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."