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karanhsingh

[FM20] Every journey begins with a single step

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Hello everyone. I have decided to chronicle my latest journeyman save on FM20. While I have been loving the game I have found it difficult to get past 5 seasons or so, as always some new idea or league becomes appealing and I start over. I am hoping that this particular career will be "the one". 

Inspired by some of the best journeyman threads on this forum, particularly by @Makoto Nakamura I am hoping to emulate some of them :cool:.

For the first time in a while, I am playing as myself "Kaz Singh", although have given myself dual nationality of English & Indian. Also for the first time ever, I started off the save with zero coaching badges & Sunday league experience only.

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Well you can already see from the screenshot who the first club to take on my services was. The leagues loaded up initially were England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Italy & Spain. My computer cannot really handle more than 7-8 active leagues so I will probably keep adding & removing as time goes on.

My current in-game date is 13th September 2022 so it will be a couple of quick updates to catch up to then, followed by which I will revert to a monthly style in all likelihood. Thank you to whoever will follow my progress! And if anyone has any feedback, do let me know!

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Posted (edited)

Llanelli Town - 2019-20 season

This was the table at the time of my appointment.

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The club was already doing pretty well, but a sizable gap to first place which is the only promotion spot. My first time managing in Wales and it must be said the quality is pretty shoddy :lol:. Was really interesting to manage at this level though. A lot of long-range goals and goal-keeping clangers!

It was a really exciting season as we started putting together a good run and climbing up the league. However Afan Lido kept picking up points as well and didn't make it easy for us. We managed to get ourselves level on points going into the final day of the season, however we were 1 goal behind on GD. Interestingly, all the games did NOT kick off at the same time (first I have seen of this). We played Friday night and won 3-0 to put the pressure on Afan Lido to win by at least 2 to get the title. Fortunately for me, they buckled under the pressure and could not even win their game.

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And so here was the final league table.

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Edited by karanhsingh

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Llanelli Town 2020-21 season

And so that brings us to season 2 for another quick update as it has already been played out in my save.

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The media thought we would struggle and the board wanted us to just stay in the top division.

After scouring around for free transfers we managed to bring in a few reinforcements, and crucially young Welsh striker Connor Shields released by Swansea. He would turn out to be top scorer in the division!

At one point I felt like we could even mount a title challenge but we fell away at the end, with TNS too strong. Here is the final table.

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We did reach the finals of the MG Nathaniel Cup which we could well have won, but eventually faltered on penalties to TNS (who else).

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And they also dumped us out of the JD Welsh Cup as well at the quarter final stage.

I would have loved to win a trophy but it wasn't to be. At this point with my reputation sufficiently enhanced I decided to resign and look for a job in Ireland or Scotland, perhaps even England.

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The following summer (of 2021) was actually long, hard and full of rejections. I was about to take a job in the Vanarama National when I got two interviews, at League Two Newport County and Forest Green, struggling towards the bottom of the League One table. This time I did the interviews differently, making bold promises to the owners of being able to not only match but also exceed their expectations. It worked, and I received a job offer from Forest Green Rovers!

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Welcome to Forest Green Rovers, probably the world's greenest football club!

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A quick look at the league table (taken after my first game at the club as I forgot to take a screenshot on the day of the appointment).

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I did also read up about the club and it is very interesting, under Chairman Dale Vince (who still owns the club for me in-game), they have become a very eco-friendly club with numerous innovations and also in fact a totally vegan club. Now IRL this would probably drive me away from them :lol:. That said the owner also seems to be quite ambitious as they have been slowly working their way up the leagues. The club hails from a tiny little town in Gloucestershire but seems to be very progressive, the stadium "The New Lawn" seems quite modern and boasts of the world's first 'organic' pitch. In-game there is also a stadium expansion currently in the works, with us meanwhile turning out at Swindon Town's stadium for a few months.

So that should do it for the introduction, let's see how the rest of the season turned out!

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Forest Green Rovers 2021-22 season

On the pitch we managed to make an immediate impact and start putting some points on the board. My trusted 4-2-3-1 formation seemed to suit the squad well, with Aaron Collins particularly a big threat up front and Josh March on the right wing. We were soon comfortably away from the relegation zone, and slowly but surely climbing up the league.

Then came January and the winter transfer window. Off the pitch the club was having a tough time, the finances were in dire shape being almost 2 million in the red. Attendances were low due to playing in Swindon, coupled with stadium expansion costs & having to pay a rent on top as well. 

Sadly the only option that I saw was to lose one of our best players and team leaders, when Huddersfield made an offer for club captain Nathan McGinley I managed to get it close to the 1 million mark and off he went.

The Board managed to get us an affiliation with Chelsea which turned out to be a massive help, as we brought in 3 defenders on loan from them on no wages to really shore up our squad. The RWB Livramento and young CB Adrian King would go on to play key roles during the second half of the season.

My DoF also somehow spotted young Nigerian/ Polish forward Solomon Obi playing in his home-nation who was picked up for a paltry 250 quid and has also been quite impressive (screenshot of him in the next post).

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So here are the fixtures for the rest of the campaign, as you will see we eventually managed to make it to the play-offs by grabbing 6th place in the league. It probably could have been even higher but for a period of 2 months wherein my players forgot how to score penalties, missing 4 out of 5 and we went on to lose every single one of those games. However to come in 6th from where we started was still a solid achievement.

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In the month of March we also did move back into our home stadium which immediately led to a big boost in attendances and therefore revenues as well, with the first game back being a resounding 3-0 win over Bradford and the last home game of the season being the all-important play-off semi final 2-1 victory over a strong Ipswich side.

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We would go on to face Luton Town in the play-off final at Wembley for a chance to get the tiny Forest Green Rovers FC into the Championship for the very first time. I was quietly confident having beaten them in the FA Cup and draw away in the league. Without further ado, this is how it all turned out.

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Sadly, a crushing and very undeserved defeat. We were absolutely dominant and somehow just could not score. Then our right winger March had a moment of madness and got himself sent off in the 53rd minute. All of two minutes later their winger scores a scorcher from distance. From then on it was an uphill battle and while we fought bravely till the end, we could not find an equalizer. And so despite having 23 shots to their 7 and 12 corners to their 1, it is Luton Town who will be going up. The final league table for the season:

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I am now in the off-season busy making transfers, unfortunately the Chelsea boys for some reason don't seem to want to renew with us. Vacancies popped up at Championship sides WBA & Cardiff which I applied for but have been turned away from both clubs, so we will now definitely be staying at the Rovers and looking to make another promotion push this season!

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Posted (edited)

Forest Green Rovers - summer of 2022

It was a busy summer as predicted. The transfers first (what is missing is a few older first team players released at the end of their contracts).

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We as expected didn't have any money to spend and had to rely on freebies. Our midfield is heavily reinforced with the arrivals of Jordan Rossiter and Zain Westbrooke, along with young Zac Chand (who I imagine from his name is of Indian heritage :cool:). These transfers will also see a change from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 system which should hopefully make us more solid and hard to beat.

The biggest regret is that the two Chelsea boys who really helped us last season, Livramento (RB) and Adrian King (CB) for some reason did not want to come back. I think they felt that they had out-grown this level. However we have still made good use of our affiliation by signing young Norwegian winger Bryan Fiabema on loan, and Levi Colwill on a free transfer.

Ryan Giles comes in as a pacy attacking option at left-back, while young Leigh Edge joins to hopefully take King's central defensive spot in the side. The final transfer is ex-Rovers academy graduate Jordan Stevens who re-joins the club, primarily because at times last season we struggled to fulfill the requirement of having 1 academy player in the squad.

Screenshots of the 3 "new-gen" players in the spoiler below!

  
Spoiler

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And so that leaves our squad looking like this. Really hoping that we can make a proper push for promotion this year, although the board thinks another play-off place would be a fine achievement. However I think if we don't get promoted, I will put myself back on the job market with hopefully an enhanced reputation from my time here. We shall see.

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Financially we are back in the black (just) but the projections show us slipping further. Due to this I am unable to get the board to sanction any improvements across the board, or even so much as hire a data analyst at the club. I guess with a tiny fan base and being in League One, the revenues that are flowing in are just too low. We are well under the wage budget at 54k per week, but we would actually need to be operating at less than half that to not be losing money each month! Which is nigh on impossible...

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Edited by karanhsingh

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Forest Green Rovers 2022-23 early season update

Here are the fixtures so far.

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And the early season league table - hopefully we can keep this up!

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The young Nigerian Solomon Obi bought for the princely sum of 250 quid has started off very well, have high hopes for the lad!

Finally we are all caught up - thanks for reading. Will be doing monthly or bi-monthly updates here on out.

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1 hour ago, bendixkunert2 said:

Man, that's a stacked League 1.

Indeed. Biggest surprise though is Sunderland managed to get out of it :lol:

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October 2022 update

Here are the results since the last update.

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Despite the wins it's been a frustrating period. Every game we dropped points we absolutely dominated. It's been a combination of infuriating last minute equalizers and conceding from set pieces like we aren't even trying to defend them. The Crawley home game we conceded THREE from set pieces.

These are the last two matches.

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Swansea away, obviously a fellow promotion chasing side. We have a comfortable 2 goal lead with 10 minutes left, our CB gets injured ONE minute after we have made our 3rd sub. I go defensive with 10 men for the final few minutes, Swansea score 2 goals from set pieces.

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23rd place Rochdale at home, we absolutely batter them from start to finish but only have a nervy one goal lead, and of course they score a goal deep into stoppage time to deny us the win.

Here's the table.

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We are top of the league but it honestly should be a lot more comfortable than it is.

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January 2023 update

It's a bumper update with 3 months and a whole load of fixtures.

The games have been coming thick & fast, with no break for the World Cup even, which was won by Italy as they triumphed over England in the final.

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It's been a fantastic run in all honesty, the only downside being we crashed out of the Leasing trophy but not too bothered about that.

THIS is definitely the highlight of the season so far.

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We are rewarded with a 5th round tie against Everton at home. That should definitely see a sell-out!

The league table looks like this - we should be odds on now to get promoted however would like to see us hold off Swansea and win the league as well.

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The Jan window also saw us bring in another 2 loanees from parent club Chelsea, honestly this affiliation has been a game-changer and a huge reason for our promotion push. And the best part is getting paid for it :D

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sheff.thumb.jpg.eb6a56d6d6b521548b31eb8a3b33a49b.jpg

Decision time... they are currently 11th in the Championship.

The owner's plan is simple, get promotion and sell the club :lol:

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176412232_forestagain.thumb.jpg.9cdf5ca4adc0962fac2f75b32523a0ea.jpg

Another one... and look at that transfer budget!

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20200804011732_1.thumb.jpg.eca9c04b4751293c45148529b1627783.jpg

So close... we go down to a 121st minute winner by Everton after having two goals disallowed!

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I decided to take the plunge and move to Sheffield Wednesday. Forest Green will definitely be getting promoted this season, so I leave them as a Championship side with a good young squad and highly profitable affiliation with Chelsea. Wednesday of course are a massive club with a proud history - they have a great stadium in Hillsborough which has a capacity of almost 40k and are averaging 27k per game which puts them 4th in the Championship. More on the Owls and their current status in-game in the next post.

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So, this is actually a very interesting challenge. The previous manager Marco Silva was sacked despite the club doing decently well in the top half and 7 points shy of the play-offs. During the interview I realized why.

The owner is very ambitious and has a LOT of money stuck in the club (reflective of IRL). So his plan is to basically go for broke. He wants promotion, and then he wants to sell the club.

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That is the club vision, or rather his vision. As you can see the club is running a huge debt most of which is payable on promotion to the top flight.

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The finances are a huge challenge and going to be very interesting to manage during my time here. We are projecting HUGE losses and already have a very high wage bill of 450k per week. Bringing that down while at the same time maintaining a promotion push - well let's see how we get on!

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Here is the table one game after my appointment (3-0 home win against Birmingham).

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There is a VERY slim chance of making the play-offs this season but it is doubtful. And finally, our squad below.

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A pretty ageing and unbalanced squad, with quite a few loan players scattered across. A lot of work will be required over the summer. However the first matter is to finish the season on a high.

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Sheffield Wednesday - March & April update

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It's been a great start to life at Hillsborough, here are the results since I joined in mid-March. Been a perfect run but for the home defeat to Watford.

In a thrilling end to the season, we just about managed to sneak into the play-offs at the expense of West Brom.

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We will be taking on Derby County in the semi-finals. Potentially a steel city derby at Wembley awaits but one step at a time!

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The 2023 Championship Play-off Final - Sheffield Wednesday vs Sheffield United

This is how the two teams lined up.

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Both playing a similar and familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. Both of our wingers Sims & Abrokat were actually carrying injuries but there was no way I was dropping either of them.

We got off to a perfect start with our top scorer Abrokat scored after just 4 minutes, nodding in a rebound from a van Aken header which came off a well floated free kick by Penney.

I had decided to watch this game in "comprehensive" which I never do due to lack of time, and it was actually an amazing experience. I think I will do this for important games from now on. It makes you appreciate the game a lot more and also see what is working and what is not working live.

Sheff Utd actually responded very well and I noticed they kept finding their attacking RB in space down the flank. We got lucky with a couple of his crosses. I asked my LW Sims to man-mark him, and I also switched to a 4-3-3 formation dropping Luongo back into the DM role and asking him to mark Eze (their best player) out of the game.

This seemed to be working but they were still getting too much joy down the right. However we managed to get to half time with the score intact at 1-0.

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Sims was having a poor game so at HT I subbed him off for Masauku who is quick & strong and slotted in at LB. Penney was pushed further forward to AML - we needed to keep him on the pitch for set pieces. That seemed to be our main threat so I also asked the team to win set pieces at every opportunity.

I also further slowed down the tempo and asked the team to hold the ball. Abrokat was exhausted so off he went, Reach was put on the right flank and Hiljemark came in to hold the ball more in midfield. We were happy to look for chances on the break but the main plan was to frustrate them and keep the ball as much as possible. Both full-backs were also put on defend duty.

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We rode our luck at times it has to be said, but we managed to hold on!! For a famous win in the most important Steel City derby of all time!

van Aken was a rock at the back and deservedly MOTM, the irony is before he made a come-back into the team he had already agreed a free transfer to Heracles in his native Holland. Anyhoo.

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There you have it. Somehow I have (effectively) managed two promotions in one season - that's definitely a first 

:hammer:

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