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Thread: The World of Football Management - Chapter 7 - Global Attraction

  1. #801
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    Have to agree that the rise up the leagues has been impressive and the priority, but us fans would love a bit of a cup run and a visit to one of the big clubs for an away day.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  3. #802
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    Indeed - It would certainly make a nice change if we did

  4. #803
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    Global Attraction - Season 10 - October
    Nations = 24
    Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, England, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Luxembourg, Montserrat, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Saint Lucia, Scotland, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Wales, Zimbabwe


    Moving into October, we have six games to play with two taking place in midweek which should see some action for the fringe players to stake a claim in the starting eleven. I think the team is starting to take shape for the season ahead anyway, as evidenced by our home form which I hope we can keep up with three to play in the coming month.

    Championship

    Hoping to extend our unbeaten home start to the season, Sheffield Wednesday come to town and they are the very team who are rumoured to be showing interest in Arthur Theate, who after scoring and setting up one on his first start of the season, has failed to repeat the feat in the next five games. Theate himelf has lost his place in the side as I make four changes as Alex Davey, Luis Sousa Silva and Jay Chapman are replaced by Jonathan Muleba, a fit again Erik Stokke, Tarek Taravel and Warren Smith. After two quiet games, I make it clear to Macauley Bonne that after a couple of quiet games, he needs to get back amongst it shortly after Sheff Wed hit the bar, Bonne does find the net but sees it ruled out! It sets the tempo for the game though as Taravel opens his account for the season but Sheff Wed turn it around with two goals to lead by the 38th minute but for Caolan Lavery to put us back in it before half-time. Aaron Drinan then bags his first of the season which I hope give us the win only for Sheff Wed to euqlise and make it 3:3!

    Leamington 3:3 Sheff Wed
    McCarthy 6, Dijksteel 7, Donacien 6, Muleba 7, Agovic 7, Stokke 9, Lavery 9 (Soisalo 7), Taravel 6, Bonne 7, Drinan 8, Smith 7.
    Goals - Taravel, Lavery, Drinan.
    Assists - Stokke, Drinan, Lavery.
    MotM - Lavery.

    After that chaotic game, we have a chance to rest as the international break kicks in where Inaki Valenzuela Lozano makes a recovery in time from injury to earn a 25th cap in captaining Andorra to a rare 3:1 win over Moldova that actually lifts them to 3rd in their European Qualifying group. Alen Agovic also gets a rare cap, only his 5th, for Luxembourg who are beaten 2:1 by Belarus that leaves them rooted to the bottom of group 7. Speaking of rare caps, Mikael Soisalo gets his 12th cap for Finland a few days later but his first for Leamington. The game is a rarity and a first for Leamington too as two players come face to face with each other as Finland defeated Andorra 2:1, with Valenzuela Lozano again captain. The result leaves Finland 4th and Andorra 5th.

    Championship

    Back to action domestically, we head to Reading with one change to the starting eleven as Janoi Donacien drops out of the squad and is replaced at left-back by Alex Davey. There's also a recall to the bench for Valenzuela Lozano after two decent games for Andorra. We had concerns over the fitness of Davey since he joined us but he played the full game as we took a first half lead through a Drinan solo effort and I felt that we would go on to win the game but for yet another conceded goal to tie the game.

    Reading 1:1 Leamington
    McCarthy 8, Dijksteel 8, Davey 6, Muleba 7, Agovic 6, Stokke 6, Lavery 7, Taravel 6, Bonne 8, Drinan 8 (Soisalo 7), Smith 7.
    Goals - Drinan.

    Championship

    Hosting Luton on Tuesday, three days after facing Reading, Lavery, Drinan and Smith were in need of a rest which saw starts for Jamie Byrne (a first start), Soisalo and Panagiotis Michos. Davey had failed to take his chance at left-back so was replaced by Michael Hughes whilst both Agovic and Taravel had also lost their place to Valenzuela Lozano (Anfernee Dijksteel switching to centre-back) and Jak Marsh (also making a first start of the season). The ball went into the net three times in the opening 14 minutes. The first after just 3 minutes as Michos bagged his first of the season, the second from Byrne which was ruled out for offside and the third from one Bradley Fewster who just loves scoring against us! Bonne won a penalty after being clattered which was converted by Hughes but Luton levelled just before half-time. In fairness, it'd been a tight game but we came away with all three points thanks to Ryan Powell who scored in the 81st minute after coming on for Bonne! The win ends a run of six games without picking up victory, though we'd drawn four of them.

    Leamington 3:2 Luton
    McCarthy 8, Valenzuela Lozano 6, Hughes 6, Muleba 6, Dijksteel 5, Stokke 8 (Sousa Silva 7), Soisalo 8, Marsh 7, Bonne 7 (Powell 8), Michos 8 (Chapman 7), Byrne 7.
    Goals - Michos, Hughes, Powell.
    Assists - Stokke, Bonne, Soisalo.
    MotM - Stokke.

    Championship

    Moving on quickly to Oxford away, Powell's match winning goal has earned him a recall in place of Bonne up front whilst Drinan and Lavery are also recalled after being rested with Byrne and Michos making way. There's also a shuffle in defence as we continue to find the right partnership with Hughes and Valenzuela Lozano dropping out and Agovic (Dijksteel again moving back to right-back) and Tom King coming in with the latter making his first start of the season. We are hit with an injury to Marsh after 39 minutes and with no natural central midfielder on the bench, I opt to bring on Joseph Asante at right-back and ask Dijksteel to move into defensive midfield, pushing Stokke up the pitch. If anything, it should make us more defensively minded but I'm left punching the air with joy as Stokke himself gets the winner in the 77th minute, his first of the season and indeed in two years and it's a result that earns our first away win this season!

    Oxford 0:1 Leamington
    McCarthy 8, Dijksteel 6, King 7, Muleba 7, Agovic 6, Stokke 7, Soisalo 6 (Smith 7), Marsh 7 (Asante 7), Powell 7, Lavery 7, Drinan 7.
    Goals - Stokke.

    Championship

    With Marsh ruled out for three weeks, his spot goes to Taravel as Hull come to our place four days later. Lavery is also rested for this one as Drinan moves to play in the number 10 role and Byrne starts at left-wing. Having gone six unbeaten at home so far, I'm left fearing the worst when Hull lead after 15 minutes then see a goal disallowed. But we are not out of the game by any means having just not taken our chances in the first half. Powell gets us back in it deservedly and it earns us a point to preserve our home record.

    Leamington 1:1 Hull
    McCarthy 7, Dijksteel 8 (Valenzuela Lozano 7), King 7, Muleba 7, Agovic 8, Stokke 7, Soisalo 7 (Michos 7), Taravel 8, Powell 8, Drinan 7 (Smith 6), Byrne 6.
    Goals - Powell.
    Assists - Dijksteel.

    Championship

    For the final game of the month at Derby, there are two changes and both in midfield as Lavery returns along with Michos with Byrne and Soisalo making way. In my eyes, the midfield three of Drinan on the left, Michos on the right and Lavery in the middle is probably our best combination and indeed, Lavery shines in his favoured number 10 role as he sets up two goals. But first, Agovic pounced on a Derby mix-up in defence to open the scoring before Lavery won a penalty which Michos converts. Agovic gets a second goal of the season in powering in a Lavery corner and the game is won, though Derby do get a late goal that's no more than a consolation as they say. The result is even more impressive given that we again lost our centre midfielder to injury and with no natural replacement, had to field Sousa Silva in a more advanced position than he is used to.

    Derby 1:3 Leamington
    McCarthy 8, Dijksteel 6 (Valenzuela Lozano 7), King 7, Muleba 7, Agovic 8, Stokke 7, Michos 7 (Soisalo 7), Taravel 6 (Sousa Silva 7), Powell 6, Lavery 9, Drinan 7.
    Goals - Agovic x2, Michos.
    Assists - Lavery x2.
    MotM - Lavery.

    After finishing September with two defeats, we've gone on to record an undefeated October which has also seen us pick up our first two wins on the road. In addition, I'm delighted to have made it seven games unbeaten at home which makes us one of three teams yet to taste defeat on our own turf along with Q.P.R. and Cardiff. The results have seen a rapid rise from 17th to 5th place as we currently enjoy a three point gap from 11th place. I'm not sure whether a top half finish is a possibility come the end of the season but we'll certainly enjoy the ride as we always do!


    Like a fine wine, Caolan Lavery just gets better with age! Now 34 and no doubt coming towards the end of his career, I simply cannot argue with the fact that he remains a key player some six years after joining us for just £150K from Crewe. Indeed, his average rating this season so far is the highest it has been for four years and his tally of 6 assists is already is second highest in a season since his second year with us. His record stands at 12 which was from his first year and I see no reason why he cannot reach that this season. With 214 league games under his belt, Lavery is truly making a name for himself in our history books.


    Again, we look back at our loanees from two years ago and learn that Thomas Delaney has now retired after being released by Swansea following his loan spell with us. He'd joined Nordsjaelland but packed it in not long afterwards. Instead, we focus on Frankie Musonda who featured just four times for us on loan from Shrewsbury. Not quite a productive spell, he returned to Shrewsbury and has yet to feature for them since. In fact, it's been four years since he played for the team at all though they had been promoted from League One when he'd joined them and are now in the Premier League! Valued at £450,000 and on the transfer list, Musonda is actually still on our shortilst.


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  6. #804
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    What a great set of results to lift you into the playoffs. However it is a tight league, so any run of bad results could send you plummeting
    Not sure that Bonnes did much about your warning. Just 1 assist in 6 games. Maybe he is starting to get found out.
    It would be great if you could get one more season out of Lavery. Even better if it was in the top flight. Is he showing any signs of wanting to become a coach ?
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  8. #805
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    Yep and Bonne's two goals he scored came in one game, his first start of the season! It's sad but I do think we're coming to the end of the road with him but that's football. He's given us a good 7 years though!

    Lavery still has two and a half years left on his contract but just checked and the option to offer a new one involving a coaching role isn't there. I doubt I'd be looking to turn him into a coach though given that retired footballers don't always have great stats for coaching!

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    Hopefully Laverny can keep form for now. Typically if you do get promoted he'll fall off a cliff.

    Watch out for "radio phone ins" that praise you. Happens when you're going to get promoted and then boom - forms gone down the toilet.


    Keeper seems a bit shaky, could the old Bozzie ruling come into play?

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  11. #807
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    We've been promoted twice and he's fallen off no cliffs.

  12. #808
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    He's older now, he isn't going to last 6 months if you make the prem

    But if he gets you there then that proves his worth I guess

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  14. #809
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    Done a bit of bedtime reading to catch up on a few pages - looks like he has

    Utilise scouts as best you can. You'll find guys that perform, are in your price range and may or may not be unhappy

    Looks like a good challenge, need to keep reading this

    Keep it up!

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  17. #811
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    - I say you are struggling to score but defence is solid – first game up…………………3-3

    Great month!

    This league is mad - so tight and everybody capable of beating each other

    Good to see lots chipping with goa;ls and assist etc - not reliant on a couple of people. The squad are pushing hard for each other

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  20. #813
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    It's always mixed with my teams to be fair, never any consistency Probably a sign of the level we're at that we need better players but I know we'll work on that over the next couple of seasons as contracts come to an end.

  21. #814
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    I think you'll always be inconsistant thought as rarely have a settled team (in some parts down to your "form" selection) - so will always make this story interesting

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  23. #815
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    Not sure inconsistent is the right word to describe 4 promotions in 8 years my friend

    It's just a lot tougher at this level given that we still have the bulk of the squad that got us through the divisions.

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    Solid, very solid, and keeping the company of some big names without looking out of place. Where have you improved the most since last season, dya reckon?

    Good to see Lavery getting special coverage, my favourite player for several seasons now

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  26. #817
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    Global Attraction - Season 10 - November
    Nations = 24
    Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, England, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Luxembourg, Montserrat, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Saint Lucia, Scotland, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Wales, Zimbabwe


    After coming through the six games in October unbeaten, how will we cope in November? There will be some who will recall that after going four games unbeaten in November, we then went on that horror run of 13 games without a win last season. I truly hope that won't be the case again as I do believe it was a bit of a one off and that we were simply unlucky in those games. We have five matches this month and all against teams that participated in the Championship last season so it's a chance for us to prove we belong at this level and can consolidate further having got ourselves into the excellent position of 5th place.

    Championship

    We start off against Blackpool at home where we hope to make it eight games unbeaten on our own territory. There's a change in defence as Inaki Valenzuela Lozano replaces Anfernee Dijksteel at right-back after a couple of good performances from the bench recently. Meanwhile, the injury sustained by Tarek Taravel last time out means he's out for a couple of weeks and with Jak Marsh also injured for the same duration, it hands a chance for Arthur Theate to make a name for himself. It's a 7th start for the Belgian who only managed five appearances last season when joining us. He does a simple job throughout the game as Panagiotis Michos (3) gives us a first half lead and Theate then turns provider to tee up Ryan Powell (4) to secure a solid 2:0 win.

    Leamington 2:0 Blackpool
    McCarthy 8, Valenzuela Lozano 7, King 6, Muleba 7, Agovic 8, Stokke 7 (Sousa Silva 6), Michos 8 (Smith 7), Theate 8, Powell 8, Lavery 7, Drinan 7 (Soisalo 7).
    Goals - Michos, Powell.
    Assists - Powell, Theate.

    There's a surprise in store for Ali Suljic who is called up to the Swedish national team despite not playing a single minute for us this season. Now 29 years of age, Suljic has never been capped by his country which makes it even more of a surprise. Also earning a rare call up is Jay Chapman for Canada who has not been recognised by his country since he joined us four years ago from Sporting KC despite already having 24 caps. The usual quartet of Valenzuela Lozano (Andorra), Alen Agovic (Luxembourg), Caolan Lavery (Northern Ireland) and Mikael Soisalo (Finland) have been selected once more which makes it six players called up, news I have always wanted to see to get our Leamington name out there.

    Championship

    Playing at home a few days later, I would ordinarily name an unchanged side but our full-backs, Theate and Lavery are looking tired. Joseph Asante, Alex Davey and Soisalo get drafted in but with Marsh still 10 days from returning and Taravel also injured, Theate stays in the side. It's quite an edgy game for us, one during which we manage just one shot all game which was on target from Soisalo. With that in mind, I'm actually pleased that we hold Bristol Rovers at bay and come out of it with a clean sheet for a second game.

    Leamington 0:0 Bristol Rovers
    McCarthy 8, Asante 6, Davey 6, Muleba 6, Agovic 8, Stokke 6 (Dijksteel 8), Soisalo 6 (Smith 6), Theate 7, Powell 7, Michos 7 (Byrne 7), Drinan 7.

    Championship

    The next match comes eight days later which gives our players, Theate especially, plenty of time to recover from the last two games. Naturally, the full backs of Valenzuela Lozano, Tom King and Lavery all come back in for the trip to Q.P.R., who like us, have yet to taste defeat at home. Our chances of being the first one to inflict that are dampened early on as Aaron Drinan is forced off after just two minutes. Q.P.R. take a lead which lasts for just nine minutes before Agovic (3) heads in Theate's corner. But the scores are level for only two minutes as the hosts get their lead back. On the 57th minute, we're handed a glorious opportunity to take over the game as their goalkeeper is sent off for bringing down Michos in the area. But Theate misses the penalty and we're unable to find the net at all for the remainder of the game.

    Q.P.R. 2:1 Leamington
    McCarthy 7, Valenzuela Lozano 6, King 7, Muleba 6, Agovic 6, Stokke 8, Michos 7 (Smith 7), Theate 8, Powell 5 (Bonne 7), Lavery 7, Drinan 6 (Byrne 6).
    Goals - Agovic.
    Assists - Theate.
    MotM - Stokke.

    It's bad news for Drinan who has strained knee ligaments and will be out for two weeks. Fortunately, there's an international break of friendlies as Agovic is a substitute for his 6th cap but sees Luxembourg lose 3:1 to Malta. Valenzuela Lozano has better luck on his 27th cap for Andorra, captaining them to a 2:1 win over San Marino though his performance was questionable.

    Championship

    Oddly enough, the internationals take place in midweek so our six players, four of whom didn't play at all, have jetted out and back in again within the week. Drinan's injury means a start at left-wing for Jamie Byrne whilst Valenzuela Lozano and Powell have been dropped after recent poor performances, leading to starts for Dijksteel and Macauley Bonne. I see Stoke as a threat to our unbeaten home form but we are clearly the better side in the first half though no goals are scored. Dijksteel gets away with a mistake as Stoke have a goal disallowed and it seems to be the spur that we needed to go on to win the game, Jonathan Muleba bagging his first of the season from Warren Smith's corner with four minutes to go and Lavery then wraps it up in injury time!

    Leamington 2:0 Stoke
    McCarthy 8, Dijksteel 6, King 7, Muleba 7, Agovic 7, Stokke 6 (Valenzuela Lozano 6), Michos 6 (Smith 7), Theate 7 (Marsh 8), Bonne 7, Lavery 8, Byrne 7.
    Goals - Muleba, Lavery.
    Assists - Marsh.
    MotM - Lavery.

    Championship

    After coming through in the end against Stoke, I name an unchanged team to take on Mansfield a week later. This time, it's a boring affair with nothing to speak of but a couple of meaningless attempts in the first half. Changes follow in the second half to try and freshen things up but with Bonne and Byrne having poor games, Mansfield are the ones to take the initiative with a 67th minute winning goal.

    Mansfield 0:1 Leamington
    McCarthy 7, Dijksteel 7, King 6, Muleba 6, Agovic 6, Stokke 7, Michos 6 (Smith 7), Theate 7 (Marsh 7), Bonne 5 (Powell 6), Lavery 7, Byrne 5.

    We end the month with the FA Cup draw where hopefully we can put together a run for the supporters to enjoy. The trouble is, we've been drawn away from home at Arsenal! The North London side have not won the Premier League at all during my time at Leamington but remain a formidable force, finishing 2nd last season and are currently 6th.

    Meanwhile, we have dropped a couple of places this month but I'm still delighted with how our season is panning out. To be 7th is fantastic and to remain unbeaten at home (again, along with Q.P.R. and Cardiff) is also a great achievement to date as I have always wanted to make our home a fortress.


    Alex McCarthy and Arthur Theate (who has now joined Marcelo Djalo and Luis Sousa Silva in feeling homesick) deserve a mention for their efforts this month but the top man remains Caolan Lavery after another fine month. The Northern Irishman now needs another 6 assists to match his previous best though I'm not sure he'll manage another 11 goals to match his best there too.


    We had loaned Ben Garratt from Cambridge United in our promotion winning season in League One. The goalkeeper had started 10 times, conceding 13 goals before returning to Cambridge where he did not play again for the next two years before being released in July at the stat of this season. Now 32, the goalkeeper is still on our radar though I note that Adelaide United are also interested in him at this moment in time so his five month spell as a free agent could soon be over.


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  28. #818
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Dalglish's Smile View Post
    Solid, very solid, and keeping the company of some big names without looking out of place. Where have you improved the most since last season, dya reckon?

    Good to see Lavery getting special coverage, my favourite player for several seasons now
    Surprisingly, I think we've actually tightened up a lot more in comparison to last season. After 20 games last season, we'd conceded 35 and after 20 games this season, we've conceded 22. That's actually joint third in terms of best defence in the league. Our home form has also been a massive boost!

    Love Lavery too! Even if AMC did tell me I ought to be playing him up front when he first signed

  29. #819
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    Good month - all I can say.

    Don't bother with that keeper . not worth your time

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  31. #820
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    • "but our full-backs, Theate and Lavery are looking tired" (they are full backs?!) (in Bristol Rovers summary)
    • Bitch of a draw v Arsenal but good for bank balance
    • Strikers are infuriating – neither can seem to put a run of say 3 games together with decent performances – both seem to have have a proper off day quite a lot
    • I thought that was a great month all in all an am surprised you dropped a couple of places
    • Seems to be a big month in the league where some gaps appearing between places now
    • Surprised nobody picked up Garratt – decent att’s for a GK

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  33. #821
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobclear View Post
    Good month - all I can say.

    Don't bother with that keeper . not worth your time
    Huh? I'm not, it's a feature of the story where I cover an ex-player of ours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    • "but our full-backs, Theate and Lavery are looking tired" (they are full backs?!) (in Bristol Rovers summary)
    • Bitch of a draw v Arsenal but good for bank balance
    • Strikers are infuriating – neither can seem to put a run of say 3 games together with decent performances – both seem to have have a proper off day quite a lot
    • I thought that was a great month all in all an am surprised you dropped a couple of places
    • Seems to be a big month in the league where some gaps appearing between places now
    • Surprised nobody picked up Garratt – decent att’s for a GK
    No - I'm saying that our two full-backs PLUS Theate and Lavery are tired.

    Yeah that's true - Should hopefully get a nice wedge of cash from their gate receipts!

    You're not wrong regarding the strikers. I can see Adam Nelson getting a run out soon if they carry on like this! I think we'll be looking very carefully at the end of the season for a striker who will be able to get us goals at this level once Bonne's contract is up!

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  35. #822
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    Oh.... I thought you said he was still on your radar?

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  37. #823
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    Yeah, he's still on the shortlist until my scouts come across him again where they may advise that he needs to be removed.

  38. #824
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    I didn't know it was automatic - there you go. I learn something again

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  40. #825
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    Well, it's not automatic but the system I have set up is that my shortlist is made up of players rated 5 stars by my scouts, who are sent all over the world every season to find players for us. If they come across the same player later on who is no longer rated five stars, I'll take him off.

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