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[FM20]We're in this together!

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Youth Intake

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Not quite the golden generation that was suspected but an interesting group, nonetheless.  There is a nice bit of African flavor to the intake.

Chardonie Mputu-Tshiembe looks an interesting prospect and I wouldn't be surprised to see him outpace his star ratings.  He is nearly technically-ready to play professionally.  I also like that he is composed, makes good decisions, has a high work rate, and adds a bit of flair.

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Liam O'Brian is another midfielder who is a bit further along physically, but less-so technically.  Another player that I can count on to make good decisions, be composed on the ball, and add a bit of flair.  He is also 6'2" and 174 lbs at just 16 years of age.

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Obinna Olawale has all of the mental attributes to be a successful center back but is very pacy and with good acceleration - I could see him as a full back in my system.

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March  2029

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We haven't lost since January!

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We're shooting up the table!

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Promotion Battle!

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2 wins from 2 and we have a chance at automatic promotion.

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We sit just one point behind Sheffield Utd. with a match against Brighton and Ipswich.  If we beat Brighton, we have a great chance of earning automatic promotion.

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Brighton V. Bolton Wanderers

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Nothing between us at the half.

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Brighton v. Bolton Wanderersa6f3af118858e4d28a0a61ff33403b03.jpg
WE'VE NOSED AHEAD ON A FREE KICK!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Brighton V. Bolton

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A late equalizer.

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Brighton v. Bolton

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It's all even.

 

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Final Matchday

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We need some help to earn automatic promotion.

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Ipswich v. Bolton

We've pulled ahead early!  Sheffield United still have the 1 point lead on us, though.

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And Bristol City have gone up on Sheffield United!!!!

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Ipswich v. Bolton

It's a penalty!  AND SUTHERLAND PUTS IT AWAY!!!!

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Ipswich v. Bolton

Halftime.

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Ipswich v. Bolton

Jack Black makes it 3 - now we're watching the scoreboard for Sheffield United.

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BRISTOL CITY MAKE IT 2-0 in the 84TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WE'VE ALL BUT CLINCHED PROMOTION!!

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IT'S ALL OVER AND WE'RE GOING UP!!!!!  What a run to end the season!

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Congrats on getting promoted on last game of the season :applause:

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4 hours ago, john1 said:

Congrats on getting promoted on last game of the season :applause:

Thanks, @john1!  I'll be very interested to see if we can survive the Premier League! 

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End of Season

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The Squad

We were very lucky to avoid injury for the most part and we bowed out of the cups early enough that we could focus exclusively on league play, which worked in our favor.

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GK - Nathan Trott had an excellent season once again and he is closing in on 200 club appearances.

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DR - Darren Rye assumed the right back position upon Luke Matheson's sale to Leeds and he performed honorably at the position.  He finished up with 2 goals and 3 assists in 42 league appearances.

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CB - My initial pairing of Darren Rye and Magnus Skolsegg gave way to Ben  Thomas and Magnus Skolsegg as Rye was moved to the right side.  Both players formed a nice partnership and both became part of their national team setups, even as Thomas failed to make an appearance in a match for Wales(he has 3 caps).

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DL - Rhys Giles made this position his own but his development has stagnated.  He will likely be the first bit of attrition as we look to strengthen our squad for the Premier League.

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MC - We had a rotation of three for two positions in the center midfield and all were high-quality options.  My preferred pairing was Joel Davies and Oli Ewing but late in the season Taylor Teague strung together a number of high-quality performances that relegated Davies to third-choice.  Oli Ewing continued adding to his caps with Wales, as well.  Teague ended with 1 goal and 7 assists, Ewing contributed 4 goals and 6 assists, and Davies notched 6 goals with 4 assists.

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AM - My preferred trio was Jack Black on the left, Reece Strong in the center and Chris Burke on the right.  Black and Burke played as inside forwards, cutting inside whenever possible, while Strong played in an attacking midfield - support role, lying a bit deeper and picking out from his multitude of attacking options.  Black finished the season with 14 goals and 3 assists, Burke contributed 5 goals and 4 assists, and Strong accounted for 7 goals and 20 assists!  I'm flummoxed that Strong has yet to receive a Welsh call-up.  Strong has also been with Bolton for his entire career, amassing 369 appearances, 42 goals, and 58 assists(40 have come within the last 3 seasons).

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ST - George Sutherland has been the man up top for us once again and he'll lead the line as we enter the Premier League.  Over his 45 league appearances, he scored 24 goals  and provided 5 assists.

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International Call-Ups

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Youth Improvements

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Posted (edited)

Pre-Season

Outgoings - We released a number of fringe players.

Incomings - We've brought in a few players just to raise the quality of our squad in hopes of staying in the Premier League.  We still have a very thin squad.

George Rutherford - A Welsh youth international fullback.  His defensive skills are right there, he just needs to tidy up his dribbling, first touch, and crossing a bit.  He has gone to my U23 squad.  We bought him for $500K.

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Luke Thorne - The Welsh first-choice goalkeeper came to us for $8.5M from Brighton.  Thorne brings some very good skills and a much-needed overall upgrade at goalkeeper for us.

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Ali Baker - An English right fullback came to us on a free from Everton.  He isn't ready for first team action yet but he is close; he was too much of a value to pass up as a free agent.

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Brian Bulpin - the Scot comes to us from Celtic for $12.25M.  He will likely be my second-choice fullback but definitely has loads of potential to grow into the role.

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Russel McCartney-Tierney - The Englishman returns to us from rival side, Blackburn Rovers for $1.4M and will immediately add depth at the center back position.

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Kamal Miah - The Englishman comes to us from Wolves for $3.9M, where he made 56 appearances over 9 seasons.  He will slot into the left back position and will provide a mentor for the young Brian Bulpin.

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Henry Cochrane - The Scot comes to us as a free agent.  He will provide some depth and some experience, having made nearly 300 appearances in the Scottish Premiership with Hearts and Rangers.

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Edited by ranks39

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Pre-Season 2029-2030

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A pretty decent set of results, to be honest!

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A tough first match followed by two matches that we could possibly get something from.

We've made a new signing, an emergency signing for $9.5M for a left winger.  Jack Black went down with an injury and we are not deep at that position.

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Here's how we'll line up in the Premier League!

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August 2029

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Well, we've earned our first Premier League point and advanced to the Carabao Cup Third Round.... that's all the good from that.

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We sit in the relegation zone but the gap hasn't yet opened up too far.

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International Call-Ups

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It was always going to be difficult.

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September 2029

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A pretty decent month, although it would've been nice to get the full three against Crystal Palace.  We've also drawn Cardiff in the Carabao Cup 4th Round.

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We're out of the drop zone!

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And Sutherland is showing that he can be successful at this level!

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International Call-Ups

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October 2029

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A terrible month.  To be fair, we should've beaten Everton and I was quite disappointed to lose to Burnley at home, as they're our relegation competition.

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We prioritized this match to get the side some confidence that a win brings and the side didn't disappoint, even if we left it late.  We were then handed an extremely tough draw.... at least we're home.

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International Call-Ups

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International Perfomance

Keith Judge turned in a great performance for the Irish U21's.  His strike rate for his national team is exceptional - 7 goals in 5 matches.

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But Strong can't even break into the Welsh National Team????? Ridiculous.

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November 2029

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A perfect month against teams that I expected to be competitive with.  We were so good against Watford and Brighton and struck lucky against West Ham.

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Spots 8-20 are separated by just 7 points and we're stuck right in the middle.

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Sutherland has played so well this entire season!

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So has Keith Judge - for club and country!

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Youth Intake Preview

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Facilities Improvements

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December 2029

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Not our best month!  Fresh off of destroying Brighton 6-0, we fall 7-1 to Liverpool.  We, fortunately, won the matches against fellow relegation candidates Sheffield United.  Next month gets quite a bit easier for us.

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We're a full six points clear of relegation at the moment and have a bit more positive momentum than most of the teams around us.

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Still not in the national team picture.....

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FA Cup Third Round

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A great win over Newcastle(Championship) with a rotated side.

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FA Cup Fourth Round

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January 2030

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A mixed month, with our poor league form masked by two FA Cup wins.

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We're still 14th with 5 points between us and the drop zone.

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February 2030

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Another sour month, we just can't buy a win!

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We sit 16th, just four points above the drop zone.

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FA Cup Fifth Round

We lost a 4-1 lead by shipping 3 goals in the final 15 minutes.

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Youth Intake

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Not a bad intake, all from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

Drew Sephton has some great potential and is already 1 CA.

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Kieran Barratt is the other standout from this intake.  He is still quite raw, especially physically but he has a decent ceiling.

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International Call-Ups

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Roger Mulder getting his first senior call-up - he is on loan at Apollon Limassol.  Also Nice to see Tatenda Zulu rewarded for his fine season with an England U-21 call-up.

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Skolsegg is back in the setup.

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March 2030

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Nothing like shaking off the bad morale with a stolen road win and a draw to follow it up.  Our first two matches next month are crucial against fellow relegation struggle, West Ham, and bottom-of-the-table Watford.

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We sit 16th, but just four points clear of the relegation zone.

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