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Thread: [STORY] The World of Football Management - Chapter 1 - Wheeling and Dealing

  1. #51
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    Glad to see Adie Hawes paying for his mistakes

  2. #52
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    100% cudnt last forever..

    Its about bouncing back....

  3. #53
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    Three players all saying they want to move to a bigger club within weeks of each other - CUNTS! Do they all have the same agent? Hmm....

    Yeah wato - Especially with Alfreton. To be honest, the fact we won 2 to begin with was a shock to me
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  4. #54
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    You're doing a good job so far with a rubbish club with a rubbish stadium and a rubbish Nathan Jarman. Hope you can hold onto your players and bounce back with a win in the next game (as long as it isn't against Grimsby )

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    "Has he gone yet?"

    "Yes, Wayne. Shamrock Rovers offered us 75,000 for him and I managed to get a 25% sell-on clause included on the deal too!"

    "Shamrock Rovers? Are you flippin' kidding me? How does that make them a bigger club than us. I reckon we'd do them!"

    "Well, to be fair... They were only beaten by an away goal in the Champions League qualifications against Zurich... But I see where you're coming from."

    "I told you I don't like players like that. I bet it's all about money! Anyway, what about Anton Brown?"

    "I've heard Jim Magilton at Melbourne Victory are interested in him but no offers as of yet!"

    "Very well. The sooner you get rid, the better."

    "Indeed. Good day to you, Wayne."

    The topic of that conversation was Adie Hawes' decision to leave Alfreton for Shamrock Rovers in Ireland. In a way, Wayne was right. If someone wanted to go to a "bigger club", I'd expect them to at least move up a division like Matt Wilson did when he joined Torquay. Oh well, he wasn't my problem anymore!

    But the good news was that I'd managed to bring in two new faces to the club thanks to more scouting by Dave. When Dave was alerted to Adie Hawes leaving us, he moved quickly to persuade Izzy Iriekpen to join us and I was delighted to bring in the ex-West Ham and Swansea defender. He'd lost his way a little since he left Swansea and never established himself at Scunthorpe, Bristol City or Hamilton Academical but I was confident that he'd have plenty to offer us at this level.


    Izzy Iriekpen joins the club to fill the void of Adie Hawes

    In addition to Iriekpen, Dave had also found us a 19 year old right-back called Tony Manning who was a local lad. He looked extremely raw and would require some nurturing but at least it was competition for Josh Law and I'd be able to give him a rest against Lincoln who were our next opponents in the league at Sincil Bank.

    As expected, Josh Law was rested and Tony Manning was thrown straight into the starting eleven to make his debut. Leigh Franks was also recalled to the starting eleven in place of Greg Young whilst Josh Fuller lost his place on the bench which was given to Jake Moult. Jordan Hall, who'd been captain in the opening game of the season was given the armband following Young's demotion to the bench.

    -----------------------------



    Joe Anyon - 1 - Joe Day
    Tony Sinclair - 2 - Tony Manning
    John Nutter - 3 - Aaron Waters
    Josh Gowling (c) - 4 - Leigh Franks
    Adam Watts - 5 - Connor Franklin
    Josh O'Keefe - 6 - Anton Brown
    Peter Bore - 7 - Nathan Jarman
    Francis Laurent - 8 - Corey Barnes
    Nialle Rodney - 9 - Robbie Crawford
    Richard Pacquette - 10 - Drewe Broughton
    Nicky Nicolau - 11 - Jordan Hall (c)
    ----------
    Alan Power - 12 - Greg Young
    Adam Smith - 13 - Dan Lowson
    Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick - 14 - Paul Clayton
    Tom Richardson - 15 - Nicky Deverdics
    Simon Russell - 16 - Jake Moult

    What followed was a dream start for me against David Holdsworth's men. Jordan Hall had already hit the post after just a minute but he got his goal four minutes later after Robbie Crawford had chipped the ball through for him to poke past Joe Anyon. Then Corey Barnes kept up his superb scoring run by having a crack at goal from outside the box on the half hour and making it 2-0. That made it 3 goals in 3 game for the 19 year old!


    Corey Barnes has had a fine start to his career at Alfreton and may be in line for the Player of the Month award

    Coming out for the second half, we found ourselves under pressure by Lincoln as we had our backs up against the wall but Lincoln could only find a breakthrough in the 82nd minute through a Richard Pacquette header. But the lads managed to hold on to the lead for the 3 points which moved us back up to 4th place!

    I still couldn't quite believe the start we were having! If anyone thought the defeat to Luton would signal the start of a poor run, they were proved wrong!

    Statto Watch!
    Av R - Apps - Gls - Assts - MoM
    ------------------------------------------
    Corey Barnes - 8.00 - 3(0) - 3 - 0 - 2
    Robbie Crawford - 7.67 - 3(0) - 1 - 1 - 1
    Jordan Hall - 7.33 - 3(0) - 1 - 1 - 0
    Aaron Waters - 7.33 - 3(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Anton Brown - 7.25 - 4(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Joe Day - 7.25 - 4(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Leigh Franks - 7.25 - 3(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Drewe Broughton - 7.00 - 4(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Nicky Deverdics - 7.00 - 1(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Connor Franklin - 7.00 - 4(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Nathan Jarman - 7.00 - 4(0) - 1 - 0 - 0
    Josh Law - 7.00 - 3(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Jake Moult - 7.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Greg Young - 7.00 - 2(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Clayton - 6.75 - 1(3) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Josh Fuller - 6.00 - 1(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Furlong - 6.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Tony Manning - 6.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jamie Mullan - 6.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    ------------------------------------------
    Adie Hawes - 7.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Last edited by Mark; 12-03-12 at 03:46 PM.
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  6. #56
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    A couple of good signings added to the squad, and getting them bad apples out the door...

    and a win to boot!

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    As it turned out, Corey Barnes did not win the Player of the Month award for August. That accolade went to Nathaniel Jarvis who'd scored twice in three games for Newport where he was on loan from Cardiff. I thought it was a horendous snub by the Football League panel after talking up Barnes in the press over the past few days. Meanwhile, Craig Disley of Grimsby won the Player of the Month award and Barrow's Dave Bayliss won Manager of the Month.


    I was aggrieved to learn that Nathaniel Jarvis had beaten our Corey to the Young Player of the Month award

    There were no further transfer news before our next game which was at home to Bath City. Although Dave did learn that Jody Craddock had been released by Wolves. However, after speaking to him on the telephone, Jody wasn't willing to drop three divisions to join us which fair enough, I suppose. It was always ambitious to try and sign a player that had been playing in the Premiership.

    Today was my third match in my adopted home at The Impact Arena. After getting off to a good start versus Mansfield, I was disappointed to lose against Luton. I just think that your home ground should be your fortress and we need to make it a place that our opponents fear. Hopefully, we can manage that against Adie Britton's boys today.

    "Lads! SHUT UP!" roared Paul Furlong when I had walked into the noisy dressing room before the game.

    "Thank you, Paul. OK then, so the team for today... I'm going to rest a few players again due to the midweek game that we played at Lincoln so don't worry if you're not playing today. Tony... You did well at Lincoln but I'm bringing Josh back in at right-back... Greg, you're back in for Connor. Armband is yours again as well... Nicky, you're in for Corey... Jimmy and Josh, you're both in for Robbie and Jordan... Josh in the middle, Jimmy on the left... That's it! Now, listen! These may be bottom of the league but that shouldn't mean you should underestimate them. Four games into the season means nothing to the league table and they still have players that can hurt us."

    Russ, Paul, Gunther and Steve added their own words to the peptalk before the players headed out onto the pitch. As I walked behind them, I spotted Amy by the tunnel.

    "Hi, Mark! Just wanted to wish you good luck for today. I'll be watching from the box." she said as she flashed a smile and walked away.

    -----------------------------



    Joe Day - 1 - Jason Matthews
    Josh Law - 2 - Matthew Lowe
    Aaron Waters - 3 - Paul Stonehouse (c)
    Greg Young (c) - 4 - Sekani Simpson
    Leigh Franks - 5 - Gethin Jones
    Anton Brown - 6 - Jim Rollo
    Nathan Jarman - 7 - Scott Murray
    Nicky Deverdics - 8 - Andy Gallinagh
    Josh Fuller - 9 - Alex Russell
    Drewe Broughton - 10 - Jamie Cook
    Jamie Mullan - 11 - Marc Canham
    ----------
    Izzy Iriekpen - 12 - Sean Canham
    Dan Lowson - 13 - Robert Murray
    Paul Clayton - 14 - Adam Connolly
    Jake Moult - 15 - Josh Egan
    Gunther Neukirchner - 16 - Joe Burnell

    After the game had finished, I attended a post-match conference which consisted of just two journalists.

    "Mark? What are your thoughts on the game?" asked one of them who was representing the local newspaper, the Alfreton Chad.

    "I'm very disappointed with the outcome of the game, of course. It was a winnable game but I felt that there was a moment in the first half which lead to our downfall."

    "You're referring to the offside decision?"

    "Yes. I think everyone but the linesman could see that Drewe was onside so it was a very disappointing decision for me. Then straight after that, we lost Nathan."

    "What happened there?"

    "He said to Neil, our physio, that he had a problem with his leg after a challenge from one of their players and couldn't carry on so we sent Jake on."


    Drewe Broughton had a goal ruled out for offside

    "How about the goal that you conceded, should your players have done better?"

    "I almost certainly think so, yes. It's a free-kick for Bath City which hits the crossbar. No-one goes to clear the ball when it bounces free and their lad gets to it first to score, so fair play to him but there should have been somebody clearing it."

    "Are you concerned about Drewe Broughton's record as your striker? That's five games now and no goals to show for it."

    "Well, he scored a perfectly legit goal today so I think he's been a little bit unlucky. It's not nice for any striker to go through a barren spell but we are sure he'll come through it soon."

    We'd been defeated by Bath City on our own patch. My words about making The Impact Arena a fortress seemed to have fallen on deaf ears although we were unlucky not to come away with at least a point thanks to the referee's decision to disallow Broughton's goal. Gethin Jones had been the man who scored the only goal of the game which saw us slip to 7th. Nathan Jarman's injury was only a gashed leg but he'd still miss our next two games according to Neil McKay. We clearly missed the influence of those players that had been rested.

    Statto Watch!
    Av R - Apps - Gls - Assts - MoM
    ------------------------------------------
    Corey Barnes - 8.00 - 3(0) - 3 - 0 - 2
    Robbie Crawford - 7.67 - 3(0) - 1 - 1 - 1
    Anton Brown - 7.40 - 5(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Jordan Hall - 7.33 - 3(0) - 1 - 1 - 0
    Aaron Waters - 7.25 - 4(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Leigh Franks - 7.20 - 4(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Joe Day - 7.00 - 5(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Nicky Deverdics - 7.00 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Connor Franklin - 7.00 - 4(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Jake Moult - 7.00 - 0(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Drewe Broughton - 6.80 - 5(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Nathan Jarman - 6.80 - 5(0) - 1 - 0 - 0
    Paul Clayton - 6.75 - 1(3) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Josh Law - 6.50 - 4(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Greg Young - 6.50 - 3(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Josh Fuller - 6.33 - 2(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Furlong - 6.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Tony Manning - 6.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jamie Mullan - 6.00 - 1(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    ------------------------------------------
    Adie Hawes - 7.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
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  8. #58
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    That cheeky Amy is never too far away... shame about the defeat..

  9. #59
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    Quite pleased with the signing of Iriekpen although Manning looks a bit poor. But I was desperate for cover at RB.

    Very disappointing defeat I can see the inconsistency being the theme for this season as I get to grips with my squad and find out who the good/bad players are.
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  10. #60
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    I'm really enjoying the story Mark, your writing style is really engaging, looking forward to the next installment.
    Nice to to see Izzy Iriekpen crop up, always a personal favourite in cm and irl

  11. #61
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    Cheers Wexford, thanks for your comments. Are you new here?
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  12. #62
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    I'm an old new, was on the old boards for a couple of years as Jericho and contributed when i could but was never able to get on as much as i liked - hoping i can be a bit more visible from here on and get more involved. Am putting together a story of my own at the mo but don't want to rush the planning and churn out a flop!

    Enough of my jabbering - hit me with the next installment please!

  13. #63
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    Nice touch mixing up the order, with the reveal of the match in the press conference

  14. #64
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    I was in my office the day before our next game at Newport County when someone rapped on the door of my office.

    *KNOCK, KNOCK*

    "Come in!"

    It was Ross Turner, our 31 year old goalkeeper.

    "Hi Mark... I was wondering if you've got a few minutes to speak to me?"

    "Yeah, course. I was just finishing up anyway. What's up?"

    "Well... It's hard for me to come to you and speak about this but I was wondering if you had any plans at all to play me? I came here to be the number one goalkeeper but I've not even been on the bench so far."

    It was true. Joe Day, the 21 year old from Peterborough had started every game whilst 23 Dan Lowson had been the substitute. I hadn't seen anything to suggest that Ross should be the number one goalkeeper but I was still keen to ensure that he doesn't want to leave given that Joe is only on loan.

    "I understand... I'm sure it must be difficult being a goalkeeper with only one spot in the eleven to fight for. I'm going to be honest Ross and say that I honestly don't know when you'll get your chance. Joe has done very well but remember that he is only on loan until November. Why don't you stick it out until then and see what happens? I'm sure when he leaves, it'll be down to you and Dan to fight for the gloves."

    "Well... Ok then. I'll wait until then. It's just that I'm not getting any younger and I want to be playing football at this time of my career."

    "Exactly and I understand that as well. Give it time and if you're still not happy, come back and see me and we'll see what we can do, OK? I like your attitude, wanting to play. Shows that it's not all about sitting on the sidelines and not earning money - I like that."


    Ross Turner unhappy with lack of games

    With that, Ross left the office. In all honesty, Ross didn't look a brilliant goalkeeper but such was my situation in the transfer market and Joe's impending loan end in 2 months, I didn't want to say that I'd let him go. Not yet, anyway. Besides, anything could happen in the future!

    With that out of the way, I could focus on our next game at Newport. We'd played Bath City on the Saturday and were now playing Newport in a night fixture on the Monday and my biggest worry was the fitness of the players. I'd rested four or five players against Bath which may have costed us points but at least they were 100% for this one. In total, I made 9 changes as Josh Law, Leigh Franks, Aaron Waters, Anton Brown, Nicky Deverdics, Jamie Mullan, Nathan Jarman, Josh Fuller and Drewe Broughton were all replaced by Tony Manning, Izzy Iriekpen, Connor Franklin, Gunther Neukirchner, Corey Barnes, Robbie Crawford, Jake Moult, Jordan Hall and Paul Clayton. Only Joe Day and Greg Young had managed to retain their places although Young passed the armband on to Gunther Neukirchner and Iriekpen makes his debut.

    -----------------------------



    Glyn Thompson - 1 - Joe Day
    David Pipe - 2 - Tony Manning
    Andy Sandell (c) - 3 - Greg Young
    Ismail Yakubu - 4 - Izzy Iriekpen
    Gary Warren - 5 - Connor Franklin
    Lee Minshull - 6 - Gunther Neukirchner (c)
    Darryl Knights - 7 - Jake Moult
    Max Porter - 8 - Corey Barnes
    Ryan Charles - 9 - Robbie Crawford
    Nathaniel Jarvis - 10 - Paul Clayton
    Sam Foley - 11 - Jordan Hall
    ----------
    Jake Harris - 12 - Darran Kempson
    Danny Potter - 13 - Dan Lowson
    Troy Greening - 14 - Paul Furlong
    Romone Rose - 15 - Anton Brown
    Paul Rodgers - 16 - Jamie Mullan

    We got off to a fairly positive start at Newport Stadium the following day as Neukirchner powered a header wide and Corey Barnes nearly made it 4 goals in 4 games in the first 10 minutes of the game. However, it suddenly turned on its head when on the 12th minute, Lee Minshull sent a long range cross into the area where David Pipe from a very tight angle somehow got his shot off and into the net.

    After that, Newport controlled the rest of the first half despite a 2nd Barnes effort testing Glyn Thompson.

    Shortly into the second half, Anton Brown and Jamie Mullan were both sent on for Gunther Neukircher (who gave the band back to Young!) and Jordan Hall in the hope of changing the game. Paul Furlong joined the action in the 78th minute in place of Paul Clayton but the goal never came.

    Then, to make matters worse, Joe Day was sent off for bringing down Jake Harris in the area. With no subsitutions left, I was forced to send big Paul Furlong in between the sticks but he was helpless to save Lee Minshull's spot kick and the Nathaniel Jarvis strike that followed two minutes later. 3-0 was the final score! Maybe Ross Turner would get his chance in the first team squad sooner than he expected as I chose not to appeal against the red card for Day.

    Statto Watch!
    Av R - Apps - Gls - Assts - MoM
    ------------------------------------------
    Corey Barnes - 7.75 - 4(0) - 3 - 0 - 2
    Robbie Crawford - 7.75 - 4(0) - 1 - 1 - 1
    Anton Brown - 7.33 - 5(1) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Aaron Waters - 7.25 - 4(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Leigh Franks - 7.20 - 4(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Nicky Deverdics - 7.00 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jordan Hall - 7.00 - 4(0) - 1 - 1 - 0
    Izzy Iriekpen - 7.00 - 1(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Gunther Neukirchner - 7.00 - 1(0) - 0 - 0 -0
    Drewe Broughton - 6.80 - 5(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Nathan Jarman - 6.80 - 5(0) - 1 - 0 - 0
    Connor Franklin - 6.80 - 5(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Paul Clayton - 6.80 - 2(3) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Joe Day - 6.67 - 6(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Josh Law - 6.50 - 4(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Greg Young - 6.40 - 4(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Josh Fuller - 6.33 - 2(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jake Moult - 6.33 - 1(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Furlong - 6.00 - 0(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jamie Mullan - 6.00 - 1(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Tony Manning - 5.50 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    ------------------------------------------
    Adie Hawes - 7.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
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    Furlong between the sticks

    Chance for Turner to get a game, well an appearance on the bench!

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    "Ok lads... It's been a mixed start to the season but we've got 5 days off between now and our next game against Wrexham at home. I want you all to enjoy a day off tomorrow then come back in for training on Wednesday fresh as a daisy!"

    After playing two games in 3 days and losing both, I felt that the players deserved a rest. I asked Paul and Gunther to organise a team activity for those that fancied a bit of a laugh and a team building exercise. As a result, the whole squad actually signed up for a white water rafting experience!


    The squad enjoyed a white water rafting day out

    As for myself, I decided to take a trip back home to Stoke to see Deb and the family. I'd not seen anybody since they came to my first game of the season against Mansfield. Since Deb had started college and I was in Alfreton working day and night to manage the club, we'd hardly spoken as well. As it turned out, when I returned to Stoke to surprise her, she was at University so I didn't see her at all until the evening. Instead, I spent the day with the parents and my younger brother who was four years old.


    Deb and I watched Hitch, starring the gorgeous Eva Mendes

    When Deb finished at Uni, we went out to the cinema and watched 'Hitch', starring Will Smith and the incredibly fit Eva Mendes. Afterwards, we joined our friends who were on a students' night out in town. Having not seen each other for a while, you'd think that we'd have had plenty to talk about but that wasn't the case. I could tell that something was wrong and when we walked into Gatsby's, a local Indie nightclub, I noticed a couple of my mates seemed to look a bit uncomfortable. I knew then that something was up but it wasn't until later on that I found my best mate Kev arguing with Deb as I came back from the toilets.

    "Oi, oi. What's going on here?!"

    "Ask her" said Kev and he turned to her again "Tell him the truth!" and walked away.

    "What the fuck is going on?!"

    Deb just burst out into tears and walked out of the back exit of the nightclub into the side street. I followed, demanding to know what all that was about.

    "I'm sorry, Mark. I'm such a bitch!"

    "Why?! What's happened?" But I feared the worse.

    "I went out last week with them lot and I ended up kissing Eddie!"

    "Eddie? EDDIE?!"

    "Yes! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to. I was drunk!"

    "You kissed one of my mates?! What the fuck are you playing at, he's a scumbag!"

    It was true, he may be in a group of mates but there's always one that you don't particularly like that much. For me, Eddie was him. He was one of those type of characters that think's he's "all that". I fucking hated him.

    "Right, that's it. I'm going back in there and knocking him out!"

    I turned to go back in and find Eddie but Deb was dragging me back. Besides, the bouncers had seen me and wouldn't let me back in anyway.

    "For fuck's sake. What were you thinking of?! You can fuck off, I never want to see you again."
    I walked off and went round the corner and before I knew it, I was punching the walls of a pub that had already shut, letting all the anger out on it and bloodying my fists. I couldn't believe it, I was shaking like mad and had to get out of here. I ran to the taxi rank and hailed a taxi to take me back to my parent's house. It felt as though my whole world had fallen apart. But just as I was getting into the taxi, I heard a voice shouting my name. It was Kev.

    "Mark, Mark! Wait, I'll come with you...!"

    I didn't really feel like speaking to him as he must have known about them two. I bombarded him with questions in the taxi as we headed back to Madeley. It turns out that a big group of them had a night out and she had first got off with him in front of all of them that night before actually going back to his house. Funny how she had neglected to tell me this! I felt humiliated that she'd taken the piss out of me this way in front of my own so called friends. I started to have a go at Kev for not telling me but he was saying that he'd been telling her to tell me the truth ever since. Seeing us both together in public made him have a go at her back in Gatsby's. In a way, I appreciated that... He had still been a mate.

    I vowed never to speak to either of them again and left Madeley the next day without speaking to anyone about what had happened and returned to Alfreton. As I pulled up outside the Impact Arena, Russ was waiting for me outside reception. I'd texted him an hour ago saying I was driving back.

    "Bad news, Mark. Connor wants out..."

    Connor Franklin, the centre half who'd played 5 of the 6 games so far this season had decided to join Matt Wilson and Adie Hawes in declaring his intention to sign for a "bigger club". It was just what I didn't need right now and as my blood began to boil again, I tried to keep calm and told Russ to tell Connor himself that he was now on the transfer list. If I had spoken to him, I'd need a lot more than plasters on my fists. As I walked to my office, I turned back to Russ:

    "Best you don't tell Wayne either, he'll only blow his top again."

    Indeed, the chairman would not be impressed to learn that Connor's actions were of a 4th player to want away from Alfreton Town and frankly, neither was I.

    I put personal issues to one side, grabbed a glass of Jack Daniels, added ice and sat down on my desk to start thinking about the team. After a decent start to the season, we had started to lose a bit of form. Some players were just not getting into gear and I hadn't been impressed by what I'd seen so far of Tony Manning, Josh Fuler and Jamie Mullan. The trio in particular needed to get their act together. I also realised that due to the regularity of playing two games in one week, we were going to have to strengthen the squad a bit more. 32 players in a squad is OK, but we needed more cover at both full-back positions, defensive midfield and a couple of players who could play behind the lone striker. I called Dave and relayed all this to him, asking him to find me some gems as soon as possible.

    The following day, it was matchday and I wasn't looking forwards to this. Wrexham had a very good squad for this level although they were 1 point and 1 place behind us in 12th.

    As expected, I made mass changes to the team once again starting with Dan Lowson in between the sticks and Ross Turner finally being named on the bench. Connor Franklin kept his place in the side but Leigh Franks was back in for Izzy Iriekpen whilst Aaron Waters and Josh Law returned in place of Greg Young and Tony Manning. Anton Brown was back in for Gunther Neukirchner and Josh Fuller replaced Jake Moult on the right wing. Jordan Hall (captain again), Corey Barnes and Robbie Crawford all stayed in the side. The final change was Drewe Broughton leading the line again for Paul Clayton.

    I wasn't particularly happy about playing Anton and Connor but you have to pick the best team available to you when you can. In fact, right before I'd announced the teamsheet to the players, I had a phone call from Neil Aspin who was the manager at Halifax. They were offering 100k each for Brown and Franklin so this may well be their last game before they move on to 'bigger things'.

    -----------------------------



    Dan Lowson - 1 - Joslain Mayebi (c)
    Josh Law - 2 - Declan Walker
    Aaron Waters - 3 - Stephen Wright
    Leigh Franks - 4 - Mark Creighton
    Connor Franklin - 5 - Nathaniel Knight-Percival
    Anton Brown - 6 - Dean Keates
    Josh Fuller - 7 - Glen Little
    Corey Barnes - 8 - Jay Harris
    Robbie Crawford - 9 - Rob Ogleby
    Drewe Broughton - 10 - Jake Speight
    Jordan Hall (c) - 11 - Jamie Tolley
    ----------
    Izzy Iriekpen - 12 - Mathias Pogba
    Ross Turner - 13 - Chris Maxwell
    Paul Clayton - 14 - Steve Thomassen
    Nicky Deverdics - 15 - Chris Westwood
    Jamie Mullan - 16 - Danny Alfei

    I was feeling more nervous about this game that I was about any of the six that we'd already played. Maybe it was because my personal life was in turmoil but I was desperate for 3 points to make my life a bit easier. As we kicked off, I was willing the players to put on a show today.

    But as expected, Wrexham's qualityand experience showed in the 1st half of which they dominated but did not score. Jay Harris did have a goal ruled out for offside but we went into the break with the score 0-0.

    Jordan Hall reported a problem with his groin at half-time and as a precaution, we made the change replacing him with Jamie Mullan. Drewe Broughton became the fourth player of the season to be our captain.

    That change seemed to ignite something in our side. We came out playing a hell of a lot better and took the lead in the 67th minute through a Josh Fuller strike, his first ever goal for us. But only 5 minutes later, Matthias Pogba (whod come on in the 50th minute) equalised with a superb curler.

    With only four minutes on the clock, a goal was scored which we thought had wrapped up the game. Scored by Robbie Crawford, he'd picked up a ball from substitute Paul Clayton and blasted it into the top corner but Wrexham again equalised to break our hearts as Glen Little sent in a teasing cross which Jamie Tolley managed to drive through a crowd of players and past Dan Lowson. Final score - 2-2!

    We'd thrown away the lead twice but I was very proud of the players. Performances like this showed just why we "should" be able to play in the Conference for another year although the season was only 7 games old.


    Jamie Tolley popped up with an 89th minute equaliser for Wrexham

    Statto Watch!
    Av R - Apps - Gls - Assts - MoM
    ------------------------------------------
    Robbie Crawford - 7.80 - 5(0) - 2 - 1 - 1
    Corey Barnes - 7.60 - 5(0) - 3 - 0 - 2
    Anton Brown - 7.43 - 6(1) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Aaron Waters - 7.20 - 5(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Leigh Franks - 7.17 - 5(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Drewe Broughton - 7.00 - 6(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Nicky Deverdics - 7.00 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Connor Franklin - 7.00 - 6(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Jordan Hall - 7.00 - 5(0) - 1 - 1 - 0
    Izzy Iriekpen - 7.00 - 1(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Dan Lowson - 7.00 - 1(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Gunther Neukirchner - 7.00 - 1(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Clayton - 6.83 - 2(4) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Nathan Jarman - 6.80 - 5(0) - 1 - 0 - 0
    Joe Day - 6.67 - 6(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Josh Law - 6.67 - 5(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Josh Fuller - 6.50 - 3(1) - 1 - 0 - 0
    Greg Young - 6.40 - 4(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jake Moult - 6.33 - 1(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jamie Mullan - 6.25 - 1(3) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Furlong - 6.00 - 0(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Tony Manning - 5.50 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    ------------------------------------------
    Adie Hawes - 7.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Last edited by Mark; 22-06-12 at 09:14 AM.
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  17. #67
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    Bad Times personally but not too bad professionally. Decent result that.
    Need to find replacements for those two double quick though.


  18. #68
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    We're well stocked on centre-backs (Franks, Kempson, Milton, Streete, Quinn, Kudiersky, Iriekpen are DC's whilst Neukirchner and Young can also play in the middle) but a DMC is definitely top priority as 39 year old Gunther Neukirchner is our only player who can play there
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  19. #69
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    I'd bomb that deb off as soon as..

    Delete her Number out of your phone..

    best thing.

    Get out with the lads to a strip bar....

    Spoiler!
    Last edited by Mark; 22-06-12 at 09:12 AM.

  20. #70
    316'sRegen Unattached
    Glen Little was an absolute legend for Glentoran.

    Don't listen to wato, he was talking up that amy from the start and she's trouble

  21. #71
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    She's nice though, that Amy...
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  22. #72
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    I had a phone call from Wayne on the day of the game, congratulating me on the sale of Connor Franklin to Halifax.

    "I knew you'd come good in the transfer market, Mark. A hundred grand for that greedy cunt, fantastic!"

    "Yep and another hundred for Anton Brown as well..."

    "Err, yeah. About that - Their manager gave me a call when they signed Franklin. Seems that they've used up their budget on him so they can't afford to buy Brown as well."

    "Well... That's actually good news for me because he has been a good player, has Anton."

    "I've told them that they've got two weeks to come up with the funds or we'll pull the plug."

    "... Right, OK. That's fair enough."

    "Great. Good luck today, Mark."

    "Thanks, we'll need it!"


    Connor Franklin cut an unhappy figure in the previous match against Wrexham but he has got his own way and leaves for Halifax

    Franklin's departure pushed the income from player sales to 275k this season so it was no wonder that the chairman was in such a good mood and was in a position to allow Halifax time to find the funds for Brown as well. Personally, I was quite happy that they'd come up short. On form, Anton Brown was the third best player in the squad and would be missed as we only had 39 year old Gunther Neukirchner who could play in the defensive midfield position.

    I was also right when I said that we were going to need the rub of the green against Stockport County today. Jim Gannon had returned to them as manager and has enjoyed a good start to the season as they are one of only two teams who are still unbeaten after seven league games and are fourth in the league. Barrow (top of the league) were the other unbeaten side.

    In terms of team news, we had Nathan Jarman back in training after his injury against Bath City. Nathan Arnold was also nearing full training after his broken foot but both would not be in contention for today. Young midfielders Robbie Crawford and Josh Fuller were also to be rested today.

    In total, there were 2 changes to the side with Gunther Neukircher coming in to replace Josh Law at right back whilst Franklin's exit paved the way for Izzy Iriekpen to come in. Jake Moult took Josh Fuller's place on the right wing whilst Drewe Broughton dropped back behind the lone striker to allow Paul Clayton to start up front. Gunther Neukirchner was given the captaincy.

    -----------------------------



    Ian Ormson - 1 - Dan Lowson
    Andy Halls - 2 - Gunther Neukircher (c)
    Euan Holden - 3 - Aaron Waters
    Carl Piergianni - 4 - Leigh Franks
    Daniel O'Donnell (c) - 5 - Izzy Iriekpen
    Danny Holmes - 6 - Anton Brown
    Aaron Cole - 7 - Jake Moult
    Paul Turnbull - 8 - Corey Barnes
    Martin Gritton - 9 - Drewe Broughton
    Danny L Rowe - 10 - Paul Clayton
    Matty Mainwaring - 11 - Jordan Hall
    ----------
    Sam Sheridan - 12 - Darran Kempson
    Dale Smith - 13 - Ross Turner
    Marcus Richardson - 14 - Cameron Lancaster
    Bradley Gray - 15 - Nicky Deverdics
    Tom Elliott - 16 - Jamie Mullan


    Jordan Hall (right) was the star of the show

    "LADS! THAT WAS FUCKING BRILLIANT! YOU DESERVED THAT, WELL DONE! GO GET PISSED TONIGHT!!!!!!"

    I had to shout above the racket that was going on in the away dressing room after the game. We were up against an unbeaten side so knew that we'd be in for a tough game but a five minute spell in the second half on the 38th minute sparked the game alive after a slow opener. Jordan Hall pounced on a loose ball to score the opening goal and then added another five minutes later with an excellently executed free-kick from 20 yards out.

    But two minutes later, we let Stockport back into the game when Danny L Rowe and Martin Gritton combined to play Danny Holmes in to make it 1-2 at the break.

    In the second half, we lost our grip on the game altogether as Danny O'Donnell this time scored a free-kick to level the game.

    But after I had replaced Jordan Hall with Jamie Mullan, Andy Halls was caught pushing Mullan to the ground and was sent off for the professional foul, leaving us against 10 men for the remaining 22 minutes of the game.

    With Cameron Lancaster being thrown on for the final 10 minutes for his debut, we chased the winning goal and on the 86th minute it was Lancaster who was involved, setting up Paul Clayton for a header which Ormson parried away. But Clayton was alert to it and was the first to the ball for his first goal of the season and the winner in an emphatic game!

    No wonder I was delighted and gave the boys permission to have the night off.

    Statto Watch!
    Av R - Apps - Gls - Assts - MoM
    ------------------------------------------
    Cameron Lancaster - 8.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Robbie Crawford - 7.80 - 5(0) - 2 - 1 - 1
    Corey Barnes - 7.50 - 6(0) - 3 - 0 - 2
    Anton Brown - 7.38 - 7(1) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Jordan Hall - 7.17 - 6(0) - 3 - 1 - 0
    Leigh Franks - 7.14 - 6(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Drewe Broughton - 7.00 - 7(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Nicky Deverdics - 7.00 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Darran Kempson - 7.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Gunther Neukirchner - 7.00 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Aaron Waters - 7.00 - 6(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Clayton - 6.86 - 3(4) - 1 - 1 - 0
    Nathan Jarman - 6.80 - 5(0) - 1 - 0 - 0
    Joe Day - 6.67 - 6(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Josh Law - 6.60 - 5(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Josh Fuller - 6.50 - 3(1) - 1 - 0 - 0
    Izzy Iriekpen - 6.50 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Dan Lowson - 6.50 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jake Moult - 6.50 - 2(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Greg Young - 6.40 - 4(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Jamie Mullan - 6.40 - 1(4) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Paul Furlong - 6.00 - 0(2) - 0 - 0 - 0
    Tony Manning - 5.50 - 2(0) - 0 - 0 - 0
    ------------------------------------------
    Connor Franklin - 7.00 - 6(0) - 0 - 1 - 0
    Adie Hawes - 7.00 - 0(1) - 0 - 0 - 0
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  23. #73
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    HENDERSON FAILS IN BID FOR PARTRIDGE

    David Partridge turns down Alfreton

    Fresh from the team's victory at Stockport, Alfreton boss Mark Henderson revealed that he had missed out on the signature of Welsh international David Partridge.

    Partridge, who last played for Wales in a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago five years ago was released by Cambridge United at the end of last season. He had been training with Thurrock when Alfreton's scout Dave Foster alerted Henderson to his availability.

    "It's true that we are well stocked on centre-backs at the moment but we are always looking to add players of quality to the squad and David would have fitted that bill. I felt that he could have built a good partnership with Izzy (Iriekpen) but unfortunately, he has chosen to join Oldham and I understand his reasons and wish him the very best of luck."

    Oldham Athletic are currently two leagues and 37 places above Alfreton so it was an understandable decison for the former West Ham trainee.

    Meanwhile, Henderson has confirmed that Nathan Arnold is on course to return to first team action in three weeks time.

    "Nathan Arnold was injured when I first arrived here and feeling down in the dumps but I told him that he had to work hard on his recovery and fight his way into the first team and he has certainly done that. In terms of games, we are targetting the home game against Barrow for his return if he proves himself to be 100% by that time."

    In addition to Arnold, Nathan Jarman is almost ready to return to first team action but he will not take any part in the home clash against Darlington. But there will be recalls for Josh Fuller and Robbie Crawford whils Darran Kempson will be handed his first start of the season.

    "The boys did smashing against Stockport but there's a few players we'd rested for that game so a couple will return. Robbie and Josh have been good for us this season so Jake Moult and Paul Clayton will drop to the bench to make way for them and Drewe goes back up top. The only other change is Darran coming in for Izzy as I felt Izzy looked a bit jaded in the second half."

    Some will no doubt question the decision to demote Paul Clayton to the bench after his match winning goal at Edgeley Park, particularly in light of Broughton's failure to score in seven games to date this season.
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    Alfreton vs Darlington

    Clark Keltie bags a brace

    Alfreton: Lowson, Neukircher, Waters, Franks, Kempson, Brown, Fuller, Barnes, Crawford, Broughton, Hall. SUBS: Iriekpen, Turner, Clayton, Deverdics, Moult
    Darlington: Pocklington, Arnison, Brown, Lee, Edwards, Taylor, Rundle, Keltie, Harrison, Bowman, Bridge-Wilkinson. SUBS: Fraser, Nixon, Barton, Hopkins, Stott

    After a great win at Stockport County, Alfreton Town pulled in 1,475 spectators that hoped to see the club record back to back wins in the league since the opening two games of the season.

    There was an early let off for Brian Flynn's side as Drewe Broughton smashed a low shot wide of the goal a few minutes after kick-off.

    Referee Moses Beeston then enraged the home faithful with a ridiculously early yellow card for Aaron Waters after he had upended Ryan Bowman. Admittedly, it was a foul but the majority of those watching felt that a talking to would have sufficed. Journeyman Marc Bridge-Wilkinson then sent the resulting free-kick sailing high over the bar.

    Darlington then began to grow into the game and Bridge-Wilkinson again came close with a volley which Lowson superly pushed away for a corner.

    However, the save proved to be fruitless as Paul Arnison's spot kick was met by Scott Harrison who chipped it towards Clark Keltie who reacted quickly to dive low and head it into the net for his first goal of the season.

    With seven minutes left on the clock until the half-time whistle, Alfreton tried to get back into the game and soon found their just reward as centre-backs Leigh Franks and Connor Franklin both exchanged passes before the former launched the ball into the box. Drewe Broughton ran ahead of the ball to outjump the goalkeeper and knock it over Pocklington's outstretched arms.

    It was the first goal that Broughton had scored this season after coming close on so many occasions. He celebrated his goal with the manager on the sidelines as a clear thank you for remaining patience in his search for goals.

    The fans were in full voice after the equaliser but were nearly silenced as Dan Lowson did well to turn another goal bound effort away for a corner, this time from Kris Taylor.

    But with the clock ticking into injury time, Darlington once again scored from the resulting corner as Clark Keltie powered a header at goal. However, Lowson managed to save it but couldn't quite keep hold of it which allowed Danny Edwards to nip in and poke it into the net, leaving Lowson looking despondant as the referee blew for half-time.

    If fans and manager alike were hoping for a positive response in the second half, they were not disappointed as Josh Fuller attempted to take on the opposition only to find his feet taken away by Keltie. Henderson was clearly not happy with the decision not to book Keltie, feeling that he should have been booked if Waters was booked earlier for a similar challenge.

    Jordan Hall stepped up to take the free-kick but drove it into the wall and Darlington took the opportunity to counter-attack through Kris Taylor only for Gunther Neukirchner to get back in time to clear the ball away from Scott Harrison.

    Harrison himself came close to making it three for Darlington moments later after managing to evade Neukirchner this time only to see his shot go wide of the goal.

    But it did become 3-1 to the away side minutes later when Robbie Crawford was found guilty of a wayward pass initially aimed for Anton Brown. But Clark Keltie intercepted it and played the ball on to Taylor who in turned knocked on to Ryan Bowman. Bowman then crossed it back towards Keltie who, with no defenders challenging him, had time to compose himself before driving it across Lowson and into the net.

    Sensing the game was now wrapped up for the visitors, Brian Flynn withdrew Kris Taylor from the action to send on Jamie Barton in his place.

    A minute later, Mark Henderson did likewise to take off Gunther Neukirchner, Josh Fuller and Jordan Hall and sent on Izzy Iriekpen, Paul Clayton and Jake Moult as Alfreton went in search of two goals in the final twenty-odd minutes.

    The roll of the dice almost paid off immediately as Jake Moult did well to dribble the ball past Graeme Lee, Aaron Brown and Danny Edwards before attempting a shot at goal but unfortunately saw it go wide.

    A couple of minutes later, Aaron Brown was found guilty of pushing Moult and again Beeston infuriated the Alfreton boss by failing to dish out a card. The resulting free-kick was taken by Izzy Iriekpen but Scott Pocklington outjumped players around him to grab the ball.

    A third corner of the game left fans fearing a fourth goal after Lowson had again saved a shot from Harrison and pushed it wide. But this time, Drewe Broughton was on hand to head the Barton corner away from danger.

    Sarcastic applause from the fans greeted the sight of a yellow card for Clark Keltie after he had upended Paul Clayton. Anton Brown went for goal this time but the wall deflected the shot back to him and he couldn't do any damage with it.

    With time now running out for the hosts, they had a spell of pressure but Darlington were more than a match as their defence held out until the final whistle.

    Final score: Alfreton 1 - 3 Darlington
    Man of the Match: Clark Keltie
    Attendance: 1,475
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    MORE TRANSFER WOE FOR HENDERSON

    Nathan Jarman is back in action for The Reds

    The Alfreton Town boss has once again been dealt a bad hand as Jamaican goalkeeper Maurice Evans, who had been on trial at The Impact Arena has agreed to join Japanese outfit JEF United.

    "Given that we actually had Maurice over here on trial meant that we knew there were a couple of teams monitoring him which is why we put an offer on the table. Although he's 27, not many people had heard of him and he was at a Jamaican side called Boys' Town last year and was one of their top performers and when Dave called me up and said he could come over for a trial, I thought we had nothing to lose. As it turned out, he impressed us and we had hoped he'd come in and give the three lads we've already got some competition. But unfortunately, it wasn't to be!"

    It is common knowledge that Henderson has to work to a very tight budget, not being allowed to spend a penny as part of a signing on free. We asked whether this was a factor in the recent failures to sign some established footballers.

    "Not at all. It's like the chairman once said to me, if a player isn't willing to sign without a signing on fee, then that tells you a lot about their character. Some players like Evans and Partridge have obviously gone to play at a higher level than us which I think is absolutely fair. But we've still managed to pull in some decent players without a signing on fee so I don't think it's been a problem at all."

    The squad has been increased by the arrival of two new players though, both of whom are teenagers which is now appearing to be a common theme amongst the new signings. Andy Kavanagh is a 19 year old centre-back and Scott McMenemy is a right sided full-back.

    "They are just two local lads who we have signed up on a part-time basis. They are young, they are hungry but they are also incredibly raw and need to work on a lot of skill sets. But we are always happy to have local boys here and they will learn from the experience. Whether they get a chance in the first team remains to be seen."

    As it happens, Andy Kavanagh has been thrown straight into the deep end to partner Leigh Franks in central defence, Darran Kempson dropping to the bench in the process whilst Josh Law also returns in place of Gunther Neukirchner. Consistency has been a problem for Henderson in defence this season as he continues to find a winning combination all across the back four.

    In midfield, Nathan Jarman's return to full fitness has seen him return to the starting line-up at the expense of Josh Fuller who has been left out of the squad competely for the trip to Forest Green. Neukirchner's armband has been passed back once again to Jordan Hall.
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