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[FM19] - Growing Up Down Wembley Way

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Growing up Down Wembley Way

 

When the FA announced plans to rebuild Wembley Stadium in 2003, the new stadium came with a promise of making Wembley "one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe." They announced plans to completely transform what was a run down and deprived area, turning it into a vibrant, thriving part of the country. What did they actually do?

They built some shops.

Wembley resides in Brent, one of the poorest boroughs in London, and arguably the country. 33% of households live in poverty, with 32% of employees earning less than the London Living Wage, the second highest rate for any borough in the city. It's incredibly ethnically diverse - 36% of Brent is White, 34% Asian, 18% Black, 5% Mixed Race and 5% 'other'.

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However, it's also very run down, and the new Wembley Stadium redevelopment hasn't given much - if anything - to the local community. Brent had the 5th most homicides in London between 2000-2012, and has a bit of a reputation for knife and gun crime.

It borders on insanity. You have the 'home of English football' built here. but apart from building some new (expensive) shops and flats, very little has been done to provide real regeneration for the local community. What the area needs is something to bring them together, to give them something to do and keep kids away from falling into the spiralling trap of the gang lifestyle.

Something like a football team, maybe?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Just two miles away from Wembley Stadium, a football team can be seen practising in the local park. Wembley Stadium can be seen from there, and for the majority of the kids currently playing, they can see the Stadium from their house. They go home, and they dream of one day playing at that fated stadium - just like Raheem Sterling did.

When Raheem Sterling moved to England at the age of 5, he lived with his family on the St Raphael's Estate in Brent, a notoriously crime-plagued community. Sterling could see Wembley Stadium from his house as it was being built, and told himself that he'd be playing there for England in the future. After helping lead England to the World Cup Semi Final, I think it's fair to say Raheem Sterling has turned his dreams into reality - but that likely wouldn't have been the case were it not for Clive Ellington and Alpha & Omega CF.

According to Sterling:

"But if I really think hard about it, the moment my life changed was when I met a guy named Clive Ellington. He used to mentor the kids in our neighborhood who didn’t have their fathers around. On the weekend, he’d take us on little trips around London and show us a different side of life. Sometimes we’d just go play snooker. Basically, anything that wasn’t our day-to-day. He genuinely cared about us. So one day he sat me down and he said, “Raheem, what do you love to do?”

Simple, simple question, right? But I never really thought about it like that. At that point, I was just playing football in the street, biking around with my friends, being a kid.

I said, “I love playing football.”

He said, “Well, I got a little Sunday League team. Why don’t you come out and play with us?”

And that was it. That moment changed my life."

 

 

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

Image result for alpha and omega fc

Alpha and Omega CF 

As aforementioned, Alpha and Omega CF are based just two miles away from Wembley Stadium, in Kingsbury. They're mainly a Youth Club, but their Senior Club competes in the Middlesex County Football League Division One (West) - Level 12 of English football. They're run by a guy called Clive Ellington, who is just as much a pastoral worker a football coach. Ellington is all about trying to help the kids in his local community stay off the streets, and what better way to do that than football? They're a perfect club for this save, which is:

We're going to go Youth Only. We'll have kids coming through from the surrounding area - hopefully born near Wembley! - and see if we can develop them. This save is more about youth development than necessarily winning trophies - of course, winning trophies is always the aim, but I want to do what Clive Ellington did for Raheem Sterling with these youth players. There's a shedload of talent in Brent. Let's harness it!

I've knocked up some kits for us - once we rise through the leagues we'll have our kits made by bigger companies with better sponsors, but for now we've had our home and away kit made by Patrick, kindly sponsored by the local Chicken shop in Brent that tastes equally as bad as it feels for your insides. Massive thank you to @BoxToBox for helping with the technical side with both the kits and logos:

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I said Youth Development is the main aim of the save, so what are the goals I've got in mind?

Well...

  • Firstly, I'd like to have somebody from our academy make the breakthrough for England. If that could happen when we're still in the lower leagues, even better! As this save is about Youth Development, I'm not going to be holding our players back. If a reasonable offer comes in for one of our players who's clearly capable of going onto better things, then they'll go with our blessing. Teams often sell prized assets to fund upgrades off the pitch, and FM doesn't really force that on you enough in lower league management. In this save, though, we're fine to be a selling club. We just want our players to go on to be the best they can be :D 
  • Winning trophies will always be important, but I'm totally fine for us to stagnate in the lower reaches of non-league for a while. As long as I don't get fired!
  • Brent is an area with a lot of immigrants, so if we could get some youth prospects playing for other countries, that'd be superb too.
  • The ultimate, probably-never-going-to-happen-but-worth-dreaming-about-anyway goal is to win the World Cup with an entire team made of Alpha and Omega CF youth prospects. Aiming high, I know :D 

Let's go play football!

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

If this thread sounds familiar, I tried it (albeit briefly) near the end of FM18. I'd really like to stick with this in the long term on 19, though. To add an extra bit of story, we're going to create a personal backstory for (probably) one of the new youth intake every year. They're not just players, after all - they're people too ;) 

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

Alpha and Omega Hall of Fame:

The players who've come through our academy that have gone on to best represent Alpha and Omega CF.

 

 

Spoiler

Raheem Sterling. Played Youth Football at Alpha and Omega before moving to QPR, Liverpool, and Manchester City. A key attacking figure for England, helping the team reach the 2018 World Cup Semi Final.

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Nations Tracker:

A list of all the nationalities we've had at the club:

Europe:

England

Wales

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Ireland

Turkey

Romania

Albania

Greece

 

 

Asia:

China

 

Oceania:

Australia

New Zealand

 

Africa:

Ghana

Nigeria

Zambia

 

South America:

Guyana

 

North America:

Jamaica

Barbados

U.S.A

Trinidad and Tobago

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

bdce1394f47255682590318e3ee9d2b4.png

Love the fact that we play at the local school!

Edited by Bedese

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Just to give a little bit more context on why Alpha and Omega, particularly (or, more to the point, a club based in that area):

Wembley Stadium might be called the 'Home of English Football', but Wembley as an area won't be getting such a glamorous description anytime soon.

According to Operation Trident - the Metropolitan Police Unit set up to tackle gangs in London - there are roughly 15 'major' gangs active in the borough of Brent, although unofficial estimates have put this number far higher. In Establishing the reality of gangs in Brent, gang-involved respondents answered questions relating to the prevalence of gangs in the borough with a majority saying it rated ‘9 out of 10’ whilst others rated it off the scale and a ‘big one’ and ‘crazy innit.’ One 17 year old said: ‘Yeah, people are shooting out of their windows; outta their ‘ouse. That’s the sort of stuff that goes down and it’s true."

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Brent is one of the youngest boroughs in London, but has the 5th highest rate of unemployment in the Capital. Combined with one of the highest poverty rates in the city, it's not exactly an area with a lot of opportunities for young people growing up there - hence the gang map above.

Football is an incredible sport. It reduces grown men to tears, provides moments that reverberate through time, and makes dreams come true. Even more than that, though; it can be an incredible vehicle for change.

Let's go and change things.

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Brilliant introduction. I can see how much this means to you already, and I'm really excited to see how you fare on this project. Up the... Ohms? Or maybe Chicken Boys?

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5 hours ago, oriole01 said:

Brilliant introduction. I can see how much this means to you already, and I'm really excited to see how you fare on this project. Up the... Ohms? Or maybe Chicken Boys?

Cheers!

Up the Chicken Boys :lol: 

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Very good story behind this - looking forward to seeing how it pans out. By the way Hackney Wick, playing in Eastern Counties League Div 1 South, were formed with a similar purpose IRL - https://www.hackneywickfc.com/our-story/

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26 minutes ago, smp20 said:

Very good story behind this - looking forward to seeing how it pans out. By the way Hackney Wick, playing in Eastern Counties League Div 1 South, were formed with a similar purpose IRL - https://www.hackneywickfc.com/our-story/

Cheers! I'm a big fan of the work Hackney Wick do. Lots of good community based clubs around at this level!

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This looks interesting, I'll be following!

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4 hours ago, NF7 said:

This looks interesting, I'll be following!

Cheers!

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a0789bfeea42b4a495da33ec738a64e7.png

Here's the starting squad. Bit of a mixed bag, really:

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Turkish born Atas looks like being a pretty tidy playmaker.

 

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Big Pat Lee should be solid between the sticks - as solid as anybody in the 12th tier of English football is, anyway.

 

 

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82b24099cf4fae4e9b5a4c6556420147.png

We can't really afford to pay the £960 (we have just £12 in the kitty!) but I'm hopeful it'll prove to be a beneficial decision...

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Preseason:

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The only highlight is some of the names we played against.

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Had a weird feeling of deja vu when I read the OP - glad you explained!

Looking at the squad, it looks like you have a solid spine to the team, and some decent prospects out wide. Will be following! 

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You know, one of my biggest surprises was going to Birmingham and seeing a Sams, it through me a bit.

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42 minutes ago, warlock said:

Had a weird feeling of deja vu when I read the OP - glad you explained!

Looking at the squad, it looks like you have a solid spine to the team, and some decent prospects out wide. Will be following! 

 

16 minutes ago, optimusprimal82 said:

Great stuff - good luck! :applause:

Cheers guys! :D 

7 minutes ago, sc91 said:

You know, one of my biggest surprises was going to Birmingham and seeing a Sams, it through me a bit.

Oh god, they're expanding!

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I'd welcome one Barking way, there's a Dixy's but every other chicken shop ain't up to it, and the further you go out, they just become fish n chips with a bit of chicken on the side, you know their chicken game isn't on point if it ain't the focus.

Anyways, less detracting, good luck.

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10 hours ago, sc91 said:

I'd welcome one Barking way, there's a Dixy's but every other chicken shop ain't up to it, and the further you go out, they just become fish n chips with a bit of chicken on the side, you know their chicken game isn't on point if it ain't the focus.

Anyways, less detracting, good luck.

Got to be honest and say that Sam's easily ranks near the bottom of Chicken shops for me. Dixy's is decent, I've always loved Sana's (not sure if that's a chain or just near Kingsbury though!) and places like Chicken Cottage aren't great but will always be ahead of Sam's for me :lol: 

9 hours ago, David Corperial said:

Seems interesting, good luck with this.

Cheers!

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August, September and October:

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It's not been the most auspicious of starts. After a decent first part of the season we've faded, losing four in a row. We've not been playing badly, but we've really struggled to finish our chances - just one goal in the last four games gives a pretty good clue as to where our problems lie.

 

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Lots of work to be done.

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1 hour ago, Bedese said:

Got to be honest and say that Sam's easily ranks near the bottom of Chicken shops for me. Dixy's is decent, I've always loved Sana's (not sure if that's a chain or just near Kingsbury though!) and places like Chicken Cottage aren't great but will always be ahead of Sam's for me :lol: 

Cheers!

The one down White Hart Lane was my regular haunt when I was younger, nostalgia perhaps ya know. Chicken Cottage though, now we are talking, I went through a phase years ago where I’d just solely live on the peri peri strips and salad, that **** was hot and solid. Think Sanas might be a Kingsbury exclusive.

Dixys went downhill when I was served a raw burger, even though the stacker meal (hash brown, cheese and hot fillet? Game changer) was on point. 

The classic of TFC (Tottenham Fried Chicken ofc) was the one, 2 hot wings and fries for 99p, never went hungry.

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29 minutes ago, sc91 said:

The classic of TFC (Tottenham Fried Chicken ofc) was the one, 2 hot wings and fries for 99p, never went hungry.

Now we're talking! 2 strip burgers and 2 sides of fries for £2 at Sana's... the good old days :lol: 

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November and December:

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That's much more like it!

A disappointing loss to New Hanford to end 2018, but a great month overall, including beating two teams from the division above in various cups.

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6 wins, 6 draws. Mixed bag, huh? :lol: 

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Youth Intake Day!

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A bit of a disappointing first intake in terms of immediate contributors, really.

 

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A second generation immigrant, Bevon Taylor was born in Kingsbury to Jamaican parents. Both his mother and father had come over as part of the Windrush Generation, and met each other whilst working as nurses in the NHS - at the same hospital that both continue to work at to this day. 

The youngest of 3 boys, Bevon would be thrown in goal whenever they played football together in the park. While he'd complain, he secretly enjoyed going in goal. It hadn't taken him long to work out that he wasn't much use with the ball at his feet, but was decently agile enough to hold his own in between the sticks. He's played for a few Sunday League clubs in the area - mainly following his friends wherever they went - but has been at Alpha and Omega for a couple of years, and now looks to break into the Senior side for the first time.

 

 

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January and February:

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Only two league games in these two months, but a disappointing late equaliser by Kodak has probably put paid any slim claims we had to the title with four games left of the season:

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Posted (edited)

End of Season Review:

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A decent end to the season, which means...

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We were never going to catch a team who'd lost just twice all year, and I think we were pretty lucky to get 2nd with 7 losses, all things considered. A promising first season though!

 

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Edited by Bedese

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2019 Review:

Been motoring through the games, so instead of bi-monthly updates here's one for the 2019 part of the 19/20 season:

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I think the word best to describe this season so far is: ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!

We've been the dominant team in the majority of our matches, but to draw so many games is absolutely killing us. We're so wasteful in front of goal - even considering the standard at this level.

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6 points off the top... unlikely, but not impossible if we can stop drawing the games that we really should be winning.

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Youth Intake Day!

5a560f7c1e979fb05232fc0e97082c72.png

I'm sure some of them will develop, but that's a really disappointing intake.

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January and February:

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Much better!

98484f0ed0df544526c7e2f4e6415183.png

Three games to go, and we still have Pitshanger Dynamo to play...

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What a few opening posts. Incredible stuff with the back-story. Well done. :applause:

As much as I love a Youth Only save, what I really like about this save is this. 

5a85841e75ab20d5b2e5a8593c21feb5.png
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While there 2nd Nationalities in the starting squad have been good, I'm a little surprised that there haven't been more 2nd Nationalities in the Youth Intakes. 

You've already had the following Nations represented though.

Australia
China
England
Ghana
Guyana
Ireland
Jamaica
New Zealand
Nigeria
N.Ireland
Scotland
Turkey
Wales
Zambia

Do me a favour and track any new Nations that you get though?

Good luck with this. Think it could be great. :thup:

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@Jimbokav1971 cheers! 

I was hoping for a bit more variety in the nationalities through the intakes, but early days so far! Hopefully we can get a few more through over the coming years. I love the idea about tracking all the nations we have at the club. I'll add it to one of the opening posts ;) 

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A win and a loss in our last two games... is it enough to see us up?

 

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Yes! Up to Tier 11 we go :D 

 

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55b43ef698ec1d1ff3dfd90861aaf825.png

This season is just about staying up, I think - and not just because that means I can get rid of Tier 12 in the game and hopefully speed up the insane processing speeds a bit!

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10 hours ago, Bedese said:

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This season is just about staying up, I think - and not just because that means I can get rid of Tier 12 in the game and hopefully speed up the insane processing speeds a bit!

Congrats on the promotion - a very interesting mix of teams in this division! Do AC London still play in a massive stadium?

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7 hours ago, smp20 said:

Congrats on the promotion - a very interesting mix of teams in this division! Do AC London still play in a massive stadium?

Cheers! It's a much stranger mix than I was expecting, I have to say :lol: 

AC London play at a pretty big one for this level, but I don't know if it's the one you had in mind?

3b460fe8a6e83f7d58c46845127b74e9.png

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6 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Congrats on the promotion mate! KUTGW :applause:

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Bedese said:

Cheers! It's a much stranger mix than I was expecting, I have to say :lol: 

AC London play at a pretty big one for this level, but I don't know if it's the one you had in mind?

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They did used to play at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre which holds between 16k-25k depending on what you read, but clearly not anymore. They were founded after the 2011 riots by a 16-year-old!

Well I didn't know this:

https://northkentnonleague.co.uk/the-most-hated-club-in-non-league-football-booted-out-of-the-league

Edited by smp20

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