Thursday, 8 October 2009

League Two 2014/15 – Season 6

After last seasons rather disapointing relagation from League Two the board were expecting us to go straight back up, one problem was I again failed to bring in any new attacking players and was left to just bolster the defence.

We took another blow when my Captain Jean-Francois Christophe demanded a transfer, luckily I kept hold of him for the season with him leaving on a free at the end of the season.

We did get some good news when my Assistant Manager recommended two quality defenders to me - Centre Back Pedro Mendes from Sporting and Ajax Left Back Arjan Artoumian who both arrived on frees after trials.

Other initial transfers saw the arrival of Mark Fitzpatrick whos a natural leftback and centre back who was released by Sunderland and Defensive Midfielder Steve Patterson who was released by Reading.

Interestingly just before Jan my Manager Reputation must have increased as I could now attract players from Irish sides (even managing to sign a few players from youth contracts including 14yo right back Peter Reeves who looks like he'll be a class player)

I also spent the bulk of my transfer budget on a premiership potential midfielder Tom Ruddy from Bury and a striker Steve Ellison from Merthyr - Ellison picking up an injury before he signed for me didn't help him this season and his struggle for match fitness reduced his impact.

The season didn't quite go to plan, we again struggled for goals and would have to settle for a playoff spot.

The playoffs drew us against Barnet and we'd be without my Keeper Pedro who was injured in the last game of the season and stand in Captain John Simpson who got himself sent off in the last game also.

The first leg ended 1-0 to Barnet, in the second leg we took the game to Barnet with Sendoa evening things up on agg after the hour, but we couldn't find a second goal and extra time would be needed, where with injuries and international duty reducing my strikeforce I had to bring on Swedish Striker Rasmus Jonsson who hadn't scored in 1,146 minutes (since the second game of the season - nearly 13 games) to replace Sendoa who'd taken a knock and somehow he grabs two goals in 3 minutes to send us through to the playoff final (not the best goals mind you - scrappy tapins from a few yards out but they all count).

The playoff final would see us face Rochdale at Wembley and it appeared the occasion got to both our defences as they both just stood around ball watching leading to a 3-3 draw, which went down to pens that were won by Rochdale thanks to Fitzpatrick smashing his pen against the post :( - something weird happened to the pens this season before this season every pen involving my team was scored, this season saw one saved in a shootout, two were saved during a game (one for and one against me) and Fitzpatrick's was the first I've seen strike a post, just need one to go wide now.

Playoff Final Report.

League Table - Shrewsbury stormed the league claiming the title back in March, things didn't go too well for Morecambe or Oldham who were the early pacesetters. We had the best defence in the league, but our inability to score let us down again (and seems to let me down in the challenge every year).

POS graph - we had a good start to the season, not conceeding for the first 5 games, however we couldn't keep it up and once we lost the leaders we never caught upto them, whilst Rochdale snuck promotion out of nowhere.

Squad - my Keepers Pedro and Dawson were rotated this season as both were in fine form.

Defensively rightback Jai Gray had a fantastic season and is showing a lot of potential after being snatched from Oldham for £35K last season, and my faith in him let me sell Bentley to QoS for £100K at the start of the season, one worry was at the start of the season he moaned about first team football when he hadn't missed a league game when fit - rotating him could be a problem, on the left Arjan Artoumian was a rock aswell, as were my centrebacks Pedro Mendes and Mark Fitzpatrick who was given a chance when Christophe decided to leave.

In Midfield my wingers again proved to be a stong point with Gilligan and Coleman rotating on the left whilst Tamer Ross provided cover for Ramos on the right.

On the middle of the field John Simpson struck up a good partnership with Steve Patterson.

Upfront I may have finally have found my goalscorer - 18yo Irish Striker Paul Carter signed from Bray on transfer deadline day for what loose change I had lying around (the board just about let me pay £3K over 24mths for him) - with my other strikers underperforming or injured he was given a chance against bottom of the league Darlington and scored twice and didn't stop scoring since.
Sendoa Guarrotxena again lead the line, Swedish Striker Jonsson had a poor season, but his goals in the playoffs means I'll give him a chance next season before selling him.

Best XI and Overall XI - the Overall XI again is broken - Dawson somehow replaces Pedro in goal, Saganowski replaces Sendoa upfront and Allan who was onloan in the past, ousts Captain Christophe?

Snapshot - The cups didn't go that well this season - In the FA Cup we smashed League One Preston 4-0, but then went and lost 2-1 to league rivals Morecambe in the Second Round. The Carling Cup saw us lose to Newcastle, whilst in the Paint Trophy we beat Oldham on pens before losing to Bury yet again.
Also being in League Two is not good for our finances.

Manager Profile - Appartently I favour an attacking style, yet we cannot score.

Club Info and Club Facts - An Average age of 20 both good and bad - they have time to improve, but lack the fight sometimes. A low average wage also shows what we are up against.

So next season we need to make a run at the Automatic Promotion spots, otherwise I'll struggle to keep hold of my players and my job will be in doubt.

Career Overview

2009/10Blue Square North1stPromoted - Champions
2010/11Blue Square Prem5thPlayoff Final
2011/12Blue Square Prem1stPromoted - Champions
2012/13League Two2ndPromoted
2013/14League One24thRelegated
2014/15League Two6th

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

League One 2013/14 – Season 5

So after somehow claiming promotion from League Two last season in our first season in the League, I wasn't feeling very confident of our chances in League One, our expectations were to try and avoid relagation, which was about all I was hoping for aswell.

Any chance of avoiding relagation would depend on who I could attract to the club - and our chances took two early blows when both Chadwick and Petrucci had no intention of returning on loan - it appears that no striker is interested in signing for me atall.

We seemed to have hit the point where the reputation of the club was too low to attract the kind of players that could advance the club, it appears my managers reputation was the only thing that was attracting players to the club and that only affected a few young players.

Another problem I had was the fact that the Irish and Welsh teams are far more active in the Transfer market than previous versions, they seem to have a Championship level reputation - Bobby Zamora joined an Irish team for half the money I was offering him.

I did manage to bring in a few players - Spanish Midfielder Alfredo Serra joind from a free from Denia, however he didn't really impress and when FC Dallas offered £140K in April I snapped their hand off.

Signing of the season was Spanish Right Winger Jose Manuel Ramos who has a premiership potential that lead me to spend two seasons worth of transfer budget on him.

Transfers out saw me get rid of various players who weren't upto League One standard.

The board picked this season to have a fan day, which apparently didn't go down well, despite it being one of the few games we actually won this season.

In the end my new signings didn't prove to be enough, as we ended up getting relagated, and with relagation confirmed with a couple of games left we collapsed and ended up finishing bottom of the league :(

On the plus side we were never outclassed, defensively we were solid we just couldn't score and in the end that killed us - doesn't matter how well your defence plays if the best you can hope for is a 0-0 draw

Squad - Keeper Pedro had an impressive season him and my defence helped keep the scorelines down, with my captain ex-Portsmouth youngster Jean-Francois Christophe being the rock that kept my defence together, well when he was on the pitch that was - 18 yellow and 3 red cards amounted to a fair few suspensions.

In midfield new signing John Simpson (ex-Everton Youngster) struck up a good partnership with Sam Togwell - though the game doesn't seem to rate central midfielders very well (possibly due to them both being natural DM's rather than natural MCs?), whilst another Spanish youngster Jose Miguel provided cover (its weird that players from Wales, Ireland and Scotland won't join me, but Spanish players will?)

The Wings were where we were the strongest and most dangerous Scott Gilligan was solid on the left only let down by his finishing, whilst Jose Manuel Ramos was devasting on the right I just lack the players to turn in his crosses and claiming the Fans Payer of the Year Award at the end of the season. Providing cover were two new signings NIrishman Colin Coleman and Tamer Ross - another youngster with premiership potential.

One of the most interesting signings was Swedish midfielder Stefan Berglund - who was born in Sweden but generated in Ghana, who was signed on trial after he turned up unattached in my player serach screen, he then recommended Helsingborg Striker Rasmus Jonsson who arrived on a free after a trial.

Upfront was a real problem this season, I was unable to bring in a replacement for Davide Petrucci and it was left to Sendoa Guarrotxena to lead the line, with him ending up top scorer with six goals - finding a partner for him was a struggle neither Saganowski nor Kee impressed, on loan Utd Striker Joshua King was useless yet again (why Man Utd keep on extending his contract I have no idea) in the end I recalled Italian Striker Marcello Trotta from onloan and three goals in six games was a better return than my other strikers.

Best XI - putting my backup left winger upfront tells it all.

Overall XI - Ramos and SImpson join after one season, whilst Petrucci and Wilson don't even make the bench any longer.

Snapshot - The cups didn't go all that well, we beat Stockport in the First round of the FA Cup 1-0, but then went out to League Two Grimisby 1-0. The Carling CUp saw us somehow beat Championship Nottm Forrest 2-1, before losing to Premiership QPR in the Second Round, but at least that tie brought in some money. The Paint Trophy saw us beaten by rivals Bury in the First Round.
At least we made some money this season, though Christophe tried his best to lead each player stat.

Manager Profile - the board gave me a new contract at the start of the season, so at least I didn't have that to worry about at the end of the season, whilst my National reputation (compared to the clubs Local) may have something to do with me being linked to every Championship jon going. Manager Info - Ramos transfer my biggest transfer by a long way.

Club Info - Sendoa drops off the fav. personnel list, whilst we really need to get our reputation upto Regional to stand a chance of ever reaching the Championship.

Club Facts - The Average and Highest Wages show how much out of depth we were this season.

Club Stats and Facilities that are slowly being improved.

So the plan for next season is to try and get repromoted whilst attempting to find a decent striker who can score goals and then fill in the gaps left by any players that leave the club after our relagation.

Career Overview

2009/10Blue Square North1stPromoted - Champions
2010/11Blue Square Prem5thPlayoff Final
2011/12Blue Square Prem1stPromoted - Champions
2012/13League Two2ndPromoted
2013/14League One24thRelegated

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

League Two 2012/13 – Season 4

So after winning the BSP last season, the plan for this season was to not get relegated and hope to use my new found professional status and the ability to scout the UK plus Ireland, France and Spain, to attract some good promising players to the club.

First of all the board let me pick a specific side to be linked with, and after noticing that Marine got promoted to the BSN I picked them in the hope that I can help them climb the leagues.

Rather disappointingly the ability to scout outside of England didn’t prove very helpful – my scouts weren’t finding people, so I did some manual scouting and it appears the players in Ireland and Scotland just aren’t interested in signing for me, luckily I had more luck signing players for England or on frees (either due to my promotion, or more than likely due to applying the new patch at the start of the season)

So initial signings saw me sign two promising full-backs from Blue Square sides, the others were several freebies and Chadwick and Petrucci (who was sent by Utd) returned for another season onloan, as did Corry Evans and Daniel Galbraith later in the season.

Transfers out was a different matter, with no one willing to pay for my players I ended up releasing them or letting them go on frees to reduce my wage bill – including captain Kyle Wilson and vice-captain Simon Spender who both struggled with league football.

The beginning of the season saw us rocked by my youth prospect Neil Swift demanding a transfer after a couple of BSP teams became interested in him, but no one made an offer and he spent the season on the bench as punishment.

Boxing day saw us claim our biggest win to date with a 7-1 hammering of bottom side Rushden, and that somehow saw us sat third in the league at the halfway point, with ground-owners Bury top of the league.

Though the game did decide to pick on me in Feb letting Aldershot cheat their way to a 2-1 win – their second goal came in the 97th minute, when we should have only played 93 minutes, whilst the first goal was blanantly offside – though rather worryingly the different views had the players in different positions?

In the end that didn’t matter as towards the end of the season my new signings started to gel and we stormed the table claiming a playoff spot with games to spare, before making an attempt on the automatic promotion spots, claiming promotion and second place on the final day.

League Two proved to be rather easy due to their being no strong sides in the league, with victory depending on what mood my strikers were in.

Team Stats – winning our last 6 games propelled us past Exeter into second, whilst we ended top scorers, and with a good defence and attendance. Though Man Utd loanees Chadwick and Petrucci helped out storming the league.

Squad – I signed quite a few players this season, and now need to reduce the wage bill and also see who is good enough for League One.

In goal we are sorted for the future Aaron Jameson is a solid Keeper, however my scouts spotted two Premiership Potential Keepers this season – Spanish Keeper Pedro eventually signed at the end of Jan for £7K from Real Madrid and was a rock at the back, keeping 10 clean sheets in just 17 games, though this left record signing Ryan Dawson on the bench (he was signed when it looked like Pedro wouldn’t come and with other sides interested I splashed out £100K on him)

I also strengthened my defence this season, picking up two rightbacks for free from Fulham – Jonny Bentley who displaced vice-captain Simon Spender and Dean Proctor who was mainly used as a sub. At left-back I picked up Keith Barwick from Newport for a bargain £10K and he looks like he’ll be a quality player.

At centre-back was another new signing Jean-Francois Christophe who was picked up on a free after being released by Portsmouth, he was initially partnered by Ashley Williams, but towards the end of the season with a transfer to Cardiff agreed I gave Billy Cook a chance as he’ll be needed next season.

Midfield saw two new left wingers arrive – Irishman Donal McDermott from Man City via Preston and Scott Gilligan who arrived from Tiverton when he finally turned 17 and is highly rated by my staff and even got capped by the England U19 team to become my first English International.

In the centre of midfield Adie Chadwick was again the rock in the middle of the park, though my two new signings didn’t really impress Norwegian Magnus Eikrem arrived on a free after being released from Man Utd, whilst Des Bowden was picked up from Watford, whilst he has bags of potential he didn’t play well (and is possibly why Watford let me have him on the cheap). Rounding out my midfield is Academy player Rafi Layla who did ok and is highly regarded by my staff.

Upfront we were again reliant upon Davide Petrucci who took the league by storm, with promotion being helped out by him gelling with my new Spanish Striker Sendoa Guarrotxena in the second half of the season – Sendoa had a slow start to the season, but the sheer size of him and his work rate (he’s like a slow Spanish Emily Heskey) kept him in the side, and eventually he started scoring and also became the first player to learn a PPM when asked. Providing cover was NIrish striker Billy Kee and new signings including Polish Striker Marek Saganowski and Man Citys Italian Striker Marcello Trotta.

Best XI – was about right, though the All-time XI is rather broken – Keeper Pedro makes the overall one after half a season at the club, but hasn’t made a seasonal best XI, whilst upfront is even worse Kee and Sendoa are preferred to Petrucci, whilst legand Kyle Wilson is dropped in favour of Challinor who spent the season out on loan?

Snapshot – the cups didn’t go to well this season, whilst we lost money, due to being over the wage budget and squad bonus being more than I got for being in the league.

Club Info – Sendoa gets added to the fav. Personnel, whilst we turned pro we still only have a local rep. Club Stats, facts and facilities – Hopefully with Burys promotion the ground will be kept in good condition.

Finances – are Ok but the wages really need reducing.

Manager Profile – upto National rep, which explains all the job offers, hopefully it will allow me to attract some better players. Manager Info.

Next season is going to be interesting, I got no youth players of any interest at all – I got three useless DMs.

Also Petrucci and Chadwick have refused to come back on loan next season, so I am now left searching for a striker and a midfielder :(

Career Overview


2009/10Blue Square North1stPromoted - Champions
2010/11Blue Square Prem5thPlayoff Final
2011/12Blue Square Prem1stPromoted - Champions
2012/13League Two2ndPromoted

Monday, 17 August 2009

Blue Square Premier 2011/12 - Season 3

So after having lost in injury time of extra time in the playoff final last season, the goal this season was to win promotion to the football league.

At the start of the season the board gave me a new contract, in which they wanted a midtable position, and were going to give me £55K to do worse than last season.

Finally with some money I could go and attempt to sign the promising youngsters my scouts keep on finding, though first I brought in several players on free's to bolster my squad depth - Welsh International Centre-Back Ashley Williams (Swansea), Defensive Midfielder Sam Togwell, NIrish Striker Billy Kee and Italian born English Right Winger Piero Mingoia were to be key players this season, whilst right back Lee Cooper and Keeper Mitch Walker would provide cover.

I also raided Man Utd for some quality loanes, though only Midfielder Adie Chadwick and Striker Petrucci played a major part in the season, the rest used to cover injuries or for the bench.

On the wayout of the club was flop striker Higginbotham who joined Cambridge for £18K making a profit at least, and in January Irish Side Cork City offered crazy money for midfielder Jonny Rowell (x10 his value) and with him failing down the pecking order in the middle of the pitch I gladly took Cork's money.

The season didn't get off to the best of starts, as my squad decided to embark on several cup runs, which resulted in a lot of my league games being postponed.

The first cup they decided to put some effort into was the FA Cup - in the Qual. round we smashed Whitby 3-1 to set up a 1st round tie against Grimsby who were top of League Two - somehow against the run of play we took the lead, with Grimsby needing a injury time penalty to stop us claiming an unlikely victory, with the replay at home we smashed Grimsby 3-1 though giving them another penalty. With the press somehow thinking we could win the FA Cup?

The 2nd round saw us drawn away to League Two Darlington where came back from a goal down twice to claim a 2-2 draw, and we again claimed a win in the replay thanks to an early and late goal from Captain Kyle Wilson that would set up a money spinning Third Round tie against Premiership Everton.

Somehow we managed to claim a 0-0 draw at home without even being in the game, though we did end up losing the replay 3-1, we did on the plus side make nearly £1m profit from the two games, allowing me to upgrade both the training and youth facilites next season.

Our next cup run was in the Setanta Shield, where upon making it to the Final we were informed the final would be played at our opponents ground - title rivals Oxford? But even with home advantage Oxford were no match for us and we claimed our first Cup with a 2-1 win.

Our final cup run was in the FA Trophy where we easily beat Workington, Bath, Kidderminster and Burton without conceeding, before drawing to and beating York in the Semi-Final, setting up a final against current holders Chester, who we easily beat 3-1 in an empty Wembley to claim our second cup of the season.

One consquence of our cup runs was in the league, was our games were being postponed left, right and centre - this meant by Feb we dropped out of the playoffs due to being upto 4 games behind.

By Game 38 we had finally caught upto Title rivals Oxford and with a 4-1 win over them we moved to the top of the league by Goal Difference, and still with a game in hand. And in the end we claimed the title and promotion with a game to spare, beating bottom side St. Albans whilst Oxford fell to Chester.

Final Table - we finish with the best defence and as Top Scorers, whilst poor old Oxford lost in the playoffs :)

League Pos Graph - Slumps were down to the fact that I didn't play, but by the time we actually played our games in hand we easily stormed to the title.

Squad - Keeper Jameson was a rock at the back, whilst new leftback Troy Gibbons will push Neil Swift hard for the leftback spot. In centre midfield Sam Togwell and Adie Chadwick struck up a mean partnership. Upfront Davide Petrucci was again on fire, though he spent far too much of the season out injured, luckily I actually have some competition upfront with new signings Billy Kee and Francis Ward getting among the goals.

Best XI and Overall XI

CLub Info, Facts and Stats.

Snapshot - 65 games we played this season.

Manager Profile - Attributes slowly climbing, whilst our FA Cup run boosted my rep upto Regional. Manager Info.

Season Summary - Sees FC United again marked as Overachievers, whilst Billy Kee wins signing of the season and ex-player Higginbotham was the worst signing of the season :)

Though I'm glad I got out of the BSP as next season there will be Tycoon sides - Merthyr and Hayes were both taken over and won promtion, whilst the third side Cambridge City were taken over from someone from the USSR(!) but got relagated :)

Whilst Englands Euro2012 campaign didn't go well, narrowly going out in the group of death, with Spain then beating France in the final.

Career Overview


2009/10Blue Square North1stPromoted - Champions
2010/11Blue Square Prem5thPlayoff Final
2011/12Blue Square Prem1stPromoted - Champions

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Blue Square Premier 2010/11 - Season 2

So with last seasons unexpected promotion from the BSN, the first task was for me to reinforce my team with player that wouldn't get me relagated back to the BSN.

Helpfully the board gave me £8K to spend on players, not that I could spend a penny of it, as anyone still at a club wasn't interested in playing for FC Utd, I couldn't even attract anyone on loan apart from Man Utd youngsters.

In the end I managed to bring 6 players in onloan and sign 6 players on frees.

The new players I brought in ensured we could compete in the BSP, in the end we spent most of the season comfortably in the top half, occassionaly dipping into the playoffs, but never enough to mount a title challenge - being up against 16 professional teams in the BSP didn't help things.

But somehow with some tactical tweaks and a gelled team we managed to poach the last playoff spot from Chester on Goal Difference with three games left - which resulted in a rather nervy last week of the season (the last three games were played within a space of a week) where both us and Chester won our last three games - but we claimed the playoff spot by three goals.

The playoffs drew us against Pro side York, where goals from Man Utd youngsters Evans and Petrucci set up a 2-0 first leg win, whilst York felt the need to cheat in the second leg using it as a fan day! but despite us controlling the entire game York claimed a 1-0 win, but it wasn't enough and would see us through to the final to face Wrexham who were the medias favs for the title at the beginning of the season.

The Playoff Final got off to a good start with Wrexham's Keeper smashing the ball into Petrucci which then bounced into the net to open the scoring, Wrexham then quickly equalised and gained the upper hand, but we held out for the 90 minutes and the game went to extra-time where again we held out until the 123rd minute when Striker Petrucci was injured and I was reduced to 10men, and a minute later the game was over as Wrexham's centre-back somehow found himself one-on-one with my Keeper and finished like a Premiership Striker making it 2-1 to Wrexham and ending our unlikely hopes of promotion :(

The after match report hardly made the game out to be a classic.

Final Table and Pos screen - we were never in a title fight but neither were we in a relagation fight.

Squad - Both my Keepers Jameson and Jones are about the same level, with Jameson just getting the nod in the second half of the season.

Defence saw a change in personnel during the season, with right back Simon Spender the only one who started and ended the season as first choice, young left back Neil Swift had a solid season and managed to dislodge first choice Skidmore in the second half of the season. In the centre of defence new signing Kevin Roberts started off first choice but lost his place to two youngsters I signed through the season Lewis Dunk and Billy Cook, who despite their young age were rocks at the back. Whilst Academy player Danny Perkins provided cover at right back.

In midfield new signing Jonny Rowell partnered Corry Evans who returned for a second season loan from Man Utd, I also employed two Man Utd youngsters on the Wing Magnus Eikrem and Daniel Galbraith, whilst James Beeston was brought in to provide cover.

Upfront Kyle Wilson again held the line, forming an impressive partnership with young Italian Striker Davide Petrucci, whilst new signing Kallum Higginbotham failed to impress, which left us struggling when Wilson or Petrucci were tired or injured. Though Academy Striker Danny Short provided an assist and claimed Man of the Match in his only appearance of the season, and I may end up giving him a chance next season if I cannot sign anyone.

Whilst several of my players took the BSP charts by storm, with Petrucci ending up top Scorer and had the highest Rating.

Best XI - pretty much correct again, anyone know what that Score bit means?

Overall XI - sees Dunk, Eikrem, Rowell and Petrucci join the list.

Club Info - sees no real change, whilst I fail to claim a single fact and club stats - Striker Higginbotham is a better tackler than scorer.

Snapshot - the FA Cup saw my first team smashed 3-1 by BSN side Hyde, whilst Broadbent who I had on loan last season knocked me out of the Conference Cup, whilst the FA Trophy saw us fight back from 2-0 down just to lose 3-2 after the game should have finished in another error prone match.

I also played my 100th game as manager of FC Utd, a 3-0 win over Woking.

Season Summary saw us named Overachievers again, whilst Rowell was runner-up in signing of the season.

Profile - my reps still unproven, but the stats have started climbing, whilst I picked up some more random knowledge of the world.

And finally our finances are doing well, shame the board won't improve the facilities at all.

So the plan for next season is to try and get promoted, so for that I'll need to sign a quality striker and try and fill the gaps left by loan players - mainly cover for the wingers and fullbacks.

Whilst Man City continue to splash the money £108m for a 4th place finish and the UEFA Cup :)

Career Overview

2009/10 Blue Square North 1st Promoted - Champions
2010/11 Blue Square Prem 5th

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Blue Square North 2009/10 - Season 1

So new game, new team - the lure of FC United was enough to drag me away from Marine (who didn't come up anyway).

Straight away the challenge seems harder - hardly anyone wanted to sign for FC United, most youngsters either ending up going to Ireland or retiring at the end of the season.

Transfers - The first five players into the club were all signed by the previous manager with transfers arranged for the 1st July, with me only able to add 5 more new faces, neither of them first teamers.

Luckily I managed to bring in some key players on loan - PNE DC Dominic Collins for 3 months, and with Man Utd as a parent team AMR/FC Antonio Bryan and MC Corry Evans arrived for the season, whilst later in the season Adam Chapman and Matthew James came in for 3 month loans at centre-back.

Whilst mid-season I brought two quality strikers in on loan for three months - Daniel Broadbent from Huddersfield and Anderw Osei-Siribour from Port Vale - both of them bringing much needed firepower to my side taking the pressure off Kyle Wilson, though neither would extend their loan past three months, leaving me to grind out results at the end of the season.

A single Kyle Wilson goal was enough to beat title rivals Barrow 1-0 in April.

Eventually we claimed the title with a game to spare - this is the first time I've ever managed to win promotion in my first season, we normally lose in the playoffs.

We pretty much walked the league, after I'd settled on some tactics and my team had started to gel, thankfully we had few injuries and fewer suspensions (was only two red cards in all of my games this season, neither for me).

The board and fans are both delighted witht me, I can get used to that :)

Title Winning Squad - Whilst the core of my team is strong, squad depth is weak in several positions.

Both my Keepers Michael Jones and Adam Jameson are solid at the back, whilst also picking up several assists from long punts down field.

In Defence right back Simon Spender was a great capture from Wrexham, whilst left back Alex Skidmore is one of the best original players, in central defence capatain Robert Nugent was partnered by a loan signing.

Midfield was our strongest position thanks to Man Utd youngsters Antonio Bryan and Corry Evans (who now likes both me and the club, so he'll never be coming back :(), left winger Jack Compton is highly rated, with another Welshman Matty Crowell partnered Evans in the middle.

Upfront Kyle Wilson is pretty much my only Striker and he did well grabbing 20 goals.


Neil Swift - Highley rated by my staff with a league two potential, and managed to hold his own in the cups, more appearances were limited due to the fact that the left side is the strongest side of my team.
Phil Peacock - did ok, mainly used as sub to rest Wilson.

Confidence Screen - Board are delighted with the BSN Title

Club Info - The board/fans were so delighted that I even made the fav list after the first season - lets see if I ever become a legend.

Snapshot - we actually made money, due to having the highest attendance in the league and a good cup run in the FA Trophy making it to the 4th round before losing to BSP side Mansfield.

Season Summary - We claim the overachievers award, whilst right back Spender and midfielder Crowell win signings of the season (shame I didn't actually sign either of them).

Best XI - Which I'd agree with for a change.

I was also linked with the Wrexham job during the season, which I think nearly everyone has been offered.

Hopefully with the promotion to the BSP I'll be able to attract some players to the club, as I really need a centre-back, a central midfielder, right winger and one or two strikers - that will need to be loaned or signed, luckily with promotion confirmed the board have allowed me 3 scouts and 5 coaches - so I've managed to bring in some good scouts to scout players, and some coaches to boost my training upto 3/4 stars.


Welcome to my new blog that will chronicle and archive my progress through Dafuge's Challenge on Football Manager 2009 with FC United of Manchester.

If you don't know what this is all about then check out this Thread on the Official Sports Interactive Forums

The aims of the Challenge are fairly simple:

"To take a small club who were previously unplayable in the game from the Blue Square N/S to Premier League and Champions League glory."