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Sysiphus

Boreham Wood - Arsenal's little brother

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4 hours ago, 7. Shevchenko said:

Just had this happen to me, for the first time since 2011 (?). How exciting!

Wow this is huge! Wage budget upwards of 250k p/w, suspect you might have troubles filling that up ;) Good luck with the Wood, it's a nice club to manage. Any good youngsters that you've got through the academy?

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March 2022

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Superb month but disappointing result in the last game against Peterborough. 6 games left of the season and we still have a chance of gaining automatic promotion, but it will be very difficult. I'll do more frequent updates in April, maybe consisting of two games - to make the promotion race (hopefully) more exciting!

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Posted (edited)

April 2022 - Gameweeks 41 and 42

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Charlton, despite having one of the best squads in the league, have not been good this season. We managed to capitalise on that and get the important three points.

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Here we simply outplayed Rovers, with Reece Camacho in very good form.

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Now we're only two points of automatic promotion, but we're not the only ones eyeing the 2nd place. Hopefully we can maintain this rich vein of form.

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Edited by Sysiphus

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29 minutes ago, Constantine said:

Alright, this is surprise... A pleasant one, though.

Welcome back.

Thanks mate. Didn't really get into another save and my mind kept coming back to this one. Let's see how it goes.

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April 2022 - Gameweeks 43 and 44

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A bad loss which puts a huge dent in our promotion hopes... Outplayed them and had 2 clear cut chances against 0 from them - but it wasn't to be.

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Really good to finish this crazy game off. 7 goals in the first 53 minutes and when we finally got the lead with that 7th goal we went very defensive and decided to close the shop. Luckily it worked.

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Only two games left and we need Oxford and Portsmouth both to lose points. We end the season with a difficult game against Rochdale but this is far from over.

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Posted (edited)

April 2022 - Gameweeks 45 and 46

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A draw here ruined our chance for promotion as Oxford won their game and gained a 4 point lead over us.

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A very even game. We end the season in 4th place with a solid 83 point total. Bring on the playoffs.

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Edited by Sysiphus

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May 2022 - Playoffs semi finals

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Superb first leg which put us in a really good position for the second one.

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Absolutely speechless here. It looked so good when we were 2-0 up on aggregate and only 15 minutes to go. They then proceed to score twice in the next 10 minutes and we concede the third in added time.

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Season review (2021/2022)

Season 2020/21 review

Season 2019/20 review

Season 2018/19 review

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A very good season in my opinion. It would have been nice to go up but we'll just benefit from another season or two in League 1 before we gain promotion to the Championship. We should've gone further in the cups - knocked out by L2 teams in both instances.

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Jez Andrews, Robbie Burton and Ben Cottrell all had very good seasons and I expect to get some bids for these players in the summer. We'll do what we can to knock them away.

Overall best eleven:

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Stadium expansion up to almost 8k seats:

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Welcome back Sysiphus. I know all about playoffs defeats so I feel your pain there.

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Posted (edited)

June 2022 - Summer thoughts

After having scouted Arsenal youth teams thoroughly, I feel slightly pessimistic about the upcoming season. There's no prospect there that's running out of contract for me to sign, and the players that would improve my first team squad either aren't interested in joining on loan or Arsenal won't let me bid for them as they want their youngsters to play with higher quality players (even though they'll loan said players to other L1 teams who finished below me this season). That makes my position very tricky as now I'll have to rely mostly on my academy products and my current squad. I'll try to loan in some sold academy players, such as Reece Camacho, Herman Maragh and Kenny Vincent, and maybe I'll try to lure Folarin Balogun back to us. Other than that my only option to strengthen the squad is scouring the lower leagues and trying to find players who've spent time at Arsenal at some point in their career. I have most of the realistic targets shortlisted and am keeping an eye on them, but I don't find many that will improve my first 11.

As of now there hasn't been significant interest in any of my players which is a huge positive, we don't need any money from sales as our books are well balanced and we lost a good few players last January. My first 11 are also very young (only one player over 23 years old) so they should all be further along in their development come next season, but time will tell if they're ready to push on or if they'll crumble under the pressure of having some expectations on their back - after having a relative free pass expectation wise last season (the board wanted us to fight bravely against relegation).

One of my biggest concern is the low determination and the bland personalities in the squad. Most of the Arsenal youth players I've signed have very low determination (ranging from 2-7) and I can't really mentor it up as I don't have any senior and strong personalities who are significantly more determined. I feel that most youngsters that are already in the game when you start up a new save (so, not the regens) have very low determination and I don't really know why that is. It's often random, I know, but it seems to fall on the short end of the range in many instances. This lack of character is something that I should be trying to turn around for the next 2-3 years as we can't be going up to the Championship with a squad full of players who don't really have any aspiration to play football at a top level and quit when things get a little tough.

Edited by Sysiphus

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June 2022

I didn't intend to do any transfers until I had released the players with expiring contracts, but I got a mail from my scout informing me that Herman Maragh, from my first intake, had been transfer listed by Leeds for 140k. Maragh was sold to Leeds for 350k + 50% of next fee, so I snapped him up for these 140k and got half of that back immediately. Maragh has obviously benefitted from the spell at Leeds' training ground as he's grown a bit and is now regarded as a 3,5 star player by my coaching staff. Therefore it's a very tidy profit of 280k and wage savings I've made here. Maragh is also fairly professional so he can contribute to my attempts at changing the dressing room character.

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Quite a few players from my first 22 have left on a free. It was time to let them go now as most of them have been with me from the Vanarama National, and now I think it'll benefit the club in the long run to blood in more youngsters who can either become very good here or help progress the club by bringin in big selling fees. I'll do a better update of these players and their youth replacements tomorrow.

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June 2022

I don't have a screenshot of it, but I want to start by saying that I'll be bringing Arthur Okonkwo (GK), Kenny Vincent (MR) and Reece Camacho (ST) back on loan for this season. Below are the players who have been released. Highlighted players were part of the 22 man rotation I use so there are big changes here. I'll detail below how I'll try to replace them, starting from the goal and working my way up the field.

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Ryan Huddart had played a lot of games for me and is one of the few players who have been at the club since I took over. However, the last two seasons he has been backup and since I got a promising goalkeeper in the last youth intake I decided to let Huddart go, loan in Okonkwo again and promote the youngster Declan Capel to the bench.

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Zak Jules, my 4th choice CD, sees his role filled by academy player Lee Stewart.

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Tolaji Bola, who came from Arsenal after the first season and I thought would win over the left back position from Lewis Kinsella, never lived up to his promised and was serially outperformed. He had a pretty handsome wage so he leaves and one of my brightest prospects, Matthew Powell, steps in as backup left back.

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James Olayinka and Connor Smith leave a rather big hole in my squad as after their departure I only had two central midfielders left. Model Citizen Matthew Banks steps in as the 4th choice, and as said in the post above, I bought Herman Maragh back and he'll go straight into the starting 11 and Matthew Smith will sit on the bench instead. I'm also looking at other possible loan ins for midfield.

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To replace the 3rd and 4th choice strikers, Josh Umerah and Pierre Fonkeu, I'll have to look into the loan market. Hopefully I can bring Callum Pitty back on loan from Leeds and I'll also look into the possibility of loaning in Jamie Gooch, the clubs most expensive sale in history, from Cardiff.

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Posted (edited)

July 2022

The transfer window ended very swiftly on July 29th and the first game of the season was the day after. So an early start for us - but more on that later. First, the transfers. Wanting to bolster the midfield with the 5th man there (but likely to be 3rd or 4th choice, not 5th) I loaned in Sam O'Neil from Arsenal. Looks a tidy player and is one I could see us bringing back on loan a number of times if he does well and develops this season. So he won't be a loanee that'll only be used in case of emergency.

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When I released Pierre Fonkeu and Josh Umerah, I was worried that I'd let one to many leave. It turned out that long term target Chuks Aneke was finally available for me to sign and, better yet, Leeds allowed us to borrow fan favourite Callum Pitty for a season. They both look very good and bring in some good determination and character to the squad. Chuks was great for the youth sides of Arsenal and I recall thinking he'd become a fantastic player. Now I have 4 great strikers and the competition for the two places in the first 11 will be fierce.

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Loaned a few out:

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And the season started with a comeback win from 2-0 down, where we scored in the 55th, 57th and 60th minute.

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Leaves us right by the top of the table in a nice company:

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Edited by Sysiphus

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Posted (edited)

August 2022

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Superb month where our only loss came in the Carabao Cup, where we fielded a weakened side because of the hectic schedule this month. 16 points out of 18 possible in the league - that's not to be sniffed at. Let's hope we can keep this form up.

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The awards reflect our month:

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Edited by Sysiphus

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Posted (edited)

September 2022

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Another very good month from us. Bad loss against 2nd placed Walsall but we recovered very well. If we can play like this in October we'd have a pretty handsome gap between us and the 3rd spot. Let's keep going...

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Edited by Sysiphus

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October 2022

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Rather solid month, although those two 0-1 losses hurt. We started the month with a bang, scoring 10 goals in our first two games, and then only finding the net twice in the remaining four. However, we've managed to increase the gap between us and the 3rd spot by one point from the seven we had at the end of last month. We also have a superior goal difference to all other teams. Everything looking good.

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Kenny Vincent had a bad injury and I always fear these moments. One or two bad injuries can really halter young players trajectory and their potential.

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Replacing Vincent's place in the squad as backup right winger is one of my brightest talents, Sean Clarke.

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November 2022

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Fantastic month. Progression through to the 3rd round in the FA, we were very sloppy in the 1st round though and needed a 120th minute goal to get the win over the Vanarama National team Gateshead. Three solid victories in the league and it looks like we definitely have one of the two best teams and anything other than automatic promotion from here on now is disaster in my opinion, as we now have 13-14 point lead on the 3rd place (depends on how Preston's game goes).

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Another one:

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Our training facilities were downgraded to average last summer (although we still have state of the art youth facilities, extensive youth recruitment and excellent junior coaching) and due to a healthy bank balance (2.3 million pounds) after the player sales of last year, we will be upgrading them.

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December 2022

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Not the best month in the league, but 7 points from 4 games isn't all bad in the Football Leagues. We still retain a pretty comfortable lead on the teams in the playoff spots. Barnsley is catching up though, but that's not a big concern for me. We advance through the 3rd round in the FA, considering how solid my finances are - I think it's the first year where I would like an easy opponent and try to advance through to the 5th round instead of hoping for an away day at a PL team.

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Was sifting through some team and players stats in the league and noticed this (see below) - Wigan have an outrageous wage bill, and still only sit 3rd! For context we are bottom of this table, spending 1.24M compared to their 20.68M.

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This is their highest earner - Dominic Solanke on 55k p/w.

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1 hour ago, Sysiphus said:

I think it's the first year where I would like an easy opponent and try to advance through to the 5th round instead of hoping for an away day at a PL team.

...or we'll just do it this way. :)

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January 2023 - Transfer update

It was a very busy window for me, rejecting offers left and right. In the end we only sold two players, and I'm happy with both sales. An illustration of the window:

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First player we sold was Ben Beechey, the Arsenal product we bought for 40k 18 months earlier. We ended up getting 250k + 50% of next sale for him, which I thought was very decent as he was our fourth choice striker. The only problem is that he was the only striker that we own, the other three are on loan. But if he's fourth choice in L1, he'll probably be surplus to requirements in the Championship if we go up. When he signed I also thought he'd improve quickly, but he hasn't really developed at all. Still an okay player though, and he leaves having played 67 games for us, scored 24 goals and made 5 assists.

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Lewis Stewart becomes our biggest sale to date as he moves to a familiar club, Leeds. He's now the 4th academy player Leeds buy of us. Leeds payed us 2.8m + 50% of next sale for him, which is significantly higher than the 1.6m we got from Cardiff for Jamie Gooch, our former record sale. Stewart is a very promising defender, but I don't think he'll make it to the very top. He only has 5 passing and it doesn't seem to progress no matter how I train him, only 3 vision, 2 flair and 1 (yes, 1) dribbling. He can therefore never really be a player who has the ball at his feet and can make use of it, and this just won't cut it in the PL or maybe even the Championship. We'll follow his progress though, and we even brought him back on loan for the remainder of the season.

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When we lost Stewart, Matt Smith complained about our lack of defensive depth. I told him that we'd fill in Stewart's gap and Smith was happy with that. I then decided to bring Stewart in back on loan, and thought Smith'd be happy with that, as obviously Stewart should be an adequate replacement for himself. However, Smith is still waiting for his promise to be fulfilled - do you know if a player has to be bought to "fix" this? Do loans not suffice?

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January 2023

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A blip in form. Here we go for the real test. Leyton Orient, who started in the Vanarama National with me, have been on a great run of form (were 7th in the last update and not even top 10 in the update before that) and it wouldn't surprise me to see them surpassing Barnsley soon. I still have an 11 point cushion, so I think it'll be all right. Reckon 90 points would definitely gain me an automatic promotion, so we're aiming for that at the minute. 23 points from the last 15 games should be doable, just win every other game and throw in a draw or two! We had a good game vs. Everton and they only scored their 3rd goal in additional time when we were pushing for an equaliser.

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Posted (edited)

February 2023 - Takeover and following complications

At the start of the month, I got the surprising news that Chairman Danny Hunter was thinking about stepping down and that takeover talks were being held.

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Soon enough, we were taken oven by investor Charlie Bell. Without a doubt the quickest takeover I've seen on FM.

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Charlie arrived with some cash, 3.2M:

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...and boosted the transfer funds well. I can't use that money now as no player I want and could buy wants to come to a L1-side, but we'll see next season if a possible promotion might change things.

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The sad news and the complications, are these:

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We no longer have the Arsenal connection, which has been the red thread throughout my save. The chairman doesn't want any affiliated teams at this point, so now we are without the 100k Arsenal pays us annually, great access to players on loan from them and most importantly their facilities. Up until now Arsenal youth and women's teams have shared training ground with us so since recently after starting the save I've had state of the art facilities, which is reflected in the youngsters we've brought through. We've also had excellent junior coaching and extensive youth recruitment for the last few years. Now our facilities are down to this:

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This absolutely won't suffice in a save where we're heavily youth reliant, so the extra money in the bank has to be invested into upgrades here, starting with this:

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I still intend to keep the same transfer restrictions in this save and work it like the link is still between Arsenal and us. It had to end someday, whether it'd be with us rivaling them in the PL or moving to another stadium (even building our own). Onwards and upwards!

Edited by Sysiphus

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February 2023

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Solid month - I'm happy. It was really sad though that Barnsley managed an equaliser against us in the 93rd minute. 10 point gap to the 3rd spot and 11 games left - the goal is close.

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Always nice to see this message in February :D

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And this is fun to see as well, considering in this post from 1st season our average attendance was just over thousand.

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One departure in the summer confirmed, Vietnamese right back Tran Trong Nghia leaves on a free to Icelandic side Selfoss. He came on a free to us from Arsenal 2.5 seasons ago if I recall correctly. Only managed 3 games here and spent most of his time out on loan without developing. We wish him luck.

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Good to see another Boreham Wood manager.

I've done a youth only with them. About 12 seasons in and I've made it to the premier league just. Very good team to use, based around London so large player pool to get newgens from and facilities early in are good too!

KUTGW

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4 hours ago, Conan21 said:

Good to see another Boreham Wood manager.

I've done a youth only with them. About 12 seasons in and I've made it to the premier league just. Very good team to use, based around London so large player pool to get newgens from and facilities early in are good too!

KUTGW

Definitely a great team for a youth project.

Thanks!

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A cup win!

It's always nice to add silverware to your trophy cabinet, no matter how small the cups are. :)

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March 2023

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Solid enough! We're all but promoted now, let's get it over the line boys!

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Loanee Sam O'Neill continues to impress - he's had a very good season. Will probably try to loan him again or buy him from Arsenal next season, feel like he's ready for the jump to the Championship.

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Youth intake 2023

2022 intake - 2021 intake - 2020 intake - 2019 intake

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This is, unfortunately, a bad intake on our standards. Only one, maybe two, who could play for the first team at some time, and that won't be soon. I get a GK prospect, but I have one much better in Declan Capel who came through last year. Maybe it's already starting to show that our youth recruitment, junior coaching and youth facilities have taken a big hit.

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Iain Wain does look a fine keeper, hopefully he'll net me a nice profit later on or he can replace Capel if I have to sell him. Happy with this one.

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Peter Hughes looks okay. He has bad determination and has a lot of developing to do in the technical apartment. I'll train him as a central defender and we'll see how far he can go.

2022

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Matthew Powell is one of my two brightest prospects. He's usurped Lewis Kinsella as my first choice left back and I'm excited to see if he'll step up in the Championship.

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Sean Clarke also plays a lot for our first team, even sometimes as a full back as he's very well rounded.

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Junior Hooper suffers because of Sean Clarke (above). A good prospect still and might get a loan next season.

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Luke Griffin is developing well in the u23s.

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Declan Capel is our backup GK, has played 18 games this year and performed well. He might not be a long-term solution because of his height (178 cm).

2021

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Lewis Stewart is a very good player and was sold to Leeds this January for 2.8m, our most expensive sale of all time. On loan with us now.

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Jack Bedells is our backup left winger. He lacks a little technically but he's a beast physically. Solid player.

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Jamie Gooch is our former most expensive sale, as he was sold to Cardiff for 1.6m. Doesn't seem to be developing a lot with them though.

2020

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Reece Camacho is the only player of note from this intake, but he's a great player. On loan with us from Middlesbrough.

2019

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Callum Pitty is a great striker who went to Leeds and is on loan with us now. Hopefully we'll get him back next year. The top goalscorer in the league as of now.

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Herman Maragh also went to Leeds but we bought him back for a fraction of his selling price before this season. He's been very good for us and is my first choice midfielder.

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Jez Andrews is such a loyal servant. Never complains, never gets injured, always plays well. As of now he's played 175 games for us, scored 50 goals and assisted 39 from the ML position.

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Kenny Vincent is an okay player. Has been on loan with me for the last two seasons after leaving for QPR, but rarely plays exceptionally well.

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Luke Goodman is still our academy's crown jewel and we're waiting to cash in on the 50% of next sale clause.

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We win the league!

Although it has been kind of a formality for the last few months, we've managed to secure the title with few games still to go. Two pieces of silverware to the cabinet this season, to go with the ultimate goal - promotion to the Championship!

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These would have been nice odds to wager on before the season :D:

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Season review (2022/23)

21/22 review - 20/21 review - 19/20 review - 18/19 review

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Super season! Great league campaign with a league win and promotion, good showing in the FA Cup, title in the Checkatrade Trophy and an early exit in the Carabao which we won't cry over. Barnsley and Leyton Orient will follow us up, Leyton have been with us in the Vanarama National, League 2, League 1 and now the Championship - really cool. All of my players are now asking for huge new contracts and as most of them only have a year left and I have a lot of room in the wage budget I will be rewarding them for their hard work and dedication. I'm also protecting their value so I can recoup some money for them in the future. I don't expect to make sweeping changes to the squad, I'll get some of the same loanees if possible and then I want 2-4 players who improve the first 11 and I'll also maybe snap up some exciting talents Arsenal are letting go.

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Special shoutout to Calum Pitty, Zech Medley and Sam O'Neil. I'm definitely trying to get O'Neil and Pitty back on loan, probably Camacho as well.

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Overall best eleven sees introduction to Declan Capel and Vontae Daley-Campbell.

Jez Andrews and Pitty take some records away from the Vanarama marksman Josh Umerah:

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Some awards from the season:

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Team of the year:

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We have a friendly against our big brother:

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And our Youth category was dropped massively, a big concern:

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Congrats on getting promoted :cool: :applause: Such a shame your youth category dropped to 4 :( 

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20 hours ago, john1 said:

Congrats on getting promoted :cool: :applause: Such a shame your youth category dropped to 4 :( 

Thanks! Yes, quite a big drop but we'll improve it over time.

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11 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Very well done going up. Any ideas why the youth category dropped so much?

After of the takeover the new board cut our affiliate link with Arsenal meaning we don't share youth resources with them any more. That resulted in our youth facilities dropping from state of the art to below average, along with youth recruitment and junior coaching dropping significantly as well. This year I also used loads of my youngsters for the first team so our u18s suffered quite heavily and had a bad campaign.

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I'm moving abroad later this week so I haven't been able to play for the last week or so. Won't play again until I'm through with all the moving-hassle - maybe in 10-14 days.

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