forgot to screenshot his attributes (you can see them couple of posts above). Peter Kershaw is another one that could become OK but I also forgot to screenshot his attributes and don't have the game open.

2020

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This wasn't a deep intake, but it gave us Reece Camacho who is a favourite of mine. Sold to Middlesbrough and with us on a loan, I'm still molding him to become a good Target man and aim to loan him again next season.

2019

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Jez Andrews has been our best performing player two seasons in a row. He's also our top goalscorer.

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Luke Goodman is the best player we have produced to date. If we get promoted, I'm aiming to loan him in for the next season.

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Calum Pitty is on loan at Sunderland and not getting much playing time there, resulting in development stagnation. Another player that I'm hoping to loan in if promoted.

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Kenny Vincent is a fine player who can become a lot better. A rotation option for us now, on loan from QPR.

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Herman Maragh was sold before he managed to break into the first team for us. Might be a loan target for me next season as well.

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