Update for FM'15 Wandering the Isles and across the North Sea
#41
20-07-2015, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 01:18 PM by Wolve. Edit Reason: typos )
Season 8: 2021/22: Altrincham F.C. - Football League Two
[Image: cR4nNf4.png]

Board expectations: Respectable league position
Transfer budget: £25k
Wage budget: £10k/wk
My contract: £650/wk F/T
Players in: 6 free, 2 loan extensions, 2 loan
Players out: 3 free, 2 loan
Season tickets: 489 (+231)

Pre-season

Our promotion to The Football League meant we were going to be fully professional and were moving everyone over to full-time contracts. The new league also meant we had to add more seats to our stadium to comply with regulations. This wasn't too costly luckily. My contract was moved over to become full-time. Annoyingly, they were only willing to go as far as £650/wk, which was £50/wk less than I had. Wanting to turn full-time as well, I begrudgingly accepted. It did include a one year extension though.

We were allowed an extra coach and an extra scout. One of my current coaches contracts ran out and because he had too much overlap with other coaches, he was let go. Two new coaches and a scout were brought in. Everyone else in the backroom was moved over to full-time contracts.

For this season, we lost two of our best players who were with us on loans for two years and we couldn't retain them. Our goalkeeper saw his contract run out and ended up signing for the competition. Our striker simply wasn't interested in another year on loan with us. This was a massive blow and the replacements we eventually found were not as good as they were.

We did manage to extend the loans of a central midfielder and a defender used for rotation. We also picked up a new goalkeeper on loan, who quickly ended up being the reserve goalkeeper. We also brought in another very capable central midfielder, a fairly decent striker and a full back.

Most of my regular squad was retained, and they were all moved up to full-time contracts. This and the few new signings slowly ate up my wage budget, so towards the end of pre-season, we hardly had any wage budget nor transfer-funds left (pesky signing fees...).

League

The board expected a respectable league position. This seemed way too ambitious, but the media also thought we were going to be up there somewhere, thinking we could end up in 12th position. This both puzzled and confused me. I thought we would be aiming at trying to stay in The Football League.

All this pressure resulted in the worst possible start of the season. In our first eight matches we drew four and lost four. The media was starting to ask questions and the board called me in. They quickly wanted to see an improvement. With all the luck in the world, we finally got our first win of the season in our ninth league game.

Two more poor results and the board called me in yet again. This time they wanted a concrete promise. I told them I would sort it out and in a month's time we would be in a better position. A month! What was I thinking?!?

In that month, we were playing five league games. We surprisingly won three and lost one of the first four games. But we barely moved up the table, since everyone else also seemed to start picking up points. In the last game of the month, we were looking a lot stronger than our opponents. Despite this, we forgot to score goals. Half-time we were 0-2 behind. I completely lost it at halftime, which somehow pushed the right buttons, as they completely turned the game around and won it 4-2. This finally moved us up a few places and my job was saved.

A few more wins saw us push even further up, and for a very brief moment, we even managed to pop into 7th place, one of the playoff places. This obviously was a bit too much to ask, but we managed to hang on just shy of the playoff places.

Winter trading

My backup goalkeeper wasn't happy with the lack of football. To be fair, he was signed up for first time football, but after a while the goalie that was supposed to be the backup moved into the starting eleven. The backup left for free and a new backup was brought in for free.

Trying to get a bit more bite up front, I also brought in another striker on loan for the rest of the season. Given one of my other strikers was made of glass, this wasn't entirely unwarranted.

I also brought in an extra multi-purpose defender for free, who could possibly challenge for the right back position next season.

League (cont'd)

The second half of the season was a lot less eventful. Though there were plenty of embarrassing losses and some glorious wins. We were gently floating around in the lower parts of the top half of the table.

The league was quite close here. With only two points between positions eight and thirteen, each win or loss could see you shoot up or down. We even dropped back down to fourteenth for a moment, but clawed our way back into the top half. The teams in the playoff places were slowly pulling away though, but that was never really a realistic goal.

Towards the end we were hoping for a nice strong finish against some weaker opponents. A few injuries and a lack of motivation was a bit of a let down and we ended up finishing eleventh. We somehow managed to achieve our respectable league position, despite the lack of funds.

Cups

In the League Cup we encountered fellow promoters Aldershot in the preliminary round. After a goalless two hours, we beat them in the lottery. In the first round we encountered Sunderland, who were a few sizes too big for us, so they duly sent us packing.

In the Football League Trophy, we entered into the second round. We managed to grab the lead, but they came back to get a 1-1 draw. It went straight to penalties, which we were ahead on at first, but then threw away again.

In the FA Cup we encountered League One side Preston who duly disposed of us. Not quite the glorious cup run.

Post-season

Despite the rough start, it's been a very good season. The team is working well together and we're creating plenty of chances.

The only worrying parts are the positions where I lost key players and never found suitable replacements. My goalkeeper was not as bad as I was afraid of, but he just couldn't hold on to a ball. Too many goals were conceded from rebounds. He also missed a few long shots that shouldn't have gone in. I was also missing a killer up front. While we were creating plenty of chances, we weren't converting enough of them into goals. So I'll need to specifically look at improving on those positions. Otherwise, I'm quite happy with my team.

Financially, it's been a rather poor year. After a nice profit in the previous season, this season saw a rather big loss. The extra seats in the stadium and the renewing of my first team contracts cost a fair amount. This caused us to spend a lot more than the increase in wage budget would've warranted. The average attendance, while it did go up, didn't go up as much as I was hoping for looking at what other teams were bringing in on average. Hopefully it will go up a bit more next season, otherwise we may be looking at another year of losses. We'll have to see and be sensible in our spending.

Looking back, Hednesford have finally achieved promotion to the Conference Premier after winning the league. Obviously, this is all due to my hard work six seasons earlier. Mrgreen
Bray Wanderers are still rocking the League of Ireland Premier Division mid-table.

League: 11th
Cups: League Cup first round, Football League Trophy second round, FA Cup first round
Average attendance: 1321 (+330)

[Image: XASIrTq.png]
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#42
20-07-2015, 11:11 AM
Well, I guess you proved the media and board right? kutgw

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
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#43
20-07-2015, 07:52 PM
I guess the moral to this season Wolve is to be a bit more ambitious
kutgw
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#44
21-07-2015, 12:09 PM
I suppose you're both right.

But with only 2 teams spending less on wages over the season, it wasn't the most likely outcome. The rseult was definitely encouraging given the financial restrictions!
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#45
09-08-2015, 03:26 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 01:21 PM by Wolve. Edit Reason: typos )
Season 9: 2022/23: Altrincham F.C. - Football League Two
[Image: cR4nNf4.png]

Board expectations: Respectable league position
Transfer budget: £200k
Wage budget: £17k/wk
My contract: £800/wk F/T
Players in: 1 for £41k, 2 free, 3 loan extension
Players out: 1 for £10k, 1 free, 2 loan
Season tickets: 497 (+8)

Pre-season

With one year running on my contract, I asked the board for an extension. They reluctantly agreed to add a year onto it. They also agreed to a nice raise of £150/wk.

With my assistant manager's contract running out, I decided I could do better. So I posted an ad and hired someone else. The rest of my backroom staff still had running contracts and I was quite happy with them, so I made not other changes.

After successfully staying up in League Two, the board decided to significantly hike up the wage budget. After a bit of fiddling, we had a nice transfer budget (for those pesky agent fees) and a sizable chunk of wage budget.

While being happy with most of my team, I was looking for a new striker and a new goalkeeper. After a lot of negotiating, I managed to pry a striker loose for £41k. My first purchase at Altrincham. This was a sizable amount of money for a club as ours, but hopefully, he will give us the deadliness up front we were missing.

Trying to find a new goalkeeper was a more difficult task. The ones that were good didn't want to join us. The ones that did want to join us, weren't good enough. There was one goalkeeper I tried to get, but the club he was playing for asked a far larger transfer sum than I could even pay. In the end we settled for a reasonable goalkeeper, hoping he wouldn't cause as many rebound goals as the one before.

League

The start of the season was the complete opposite of the previous season. Three wins in the first three games and we were even topping the league. Rather than fighting relegation we were in the promotion places for a while.

A slight slump in form saw us slowly drop down the ranks though. First down into the playoff spots. Then out of those. And after a while we even dropped into the bottom half of the league.

Winter trading

We offloaded a backup defender who felt he wanted to play more games than he got to do for us. Managed to receive a £10k transfer fee in the process, which is always a nice bonus.

League (cont'd)

With the pitch already in a terrible condition, one of our games was cancelled. This resulted in an unexpected two week gap in our schedule. This seemed to help us recharge our batteries, as afterwards we started picking up more points than before. While still dropping some points here and there, we slowly clawed our way back into the playoff spots towards spring.

Back into the playoff spots, we kept on playing well. We did spoil a few points here and there, but we were fairly consistent. The teams just outside the playoff spots lost some more points, and we fairly confidently managed to get into the playoffs. Surprisingly, we also ended up really close to the direct promotion spots. While I didn't expect anything from it, we only lost out on goal difference! If only we spilled one game fewer, we would've gone up directly.

Playoffs

In the playoff semi final we were paired with Notts Co. In the first leg we were playing away. We were completely outplayed and lost 3-0. Even a single goal would've been nice. Unfortunately, the biggest chance of the match was wasted. With nothing left to lose, we went into the second leg. We looked a completely different team at home and by halftime we were up 3-0! We tried to push on, but couldn't grab that extra goal to put us ahead. In the 80th minute, they scored their away goal. We had no answer and we lost on aggregate. A very disappointing result after that first half.

Cups

In the League Cup we won a game, lost a game, so were out in the second round. Nothing too dramatic.

In the Football League Trophy we managed to win the first two rounds, sneaking us into the area quarter finals. An away game at a League One side turned out to be a bit too much for us. A nice financial bonus in gate receipts, but slightly disappointed we could've give them more of a fight.

In the FA Cup we got a few draws that weren't too hard. We surprisingly managed to squeeze into the fourth round. There we met West Ham, who were topping the Championship at the time. We gave them a good fight and pulled of a 1-1 draw in the last few minutes of the game. In the replay they professionally set us aside. This cup run was of great financial help. The away game at West Ham netted us a big lump of cash. Some more gate receipts for the other games and the prize money for winning the previous three rounds added a nice bit to the total.

Post-season

We had a mostly excellent season. We overachieved, had some excellent cup runs, and even financially we are in a better position than a year earlier. Despite this, it was devastating that we missed out on direct promotion on goal difference, and lost the playoff semi final on goal difference as well.

All my first team players have at least one more year on their contracts. Maybe with a couple more signings, we can spill fewer points and grab that promotion next season. But I don't think I need to change all that much.

League: 5th
Cups: League Cup second round, Football League Trophy area quarter finals, FA Cup fourth round
Average attendance: 1510 (+189)

[Image: IKLLVOU.png]
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#46
09-08-2015, 03:30 PM
Great season!

The lesson to be learned here is if your team is getting into a bit of a rut, put the tractor out on the pitch overnight and everyone gets a nice 2 week rest...

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
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#47
09-08-2015, 04:01 PM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2015, 04:01 PM by Wolve.)
(09-08-2015, 03:30 PM)f1dave Wrote: Great season!

The lesson to be learned here is if your team is getting into a bit of a rut, put the tractor out on the pitch overnight and everyone gets a nice 2 week rest...

I believe my U18 team is doing that for me. They played 37 games at home, tearing up our field so often, that come January, our pitch was in a horrible state. They played 61 games all season, which was insane anyway. They played 2 games a week most of the year, organising a friendly each week they also had a normal league game. Absolutely bonkers.

Maybe I should hire a proper manager for them.
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#48
10-08-2015, 03:24 AM
You missed out on GD, at least it was a solid difference though, and there was another team between you and the spot as well. Do you think that your league standing was representative of your performances? From the looks of your pythag, seems like you're right about where you should be and it sounds like a promotion push is well on. KUtGW!
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#49
10-08-2015, 10:11 AM
(10-08-2015, 03:24 AM)Scratchmonkey Wrote: You missed out on GD, at least it was a solid difference though, and there was another team between you and the spot as well. Do you think that your league standing was representative of your performances? From the looks of your pythag, seems like you're right about where you should be and it sounds like a promotion push is well on. KUtGW!

I think our league standing was about where we deserved to be. We only had a couple of short stretches where we didn't win much, but otherwise it has been a consistent season.

It's hard to get better players while still in this league. So it will be hard to push up more. But given the quality in the squad, we should be able to make a push for promotion again next year. It'll be important to try and keep the squad together, as some players wish to play at a higher level. Hopefully I can add a couple of first team players. Together with a couple of extra players for rotation, we can hopefully keep up the quality during fixture congestion and/or injury crises.

Next season we will have to at least make the playoffs. But if we get some more consistency in, we should be able to fight for direct promotion. It helps that there are three spots for direct promotion in this league.

I briefly considered taking a shortcut and seeing if I could get a job in League One, but I decided I wanted to see how far I could get these lads. They've done well and deserve my loyalte for a bit longer.
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#50
23-08-2015, 06:34 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 01:23 PM by Wolve. Edit Reason: typos )
Season 10: 2023/24: Altrincham F.C. - Football League Two
[Image: cR4nNf4.png]

Board expectations: Respectable league position
Transfer budget: £230k
Wage budget: £23k/wk
My contract: £800/wk F/T
Players in: 1 for £9k, 6 free, 2 loan, 3 loan extension
Players out: 2 for £13k, 3 loan
Season tickets: 505 (+8)

Pre-season

During the big managerial merry go round, my name was linked to Sheffield United, who had a rather average season in League One. My name was also linked to the vacancy at Gillingham, who had just promoted to League One. Not wanting to upset my board with the club doing to well and enjoying my time here, I decided not to declare my interest in those jobs. They hired other people for the jobs, but it was flattering to be linked to those clubs.

The backroom staff had a bit of an overhaul during the summer. My head of youth development retired and was replaced. One sub-par coach was let go and three new ones came in, as the board allowed more now. Hopefully the quality in coaching will make up for the poor training facilities. I also signed a dedicated U21 manager and a dedicated U18 manager, positions that used to be filled in by my assistant manager. I was also allowed more scouts , so I added a few scouts as well. With our reputation increasing, it's nice to see that our ads are attracting better applicants.

With our right back position still being a bit of a hit and miss, I managed to secure the services of an experienced player right in his prime for only £9k. I also picked up a central midfielder that could also be played in a few other positions for free. He was old and expensive though, so he only got a one-year contract. Nothing personal! I also managed to extend the three loans we had over the last season, which had proven themselves helpful with rotation. A couple of backups were added as well to make sure we had some more cover for injuries.

League

The pre-season friendlies gave us some very encouraging results against stronger opponents. We managed to carry that form into the league, winning our first three games just like last year. We did seem to take our foot off the pedal a bit after that start. But we somehow also didn't lose any games. That resulted in a total of seven wins and five draws after twelve rounds. Despite not losing, we didn't top the league as all those draws did spill a good number of points. In the thirteenth round we finally lost our first league game.

That first loss seemed to wake us up again, as after that we went on a nice little streak of wins in which we managed to crawl into first place in the league. We didn't even lose another game in the first half of the season. Beating both our direct rivals in second and third place during the crazy Christmas fixture congestion was the icing on the cake.

Halfway through the season we were seven points clear of the team in second place and fourteen (!) points clear of the team in third place. It couldn't have gone any better.

Winter trading

The extra players I brought in during pre-season filled out my squad so well that even when I had a few injuries, suspensions and tired players, I could still field a solid and competitive team. This especially helped during the Christmas period and when were still some cup games going on. So I didn't really need to do any wheeling and dealing.

One of my loans didn't quite get enough playing time, so he requested termination of his loan. Given he often didn't even make the bench and he only played in three games so far, I figured he had a point and he was sent back to his own club. I did bring in a promising new midfielder for free for my U21 team. He could hopefully grow into a good first team player, and even start rotating into first team matches earlier than that.

With only half a year left on my contract, the board offered me a new contract. Another £150/wk pay rise bringing me up to £950/wk with a clause of another increase when we achieve promotion was enough encouragement to sign up for another season.

Being reminded of a number of contracts running out, I offered new contracts to most of my first team players and staff that were running out.

With all that sorted, we were ready to get going on the home stretch of the season.

League (cont'd)

After the massive high of trashing our direct competition, we had a bit of a slump. A draw was followed by a loss which was followed by three more draws. Luckily, the team in second place hit a bit of a slump as well. So while we didn't get caught up because of our lead, they fell back into the fight for the direct promotion spots.

After getting our form back and putting in a few wins in, we had a 14 point lead with 14 matches left to play. We had a nice cushion, but we had to make sure not to have a bad stretch again, or we might get caught up after all.

Despite the big lead, we seemed to lose our confidence. Or maybe we weren't concentrating enough. With 9 matches left, we were only 9 points ahead. We did secure our playoff spot around this time. Despite some more horrible results, we upped this by securing promotion! We were all delighted, but of course the only thing on our minds now was winning that title.

A draw against the team in second place didn't allow them to get closer. With two matches left, our lead was down to three points. We managed to finally pick up our game. Winning the last two matches was enough to keep our three point lead. We had struggled our way to the title! Much champagne was had! Champ

Cups

In the League Cup we won a game, lost a game, so were out in the second round. Nothing too dramatic. Exactly the same result as last season.

In the FA Cup we were paired with League One side Mansfield in the first round. By half-time were were down 3-0. We did claw one back in the second half, but that wasn't near enough. Out in the first round. Shame we got such a tough fixture. The game was a lot closer than the scoreline would suggest, but we simply forgot to score enough of our chances.

In the Football League Trophy we sneaked into the area quarter finals again, just like last season. We met with League One side Mansfield. This game was played just three days after they kicked us out of the FA Cup. We looked like an entirely different team and were up by 2-0 at halftime. Conceding an early goal in the second half turned the game into a nail biter. They managed to get lucky at the end and scored the equalizer in the last minute of regular play. This cup doesn't do extra time, so we went straight on to the penalty shootout. A very poor effort by both sides saw five missed penalties in total and they won 3-2 after five penalties each. Given how close the game was and we were up by two goals at one point, it was a rather disappointing end. It wasn't helped by the fact that they kicked us out of a cup twice in one week.

Post-season

This season marked a decade in management. To end such a season with a title was absolutely wonderful! Cake

Because of the draws and results in the cups, financially it has been a rather poor year. We've made quite a big loss. We did spend a bit more than the previous season, which was calculated. But our income plummeted by a third. Hopefully the promotion will bring us more income. But with a number of promotion claused being triggered, we will also be spending more. We'll have to try and keep any additional expenditure at bay though.

I believe my team has enough quality and depth to stay up in League One. But that doesn't mean it's going to be easy, as there are four relegation spots. We should definitely not expect any miracles against stronger opposition. I'm definitely looking forward to the challenge though!

League: winners! Champ
Cups: League Cup second round, Football League Trophy area quarter finals, FA Cup first round
Average attendance: 1789 (+279)

[Image: usVd6k4.png]
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#51
23-08-2015, 08:11 PM
Very well done.

I'm interested to see what the difference in quality will be.

What's the current survival rate for promotees?
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



[Image: Ln8uvbH.png]
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#52
23-08-2015, 08:28 PM
None of the teams that promoted to League One last year have relegated. So that's encouraging!
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#53
24-08-2015, 01:24 AM
Always found 2-to-1 to be a step you can take. It's the next one that can be challenging...

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
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#54
28-08-2015, 06:33 AM
Very well done indeed. You skipped Survival and went right along to Consolidation, Contending, Champions. Fantastic result and I think you'll do fine in League One, there's usually at least one or two teams in financial freefall that will take a couple of those relegation places off the board.
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#55
09-09-2015, 12:19 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2015, 01:28 PM by Wolve. Edit Reason: typos )
Season 11: 2024/25: Altrincham F.C. - Football League One
[Image: cR4nNf4.png]

Board expectations: Respectable league position
Transfer budget: £290k
Wage budget: £33k/wk
My contract: £1.4k/wk F/T
Players in: 1 free, 2 loan
Players out: 3 free, 3 loan
Season tickets: 1087 (+582)

Pre-season

Having achieved the promotion, I pushed the board for a new contract. After some hard negotiations, I managed to squeeze out £1.4k/wk and added another year to the contract.

My chief scout wasn't quite up to par with the team he was managing. I decided not to renew his contract. I got some applications in, but none of them seemed to be quite good enough. So I decided to internally promote one of my regular scouts to chief scout.

In a similar fashion, I also decided not to renew my assistant manager's contract and a replacement was brought in.

A rather capable midfielder, who had been with us on loan for five seasons, finally agreed to make the move permanent. Despite him having been with us for five seasons, he was only 22 years old. He's grown with us through our promotions and still has plenty of growth left. I was very happy to have tied this contract up.

The other loan contracts weren't renewed, but that wasn't a big problem as they barely played any matches in the previous season anyway. I did bring another midfielder in on loan for rotation.

Even though our wage budget was given a significant hike, we aren't spending too much more. Some contracts were bumped up due to promotion clauses, but the extra cost wasn't too bad. Otherwise, I decided against a spending spree, as after the massive lsos in the previous season, we need to be a bit more careful with our expenses.

Cups

In the League Cup we were disposed of by a Championship side in the first round.

In the Football League Trophy we were paired up with fellow League One side Rotherham. A match we could've won, but didn't, saw us exit disappointingly in the first round.

In the FA Cup we managed to get through to the third round. Being paired up with a Premier League team was a nice financial bonus, but we obviously didn't stand a chance and were out.

League

For my regular starting eleven, I only made two changes compared to the previous season. My ageing central midfielder had to settle for the bench most of the time now. A fairly young goalkeeper who had been on the bench successfully challenged for the number one spot after improving a lot over the last season.

Our start in the league was a bit rocky. Initially we were hovering only just above the relegation spots. Suddenly the players seemed to click and we went on to an unbeaten run of eleven league games. This saw us move up and inch towards the playoff spots.

A few more good results and we managed to climb all the way to second place. After such an unexpected run, the other teams finally seemed to catch on. Obviously, we were punching way above our weights, and we slowly dropped down and out of the promotion spots. But still well in the top half, which was quite unexpected in itself.

"Post"-season

Despite being happy with the squad and the results (obviously), financially we were only just breaking even. And that's with the second lowest wage budget of the league. Our attendances were up by quite a bit, which was encouraging, but that was only enough to wipe away the loss we've been making. And those attendances were also one of the lowest of the league.

The recent promotion and the subsequent overachievement in the league seemed to spark the interest of some clubs in my services. When I saw a nice opportunity to step up, I decided to send in an application. The fans were quite upset, but the board didn't take any action. After being offered and attending an interview, the Altrincham board was getting nervous. In a desperate attempt to retain my services, they offered me to renegotiate any terms and agreements with the club. But I felt that wasn't going to change much as we were always going to be a small club at this level. So I declined the invitation. A few days later I was offered the other job, which was simply too good to turn down. So after six years and a month, it was time to leave Altrincham.

While it was sad to leave the club where I had been for so long, I felt I had achieved all I could. At the time of leaving, our average attendances had more than doubled compared to the previous season and my last game at Altrincham had just bumped us back into the playoff spots. Hopefully they are able to keep it going after I leave. Two of my staff decided to depart as well when I left, so at least most of the staff was retained.

Season 11 (cont'd): 2024/25: Huddersfield Town - Football League Championship
[Image: 5bI0bdy.png]

Board expectations: Reach playoffs
Transfer budget: £5m
Wage budget: £300k/wk
My contract: £8k/wk F/T
Players in: 3 free
Players out: 2 free, 3 loan
Season tickets: 10,465

"Pre"-season

Before joining, the board had made a few requests I found reasonable. The previous managed had left for an opportunity to manage a Premier League side, but none of his staff followed him out. The board had requested I keep the staff in place for now. They seemed to have a decent setup, so I found this reasonable. They also requested that I signed younger players for the first team. With a lot of players in the first team in their thirties, this seemed like a good idea anyway. Their final request was that we played attacking football. If that's what they've been doing before I joined, which seemed to work, I didn't see why not.

Two players who were deemed unworthy were let go. One was offloaded for free to another club. The other one was being paid too much and was too old to be of much use anymore. I decided to give him an early retirement. Not sure if he was too happy with that though. This did give us a bit more more wage budget to play with.

With only a few weeks left in this transfer window, I immediately sent my scouts out to find some younger talent. I also requested reports on a number of players I had worked with before to see if they would fit into this squad.

A few interesting players showed up on my radar. Unfortunately, their clubs were asking too much money for them and I didn't want to waste money due to time-pressure. Fortunately, there were a few young foreign lads available on a free transfer. They weren't quite good enough to go straight into my first team, but they should definitely be able to make a push for in over the next couple of years. One of them was swiftly loaned out for a bit to get some match fitness and experience, the others were going to help out with some rotation.

Cups

My first game at the helm at my new club was the FA Cup third round replay. In a rather crazy game we got behind, turned it around and gave away the lead twice before finally pulling away. League One opponents Notts Co were clearly not going to give it away easily, which I suppose is how they managed to pull off the replay in the first place. The final score was 6-3.

In the fourth round we drew Chelsea away. They wasted quite a few of their chances and with a bit of luck we pulled off a 1-1 draw. We seemed to have used up all of our luck in the away fixtures, as we were brushed aside 0-3 in the replay at home. The extra fixture and playing them away gave us a nice bit of extra cash though, which is always welcome.

League

When I joined, the team was in sixth place in the league. The top of the league was very tight, so there was very little margin to the places below the promotion playoff spots. But we were also very close to the teams above and the direct promotion spots. With a target of reaching the playoffs, the pressure was definitely on.

We started off alright. With a bit of luck we managed to stave off losing, but we did draw a bunch of times in a row. Once the dust of the managerial change started to settle we started picking up a few wins. With ten matches left to play this season, we even managed to take over the top spot. There wasn't much between us and the teams chasing us. But we had now built up a nice gap to 7th place, outside of the playoffs. So by now we were fairly confident in at least achieving our target.

After getting to the top, we began to stutter. We only managed six points out of six matches. We deservedly fell back into second place. Despite this, with four games to go, we did manage to secure our playoff spot. The teams below us were in a big brawl, so we did have a good chance of hanging on to second place.

With three matches left, we were up against West Ham in third place. A draw would be good enough to secure promotion. In a rather nervous affair, we managed to beat them 3-1. Promotion had been achieved! With Hull in first place losing their match, we were only two points behind them. In the penultimate match, Hull lost again, while we won. In only two rounds, a five point gap had been turned into a one point lead! In the final match, we were up against a team in 18th place. Meanwhile, Hull were up against West Ham, who were still hanging on to third place. In a match where we had most chances, we only managed to pull off a 1-1 draw. We anxiously looked at the other results and to our great dismay we saw that Hull had won their game. With the title in our grasp, we had given it all away again on the last day. A rather disappointing conclusion of an otherwise fantastic season.

Post-season

After the bitter taste of losing the title settled, the sweet taste of having achieved promotion kicked in. It's been quite the rollercoaster of a season. Changing jobs and then going up has changed the scenery quite a bit. Going from bargain hunting to having a fairly large transfer budget and spending it to add quality requires a bit of a change in mental attitude regarding finances.

The squad will need a bit of rebuilding. There are a lot of players that are already on the decline. And with the step up to the Premier League, some of them won't be able to keep up. Despite having brought us success, a number of players will have to go. We will mainly have to beef up our defence, which appeared to be a weak spot in our team. More so because we will be facing teams that are much stronger as well next season.

I'm looking forward to next season, it'll definitely be an interesting experience!

Meanwhile, Altrincham have unfortunately dropped down to 9th place. While carrying on fine for a while, they had a terrible stretch at the end, causing a bit of a free fall. I also noticed that my successor sold two of the best players. One for a decent sum, but the other for much less than he was worth, which was disappointing.

League: Runner up
Cups: League Cup out before I joined, FA Cup fourth round
Average attendance: 17418

[Image: aH2mPse.png]
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#56
09-09-2015, 01:34 PM
Nice work with both Alty and then Hudds.

Good luck surviving the big league next year.
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#57
09-09-2015, 02:28 PM
Well done. Big challenge next season.
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
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#58
09-09-2015, 02:52 PM
Fantastic season. Well done on earning a relatively big move, shame about bottling the title though.
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



[Image: Ln8uvbH.png]
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#59
09-09-2015, 11:37 PM
Nice season, a jump to Huddersfield sounds like a good one, an ex-big club with a long-ago history that you could potentially bring back to the limelight is one of my favorite Llama scenarios.
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#60
10-09-2015, 12:31 PM
Thanks!

I'm very happy with the move. Obviously moving up is great, but the club itself has a lot more potential. Attendances are good, the youth setup is a step up from what I had, and the facilities are a major step up.

There's a lot of work to be done though. The squad is ageing, so needs some refreshements. I would also like to give the staff a good re-assessment. As the board didn't want me to change anything, I've just worked with the people that were already there. But there may be a few people I'd like to replace. Some of them I might poach from Altrincham, as I already know of their capabilities.

So pre-season will probably take a lot of time. But that's most of the fun!
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