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Thread: The County Championship

  1. #26
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    Should be safe this year but Deffo need a win or 2 to make sure

    The good 'old 4132

  2. #27
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    Tough start ebby! At least there seems to be a healthy gap between yourselves and relegation so you 'should' be safe if you can dig out the odd win. Focus definitely needs to be on building a team for next season and maybe the financial side of it although it's a huge debt to clear without much quality in your squad.
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  3. #28
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    January 2015

    Two games the previous month but January would bring me 5 league games. Just one of those would be at home though.
    Coupled with trying to improve the squad with the transfer window open, it would be a busy one.

    Transfers

    Miles John - free transfer



    At 19, he is young and has time on his side. I'm hoping he improves on the standard he is now with game time.

    Matches and Roundup

    JJ Melligan, Alex Price and Tom Kemp signed new contracts at the start of the month but a number of other players had contracts expiring at the end of the season. Their futures were still up in the air.

    Luke Webb came in for Melligan in the only change as we visited North Ferriby in the first game of the new year. James McPike opened the scoring and David Moyo quickly added a second. McPike then grabbed his second of the game to make it seemingly safe. The home side pulled on back in the second half but the game was won.
    North Ferriby 1-3 Solihull

    I decided to name an unchanged lineup after the win and welcomed Bradford Park Avenue to The Autotech. Macauley Shillito opened the scoring after just 5 minutes with his 5th of the season but Bradford PA equalised after ten. The frantic start died down after that.
    That was until we tired second half and Bradford scored twice more in the second half to take the points.
    Solihull 1-3 Bradford Park Avenue

    A trip to Brackley was the next on the agenda. Nick Williams came in to play in the defensive midfield position as Andre Francis was unfit. 20 minutes in the Brackley goalkeeper was sent off for pulling down Moyo and James McPike tucked away the resulting penalty. Luke Webb then added a second five minutes before half time.
    We preserved our lead and McPike grabbed his 10th of the season to seal the win.
    Brackley 0-3 Solihull

    Before the next game, Junior English returned from his loan spell where he had done well. Scoring once in his three games for Southam and averaging 7.3 but as a left winger, he may not have a future with the formation I have chosen to play. Again unchanged after the previous win and we started well against Boston with James McPike opening the scoring. Shillito added a second before Boston pulled one back but once again we held on to grab three precious points on the road. We had beaten the league leaders in their own back yard.
    Boston 1-2 Solihull

    A bid came in from Afan Lido for forward Owen Story. He wasn't getting games so to try and get him off the wage bill I accepted without asking for a percentage this time.
    That was on my mind as I took to the dugout for the final game of the month, away at Oxford City. I thought this one would be a little beyond us as well as Oxford were up in 4th and challenging for promotion.
    The boys surprised me once again though and put up a good fight for the points, ultimately defeated by just one goal. But I was very proud of their display and had a lot of hope going into February.
    Oxford City 1-0 Solihull




    A decent month with three wins from five, including one against the leaders and it was very lucky we got them because if we didn't, we would be in big trouble now.
    We are still far from out of trouble. Just 6 points above the drop zone. Hopefully we can continue grabbing some wins in the coming months.

    The finances are the big problem. In the whole of January, the club made just 2,558! That is a hugely low amount of money. This is partly down to the lack of home games but still.
    On the other hand, expenditure was 106,677.
    Over 100k lost in the space of a month and for the life of me I can't see any way of improving the current club bank balance of -759,926.

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  5. #29
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    Im sure board will invest some of their sponsorship money to cover running costs...

  6. #30
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    Really good month there - crazy that Gainsborough could catch you with games in hand but you are getting enough results to stay up

    New signing looks very average but must take the level into account

    Pre season games away at Man U etc to bulk up bank balance!

    You left in any cups?

  7. #31
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    No cups left. Long gone from all of them.
    Couldn't believe I won three games and didn't go up the league table.

  8. #32
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    Good month but blimey, those finances are tough!

    I'd be tempted to transfer list the entire squad and negotiate for extra money when you get offers in. Always aim for a minimum of 100K per player or something like that. Going be tough but sometimes it can pay off.
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  9. #33
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    February 2015


    Transfers

    IN -

    Micah Ince - free transfer


    Aaron Grogan - free transfer


    Jan Bakke - free transfer


    Happy enough with the three signings. They may not be any better than what we have already but the key thing is each of their wages is about a fifth of the players already at the club so, if I can shift a few of the originals on, that wage bill of about 100,000 a month, will start to be lowered.

    OUT -

    Owen Story to Afan Lido - 22,000


    May have been ok at this level but never quite warmed to him. The cash although not a lot comes in handy.
    Junior English also left for another one month loan, this time to East Preston.

    Matches and Roundup

    The month didn't get underway game wise until the 14th but by that time we had lost top scorer James McPike for two weeks due to a shoulder injury. That was a blow. He was one of the first names on the teamsheet at the moment so I had to have a think about who would replace him.

    I decided to give the spot to Rob Elvins and he did ok. Ok wasn't quite good enough in a tough game against a solid Stockport side. Two goals inside the first half an hour saw them leaving with the points.
    Solihull 0-2 Stockport

    Ashley Buswell was injured in the Stockport defeat and would miss 2 weeks with a gashed leg. This gave Jordi Gough another chance. Sent off on his debut earlier in the season, he needed to perform on his second chance. It was a vital game. Gainsborough were a place below us in the table. Three points would give us a bit of breathing space.
    We played well. They hadn't even had a shot by half time. We were in control and an early Luke Webb goal and a late one from Mitch McPike (possible brother of the injured James) scored late on to secure the win.
    Solihull 2-0 Gainsborough

    Another must win game followed. Guiseley sat on the same points as us going into the game so three points in this one would be very handy. All was going well after a David Moyo opener but Guiseley grabbed themselves an equaliser seven minutes from time. Micah Ince got a 15 minute debut at the end and played well.
    Guiseley 1-1 Solihull

    Final game of the month was another potentially pivotal one. Hednesford were below us in 21st, the last position in the table that would leave a team safe to fight another day. A win for them and they would be back hot on our heels. A win for us would take us just that little bit clearer of the drop zone.
    Rob Elvins dropped to the bench as top scorer James McPike returned fully fit. But it was JJ Melligan who put us in control with a quick fire first half brace and with David Moyo adding a third before half way we were home and dry.
    In the second half, Moyo grabbed a second and Melligan completed his hat trick and the comfort of the score line allowed me to bring on Aaron Grogan for his debut as well.
    Solihull 5-1 Hednesford





    Overall, a decent enough month. Couple of good wins. The lack of clean sheets is a little concerning but I'll take it. Healthy enough gap to the relegation zone now and teams only have one game in hand mostly so should be ok.
    Finance wise, we made 15,570. Not a lot, far from it, but compared to last month, it's a fortune. What was weird is that the Owen Story transfer fee is not included. And is showing listed in the year's accounts so must have gone on to January. Although it wasn't there when I checked last month. Think the club needs a new accountant!
    Outgoings were huge as usual. 131,294 to be exact. The upside of extra home games is a bit more in gate receipts. The downside is more is paid out on ground maintenance.
    The balance at the end of the month is a eye watering -864,276.

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  11. #34
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    Emphatic win against Hednesford!

    Mitch McPike is indeed related to James, he's his younger brother!

    Quality of the youth players isn't great but it just shows what a tough position you are in.

    You're going to end up a million in debt by the end of June
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  12. #35
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    Solli Sollihull Sollihull Solli Sollihull nah nah nah nah nah

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  14. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Emphatic win against Hednesford!

    Mitch McPike is indeed related to James, he's his younger brother!

    Quality of the youth players isn't great but it just shows what a tough position you are in.

    You're going to end up a million in debt by the end of June
    Was an enjoyable win.

    Youths are poor yes. I would employ another scout but that's another expense!
    These are all from the youth search I started the day I took over. Think next month's signing was actually found via the No Club option on Find Player.

    And the debt looks like it'll reach seven figures in the early days of April!!

  15. #37
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    Like the look of Grogan but I'm not convinced by the other two. I know you want to replace the higher-earning players, but how big is your squad now? Could you try to move players out before bringing new ones in, or is your squad too thin to risk it?

    What's your record like overall? Where would Solihull be if you'd been in charge all year?

    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    Youths are poor yes. I would employ another scout but that's another expense!
    These are all from the youth search I started the day I took over. Think next month's signing was actually found via the No Club option on Find Player.
    Have you tried School as well as No Club? (I think it has to be a capital S). I'm finding that the financial situation adds a new layer of interest to this story

  16. #38
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    Tried School and Uni.
    By the time I took over, most had been snapped up by other clubs.
    There was 995 pages on Uni. Couldn't be bothered to scroll through them all!

    Squad is now pretty big. 38 players. But at least 25 of those are on the transfer list and loads out of contract so will slim down come end of season.

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  18. #39
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    I didn't know about Uni - after all these years, this game can still surprise me!

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  20. #40
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    Graham looks pick of bunch - good def atts for the level you are at

    Very good month again - last game was a HUGE 6 pointer - commanding performance from the troops!

  21. #41
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    March 2015


    Another late start to the month due to international games and just two games in the month.
    Hopefully some positives will come from it.

    Transfers

    Eoin Murphy - free transfer



    Simon Bagnall - youth squad promotion


    At the very least, Murphy will be a reserve goalie for when Acton leaves in the summer. But I think this guy might push Matthewson for the No1 shirt. Bagnall I don't think will even be offered a contract.

    Matches and Roundup

    First game of the month was away at Harrogate. Ashley Buswell came back in for Gough at left back in the only change. It was a fair and even game. Decided by just one goal. It went the way of the home team. The greatest drama was when I decided to bring on Rob Elvins as a late sub to rest my tired forwards legs. Three minutes later, he had a rush of blood to the head as he punched his marker in the stomach in full view of the ref. Instant red and knowing the way the Northern Premier takes it's rules from Wales, he could be looking at a lengthy suspension.
    Harrogate 1-0 Solihull

    And so it was to be. Elvins was initially given a one match ban but on reviewing the FA decided to extend it to an EIGHT match suspension. I knew it was coming so it wasn't such a great shock. The shock may be with Elvins as he may have played his last game for the club. Certainly this season he has anyway.
    Once again, Gough came in for Buswell as the left back picked up a knock. I also decided it was a game to have a good look at my new players in a match environment so Grogan started at the back for Kemp and it was a complete new midfield three as Ince, Bakke and John all started. JJ Melligan kept his place but would play out of position in defensive midfield.
    It was a gamble to throw them all in against a side like Worcester City as they sat 8th. We fell behind early but regrouped and played well. The new players all gave a good account of themselves. The three in midfield all scored a 7 on the officially match ratings and Grogan got himself an 8. It could have been a great day for Bakke but as he saw his close range effort nestle in the back of the net, he also saw the assistants flag raised due to an offside.
    Solihull 0-1 Worcester




    Two narrow defeats in the month and now just six points from the drop. No one now has games in hand on us though and just four games remain in the season.
    James McPike, Gary Birch, Steve Jackson, Stuart Pierpoint, Dominic Langdon and assistant manager Roger Ashby all refuse to even entertain the idea of a new contract and they expire in three months time.
    Income at just 5,364 for the month, expenditure at 129,438 takes the total debt now to -988,348. Close to that magic million in the red now.

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  23. #42
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    Two damaging defeats there, trust CM to take it down to the wire

    I think you'll be safe though, you've dug out a few results since taking over and I'm sure you will do now

    Shame about those players refusing contracts, would be great to cash in on them but with only 3 months left, no-one will offer cash
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  24. #43
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    No one is making offers.
    Most are listed at 0 as well.

    The window is about to close so I'll be stuck with them til end of June!

  25. #44
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    I foresee lots of comings and goings over the summer and a revamped squad sitting comfortably in the top half next season but the finances will always be tricky!

  26. #45
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    Re-iterate the guys thoughts above me

    Think you fine enough to be safe and will be an interesting summer ahead!

    Does the Northern Premier really take Welsh rules?!

  27. #46
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    Yeah. Tapani overwrote the Welsh Premier League to add it in.

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  29. #47
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    As we all know those of course are NOT the traditional, correct counties! Good idea though.


    https://badc.nerc.ac.uk/search/midas...nties_map.html

    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    Yep. Northern Premier activated.
    Cornwall may be an issue. Yes. Need to hope a small town gets a promotion at some point.

    And just traditional, current counties as per pic in post 1.

  30. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    And just traditional, current counties as per pic in post 1.
    I've gone with traditional current counties.

    Cumberland, Westmorland and Huntingdonshire have not been classed as counties since 1974.
    Have I missed one?

  31. #49
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    April 2015


    The month will see us complete our season as the final four games are played. Hopefully we will be able to tie up safety sooner rather than later.

    Transfers

    Michael Blackwood completed his move to Brisbane City for a fee of 1,000. I was happy to get even that much for the 35 year old.
    We also received a bid for forward Omar Bogle. I decided against going back and asking for a percentage of the next fee which put off others in the past so he also went to Australia, signing for Sydney Olympic for 35,000. I wish him well but I don't hold out much hope for him.
    Finally in the month, Peter Till, a man as a right winger who would never get a game in my current formation was subject of a bid of 50,000. This time I did decide to negotiate and ask for 25% of any future transfer fee. The club in question accepted it and he will now ply his trade in Ghana after a move to a side called Liberty Professionals.

    Matches and Roundup

    We entertain Hyde in the first game of the month. They sat 6th in the league before kick off so we knew we would be in for a tough ride. All I could do was send out the side with the right attitude.
    Aaron Grogan picked up a twisted knee the day before the game which would see him out for two weeks so Emmet Delfouneso came in to replace him at centre back. Ashley Buswell also returned to take the place of Gough at left back.
    We started with great intentions and got our reward on 19 minutes when David Moyo found the net. We still led at half time but I felt Hyde were coming back into it. They could not break us down though and late in the game, Moyo scored his second and 10th of the season to secure the points.
    Not only did it secure the points in that game but very nearly our status in the division.
    Solihull 2-0 Hyde

    Hednesford in 22nd did not play til the next day, If they lost we would be safe, if they drew or won it would go to the next game as North Ferriby were 8 points behind us.
    I got all the boys together at the ground the next day and found a local radio station online who were covering Hednesford's tie away at AFC Fylde.
    We were cheering as Lee Thorpe scored for Fylde after 4 minutes but the exotically named Andre Carvalho-Landell grabbed a brace to keep our celebrations on hold officially until the next game.
    That game was away at Chorley.
    Our opponents had overtaken Hyde after we beat them and now they sat 6th so it was another one that many did not expect us to win. Miles John had not recovered sufficiently so he was rested with Shillito coming in as the only change.
    It seemed the doubters would this time be proved right as Chorley took an early lead but we equalised through Shillito before again Chorley took the advantage to lead 2-1 at half time. They added a 3rd in the second half but it didn't matter as North Ferriby could only draw at Bradford PA which meant we were safe and would remain in the division next season.
    Chorley 3-1 Solihull

    The relief was evident to all and we could now go into our final two games without having to worry about the threat of relegation. It also allowed me to look ahead somewhat to next season and who might still be at the club. I tried not to focus on that too much and buckled down to Leamington away. Shillito picked up a three week injury on his return so his season was over. Miles John returned. Leamington were 4th but the three promotion places had now been snapped up so there was nothing to play for in the tie bar pride. The players showed they had that in abundance as James McPike bagged an early penalty and Miles John scored his first ever goal to make it 2-0 and seal the win.
    Leamington 0-2 Solihull

    The final game of the season saw us in front of our own fans as we entertained Stalybridge. There was a party atmosphere at the ground as we celebrated our status of staying in the division.
    Once again, injury befell one of my players as David Moyo suffered a damaged Achilles in the previous match. He would be out for two months so would miss most of the off season. I handed his spot to 37 year old Richard Walker so he could say goodbye to the fans before departing the club. No-one really cared about the result but the record books will state that Micah Ince scored his first ever career goal and Walker signed off from us in the best way possible by grabbing a brace in a 3-1 win.
    Solihull 3-1 Stalybridge





    A great final month of the season, Chorley aside.
    The players really stepped up to preserve our status in the division. David Moyo especially with some vital goals. And to get us up to 14th in the division as well. More than happy and gives me hope for next season. That though all depends on who is at the club when next season kicks off.

    The job for the off season will undoubtedly be trimming the wage bill which is costing the club 18,750 a week. That is just WAY too high and very unsustainable.

    Unbelievably for the month, thanks to player sales and prize money, we actually made a profit! Income came in at 151,089 with expenditure at 109,082 giving us a profit of 42,005 and takes the total debt now back down to -964,539.

    Now to the cost cutting!

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  33. #50
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    Great end to the season there, ebz

    Nice bit of money raised too. Let's hope you can get some investment over the Summer!
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