Update for FM'15 Wandering the Isles and across the North Sea
24-05-2015, 07:12 PM
C-license with sunday league footballer experience. I figured that would be a realistic starting point. And in 4.5 years they've never allowed me on a coaching course. There never was any money for it... though at my first club, they did send all my coaches on courses all the time. Shrug
25-05-2015, 12:49 AM
Decent season and well done on your cup! Treasure it like a good semi professional club should Smile

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
18-06-2015, 08:09 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 01:00 PM by Wolve. Edit Reason: typos )
Season 5½: 2019: Bray Wanderers A.F.C. - League of Ireland Premier Division
[Image: aB8r2e6.png]

Board expectations: respectable league position
Transfer budget: £125k
Wage budget: £10.5k/wk
My contract: £400/wk P/T
Players in: 9 free
Players out: 10 free, 4 loan
Season tickets: 291 (+6)


The board were once again quite generous with their wage budget and transfer budget, setting them to similar levels as the previous season. I was spending about the same on wages as the previous season, which meant that I left more than a third of the budget unused. This level of spending already feels like the financial limit, as I'm not too keen on plummeting into massive debt.

After a long internal deliberation, I decided to part with with my assistant manager. He wasn't doing bad, but too often I found his reports on players to be different to that of my coaches and scouts. Despite having been a loyal servant and working hard, I paid off his contract and placed an ad to find a replacement. After interviewing a number of applicants, I found a decent replacement who also turned out to be a more than capable coach.

For my first team, I wasn't looking at many changes. I got rid of some deadwood. I had one first team player going out, a very talented striker who simply refused to talk about a new contract. I did bring in a number of players, but most of them were brought in as backups to fill for injuries or in case of fixture congestion. The most important man I brought in was a very accomplished central defender to hopefully help us tighten up our defence.

Internally, I did a small reorganisation. One of my central midfielders was moved to the left back position. His old position was filled in by a backup player who progressed quite a bit over the last year, playing more and more towards the end of the previous season. The gap left open by the striker who didn't want to stay was filled in by one of the former first team strikers who'd found himself on the bench for most of the previous season.

I also had a player coming in on a free to replace my ageing right midfielder, but for some reason, he wasn't joining us until the mid season break.

Our pre-season friendlies went reasonably well. It also included a testimonial match for my current (and soon to be replaced) right midfielder, who has been with us for 12 years now. He even managed to score a goal in that match.


I expect the full-time professional squads to dominate the league again and picking up the top three spots. With a bit of luck we might be able to start pushing for 4th place, given we were only four points behind it in the previous season. And 4th place might even give us European football, depending on who wins the cup. Realistically, 5th place with 50 points would be a more than decent result as well.

We eventually stabilised in 4th place, picking up our fair share of points. This was certainly encouraging!

Mid season break

We only had a short break, but with the transfer window opening, we did use it to bring in a few more reinforcements. For the first team I found a central defender, a right winger and a striker. I also picked up a more than decent all-round backup to help us out with the left/center midfield or even the striker position if needed.

League (cont'd)

For some reason, it all fell apart once we started playing again. A ten game winless streak saw us drop back down to eighth place. Not enough to worry about relegation, but certainly not good. This wasn't helped by my team revolting against my methods when I failed to find a transfer for two of our former first team players. I told them to shove it, which eventually they did, but morale was at an all time low.

By the time we finally pulled ourselves back together the season was almost over. We found ourselves back in 6th position for a bit, but spilling more points against the bottom teams pushed us back into the bottom half of the table. We finished the season in a rather disappointing 7th position.


Somehow we managed to qualify for the All-Ireland Cup. I didn't even know it existed, but it sounded like fun. In the first round we were paired up with Northern Irish side Portadown. In the first leg, we were the stronger side. Due to poor finishing we only managed a 1-1 draw. In the second leg we set the record straight and managed to thump them 5-2. In the quarterfinals (it was only a small competition) we were drawn against Dundalk, the team we haven't beaten in a long, long time. An impressive 2-2 draw away set us up for the home leg. Unfortunately we couldn't hold on and a 1-2 loss sent us out of the competition.

The League Cup, which still no one cares about, gave us a pass straight into the second round. We didn't have the fairy tale run like last year. We were ejected at the first possible opportunity with a 0-1 loss.

In the Senior Challenge Cup, we were also put into the second round. A 1-1 draw at non-league side Swilly Rovers was not quite what we expected. Reminded not to underestimate our opponents, we set the record straight with a 7-1 victory. In the third round we managed to waste away the lead twice, but we were still victorious at the end. Reaching our quarter final goal caused us to lose focus and despite being ahead 2-1 after an hour, we ended up losing 2-3.

Targets achieved, but nothing more than that.


We didn't make our league target, a respectable position. We even fell short of our point total of the previous season. We finished a mediocre mid table. With 11 wins, 11 draws, 11 losses and a goal difference of +0 this was the most average season imaginable. While we cruised around in the top half for quite a while, we don't seem to have the power or consistency to push further up.

With attendances not going up, structural financial losses are our result. We can't seem to get better players, which we need to push upwards, which we need to get better players in. We seem to be stuck in a neverending loop of mediocrity.

I've got the feeling we've reached our limit at this club. With my contract running out, I'm seriously considering not renewing it and moving on. until then, I will keep working on the team, trying to find a better balance perhaps. We might need to do some weeding out and set up a core squad with less rotation as the squad is rather large for a semi-professional outfit at the moment.

Only time will tell...

League: 7th
Cups: All-Ireland Cup quarter finalists, League Cup 2nd round, Senior Challenge Cup quarter finalists
Average attendance: 405 (-20)

[Image: hYDGdkD.png]
18-06-2015, 08:11 PM
One thing I forgot to mention: we broke the league worst discipline record for the second season in a row. Oops! Blink
18-06-2015, 09:14 PM
Hmm. Hopefully things will come good - or at least you'll get the chance of a position at somewhere you can work some magic.

Oh, and KUTGKickingTheShitOutOfEveryone.
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.

[Image: Ln8uvbH.png]
18-06-2015, 10:22 PM
(18-06-2015, 08:09 PM)Wolve Wrote: 11 wins, 11 draws, 11 losses and a goal difference of +0

That is bloody impressive in its averageness!

As for this...

(18-06-2015, 08:11 PM)Wolve Wrote: One thing I forgot to mention: we broke the league worst discipline record for the second season in a row. Oops! Blink

I refer you back to post #17
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
19-06-2015, 01:01 AM
Did you say lump it or kick lumps out of it? I forget!

Kutgw - hopefully persistence pays off.

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
21-06-2015, 09:55 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 01:08 PM by Wolve. Edit Reason: typo )
Season 6: 2019/20: Altrincham F.C. - Conference Premier
[Image: cR4nNf4.png]

Board expectations: mid-table position
Transfer budget: £25k
Wage budget: £6k/wk
My contract: £600/wk P/T
Players in: 3 free, 2 loan, 2 loan extensions
Players out: 2 free
Season tickets: 262


Hang on! Altrincham F.C.? Wasn't I managing Bray Wanderers? Well, yes, I was. After the conclusion of our season, I felt we hit the ceiling. Even though I didn't resign, I did apply for a couple of interesting job vacancies somewhere in November. The board wasn't too impressed and, given my very insincere apology, decided to show me the door; the decision to move on was taken for me. One of my coaches decided to follow me on the way out. How thoughtfully unnecessary. With my applications falling through, I did have a few weeks holiday.

Not too much later however I had an interview with Altrincham and they promptly offered me the job. Despite the slightly lower stature of the club compared to where I was, I was going to make £150/wk more than I was at Bray. And the club also had some unused wage budget to play with. Contracts were signed and I was back to work not a month after being fired.

When I arrived I met with a fairly small squad (though there were plenty of youth players if I was running low). We only had 16 players, 4 of which were loanees. Two of the star players were on short term loans, which I quickly extended to the end of the season. I also had my scouts dig up a good solid defender and two midfielders. Otherwise the squad was looking fairly reasonable.

There was a severe lack of staff in the club. Not that we were allowed to have many. So after placing some ads I hired a coach, a physio and a scout. I would've liked a couple more coaches, especially the fitness and goalkeeping departments were not looking great, but that's something for the future.


The only cup left to play for was the FA trophy. This was also my first game at the helm. We lost with an entertaining 2-3. No worries, more time was going to be available to focus on the league.


I joined in the middle of the season. In a worrying 20th position, we had much work ahead. As is common in England, we had a lot of fixtures around Christmas and New Year. Despite this, we managed to pick up some decent points in our first handful of games under my "guidance". This at least gave us a bit more breathing room not to have to worry about relegation.

After this short burst, we started falling apart again. Our performances were inconsistent at best. Even a change in tactics didn't seem to pay off. With my job under constant pressure due to not moving upwards, I decided to switch back to my old formation again. This made us pick up a few points, but not enough to make much of a difference.

In the end we only managed to punch our way into 19th position. Only one position up from when I joined the club. I was hoping for more, but we were just leaking too many goals to get up there.

Our football was thoroughly entertaining though. A highlight was winning 5-4 in one game and losing 4-6 in the next. It was completely bonkers. In my 24 games at the helm this season, we only failed to score twice. Unfortunately, this was completely negated by the fact we only kept a clean sheet once.


It's hard to make heads or tails of this club. With often a handful of loanees playing in the first team, it's hard to build for the future. But then, we don't have a very big wage budget, so we don't have much choice. And a number of players are already out of a contract, so they could move on any time they like.

But there is some potential there. A few young talents might help us out. But while the fans love my entertaining football, the board is less impressed. While I've not been fired, they're also reluctant to offer me a new contract. I'd like to stay. Hopefully they'll let me.

League: 19th
Cups: FA trophy 1st round
Average attendance: 690

[Image: dFxkE2H.png]
21-06-2015, 10:56 PM
Hopefully it'll work out in the end. At least you're in the Premier - it's a good starting point, even if Altrincham are just a stepping stone.
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.

[Image: Ln8uvbH.png]
22-06-2015, 08:47 PM
I hope you'll have more luck at Altrincham than I did earlier this year
23-06-2015, 02:08 PM
(21-06-2015, 10:56 PM)JD95 aka Fidsy Jr. Wrote: Hopefully it'll work out in the end. At least you're in the Premier - it's a good starting point, even if Altrincham are just a stepping stone.

We'll see how far I can get this team first before moving on. But it's definitely helpful to be coaching in England in order to work my way up to bigger clubs.

The club itself has some potential though, so I'm not yet done here. We might not have the best facilities or a big wage budget, but that is quite helpful in achieving some financial stability. The club has a bit of debt, but we're not spending an awful lot, and we're drawing some half-decent crowds, so maybe we'll eventually even get a bit of spending money. That is, if I'm still managing this club by then. But I'm trying to set it up for the future, whether I'm part of it or not.

(22-06-2015, 08:47 PM)Soulfusion Wrote: I hope you'll have more luck at Altrincham than I did earlier this year

That doesn't sound too promising.... but we'll see!
28-06-2015, 06:22 AM
While 19th sounds bad, you really weren't that far off from 16th and as you say, you had put a veritable chasm between you and the first team going down. I'm assuming that the goal difference being that much worse than Chester and Tamworth is due to it being pretty horrendous when you took over (although from what you're saying about your defense, that may not be a very safe assumption). Sounds like there's at least room to further consolidate and see if you can build on things.
30-06-2015, 01:05 PM
(28-06-2015, 06:22 AM)Scratchmonkey Wrote: While 19th sounds bad, you really weren't that far off from 16th and as you say, you had put a veritable chasm between you and the first team going down. I'm assuming that the goal difference being that much worse than Chester and Tamworth is due to it being pretty horrendous when you took over (although from what you're saying about your defense, that may not be a very safe assumption). Sounds like there's at least room to further consolidate and see if you can build on things.

You are right that we weren't far off from what some would already consider mid-table. Unfortunately, that's usually not how the board evaluates your performance. But the gap to the relegation spots was definitely encouraging. That gap was a lot smaller at first, so you might be right about the horrendous goal difference being a legacy from the previous manager. But I haven't looked at it in that much detail, so I'm not sure.
08-07-2015, 10:38 AM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 01:13 PM by Wolve. Edit Reason: typos )
Season 7: 2020/21: Altrincham F.C. - Conference Premier
[Image: cR4nNf4.png]

Board expectations: top-half position
Transfer budget: £25k
Wage budget: £6k/wk
My contract: £650/wk P/T
Players in: 5 free, 4 loan extensions, 1 loan
Players out: 6 free
Season tickets: 258 (-4)


After considering their options, the board decided I'd done just enough to warrant a contract extension. Only one year though. But I did manage to rake in an extra £50/wk.

In the backroom I made two changes. Because I felt my assistant manager, whose contract was running out, wasn't worth the raise he was asking for, I let him go. After getting some resumes in, the ones I was interested in wanted even more than the old guy. Given I didn't want to go without one, I bit the bullet and ended up paying him more wages than I was hoping. At least he wasn't making more than I was. The board agreed we didn't have too many coaches, so I was allowed one more. We hired a dedicated fitness coach to help us out with the grueling number of games for a part time club.

With the limited funds available, I was lucky to be able to extend the loans of 4 players for another year. Especially getting the goalkeeper position renewed was tremendous news.

A few backups were poached. Not much I could do about it as they were out of a contract and I didn't want to spend my limited wages on backup players. I also managed to offload a backup striker for free who still had a year going on his contract. Way overpaid for someone who wasn't going to be used.

With some wages freed up, I went out to fill in the last few gaps in my lineup. I picked up two wingers and a central defender on frees. I also picked up a decent full back on a non-contract to help out as backup.

Normally I let my assistant schedule my friendlies for me. This time however, I scheduled on match myself. Being back in England I wanted to play a match against Hednesford FC, the team I was managing half a decade prior. They were still steadily rocking that Conference North mid-table. In a fairly scrappy affair we beat them 4-2. Good times.

There was a brief moment of chaos where suddenly the board were considering selling the club. It took them all of 2 days before it all fell apart and we continued with our work as if nothing happened.


Despite not being given more funds than in the previous season and not achieving the required mid-table position by a long shot, this season the board expected us to finish in the top half. No lack of ambition there, but it was surely going to be hard to achieve. For some unexplained reason, even the bookies were quite optimistic, giving us an outside chance of reaching the playoffs. What's all that about?

The start of the season gave us a few relatively easy fixtures. We picked up twelve points in the first five games, throwing us right into the mix of the teams fighting for the playoffs.

Our form dipped for a while without any apparent cause. Having faith in my squad and my setup, I decided against making changes and eventually they managed to break out of it and get a good thing going again. At the halfway point of the season we were in sixth place, just outside of the playoff spots. But the league was very tight. There were only five points between us and the leaders.

Under new management

After the very short failed negotiations in summer, the club was once again in takeover talks in the winter. It may have been the long nights and terrible weather, but this time the chairman did fancy an early retirement. Suddenly, we found ourselves being under new management.

The first thing the new owner said to me when he joined was that his intention was to replace me. Hmm
Luckily, he had a look at the league table and realised I might not be the worst choice out there and allowed me to stay! Celebrate

Once the dust settled, I asked for a contract extension, which was granted. Another year added as well as another £50/wk, bringing me up to £700/wk. To my big surprise, the new chairman also agreed to send me out on my second coaching course. And as if it wasn't enough yet, we were also allowed an extra coach, so I got a goalkeeping coach in, an area which was lacking a lot of quality.

This new chairman was definitely growing on me. And I haven't even mentioned the £90k yet he put into the club (~10% of our annual turnover), despite us being financially stable and even possibly making a bit of profit over the year.

League (cont'd)

One of my strikers managed to break his leg, ruling him out for at least six months. Given our backups were certainly not up to par for first team football and the lack of remaining wage budget, I had to resort to picking up a replacement striker on loan for the rest of the season. He wasn't quite as good, but at least he wasn't completely useless.

A few good results pushed us up, even cheekily popping into first place due to having played a game more. A few bad results quickly put us back to where we were before. We were happily bouncing around in and around the playoff places. We didn't seem as dangerous up front as in the first half of the season with our replacement striker, but we kept a decent form going.

Towards the end of the season, we started to stutter. My main striker was wasting the best chances he got and the replacement striker managed to play over 10 hours of football without scoring. The top two teams were pulling away and the outside chance of winning the league was definitely not possible anymore. Lucky for us, other teams fighting for the playoff spots also started to drop points left and right. While losing sight of the top, we were also pulling away from the teams in fifth place and below. With two games in hand, our place in the playoffs was secured. With the playoffs starting only four days after the league finished, I played my reserves and some youth in the final game of the season. The difference in quality was noticeable. We lost and ended up in fourth place. Winning could've placed us third, but we would've had to play the same team in the playoffs anyway.


In the semi-final of the playoffs we were paired with Braintree. We had recently beaten them at their place, so confidence was high. The first leg was played at home. We started rather nervously, but so did they. There were a few chances for both teams, but none of them were too dangerous. Half an hour into the game, we managed to break free of their defence and the replacement striker chose this very game to end his goal drought with an excellent finish: 1-0! Not long into the second half the referee awarded us a rather easily given penalty. Our main striker managed to keep his composure: 2-0! We did give away a few good chances in the second half, but the goalkeeper did his work admirably and managed to keep a clean sheet. This gave us an excellent starting position for the second leg.

The second leg was an equally nervous affair. Twenty minutes into the game they managed to cut through our defence and peg one in: 1-0. We were looking like we were going to fall apart. But just ten minutes later the ball fell in front of the feet of one of my wingers and he blasted it home: 1-1! With the all important away goal scored they now had the task of scoring three more goals if they were to progress. The rest of the game had chances for both teams, but nothing materialised. With a 3-1 aggregate win we were off to Wembley to play the finals!

Meanwhile, Hartlepool had overturned a 3-1 loss against Burton with a 5-2 victory, two goals of which were scored in the last five minutes of the game.

In front of a crowd of well over 30,000 people, something that hardly any of my players had even experienced before, we were the underdogs. In our previous two meetings this season we lost one and drew one game. In an even more nervous affair, both teams were getting plenty of chances, and some really good ones as well. We even managed to hit the woodwork three times. It may have been the pressure throwing both teams off their game. Eighty minutes into the game, they managed to leap the ball over my defence and into the feet of their striker, who managed to blast it in with great style. All hope was lost. But wait! The flag was up, it didn't count! The game went into extra time. In the first half of extra time the only chances were some long shots by both teams. Right after the second half started, one of the opponents picked up an injury. With all substitutes used, they were down to ten men on the field. This seemed to cause quite some disorganisation, as we immediately managed to break through their defence and score: 1-0! The lads pushed on and within a few minutes we scored the 2-0 as well! With five minutes left to play the legs were getting tired and we sloppily allowed them to peg one back: 2-1. What was a comfortable lead now had turned back into a nervous affair. With nothing more to do than to sit and watch, we managed to kick one more in just before time was up: 3-1! The referee brought proceedings to an end and we were through! We had won promotion to The Football League!


In the FA cup we were given the target of reaching the first round proper. We brushed aside Wrexham in the fourth qualifying round. In the first round we drew lucky with a non-league side. A rather poor draw away from home was quickly forgotten after we properly disposed of them at home. In the second round we drew a team from League 2. Despite giving it a good fight, an almost certain draw was thrown away when we scored an own goal in stoppage time. Such is life.

In the FA trophy we were expected to reach the second round. The players didn't seem to be too bothered though, as they capitulated against a conference north team in the first round.


The team looked completely different this season. While we still weren't the best team defensively, we weren't conceding as much as in the previous season. With our goal scoring abilities still intact, this turned many close losses we had in the previous season into victories.

With attendances up and a tight control on our wages, we managed to turn a very decent profit. Even without the cash injection we would've been well off. We will have to keep an eye on the wages and prevent unnecessary spending to make sure we don't turn this promotion into a financial mess.

Having gained promotion, we are most likely turning fully professional. The wage budget has been bumped up, but this may be easily eaten up by full time contracts. So we may have to loan some players again to make sure we have enough quality players on the pitch.

Next season will probably be an uphill battle. With one of the lowest wage budgets of the league our aim will be to avoid relegation. The fact that only two teams will relegate from League Two will hopefully help with that. I'm definitely looking forward to the challenge!

League: 4th
Playoffs: Winners! Champ
Cups: FA Trophy first round, FA Cup second round
Average attendance: 991 (+301)

[Image: 6dP55dk.png]
08-07-2015, 08:57 PM
Very well done. Now for the big challenge...
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.

[Image: Ln8uvbH.png]
09-07-2015, 01:02 AM
Excellent work! Hartlepool evidently really struggling these days. Good on them.

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
09-07-2015, 10:21 AM
Hartlepool could've won the league, but they threw it away in the last two rounds. Aldershot were deserved winners though, as they had topped the league for most of the season.

I'm glad my wife wasn't home when I was playing that final. I went through the following stages in that game:

Noooo!!!  Banghead
Oh, thank god! Yes
Oh, please, please! Cross Fingers
Yes! Get in! Applaud
Oh, no no no! Doh
Thank god!  Mrgreen
We did it!  Celebrate

It was quite the rollercoaster. And I may have punched the air.

I didn't dress up for the game though!
09-07-2015, 11:11 AM
Yes you did. Liar. Mrgreen
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.

[Image: Ln8uvbH.png]
09-07-2015, 08:24 PM
Well done getting Altrincham into the 'football League kutgw
11-07-2015, 01:49 AM
Very well-done sir, complete with a rollercoaster playoff final. The transition to full-time can be tough, planning for consolidation seems prudent.

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