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4 hours ago, arnoldinho said:

 

Thought I'd add one of these in to each post as I'm always keen to hear other people's views. Normally they'll be about the game, but my first one is really dull - how do I do one of those clever career summaries at the bottom of the post?!

 

Mine is just copy/paste from google sheets and I let the forum handle the formatting (hence the weird different colored boxes lol).

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Whitby Town

59f253cd84f12_118px-Whitby_town_fc(1).png.bbd6a36e55629eafb4f1a3cea9507cab.png 

League One – 2025/26 –7th

Squad

Transfers

Overview

An improved season in League one but not closer to promotion. We fell short of the playoffs by one place but a gulf in terms of points. The difference was even more substantial until we hauled in ten points from the final four games.

Again we were reliant on loan players. Most of our attacking positions are occupied by loan players which makes it difficult to pull in funds through player sales. Also, there is a marked difference in quality between players on loan and my own first team players. This affects the defence acutely with non of the defence being up to the quality I need to push for promotion.

Key Players

Mark Ferguson – Young English Midfielder on loan from Arsenal for a second season.

Douglao – The Brazilian scored 13 goals from midfield and joins permanently after a season on loan.

Record

Season          League                          Position          Europe                        Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21         Conference North                5th                              
2021/22         Conference North                2nd                                             Playoff Winner, Promoted
2022/23         Conference National             1st                                             Champions, Promoted
2023/24        League Two                       3rd                                             Promoted
2024/25        League One                       12th
2025/26        League One                       7th

 

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Whitby Town

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League One – 2026/27 –4th

 

Squad

Transfers

Overview

A much improved season saw us finish in the playoffs but promotion was not to be achieved. A playoff semi-final defeat by Scunthorpe courtesy of a 1-0 defeat at home following a creditable 0-0 draw in the first leg meant we would play Championship football next season.

Following defensive issues last season, I was able to resolve this with the loan signing of Glenn Dudzinski from Tottenham and Matt McGinn from Brighton. They shored up the backline even if I was left somewhat short at fullback. We were also free scoring in attack with four players hitting double figures.

The bank balance was boosted by a money spinning FA Cup third round trip to Anfield to play Liverpool. We lost 4-0 but this put £900k in the bank. This meant for the first time I have ample funds in the bank which will hopefully allow me to strengthen the team.

Key Players

Mark Ferguson – Won the league player of the season award in his third season on loan.

Douglao – The Portugeuse midfielder hit an impressive 17 goals

 Record

Season          League                          Position          Europe                        Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21         Conference North                5th                              
2021/22         Conference North                2nd                                             Playoff Winner, Promoted
2022/23         Conference National             1st                                             Champions, Promoted
2023/24        League Two                       3rd                                             Promoted
2024/25        League One                       12th
2025/26        League One                       7th
2026/27        League One                       4th

 

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Whitby Town

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League One – 2027/28 –1st

 

Squad

Transfers

Overview

Promotion was achieved as champions but we actually accumulated less points than we had the previous season where we finished only fourth. In truth we were streets ahead at the top of the league going into the final twelve games where form deteriorated.

The reason for the poor form is a story of itself. Prior to the season I played a fantasy draft game with some friends and realised my tactic was crucially flawed (I picked up two points from the ten games I played). Because of this I decided to employ a new tactic. This new 4-1-2-3 had no success in the fantasy draft but did see me clear at the top by a massive margin in this game. I then employed another new tactic, a direct 4-4-2. Again, no success in the draft but this time also little success in this Whitby game. I put that down to my players being ill suited to the formation but I’ve been back to the drawing board and next season I will be employing another new tactic, a 4-2-3-1.

In the game I am struggling to recruit at a level that improves the squad. Hopefully that will change next season in the Championship. I will have funds available to me as for the second season running I was handed a kind FA Cup 3rd Round game. A trip to Old Trafford to face Man United netted £1.2m which really helps the kitty.

Key Players

Wayne Ingram – A good season averaging 7.16 following a £200k move from Man City.

Glenn Dudzinski – The centre-back on loan from Tottenham for a second season had a great season.

 Record

Season          League                          Position          Europe                        Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21         Conference North                5th                              
2021/22         Conference North                2nd                                             Playoff Winner, Promoted
2022/23         Conference National             1st                                             Champions, Promoted
2023/24         League Two                      3rd                                             Promoted
2024/25         League One                      12th
2025/26         League One                      7th
2026/27         League One                      4th
2027/28         League One                      1st                                             Champions, Promoted

 

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Cray Wanderers FC: 2021/22 Review

My first season has come to an end, and when I left you we were surpassing all pre-season expectations and sat top of the league table. I didn't expect us to stay there, but hoped that we could remain competitive and at least clinch a play-off spot. We began the new year with a defeat though, ending a simply sublime unbeaten run of twenty one matches. We bounced back well though, and strung together another run of strong form. As February turned to march we found ourselves trading places at the top with Billericay, and Hemel Hempstead in third put dropping off the pace. March saw us start with a disappointing loss to Slough, as Billericay raced to the top having won a couple of games in hand. They moved four points clear of us, and our title hopes begun to fade. Despite our own form turning patchy, Billericay suddenly nose dived. Four straight defeats for them saw us head into the final round of fixtures leading by a point, albeit with a far worse goal difference. We just needed to match the result of Billericay to win the league title and with it promotion. For a long time it looked like it would happen, as we sat level at 2-2 whilst Billericay trailed 0-2 at home to already relegated Tonbridge Angels. Then everything went wrong. Billericay pulled one back, and we conceded what turned out to be a winner in the 79th minute. As our game ticked towards defeat and the full time result, Billericay equalised and stole the league title from our grasp. Truly gutting.

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Despite being nervous beforehand, the semi-final proved to be a simple enough affair. We welcomed bitter rivals Bromley to their own home at Hayes Lane, and broke club records. A record attendance, and a record collection on gate receipts capped off a fantastic day for the club. Owen Gallagher took his league goal tally to 27 with a brace as we picked up a comfortable 2-0 win. The final was a game that made me nervous, as we hosted a Gosport Borough side that had beaten us twice during the regular league season. When Tom Murphy scored his 13th goal of the campaign in the 16th minute those fears subsided a little. More so in the 50th minute when Owen Gallagher doubled our lead At that stage things looked good, and despite pressure we seemed to be coping well enough defensively. They did pull one back in the 74th minute though, although I was still confident. Then two completely unforced errors ruined our campaign. Firstly Harlem Hale put a nail in his coffin with the club, needlessly giving away a penalty with a push in the box. It was scored, and then on 87 minutes the ever reliable Pablo Martinez dallied on the edge of his own box and lost the ball. Suddenly we were 2-3 behind, and in the blink of an eye our season was shattered.

Despite the disappointment of losing the play-offs, I do have to be proud of my players for surprising everybody throughout the season. Owen Gallagher bagged 27 goals over the season, and was ably supported by winger Tom Murphy who chipped in with 13 of his own. Defensively we were sound, and in goal Cameron Plain conceded just 42 with 18 clean sheets. A huge part of us having the best defensive record within the division. My star man was probably someone who was at the club before my arrival. Central midfielder Kyron Farrell picked up 9 goals and 14 assists this season with an average rating of 7.05. He was fantastic and we've tied him down to a new one year contract.

Financially we could be in better shape, and a cup run would've been nice. Unfortunately we disappointed in both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy. We lost money all season, and it was only by making the play-offs and getting home advantage that we managed to avoid dropping into the red. We picked up a club record 3,694 for the semi-final against Bromley, and a healthy £37,000 in gate receipts from it We're just about in the black, but only because on two separate occasions the board provided cash injections. The financial side of things does worry me, as my plans to strengthen the squad will be significantly damaged if the board enforce restraints or reduce our wage budget.

Speaking of changes its sure to be a busy summer. The majority of our squad is out of contract, and we've got some big decisions to make. One has already been taken out of our hands though, and its a disappointing one. Central defender Kevin Healy was superb for us all season, but has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Bohemians in his home land. I did try to make a counter offer to him when he was approached, but we couldn't get remotely close to his wage demands. I'm worried about losing Roberto Nditi as well, as so far we can't get him remotely interested in discussing a new deal. He was brilliant as our holding midfielder, getting an average rating of6.90. We could really do with convincing him to stay, but it appears unlikely.

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

Cray Wanderers FC

2020/21 2nd in Conference South (Lost in play-offs)

2021/22 Ongoing

Edited by goonergez
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Heartwrenching end to the season  GoonerGez!  Great job on such a successful run though!  Hopefully you can build on it and win it all next season....so close in that first season!

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3 hours ago, G_D_K said:

 

Heartwrenching end to the season  GoonerGez!  Great job on such a successful run though!  Hopefully you can build on it and win it all next season....so close in that first season!

It was a horrible end to an otherwise successful campaign. I would’ve bitten through hands at the start of the season to finish 2nd. It felt good that we were competitive against literally everyone all season. I’ve played through the first nine or ten games or so and we’ve had a mixed start. The finances are worrying me though. Crowds of 250-300 aren’t brining in enough money and we are definitely going to need a cup run to try and help us survive. 

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22 hours ago, arnoldinho said:

Question for the Community

Thought I'd add one of these in to each post as I'm always keen to hear other people's views. Normally they'll be about the game, but my first one is really dull - how do I do one of those clever career summaries at the bottom of the post?!

 

Mine is pretty much just an excel table that I've saved as a picture and uploaded (which is why if you click on it you can't read it very well)

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Bognor Regis Town 2033/34

Premier League 6th place – Europa League Qualification

Awards --- Stats --- Fixtures (1) --- Fixtures (2) --- Season Review --- Hot Prospect --- Key Player --- Overall Best XI --- Squad --- Records

Season Overview

The Rocks were one of the competition’s surprise packages, consistently defying expectations and, owing largely to an impressive run of form between October and December that saw them rise to 7th, were able to celebrate a successful campaign.

For me a really odd season, very few draws and some losing runs making it a fairly frustrating season but we still had our best season in final position and points.

First Half of the season

Summer Transfers

This year we trimmed down on the incomings as the squad in general is starting to take shape and of the signings the three that were permanent signings were only for future development as such ended up out on loan to play football. The first of the loan signings coming in was Steve Atherton. The English right back comes in for squad depth and also comes along with an optional purchase option should he impress for us. The fee agreed is at £30 million so he’ll have to be very good for us to exercise it as that’s double our club record. The other incoming loan signing was Jason McKay a centre midfielder. McKay is a similar story to that of Atherton, brought in for depth and strengthening of English players within the squad. Like Atherton, he too has a optional fee, his £20 million the more likely of the two to be exercised.

On the outbound front we brought in a lot of money in January, including two club record sales. Firstly Mark Mooney was sold for £19.5 million, a lot of money for our 3rd choice left winger and managed to get a 50% of next sale in there too a very good deal. This record was broken later in the window when Michael Morante was sold for £21.5 million again with 50% of next sale. Both players aren’t awful, but neither were first choice nor had enough potential for me to worry too much about letting them go. A few other players were sold for profit in the window, again players who lack the needed potential for us but I’m happy to make money off them.

Premier League

A very odd first half of the season a convincing 3 straight wins at the start of the season followed by 3 draws saw us in the top 4 from our first 6. Unfortunately, a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa saw us tailspin losing 4 on the bounce destroying team morale. Fortunately, we had the AMEX derby against the team at the foot of the league, we beat Brighton 4-0. This set us up on a good run of mainly wins to make the table look more convincing.

Europa LeagueGroup Stage

The group stage for the Europa League was a relative breeze, the main area of disappointment was the 1-1 draw against Malmo where a sending off and a late equaliser prevented us from winning all the games in the group.

League Cup – Semi-Final

A tough 3rd round draw at home to Manchester United made me think that maybe this cup wasn’t for us this year. However, a 2-1 victory saw us progress to face a Wolves side that we dispatched 4-0 setting up a tie at home to Southampton in the Quarter final. A 90th minute winner saw us run out 1-0 victors to send us through to the Semi-Final for the first time. In January we played our two legs against Chelsea a 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge meant we had it all to do in the second leg, and we couldn’t manage it we won 3-2 on the night but crashed out on aggregate.

Second Half of the season

January Transfers

As with the transfers at the start of the season there was relatively little movement for us, all that really changed was Gordan Pandurovic coming in to take the 4th choice striker role and a few future prospects signed. The loan deals were both extended with the optional purchase price negotiated downwards.

Premier League

The second half of the season got off to a pretty bad start 3 losses in our 4 games in January the other actually a convincing 4-0 win versus Everton. Before February saw us in scintillating form, 5 wins from 5 – apparently not good enough for manager of the month though. That form had left us within touching distance of the top 4 and well clear of 7th place. Unfortunately, our form took a downturn which I’m attributing to our two first choice wide attacking midfielders succumbing to identical injuries in a 1-0 win over Tottenham, both out for 5 weeks. Lo and behold we lost our next 3 on the bounce, morale taking a tailspin and us going into indifferent form. A 4-3 loss to Southampton saw us drop down to 7th a position I thought we’d have to settle for in the third season in a row. However, on the penultimate game of the season Chelsea drew and we won 3-2 against Leeds courtesy of two goals in stoppage time sending us back to 6th knowing that a win on the final day would secure 6th place. We lost 2-1, a disappointing end to the season, luckily, Chelsea failed to win allowing us to pip them to the 6th place. Incidentally that saw the end of Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager – 15 years is a good stint.

Europa League – 2nd Knockout Round

We bowed out at 2nd knockout round stage. Unfortunately our wide attacking midfielders got injured before the first leg and I became aware of our lack of depth in those areas as we drew 2-2 to FC Porto in Portugal, before losing 2-1 in the home leg. We were probably the better team over the two legs but the cutting edge we lost with our injuries saw us not convert our chances.

FA Cup - 4th Round

Back to no silverware for us a 4-0 victory in the 3rd round handed us a difficult away tie to Manchester City in the 4th. They won 2-0 to send us out of the FA Cup.

The ‘Terry Hart’ Player of the season Award Iván Bueno: Bueno collected his 3rd consecutive player of the season award. I certainly can’t begrudge him this one his best season for the club and 2nd on the League average ratings. 7 goals, 9 assists and a 7.56 average rating for the Centre midfielder. Mohammed Mansour came in 2nd, the defender being a rock in our team at times a 7.27 average rating in the league in a team that conceded on average over a goal a game. 3 league goals a good return for our centre backs too. Bueno’s midfield partner claimed 3rd in the Player of the Year, Amr Nagy. Nagy is a player that’s developing really well and whilst was not as effective as Bueno in terms of scoring goals, on he matched him on the assists front 9 for him as well and still only 19 years old.

Squad Overview – Few changes to the squad as a whole this season, the first XI I am largely happy with, the back up options on the wide attacking midfield spots however could do with improving.

Spoiler

 

Goalkeepers:

Marcos Díaz: Díaz took the number one spot in goal this season, there are areas he is lacking mainly Mentally and Physically, but feel he can develop a lot more and be a world class goalkeeper. His reflexes, one on ones and Handling are exceptional and he’s still only 20 so has plenty room to improve.

Adam Lake: Lake signed a new contract at the start of the year on a back up contract, I had changed his status to cup goalkeeper but he was happy it being back up and that’s what he was. He did act as our domestic cup keeper but didn’t feature all too much outside of that. He’ll be back up again next year a good player to keep around.

Left Full Back:

Héctor Presedo: Presedo was our first choice left back this season, he’s developing ok for us, though didn’t have an extremely productive season, 1 goal and 2 assists in the league not fantastic, however, one goal was a late winner so a valuable one at that.

Mauricio Ortíz: Ortíz was our first choice right back this season however, his either footedness and ability to play at both sides as a full back meant he also acted as our left back when Presedo was unavailable.

Raúl Morales: Morales was registered in the squad to play 3rd choice left back, but only made one sub appearance, he does look like he could prove a useful option for us in the future so will probably look to loan him out next season.

Right Full Back:

Mauricio Ortíz: As mentioned above Ortíz acted as a utility fullback when required but mainly played as first choice right back. Ortíz probably isn’t suited to the role I play him in, however, that is the roll I want in the formation so he is utilised there an ok season for him with 5 assists to his name. Fullbacks are one of the positions that I feel is hardest for me to improve upon but may do so if the right player is available.

Steve Atherton: On loan from Manchester City Atherton offers a cheap back up option at right back and didn’t require registering due to his age at the start of the season. He didn’t feature all too frequently, but wasn’t awful when he did. I may look to take up the purchase option on him for the new season but he’s signed on loan regardless.

Samu Rubio: Rubio has been a great servant to the club, but his ability doesn’t live up to what is required. He did play a few games where required but I’ll be looking to sell him in the summer and he has requested much the same.

Centre Back

Mohamed Mansour: Mansour frequently has teams become interested in him and for good reason, he’s a very good defender, but as of yet, no team has lodged any bid, and I managed to get him on a contract that removed any previous release clause so if someone wants to sign him they’re going to have to fork out a lot for him. 2nd in player of the year and managed a very respectable 8 goals in all competitions.

Joseph Córdova: Córdova is settling into the side alongside Mansour and I’m hopeful of keeping the pair of them together in the long run not least because I haven’t managed to source any upcoming centre backs that might be able to reach or surpass their abilities. Least not any that fit our transfer criteria and price range. Centre back is one position where the first choice pairing is least likely to change for many a year if I can help it.

Olly Cherry: Cherry took Bjerkestrands spot as 3rd choice centre back. Our coaches suggest he’s only operating on a championship level however, when called upon he has played very well for us and is a domestic player which is a bonus.

John Andreas Bjerkestrand: Bjerkestrand is a player I’m unsure of now. In a lot of areas he’s a very good defender but is lacking in key areas which are needed if we’re striving to get to the top of the game. I may look to sell him on in the summer, but only if I have a suitable player to take his spot as a back up player for us.

Centre Midfield

Iván Bueno: A weird season for Bueno, in the league he was sensational, in the cups he was below average. Not a single goal or assist outside of the premier league for him this season. Whilst he isn’t improving all too much his performances for us certainly aren’t to sniff at. I feel he may attract bids this summer with PSG and Leeds United cited as interested though I’m fairly sure the latter wouldn’t be on his wish lists, if PSG bid it may be hard to keep hold of him.  

Amr Nagy: I think Nagy is going to end up being a much better player than Bueno at the end of his development and he is progressing really rather well. A solid season across all competitions for Nagy who too is likely to attract bids this summer. Liverpool tracking him in this case but again, no interest in selling.

José Díaz: His development has halted and he’s probably at his ceiling, it’s a debatable decision with Díaz, his performances this year have left a lot to be desired but he’s only a year away from being able to claim English as a second nationality which would help for registration purposes. His underwhelming season probably a killer as last season was largely underwhelming also so he’ll probably be sold on, but if loaned out it’ll be to an English Club where possible.

Jason McKay: The second of our loan signings this year I think I am going to take up the option to sign McKay this summer a domestic player who, whilst acting as back up, will help the club in terms of registration, plus allows for the potential for domestic U21s to be signed on loan to act as back ups without the need for taking up a registration spot. Average rating wise a decent season and an ok back up by my reckoning.

Stuart Lea: Lea as expected was a fringe player this year, only coming off the bench once during the season. I’m going to look to sell him this summer a very good servant to the club but like with Rubio, his ability is not at the required level.

Barry Blair: Like with Lea, Blair only made one substitute appearance for us this season, and is another of our long term servants who I’ll probably be trying to find a new home this summer, no space in the squad for sentimentality.

Left Attacking Midfield

Pablo Ferreyra: Ferreyra had a very good season for us, our best return from the left attacking midfield perhaps since I started the save. 11 goals and 6 assists this season for Pablo and he’s developing very nicely.

David Bastunov: Bastunov is an ok player, but nowhere near Ferreyra’s level, he was probably actually 3rd choice in this position for most of the season but ended the season as second choice as I fell out with Jancar. He’ll likely stay as back up again next season, however, I do hope to be able to sign someone who can be second choice to Ferreyra that isn’t as big a step down.

Alen Jancar: As mentioned above, I fell out with Jancar. His performances in all competitions have left a lot to be desired. I like his versatility but his non-performance this season just shows me what a gulf in quality there is between him and Ferreyra, I’m looking to move him on this summer if I can feeing up a foreign spot in the team should I need it to fill in the gap.

Right Attacking Midfield

Guido Fontanelli: Fontanelli had a very good season for me this year though his stats suggest a slightly more selfish side to him than that shown on the left side. 12 goals but only 2 assists for Fontanelli but a good return by my book anyway. His ceiling is probably not as high as first anticipated, but if he’s contributing that much I’m not going to be overly critical.

Mohamed Mokake: Mokake was my second choice in this position this season although he largely flattered to deceive much like Jancar on the other side. His ability is not really where we would want it to be so is another that I’ll likely be looking to move on should I have the opportunity.

Alen Jancar: Jancar was 3rd choice for the first half of the season but as with his performances on the left, the ones on the right were not better.

Carlos Moreno: Moreno spent the first half of the season out on loan at our affiliate Wrexham in League one and had a very good time of it, in January he returned to the under 23s but was registered in the Europa League squad where he played the two games in the knockout stages scoring a goal. He may stop as back up on the right but just as likely to go out on loan again.

Striker:

Jorge Cossu: Cossu is developing very nicely, whilst he wasn’t as prolific as in the previous season for us he had a lot more support in a pretty strong group of strikers. Where he excelled this season is in a much improved assists tally, managing 8 for the season. Now he’s had a full season in our new tactic I think he’ll go from strength to strength next season.

Simon Watson: We didn’t particularly have a first choice partnership in attack with a fair bit of rotation of the front two, but Watson likewise had a good season, 10 goals not the best return for a striker but 15 goal contributions in a position that was consistently rotating is a good showing for me.

René Oliveri: The young Frenchman was the final of our main group of strikers for rotation coming back from a fairly prolific loan spell in Ligue 1. Another player with 15 goal contributions for us this season but unfortunately did not reach double figures for league goals. He’s a player who looks like he could continue developing into a very good player for us in time so in the striker position I’m happy.

Gordan Pandurovic: Pandurovic came to the club in January and became 4th choice stiker by virtue of a spare registration spot. He didn’t feature all that much for us just getting a few appearances off the bench. He’s probably going to get loaned out next season anyway for regular football.

Terry Hart: Part of the furniture but probably unfair on him to keep him at the club especially as he’s not featuring at all for us, one very late sub appearance in the Europa League all he has to show for this season. I may look to let him go but part of me wants to keep him at the club all the way till he retires or we win the league and or Champions League.  

 

Finances We have money, no real shock but in case anyone is interested.

Youth Intake – I’ve previously been probably overly dismissive of our youth intakes, but I had a look through some of our previous ones, and whilst they aren’t good enough for the premier league, many of them are at or above the level we were at when they came through. That said, this is the first year we’ve had a ‘5 star’ potential youth intake John Caldwell. He has a good personality and whilst there are certainly areas he needs to improve in I do feel he could be a player who could find his way into the first team. We also got a young goalkeeper through the intake who looks like he could develop into an ok player.

Next Season

I think my aims for next season is to challenge for the top 4, this season although we were a way off in the end we also drew very few games so if we can turn our losses into draws we could challenge. A must this summer is strength in depth especially in the wide attacking midfield roles though again wholesale changes are not particularly required. I feel like the strength in depth brought in may be tried to be English players just for greater flexibility in registration, though they would certainly involve much higher transfer fees than I've been spending.

News

Both the youth and training facilities are getting upgraded this season which is good to see and hopefully we can reap the rewards going forward. The board also agreed to expand the stadium to its’ maximum capacity of just over 27k which is good.

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Cray Wanderers FC: 2021/22 Preview

My second season in charge here is an exciting prospect, as we look to attempt to at least match last season's achievements. To miss out on the league title on the final day was disappointing, but to be honest we had no right to even take the race that far. Everybody expected us to at best avoid the drop, and we proved everybody wrong in finishing in 2nd place. To lose in the play-off final was particularly hard to stomach, but in honesty my team isn't ready for the Conference National yet. It was nice to have the opportunity to strengthen the side again across another summer.

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Worryingly expectations for this season are a little more ambitious, as the board wants a top-half finish and the media reckon we will finish in 17th place. I was hoping the fact that we massively overachieved last season would keep the boards expectations lower, but they've jumped on the bandwagon of believing we are better than we probably are. In all honesty I think that we are much better than both of those predictions I'll be aiming for a finish within at least the play-offs, and ideally would like us to fight it out for the league title again.

We've made eight new signings for the season, all of them sure to play a big part in our side. We let a lot of people leave the club too, and are still operating with a very small squad. I tried to keep the core of our squad from last season together, and just look to add some quality around what we already had. Defender Kevin Healy completed his move to Bohemians, and we also lost the anchor of our midfield. Roberto Nditi wouldn't sit down for contract talks which was hard to take, as he had been a really key component of last seasons success. He decided to walk away from the club at the end of his contract here. He's ended up at Leyton Orient in League Two though, which shows how out of our league he actually was.

Arrival wise I feel our most exciting signing was midfielder Xavier Simons, after his release from Chelsea of the Premier League. He's my chosen replacement for Nditi, and I am sure he will be a star here. If anything he's an upgrade which is very pleasing.

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Hopefully we can fight towards the top end of the table again this time around, and also put together a nice cup run. Financially this club is struggling, and its projected to get a lot worse. Home attendances of between 200-300 isn't helping our case, and means this club is running at a significant loss. We've dropped into the red and that has started to ring alarm bells. We could do with a cup run to boost the finances and set us up for the future. I'm still not sure were ready for promotion yet, and would take anther year in this league ability wise. We should be able to push for a play-off spot, but going up may well be ahead of us. Financially we could really do with promotion, but ability wise if we went up I think we would really struggle to avoid relegation straight back down.

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

Cray Wanderers FC

2020/21 2nd in Conference South (Lost in play-offs)

2021/22 Ongoing

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Arnoldinho: Buxton FC

2021/22 Vanarama North

Transfers ¦ League Fixtures 1 ¦ League Fixtures 2 ¦ League Table ¦ Cup Fixtures ¦ Finances

Offseason and Transfers

The offseason began with some (half) good news. Our solid run at the end of the previous year led star centre-back Riley Harbottle to decide he would sign a new contract after all, although top scorer Yassine En-Nayeh still decided he was leaving. Everyone else on part-time contracts (bar one) I let expire and began the task of completely rebuilding the team, mostly by raiding the youth releases from top clubs in the north of England (we actually started our first league game with no one over the age of 24 in our side). In goal, Czech U21 international Vitezlav Jaros arrived from Liverpool. The two Joe's, Redmond (CB) and Anderson (LB) joined the two returnees, Harbottle and Roscoe in the back four. Anderson was a particularly good signing - promptly rated by the media as one of the top players in the league, and allowing me to offer some variety in attack by making attacking runs down the left wing. In midfield, it was the Jones show with Dan Jones arriving from Sunderland and Archie Jones joining us on loan from parent club Peterborough. And when veteran Mike Jones arrived in October to add some experience to the squad we frequently played the Jones trio together in central midfield. But it was in the attacking positions that I was most excited going in to the year. I managed to pick up four quality signings - Myles Bright, Elliot Vasalo, Josh Boorn and Korede Adedoyin - who between them had enough flexibility that I could play any combination of the three across AMR, AML and STC in my 4-1-4-1 DM Wide formation. On the personal front, the board gave me a new contract and allowed me to start my first coaching course - indeed, by the time the year was out I would have my National C and National B licences and be halfway through National A.

League Campaign

No two ways about it - this was one of the best seasons I've enjoyed on Football Manager for many a year. We had racked up seven wins by the end of August, my ability to rotate the front four allowing me to run fresh legs at tired defences in the schedule mayhem. Korede Adedoyin in particular excelled, racking up 7 goals and a ton of assists in the fist 10 games. We had a brief blip in September (the only time we lost two straight in the league all year) but by the halfway stage of the campaign had amassed a 7 point lead at the top of the table. From there we never really looked back, staying in 1st throughout. Telford caught us on points at one stage but we had games in hand that we won to re-establish our lead and when we beat Telford in late February to go 8 points clear with 9 to play it was all over bar the shouting. I have never tried playing a 5'8" striker up front on his own before, but it quickly became apparent Josh Boorn was our best guy up top, and with an attacking, possession based tactic, his lack of height rarely mattered. In fact I was more often left cursing the poor heading ability of my wingers/inside-forwards when they consistently popped up at the back post only to head miles over the bar. Boorn finished with 29 goals while Adedoyin led the division in assists and won fans' player of the year. At the back we conceded the third fewest in the division. With 106 points we were worthy champions.

Cups

In amongst all this we also had an exciting run in the FA Cup. After despatching lower league opposition in our first two games, we saw off divisional rivals Kidderminster in the final qualifying round to reach the first round proper. There we drew near neighbours Macclesfield at home. In a game that was (slightly bizarrely despite being a local derby) chosen for television, we put away the Vanarama National side 2-1 with an early brace from Myles Bright. In truth we should have won by more. In the second round we drew another struggling Vanarama National side, Ebbsfleet. A tense first game at the Silverlands finished 0-0 setting up a replay at their place. In the interim, the winner was drawn against Leeds (albeit at home) in the third round. Sadly, though it wasn't to be for my Bucks. Ebbsfleet jumped out to a two-goal lead in the replay, and when we pushed forward trying to get back in the game bagged a third in the second-half. 3-0 flattered them, but in truth we didn't deserve to advance. Still, more than £100k in prize money and TV money made the cup run well worth it. In the FA Trophy I played the reserves, and paid the price, losing at the first time of asking to St Albans.

Finances

The FA Cup run got us back in the black by the season end, but then a decision by the board to spend cash installing more seats in to the stadium (the capacity will fall to 3,950 as a result) tipped us just back in to the red again. Still, we're not desperately struggling and that's without any cash injections from the board.

Looking Ahead

The Conference National is probably my least favourite division. From a quick scan it appears my 8k per week wage budget is probably going to be barely 10% of the top spenders! So we will have to be very selective. Myles Bright was the only one of the fab four not on a two-year deal, and so I have renewed him. But I also caved to a demand from his agent and gave Adedoyin a new contract on higher wages to keep harmony (to be fair, he was ludicrously underpaid before). At the back, Jaros, Harbottle, Redmond and Anderson will be sticking around. In midfield, Dan Jones (who the fans really don't rate for some reason) has re-signed, but Mike Jones will be let go as he hits 35 and I have a natural replacement already on the books. It remains to be seen whether I can get Archie Jones back on loan from Peterborough. If I can, then right back will be the only slot I absolutely have to fill in the off-season, although ideally I would like a target-man-esque striker to give me more options up top, especially for games against bigger teams where we may not be able to play our normal passing game. Beyond that though, I'll be able to look across the market and just try to pick up high quality players in whatever position they become available - the first time in this save I've had that luxury.

Question for the Community

So far in this save I've really struggled to get quality players on loan. My parent club Peterborough are usually good for one or two, but beyond that most teams want me to pay a player's full wage, when for me the main purpose of having a loan is not to have to pay a wage! There are some whose clubs don't want to charge for, but finding them seems to often require endless trawling through the loan lists, clicking on the Transfer Offer screen to see what is being asked for, then going back and scouting them if it looks like I might get them for free. Anyone have a more efficient method for doing this? Or indeed a better strategy for finding free loan players in the first place?

Career Summary (let's see if this works)

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Edited by arnoldinho
Corrected a few typos.
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@arnoldinho regarding loans I have also really struggled. I too have Peterborough as parent club, but in two seasons I’ve only brought one player in. In fact I made an approach just before the start of my second season for a player from them and they rejected it because they wanted 100% wage contribution. I always thought that a parent club meant you could bring a player in without paying anything towards wages?

That is a great season there for you too! I don’t think I’ve topped a 100 point season since you could sign all those players from reunion and storm a league. Can’t remember what edition that was on. 
 

I’ve completed my second season in charge of the mighty Cray Wanderers now too, so I should have an update up at some point tomorrow. Fair to say I’m really enjoying this challenge so far. With such a long term view I feel it’s really making me look into every aspect of the game. Especially the financial side which is something I’ve always done, but I’m finding I’m looking at it in a lot more depth with Cray.

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Whitby Town - 2031/2032: All or nothing (we choose all)

A strange start to the season, we would consistently dominate possession and create more chances but we had many games where we failed to get all the points. This came to a head in December when we won 0 games the entire month. We then didn't lose a league game for the rest of the season as we won another title. It's apparently the only way we can get promoted. We've lost every time we've been in the playoffs. The board is still looking for somewhere to build a stadium but they agreed to upgrade facilities again. We are in a tough spot as 3 of our top 4 players are only here on loan. I've got lots of room for signings though so hopefully I can bring together a competent team. I also finished all my coaching badges so now I look like this:

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League Table -

Squad Stats -

Transfers -

Year League Position Cups Training Youth Junior Recruitment Attendance (Cap) Badges Transfers (In-Out) Top Scorer Most Assists Av. Rating Clean Sheets May balance Total wages
2031/2032 League One 1st FAC: 1st round, Carabao: 1st round Adequate Below Average Adequate Fairly Basic 4376 (5500) Cont. Pro (£220k) 8-1 Gareth Durham - 43 Bob Thomas - 20 Gareth Durham - 7.62 (45) Rakish Kane - 17 (£1.63m) £56.5k p/w

Previous seasons:

Spoiler

 

Year League Position Cups Training Youth Junior Recruitment Attendance (Cap) Badges Transfers (In-Out) Top Scorer Most Assists Av. Rating Clean Sheets May balance Total wages
2030/2031 League One 3rd FAC: 1st round, Carabao: 1st round Below Average Basic Average Fairly Basic 4763 (5500) Cont. A (+£10m) 16-3 Gareth Durham - 26 Bob Thomas - 19 Bob Thomas - 7.25 (49) Tony O'Flaherty - 11 (£5.9m) £38.7k p/w
2029/2030 League Two 1st FAC: 1st round, Carabao: 1st round Below Average Basic Fairly Basic Basic 2582 (5500) Cont. B (+£275k) 13-2 Shemol Millington - 17 Bob Thomas - 16 Bob Thomas - 7.43 (46) Tony O'Flaherty - 28 (£256k) £23.6k p/w
2028/2029 VN National 1st FAC: 2nd round, FAT: 2nd round Below Average Basic Fairly Basic Basic 1297 (4000) Nat. A (+£11.5k) 10-3 Ray Malloy - 40 Bob Thomas - 19 Ray Malloy - 7.59 (48) Brian Isherwood - 15 (£302k) £15k p/w
2027/2028 VN National 9th FAC: 3rd round, FAT: 2nd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 1309 (4000) Nat. A (+£1.6m) 10-4 Ray Malloy - 25 Bob Thomas - 13 Ray Malloy - 7.16 (51) Anthony Patterson - 10 (£1.6m) £10k p/w
2026/2027 VN National 9th FAC: 4th qual., FAT: 2nd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 1221 (4000) Nat. C (£0) 6-4 Connor Bell - 23 Connor Bell - 12 Connor Bell - 7.27 (47) Anthony Patterson - 14 (£15k) £5.9k p/w
2025/2026 VN North 1st FAC: 1st round, FAT: 3rd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 576 (3180) Nat. C (+£8k) 11-4 Joe Ridley - 32 Joe Ridley - 18 Bob Thomas - 7.59 (50) Jonny Orritt - 25 (£583k) £4.9k p/w
2024/2025 VN North 5th FAC: 4th qual., FAT: 2nd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 640 (3180) Nat. C (+£150k) 10-2 Cole Kiernan - 29 Connor Bell - 20 Alfie Payne - 7.52 (32) Dave Richards - 12 (£541k) £5.4k p/w
2023/2024 VN North 5th FAC: 2nd qual., FAT: 1st round Basic Poor Adequate Average 565 (3180) Nat. C (+£12k) 14-10 Mitchell George - 31 Dion McGhee - 11 Mitchell George - 7.45 (51) Marcel Wusiewicz - 16 (£443k) £7.4k p/w
2022/2023 VN North 5th FAC: 3rd round, FAT: 1st round Basic Poor Adequate Average 798 (3180) None (£0) 18-6 Mitchell George - 40 Jake Cain - 16 Mitchell George - 7.35 (55) Jacob Carney - 17 (£37k) £6.3k p/w
2021/2022 VN North 8th FAC: 3rd qual., FAT: 3rd qual. Basic Poor Adequate Average 644 (3180) None (£0) 10-1 Mitchell George - 27 Mohammed Sangaré - 11 Mitchell George - 7.33 (46) Jacob Carney - 11 (£174k) £5.9k p/w
2020/2021 VN North 10th FAC: 3rd qual., FAT: 1st round Basic Poor Adequate Average 633 (3180) None (£0) 9-2 Connor Bell - 10 Jordan Barnett -11 Dale Hopson - 7.02 (49) Jacob Carney - 19 (£98.71k) £6.2k p/w

 


 

 

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Cray Wanderers FC: 2021/22 Review

I brought my team into the season with high hopes for another impressive campaign. Second place last season was a huge overachievement, but I was hoping we would be able to push on and achieve something similar this time around too. Expectations for us had increased and there was a consensus around that we could actually enjoy a pretty good campaign. We actually started the season really well, losing just once in our opening five matches. Summer arrivals Andi Janjeva and George McLennan had slotted perfectly into our defence, and we looked very solid at the back. Up top our hero from last season Owen Gallagher had started quietly, but was still looking a threat. After the first month of the season was up we struggled to string any consistency together. We were winning games, lost a couple, but were drawing far too many. Scoring goals was proving a problem, with Owen Gallagher struggling for form, and summer recruit Euan Pollock (signed after his release by AFC Bournemouth) managing just a solitary strike.

We stayed in the play-off hunt, but the lack of goals was in danger of ruining our season. At no stage did we drop out of the play-off positions but I wanted more and that meant scoring more goals. I looked to the market, and found a free agent I felt could solve our struggles. Shawn McCoulsky was released in the summer by Forest Green Rovers, and the 25-year old put pen to paper with us, signing a contract until the end of the season. Immediately he started to show his quality. Suddenly we were turning draws into wins, and in his first ten matches for the club he had found the net 10 times. It was a far cry from how last season's leading scorer was performing, as Owen Gallagher managed just 6 league goals all season. Suddenly our form improved, and we began to look upwards, and potentially trying to win the division. The turn of the year saw us march on, and we would go undefeated from the last game in December right through until the final day of the campaign. Definitely the form of champions.

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Unfortunately we weren't to be champions though, unable to chase down either Maidstone United or Dulwich Hamlet. A couple of disappointing draws during the run-in meaning we headed into the final game of the season guaranteed 3rd spot, and with nothing to play for. We put in a poor display that saw us suffer defeat and ended our eighteen match unbeaten run. It really is quite remarkable to have picked up as many points as we did but only finish in 3rd spot. That points tally would've won the title in both the previous seasons.

The play-off semi-final gave us Havant & Waterlooville, who had put together a late march to reach the play-offs again. We fell behind early on but went on to completely dominate the game. Winger Tom Murphy pulled us level, before Shawn McCoulsky grabbed his 26th goal of the season to give us a 2-1 victory and spot in our second consecutive play-off final. The final would see us take on Dulwich Hamlet, who were in sensational form and were only pipped to the league title on the final day of the season. We were completely outplayed and outclassed throughout, and found ourselves playing in our own half for basically 90 minutes.

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Unsurrsiingly it was that man again who played our hero. Shawn McCoulsky scored a simply stunning solo goal with ten minutes to go, and we held on admirably to lift the trophy ad with it promotion. A perfect underdog performance from us, and capped off a stunning season. Quite fitting that it was a tremendous defensive performance that saw us clinch promotion.

I said I wanted us to put a run together in the cup competitions, and we managed to do it in both. Some much needed funds were raised, although we didn't get the really big money spinning tie that we could do with. In the FA Cup we managed to make a new club record for progress, as for the first time in history the club reached the First Round proper of the competition. Met Police (2-0) and Enfield Town (7-1) were both dispatched away from home, to be drawn at home to Salisbury Town of our division. We fell behind early on, but put in a good performance to win 3-1. Salford City were our reward in the First Round, and we performed really well to take a 1-1 draw with the League Two side and earn a replay. The replay was a different affair though, and we were comfortably beaten 0-3.

The FA trophy saw another club record as we managed to get as far as the Second Round before exiting Guernsey were comfortably beaten 2-0 away to draw Conference National side Ebbsfleet United in the First Round proper. A superb performance from my side saw us complete an upset, and win 2-1 at home. In the Second Round we drew another Conference National side in Aldershot Town. Away from home we performed really well, but trailed to an early goal. Owen Gallagher came off the bench to rescue a 1-1 draw in injury time to take the tie into extra-time. We barely had a sniff throughout the added time, and a 1-1 draw meant a replay at home. We performed well, but unfortunately lost 0-1 to be eliminated from the competition.

We now face an extremely busy summer, preparing for a first ever campaign in the Conference National. It's the highest division this club has ever played in and if I am honest I really don't think we are ready for it. Our success this season was definitely down to our defence. Cameron Plain kept a superb 22 clean sheets (conceding just 26 league goals), and we had the best defensive record within the division. Kyron Farrell laid on 15 assists in another creative campaign, although he's disappointingly signed a pre-contract agreement elsewhere. On the wing Tom Murphy once again impressed, and once again Harlem Hale was disappointing. Ollie O'Neill had a great campaign for us, scoring 11 goals in his breakout year. Shawn McCoulsky was our hero though. His arrival saw our goal scoring issues solved, and he bagged 27 goals in just 32 appearances after signing. On so many occasions he managed to turn defeats into draws, and draws into victories. That match winning prowess a big part of him picking up an impressive average match rating of 7.63, a new club record. I'll be doing everything to try and get him to sign a new contract, but at the moment his wage demands are proving too high for us.

Our biggest issue over this summer is definitely going to be the financial side of things though. Attendances haven't really increased, and the cup run we had didn't do much to help. The board injected £110,000 in April to ensure we will end the season in the black, but longer term its a worry. We need to significantly improve our quad, but I will have to be really careful not to cripple this club financially in the process.

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Cray Wanderers FC

2020/21 2nd in Conference South (Lost in play-offs)

2021/22 3rd in Conference South (Play-Off winners)

2022/23 Ongoing

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Nantwich - Sky Bet League One - 2027/28

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The final standings make this season like it was easier than it really was. We had a tough start, at least two winless streaks which impacted the squad morale and put us near the relegation zone. We also had lots of injuries which forced me to get two extra players on loan in the January window to assure squad rotation. In the last third of the season we started losing a lot less matches, improving our position which was around 13-14th place for the most part of the season. Impressively, with our last three matches played at home we had a chance of reaching 6th place but we could only win one of those three games.

I was disappointed with our performance in the main cups, although the draw could have been a lot nicer to us, pairing us with League One teams at the first opportunity. In the EFL Trophy, I started the competition with a strong squad rotation and we stormed through the group stage. In the knockout rounds we progresses until the semis where we had some (deserved) luck, beating Man City U23 in penalties. The final started badly but we replied to an early goal with four of our own.

Season    Division                          Position    Achievements
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21   Vanarama National League North    13th
2021/22   Vanarama National League North    7th
2022/23   Vanarama National League North    1st         Promoted as champions
2023/24   Vanarama National League          1st         Promoted as champions
2024/25   Sky Bet League Two                8th
2025/26   Sky Bet League Two                7th
2026/27   Sky Bet League Two                1st         Promoted as champions
2027/28   Sky Bet League One                7th         EFL Trophy winners

 

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Cray Wanderers FC: 2022/23 Preview

We head into a first ever season in the Conference National, and it is fair to say I really am not feeling very confident about our chances. Our squad isn't strong enough for this level, and improving it proved incredibly tough, as we just didn't have the required funds in the bank to do so. Financially this club is haemorrhaging money, and even fighting it out at the top of the league last season didn't boost attendances. Expectations from the board are purely to stay in the division, and we are really expected to struggle. The media think we will finish rock bottom, and few people give us a sniff of avoiding the drop. I'm included in that, and would happily take anything that involves our stay in this division lasting for more than just this one season.

Only five players departed this summer, although three of them were deals I would rather not have seen. Central midfielder Kyron Farrell had managed 15 goals and 31 assists over four years with the club. Unfortunately he had already signed a contract with St Pats Athletic, and returned to his home country. Winger Tom Murphy had also impressed, bagging 31 goals over three seasons with the club. His wage demands were far too high for my liking though, and we turned down the opportunity to tie him down. Central midfielder Xavier Simons had been an absolute rock in our midfield, but was always too good for our level. He refused a new contract with us, and left to join Derby County in the Championship. Winger Harlem Hale had experienced two really average seasons with us, and we allowed him to leave when his contract ran out.

Five new players came in, with two defensive players joined by three more offensive ones. Right back was a worry as we had filled the position last year with a loan signing from parent club Peterborough United. They accepted a bid for us to extend the deal, but the player himself rejected it. Young Ben Wyss was picked up from Bromley on a free transfer to fill the hole. In midfield we had allowed both of our starting players to leave so needed to bring in replacements. Jurgen Amborn was picked up after his Southampton contract expired, and Ben Chapman signed after being released by Billericay Town. Neither look superb, but both should perform consistently enough for us.

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Our most exciting signing though is that of Aguinaldo Mulenessa after he was let go by Chelsea. The young Albanian can play as an understudy to Shawn McCoulsky (who we signed to a new two-year deal here), but will be used primarily on the right flank. I have really high hopes for him, and see him perform superbly at this level.

For the first time since I took over here, I am really worried about what lies ahead for us. We still have an extremely small squad, and I am not convinced we possess enough quality to survive the drop. Strengthening was hard, as I spent most of the summer worrying about the financial situation here. We've got the lowest wage bill in the league, but the club is still projected to lose around £350,000 over the season. We're going to need a good cup run to help us, but to be honest there isn't much we can really do. I'm just hoping we can avoid relegation, then we can look to build for the future in a slow and sensible way. I need to keep looking after this club, even if its going to prove incredibly tough to do so.

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Cray Wanderers FC

2020/21 2nd in Conference South (Lost in play-offs)

2021/22 3rd in Conference South (Play-Off winners)

2022/23 Ongoing

 

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@arnoldinho Congrats on the promotion and over 100 points very nice. On the loan front I think this year in general there are fewer players available for no wages than there were in previous iterations of the game so I think you'll probably just have to scour the loan market to find those that you can get.

@CMU Chips 43 goals for a player in the league is very good, shame he's only on loan as with that sort of return I doubt they'll want to send him back (though did see he got 26 for you last season as well so maybe some hope). Congrats on the promotion hopefully you can keep your goalscorers or replace them well.

@goonergez A good season for you there, 95 points is unlucky not to be enough for automatics but that's the issue with only one automatic promotion spot. Would have been frustrating if you lost the final so congrats. I think you'll probably be ok for next season though, your tactic seems strong defensively and you've got a goalscorer, plus your new Angolan striker looks like he could help out on that front.

@kingjericho That's not too bad a showing for your first season in league one. 6th to 13th is very tightly packed though, hopefully next season can use your later season form rather than early season form. Not the most prestigious trophy, but congrats on winning the League Trophy, silverware is silverware.

 

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Cray Wanderers FC: 2022/23 Review

Our first season in the Conference National has drawn to a close, and all things considered it turned out to be a really positive one. We dwarfed all expectations of a relegation battle, although didn't end up achieving anything more than stability. We actually struggled in the early stages, as our defence didn't quite perform as solidly as the previous couple of years. After a slow start of conceding too many goals, I made the bold and slightly emotional decision to replace Cameron Plain in goal. The transfer market was scoured, and we moved to sign 19-year old Tony Bull. He had been released by Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer, and came straight into our side. Winger Ellis Iandolo was picked up as well to ease an injury crisis on the flanks, although the 25-year old didn't really impress.

The arrival of Bull between the sticks steadied us, and defensively we performed much better. That added to the consistent goal scoring of Shawn McCoulsky saw us climb up the table, and we spent the second half of the season fighting it out to try and reach the play-off places. A poor end to the season hurt us and prevented that, but we finished very respectively in the top half of the table and with plenty of positives to take. The 27 goals scored by Shawn McCoulsky going a long way to aid our achievements.

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To finish in 9th and just two points off the play-offs was superb, but unfortunately the cup competitions did not follow suit. We disappointingly crashed out of the FA Cup on penalties after a poor 0-0 draw away against Conference South St Albans. The FA Trophy didn't fare much better either. An extra-time 3-1 victory away at Gloucester put us into the Second Round, where we were beaten 1-2 at home by Kettering Town.

The lack of a cup run really hurt us financially, and required the board to step in again. They injected another £110,000 into the club, but we still ended the campaign in the red. Off the pitch the club is not in good shape, but on it we were impressive. We took to the step up in quality really well, and to finish 9th is a fantastic effort. Hopefully we can bring in some new faces this summer, and look to push on next season. I'm really hoping that the financial situation here wont encourage the board to put restraints on our spending, but we will have to wait and see. 

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Cray Wanderers FC

2020/21 2nd in Conference South (Lost in play-offs)

2021/22 3rd in Conference South (Play-Off winners)

2022/23 9th in Conference National

2022/23 Ongoing

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@_JHTB_ thanks for the info on the loans - at least confirms I wasn't missing something obvious!

@goonergez congrats on the promotion and the very solid first season in the National! I have also just finished my first season in the National - will post my update tomorrow.

 

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Wow lots of updates congrats to everyone who gained promotion. I am classed as key worker (only work in a food factory) so have to go to work and can only play fm on days off. I am almost halfway through season 2. I put an update about season 1 up but guess no one seen it :lol:

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31 minutes ago, lfc7 said:

Wow lots of updates congrats to everyone who gained promotion. I am classed as key worker (only work in a food factory) so have to go to work and can only play fm on days off. I am almost halfway through season 2. I put an update about season 1 up but guess no one seen it :lol:

A fellow key worker!!! I’m on the food delivery side though! I haven’t caught your update. Where abouts is it and I’ll take a look?

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Chesham United Season Season Review 2027-28:

Double bubble baby!

It's been a pretty great season and we're getting closer to completing the challenge. Made some useful purchases over the summer who have really bedded in well although I have drifted away from my usual domestic bias a bit (UK players seem a) massively over priced and b) just not as good, even looking at the national team - this seems to be even more so than usual in this particular version, any of you finding the same?). I was nervous that i didn't have a deep enough squad to compete in europe and domestically and tbh that did become an issue in that usual feb/march slot, not just with injuries, but i had so many suspensions, at one point i had 3 key players all suspended for 2 games at the same time which was really tough, fortunately a few of the old-timers stepped up and slotted in and we pulled through.  Tactically I made some big adjustments, i moved away from my usual tinkering between 343's, 4321's and 32122's in part this was because i couldn't find the players for my prefered back 3 wingbacks and partly because i couldn't get them to work so i ended up with a pretty old school 442 with a big man, little man up front and focused on wing-play and crosses. It seemed to work a real treat.

Domestically: Champions; We were pretty consistent throughout the season and baring a few really wierd results we pulled through although the championship did go right down to the wire on the last day, made extra nervous by losing to Chelsea the week before, meaning that i had to better their result on the last day to seal the deal. 

Carabao Cup: 4th round knocked out by Liverpool

FA Cup: Winners beating Man City 3-0

Champions League: Quarter Final Man Utd 7-5; As i posted earlier, i thought we had the group of death but we came through it with flying colours, topping the group 5w 1d. Then went on to play PSG who we drew 1-1 with in Paris and then beat 2-0 at home. We finally went out to Manchester United in a really wierd spell where we played them 3 times in 2 weeks, we lost 4-1 away on Wednesday, won 4-2 at home on Saturday in the league and then won 4-3 at home, for a few minutes it looked like we might have done the impossible but they scored 2 late goals.

In other news:

I got every upgrade I asked for, including extra staff and money for player wages, the board have been awesome. They are expanding our new stadium further this year as well as upgrading training and youth training facilities. Also cleaned up a lot with awards, Manager of the Year, my big man striker got the golden boot and player of the year, my centre back got young player of the year, 7 players in the team of the year and 2 of my English players got called up for the Euros.

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Aim for next season - complete the challenge baby!

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2 hours ago, goonergez said:

A fellow key worker!!! I’m on the food delivery side though! I haven’t caught your update. Where abouts is it and I’ll take a look?

Its on the previous page its no big deal just got missed with all the new posts. You have done very well yourself 2 promotions in 3 seasons :thup: 

@tremor congrats great season, almost there :cool:

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Cray Wanderers FC: 2023/24 Preview

Our second season in the Conference National is about to be upon us, and I am excited to get another pop at this division. Last season proved to be a rousing success, and we only very narrowly ended up missing out on a spot within the play-offs. Not a bad effort seeing as it was the first time in the club's history that we had played at this level. We can go into this season with a lot more positivity, and I feel like relegation shouldn't be a fear even now, before a ball has even been kicked. Expectations haven't increased for us though, with our board still expecting us to struggle in a battle against relegation. I'm fine with that though, as the low expectations should give me more patience and job security if we perform to a decent standard. The media predict us to finish in 19th position, and we really are heavily fancied to suffer a season of struggle.

Contract expiration day saw the end of three players time with the club, and two of them were regular fixtures within our matchday squad. Goalkeeper Cameron Plain was keen to move on after losing his starting spot, and central defender Marques Muir was in and out of our side last season. Right back Ben Mundele was also released, although he only really featured for us within the cup competitions. The big outgoing deal saw us bring in a fee for a player for the first time during my managerial reign. Young winger Aguinaldo Mulenessa was brilliant for us last season, but we picked up a £275,000 fee from Reading for his services. We also allowed regular central defender Andi Janjeva to join Crawley Town on a free transfer. He had a clause in his contract to have his wages match our highest earner, and after gaining an increase I felt he really wasn't worth the money he was getting.

We welcomed another six new faces into the club this summer, with all of them exciting young prospects. The most exciting of the lot being that of Archie Buck after he was released by Tottenham Hotspurs. His wages are high for my liking, and in honesty it was his weekly wage that led me to shift Janjeva out of the club. I did contemplate not bringing him to the club, but his quality just looked far too good to turn down. His arrival should seriously strengthen our midfield, and I am excited to see him form a partnership with former Billericay Town player Ben Chapman.

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A whole host of 18-year olds joined our rank, incuding wingers Dmitri Essoue Malcolm and Lucas Smith (released by Arsenal and Tottenham respectively). Central defender Paul Taylor was released by Southampton and comes in as a ready made replacement for Andi Janjeva. George Price can play anywhere across the defence, and comes in as a versatile cover option for our squad. For me our other exciting signing is that of 20-year old winger Terrell Pennant. He was released by Leicester City at the end of his youth contract, and comes in as a perfect replacement for Aguinaldo Mulenessa. His wages are much lower too, and I am really excited to see what he can bring to our squad. He's also an exciting option for set-pieces, something which we have really lacked in the past couple of years.

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I am really pleased with our summer activities, and I feel like we have done a really good job of building our squad. We lost two key components of last season's success in Mulenessa and Janjeva, but brought in good money and managed to cut our wage bill in the process. I didn't particularly want to lose either of them, but financially it was the right thing to do for the future of this football club. We've managed to bring in new players on smaller wages, and I certainly don't feel like our squad has been weakened by doing so.

Staying up shouldn't prove too difficult for us, and I would definitely happily accept a season like the last one. Staying in this league will be considered a success, and anything more is just a bonus. I'm still unsure that we have the ability to compete with the top sides, but hopefully we will prove people wrong. It's going to be another long and tough season, but I am keen to get going. Hopefully we will also be able to right the wrongs of last season in regards to the cup competitions too. A good cup run would really help us out financially, as we're projected to end the coming campaign about £300,000 in the red. I could also do with the match day attendances increasing as well, and a good run in the cup competitions may help that. We really need to get our finances in check, otherwise we're consistently going to need to sell our star players. We're currently in a consolidation period really, and its going to take a while before we can really think about promotion and reaching the football league.

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Cray Wanderers FC

2020/21 2nd in Conference South (Lost in play-offs)

2021/22 3rd in Conference South (Play-Off winners)

2022/23 9th in Conference National

2022/23 Ongoing

 

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Weston-super-Mare

Season 2022-2023

Season summary

That was a tough season.

Cup competitions didn't quite go to plan. We kicked the season off with our Carabao Cup debut, but we had to travel to face Birmingham City. We played really well, but couldn't find a way through and it finished 0-0, before they knocked us out on penalties. In the FA Cup, we beat Bolton 3-2 in round one, before losing 2-1 away at Chesterfield to an 85th minute goal in front of the TV cameras. We negotiated our way through the Football League Trophy group stage, beating Leicester u23s, and winning on penalties against Newport County and Coventry City. We beat Cheltenham on penalties in the second round, before going out to eventual winners MK Dons in round 3.

Two wins and a draw in our first five games gave me a bit of hope that we might be able to hold our own at this level, but that was a bit of a false dawn. We then only won 2 out of the next 15 games in the league, leaving us bottom. In fact, A 2-1 win at home to Bolton was followed by another 9 game winless run. 3 wins and 3 draws from the next 7 games in January and February brought us back into the fight against relegation, helping us to avoid being cast adrift at the foot of the table. 1 point from the next 4 games left us in a difficult situation with six games to go, and 5 times in the relegation mix. 

Three back to back wins took us out of the relegation zone with three games to go for the first time since before Christmas, and even after defeat by Halifax we were 4 points clear of the drop zone with two games to go. We travelled down the M5 to face Exeter, who themselves had pulled clear of the threat of relegation with a few games to go. Wrexham, 4 points behind us, went ahead early, and we were under pressure. Thankfully, big game players Victor Sodiende and George Dowling stepped up, and we sealed safety with a 2-1 win at our south-west rivals. Somehow, against all the odds, we had survived! A 1-1 draw with Maccelsfield finished the season off, and we ended in 22nd, 4 points clear of relegation.

Victor Sodiende scored 13 goals, and was the only player to get into double figures, with three others (George Dowling, Jayden Harris and on loan back up striker Sam Bird) all getting 7. Tyler Frost scored 6, which was impressive considering he joined us in January. In such a tough season, no one really stood out in terms of performance. Despite his stats, we always seem to perform far better with George Dowling in the side, and I'm glad he's already tied down to a contract for next season. Oliver Denham and Bjorn Hardley, our two new centre backs, are both attracting interest from clubs higher up the pyramid, but again both are already under contract for next season.

League table

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Finances

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Transfers

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Next steps

Lots of the current squad are coming to the end of their contracts, so I'll be spending the summer with hordes of trialists in, trying to unearth a few gems to take us forward. The board have upped our wage budget to £23k a week, which is rather exciting. The aim will be to use the framework of the current squad and improve it. I'd like to get into a system where our new players are ones to improve the first team, and the current first team players become the squad players / back up players. Realistically, I'd like to push towards mid table next season, and the finances could really do with a cup run. Our parent club, Fleetwood, have been relegated to League Two, so I'm assuming that will be the end of that particular link up. The board have already turned down my request for a parent club, as they don't want us to rely on loan players. So frustrating!

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Arnoldinho: Buxton FC

2022/23 Vanarama National

Transfers ¦ League Fixtures 1 ¦ League Fixtures 2 ¦ League Table ¦ Cup Fixtures ¦ Finances

Offseason and Transfers

Wrapping up promotion early the previous year meant I got a head-start on scouting Conference National level players, looking to strengthen the squad ready for our first attempt at my least favourite division. And we were going to need all the help we could get - our weekly wage budget of £8.3k was a princely 12% of that of the division's top spenders Notts County. The late season signing of central midfielder Harrison Biggins had plugged one hole in the squad, right-back Bradley Barry and 6ft target man Ryan Viggars up front filled the other areas of need in the first XI. Meanwhile, Archie Jones coming back for a second season on loan gave me depth in midfield and the signing of centre-back Oisin McEntee allowed me the luxury of being able to rotate three quality players at the heart of my defence, Redmond and Harbottle having returned. But the headline grabbing signing was undoubtedly 18 year old Latvian international Olegs Sinelnikovs arriving from Manchester United. Able to play up front or in an attacking role from midfield, on paper he was easily the best of the top flight youth cast-offs I had picked up in my three years at the club.  

League Campaign

In short, it was an up-and-down season with heartbreak at the end. When we lost our first two games comprehensively I started to worry that we were going to be simply outclassed. But as the autumn wore on it was increasingly clear that wasn't the case. By the midway point of the season we had 10 wins and looked headed for mid-table obscurity. Then suddenly in the new year something changed and we hit form. 7 wins out of 8, featuring 6 goals from Ryan Viggars propelled us up in to the playoff places. Notts County were miles clear at the top of the division, and Woking and Bromley looked well set for 2nd and 3rd, but below that was a big scramble of teams, another 4 of whom would qualify for the playoffs. We were well in the hunt, and indeed when we upset Notts County 1-0 in early March we hit the lofty heights of fifth.

And then our last eight games were a car crash. It happened in slow-motion at first - we only squeaked a win against lowly Macclesfield and had a couple of other tame draws as Viggars' goals completely dried up. But we appeared to have steadied the ship with a victory of fellow playoff contenders Cheltenham at the start of April, and when we took a fourth minute lead against cellar-dwellers Havant & Waterlooville I thought we have bounced back at just the right time. How wrong I was. Havant promptly went and put four past us at the other end, as did Sutton in the following game who leapfrogged us in to the playoffs as a result. As a result we needed a win and one of three results elsewhere to go our way on the final day to make it in to the playoffs. Dover obliged us by slipping up, but when we conceded two late goals at Hartlepool trying to turn a draw in to the needed victory, it was all over. 8th place, just outside the playoffs. A classic case of ending up being really disappointed with a position I would have been delighted with at the start of the year. That said, I wouldn't really have fancied our chances in the playoffs anyway if truth be told.

Cups

Presumably because of the winter world cup (?) this year there were no FA Cup replays, just extra time and penalties. And boy did we test out these new regulations! Every single one of our FA Cup ties went to spot kicks! We nearly fell at the first hurdle - playing atrociously in the 4th qualifying round against lower league Redditch, only to be rescued by a Ryan Viggars injury time goal and then a 6-5 shootout win courtesy of a cool head from Dan Jones. In the first round proper, we drew 1-1 against League 2 Carlisle at home and then dispatched them 6-5 in the shootout, with Dan Jones netting the winner. Spot a pattern emerging here? Second round, this time its League One Mansfield at home. To mix it up, we finished this one 0-0 and won the shootout 4-3. It was still Dan Jones with the winner though.

So, the holy grail of the FA Cup Third Round and we bagged ourselves an away draw at Championship leading Watford, managed by Rafa Benitez who was telling the media before the game how easy it was going to be. In 90 minutes, his side managed 37 shots, but only one found the net (well, two did actually but one of them was offside) and so when Olegs Sinelnikovs scored our goal of the season with an 81st minute free-kick we forced extra time. By this stage penalties seemed almost inevitable, despite Watford having a further 12 shots in the extra half hour, and so we were in to our fourth shootout in a row. Alas this time it wasn't to be. Harrison Biggins the villain in a 7-6 shootout loss. After the game Benitez crowed to the media that he'd known it was going to be easy. Really Rafa? 120 minutes and 14 penalties to separate sides 3 divisions apart...

In other cup news, we only went and flipping won a game in the FA Trophy. Farsley were dispatched 4-0 in the first round, before Chorley overturned us in Round 2 disappointingly easily. In other circumstances I would have been very annoyed at the defeat but coming on the back of such a good FA Cup run I didn't really care and neither did the board.

Finances

Unfortunately only 8000 Hornets fans turned up for our FA Cup 3rd Round tie so it wasn't quite the money spinner I'd hoped. But still, between that, the prize money, and a sensible wage spend we came out of the year £200k in the black. A good platform to kick on from. The board have decided to do some more minor tinkering to the stadium in the offseason but its not too expensive fortunately. I decided against asking for facilities upgrades at this stage, but did secure agreement for a bigger coaching staff.

Looking Ahead

I can't quite decide if this season proved or disproved my hatred of the Conference National. On the one hand, it wasn't as big a leap as I'd feared, and we performed pretty creditably. On the other hand, with only one automatic promotion spot, it just takes one big club like Notts County to get off to a flyer and everyone is else left playing for a playoff lottery ticket. For next season, the board have upgraded their expectations to top half of the table. I've agreed with that publically and with the players, privately I'm hoping we can make it to the playoffs.

A few players will leave in the off-season including spot-kick hero Dan Jones (who contributed little other than his penalty prowess), and the weakest of the original fab four Elliot Vasalo. Centre-back Joe Redmond has also decided to return to his native Ireland so I will have a gap to fill at the back. And with big clubs sniffing around, there's always a chance of an offer I can't refuse (either metaphorically or literally if the board do it for me) for Adedoyin - who was fans player of the year for the second year in a row - or Sinelnikovs. 

Question for the Community

In the latter part of the season, I kept having my physio tell me that players were jaded and in need of a rest. Most weeks I had several players skipping one of only two training days in order to catch up on rest and I feel like this may have cost us in those last few games. Do people have any tips for managing this when you're still a part-time club? (other of course than squad rotation in matches, which I've resolved to do more next year)

Career Summary

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2032/2033 Whitby Town - Promise

Year League Position Cups Training Youth Junior Recruitment Attendance (Cap) Badges Transfers (In-Out) Top Scorer Most Assists Av. Rating Clean Sheets May balance Total wages
2032/2033 Championship 7th FAC: 3rd round, Carabao: 1st round Average Adequate Adequate Fairly Basic 5500 (5500) Cont. Pro (£325k) 16-0 Jordan Chambers - 16 Aaron Parkes - 13 Tom Green - 7.18 (38) Rakish Kane - 10 (£2.99m) £110k p/w

 

We had just 1 point in our first 7 games as the struggles that media predicted for us seemed likely. Instead we became a dominant team at home. Two games where we gave up free kick goals in the last 5 minutes came back to haunt us as we went into the final matchday 1 point out of the playoffs. We managed a win, but so did the team ahead of us so we didn't even get the chance to try for promotion. Still, some promising things came from this season:

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Financially we had a rough season. We are still paying the least per annum in the league (by a decent amount) but despite selling out every home game we lost a huge amount of money. Solidarity payments kept us out of the negatives. We were only able to bring back one of our loanees from last year, but he ended up being our star player. We also purchased two of our loanees on permanent deals. Tottenham loaned us a winger who I thought would be a star but he was merely good. Our new striker was no where near the level of Durham (even though his attributes looked good). Sadly, despite not sending him back because they "wanted to give him a chance in the first team" he only made three appearances for Sheffield United. We didn't get a large budget for next year, so I'm not sure how much I can improve the squad.

Spoiler

Year League Position Cups Training Youth Junior Recruitment Attendance (Cap) Badges Transfers (In-Out) Top Scorer Most Assists Av. Rating Clean Sheets May balance Total wages
2031/2032 League One 1st FAC: 1st round, Carabao: 1st round Adequate Below Average Adequate Fairly Basic 4376 (5500) Cont. Pro (£220k) 8-1 Gareth Durham - 43 Bob Thomas - 20 Gareth Durham - 7.62 (45) Rakish Kane - 17 (£1.63m) £56.5k p/w
2030/2031 League One 3rd FAC: 1st round, Carabao: 1st round Below Average Basic Average Fairly Basic 4763 (5500) Cont. A (+£10m) 16-3 Gareth Durham - 26 Bob Thomas - 19 Bob Thomas - 7.25 (49) Tony O'Flaherty - 11 (£5.9m) £38.7k p/w
2029/2030 League Two 1st FAC: 1st round, Carabao: 1st round Below Average Basic Fairly Basic Basic 2582 (5500) Cont. B (+£275k) 13-2 Shemol Millington - 17 Bob Thomas - 16 Bob Thomas - 7.43 (46) Tony O'Flaherty - 28 (£256k) £23.6k p/w
2028/2029 VN National 1st FAC: 2nd round, FAT: 2nd round Below Average Basic Fairly Basic Basic 1297 (4000) Nat. A (+£11.5k) 10-3 Ray Malloy - 40 Bob Thomas - 19 Ray Malloy - 7.59 (48) Brian Isherwood - 15 (£302k) £15k p/w
2027/2028 VN National 9th FAC: 3rd round, FAT: 2nd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 1309 (4000) Nat. A (+£1.6m) 10-4 Ray Malloy - 25 Bob Thomas - 13 Ray Malloy - 7.16 (51) Anthony Patterson - 10 (£1.6m) £10k p/w
2026/2027 VN National 9th FAC: 4th qual., FAT: 2nd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 1221 (4000) Nat. C (£0) 6-4 Connor Bell - 23 Connor Bell - 12 Connor Bell - 7.27 (47) Anthony Patterson - 14 (£15k) £5.9k p/w
2025/2026 VN North 1st FAC: 1st round, FAT: 3rd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 576 (3180) Nat. C (+£8k) 11-4 Joe Ridley - 32 Joe Ridley - 18 Bob Thomas - 7.59 (50) Jonny Orritt - 25 (£583k) £4.9k p/w
2024/2025 VN North 5th FAC: 4th qual., FAT: 2nd round Basic Poor Adequate Average 640 (3180) Nat. C (+£150k) 10-2 Cole Kiernan - 29 Connor Bell - 20 Alfie Payne - 7.52 (32) Dave Richards - 12 (£541k) £5.4k p/w
2023/2024 VN North 5th FAC: 2nd qual., FAT: 1st round Basic Poor Adequate Average 565 (3180) Nat. C (+£12k) 14-10 Mitchell George - 31 Dion McGhee - 11 Mitchell George - 7.45 (51) Marcel Wusiewicz - 16 (£443k) £7.4k p/w
2022/2023 VN North 5th FAC: 3rd round, FAT: 1st round Basic Poor Adequate Average 798 (3180) None (£0) 18-6 Mitchell George - 40 Jake Cain - 16 Mitchell George - 7.35 (55) Jacob Carney - 17 (£37k) £6.3k p/w
2021/2022 VN North 8th FAC: 3rd qual., FAT: 3rd qual. Basic Poor Adequate Average 644 (3180) None (£0) 10-1 Mitchell George - 27 Mohammed Sangaré - 11 Mitchell George - 7.33 (46) Jacob Carney - 11 (£174k) £5.9k p/w
2020/2021 VN North 10th FAC: 3rd qual., FAT: 1st round Basic Poor Adequate Average 633 (3180) None (£0) 9-2 Connor Bell - 10 Jordan Barnett -11 Dale Hopson - 7.02 (49) Jacob Carney - 19 (£98.71k) £6.2k p/w

 

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Stourbridge FC

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Season 1

2020/2021 End Of Season Review

Table  Fixtures 1  Fixtures 2  Transfers   Finances  Squad

"All of Stourbridge's dreams came true this season as they defied expectations suggesting that they would be relegation certainties and instead mounted an almost unbelievable title winning campaign. It was a season of unlikely yet jubilant success for Stourbridge, who consistently defied the odds from the outset, and were eventually crowned champions" - FourFourTwo

 

Board expectations for the season

Bravely fight against relegation for national league north.

Reach FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round

Reach FA Trophy First Round

Transfers / Pre season

First thing on my mind when i first took over was to find out where are the weakness of team and how to improve the team. I inherited a good core of players, good right winger in chay tilt who according to the coach is national league level, Aaron Llyod who is decent, goalkeeper in james wren who is decent for this level and also Ashley Carter who is decent for national north.We were weak in left defence, left wing, centre midfield and striking positions. To solve the problems, i brought in Reece Hamman a lb Tom Armitage loan from Burton Albion, Kyle Hurst who can play left wing, Adam leather on a free, Mylo Hall and hooper who are both loans in centre midfield. For the strikers, josh kelly and Rourke and Gibbons on loan. Added the team with Riley Harbottle dc, Jonathan Dinzeyi dc national league player, Jonathan De Bie national league gk to boost our chances of survival. Let James wren go on a free as he is out of contracr and Charlie Price sold to Flyde for £200. Changed the coaching team with new assistant manager, general coach, 2 scouts and 2 physio brought in. Media expectation for the team before season start was 21st place. With transfers brought in, we rose to 5th in media eyes. Arranged some money making friendlies to boost our bank balance from £36k to £150k when first game begin.

League Campaign

It was a consistent campaign with york the main challenge and brackley in last 3 months. Except for the first 2 months when i was in play off places, didn't drop outside top 3 as we kept up with york and later brackley. Main contributions was the wingers and strikers with a couple from centre midfield. Did not confirm title with last game being played, with us on 101 points and brackley town on 99 points.

Cups

Exceed the board expectations with FA Cup Second round loss at home replay against Mk Dons which is a League 1 side. We drew them away 0-0 but could not do the job at home with 2-0 loss. Beat Crawley Town League 2 side at home replay first round with a 3-1 win, drew them 1-1 away. For the FA trophy Fourth Round, we lost to york who are a better side than us at home.

Finances

With the cup runs especially the fa cup run, we got tv prize money of £70k for both Crawley Town and MK Dons clashes . Winner Prize money for previous rounds also help with £72.25k being pocketed. Winner prize money of FA trophy came in the balance with £26k. Total balance before bonuses and tax bill of £8k came to be £305k. After the bonuses and tax bill hit we are left with £280k

Next Season

We aim to survive in national league. Board announce rent of a 6444 capacity Aggborough stadium located in kidderminister, potential to expand to 10k stadium. We say goodbye to the 2000 capacity War Memorial Athletic Ground

 

Career Overview

Season      League               Position        FA Cup                 FA Trophy            Achievements (Notes)
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2020/21   National League North    1st         Second Round            Fourth Round            League Winners 

 

 

 

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Cray Wanderers FC: 2023/24 Review

Our second season in the Conference National has come to an end, and in all honesty it was a bit of a non-event. We didn't perform as well as we did last season, but we were never really in any danger of falling into a relegation battle. From an early stage we sat in mid-table and comfortably clear of the drop zone. A brief run of good form in January saw us climb into the play-off spots, but we couldn't maintain it and fell back into mid-table.

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Shawn McCoulsky was once again our top scorer, although he only managed 15 this time around. Defensively we weren't quite as solid as we have been, but it was converting our chances that really hurt us. We created plenty throughout the season, but nobody really managed to perform consistently enough. Transfer wise we didn't do much, but Owen Gallagher (top-scorer for us during my first season) was allowed to join Stranraer on a free transfer in January.

The cup competitions were once again disastrous as we crashed out of both of them early on to lower league opposition. We really need to get our performances in the cups improved.

The summer is going to be a big one for us, as I am desperate for us to start showing improvements. We look comfortable enough in this division, but it would be nice to be able to think more positively. I want to start looking upwards, and eyeing up a move into the Football League. Financially we are still in struggles, and running at significant losses. I'm looking forward to trying to improve our squad, but its not going to be an easy summer. We need to strengthen, but financially it may prove tough for us to do so.

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Cray Wanderers FC

2020/21 2nd in Conference South (Lost in play-offs)

2021/22 3rd in Conference South (Play-Off winners)

2022/23 9th in Conference National

2022/23 14th in Conference National

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@lfc7 I had indeed missed your update, playoffs in the first season is good, just a shame it was one of 'them' games in the playoffs. I think you should be able to aim for promotion next season, all depends on if you can get the right replacements in for outgoing players.

@tremor Congrats on the league win. On your English player query, I think it's generally been the case that they're overpriced I think it's just compounded now with overall transfer fees going up higher, the Brexit scenario that you got may impact costs too. I think the main issue with the good English players is that they'll be at the big clubs and they'll want a lot for them.

@arnoldinho I think you got it right, disappointing end to the season but a very solid first season at Vanarama National level, you are right though it is probably the toughest division to get promoted from due to professional teams. On jadedness I don't really know any magical way of fixing it, even at professional level. I generally send the player that is tired on a one week holiday that coincides with a slightly weaker team that my back up can deal with.

 

 

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Bognor Regis Town 2034/35

Premier League 4th place – Europa League Winners

Awards --- Stats --- Fixtures (1) --- Fixtures (2) --- Season Review --- Hot Prospect --- Key Player --- Overall Best XI --- Squad --- Records

Season Overview

Scarce few pundits will have been brave enough to pluck Bognor Regis from mid-table obscurity in pre-season and mark them for bigger and better things but The Rocks did exactly that, surprising everyone as they broke free from the pack and secured continental qualification.

Last season I wanted to convert some of the losses to draws and we did just that. In the last 3 seasons our points total would have seen us easily into the top 4 though the rest of the top 6 are familiar faces. The Europa League final was a free hit after we secured 4th, though winning is obviously much better than losing it.

FIRST HALF OF THE SEASON

Summer Transfers

As with last season the transfers in was a lot more refined, a few  pre-arranged hot prospects signings alongside 3 players for the first team squad. First of those was the permanent signing of last years on loan midfielder Jason McKay, a solid player for us last year so happy to bring him in.

Our second signing was a new club record. Julle Kasongo being bought from Manchester United for £26 million, he was signed as a player I could hopefully develop into a left sided inside forward, but has the ability to act as back up striker also.

The final signing was another player from Manchester United, Peter Elphick. This time a loan with no future options, but a young player who could add depth to the right attacking midfield and a decent quality without eating into registration spots for our players.

A lot of the players I had earmarked to be sold were only able to be shipped out on loan with an exception being Alen Jancar who I sold to a Chinese team for £12.5 million, unfortunately nobody was really interested in him otherwise I’d probably have been able to get more for him, but glad to get him out.

Premier League

Last season we only recorded 5 draws all season, this year we drew 6 of our first 10 games. We started the season with a solid win before a good 2-2 draw away to Chelsea gave me optimism, which actually stayed in spite of our 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, a disappointing result, but one in which we showed promise. After that it was a large run of draws that made me more frustrated than the loss, the 2-2 draw to bottom side Derby the biggest disappointment as we had been two goals up. November saw us click though and 6 wins on the bounce saw us shoot up to challenge the top 4. The first half of the season saw us blip however, a 3-3 draw against Newcastle, before a 4-0 demolition by Manchester United dented morale somewhat.

Europa LeagueGroup Stage

Another fairly successful Europa League Group Stage. We have yet to manage to win all our games but winning all but a 1-1 away draw against Bayer 04 a strong result for me seeing us progress as group winners once more.

League Cup – Semi-Final

A tale of the 2-1’s. Every game we had in this one finishing 2-1, the first 3 wins for us to get us to the Semi-Final once more before Manchester United beat us 2-1 away and home seeing us out at the same stage once more.

SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON

January Transfers

Only a couple of incomings in the January and only the one again for the first team though they are acting as very much a back up even then. Diego, a natural left winger that I’m trying to convert to a right sided inside forward. Lots of potential too so hopefully it’ll work out well.

Not much on the outgoings except a farewell to a key player of years gone by. Samu Rubio was sold £3.7 million not a bad return and allows Rubio to get the game time he deserves.

Premier League

The second half of the started strongly, comprehensive victories against top 4 rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, winning 4-0 and 3-0 respectively and that was largely the tone for the majority of the rest of the season however, the low point of the season was a 4-3 loss to bottom side Norwich in a game that we had been 3 nil up. In spite of a very strong half of the season after a 1-1 draw to then top side Arsenal we lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in a game that we never really got going before having to salvage a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa having been 2 goals down. Those results meant that with two games remaining we were in 6th place, a scraped 1-0 win over Watford later we were in a 3 horse race for the final spot with Liverpool and Chelsea, the former our opponents on the last day. A win on the last day would mean we got the spot, a loss meant Liverpool and a draw opened the door for Chelsea. At half time we had secured ourselves a 2-0 lead but by the 74th minute we were trailing and it looked even more ominous when our right back got sent off in the 88th. Step up René Oliveri 2 goals in added time to win us the tie 4-3 and to secure 4th spot. Incredible drama.

Europa League – Winners

A sensational season was topped off by winning the Europa League. Winning our group had meant we returned in the second knockout round, a tough draw against RB Leipzig. We drew the away leg 1-1 a tight game before contriving to beat them 3-0 on our own turf. This set up a Quarter final against probably the weakest team remaining in the draw Real Hispalis (Real Betis). A 4-1 home win set up a relatively easy second leg which we won 3-1 to send us to the semi-final. The semi final had us drawn against our Group runners up Bayer 04, a tough proposition as we had seen previously but I was fairly confident we could better them as we had done previously. As with earlier in the season we beat them 1-0 at home, meaning if we could get an away goal the tie would all but be won. It started well Ferreyra deciding getting sent off 5 minutes into the game was the best way to help out, this was followed by two injuries in the first half forcing substitutions and somehow we managed to score 2 second half goals to send us through to the final 3-0 on aggregate.

The final saw us face off against a Tottenham side who finished 11th in the league and that we had done the double on during the season. We were without our first choice wingers in an otherwise full strength team. All in all it was a fairly low key affair, though replacement winger Diego got his first goal for the club to put us in front early doors before a Jorge Cossu goal just after halftime helped us to a 2-0 win and a Europa League Trophy

FA Cup - 3rd Round

The FA Cup hasn’t been too kind to us a 2-2 draw in the 3rd round set up a replay against Southampton in which we lost 2-1 a game in which we ended up with 4 injuries and a red card so ended the game with 9 men and one of them being injured.

The ‘Terry Hart’ Player of the season Award René Oliveri:  Oliveri collected the most unsurprising player of the season award this year 43 goals and 14 assists in all competitions is an incredible return and a 31 goal improvement on his last season total. He is certainly coming into his own and I look forward to seeing if he can replicate it next season or if he was a one season wonder. A long way back in second was Guido Fontanelli he also had a great season with 16 goals and 13 assists, how far back he was is testament to Oliveri’s season. On the goalscoring front he was largely the same as last year but he really stepped it up on the assists front and long may it continue. Amr Nagy claimed 3rd spot for the second year on the bounce. Nagy is consistently developing and is still only 20, 4 goals and 10 assists in all competitions

Squad Overview – Few changes to the squad as a whole this season, the first XI I am largely happy with, the back up options on the wide attacking midfield spots however could do with improving.

Spoiler

 

Goalkeepers:

Marcos Díaz: Díaz is progressing really nicely, technically he’s fantastic and mentally he has come one a long way since joining the club. He does still have areas that need improving and whilst he conceded more goals this season and less clean sheets he did record a better average rating.

Adam Lake: Lake once again acted as cup goalkeeper, no injury to Díaz meant that he has to settle for not playing frequently. I’m happy for him to continue remaining as our back up goalkeeper if he’s not throwing up any sort of fuss, though I may look to try and sign a youngster with potential to push Díaz.  

Left Full Back:

Héctor Presedo: Presedo once again was our first choice left back attribute wise he’s developing nicely though his output in the squad wasn’t the best, 1 goal and 4 assists in all competitions a little on the low side. But, as with all our players he is still young and developing so I’m happy for him to remain in the squad especially if he can reach our coaches opinion of his ceiling.  

Mauricio Ortíz: Ortíz was very much our rotational option being natural at both fullback positions and he recorded 1 goal and 6 assists so a bit better than Pressedo, but it’s hard to tell which side of the pitch they came from. His versatility is very helpful and although he doesn’t seem to have as much of a ceiling as once hoped he’s certainly a good squad player to keep around.

Right Full Back:

Steve Atherton: We didn’t have a nailed on started for right back but as Atherton got into our best XI it makes sense to have him down as our first choice. Fairly well rounded, not exceptional attributes on the whole but not awful either and 2 goals and 6 assists not terrible in comparison to our other full backs. I am toying on the idea of whether I exercise our purchase option on him, I’m leaning towards doing so, if only to provide depth.

Tomas Kovac: Kovac for me is a very similar player to Atherton just not as good physically. Another one with 1 goal and 4 assists for the season. His potential isn’t as high as initially thought but I feel he can certainly provide a good option for us in the position.

Mauricio Ortíz: Ortíz was covered in the left back section, he’ll remain as a rotation option on both sides.

Centre Back

Mohamed Mansour: It’s hard to rewrite an overview on Mansour as it’s going to be largely the same, he’s a very good player for us and has now taken up English Nationality which will help us a lot going forward. He had yet another good season, however, he did miss a large portion of it through injury after breaking his foot. Clubs were yet again interested but a new contract saw the end to that.

Joseph Córdova: Córdova frustrated me part way through the season as in back to back games he made a mistake that led to the opposition scoring, though when I looked at the statistics they were the only 2 occurrences in the entire season. In defensive attributes he’s very good but outside of that he’s fairly limited. He still had a very good season and I’m happy for him and Mansour to carry on in the heart of our defence.

Olly Cherry: Cherry maintained his spot as 3rd choice centre back and whilst Mansour was out injured he performed really well. He was a player that was subject to a decent number of bids in January which would probably be good for his career as he’s never going to be more than 3rd choice here but I don’t want to sell him so unless he forces a move he’ll remain

John Andreas Bjerkestrand: Bjerkestrand is dropping further and further out of favour. When he first joined he was almost on par with Mansour, yet the trajectories of each players careers is definitely different, he got a few games when Mansour was injured and didn’t do awfully but as ever his critical flaw has been his lack of aerial ability. He gained English Nationality so may keep him around as a backup player but selling him is a possibility.

Jindrich Silhan: Silhan has actually been at the club a while now predominantly featuring for the U23, in January he was registered and promoted to the first team. When called upon he actually did very well a goal and an assist in just 2 premier league games so may actually be above Bjerkestrand in the pecking order now.

Centre Midfield

Amr Nagy*: Our midfield was never really completely set but Nagy was probably the player who could say he was first choice. He is one of the top earners at the club for good reason and PSG were sniffing earlier in the season, again with no actual bid but nonetheless. He has 33 caps at the age of only 20 which is incredible and I can see him only getting better and better. 700k he cost, what a signing.

Iván Bueno: Bueno is an odd one, this season he was far worse than the previous ones 2 goals and 4 assists far away from his total last season. This was partially due to him having a poor start to the season so seeing him miss out on the staring eleven more frequently. He did pick up as the season wore on and ended up with a fairly decent average rating all the same. I may be tempted to sell him if the right offer comes in although he will gain English Nationality in January which would be helpful

Jason McKay: McKay was signed permanently this season following a fairly good loan spell last and was a useful rotational option for us 8 assists in all competitions no goals through unfortunately. He is actually a good player to have as a rotational option with nicely rounded attributes and being English a bonus for that. He’s attracting interest from Manchester City, but they’d have to offer a sizable sum for me to be interested in selling him.

Lee Young-Suk: Young-Suk was signed last season and came into this as a back up player who I feel could develop into Nagy’s long term midfield partner. He featured the least of our midfield contingent but still managed to record 4 assists in all competitions. He has Model Citizen as his personality and has developed fairly well over the past year so may get more opportunities next season.

*forgot to get a screenshot at end of season so partway through next it is

Left Attacking Midfield

Pablo Ferreyra: Ferreyra again had a good season for us 16 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. However his average rating left a lot to be desired in games in which he didn’t score or assist he didn’t play well. He also has a professionalism problem getting 3 fines for missing training this season which is disappointing alongside getting sent off in the semi-final of the Europa league.

Francisco Zárate: Zárate returned to the team after loan spells away as he recovered from his long term injury, he didn’t feature very often and when he did it was from the bench, though did get a goal and an assist for us. He is very unfortunate as he would have been our first choice winger by now if not for his injury and since then Ferreyra came in and made the spot his own, I think I’m going to look to sell him on in the summer.

Julle Kasongo: Kasongo was our club record signing and I’d brought him in to be back up at left attacking midfield (a position he didn’t know how to play) so it’s no surprise he had an indifferent season for us. Attribute wise he ticks all the boxes to play as an inside forward in our system and he’s not as strong as our forwards to get a sniff there so I’m probably going to persist with him here again next season. 4 goals 4 assists not an awful return for a player who mainly played off the bench.

Diego: Diego was signed in the January window and like Kasongo signed to play in a position he didn’t know how, in his case right attacking midfield, however, until he learns that position better he can add depth on the left. As we play inverted wide players he isn’t he most ideal to play on the left with having a weak right foot but we are working on that so he may end up staying on this side. 1 goal to his name and in the Europa League Final no less.

Right Attacking Midfield

Guido Fontanelli: Fontanelli, as mentioned in the player of the year post, had another great season 16 goals and 13 assists a much better return from the wide man, it was unfortunate for him that an injury meant he missed the Europa League final. My coaches reckon he’s at his peak ability which is ok by me and he can hold down his spot in the team until we can develop a player who can perform better in it than him.

Peter Elphick: On Loan Manchester United player Elphick was our back up in this position he didn’t have a sensational season 1 goal and 4 assists but was more of a bit part player. I have extended his loan but will be on the lookout for a player who would be able to push towards challenging Fontanelli.

Gareth Medway: In the summer I was chasing a player who would be able to act s 2nd to 3rd choice and push on, unfortunately we were priced out of the purchase so academy product Medway was utilised as our 3rd choice winger this season. He is far from Premier League quality but in general this is a position without much depth.

Diego: As mentioned Diego was signed to play here, he did feature a couple times here but as he is yet to be accomplished in the position he is down the pecking order a little.

Striker:

René Oliveri: Where last season he was in the rotation for the second choice striker Oliveri this season made himself first name on the team sheet with an incredible season. 43 goals in all competitions with 14 assists he stepped up magnificently. He was signed on a free transfer and what a piece of business that is turning out to be. Hopefully he can continue in the same vein and lead the line for us for years to come.

Jorge Cossu: This is a weird one, I though Cossu wasn’t having a great season, but he actually had a better season then last time out with 22 goals in all competitions, his season looking worse than it was only due to Oliveri’s being so good. He is now capped at international level for Argentina and is still developing well so hopefully he can continue to forge a good relationship with Oliveri up front.

Simon Watson: Watson’s early season form left him in the wayside as Cossu and Oliveri scored for fun, in fact he only recorded a single league goal this season which is disappointing. He did feature irregularly though and I’m fairly happy for him to continue being our 3rd choice striker or at least a back up option in the position.

Terry Hart: Again Hart didn’t feature at all really though I did give him a run out in the Europa League final off the bench allowing him to be eligible for a medal. I did agree to sell him last summer but nobody bid enough and have agreed to sell him this summer also so will see if he goes this time. A club legend even if the game doesn’t register him as one.

Julle Kasongo: Kasongo is a natural striker so he was available to play a back up role here too which he did a few times this season.  

 

Finances Creeping towards £300 million in the bank.

Youth Intake – Not a great year at all for us this year Lewis McCarthy probably the best of a bad bunch. On the other end of the scale John Caldwell of last seasons intake is progressing very well even recording some first team football for us,

Next Season

Continue to improve, the core of our squad is there now with players in our youth teams developing to add depth to most positions however a few areas do need improving in terms of future stars. Of those Centre back is the main area, outside of Mansour and Cordova we don’t particularly have any players with real potential there. On the right attacking midfield could also do with a bit of potential added to the ranks with left back the 3rd position perhaps needing more depth. Although I’m not looking to I am open to splashing the cash significantly this summer as we’ve built up a good balance to provide us with a warchest.

As the first team squad is fairly settled now I’m gearing towards at least challenging for the title though a top 4 finish we will settle for. We were some way of this season however, our improvement from last season was apparent so if we can continue at the same trajectory I’m hopeful we can be successful. In the Champions League I’m largely hoping to be competitive. On

News

Youth and training facilities again getting an upgrade as we make our way towards having maxed out facilities.

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4 hours ago, _JHTB_ said:

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Bognor Regis Town 2034/35

Premier League 6th place – Europa League Winners

Awards --- Stats --- Fixtures (1) --- Fixtures (2) --- Season Review --- Hot Prospect --- Key Player --- Overall Best XI --- Squad --- Records

Season Overview

Scarce few pundits will have been brave enough to pluck Bognor Regis from mid-table obscurity in pre-season and mark them for bigger and better things but The Rocks did exactly that, surprising everyone as they broke free from the pack and secured continental qualification.

Last season I wanted to convert some of the losses to draws and we did just that. In the last 3 seasons our points total would have seen us easily into the top 4 though the rest of the top 6 are familiar faces. The Europa League final was a free hit after we secured 4th, though winning is obviously much better than losing it.

FIRST HALF OF THE SEASON

Summer Transfers

As with last season the transfers in was a lot more refined, a few  pre-arranged hot prospects signings alongside 3 players for the first team squad. First of those was the permanent signing of last years on loan midfielder Jason McKay, a solid player for us last year so happy to bring him in.

Our second signing was a new club record. Julle Kasongo being bought from Manchester United for £26 million, he was signed as a player I could hopefully develop into a left sided inside forward, but has the ability to act as back up striker also.

The final signing was another player from Manchester United, Peter Elphick. This time a loan with no future options, but a young player who could add depth to the right attacking midfield and a decent quality without eating into registration spots for our players.

A lot of the players I had earmarked to be sold were only able to be shipped out on loan with an exception being Alen Jancar who I sold to a Chinese team for £12.5 million, unfortunately nobody was really interested in him otherwise I’d probably have been able to get more for him, but glad to get him out.

Premier League

Last season we only recorded 5 draws all season, this year we drew 6 of our first 10 games. We started the season with a solid win before a good 2-2 draw away to Chelsea gave me optimism, which actually stayed in spite of our 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, a disappointing result, but one in which we showed promise. After that it was a large run of draws that made me more frustrated than the loss, the 2-2 draw to bottom side Derby the biggest disappointment as we had been two goals up. November saw us click though and 6 wins on the bounce saw us shoot up to challenge the top 4. The first half of the season saw us blip however, a 3-3 draw against Newcastle, before a 4-0 demolition by Manchester United dented morale somewhat.

Europa LeagueGroup Stage

Another fairly successful Europa League Group Stage. We have yet to manage to win all our games but winning all but a 1-1 away draw against Bayer 04 a strong result for me seeing us progress as group winners once more.

League Cup – Semi-Final

A tale of the 2-1’s. Every game we had in this one finishing 2-1, the first 3 wins for us to get us to the Semi-Final once more before Manchester United beat us 2-1 away and home seeing us out at the same stage once more.

SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON

January Transfers

Only a couple of incomings in the January and only the one again for the first team though they are acting as very much a back up even then. Diego, a natural left winger that I’m trying to convert to a right sided inside forward. Lots of potential too so hopefully it’ll work out well.

Not much on the outgoings except a farewell to a key player of years gone by. Samu Rubio was sold £3.7 million not a bad return and allows Rubio to get the game time he deserves.

Premier League

The second half of the started strongly, comprehensive victories against top 4 rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, winning 4-0 and 3-0 respectively and that was largely the tone for the majority of the rest of the season however, the low point of the season was a 4-3 loss to bottom side Norwich in a game that we had been 3 nil up. In spite of a very strong half of the season after a 1-1 draw to then top side Arsenal we lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in a game that we never really got going before having to salvage a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa having been 2 goals down. Those results meant that with two games remaining we were in 6th place, a scraped 1-0 win over Watford later we were in a 3 horse race for the final spot with Liverpool and Chelsea, the former our opponents on the last day. A win on the last day would mean we got the spot, a loss meant Liverpool and a draw opened the door for Chelsea. At half time we had secured ourselves a 2-0 lead but by the 74th minute we were trailing and it looked even more ominous when our right back got sent off in the 88th. Step up René Oliveri 2 goals in added time to win us the tie 4-3 and to secure 4th spot. Incredible drama.

Europa League – Winners

A sensational season was topped off by winning the Europa League. Winning our group had meant we returned in the second knockout round, a tough draw against RB Leipzig. We drew the away leg 1-1 a tight game before contriving to beat them 3-0 on our own turf. This set up a Quarter final against probably the weakest team remaining in the draw Real Hispalis (Real Betis). A 4-1 home win set up a relatively easy second leg which we won 3-1 to send us to the semi-final. The semi final had us drawn against our Group runners up Bayer 04, a tough proposition as we had seen previously but I was fairly confident we could better them as we had done previously. As with earlier in the season we beat them 1-0 at home, meaning if we could get an away goal the tie would all but be won. It started well Ferreyra deciding getting sent off 5 minutes into the game was the best way to help out, this was followed by two injuries in the first half forcing substitutions and somehow we managed to score 2 second half goals to send us through to the final 3-0 on aggregate.

The final saw us face off against a Tottenham side who finished 11th in the league and that we had done the double on during the season. We were without our first choice wingers in an otherwise full strength team. All in all it was a fairly low key affair, though replacement winger Diego got his first goal for the club to put us in front early doors before a Jorge Cossu goal just after halftime helped us to a 2-0 win and a Europa League Trophy

FA Cup - 3rd Round

The FA Cup hasn’t been too kind to us a 2-2 draw in the 3rd round set up a replay against Southampton in which we lost 2-1 a game in which we ended up with 4 injuries and a red card so ended the game with 9 men and one of them being injured.

The ‘Terry Hart’ Player of the season Award René Oliveri:  Oliveri collected the most unsurprising player of the season award this year 43 goals and 14 assists in all competitions is an incredible return and a 31 goal improvement on his last season total. He is certainly coming into his own and I look forward to seeing if he can replicate it next season or if he was a one season wonder. A long way back in second was Guido Fontanelli he also had a great season with 16 goals and 13 assists, how far back he was is testament to Oliveri’s season. On the goalscoring front he was largely the same as last year but he really stepped it up on the assists front and long may it continue. Amr Nagy claimed 3rd spot for the second year on the bounce. Nagy is consistently developing and is still only 20, 4 goals and 10 assists in all competitions

Squad Overview – Few changes to the squad as a whole this season, the first XI I am largely happy with, the back up options on the wide attacking midfield spots however could do with improving.

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Goalkeepers:

Marcos Díaz: Díaz is progressing really nicely, technically he’s fantastic and mentally he has come one a long way since joining the club. He does still have areas that need improving and whilst he conceded more goals this season and less clean sheets he did record a better average rating.

Adam Lake: Lake once again acted as cup goalkeeper, no injury to Díaz meant that he has to settle for not playing frequently. I’m happy for him to continue remaining as our back up goalkeeper if he’s not throwing up any sort of fuss, though I may look to try and sign a youngster with potential to push Díaz.  

Left Full Back:

Héctor Presedo: Presedo once again was our first choice left back attribute wise he’s developing nicely though his output in the squad wasn’t the best, 1 goal and 4 assists in all competitions a little on the low side. But, as with all our players he is still young and developing so I’m happy for him to remain in the squad especially if he can reach our coaches opinion of his ceiling.  

Mauricio Ortíz: Ortíz was very much our rotational option being natural at both fullback positions and he recorded 1 goal and 6 assists so a bit better than Pressedo, but it’s hard to tell which side of the pitch they came from. His versatility is very helpful and although he doesn’t seem to have as much of a ceiling as once hoped he’s certainly a good squad player to keep around.

Right Full Back:

Steve Atherton: We didn’t have a nailed on started for right back but as Atherton got into our best XI it makes sense to have him down as our first choice. Fairly well rounded, not exceptional attributes on the whole but not awful either and 2 goals and 6 assists not terrible in comparison to our other full backs. I am toying on the idea of whether I exercise our purchase option on him, I’m leaning towards doing so, if only to provide depth.

Tomas Kovac: Kovac for me is a very similar player to Atherton just not as good physically. Another one with 1 goal and 4 assists for the season. His potential isn’t as high as initially thought but I feel he can certainly provide a good option for us in the position.

Mauricio Ortíz: Ortíz was covered in the left back section, he’ll remain as a rotation option on both sides.

Centre Back

Mohamed Mansour: It’s hard to rewrite an overview on Mansour as it’s going to be largely the same, he’s a very good player for us and has now taken up English Nationality which will help us a lot going forward. He had yet another good season, however, he did miss a large portion of it through injury after breaking his foot. Clubs were yet again interested but a new contract saw the end to that.

Joseph Córdova: Córdova frustrated me part way through the season as in back to back games he made a mistake that led to the opposition scoring, though when I looked at the statistics they were the only 2 occurrences in the entire season. In defensive attributes he’s very good but outside of that he’s fairly limited. He still had a very good season and I’m happy for him and Mansour to carry on in the heart of our defence.

Olly Cherry: Cherry maintained his spot as 3rd choice centre back and whilst Mansour was out injured he performed really well. He was a player that was subject to a decent number of bids in January which would probably be good for his career as he’s never going to be more than 3rd choice here but I don’t want to sell him so unless he forces a move he’ll remain

John Andreas Bjerkestrand: Bjerkestrand is dropping further and further out of favour. When he first joined he was almost on par with Mansour, yet the trajectories of each players careers is definitely different, he got a few games when Mansour was injured and didn’t do awfully but as ever his critical flaw has been his lack of aerial ability. He gained English Nationality so may keep him around as a backup player but selling him is a possibility.

Jindrich Silhan: Silhan has actually been at the club a while now predominantly featuring for the U23, in January he was registered and promoted to the first team. When called upon he actually did very well a goal and an assist in just 2 premier league games so may actually be above Bjerkestrand in the pecking order now.

Centre Midfield

Amr Nagy*: Our midfield was never really completely set but Nagy was probably the player who could say he was first choice. He is one of the top earners at the club for good reason and PSG were sniffing earlier in the season, again with no actual bid but nonetheless. He has 33 caps at the age of only 20 which is incredible and I can see him only getting better and better. 700k he cost, what a signing.

Iván Bueno: Bueno is an odd one, this season he was far worse than the previous ones 2 goals and 4 assists far away from his total last season. This was partially due to him having a poor start to the season so seeing him miss out on the staring eleven more frequently. He did pick up as the season wore on and ended up with a fairly decent average rating all the same. I may be tempted to sell him if the right offer comes in although he will gain English Nationality in January which would be helpful

Jason McKay: McKay was signed permanently this season following a fairly good loan spell last and was a useful rotational option for us 8 assists in all competitions no goals through unfortunately. He is actually a good player to have as a rotational option with nicely rounded attributes and being English a bonus for that. He’s attracting interest from Manchester City, but they’d have to offer a sizable sum for me to be interested in selling him.

Lee Young-Suk: Young-Suk was signed last season and came into this as a back up player who I feel could develop into Nagy’s long term midfield partner. He featured the least of our midfield contingent but still managed to record 4 assists in all competitions. He has Model Citizen as his personality and has developed fairly well over the past year so may get more opportunities next season.

*forgot to get a screenshot at end of season so partway through next it is

Left Attacking Midfield

Pablo Ferreyra: Ferreyra again had a good season for us 16 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. However his average rating left a lot to be desired in games in which he didn’t score or assist he didn’t play well. He also has a professionalism problem getting 3 fines for missing training this season which is disappointing alongside getting sent off in the semi-final of the Europa league.

Francisco Zárate: Zárate returned to the team after loan spells away as he recovered from his long term injury, he didn’t feature very often and when he did it was from the bench, though did get a goal and an assist for us. He is very unfortunate as he would have been our first choice winger by now if not for his injury and since then Ferreyra came in and made the spot his own, I think I’m going to look to sell him on in the summer.

Julle Kasongo: Kasongo was our club record signing and I’d brought him in to be back up at left attacking midfield (a position he didn’t know how to play) so it’s no surprise he had an indifferent season for us. Attribute wise he ticks all the boxes to play as an inside forward in our system and he’s not as strong as our forwards to get a sniff there so I’m probably going to persist with him here again next season. 4 goals 4 assists not an awful return for a player who mainly played off the bench.

Diego: Diego was signed in the January window and like Kasongo signed to play in a position he didn’t know how, in his case right attacking midfield, however, until he learns that position better he can add depth on the left. As we play inverted wide players he isn’t he most ideal to play on the left with having a weak right foot but we are working on that so he may end up staying on this side. 1 goal to his name and in the Europa League Final no less.

Right Attacking Midfield

Guido Fontanelli: Fontanelli, as mentioned in the player of the year post, had another great season 16 goals and 13 assists a much better return from the wide man, it was unfortunate for him that an injury meant he missed the Europa League final. My coaches reckon he’s at his peak ability which is ok by me and he can hold down his spot in the team until we can develop a player who can perform better in it than him.

Peter Elphick: On Loan Manchester United player Elphick was our back up in this position he didn’t have a sensational season 1 goal and 4 assists but was more of a bit part player. I have extended his loan but will be on the lookout for a player who would be able to push towards challenging Fontanelli.

Gareth Medway: In the summer I was chasing a player who would be able to act s 2nd to 3rd choice and push on, unfortunately we were priced out of the purchase so academy product Medway was utilised as our 3rd choice winger this season. He is far from Premier League quality but in general this is a position without much depth.

Diego: As mentioned Diego was signed to play here, he did feature a couple times here but as he is yet to be accomplished in the position he is down the pecking order a little.

Striker:

René Oliveri: Where last season he was in the rotation for the second choice striker Oliveri this season made himself first name on the team sheet with an incredible season. 43 goals in all competitions with 14 assists he stepped up magnificently. He was signed on a free transfer and what a piece of business that is turning out to be. Hopefully he can continue in the same vein and lead the line for us for years to come.

Jorge Cossu: This is a weird one, I though Cossu wasn’t having a great season, but he actually had a better season then last time out with 22 goals in all competitions, his season looking worse than it was only due to Oliveri’s being so good. He is now capped at international level for Argentina and is still developing well so hopefully he can continue to forge a good relationship with Oliveri up front.

Simon Watson: Watson’s early season form left him in the wayside as Cossu and Oliveri scored for fun, in fact he only recorded a single league goal this season which is disappointing. He did feature irregularly though and I’m fairly happy for him to continue being our 3rd choice striker or at least a back up option in the position.

Terry Hart: Again Hart didn’t feature at all really though I did give him a run out in the Europa League final off the bench allowing him to be eligible for a medal. I did agree to sell him last summer but nobody bid enough and have agreed to sell him this summer also so will see if he goes this time. A club legend even if the game doesn’t register him as one.

Julle Kasongo: Kasongo is a natural striker so he was available to play a back up role here too which he did a few times this season.  

 

Finances Creeping towards £300 million in the bank.

Youth Intake – Not a great year at all for us this year Lewis McCarthy probably the best of a bad bunch. On the other end of the scale John Caldwell of last seasons intake is progressing very well even recording some first team football for us,

Next Season

Continue to improve, the core of our squad is there now with players in our youth teams developing to add depth to most positions however a few areas do need improving in terms of future stars. Of those Centre back is the main area, outside of Mansour and Cordova we don’t particularly have any players with real potential there. On the right attacking midfield could also do with a bit of potential added to the ranks with left back the 3rd position perhaps needing more depth. Although I’m not looking to I am open to splashing the cash significantly this summer as we’ve built up a good balance to provide us with a warchest.

As the first team squad is fairly settled now I’m gearing towards at least challenging for the title though a top 4 finish we will settle for. We were some way of this season however, our improvement from last season was apparent so if we can continue at the same trajectory I’m hopeful we can be successful. In the Champions League I’m largely hoping to be competitive. On

News

Youth and training facilities again getting an upgrade as we make our way towards having maxed out facilities.

GhumZVC.jpg

Good job qualifying for the CL.  Though you finished fourth, not sixth.  :thup:

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46 minutes ago, DazRTaylor said:

Good job qualifying for the CL.  Though you finished fourth, not sixth.  :thup:

Ah, you're right, forgot to change that bit from last year's summary. Thanks :)

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Having played through a chunk of my next season I have kind of lost motivation with Cray Wanderers. The club cannot make money, and the board keep selling off my best players for peanuts which doesn’t help anyways. Think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with a club so small. Attendances haven’t increased, and performances on the pitch have flatlined. I’ve turned Cray into a conference national side, but I don’t think I can take them any further.

im looking at sticking with this challenge but maybe starting with a bigger club. Weston and Bognor are both tempting me, although I’m reluctant to take on someone who’s already being attempted. Also South Shields, but I worry it may be a bit too simple. Anybody know anything about Met Police in regards to attendances or anything? They’re tempting me too, although their reputation doesn’t differ much from what I’ve taken on at Cray.

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Bamberbridgefc.png.dc84f30f4157f330e28cff6650183cd4.png

 

Season 2 (2021/22) - Vanarama National League North

Competitions:

Overview | End of Season Review

Vanarama National League North (Table| Results):

Board Expectation: Playoffs. Media Prediction: 2nd.

Finish: 1st.

We strengthened really well in the Summer and got some really key players in to add to a few we already had. We secured some players that were on loan last season and got some superb loans in this season. We started brilliantly and started to put points together as the games came quickly in the first half of the season. The lowest position we were in was 5th which came after losing both our league games in November. This came around the time star man Poveda was injured with a torn hamstring and over this period we struggled and the 442 went stale. A switch to the 4231 really helped and we picked up form with some really nice comebacks and last minute winners. We found ourselves in a title race with Stockport and Southend and us three were always swapping places at the top. A big win against Southport at the beginning of March lead the way for a good run of 8 wins in a row that saw us pull away from the other two and finish quite comfortably and clear at the top. The title was secured with two games to go and we ended up finishing 10 points clear as Champions!

FA Cup (Results):

Finish: Knocked out in Third Qualifying Round by Morpeth Town.

Very disappointing performance this season. We struggled through 3-2 away to Quorn to set up a Third Qualifying Round tie against fellow VNN side Morpeth. We never got into the game and slumped to a 2-0 defeat with a slightly rotated team. Hope to go further next year as this was below the board's expectations.

FA Trophy (Results):

Finish: Knocked out in Semi Final by Aldershot Town

Another really good run in this competition as we went one step further than last season and got some revenge against some good teams in process. We breezed through the first couple of rounds with a rotated side against Matlock and Darlington. The same rotated side beat Dulwich Hamlet after ET with an 118th minute winner from Nyal Bell who was great in this competition and played his way into my first team. We then came back from 1 goal down to promotion rivals Stockport who we had never beaten before to send the game into extra time and then go on and win it, again Bell got a brace. This set up a quarter final against Dagenham & Redbridge, of the league above, who knocked us out at the same stage last season. A thrilling 3-2 victory away saw us go into the semi final and gave me some confidence in this team's chances next season. We were unfortunate to draw the only VN team left in the competition in Aldershot for the semi final over two legs. We lost the first game 2-0 as they had too much quality and then managed a 1-1 draw in the second leg to unfortunately fall short.

Club:

Squad (End of Season Awards) Made up again of a lot of loan players which is always a worry but necessary at this level. There was a strong first XI to choose when everyone was fit and luckily we only really had one major injury to Poveda which did affect us a bit.

TransfersWe kept a decent amount of last season's players with a lot becoming squad players and then added quality on top of this to the first team. We really secured some great loan signings and they were top players in the division which helped provide a title winning season. Got to try and do the same again and get a good squad together for what will be a tougher season.

Club VisionExpected to finish top half next season. Was offered a new contract for another year.

Key Players: 

Ian Carlo Poveda - The Colombian wizard out on the wing this season. The ex-City player was instrumental to how we played and was a big miss for a few months after suffering a torn hamstring. Fortunately when he came back he stayed fit and contributed to our success with a league leading 23 assists as well as 4 goals in only 25 starts.

Cameron Archer - Brilliant again and built upon a great season last year. He bagged a massive 37 goals in all competitions with 33 and a golden boot award in the league. Did really well up top on his own towards the end of the season too. He's signed a contract for last year but we will see if he will be the number one striker.

Remi Savage - I was unsure about him starting this season and thought about signing another CB instead, but I decided to stick with him and I am glad that I did. He was more consistent and solid this season, but also added goals to the team with 12 goals in all comps, plus 9 in the league. Could become a backup next season.

Kane Wilson - An amazing loan signing from West Brom. Bombed up the pitch from RB and got a lot of assists. A great partnership with Poveda on the right.

Callum Jones - Very good centre midfielder on loan from Hull. Worked hard and was consistent. Started in a middle 2, but moved into AMC as we changed formation and improved here.

Best Youth Intake Player: There were no players I thought were worth signing again.

Overall Best ElevenOnly Osadebe and Abdelkader remain of the players who left last season.

FinancesGetting worse and worse which is worrying. We have to expand stadium to 4000 due to league rules which means another hit even though we will be nowhere near filling it.

Manager Profile: The club has now allowed me to do the first coaching course. A few attribute increases again though.

Season    Team           League                             Finish   FA Cup            FA Trophy   Top Goalscorer  Most Assists  Notes  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21   Bamber Bridge	 Vanarama National League North	    5th	     4th Qual. Round   4th Round    Archer (21)    White (13)   Lost in Playoff 1st Round
2021/22   Bamber Bridge  Vanarama National League North     1st      3rd Qual. Round   Semi Final   Archer (33)    Poveda (23)  Promoted as Champions!
Edited by Cloondawg
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Hey lads i am just wondering whats the jump like from Vanarama North to Vanarama National ? is there a big difference or is it when you go up to L2 ? Cant remember who it was, but someone in this thread gave me some good advice for VN and said to look for physicals 12+ and everything else 10 if possible. Does this still apply for National ? 

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@goonergez Just had a look at Met Police on my save, the times that they were up at National League South level they looked to average about 200-300 in attendance, for reference at Bognor Regis we got around 600 in our first year at that level.

@lfc7 If I'm honest, at lower level (well and higher level really) I semi-rely on my scouts star rating before looking at individual attributes, I looked at them but more so when deciding between two players, I don't particularly think there's any 'must' attributes in terms of numbers but I think those attributes would do well enough in Vanarama National as well. Vanarama National North to National is probably a lower jump than national to league 2 but League two offsets that by there being 3 auto promotion spots.  And thanks, I feel we've been fairly lucky in European competitions so far, the Champions League is a whole other monster though

Edited by _JHTB_
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13 minutes ago, _JHTB_ said:

@goonergez Just had a look at Met Police on my save, the times that they were up at National League South level they looked to average about 200-300 in attendance, for reference at Bognor Regis we got around 600 in our first year at that level.

@lfc7 If I'm honest, at lower level (well and higher level really) I semi-rely on my scouts star rating before looking at individual attributes, I looked at them but more so when deciding between two players, I don't particularly think there's any 'must' attributes in terms of numbers but I think those attributes would do well enough in Vanarama National as well. Vanarama National North to National is probably a lower jump than national to league 2 but League two offsets that by there being 3 auto promotion spots.  And thanks, I feel we've been fairly lucky in European competitions so far, the Champions League is a whole other monster though

Thanks very much :D its my first fm where i am managing this low, so i will use this as a learning curve for future versions of the game. I will have a update coming within the next day or so, I'd be playing the Champions League song on my phone before every match :lol:

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I’ve ended up with Rushall Olympic in the Conference North, and I’m about half way through my first season in charge. The joys of being at home for so many hours! I’ll wait until I’ve finished the campaign, then post an update.

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Whitby Town

59f253cd84f12_118px-Whitby_town_fc(1).png.bbd6a36e55629eafb4f1a3cea9507cab.png

Championship – 2028/29 –15th

Squad

Transfers

Overview

Much like last season, this season suffered from switches in tactical approach. This in all honesty was prompted by the thrashings I was receiving in the Fantasy Draft I am playing with friends. I started the season with a 4-2-3-1 and failed to register a win for ten games. A run of form including six wins in eight games rescued matter but a further poor run up to Christmas prompted a change to a 4-3-3 formation and then back to 4-2-3-1. This was much improved and we finished the season reasonably.

We will need better players to push on further. We have some funds but will need to be creative. We were too reliant on loan striker Alen Music.

Key Players

Michael Johnson – Young attacking midfielder who signed for £55k from Arsenal, scored 8 goals and assisted 11.

Alen Music – The Bosnian striker on loan from Liverpool scored 20 goals.

Record

Season          League                          Position          Europe                        Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21         Conference North                5th                              
2021/22         Conference North                2nd                                             Playoff Winner, Promoted
2022/23         Conference National             1st                                             Champions, Promoted
2023/24        League Two                       3rd                                             Promoted
2024/25        League One                       12th
2025/26        League One                       7th
2026/27        League One                       4th
2027/28         League One                       1st                                             Champions, Promoted
2028/29        Championship                     15th

 

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Whitby Town

59f253cd84f12_118px-Whitby_town_fc(1).png.bbd6a36e55629eafb4f1a3cea9507cab.png

Championship – 2029/30 –22nd

Squad

Transfers

Overview

An awful season where again I failed to settle on a formation I was happy with. Most of the season I played a variety of 4-2-3-1 formations and ended up with a 4-3-3 formation which I will take through to next season. The botched tactical approach resulted in terrible form and we slipped to relegation.

Ironically I recruited well and started the season strongly. I was thinking about possible Premier League football. This was wildly far from the actuality. After 3 wins in the first five games, we only won a further 7 games. Four of these came in January. It was an odd season.

The bright side is that I haven’t been sacked, although I did have to survive numerous meetings with the board about my performance. I also have lots of funds to spend and will probably have more by the time I come to recruit. I have some very saleable assets who aren’t happy to play football in league 1, who should bring in significant funds. I’m actually quite looking forwards to thrashing my way through league one.

Key Players

Michael Johnson – Another good season, this time on the right wing. Scored nine goals.

Luke Reid – Arrived from Arsenal for £26k and scored 11 goals from the left wing.

Record

Season          League                          Position          Europe                        Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21         Conference North                5th                              
2021/22         Conference North                2nd                                             Playoff Winner, Promoted
2022/23         Conference National             1st                                             Champions, Promoted
2023/24         League Two                       3rd                                            Promoted
2024/25         League One                       12th
2025/26         League One                       7th
2026/27         League One                       4th
2027/28         League One                       1st                                            Champions, Promoted
2028/29         Championship                     15th
2029/30         Championship                     22nd                                           Relegated

 

Edited by Andrew Haines
correcting a typo
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23 hours ago, goonergez said:

I’ve ended up with Rushall Olympic in the Conference North, and I’m about half way through my first season in charge. The joys of being at home for so many hours! I’ll wait until I’ve finished the campaign, then post an update.

Sorry to hear it didn't work out with Cray, and good luck with Rushall!

On the finances side of things, I think its hard to overstate how important the FA Cup is. The combination of bigger crowds, prize money and the potential for TV games is a real multiplier. For example, in my current season I drew League 2 Bradford City in the FA Cup 1st Round. We drew at their place so had a replay at home which netted me £25k gate receipts, £35k as it was televised and £37k in prize money when we won. That's £97k for one game, equivalent to about eight weeks of my entire team wage bill. As a result, the last couple of seasons I've found I've been resting key players for league games beforehand to make sure we're ready for FA Cup games. 

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Having struggled to get going on a couple of different attempts I’ve returned back to my Cray save. Hopefully the little breather from it can bring the excitement back for me!

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         5103839.png.f2e019a0d01d307c37693c0f2ce58629.png

Nantwich - Sky Bet League One - 2028/29

1531137696_NantwichTown_Competitions.thumb.png.ae1e907ec606c6247007fa551c166805.png

A season of emotions. Starting with the most important, we won the league and will compete in the 2nd tier next season which is a big jump especially in terms of finances. As it can be seen in the screenshot, we took an early lead in the league table but then, in amazing fashion, we lost 5 of our 6 final matches which left the championship and even promotion to be decided in the very last match, against none other than Exeter. Don't ask me how, but after 5 losses with all sorts of teams, we just get out there and wreck Exeter 5-0 :rolleyes:

We successfully defended the EFL Trophy, again playing mostly the second line of players. In the final against Coventry we went to extra time after a 1-1, and we had time to pull back from a 1-2 to a 3-2. That's another grey hair for the manager.

In the FA Cup, minimum expectations achieved, going out to a Championship team at their pitch. In the League Cup, a truly embarrassing loss to Boston Utd, who finished the season relegated from League Two.

Season    Division                          Position    Achievements
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21   Vanarama National League North    13th
2021/22   Vanarama National League North    7th
2022/23   Vanarama National League North    1st         Promoted as champions
2023/24   Vanarama National League          1st         Promoted as champions
2024/25   Sky Bet League Two                8th
2025/26   Sky Bet League Two                7th
2026/27   Sky Bet League Two                1st         Promoted as champions
2027/28   Sky Bet League One                7th         EFL Trophy winners
2028/29   Sky Bet League One                1st         Promoted as champions, EFL Trophy winners

 

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@Andrew Haines Unlucky with the relegation sure you will bounce back

@kingjericho Congrats on the promotion and cup win

I've finished my second season and need to get a update up, which i shall do tomorrow as off work for 9 days which is plenty of time for FM

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1 hour ago, lfc7 said:

off work for 9 days which is plenty of time for FM

Tell me about it. I've been at home for almost a month...

btw, how do you guys handle wage negotiations? I try to be as cheap as I can and sometimes I regret it. I just missed out on my top target this summer because I refused to give him a 20% future fee clause...

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