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(CM'97/98) Scotland In The 90's

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I need a low maintenance save that I can just crack on with when I want to play, and not get too bogged down with the writing side of things. So I have reverted back to the old Championship Manager series, and a version that is over twenty years old.

It will provide a bit of nostalgia in terms of players, and even clubs in some cases. With only English and Scottish Leagues open in the game, and very little in the way of detail compared to the current series of it's Football Manager successor, there should be a decent pace set. No match reports here, just very brief game summaries.

I used an online random selector to pick me a Division, and then a club, and ended up with Scottish Third Division side, Dumbarton. To add an extra layer of competition, I'll be making use of a feature in the older versions of the game, the Overall Reputations and Performance Points Tables.


Wednesday 16th July 1997
Two Cup draws are made today, before I even get a chance to take a look at my squad. First up is the Scottish Coca-Cola League Cup, where we are one of 12 teams that will play in the First Round, and we are drawn away to Divison rivals, Berwick Rangers. That becomes our season opener on the 3rd August.

In the draw for the lower league competition, the Scottish League Challenge Cup, we get a more difficult tie, home to Livingston of the Second Division in a tie that is scheduled for 21st August.

A quick look at the squad suggests we need to improve our full backs, centre midfield and striker options. If we decide to deploy wide men, we may need a left winger too, as 22 year old Joe Goldie is looking to move to a new club in the near future. With only £100,000 to spend as a Transfer Budget, I'm shopping for new players in the bargain basement. If I can move a few players who are not going to be required on as well, we'll be in okay shape.

Sunday 20th July
By the time the weekend is out, we are discussing personal terms with two players, and have offers in for another three. That was originally two players, but when my Transfer pot was increased up to £130,000, I put in a bid for a midfielder who I had originally thought would be out of our price range.

Monday 21st July
The first signing is made, and it's a younger player, and much needed upgrade at right back. Keith O'Halloran is a 21 year old from the Republic of Ireland, who sign's for £8,000 from St Johnstone. It's a four year deal on £1,000 per week for the player who made four appearances for Middlesbrough as a youngster, and then further appearances on loan for Scunthorpe United and Cardiff City. He also played five times for St Johnstone last season.

17 year old left winger James Paterson has rejected a move to us from Dundee United after the club accepted a £4,000 offer from us. We may be looking to go back in for him with improved personal terms.

Wednesday 23rd July
A second new signing is now done, and the new arrival is 23 year old centre midfielder Innes Ritchie, who signs for £13,000 from East Fife. A very good passer of the ball, it's a two year deal at £600 per week for a player who has made eleven Senior appearances, all for Motherwell prior to his arrival at East Fife, who had him Transfer Listed.

Friday 25th July
On the day that left winger Joe Goldie has a Transfer Request rejected, I bring in a new striker, and the man I hope will fire the goals for us this season. 31 year old Jesus Tejero signs for £25,000 from Partick Thistle. The Spaniard looks head and shoulders above any striker we already had at the club, and signs a two year deal for £850 per week.

Sunday 3rd August

Scottish Coca-Cola League Cup, First Round
Shielfield Park, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

Berwick Rangers (2) 3 - Ansah (10), Fraser (39), Walsh (68)
Dumbarton (0) 0
Attendance :- 3,192
K.Meechan; Barnes ©, Bruce; O'Hallaron, J.Meechan, Sharp; Reid (McKinnon 74); McGarvey, Granger (Ritchie 45); Tejero, Glancy.
We created our fair share of chances, but light on numbers in midfield with this ambitious formation cost us, and Berwick took their chances. They move on to play Rangers, while we are lectured by the Board.

Performance Points :- 9th. 20 pts
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Wednesday 6th August
We'll have to tread carefully now in the Transfer Market going forward. There is less than £30,000 available, and we clearly need to make some improvements. An attempt to bring in an attacking midfielder before the opening Third Division match has failed though.

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Saturday 9th August 1997
Scottish Third Division

Cliftonhill Stadium, Coatbridge
Albion Rovers (1) 2 - McInnes (36), Ross (75)
Dumbarton (1) 2 - Reid (15), Tejero (54)
Attendance :- 605
K.Meechan; Barnes ©, Bruce; O'Halloran, J.Meechan, Sharp; Dallas (Gow 75), Reid, Ritchie; Tejero, McGarvey.
A missed opportunity to open our League campaign with a win. Despite Tejero missing a host of chances, he put us ahead for a second time shortly after the break. But when I sacrificed a forward and brought on an extra defender, we were punished right away.

Performance Points :- 114th. 38 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Sunday 10th August
New signing and right back Keith O'Halloran has been called up to the Republic of Ireland Under-21's squad.

Monday 11th August
Forfar Athletic and Oldham Athletic have both offered £120,000 for centre back Gerard Britton. Both offers have been accepted.

Tuesday 12th August
Britton didn't take long to make his mind up, signing for Oldham Athletic today. I immediately look to reinvest the money back into the squad, making a new offer for the attacking midfielder, and trying to bring in another striker on a Free Transfer.

Wednesday 13th August
Keith O'Halloran has bruised his ribs in training and will be out for a few days.

Thursday 14th August
Two new players have arrived at the club today. Scunthorpe United's attacking midfielder Alexander Calvo-Garcia becomes our second Spanish signing after we pay £23,000 for his signature. At £1,000 a week on a one year deal, the 25 year old is one of our highest earning players now.

Much lower down the pay scale is striker James Grady, the 26 year old also signs a one year deal which will pay him £300 per week, arriving on a Free Transfer having been released by Dundee.

Monday 18th August
The squad improvements continue today as we utilise the Free Agent market, with three more arrivals. 31 year old former Hearts goalkeeper Stephen O'Donnell is here for the season initially on a £300 per week deal. We take a big chance on injury prone former Sheffield United and Wrexham midfielder Michael Lake, who's £400 per week deal is for five seasons, and finally another new striker, 19 year old former Old Trafford trainee Michael Twiss signs for us after being let go by Manchester United. A four year deal at £200 per week may prove very good business, though he does have a big club release clause.

Tuesday 19th August
With more players expected to arrive at the club, I need to make some room. In a move that costs us over £30,000, William Wilson, Robert Reilly and Colin McKinnon are all bought out of their contracts and leave the club with immediate effect. The Board note their surprise at the departures of Wilson and McKinnon.

Thursday 21st August

Scottish League Challenge Cup, First Round
Boghead Park, Dumbarton

Dumbarton (2) 2 -
Lake (2), Ritchie (43)
Livingston (1) 3 - Harvey (41), Wright (53), McMartin (86)
Attendance :- 3,369
O'Donnell; Barnes ©, Bruce (Gow 73); O'Halloran, J.Meechan, Sharp (inj - Reid 76); Calvo-Garcia, Lake, Ritchie; Tejero; Twiss (Grady 73).
After nearly a fortnight off, we now play twice in three days. It started perfectly, with Michael Lake getting a debut goal, and Innes Ritchie reinstating our lost lead right before the break. We fell apart in the second half though, finishing with a lop sided formation when Lee Sharp was injured, and shipping a late winner.

Performance Points :- 136th. 64 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Lee Sharp is now out for a few weeks, he suffered a groin strain late in the game.

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Friday 22nd August 1997
Two more players come on board at Boghead Park today, and our squad strength continues to improve. Irish twenty three year old attacking midfielder Graham Kavanagh signs on a £400 per week four year contract. He has nearly 80 Senior matches under his belt, including nearly 40 last season for Stoke City. Also arriving at the club is a player in the same position, 23 year old Andy Johnson. He has been released by Norwich City, which was a little surprising after playing over fifty times for them in the last two seasons, netting twelve goals in that spell as well. He is on a five year deal at £300 per week.

Saturday 23rd August

Scottish Third Division
Hampden Park, Glasgow

Queen's Park (0) 4 -
Fitzpatrick (55), Smith (61), Edgar (74), O'Brien (76)
Dumbarton (0) 0
Attendance :- 1,168
K.Meechan; Barnes ©, Bruce; Gow, Granger, Goldie; Calvo-Garcia, Dallas (Reid 70), Ritchie; McGarvey; Grady (Twiss 70).
Things went really well in the first half, and then absolutely disastrously after the break. Kenny Meechan was given a straight red card for bringing down Fitzpatrick in the box. With no keeper on the bench, midfielder Granger went in goal, and watched O'Brien send the penalty wide. Not quite disaster averted though, as four goals in just over 20 minutes meant another defeat, and a heavy one at that.

Performance Points :- 138th. 68 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Monday 25th August 
Operation improve the defence gets off to a bad start, as Rangers defender Craig Moore rejects the chance to come to us on loan, the Australian understandably going to Bristol City instead. We do have several other targets though.

Goalkeeper Kenny Meechan is banned for one game following the red card, with the suspension effective from the 6th September.

Wednesday 27th August

Scottish Third Division
Boghead Park, Dumbarton

Dumbarton (0) 1 -
Grady (46)
Berwick Rangers (1) 1 - Walsh (24)
Attendance :- 342
K.Meechan; O'Halloran, Barnes ©, Bruce, Goldie; J.Meechan; Calvo-Garcia, Lake (Kavanagh 74), Ritchie; Grady, Tejero (Twiss 74).
For large parts of the first half, another heavy defeat looked on the cards. Kenny Meechan made amends for his weekend red card by making several crucial saves, though we trailed to a Paul Walsh goal. We improved hugely after the break though, with James Grady netting his first goal in our colours right after the restart. We are still winless though as we head towards September.

Performance Points :- 138th. 100 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Thursday 28th August
Three new defenders have all arrived at the club today, as we look to overhaul our back four. Into the club come former Wigan Athletic, Sheffield United and Leeds United veteran centre back Paul Beesley, and at the other end of his career, a second signing who has been released by Manchester United, as Andrew Duncan joins former colleague Michael Twiss. Also arriving is a sought after and promising looking Irishman by the name of Lorcan Costello, a 20 year old who was released by Coventry City.

I'm still working to bring in a veteran midfielder who played at a high level and is in the twilight of his career, and some cover at left back, with Joe Goldie still playing out of position since Lee Sharp's injury. Speaking of Goldie, there are now some interested clubs in the left winger who wants to leave, Bristol City and Ayr United amongst them.

The squad is now at maximum capacity, and needs to be trimmed back. I can't wait any longer for clubs to come in for players, and need to release a few of them. Graeme McKenzie, John Scott, Stephen Dallas, Steven Hamill and Alan Granger are all bought out of their contracts, and released as Free Agents. I'd have let more go as well, but the Board refused to sanction their releases.

Saturday 30th August

Scottish Third Division
Boghead Park, Dumbarton

Dumbarton (1) 2 -
Grady (36), Tejero (90)
Montrose (0) 0
Attendance :- 328
K.Meechan; O'Halloran, Barnes © (inj - Duncan 33), Bruce, Goldie; J.Meechan; Calvo-Garcia (Kavanagh 76), Lake, Ritchie; Grady, Tejero.
Finally, we get a win on the board, though give the assist to Montrose having two early injuries, and then a third when they only had a keeper left on the bench. In fairness, we were dominating though, and shortly after we lost skipper Barnes through injury, Duncan came on for a debut, and Grady found the net. We should have scored a few more after the break, finally adding another right at the end through Tejero.

Performance Points :- 138th. 193 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Bruce has sprained his wrist in that match, and will be out for a couple of days. It's just as well we have those defensive reinforcements. We finish August in 6th place in the ten club Division.

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21 hours ago, BusbyFergieJose said:

are you on twitter mate? if you are send your screenshots to me @CM_9798

For what purpose mate?

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Tuesday 2nd September 1997
Two more arrivals, at opposite ends in their careers. Kevin Sheedy is now 37 years old, and was capped 46 times by the Republic of Ireland. A legend at Everton, he went on to play at Newcastle United and Blackpool, and now he brings his silky passing and notable set piece skills north of the border, to play at a level where he should excel, though is likely to be used fairly sparingly. He is close to the 400 mark for career matches.

Left back Stephen Campbell has yet to make a Senior appearance in his career, despite now being 29 years old. The Scotsman was due to start the season with Brechin City, but they released him late in the off season.

Thursday 4th September
18 year old highly rated prospect Andrew Frame has signed for us today, a move I anticipate will be the last in the squad overhaul for the time being at least. Capable of playing at full back on either side of the back four, we sneak in ahead of clubs such as Aberdeen and Dundee, who were also interested in signing him.

Friday 5th September
Keith O'Hallroan was an unused substitute today when the Republic of Ireland Under-21's were beaten 1-0 in a Friendly match in Iceland.

Saturday 6th September

Scottish Third Division
Central Park, Cowdenbeath

Cowdenbeath (0) 3 -
Nolan (60,72,74)
Dumbarton (0) 0
Attendance :- 809
O'Donnell; O'Halloran, Barnes ©, Duncan, Campbell (Twiss 69); J.Meechan (Johnson 69); Calvo-Garcia, Lake, Kavanagh; Grady, Tejero.
Kenny Meechan was suspended for the trip to the league leaders, and Steven O'Donnell managed to keep them out for an hour. Then Tom Nolan put them in front, and when we went more attacking to try and get ourselves back in the game, Nolan added another pair, meaning we were well beaten again.

Performance Points :- 141st. 196 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Friday 12th September
After making his debut from the subs bench last weekend, Andy Johnson is now out injured for a few weeks with a back strain. Left back Lee Sharp is back in training however.

Saturday 13th September

Sottish Third Division
Boghead Park, Dumbarton

Dumbarton (1) 2 -
Grady (35), Tejero (67)
Ross County (1) 2 - K.Meechan (40 og), Farrell (88)
Attendance :- 312
K.Meechan; O'Halloran, Barnes © (Beesley 64), Duncan, Frame; J.Meechan; Calvo-Garcia, Lake, Kavanagh (Sheedy 64); Grady, Tejero.
Grady scored ten minutes before the break to give us the lead, which was handed straight back when a shot came back off the post and into the net after hitting recalled Kenny Meechan. Moments after making a pair of changes, Grady played in Tejero, who gave us back our lead. We looked set to hold on for the win, until Farrell headed home an equaliser with less than two minutes to play. Gutting!

Performance Points :- 143rd. 232 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

Half a dozen matches into the season now, and we are out of two Cups, and have just one League win on the board. Unsurprisingly given the amount of changes I've made, the Board are looking for some improvement from us in the coming weeks.

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Posted (edited)

Tuesday 16th September 1997
We have lost midfielder and recent arrival Graham Kavanagh to injury. He will be out a few weeks with a chest injury suffered in training today.

Saturday 20th September

Scottish Third Division
Recreation Park, Alloa

Alloa Athletic (0) 3 - O'Halloran (56 og), W.Irvine (69), McAvoy (88)
Dumbarton (1) 2 - Tejero (19), Calvo-Garcia (60)
Attendance :- 795
K.Meechan; O'Halloran, Barnes ©, Duncan, Frame; J.Meechan; Calvo-Garcia, Lake (Ritchie 78), Sheedy; Grady (Beesley 29), Tejero.
We created some good early chances, and Tejero buried one after Grady's shot came back off the bar. Ten minutes later, and we were a man down, Barnes slipping, Duncan panicking, and he handled the ball to stop Nicholson going in on goal, punished with a straight red card. We held out despite the numerical disadvantage, beyond half time, until the hour, when Pew's set piece glanced off O'Halloran's head and in. But we got our lead back when Calvo-Garcia scored a 30 yard free kick, the Spaniards first goal for the club. Sub William Irvine was brought on and equalised with a low shot, but we looked like holding on for a point. Until centre back Neil McAvoy popped up in the dying minutes to head home an Alloa winner.

Performance Points :- 167th. 245 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

That away defeat against the side one place above us in the League meant we dropped two spots as Albion Rovers earned a point away to leaders Cowdenbeath, and Berwick Rangers won away to bottom of the table Montrose. The misery continues.

Monday 22nd September
Andrew Duncan's red card earns him a one match ban, which will be effective from the 4th October.

Tuesday 23rd September
Andy Johnson has returned to training following his back injury.

Saturday 27th September

Scottish Third Division
Boghead Park, Dumbarton

Dumbarton (0) 1 - Grady (87)
East Stirling (1) 1 - Jack (39)
Attendance :- 565
K.Meechan; O'Halloran, Barnes ©, Duncan, Beesley (Twiss 79), Frame; Lake, Sheedy; Calvo-Garcia; Grady, Tejero.
A bit of a change around as we drop the defensive midfielder for an extra centre back, and have the full backs pushed up into wing back roles, despite being at home to a team one place below us in the League. What followed was a first half where we created enough chances to win our next ten matches, and we managed to hit the frame of the goal three times. Then Kenny Meechan couldn't hold a shot and Gordon Jack buried the rebound. A bad tempered second half saw less chances, and more cards, including a red one for Alan Neil when he held back James Grady as he went in on goal. That triggered the removal of a defender, and an extra striker brought on in Michael Twiss. Finally, with only three minutes to play, Alex Calvo-Garcia sprung Grady through the offside trap, and he rounded Graham McDougall and earned us a point.

Performance Points :- 169th. 280 points
Overall Reputation :- 140th. Okay

A point to end the month means we have moved back up one spot into 7th place after Berwick Rangers were thumped 3-0 at home by leaders Cowdenbeath. That result means East Stirling climbed back above them as well.

Edited by neilhoskins77

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