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A Tale of Two Brothers

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Cool, my two favourite authors on this board post on eachothers threads^^

Lovin' the story, hope the next installments not long.

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Glad you like her, Scottlee ;)

NF, FM has a twisted sense of humour in making Rangers interested in one brother while Celtic showed interest in the other. I guess it keeps things interesting though!

Aha, thanks Ceirdiff, and thanks to Scottlee and NF as well. Good to know you're still reading along :)

Tuesday 28th September 2010

Brentford (14th) vs. MK Dons (2nd) (League 1)

Tuesday 28th September, Griffin Park

It had been a relatively poor month for the Dons. Out of the 5 games so far, they'd won just two so they were pleased that this was the final game of the month. It had been even worse for the brothers as they'd taken part in that horrific 5-1 drubbing by Swindon at the County Ground.

They were both still extremely bitter about the loss and Colin in particular had been knocked from his feet by it. To him, it felt like it was an age ago that he really took a match by storm. He hadn't performed poorly enough to lose his first-team slot, but he certainly wasn't showing his full capabilities minus a few flashes here and there.

Colin, as always, was sat next to his younger brother in the changing rooms. As he looked at Robert, he felt another massive wave of guilt crash upon his conscience. Robert had done nothing to Colin and did not deserve to be lied to. Whenever Colin looked at Robert or Danielle, he felt even lower than he'd felt after his dad had died almost 10 years ago.

He wanted to rewind time to when Toni had first dug her claws into him and blank her, saving both Dainelle and Robert from the pain that she'd eventually deliver to them. He knew that it was too late for that now, but now he didn't have a clue at what would be the right thing to do.

“Are you alright?” Robert said, having seen that Colin looked lost in his thoughts and as miserable as sin.

“Yeah I'm fine mate,” Colin answered, doing his best to smile at his younger brother.

In actual fact, he wasn't fine at all. He needed an outlet for his frustrations and his secrets and football wasn't providing him with that at the moment. In fact, it was adding to his stress because he hadn't been performing to the levels that he knew he was capable of.

“Come on, stop worrying about things you woman. Let's get out there and do what we're good at,” Robert said, lifting Colin -who couldn't look Robert in the eye - to his feet.

**********

Although the Dons were tipped as slight favourites for the match, the home corwd certainly wanted to see their team make a game of it and were noisey straight from the off. It was the kind of atmosphere that affected the players, making certain players edgy and aggressive while other players may fade into the background.

It was normally the atmosphere that Colin and Robert thrived in. They loved it when things were loud and larey and there were tackles flying in – though they loved it for different reasons. For Colin, it gave him a chance to fly into some challenges and really enjoy a midfield battle. For Robert, it made defenders more likely to dive in which made it easier for him to beat and punish them.

However, the home team kept possession for most of the opening 15 minutes and managed to dampen the spirit of the game by doing so. Whether that was intentional or not, the Dons weren't sure but it certainly made for a very strange atmosphere within the stadium.

25 minutes in though, the crowd had been given something to cheer. After a solid spell of possession, Brentford lumped a cross towards the far post from their left wing. David Martin came from his line to collect the cross, but was beaten to it by Brentford's David Cowan, who headed home from close range to give his team an early lead.

It was a goal that wasn't really the fault of the outfield players. Both Robert and Dan Woodards worked hard to close their markers down and the eventual cross was more of a hopeful effort rather than a carefully weighted move. The only person to blame for the goal was David Martin for not claiming the cross.

The game got underway once again and the away team finally got to enjoy their own spell of possession. It had been a difficult start to the game for them. By the time half-time came around, neither side had managed to craft another clear-cut opportunity and the sides went in with the score still at 1-0.

**********

The second half started better for the Dons than the first. Within 5 minutes, Colin had released Robert down the right wing with a good through ball and Robert had whipped a very tempting cross across the edge of the 6 yard box, but Balanta could not reach it.

Then, the home team began to take control once again. Throughout the game, Brentford had been attacking down their left wing as a way of keeping Robert Rudyard from attacking them and it had worked. The young winger had been forced to track his full-back and put in challenge after challenge. In all, he'd completed his defensive duties very well but was feeling the strain of running back and forth repeatedly.

In spite of his efforts, Robert was unable to stop Brentford from fashioning a second goal from their left wing. Nicky Adams carried it forward for Brentford on the left wing once again. After being confronted by both Robert and Dan Woodards, Adams feigned to his left before cutting inside and giving himself an extra yard with which to deliver a cross.

The cross curled towards goal and was glanced in by former Millwall man Gary Alexander. The striker ran towards his fans with his arms in the air as David Martin retrieved the ball from the back of the net for the second time in the match.

Just over 10 minutes later, Robert was pulled off due to tiredness. He may not have produced the goods going forward, but the manager was happy with the hard work he'd put in on the defensive side of things.

But taking the young winger off only worsened the Dons' chances of getting back into the game, and they never really managed to muster a decent chance in spite of their struggles.

Brentford – 2

David Cowan (25)

Gary Alexander (57)

MK Dons – 0

Man of the Match: Nicky Adams

Att: 5611

**********

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Thanks for the encouragement, Mark :)

Wednesday 29th Spetember 2010

Colin walked into the kitchen and dumped his sports bag onto the floor. Training had been frustrating; it had mostly been filled with VA (Video Analysis) classes so that the team could analyse what had gone wrong against Brentford. Colin found it tedious.

After 2 hours of VA, the team went out to do some light fitness work followed by some work on how to close down effectively as a team. It wasn't Colin's favourite training exercise, but almost anything was better than VA of a game in which you'd played poorly. Near enough the only person to get any credit from the Brentford match was Robert, so that was something good for Colin at least.

But then it got worse for Colin. As the squad moved onto the field to start their fitness work, Colin was called aside by John Gorman to discuss a unique training activity. During a meeting between the Karl Robinson and his coaching staff, they'd agreed that it would be in the best interests of both Colin and the club if Colin were to undergo specific coaching to try and improve all aspects of his speed.

While Colin obviously always wanted to improve, being told that he was lacking in speed didn't exactly please him. By no means was he slow, but he certainly didn't have the raw pace of his younger brother.

For Colin though, the worst thing about this new training schedule was that he would be spending a lot of his time training alone. He accepted that it would make him a better player and agreed to start on the schedule as soon as it had been pieced together.

“I love it when you have your brooding face on.”

Colin looked towards the doorway, already knowing who he would see there.

“You're here again? You're like a bad smell that never goes away,” Colin said as Toni winked at him.

“You love me really,” she smiled. “I'm here because your sweet little brother wants to take me out to see a movie tonight. 'The Last Exorcism', or something like that.”

“How romantic. Perhaps watching an exorcism will force you away... wishful thinking.”

“Someone's a little bit... 'teethy' today,” Toni answered, walking right up to Colin to whisper into his ear; “reminds me of that time when --”

“Toni, I'm really not in the mood today,” Colin interrupted, stepping away from her and then walking out of the kitchen, picking up his bag as he passed it.

He stepped out to the back-garden, where he found Clive relaxing on the garden bench. Colin sat down next to him and took his training boots from his bag so that he could start to clean them. It was Clive who had gotten the brothers into the habit of always cleaning their boots after every match and training session.

“Hard day?” Clive asked. Colin nodded in reply. “Pfft, you youngsters don't know what hard work is. Half of you are so lazy that you probably stick your noses out of your windows to let the wind blow them.”

Colin almost laughed, but he managed to suppress it.

“Do I have to clean my boots today, Granddad? They'll only get dirty again tomorrow, it's barely even worth the effort,” Colin moaned.

“Work hard at everything you do Colin – whether that's cleaning your boots for training, or tracking your marker in the 93rd minute of a game.”

Colin knew he'd get no sympathy from Clive – in fact, he knew he'd get quite the opposite. The old man had some old-fashioned values and he'd done his best to instil some pride into his young grandsons and he'd be damned if he was going to let that slip now.

“The only difference between 'try' and 'triumph'... is a little bit of 'umph',” Clive smiled wryly.

“That,” Colin answered, looking sideways at Clive, “was absolutely terrible.”

The pair of them laughed before Colin set about cleaning his boots. He wasn't afraid of many things or people, but Clive was one person that Colin never wanted to get on the wrong side of.

**********

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Awards are done, updates slow to crawl.

(Ancient proverb from province of Ru Dyar Daw, a small area of NorthEast China.)

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Okay guys, here you go :p I actually fell ill with Mono a month ago which is why my writing originally stopped. Mono is like a worse version of Man Flu, it was bad.

Anyway, now that I've started writing again, the updates will start coming at a regular-ish pace once again!

Also, as some of you will already know, this story shared the 'Story of the Year' award with ScottleeSV's 'Luton Town: Staring Into The Abyss' at this years FMS Awards Ceremony. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to anybody that voted for me, I'd figured that Scottlee's story would win it fairly easily so when it was announced that A Tale of Two Brothers had drawn with it, I was genuinely surprised. Thanks again to those of you that voted for me and have shown your support in this thread over the years, I hope you continue to enjoy it,

Much Love,

Offy

Saturday 2nd October 2010

MK Dons (3rd) vs. Rochdale (18th) (League 1)

Tuesday 28th September, stadium:mk

Today was going to be a good day – Robert could feel it. Having played away from home for their last two games, the players were happy to be back at their own ground. With just 1 win in their last six games, their form had been pretty poor of late but today they would be playing an out-of-form Rochdale in front of their own fans. It was an opportunity to get back to winning ways.

The rain pattered lightly down onto the pitch, creating a surface that most footballers loved to play on; it wasn't boggy, but it created a nice, slick surface which the ball would zip across if hit in the right way.

Colin and Robert weaved in and out of the cones set out on the pitch for the warm-up and Colin couldn't help but admire the way his younger brother danced through the gaps. Robert could shift his weight effortlessly from one foot to the other and his speed was even evident in the small gaps that he was weaving through.

On the other half of the pitch, the Rochdale team warmed up together. It was clear for everybody to see that they were a side in a horrible patch of form, having won just once in their last 10 games. There warm-ups were slow and the players were quiet, even as their coaches tried to inject a little bit of life into them.

It was a good sign for the Dons players. They knew that they just needed to get back to winning ways so that they could stay in touch with the teams at the top of the table – if they didn't get out of their slump soon, it could have heartbreaking repercussions later on in the season.

**********

The 10,000 fans were in good voice, especially after the Rudyard brothers and Steve Marlet put together a wonderful one-touch move to release Robert down the right wing. He put his head down and accelerated towards the by-line, leaving his marker far behind him. As he approached the by-line, Robert picked his head up and located Angelo Balanta making a dash towards the near post.

Robert slung a cross in towards Balanta, succesfully finding the front man. Balanta tried to twist his body at the last second so that he was facing goal and he could just glance the header across goal and into the far corner of the net, but he misjudged it slightly and the ball ended up on the roof of the net.

All of the early pressure came from the hosts as they looked to destroy a team that was already low on confidence. In the 14th minute, they finally found the back of the net. Mavinga took the free-kick from the half way line and simply lumped it towards Balanta who was just inside the penalty area.

Although he didn't win the header, Balanta done enough to make sure his marker missed it as well and the ball eventually bounced through to Luke Chadwick at the back post who volleyed the ball home from close range.

Celebrations were cut short though because the referee blew his whistle. Balanta had fouled his marker in making him miss the header, and the score would stand at 0-0

The first half continued to be littered with chances like that for the Dons and in the 20th minute, Balanta found himself through on goal after a headed clearance by the dons defence. He approached the 'keeper calmly and shimmyed around him as he dived in, leaving him with an open goal. Rochdale Defenders desperately tried to put him under some kind of pressure, and Balanta slice his shot wide.

He'd pulled the trigger while he was off balance and missed as a result, leaving everybody to wonder what that would do to his confidence and if the dons would ever actually score today.

It was well known though that Balanta was a confident young man. So, when Robert tricked his way past his marker with ease and jetted down the right wing, the young forward wasted no time in getting into the penalty area.

Once he was in line with the 18 yard box, Robert delivered another of his devastating crosses and found Balanta at the back post, who tapped it in from close range to finally give the home side the lead they deserved.

Robert received as much of the credit as Angelo Balanta did. It was fantastic wing play to beat his man and make up some serious yards before delivering the perfect cross and nobody had missed it – least of all Balanta, who hugged his friend in the celebrations.

That goal meant that the Dons went in 1-0 up at half-time. It could have been much more, but the team were happy to be in the lead and Rochdale were yet to show that they had any teeth at all. Overall, it was a comfortable first 45 minutes, which Robert had been the star of.

**********

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Part of the reason I didn't vote was because yours and scottlees are the only stories I read on this board - choosing between the two would've been nightmarish and probably down to how I felt at the time.

(Btw, this story inspired my current FM11 save, thanks!)

Glad you're back :-)

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I'm a very deep person Gav. You should know this by now. And not you as well?:p? Just a quick note to all while we're on the subject; during the FMS Awards Voting Rounds, I did not perform any sexual favours for anybody in an attempt to win myself votes ;)...

Well I guess you'd view the SOTY result as a fair shout then ha! I'm really happy that you've taken something from reading this story, good luck with that save (and your new story!), Ceir :)

Nobody from the management had much to say at half-time, other than 'keep doing what you're doing'. It was plain for all to see that the Dons had Rochdale on the ropes and just had to hit the back of the net at least one more time just to ensure the three points. It was hard to see Rochdale even getting a single goal in this game because of how poor they'd been, but football is a strange game that doesn't tend to favour the cautious.

Robert was buzzing from his first-half performance and couldn't wait to get out for the second half. With the U19 European Championship 1st Qualifying Groups being drawn out later on today, followed by the England U19 squad being announced for the first two group games, Robert knew he was in a good position to be selected and he'd go into these matches on good form.

As Colin passed the Rochdale team on his way out for the second half, he could sense that they weren't up for it. They didn't seem scared of their hosts, but there was just something about them that said that they didn't want to fight for the 50-50 balls or the aerial challenges.

The home side felt the confidence grow inside them. They knew that as long as they got the next goal, it would be game over for Rochdale and all 3 points would be in the bag.

The second half started slowly and it wasn't until the 65th minute that a real opportunity was created for somebody. Following a throw-in from the right, deep inside the Rochdale half, Dan Woodards thumped a hopeful cross towards the penalty spot from deep.

Luke Chadwick jumped up to challenge for the cross but only succeeded in heading the ball at the back of the head of his marker, causing the ball to bounce down almost exactly on the penalty spot. There was a rush to reach the ball between 5 different players, but second half substitute Jermaine Easter was the quickest to react, and he poked the ball past the scrambling goalkeeper to give the home side a 2-0 lead that looked to have secured the game.

Only a minute later, the home side were knocking the ball around with confidence before Josh McEachran found Robert bursting into the penalty box with a beautiful pass that was cushioned down with a top-class touch by the young winger. Robert struck the ball on the bounce from an angle but clasped his hands behind his head as his effort smashed into the side-netting.

As the game wore on, Robert continued to run rampant down the right flank. Time and again he got in behind the defence and delivered a cross into the penalty area. The only thing stopping the Dons from really running away with a big scoreline was their poor finishing. Meanwhile, Rochdale never even managed a notable chance in the second half.

The game was won and the 3 points were in the bag: for Karl Robinson and his team, that was all that mattered.

MK Dons – 2

Angelo Balanta (35)

Jermaine Easter (66)

Rochdale – 0

Man of the Match: Robert Rudyard

Att: 10259

**********

European U19's Championship First Qualifying Round Group 7

Belgium

Bosnia & Herz.

Bulgaria

England

England Fixtures:

vs. Belgium – Wed, 6/10/2010

vs. Bosnia & Herz. 8/10/2010

vs. Bulgaria 10/10/2010

All fixtures played at a neutral ground

It was an able group as Belgium and Bosnia & Herz. in particular had produced some impressive young players over recent years, but with the top two teams qualifying for the Second Qualifying Round, England expected to progress from the group with the talent at their disposal.

As was expected, both Colin and Robert were called up to the squad as they continued to establish themselves on the international scene.

**********

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Monday 4th October 2010

It was a rainy October day as the Rudyard brothers sat side-by-side on the train from Oxford to London. They'd been called to a meeting by their agents in Southwark, situated in the centre of London.

Having seen this as an opportunity to have a day out, both Liam and Jennie had taken the day off of work so that Liam could accompany the brothers to their meetings while Jennie swanned around some of London's shopping hotspots for a few hours.

They hadn't been told what the meetings would be about, but it was rare for their agents to call an impromptu meeting so they both knew that something was up.

They were originally supposed to have been travelling out to Široki Brijeg in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina for their international U19's matches, but they'd been granted permission by the England management to fly out on Tuesday night instead, meaning that they'd be able to participate in the MK Dons – Leyton Orient Johnstone's Paint Trophy match on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, this also meant that the brothers were unlikely to be selected for the first match against Belgium U19's on Wednesday.

Still, for now, they wanted to keep their mind on the match against Leyton Orient. A win would see the Dons through to a Johnstone's Paint Trophy South Quarter Final and the team wanted to go all the way and win the competition.

**********

“I've called this meeting with you to discuss your future, Colin,” said Nathan Barratt, Colin's agent. At 53 years old, the experienced agent still had a full head of short, blonde hair to go with his tanned face. You could definitely see the Essex boy within him but he also had a decent brain to go with his charm.

Colin looked sideways at Liam to see if he knew anything about what Nathan Barratt was about to say, but Liam had his eyes fixed on the agent with a look on concentration on his face, as if he was trying to read the mind of Barratt.

“Now, please remember that nothing is concrete yet, so don't take what I'm about to tell you as a definite truth. I have heard from some contacts in Scotland that Rangers are interested in purchasing you in the January transfer window. According to my sources, they've had scouts watching you recently and they're considering making an offer in the new year,” Barratt announced, watching Colin's eyes widen as he shared the news.

“There is also word that Celtic are interested in you, however I'm hearing that the interest from Rangers is much stronger than the interest from Celtic. What do you think then Colin; would you be interested in a move to Glasgow?”

Colin sat back in his chair and took a sip of water from the plastic cup in front of him. Having only moved to the Dons in the summer, it wasn't something that he'd expected to hear about so quickly so it took Colin by surprise. He looked to Liam for advice, but his step-dad already had his eyes on Colin, making it clear that the decision belonged to him.

Colin began to weigh things up in his head. A fresh start with Danielle away from the streets of Oxford and away from Toni was all that Colin had wanted for a while now and now he was being told that it could become a reality.

He didn't want his child growing up on the same streets that he'd grown up. Jennie never had the opportunity to get her children away, but Colin knew it didn't have to be that way for him. He had no doubt that the money would be decent as well, so he could provide a better life for his family than they'd ever had before.

Then there was the football side of it all: Champions League football, title challenges, the chance to take part in one of the biggest derby matches in world football – there was a lot to consider.

“Could I take a few days to consider it all?” Colin asked, unable to make up his mind just yet.

“Certainly, Colin. I only ask so that I know how to respond should Rangers or Celtic enquire about your interest. Remember, it's not official just yet – it might not even be true, but I just think we should figure out where we stand with it all just in case it does kick off in January.”

With that, Colin and Liam shook hands with Nathan Barratt before leaving the room so that Robert could have his meeting with his agent, Malcolm Davis.

Davis explained Robert's situation to him and it was exactly the same as Colin's, except Celtic were supposedly the prominent party while Rangers were rumoured to have some interest. The brothers still didn't know about the situation with each other – the agents had decided that they'd share the information between them if they so wished.

“I don't think be interested – not just yet,” Robert answered as Malcolm Davis asked him the same question that Nathan Barratt had asked Colin only 5 minutes earlier. The answer took Liam by surprise; he'd expected Robert's answer to be much the same as Colin's.

“It's amazing if it is true that they're interested in me, and I might consider a move up there in the future, but right now I'm playing well with MK Dons, I'm being recognised by the England Under 19's set-up and I'm in a relationship with a girl that I love. I'm just not sure that the timing is right just yet.”

**********

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Closing Comments & What Eventually Happened In-Game To The Rudyard Brothers

As you've all noticed, I'm no longer posting this story but I've had one or two messages over the past few months asking me why, so I've decided to answer that here to properly close the story off, and to give you an update on what actually happened to the Rudyard brothers in-game that I never got around to posting (another question I've been asked).

I started writing A Tale of Two Brothers on my old Advent laptop – a laptop that struggled to even cope with running FM. At first it was playable, but after having used that same laptop for well over 5 years it started to slow down tremendously. Now it's at a stage where if I do anything heavy-duty on it (E.G. Play FM) for half an hour – sometimes less! - , it blacks out and shuts down.

I cant even tell you how many times I've been playing the ATOTB save and writing up some more of the story when all of a sudden my laptop imploded and I was sent back to where I'd began that writing session. Grrrr.

So about a year and a half ago I bought myself a shiny new laptop so that I could continue playing FM with relative ease and even continue my ATOTB story on my new laptop :D!

Again, at first it was fine (if still very slow) – I would play through the FM11 ATOTB save on my old laptop and write up from my notes on my new laptop. Now though, my old laptop is at a stage where sometimes it kills itself after just 10/15 minutes of FM play and it's all become completely pointless.

I still play FM on my new laptop ALOT (I have a year 2028 FM12 save where I've just won the Premier League twice in a row with Brighton. Europe – here we come!) and I'm in the process of writing up 2 stories on my new laptop, but I want to wait until I have about a season and a half written up on them before I post anything.

So, what happened to Colin and Robert? Well, they continued to shine for both MK Dons and England Youth and in October 2010, Colin was made captain of the England U19's team also featuring Robert.

In November 2010, Robert continued with the U19's while Colin was promoted to the U21's alongside the likes of Andy Carroll, Jack Wilshere, Jack Rodwell, Danny Sturridge and his good friend Nigel Winters (created player playing for Fulham first team). Colin played well and was promoted to captain of the U21 side after 2 games with them.

As December started, Sheffield United, Cardiff and Man City joined the list of Colin's admirers alongside Celtic and Rangers. Talk of a January move increased. As January drew closer, Blackburn were also said to be interested in Colin as he made his 100th League appearance, capping it with a goal. Following an exhausting few weeks of matches and with all of the transfer talk hanging over Colin's head, the brothers were given a few weeks off towards the end of December and into January.

As soon as January started, MK Dons were flooded with offers from Rangers, Celtic, Man City and Blackburn for Colin. Rangers, Celtic and Blackburn all offer around £12kp/w to 17 year old Colin, but he accepts City's offer of £29.5k p/w on a 2 and a half year deal. I'd like to remind you guys here that I had no influence on this transfer – the games engine made City go for Colin and I had no influence on the deal offered to him. I wanted it to be as it had been throughout the whole save thus far – natural.

Colin was housed with James Milner and awarded the number 14 shirt but knew competition would be tough for a spot in the team – the day he arrived, City completed a £12M deal for Nuri Sahin who played the same position as Colin. In the following few days, City signed Aguero and Lahm for a combined fee of £75M.

Towards the end of January, City made a shock move for Colin's younger brother, Robert. Again, I had no influence on this decision, it was as natural as everything else. Robert signed on a £16k p/w, 2 and a half year deal. A day later, Karl Robinson resigns as manager of MK Dons stating 'chairman interference', having not wanted to sell either of the Rudyard brothers until the end of the season.

Even with City struggling massively across all boards and Mancini on the verge of being sacked, both brothers find it hard to break into the team. However, on the 7th of March, City play Fulham and due to injuries and suspensions, Colin finally finds himself in the matchday squad. Things start poorly as Nigel Winters' (close friend of the Rudyard brothers and Eng U21 colleague) Fulham take a 2-0 lead into half time.

Colin is subbed on and scores a screamer (that went on to win Goal of the Season -

) to help City equalise before they go on to win 3-2 after being 2-0 down. Colin suddenly heralded as the next big thing.

The season carries on and City eventually finish poorly in 6th position. Colin's goal vs Fulham wins Goal of the Season award and somehow Mancini keeps his job despite poor showing. The summer sees a massive clearout of players with Viera, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Capdevila, Bryan Ruiz, Nuri Sahin, Caicedo, Bellamy, Jo, Boyata and Gareth Barry all seeing the door while Javier Pastore and Ryan Shawcross would join the Rudyard brothers at City. As a note, At. Madrid and Arsenal tried to sign Colin while Middlesbrough tried to sign Robert – all bids flatly rejected.

The 2011/12 season was much better as both brothers became more important to City (Colin a first-teamer, Robert rotating between bench and first team). By the end , City won the premier League by 8 points, made the Champions League Semi Final and were beaten by Real Madrid and won the FA Cup. Robert made 17 League appearances with 2 goals, 8 assists and an average rating of 7.12 while Colin made 34 League appearances and scored 15 goals while racking up 17 assists.

Colin also made 3 appearances for England and scored 1 goal and eventually won Young Player of the Season.

And that's where it ended unfortunately! As you can see, there was a lot in there that I could have played with and I was enjoying writing the underlying storylines as well, so it was unfortunate that it just wasn't playable in the end.

Anyway, thank you all for reading my stuff and especially to those of you that commented and encouraged me as well, I apologise that I couldn't run this further but at least now you know why! Also, a massive thank you to those of you that voted for this story to win (eventually share) the 2011 Story of the Year award, I'm still stupidly proud of that sooo.... yeah, thanks again everybody :D keep well,

Offy :)

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Really disappointed that it was victim of computer abuse, but glad you found the time to curve it off for readers. Stirling work, sir.

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