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The year is 2018 and I have just completed all the coaching courses needed to become a football manager and I've just been offered my first job. I've travelled south of the border to meet the chairman of the club who's laid down his ambitions and offered me a contract. I phoned my family to say that I'd be leaving my home in Glasgow to take charge of the mighty Bath City.

 

"Bath City are delighted to announce TheFMBoss as our new permanent manager" the club said on social media. 

 

This was it, my first step in football management. I met with the captain of the club, 36 year old goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, where I told him that I was aiming to guide the club to the play offs in my first season, and to do it playing fast attacking football.

 

Ryan was only new at the club a year but as the most experienced in the side he was immediately given the captains armband. He was excited to see what I could bring to the side, but most importantly who I could bring in to strengthen the side, because he initially thought the club "weren't currently in a position to push for the play offs."

I thought that he may be right, so I ran through a squad list to see who isn't up to scratch and where I could bring in a couple of players to improve the squad.

 

 

 

Edited by TheFMBoss

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The Squad

Ryan Clarke: Our captain is probably the club's best player, which isn't good considering he's 36 and a goalkeeper. However his experience could help us in some very important games and he's a good player nonetheless.

Ryan Brunt: He will be my #1 striker unless I bring in another (which doesn't look likely). He's scored 20 goals in 134 appearances during his 8-year career, but has only played once, for Exeter City last season, since 2015/16 for Plymouth where he scored 9 in 34 games.

Jack Batten: A very good central defender who has been at the club for 5 years. A free transfer from a Championship side Bristol City, since making 90 appearances for the club.

Dan Ball: A player, from looking at his stats, seems a very below-par defender. He may be useful to keep around considering he can play both at centre half and left backs, not a starter but.

Frankie Artus: Looks a good central midfield player by his stats and we may need to build a side around him. Probably our best outfield player and if he stays fit (fingers crossed) he'll be playing every game for us this season.

Kevin Amwankaah: Another 36 year old who I may try and get on my coaching team. He can play either centre back or right back but won't feature in every game for us although he could play a big part behind the scenes for our play off push.

Harvey Wiles-Richards: He'll be our second choice goalkeeper this season, but at 18 he looks very promising and could become a leading player at the club in the future.

Andy Watkins: He'd be our second choice striker, but our starting right attacking midfielder as he's capable in both. He looks good enough to stay at the club but if we wanted, could improve on him if we went shopping.

Anthony Straker: A very solid left back to have and one of the best in the league in that position, so no need for improvement in the left back department.

Ross Stearn: Although I will probably play him on the left hand side of midfield, he is just as capable on the right which is good for us that he is versatile, meaning we don't have to rush to bring in players.

Tom Smith: A central midfielder on loan from Cheltenham that could help us with cover in the middle of the park. He's played for Swindon which tells he's a good enough player.

Sean Rigg: A versatile attacking midfielder who can play as a central midfielder or left midfielder if needed. Will be an important player for us this season.

Matt Richards: A 33 year old defensive midfielder who won't get much action this season, if any. We'all try to offload him but not the end of the world if he stays.

Joe Raynes: I'll play him as a right back but he's just as capable on the right or central midfield. Will be our first choice right back.

James Ollis: A left midfielder, currently out on loan. If he does well we'll look to recall him in January but would prefer he stays until next season.

James Morton: On loan from Bristol City Reserves, a decent wee central midfielder who will most likely start.

John Mills: Not a good enough player, probably our 3rd choice striker in,see we sell him. Might be used depending on injuries.

Adam Mann: Probably not good enough to start but is certainly a reliable attacking midfielder if we need him.

Kieran Hodges: 3rd choice goalie. He's also one for the future at just 18 years old. Probably use him in some cup fixtures throughout the season.

Robbie Cundy: A 21 year old central defender who looks our worst player. A loan move however may be beneficial for us and him.

Based on the squad we have, our priority in terms of the transfer market will definitely be another centre back to play alongside Jack Batten. Wouldn't mind another striker as after Ryan Brunt, our second and third choice aren't very good.

 

 

 

 

Edited by TheFMBoss

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Early Transfers and Pre-Season

Myself and Billy Clark, the club's scout, got to work on possible transfers. Of course our main priorities were getting in a Centre back and a Striker. Soon we laid down some targets, spoke to some agents, had offers rejected, some accepted, before we finally got two deals over the line just before the season begun...

Ryan Reynolds: (Not the actor, he was too expensive) Our first summer transfer was that of 17 year old Cardiff City centre back Ryan Reynolds on loan. The Welshman will be a starter and if needed can play as a left or right back as well as a defensive midfielder and his natural central defender position. We have been made to pay 100% of his weekly wage though, meaning that we would be less likely to bring in much more players.

Fàbio Carvalho: Our second summer signing was another loan deal of 15 year old Fulham striker Fàbio Carvalho for the season. A very good second choice striker to have and is capable of being given a run in the team if his performances are good. We've also managed to get away with paying just 20% of his 1.7k a week wage, which we thank Fulham for.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The two signings were made after our four pre-season matches which myself, personally, had been looking forward to. We managed a wins, two draws and just the one loss against teams all of similar levels to ourselves.

 

Bath City 0-0 AFC Telford

Welling  1-0 Bath City (Mills 41')

Bath City 0-0 Darlington

Bath City 3-2 Hereford (Brunt 14', Owen-Evans 16', Stearn 18', Symons 50', Brunt 68')

All round a good, experimental pre-season for myself to get a look at the squad and where we needed strengthened, which myself and the club scout went out and did. Now the Vanarama South season 18/19 is upon us...

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TheFMBoss

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The Opening Day

 I was in the tunnel, thinking to myself "This is it, my first competitive match as a football manager" I picked the strongest side possible to go out and get the job done, however Dartford are a very good side also and they'll be looking to spoil my celebration. However, I trusted my lineup:

GK- R. Clarke

LB- A. Straker

CB- R. Reynolds

CB- J. Batten

RB- J. Raynes

CM- F. Artus

CM- T. Smith

LAM- R. Stearn

RAM- A. Watkins

CAM- S. Rigg

ST- R. Brunt

As the referee picked up the match ball and walked both teams out in front of the 925 fans inside our stadium who were cheering, with a small few trying to start up a chant.

"City! City!

I knew non-league football teams were followed by some 'die hard fans' but to be the manager of one and them cheering for you, it was a special moment. 

The teams shook hand before the captains went over to the referee for the coin toss, where we had to kick off. All I had in my head was "Get an early goal"

We kicked off, this was it, my dream of becoming a football manager was now a real-

"Goooooaaaaalllll! Just 36 seconds in and Bath City have taken the lead! Sean Rigg, the goal scorer, wheels away in celebration."

We scored, I punched the air in celebration as, just 36 seconds into my competitive managerial career and we had taken the lead! All I remember was telling the players to keep concentrated and go again.

And 10 minutes later, we did! Ryan Brunt doubled our lead from a curling free kick 25 yards out!

I was in dreamland. We seen it through 'til half time with Dartford only coming close once, a header wide on the 26th minute. They hadn't troubled us at all

Half Time

Bath City 2-0 Dartford (Rigg 1', Brunt 11')

I made no changes at the break, all I told the team was to keep it up and not to get complacent.

15 minutes into the second half and Dartford pull one back, their goalscorer celebrates, I'm full of anger after telling the team not to get complacent just 15  minutes before. 

Wait a second, the linesmans flag is raised, the goal has been disallowed! Dartford are complaining towards to the referee, I'm not. I yelled a quick instruction on to the players to not get dragged out before making a double substitution on the hour mark:

Fàbio Carvalho ~> Ryan Brunt

Tom Smith ~> James Morton

The rest of the second half was pretty boring, we knew we ha the 2 goal advantage whilst our opponents assumed it was 0-0 and they were happy with a point. However, with 7 minutes to go, I made a final change...

Adam Mann ~> Andy Watkins

Adam had only been on the park for about 6 minutes before he played the ball through to Carvalho who slotted home to put the icing on the cake.

"City! City! City! City'"

The home support were going crazy, as was I. I was feeling what the fans were feeling I now knew how much this club means to the fans and now it means so much to me. 

"And the referee blows to end the game!

We had done it, a fantastic win on the opening day

Full Time

Bath City 3-0 Dartford (Rigg 1', Brunt 11', Carvalho 90').

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back To Reality

August 2019

After that brilliant win against Dartford I knew my job was only going to get harder, but at least I knew I'd be enjoying it. Harder it got as I completed my first month in charge of a football club with some mixed results. I tried to get one defender in after the next 2 games where we conceded 9, yes, 9 goals.

Torquay 3-1 Bath City (Lumbombo 49', Reid 53', Dickson 70', Carvalho 86')

A result which doesn't do our performance justice, a few silly errors cost us at both ends of the park.

Hampton and Richmond 6-3 Bath City (Wellard 8', Brunt 18', Williamson 24', Dickson 33', Smith 39', Joseph 58', Barrington 68', Mambo 72', Carvalho 77')

A humiliating performance away from home and we needed two penalties to keep the score half respectable.

After those results I though that I was completely wrong about the side and that we would never get the play-offs but back to back to back wins proved me wrong once again: 

Bath City 3-1 Gloucester 

Bath City 3-2 Dulwich Hamlet

Chelmsford 1-4 Bath City

Our 15 year old loanee Carvalho had scored 6 times in those 3 games alone and is slowly becoming my number one striker ahead of Brunt, who I also can't complain about. We've got very good attacking players but defensively we can switch off and make errors. 

Our final game in August ended in defeat:

Bath City 0-2 Weston-Super-Mare

A sour end to an average August and the current league standings are: 

(Pos. Name. Points) (All played 7 games)

1. Billericay 16

2. Hampton and Richmond 16

3. Woking 16

4. Hemel Hempstead 14

5. Concord 13

6. Torquay 13

7. Bath City 12

8. Truro 11

(9th-24th)

We find ourselves in the final play off spot which is where we currently want to be. Although I know I've still got the whole season left to go in a very competitive league...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September to November 2019

 

As I walked into the dressing room after our defeat to Weston-Super-Mare, I said to the lads

 

"That out there, was simply not good enough. There is no way in hell that the play offs are a realistic aim if we're turning up every week and putting in performances like the one we just displayed."

 

It was the first time I really went ballistic at the squad and on the Monday in training, the boys were working harder than ever, well except Jack Batten who disrupted my training session, trying to joke around and put others off. I called him straight into my office, which was more like a caravan, where I had an explosive chat with him, leading to the player being fined his wage for the week, to which he accepted before apologising to myself, and the coaching staff.

 

1st September 2019

 

As the team, staff and myself, sat on our bus going the 4 hours and 12 minute journey to East Thurrock, I stood up in front of the group and gave a small team talk wrote we got to our destination.

 

"Right boys, we need a win here, put last weeks result and performance behind you, and use what you've learned in training over the course of the time I've been here and implement it into today's performance."

 

As we arrived at the small stadium, we walked into the dressing room, I told the team, and then the players went out to warm-up. I met with Thurrock's manager, John Coventry in the tunnel and had a chat with him about him and his career in management, where he gave me advice on how to get the best out of his player, and his coaching staff, which lead to wins and successes.

 

As the players came back into the dressing room, I reminded them that they had to take what they did in training and put it into their performance, or else we'll lose.

 

The players lined up in the tunnel and walked out onto the pitch. I was just repeating what I said to the team over and over in my head: "Take training into games"

 

A game of football later...

 

East Thurrock 1-0 Bath City

 

Turns out Jack Batten took joking around from training on Monday into his performance today, as he cost us the only goal of the game, passing it straight to the opposition's striker who slotted past Clarke

 

I stayed calm in the dressing room afterwards, only telling the team that I was disappointed in them. They were surprised, expecting me to be shouting my head off, but it was a mistake that cost us one goal, we couldn't have done anything about it in terms of stopping the striker from scoring.

 

Rest of September + October

 

Bath City 1-2 Hungerford

Oxford City 1-1 Bath City

 

After the Oxford result, our striker, Ryan Brunt, was injured and out for a month. With only Carvalho left as an option, I decided to go out into the market and snap up a new striker on a free:

 

Darius Osei: A 22 year old striker valued at 14k, more than most of our squad. Before joining us, Darius had only scored 3 goals in 5 years of playing, but that was going to change drastically here...

 

Welling 0-4 Bath City

 

Osei had scored a hat-trick on his debut, doubling the amount of goals he's scored in his entire career. Carvalho finished the game off.

 

Weymouth 0-3 Bath City (FA Cup third qualifying round)

 

Osei had scored his 4th goal in two games for us! Carvalho, who I've began playing at CAM, scored a double.

 

St. Albans 1-1 Bath City

 

Osei scoring yet again.

 

Bath City 1-0 Barnet (FA Cup fourth qualifying round)

 

Carvalho had sent us to the FA Cup first round proper as we beat a team in the National League!

 

"TheFMBoss masterminds giant killing!" Was the headline of a local newspaper 

 

Bath City 1-5 Billericay Town

 

Osei scored again as we were humiliated by top of the league.

 

Woking 1-0 Bath City

 

We had dropped to 13th, 8 points behind the play offs.

 

Truro 0-2 Bath City

 

Osei and Rigg ensured the 3 points as we needed the help of some youth players due to fitness.

 

After the win over Truro, we found ourselves 11th, 5 points behind the side we had just beaten in 7th and with the help of our new star striker, the play offs could become yet again, a realistic target.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TheFMBoss

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The FA Cup First Round Proper

Bath City 3-4 Hemel Hempstead 

Yet again, defensive errors cost us another win, never mind a draw, as we were beaten at home yet again. Osei and Carvalho were both on target and they were the only two I singled out for praise in the dressing room afterwards. We needed to stop throwing away such important points like that and on the Tuesday afterwards I sat down with scout, Billy Clark, assigning him to search for central defenders to help us.

 

Wealdstone 0-1 Bath City

A good win, unfortunately overshadowed by Fàbio Carvalho who will miss the most important game of my managerial career so far. Osei scored again yet again, then a poor offside decision denied him a second. A very experimental side with both central defenders dropped.

 

November 10th 2018

(VNS) Bath City vs Yeovil Town (L2)

I woke up in my hotel room in Bath City and looked at my phone. 

 

"REMINDER: FA Cup first round match today!" it read.

 

It is a huge game for not just myself, but the whole football club at Bath City. Our opponents, Yeovil Town, were 38 positions above us in the Football League system, and playing full time. This was set up to be a massive game for us. 

Osei was scoring goals, however our defence was leaking them. Carvalho, a huge player for us, is out injured and will miss the game. Stearn, our left midfielder will also miss out through injury. So I was forced to set up the team as follows:

 

GK- R. Clarke

LB- J. Jones (youth)

CB- R. Reynolds

CB- J. Batten

RB-  J. Raynes

CM- F. Artus

CM- T. Smith

LAM- M. Hughes (youth)

CAM- S. Rigg

RAM- A. Watkins 

ST. D. Osei

I was confident that the team could deliver a performance to be proud of, especially in front of a packed out home crowd cheering us on. I know that if we put in a big performance, we'll cause an upset, because Yeovil are battling League 2 relegation.

I told the boys in the dressing room beforehand to enjoy themselves, but most importantly put in a display to be proud of. A win would mean so much for the club financially, and would mean so much for me and the fans, players, staff. 

The game kicked off and all I could do was pray...

13 minutes in and we were one down, a clear offside not spotted by the linesman. However, I stuck by my game plan and encouraged the players.

Half time

Bath City 0-1 Yeovil Town

We were losing, but only marginally. We came close once or twice from set pieces whilst not giving them much opportunities at goal. We were the better of the two sides and didn't deserve to be one down, especially when the goal shouldn't have stood. 

I told the players to go back out and keep playing the way they were, as the goal would come. They knew that already and were up for it. We kicked off for the final 45...

"GOAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!! Bath City have equalised!"

Darius Osei had equalised. The players and fans were going crazy, whilst I was trying my best to stay calm. We had a chance to now go on and grab a winner with 20 minutes left. I told Adam Mann to go and get ready as I was bringing him on.

15 minutes later...

Heartbreak.

 

Yeovil scored what I can only imagine as the winner. We only have 5 minutes left to find a reply. Clarke made a fantastic save but the winger tapped home the rebound. We were dominating them, the side 2 leagues above ourselves. All I could do was send on another striker and put a centre half up top to try and equalise.

 

"And the referee blows the final whistle. Heartbreak for Bath City who deserved so much more from the game" 

It was over. I asked the players to put in a performance to be proud of and I have to say, they did. We came close late on but Brunts effort was saved. I told the players to walk round d the stadium and thank the 1113 fans that turned up to support us.

We had plenty of positives to take from the game and turned our focus back onto our league fixtures, which were going to be coming thick and fast.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TheFMBoss

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November and December 2018

 (11th) Bath City 1-0 Eastbourne Boro (16th)

Brunt's 82nd minute winner helped us overcome 10 man Boro.

Three Bridges 0-4 Bath City (FA Trophy 3rd qualifying round)

We lived up to our name of firm favourites beforehand, dismantling three bridges. Carvalho also returned.

(17th) Slough 1-3 Bath City (10th)

A good win on our travels yet again and we could've won by a much larger margin.

(8th) Bath City 3-1 Concord (7th) 

An Osei hat trick moves us back into the play off spots heading into our FA Trophy first round match.

(VNS) Bath City 3-4 Leyton Orient (VNL) (FA Trophy First Round)

We so nearly managed a late comeback against a side who unfortunately had too much quality for us to compete with.

(7th) Bath City 2-1 Chelmsford (16th)

A late Brunt goal is enough to secure the three points.

(19th) Chippenham 8-1 Bath City (6th)

I...I...I have no words. We were 0-1 up.

(14th) Weston-Super-Mare 1-2 Bath City (8th)

Carvalho the hero in a much changed City side.

(6th) Bath City 0-3 Chippenham (18th)

In the space of two weeks, we've lost 8-1 and 0-3 to a team fighting relegation. Embarrassing.

Looks like myself and the scouting staff have some work to do to improve our defence after the recent humiliations. We'd been on a good run up to then too and it's as if we don't want to be in the play offs, the target we set ourselves.

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Posted (edited)

A Happy New Year?

It was just days after our humiliating defeat at the hands of Chippenham, where we were soundly defeated. 

I was setting up our training session when my assistant manager, Jim Rollo, came over to me to say:

"Boss we need you in the chairmans office, regarding transfers"

I didn't know what he meant, Billy Clark was out scouting centre backs so it wasn't about defenders coming in. 

I walked in to Sam Warr's office, where he greeted me and gave me a glass of water. 

"Let's get straight down to business, shall we?" He said.

"Due to our current financial state, I've been forced to accept an offer for Anthony Straker."

"As in my first choice left back?" I was taken aback. Apart from one appearance from a youth player, he'd played every game!

"Don't worry, I've got Mr. Clark to get a replacement in. Jacob Jones from Swansea, I believe."

So, the chairman of the club has called me in to tell me he's sold our only left back and replaced him with a 16 year old on loan? I was really angry with him, but didn't show it. 

"Oh and I've also sold some of the academy players, to help with our finiancial state, like I said."

"Mr. Warr, with all due respect" I began. "Don't you think you should've told me before you actually let the players go? I mean I could've picked out alternative players to help with the money situation."

"Oh. Well. It didn't cross my mind-" 

I couldn't hold in my anger much longer. I got up from my chair and stormed off back out to the training pitch. It has probably harmed my relationship with Sam, but at least it showed that I am passionate about the club and the players, and want the club to succeed with the best squad possible.

 

I had to meet my new left back, tell him about the club and the style of play in time for our first games of 2019.

 

(13th) Dulwich Hamlet 1-2 Bath City (8th)

(7th) Bath City 2-1 East Thurrock (17th)

 

We came from behind in both games, which we dominated, and it had given us momentum heading into the game against league leaders, Torquay, who had already beaten us this season.

 

(6th) Bath City 2-2 Torquay (1st)

We were 2-0 down at the break and had missed a penalty after 6 minutes. I brought Brunt on in place of Osei, to which he scored 2, completing the comeback and earning a point against a quality side.

 

January had been excellent so far and all I was wanting for it to continue. We haven't even signed a central defender yet! So I called Billy Clark who made a few phone calls to agents and clubs, and finally suggested to me Diego Lamadrid, on a 6 month loan deal from Leyton Orient, who we had played earlier in the season. I took him up on the deal and the following day, the player met with myself and the rest of the staff where he quickly learned his surroundings.

 

He was thrown straight in at the deep end, where he was named in the starting eleven for our game just 2 days later.

 

(11th) Gloucester 1-3 Bath City (7th)

A big win for us that moves us just 3 points off third place. We took an early lead before being pegged back on the stroke of half time. Two late goals ensured victory though.

 

After an awful end to 2018, we had started the new year fantastically, dropping just 2 points (against Torquay, who were running away with the league). I got my new centre back despite losing a left back amd some youth players. All was going well now for myself and Bath City and here's hoping the form continues.

 

 

 

Edited by TheFMBoss

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February, March and April 2019

The boys were working hard in training, passing and moving the ball. I looked down at my clipboard to check what the next drill I had to set out was.

"Boss, boss"

I looked up. Our best and most experienced defender, Jack Batten, was down, holding his ankle. I sent him to the club's physio, Lee Williamson, who took him to his office to run through scans. 

2 hours later and Williamson came into my office to give me bad news.

"I've x-rayed his ankle and came to the conclusion he's twisted it. I'd advise he stays at home for at least 2 months before he returns to training."

That was no use. I now need to rely on two young loanees to get me through February and March and hope none of them get injured themselves. Lamadrid was still getting used to being in the side and my style of the play, which could cause disaster. Ryan Reynolds was only coming back from an injury that ruled him out for 2 weeks, so we need to make we take careful steps to ensure he doesn't aggravate that further, or else that could cause disaster.

 

It was the day of the game against Hampton and Richmond. I told the players to be carful of injury especially with us losing such an important player. Luckily, all went well for us and we kept a clean sheet in the process!

 

(6th) Bath City 2-0 Hampton and Richmond (9th)

We scored two goals against the run of play in the second half before the visitors went down to ten men.

 

I selected the same team to face our opening day opponents Dartford. We only ourselves to blame as we were beaten.

 

(9th) Dartford 3-2 Bath City (5th)

We were 3-0 down after 19 minutes before getting one back on the stroke of half time. The home side went down to ten men, but it was too little to late as we could only pull one goal back.

 

I then decided to go two up front for our next match (Brunt and Osei) meaning Carvalho was dropped to the bench. We started off well before collapsing before half time. We looked down and out, but the most dramatic game in my managerial career so far ended with the away side getting all 3 points.

 

(8th) Concord 4-5 Bath City (6th)

We went 0-1 up early on before going 4-1 down at the break. We scored 2 goals in 2 minutes to make it 4-3 before a 92nd minute equaliser gave us a point, or at least everyone thought. On the 97th minute, Watkins played a ball into the box where it hit their defender and stumbled over the line. The most dramatic ending to a game you'll ever see!

 

(6th) Bath City 3-1 Slough (21st)

A Brunt double and Osei goal secured the 3 points.

 

(5th) Bath City 4-2 Truro (10th)

A comfortable win in the end, despite being 2-0 up, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2, and then obviously 4-2.

 

(7th) Hemel Hempstead 1-1 Bath City (5th)

A decent point away from home against one of our play off rivals.

 

(5th) Bath City 2-1 Wealdstone (18th) 

Am important win against a decent side.

 

(12th) Eastbourne Boro 1-0 Bath City (5th)

Reynolds was sent off early on for a late challenge. From then on the home side were dominant.

 

(5th) Bath City 4-2 Woking (4th)

An Osei hat trick and a Brunt goal earns as a huge result against a team aboveboard us in the league.

 

(2nd) Welling 1-0 Bath City (3rd)

An unfortunate result against a very good side. We drop to 4th.

 

(4th) Bath City 2-0 St. Albans (21st)

Goals from Rigg and Brunt has secured us not only 3 points, but a play off spot!

 

That night, the chairman called me to congratulate me on earning the side a play off spot. He believes that I've did a fantastic job at he club so far but has set me a challenge to gather momentum until the end of the season to take in the play offs and gain promotion!

I initially thought that was an absurd thing to do, but after a couple of minutes I realised that actually it is a realistic target. I told the players this the next dya who agreed with me and we began trianig hard, trying to build momentum.

 

(16th) Hungerford 2-2 Bath City (4th)

Talk about trying to build momentum, eh? At least we didn't lose...

 

(4th) Bath City 1-0 Oxford City (22nd)

A nice win in the penultimate game of the season.

 

(2nd) Billericay 1-0 Bath City (4th)

A poor result to end the season, but we look forward to the play offs now.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The Play Offs

First Round

Bath City vs Hemel Hempstead 

 

Previous meetings

The sides met twice during the season where Bath failed to beat them on both occasions.

Bath City 3-4 Hemel Hempstead 

Hemel Hempstead 1-1 Bath City 

 

League season

Bath City finished the season in 4th place, whilst their opponents came 7th. The home side in the first leg owned the top goalscorer in the league (Darius Osei scored 25, 2nd place scored 18). Meanwhile Hempstead had conceded 1 less goal than the bookies favourite heading into the match. 

 

I had played sides well above us in the football league pyramid, yet this would be the biggest game of my career to date. We had bad news heading into the first leg, as Fàbio Carvalho suffered and injury in training and would miss the game.

I picked the strongest team I could possibly pick to go out and win today. I didn't want to go all out however, as our opponents are a very dangerous side on the counter like I've learned during our meetings.

The teams walked out of the tunnel and onto the park on a summers evening in Bath.

"City! City! City!"

The crowd came out in their numbers to support us, and my God will we need it. I just hope that we can get the win especially being at home.

 

First Half

9': Artus has the ball for Bath, plays a wonderful out right to Stearn who plays the ball across to Osei! GOAL FOR BATH CITY! 1-0.

15': Corner to Hempstead. Ball comes over, cleared by Reynolds only as far as Connolly who hits one! Deflected by Rigg but into the path of Lobjoit. THERE IT IS! THE EQUALISER. 1-1

34': Free kick to the away side, crossed in. LOBJOINT! Oh just over the bar. It remains 1-1.

38': Bath are coming back into it. Artus. Plays it to Osei. WHO FINDS THE BOTTOM CORNER! Bath lead again. 2-1!

45': There goes the half time whistle! What an exciting contest here which sees Bath City lead 2-1.

 

Half time 

We were playing well, 2-1 up. 2 very good goals and we were very unlucky to concede. I told the players to keep playing the way they were and if we scored the next goal, we'd score 4 or 5.

 

Second Half

52': Bath have a corner, Rigg takes. IT'S OSEI AT THE NEAR POST! Marginally wide. Still 2-1 here.

61': Watt takes a corner for the visitors. He's given it to Parks who's 25 yards and hits one towards goal. SAVED! 

66': Manny Hughes replaces Ross Stearn on the right hand side of midfield.

73': Chris Brunt comes on for Darius Osei, who receives a standing ovation form the home support.

91': Batten replaces Reynolds in TheFMBoss's final change this evening.

93': And the referee brings a fantastic game to an end. Bath will be  delighted with their victory which sees them through!

 

Post Match

The players came back into the dressing room where I told them that I was happy with their performance and although we would've liked to have won by more, we at least got the job done.

 

Second Round

Billericay vs Bath City 

 

Billericay's Season

Our opponents finished second in the league and go into this one as firm favourites. They beat us 1-0 and 5-1 during the season, with Cody Prior their main man up top who netted 16 times. We will also have to be careful from set pieces, as their Michee Efete, their centre back, scored 5 goals.

 

Fàbio Carvalho was still injured for us so I've picked the same starting lineup as the Hemel Hempstead game. I didn't care how we done it, but all I want is  a win.

 

First Half

6': Billericay come forward with the ball, here's Jahraldo-Martin, who crosses the ball in for LAFAYETTE! 1-0 to the home side!

22': Here's Jahraldo-Martin agains, puts the ball in a dangerous area! And Lewthwaite nods it home at the back stick! It's now 2-0 Billericay!

26': Potter has it. Oh he's megged Jones. POTTER!! 3-0 Billericay! No way back for Bath now!

45': The referee brings the half to a close. 3-0 Billericay at the break.

 

Half time 

We were being humiliated, embarrassed and pummelled by a much better side. None of the players seem up for it and I've told them that. However we've now got nothing to lose and I'd rather get beat 6-0 and try than 3-0 and go for damage limitation. I brought Brunt on for Raynes and went 3-5-2.

 

Second half 

72': Potter, crosses in. LAFAYETTE! 4-0. No, the goal won't stand, the linesmans flag is raised. 3-0 it stays.

91': Artus on the ball for Bath. Oh wonderful ball for Brunt. HE SCORES. 3-1 now!

93': And the referee blows for full time. Billericay deserving of it in the end, but heartbreak for Bath City.

 

Post match

And with that, we remain in the Vanarama South League. The players put so much into the second half but it wasn't to be. I did all I could as a manager to make the changes. Now we  go on holiday and refresh for the new season. 

 

If I'm still here...

 

 

 

Edited by TheFMBoss

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Season 2: A new beginning?

 09/07/19

I was sitting at my desk, going back and forth with different people in the wonderful footballing world, enquiringly about different players, have people enquire about my own players and so on. when my phone beeped.

 

"Beep"

 

I checked the notification on my phone screen, which led me to my emails, where I saw the headline "Kettering Town Job Offer". I opened the mail, to which it read:

 

"Mr. TheFMBoss,

We write to you today to inform you of the vacant managerial role here at Kettering Town Football Club.

We have been watching you closely as the manager of your current club, Bath City, over the course of the season and we were impressed with the success of your first season.

Due to this, we have thus came to the decision to offer the vacancy to yourself. Despite having limited funds, we believe that with the squad we already have, and your management style, we could mount a real challenge.

We eagerly await your acceptance of this job offer.

D. Mahoney: Club chairman."

 

I was taken aback. Although they play their football in the National League North (equivalent to the National League South) they had already a much better squad than Bath and had realistic hopes of promotion to the National League. 

I took a few days to think over and whilst it would be sad to leave the club that gave me my first job in football, I decided to do what was best for my managerial career and accept the offer.

I informed Sam Warr of my decision, who said he'd be sad to see me go but wouldn't hold me back from taking the next step of my career.

With that, I told the players and coaching staff that I'd be leaving the club before leaving the training ground for the last time. I called Mr. Mahoney to confirm my acceptance of his intriguing offer.

 

First Day

I entered through the doors of the 2,400 capacity stadium to be greeted by my new boss. He gave me a quick tour of the stadium and showed me my office before going into his office for a meeting to discuss the club's ambitions.

 

Mr. Mahoney: "So, let me start off by saying welcome to the club."

Me: "Thank you very much Mr. Mahoney."

Mr. Mahoney: "Please, call me David. Anyway, the reason of your appointment here at the club is that I have a new vision for the club, which is obviously to climb the footballing ladder, and I believe you're the man to help us achieve that. That also means that I've let go of all the staff at the club, leaving it up to you to bring in your own backroom staff for the upcoming season, and hopefully beyond."

Me: "I always liked the idea of being able to bring in my own staff, it also gives me more responsibility, which I enjoy."

David: "Glad to hear that. However, keep in mind that one of the club's main philosophies is that of using a vast amount of youth players throughout the season. I'd rather see us use our own crop of talent from the academy and go out and buying a few experienced players to help them grow as footballers."

Me: "I'd be happy to do that for you, David."

David: "Oh and one final thing. Try to keep loan players to a minimum if possible. I'd rather pay a players wage if their are ours than pay another club's players!"

Me: "Of course." I said, although if we want promotion we may need to bring in some players on loan.

David: "And I think that's everything covered. The players return next week for pre season so give yourself a week to bring in your new staff and get them up to speed with the running of the team. Also, remember to add your own touch to the side!"

He stood up and shook my hand. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to take full responsibility of everything the club does this season contribute towards making David's vision for the club a reality.

 

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