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

  1. #126

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    Global Attraction - Season 2 - December
    Nations = 3
    England, Pakistan, Wales

    We move into December with four players who'll hopefully be joining us in January. However, we do have concerns over two of them, as they hail from Mexico and Peru. The Mexican is a centre-back and the other three are midfielders so we are still need of additional bodies in defence. I do have my eye on trying to sign a Northern Irish centre-back on loan once the window opens and hopefully my scouts will turn up some more in the coming month.

    In the meantime, in what was becoming a familiar talk, we had a group meeting where the players were asked to give it their all for one more month as we aim to try and move back up to the middle of the table again. It was going to be a tough month ahead though, as we had 8 games on the schedule despite being knocked out of both the FA Cup and FA Trophy already!


    National League

    Richard Laws makes a very timely return from a 3 week injury lay off to return to the anchor role in midfield whilst Otis Khan is moved to the right wing to accommodate the return of Karl Ledsham as Ian Morris loses his spot in the team. Make no mistake, this was a key game for us with Hartlepool being a place below us and on the same amount of points. Khan gets us off to a fine start with a free-kick strike and Laws doubles our lead. Hartlepool pull one back in the 34th minute which makes for a nervy second half where they then equalise. Joe Magunda starts to complain of a shin problem, so Craig Owen is put on a right-back and we hold on to earn a point.

    Hartlepool 2:2 Leamington
    Kiely 6, Magunda 6 (Owens 8), Gudger 6, Francis 7, Randles 6, Laws 5, Khan 8, English 7 (Owen 6), Ogleby 6, Ledsham 7, Byrne 6 (Smith 6).
    Goals - Khan, Laws
    Assists - Ledsham.


    National League

    It's confirmed that Magunda has a bruised shin from the Hartlepool game so he's not risked against Chester at home, with Liam Randles pushed to right-back and Laws asked to drop back into centre-back. That means Craig Owens comes in to play at defensive midfield, a position he filled in whilst Laws was injured last month. A early goal is disallowed for Rob Ogleby as Chester then take a lead. We're not at our best as we lose with both Laws and Owens unsurprisingly having a stinker.

    Leamington 0:1 Chester
    Kiely 7, Randles 6, Gudger 5, Francis 7, Laws 5, Owens 5 (Quigley 6), Khan 7, English 6 (Morris 6), Ogleby 6, Ledsham 5, Byrne 6 (Smith 6).


    National League

    With Magunda failing a late fitness test and declared not ready to return, I'm forced to ask Laws and Owens to again do their best out of position for the trip to Torquay. There is a change though as Ricky Johnson is given the nod to start ahead of Ogleby. Thankfully, Johnson rewards the decision with the opening goal after just 9 minutes but Torquay equalise by the 18th. We lose Junior English to injury in a blow in the second half and Torquay take the lead just five minutes later, meaning we've now failed to win in four games. You know it's not your day when even Khan fails to make an impact.

    Torquay 2:1 Leamington
    Kiely 8, Randles 5, Gudger 6, Francis 7, Laws 5, Owens 6, Khan 5, English 7 (Quigley 7), Johnson 8, Ledsham 6, Byrne 7 (Morris 6).
    Goals - Johnson.

    Magunda may be back for the next one but we only have three defenders after the yellow card that Connor Gudger picked up at Torquay was his 5th of the season, meaning he's suspended for this one. There's also no English after he's been ruled out for 2 weeks with strained ankle ligaments. We're really having a tough time at the moment but credit to the board, they've been willing to help out and have done their best again with another injection, meaning they've now ploughed 1,425,000 in total in six months! It does help our debt somewhat as it now currently stands at 405,128!



    National League

    With Gudger being suspended, Magunda doesn't actually return to right-back but to left-back with Laws again employed at centre-back. Craig Owens is put out of his misery with playing at defensive midfield though with Phil Butcher asked to play there this time whilst Dan Quigley takes over from the injured English. Khan also needs a rest so in comes Craig Owen at right-wing. The defence just can't stop leaking goals at the moment and Barrow take full advantage, going 2:0 up after 30 minutes. They end up beating us 3:0 and to make matters worse, Magunda has to go off injured with a broken toe that puts him out for 3 weeks!

    Barrow 3:0 Leamington
    Kiely 6, Randles 4, Magunda 4 (Hawker 7), Francis 5, Laws 4, Butcher 6, Owen 6, Quigley 6, Johnson 7, Ledsham 6 (Morris 6), Byrne 7 (Smith 6).


    National League

    We're being hit hard now as we go into the Christmas period as we have just two defenders to play Maidstone. Gudger is back but Liam Francis has gotten injured in training meaning there'll be two midfielders playing at centre-half. Richard Laws clearly can't cope in that position so he moves back into defensive midfield and it's Josh Hawker and Phil Butcher who play in defence. Khan isn't quite ready to come back in yet either as he's still tired from carrying the team so far so Ian Morris starts on the right and Owens comes back in for Quigley. There won't be any surprise to learn that there is no clean sheet but thanks to Owens and Ledsham scoring prior to conceding, we win 2:1! The only downside is yet another injury to Laws which is a a sprained ankle, putting him out for 2 weeks.

    Maidstone 1: 2 Leamington
    Kiely 7, Randles 7, Gudger 7, Hawker 6, Butcher 6, Laws 7 (Quigley 6), Morris 7, Owens 7, Johnson 7 (Ogleby 7), Ledsham 8, Byrne 7 (Smith 6).
    Goals - Owens, Ledsham.
    Assists - Randles.
    MotM - Ledsham.


    National League

    It's time to rotate again for a game taking place only three days after winning for the first time in 6 games. Khan and Owen come back in with Morris and Byrne rested. Butcher is given a start in midfield, Quigley playing in his place in defence and Owens is asked to play as a defensive midfielder after the injury to Laws. With a patched together team, Aldershot lead 2:0 before Johnson hits one back. Aldershot added another two to make it 4:1 by half-time. It's an absolute drubbing and signifies why the club need the transfer window to open ASAP!

    Aldershot 4:1 Leamington
    Kiely 4, Randles 5, Gudger 6, Hawker 5, Quigley 4, Owens 6, Owen 6 (Byrne 7), Butcher 6, Johnson 7 (Ogleby 7), Khan 7, Ledsham 6 (Smith 6).
    Goals - Johnson.


    National League

    Boxing Day and there are mass changes to the team. Tony Breeden returns as the number one and thankfully Francis is back to captain in defence where he's partnered by Owens. Butcher is employed as the anchorman and Hawker plays in his natural spot. A final change also sees Jamie Byrne returns on the left wing. It's still not a balanced team with both Magunda and Laws injured but we put in our best performance in a while, taking a 3:0 lead and winning 3:1.

    Leamington 3:1 Fylde
    Breeden 8, Randles 7, Gudger 7 (Quigley 6), Francis 7, Owens 6, Butcher 7, Khan 10, Hawker 7, Johnson 7 (McPike 7), Ledsham 7, Byrne 7 (Morris 6).
    Goals - Khan x2, Hawker.
    MotM - Khan.


    National League

    Finally, we reach the last game of a hectic month and it's another patched up team to face Leyton Orient as we play only 3 days after the Boxing Day victory. Breeden concedes after only 5 minutes and I can only watch on helpless as Francis is sent off after 54 minutes for taking away the legs of Lawson. Credit to those stlil on the pitch, they didn't concede again!

    Leyton Orient 1:0 Leamington
    Breeden 8, Randles 6, Gudger 7, Francis 6, Owens 6, Butcher 8, Morris 6 (Smith 6), Quigley 7, Johnson 6 (Hawker 6), Khan 6 (Owen 6), Byrne 7.


    After winning just twice in December, losing the other six games, we've dropped to 19th. But the irony is, where we were only 4 points from the bottom three, we've now increased the gap to 7 points despite being rather close to the danger spots. However, with new signings due to come in, I've every confidence that we will now be able to climb back up the table once again!


    After a difficult month where all but Neil Collett got game time, it was difficult for the players to maintain some kind of consistency. One player who did manage to do so was Jamie Byrne, who came through the academy last year to give me my first option as a left winger. His overall contribution in terms of goals and assists is very poor but for a 17 year old, he has been very consistent in his performances on that wing!

  2. #127

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    2 goal slip v Poolies
    Ogleby victimised by officials for the offside goal! Home loss
    ANOTHER loss and ANOTHER injury
    Fair play to the board! Bankrolling you
    Now Magunda injured noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    Now LAWS out over Xmas - - at least a VERY important win!
    Knackered v Aldershot!
    Xmas cheer in Boxing day and maybe No.1 keeper in gave a boost!
    Byrne may be doing ok putting a shift in but surely more needed than that from a winger?!


    Pretty awful month but even further from relegation which is a nice bonus

  3. #128

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    Yep, possibly one of our worst months at Leamington

    But bonuses is that other results seems to have gone our way and THAT injection cuts the debt down a bit more!

    Agree, no doubt that the numbers from Byrne is awful but just shows how bad our form is that he's the best of a bad bunch this month.

  4. #129

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    Global Attraction - Season 2 - January
    Nations = 3
    England, Pakistan, Wales

    Finally, the January window has arrived! With it, good and bad news.

    Let's get the bad news out of the way first. As expected, we failed to secure work permits for 21 year old Mexican centre-back Carlos Castro and 22 year old Peruvian defensive midfielder Leonel Valencia. Upon learning of such news, I threw their dossiers that had been compiled by the scouts into the bin. No point following up such interest in them when they've never even been capped or selected at a youth level!

    The good news was that we now had three new players to partake in our global project! This was the stage last season where new faces boosted the squad and we went on to get promoted. Being so low down in the table this time around though, I'm not too sure if we'll be able to repeat that feat but my target for this season was to consolidate our position in the National League and that remains the objective!

    The first is the Swedish midfielder that we have mentioned before. A 17 year old, Kevin Sundstrom will hopefully go on to play his part in our story and will add competition to the middle and right attacking midfield spots.


    Next up is a chap who will give some much needed competition and relief to 16 year old Richard Laws. Joan Guerrero will become our first Spanish player and the arrival of the 18 year old also means that I actually have two natural defensive midfielders on the books for the first time since arriving at Leamington. What a novelty!


    Last but definitely not least is a 22 year old German (but also Cameroonian) who only put pen to paper a week or so ago. He provides much needed versatility across not only in defence but as an option in defensive midfield too! But given that we have two defensive midfielders, Chato will most definitely be lining up in a defence that has been in need of bolstering since the Summer. It's especially exciting to my own permanent signing as a left-back, having had only Connor Gudger since joining the club though I did loan in Marc Lancaster as our Englishman last year. Paterson Chato also arrives with a pedigree of playing for Dortmund having also started his career with Leverkusen, Cottbus and Wiedenbruck!


    Now that the window has opened, we've also now starting looking into loan deals for a number of players to hopefully increase options in midfield and especially defence. Here's hoping that we get some joy there as well as getting positive reports from our scouts who continue to scour the globe.


    National League

    Having been sent off last time out, our appeal against Liam Francis is upheld which means he misses out for our New Year visit of Maidenhead. With Joe Magunda also still injured with a broken toe, we only have three defenders with Chato handed his debut at right-back and Junior English asked to drop back as a centre-back. I hoped this would be the last time this season where I would be forced to play players out of position! Our two other recruits are also handed their debuts right away! Chato gets the number 2 shirt, Guerrero is 17 and Sundstrom wears 29. Maidenhead being 5th, this was always going to be a tough one and we fall behind after 10 minutes. But a nightmare scenario takes place just before half-time when after we won a penalty, Chato shoves Hyde and is shown the red card on his debut! It leads to Khan being sacrificed so Hawker drops back as an emergency centre-half. Johnson keeps his cool to score from the spot and he then hands us a surprise leads after the break hich lasts just four minutes. Maidenhead then lead 3:2, only for Sundstrom to fool the 'keeper with a cross-shot that saves us a point!

    Leamington 3:3 Maidenhead
    Breeden 7, Chato 6, Gudger 8, English 5, Randles 5, Guerrero 7, Sundstrom 7, Butcher 7, Johnson 8 (McPike 7), Khan 7 (Hawker 6), Ledsham 7 (Smith 7).
    Goals - Johnson x2, Sundstrom.
    Assists - Guerrero.


    National League

    Though Chato serves a one match ban, I'm delighted to have Francis and Magunda back from their ban and injury respectively. It means I'm able to field a balanced side for the first time in a while with Luke Wells also back from his 3 month injury layoff too. FC United take the lead against us but Guerrero follows up his debut assist with a first goal to equalise! Wells then marks his comeback with a 50th minute winner!

    FC United 1:2 Leamington
    Breeden 8, Magunda 6, Gudger 6, Francis 7, Randles 7, Guerrero 8, Khan 7 (Morris 7), Wells 7, Johnson 7 (McPike 6), Ledsham 8, Byrne 6 (Sundstrom 7).


    National League

    The visit of Forest Green Rovers results in a first for us this season, as the return of Chato to the squad means I finally have cover for defence on the bench! Chato returns to right-back and Magunda is named on the bench in the only change. The players appear to grow in confidence as the game goes on and they storm into a 3:0 lead by the 75th minute. Perhaps they were guilty of taking their foot off the gas as Forest Green did pull two back which made the scoreline far closer than it should have been.

    Leamington 3:2 Forest Green
    Breeden 6, Chato 5, Gudger 6, Francis 6, Randles 7, Guerrero 7, Khan 7, Wells 7 (Butcher 6), Johnson 8 (McPike 6), Ledsham 8, Byrne 7 (Sundstrom 6).
    Goals - Johnson, Randles, Ledsham.
    MotM - Johnson.

    Despite my best efforts, I'm sorry to say that the transfer window closed without any new defenders on the books! We tried our luck with a number of loan bids to add depth to the squad but every single one was rejected. I was especially disappointed not to land Jamie Sendles-White on loan, a centre back with Leyton Orient who would have added a Northern Irish nationality to our ranks. However, there was a new face joining the squad and he would be our Portuguese representative. Luis Sousa Silva joins as a third defensive midfielder on the books now which should ensure we are very well covered in that area in the future!


    After only three games were played this month, we picked up seven points but remain seven points clear of the relegation spots. Interestingly, we're also 7 points from 7th so you do have to wonder what could happen if we could put a good run together now?


    Restored to the starting eleven after that awful 4:1 loss at Aldershot, Tony Breeden has started the next five games to play his part in a revival of form, winning three, drawing one and losing just once. Though those two late goals against Forest Green marked him down, Breeden does appear to have won back the number one place having made 38 starts for us last season.


  5. #130

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    Sorry Marko, been following quietly!

    Interested to see how it gets on. Obviously not easy with financial contraints.

    One of my big hates of cm0102 is the red card for a push, so annoying! Big Chato must learn to curb his enthusiasm.

    Guerrero and Sundstrom look like good signings, they should improve the squad nicely!

  6. #131

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    Interesting debuts there!

  7. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by dweatherston11 View Post
    Sorry Marko, been following quietly!

    Interested to see how it gets on. Obviously not easy with financial contraints.

    One of my big hates of cm0102 is the red card for a push, so annoying! Big Chato must learn to curb his enthusiasm.

    Guerrero and Sundstrom look like good signings, they should improve the squad nicely!
    Yeah, I think I made it tougher by only signing recommended players from my scouts too. I certainly expected more of them by now though!

    A shove or a push should be a red card IRL, but how often are they actually dished out?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrkh View Post
    Interesting debuts there!
    Yep, nice to see Sundstrom and Guerrero making an immediate impact Wish I could say the same of Chato

  8. #133

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    • Swede is versatile
    • Spaniard looks very good
    • Yes – finally a defender in Chat
    • Wahahahaha – red on his debut – KHAN sacrificed seems odd?! Nice for the Swede to score on debut
    • Portuguese fella not floating my boat – let’s hope he has some Brazlian magic in there though!
    • Question – when you are searching/sorting by nationality – how do the dual ones show up?

    A decent month there and building!

    I always think of a “push” as Di Canio on Paul Alcock(?) – the ref he pushed over

  9. #134

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    I always take off the AMC if a defender gets sent off, so he was just unlucky. Someone has to go off

    They show up by their first nationality, then second. So what you see on the screenshots are their first/second nationality. So Khan is from Pakistan and Sousa Silva is Portuguese. It's not a problem for now but I guess if they get capped by their 2nd nation and I already bought a player with that nationality, I'd have to sell them!

    Ah yeah, Alcock. Think he died earlier this year.

  10. #135

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    Global Attraction - Season 2 - February
    Nations = 7
    England, Germany, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Wales

    We kick off February with the news that Craig Owen has gone on the transfer list after indicating last month that he wished to sign a new deal but then refused to accept what we're able to offer him, wanting another 200. Like Josh Hawker and James McPike, he's been placed on the transfer list. We actually get an immediate offer for him but Stranraer pull out when I negotiate for 500,000. We found the same when receiving an offer for Hawker so I hope to get offers for the pair again to try my luck for 250,000 next time. Ocean City do come in for Owen but baulk at that figure as well.


    National League

    There are no changes to the starting eleven as we head to Ebbsfleet for our first game in February. New signing Luis Sousa Silva is named on the bench though and handed the number 28 shirt. We've gone three games unbeaten and I hoped to build on that only to fall behind after just two minutes. We come from behind twice with Ricky Johnson and Luke Wells finding the net to level the game but when Ebbsfleet score a third goal, we're unable to find one more in response.

    Ebbsfleet 3:2 Leamington
    Breeden 5, Chato 5, Gudger 6, Francis 5, Randles 5, Guerrero 6, Khan 8, Wells 7 (Butcher 7), Johnson 8, Ledsham 7, Byrne 6.
    Goals - Johnson, Wells.
    Assists - Khan, Ledsham.


    National League

    Two changes are in order for our next game against Gateshead as Liam Randles and Wells are dropped in favour of Joe Magunda and Phil Butcher. One thing we can't seem to get out of the habit of is conceding first and early and it happened again as Gateshead took the lead and we leave it late to equalise, Otis Khan scoring in the 89th minute, assisted by the debuted Silva Sousa!

    Leamington 1:1 Gateshead
    Breeden 9, Chato 6, Gudger 7, Francis 6 (Randles 7), Magunda 6, Guerrero 6 (Sousa Silva 7), Khan 8, Butcher 5, Johnson 6 (McPike 7), Ledsham 6, Byrne 6.
    Goals - Khan.
    Assists - Sousa Silva.
    MotM - Breeden.

    Bad news followed as the pre-arranged deal of Neil Collett to San Antonio broke down as they cannot have any more foreign players in their squad. I'm personally fuming about it given that we were set to bank 100,000 that could have reduced our debt to 213,400! Darren Powell, their manager, completed three other deals for foreigners on the same day!



    National League

    With a nice 8 day break leading up to this game, I have a full squad of 27 players to choose from! From the team drawing against Gateshead, Randles comes in for Magunda and there are two other changes in the midfield, Wells and Sundstrom coming in for Butcher and Byrne. The attacking trio of Khan, Sundstrom and Ledsham is arguably our best on paper and we witness Khan giving us a lead before Tamworth are reduced to ten men when Alexander McQueen trips Johnson who'd have been one on one with the goalkeeper. Tamworth muster only two shots off target as we dominate the game but fail to add to our tally, but secure three points.

    Tamworth 0:1 Leamington
    Breeden 7, Chato 6, Gudger 6, Francis 6, Randles 6, Guerrero 8 (Sousa Silva 6), Khan 8, Wells 7 (Butcher 7), Johnson 7 (McPike 7), Sundstrom 7, Ledsham 7.
    Goals - Khan.
    Assists - Johnson.
    MotM - Khan.


    National League

    We're in action three days later so that spells a rest for Gudger, Khan and Sundstrom with Magunda, Byrne and Morris coming in. Guiseley's Rowan Liburd gets a 15th goal of the season before we again see a man sent off against us, this time for hacking down Wells in the area. Ironically, it was William Wells who made the challenge and he was sent off. Ricky Johnson misses from the spot but Ledsham gets one to equalise. We step it up after half-time to win the game with Ledsham scoring a 5th of the season and Butcher coming off the bench to make it 3:1. I'm particularly pleased with Ledsham as he hadn't quite made an impact in the first half of the season.

    Leamington 3:1 Guiseley
    Breeden 7, Magunda 7, Chato 7, Francis 7, Randles 7, Guerrero 8 (Sousa Silva 7), Morris 7, Wells 8 (Butcher 8), Johnson 7 (McPike 7), Ledsham 10, Byrne 7.
    Goals - Ledsham x2, Butcher.
    Assists - Wells.
    MotM - Ledsham.


    National League

    Ledsham is rested after his efforts against Guiseley and Khan comes in at left wing with Sundstrom and Gudger also recalled in place of Magunda and Byrne. Eastleigh being four points behind us, this was a game I'd earmarked for victory and it all seemed to start well, Morris scoring but being ruled out for offside. Eastleigh then took the lead themselves and doubled it in the second half. But Morris got his goal afterwards and skipper Francis rose to power home an equaliser with 8 minutes left on the clock!

    Eastleigh 2:2 Leamington
    Breeden 8, Chato 7, Gudger 6 (Magunda 6), Francis 7, Randles 6, Guerrero 7, Morris 8, Wells 6 (Butcher 7), Johnson 6 (McPike 6), Sundstrom 7, Khan 8.
    Goals - Morris, Francis.
    Assists - Chato.
    MotM - Morris.

    Although we have only lost once this month and are currently enjoying a four game unbeaten run, we remain 16th! However, we have built up a 10 point gap to the relegation spots now so perhaps we can start to think about aiming higher for the remainder of the season. Leyton Orient are currently 11th and only four points ahead of us with 12 games to go.


    After a quiet couple of months, Otis Khan is back in top form for Leamington after reaching ten goals for the season! It's an excellent feat for our Pakistani representative of the project having previously only managed 10 goals in his career to date, both across two seasons!


  11. #136

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    What does the top end of the table look like ?

  12. #137

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    We're 15 points behind Macclesfield in 2nd and 23 points behind Chester so absolutely no chance of promotion

  13. #138

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    • How the feck can you play so many games and do the write up every day
    • Are you trying to exchange any interested players when bids come in (for any nationalities you need or just for them to come back with better offer which usually works?)
    • Ocean City?! Where the feck are they from?!
    • Dfeence had a shocker v Ebbs
    • Lovely late goal v Gateshead
    • Nice little run to finish the month
    • That’s safety nearly guaranteed and onwards and upwards!

  14. #139

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    Nah, not going in for player exchanges. Especially as it's a rule to buy players that the scouts find as well.

    I often play quite a bit at a time over lunch hour and write as much as I can, then save drafts of each month as I go along

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    Global Attraction - Season 2 - March
    Nations = 7
    England, Germany, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Wales

    With three months left, I'm delighted to find ourselves in the position being ten points clear of the relegation spots, which gives us a chance to consolidate and strengthen for next season. With 12 games left of the season though, I wasn't getting carried away just yet but I did liken our position to last year where we looked a far better team when finally being able to invest in January.

    On the other hand, Tony Breeden had now joined the group of Neil Collett, Craig Owen, Josh Hawker and James McPike in wanting a new contract, setting demands for a wage that we simply cannot afford. It had led to the pre-arranged transfer of Collett before the move broke down whilst the academy trio of Phil Butcher, Luke Wells and Ian Morris had done likewise when demanding more than we could afford for their first professional contract! All five were now on the transfer list as it'd give me the chance to cash in on them if they weren't willing to agree a new deal. Tulsa Roughnecks did table an offer of 55,000 but pulled out when I asked for more.


    National League

    After being forced to rest players in the last two games, it's a rare chance to field our strongest eleven for the visit of Sutton United. Karl Ledsham returns for Kevin Sundstrom and he contributes with an assist as we stroll to a 3:0 win! Paterson Chato, who'd had a tough start to life at the club after being sent off on his debut, had a game to remember in scoring the opener but then had to go off injured with a twisted knee that is a huge blow for us, given that he'll now be out for 3 weeks!

    Leamington 3:0 Sutton Utd
    Breeden 8, Chato 8 (Magunda 7), Gudger 6, Francis 8, Randles 7, Guerrero 9, Morris 7, Wells 8 (Butcher 7), Johnson 8 (McPike 7), Ledsham 8, Byrne 8.
    Goals - Chato, Johnson, Butcher.
    Assists - Wells, Ledsham, Khan.
    MotM - Guerrero.


    National League

    After Chato's injury, we were back in that horrible situation of having only four defenders to choose from. Joe Magunda replaced him at right-back and I kept my fingers crossed that all four would get through the game at Wrexham unscathed! Luke Wells was the star of the show, scoring twice which means he now has an impressive 6 goals in 13 starts for us, not bad for a 19 year old in his first professional season. It's just a shame that he was one of those youth rebels at the start of the season who refused to sign a new deal and now has a move to Solihull lined up in July.

    Wrexham 0:3 Leamington
    Breeden 8, Magunda 7, Gudger 6, Francis 7, Randles 7, Guerrero 8, Morris 7, Wells 9 (Butcher 8), Johnson 8 (McPike 6), Ledsham 7, Khan 8 (Sundstrom 7).
    Goals - Wells x2, Butcher.
    Assists - Khan, Magunda.
    MotM - Wells.


    National League

    Karl Ledsham is dropped and issued with an official warning after turning up late and unfit to training in the build-up to this game. He doesn't react professionally either, slapping in a transfer request which is flatly denied. Joining him but only rested were Joan Guerrero and Ian Morris which hands starts to Jamie Byrne, Kevin Sundstrom and Luis Sousa Silva, the latter making his first ever start. Otis Khan, who has switched to the right for this one, puts us ahead to keep his superb form going and after coming off the bench for the 11th time this season, James McPike finally scores his first goal for us. The problem is, Macclesfield struck back after each goal to tie the game.

    Leamington 2:2 Macclesfield
    Breeden 8, Magunda 7, Gudger 6, Francis 6, Randles 6, Sousa Silva 7), Khan 8, Wells 7 (Butcher 7), Johnson 7 (McPike 7), Sundstrom 7, Byrne 7 (Smith 7).
    Goals - Khan, McPike.
    Assists - Magunda, Sousa Silva.
    MotM - Khan.


    National League

    There's a ten day break until our next game during which Connor Gudger gives me a headache when getting injured in training. Thankfully, he passes a fitness test on the day to play at Bromley where Guerrero, Morris and Ledsham are restored to the team, the latter being fit enough to be included. Bromley being in the bottom three means this was a game I expected us to win but instead, I was left shell shocked when we fell 3:0 behind. Liam Randles gets one back just before half-time but a fourth goal kills us. The defeats brings a spell of seven games unbeaten to an end.

    Bromley 4:1 Leamington
    Breeden 5, Magunda 6, Gudger 5, Francis 5, Randles 6, Guerrero 5, Morris 6, Wells 6, Johnson 6 (Ogleby 7), Ledsham 7, Khan 7.
    Goals - Randles.
    Assists - Ledsham.


    National League

    After that poor performance, I'm delighted to welcome Chato back from injury and he comes straight in at the expense of Gudger at left-back. Also starting is Phil Butcher for Wells whilst Guerrero is given a rest and Sousa Silva starts. Having failed to score in the last three games, Ricky Johnson puts us ahead before Torquay equalise to tie the game. Johnson also gets injured later on, suffering a groin strain that will put him out for a month!

    Leamington 1:1 Torquay
    Breeden 7, Magunda 7, Chato 6, Francis 7, Randles 8 (Gudger 7), Sousa Silva 7, Morris 6 (Sundstrom 7), Butcher 8, Johnson 8 (Ogleby 7), Ledsham 6, Khan 7.
    Goals - Johnson.
    Assists - Butcher.
    MotM - Butcher.


    National League

    Johnson's injury means that Rob Ogleby starts only for the 12th time this season, with Guerrero and Sundstrom marking two other changes as Sousa Silva and Morris come out of the starting eleven. The defence goes AWOL on the day though as Solihull score three goals without reply!

    Solihull 3:0 Leamington
    Breeden 6, Magunda 6, Chato 5, Francis 4, Randles 4, Guerrero 8, Sundstrom 6, Butcher 7, Ogleby 6, Ledsham 6 (Morris 7), Khan 6.

    A frustrating month after seeing a seven game unbeaten run come to an end and now we've not won in four games, dropping from 11th to 15th which is still a place higher than we found ourselves in last month. There's now six games left of the season which means 18 points left to play for and that means we're not yet safe from the relegation spots, with Bromley being 10 points behind us. At the other end, the best we can muster if we win all six games is a 3rd place finish with Wrexham on 71 points.


    A new name has come through this month, locking down the centre midfield spot for his own at the moment after nudging Luke Wells out of the way. Like Wells, 18 year old Phil Butcher came through the academy over the Summer and has looked good this month, scoring twice and picking up an assist and a MotM award. Unfortunately he is one of those three rebel youth players who wouldn't sign a new deal and looks set to join Lincoln in July as well.


  16. #141

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    • 2 thumping wins
    • Ledsham throwing toys right out of th pram – you don’t need characters like that! Be interesting if you choose to keep him going forward
    • But the month goes from bad to worse. That 4-1 loss (to a RELEGATION threatened team) after a 10 day break particularly concerning
    • The “youth rebels” are they just not interested in signing *what squad status?) or just asking for too much money? If the latter, any leeway if you see a bright future for any of them?
    • Summer transfer planning already seems in motion – be good to finish season off on a high as IMO you ain’t going down!

  17. #142

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    Yeah, I'll review on Ledsham at the end of the season if he hasn't settled down again by then. But as he's my Englishman, it may be a chance to cash in if at all possible to bring in an alternative.

    All the youth that come through are set as hot prospects and offered a deal. If memory serves me right, I could only offer up to 600 or so, but they're asking for at least 900+! So I put them on the list and other teams have now signed them with compensation due at end of the season.

  18. #143

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    Global Attraction - Season 2 - April
    Nations = 7
    England, Germany, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Wales

    Six games left to play and we need eight points to guarantee our status in the National League next season. Admittedly, we've gone through something of a drop in form lately having failed to win in four games. For me, it's no coincidence that such a drop followed Paterson Chato's lengthy injury and Karl Ledsham showing a lack of discipline at training.

    I also took the opportunity to have another chat with Neil Collett, Tony Breeden, Josh Hawker, Craig Owen and James McPike with regards to a new deal. Collett, Owen, Hawker and McPike turned down the offer to stay with us, so they remain on the transfer list but the good news is that Tony Breeden has penned a four year contract which I find a relief given that I do worry that we may struggle to find a goalkeeper at this early stage of our project. Meanwhile, Jacksonville Armada come in with an 18,000 offer for Collett to which I ask for 100,000, hoping to receive the same figure we should have earned when his move to San Antonio broke down but they pull out.


    National League

    After making 39 starts this season, captain Liam Francis is demoted to the bench as I opt to give Connor Gudger a run out at centre half. Breeden himself is named as captain to face Cheltenham where Kevin Sundstrom scores the opener and then sets up Rob Ogleby to double our lead. The visiters pull one back but we keep the pressure on and score another two through Otis Khan and Sundstrom's second of the day!

    Leamington 4:1 Cheltenham
    Breeden 7, Magunda 7, Chato 6, Gudger 6, Randles 8, Guerrero 7 (Sousa Silva 7), Sundstrom 10, Butcher 7, Ogleby 9, Ledsham 8, Khan 9.
    Goals - Sundstrom x2, Ogleby, Khan.
    Assists - Guerrero, Sundstrom, Ledsham, Ogleby.
    MotM - Sundstrom.


    National League

    A gashed leg suffered in training by Joe Magunda means Francis is back in the team at Dag & Red with Liam Randles moving to right-back. We play well enough, hitting the bar through Ogleby but Dag & Red look set to win with an 81st minute goal when Byrne comes on and gets us a last minute equaliser! What a time to score your first goal of the season in what was his 33rd appearance of the season!

    Dag & Red 1:1 Leamington
    Breeden 7, Randles 6, Chato 6, Gudger 6, Francis 5, Guerrero 7, Sundstrom 7 (Byrne 7), Butcher 6, Ogleby 7, Ledsham 6, Khan 7.
    Goals - Byrne.


    National League

    Playing on a Monday night after a Saturday game, changes are in order with the back four and Sundstrom the only players to remain in the side as even Collett comes in for Breeden in the sticks. Despite the changes, I'm pleasantly surprised to see us take an early 2:0 and 3:1 lead before going on to win 4:2 but losing Gudger to injury that left us deploying poor young Richard Laws as a centre-back again.

    Leamington 4:2 Maidstone
    Collett 7, Randles 7, Chato 6, Gudger 7, Francis 6, Sousa Silva 6 (Laws 6), Morris 7 (Owen 7), Wells 8), McPike 8 (Ogleby 6), Sundstrom 8, Byrne 7.
    Goals - Morris, McPike x2, Randles.
    Assists - Wells, Sundstrom x2.
    MotM - McPike.


    National League

    With Gudger ruled out for a week, I'd hoped Magunda would return from injury for our next game but was left disappointed when he had yet to make a full return to training, which meant asking Phil Butcher to drop back into centre-back against Hartlepool. With that in mind, perhaps it's no surprise that Hartlepool took a lead twice in the first half but Ogleby hit back both times himself. Luke Wells then gets us a 90th minute goal but we fail to hang on for just another minute as Hartlepool equalise right at the death!

    Leamington 3:3 Hartlepool
    Collett 7, Randles 7, Chato 7, Butcher 6, Francis 6, Guerrero 8 (Sousa Silva 7), Khan 7 (Morris 6), Wells 8, Ogleby 10, Byrne 7 (Ledsham 7).
    Goals - Ogleby x2, Wells.
    Assists - Sundstrom, Chato, Ogleby.
    MotM - Ogleby.


    National League

    The penultimate game of the season is also our last away game of the season with us now having reached our objective of earning 8 points to stay up. McPike and Joan Guerrero are injured in training but the trio of Gudger, Magunda and Ricky Johnson make a timely return to restore balance to the team. Chester, top of the league and already promoted, lose a man to a 16th minute red card after shoving Sundstrom but we're unable to break down their stubborn defence, conceding against play in the 65th minute! Thankfully, Ogleby pops up right at the death to earn us a point.

    Chester 1:1 Leamington
    Collett 7, Randles 6 (Francis 5), Gudger 6, Chato 5, Magunda 6, Sousa Silva 6, Khan 7, Wells 6 (Butcher 7), Ogleby 6, Sundstrom 7, Byrne 7 (Ledsham 6).
    Goals - Ogleby.

    After going four games without a win last month, we've now completely reversed our form to make it an unbeaten five games throughout April! It's left us 16 points clear of the bottom three as we sit pretty in 12th with just one game left to play. It means we could finish anywhere between 10th and 16th as the season comes to an end.


    I'm absolutely delighted to see Kevin Sundstrom be the star this month, scoring twice and setting up four goals, his first assists of the season. Our 17 year old Swedish midfielder has looked the part this month and long may it continue, especially as he was also named Young Player of the Month!


  19. #144

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    • Good news GK signed
    • Good month to pretty much end things – you are value for money that is for sure
    • That goals against column not ideal but we know the reasons why – not as bad as Colchester though
    • I was gonna say the “Swede” had a great month
    • Do you get prize money at this level – if so – every position counts!

  20. #145

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    Yeah considering our defence was pretty solid last year, it's a shame that it's gone right out the window this season but indeed, we know why!

    Something to aim to improve on next season though

    I'm not sure we will get prize money, got a feeling we won't but hopefully I can shift those transfer listed players on now and get out of debt.

  21. #146

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    Global Attraction - Season 2 - May
    Nations = 7
    England, Germany, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Wales

    One last game to play and it determines whether we'll finish our debut season in the National League between 10th or 16th place. Personally, I wasn't care where we finished off as my objective was just to stay in the league. Especially after we began the season with just four defenders on the books! We've consolidated our position and now we could aim to improve!


    National League

    Preparations for the final game of the season at home were spoiled slightly by a report that Otis Khan had turned up late to training. As he wasn't my player, it wasn't my place to warn him but it's certainly a concern. Nevertheless, he shows willing to training for the remainder of the week and looks fit on matchday so he remains in a team that is unchanged from the last one, the 1:1 draw at Chester. It's a chance to bow out on a high though I just tell the players to enjoy themselves. They do just that as Rob Ogleby gets things going with a 2nd minute goal, Kevin Sundstrom makes it 2:0 and Luke Wells makes it 3:0 after 32 minutes! But we inexplicably fall apart in the last seven minutes of the first half as Barrow score THREE times. Neil Collett has an absolute 'mare and I make that clear to him in the dressing room before we go out and win the game thanks to a superbly taken free-kick from Joan Guerrero!

    Leamington 4:3 Barrow
    Collett 5, Randles 7, Gudger 7, Chato 7, Magunda 7 (Francis 7), Guerrero 10, Khan 7, Wells 8, Ogleby 8 (Johnson 7), Sundstrom 8, Byrne 7 (Ledsham 7).
    Goals - Ogleby, Sundstrom, Wells, Guerrero.
    Assists - Guerrero x2, Byrne.
    MotM - Guerrero.

    The win means we sign off in 10th place, a whopping 16 points clear of the bottom three and leaves me with a solid target next year to finish in the top ten and to improve on a defence that shipped 74 goals, 24 more than we'd managed in four less games last year in National League North.


    I sent the players home to enjoy the rest of their Saturday and Sunday but asked them to report back on Monday for a final medical assessment and a chat with me before they went away on their holidays. It was exactly the same drill as last season.

    GOALKEEPERS
    Tony Breeden, Neil Collett, Chris Kiely.
    Spoiler!

    After Lewis Feeney left us last year to join Wattens, I was left with the perfect number of three goalkeepers on the books who all shared the gloves throughout the season. Ordinarily, I'd be happy for the trio to continue for another season but Neil Collett was of course on the transfer list after requesting a new contract but failing to agree terms. It's hoped that we can move him on for a sufficient fee and hopefully I can find a replacement to fit our project requirements. Medically, all three are absolutely fine and there are no concerns over the contracts of Chris Kiely and Tony Breeden with the latter having last month penned a new one.

    DEFENDERS
    Paterson Chato, Liam Francis, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda, Liam Randles.
    Spoiler!

    We'd ended last season with eight defenders yet began with this season with four! The shock retirements of Simon Forsdick, Delroy Gordon and David McNamee in addition to Marc Lancaster returning to his parent club after his loan spell had left me playing catch up before the transfer window and we failed to bring anyone in before the deadline. In January, we finally added Paterson Chato which looked to be a coup given he'd been at Dortmund prior to joining us but he's really struggled to gain any consistency. Getting sent off on his debut certainly didn't help but I think it's a matter of working out where his best position is. I've deployed him all across the back four and it seems like his best form came at right-back. As for the other four, I was indebted to their efforts at trying to keep things together for the first half of the season but they certainly didn't pull up any trees. It's great to see that last year's only signing was the pick of the bunch, Welshman Liam Randles whilst Liam Francis seemed to lose confidence at the end of the season. Physically, all five defenders are well and contractually, we have three out of contract in twelve months time - Randles, Francis and Gudger. The trio have been offered new terms whilst I have set myself an aim of trying to find three new defenders to increase depth.

    MIDFIELDERS
    Phil Butcher, Jamie Byrne, Junior English, Joan Guerrero, Josh Hawker, Otis Khan, Richard Laws, Karl Ledsham, Ian Morris, Craig Owen, Craig Owens, Dan Quigley, Warren Smith, Luis Sousa Silva, Kevin Sundstrom, Luke Wells.
    Spoiler!

    We're certainly not short of midfielders, are we?! We had 12 on the books this time last year and now we have 16 despite losing Peter Till, Jordan Sangha, Stefan Moore, Phil McGrath and James Husband. What happened was a sudden group of youth players coming through in addition to Richard Laws and Jamie Byrne last year as we welcomed Ian Morris, Phil Butcher and Luke Wells to the group. In fairness, that trio have all done very well for a debut season but sadly, they won't be staying as they have pre-arranged moves elsewhere after I placed them on the list when they would't accept a new deal with us. Warren Smith was a fourth who did actually agree a deal whilst we added Joan Guerrero, Kevin Sundstrom and Luis Sousa Silva to the group in January who have all bedded in very well! Sundstrom and Guerrero in particular have been superb but I must confess myself disappointed with Karl Ledsham who I had expected to make a big impact at this level. Instead, his goals and numbers tally were low and he still wants to be transfer listed after spitting his dummy out when being officially warned for attending training late. I may well grant him his wish over the Summer if we can get a reasonable fee which will allow me to sign a new English man for our cause. Medically, all but 16 year old Richard Laws have checked out OK with Laws being found to have issues with ligaments. Given his record of injuries, that came as no surprise so he'll go off to have surgery and rehab over the Summer. Elsewhere, the contracts of Josh Hawker, Craig Owen and Junior English are up next season and I hope to cash in on all three. Now that they are in the final twelve months though, I will no longer play hardball with their transfer fees though I will continue to do so for Craig Owens and Dan Quigley who are also on the list for wanting a new contract but not accepting the terms that we can offer. Last but not least, I spoke with Otis Khan and thanked him for his efforts which will make him player of the season in my eyes. Both myself and the supporters will no doubt want to see him back in a Leamington shirt next season and I certainly hope we can afford to bring him in on a permanent basis when his contract at Yeovil is up next month. We've got to keep our fingers crossed there!

    STRIKERS
    Ricky Johnson, James McPike, Rob Ogleby.
    Spoiler!

    Our options up front went from five to three when Nicky Gordon and Dean Perrow retired before the season began. That was fine by me as three is a perfect number for one spot in my starting eleven. It meant that Rob Ogleby had a golden chance to show what he could do after starting only four games last season. Unfortunately, he was one of those who struggled to get some consistency in his game after scoring only 8 in 29 appearances. Ricky Johnson himself managed only one more in 34 appearances whilst James McPike managed 3 in 12 though he started only once. It'd be fair to say that none of them ripped up any trees and all three are now out of contract in twelve months with only Johnson interested in staying. We already knew McPike had wanted a new contract for a while but had not agreed terms so he'd been listed for quite some time without any interest. But I'm disappointed to learn that Ogleby isn't even interested in discussing terms so we may have to cash in on him while we can but at least it will open a spot up for a new nationality to join the squad.

    With the players now off on their holidays, I decided to jet off myself to Spain for some sun and sangria with the missus!


    Though I was technically on holiday until the end of the month, I was never far away from my emails or my phone as I kept in constant communication with my scouting team who were on their final trips around the globe before going on a well deserved holiday themselves after I had given them no time off since hiring them! We'd lined up a number of targets with some questions marks once again over work permits for some whilst we wouldn't follow up interest in others due to their nationalities or whether we actually needed them for their particular positions.

    We'd also received good news throughout the month with Connor Gudger penning a four year deal and Ricky Johnson, Liam Francis and Liam Randles extending their contracts by three years.

    Bids were also received for Neil Collett but sadly, attempts to get from 80,000 to 100,000 for him were unsuccessful before Waterford finally agreed to pay 70,000. It was not a bad fee for someone worth 18,000 but of course, we should have got 100,000 for him in February when he was due to move to the States. We will have to make the most of it though and of course, it means I'll be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper to give Breeden and Kiely some competition.

    The bad news though, FC United of Manchester had offered 7,000 to buy Otis Khan from Yeovil which was accepted. We simply couldn't afford to compete with that, nor could we attempt to buy the Pakistani before the end of his contract which would cost us 70,000!


  22. #147

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    A very decent first year at National League level for the Spa's?
    Really think next year with the experience gained, a playoff spot is attainable. It's a real blow with Otis Khan, but Sundstrom for me is going to be your star man next year.

    Important to add at least one striker in the summer, a keeper now after the sale of Collett, and of course, a new central defensive partnership would be nice.
    Chato should be decent, but as a reliable consistent full back, maybe you need some cover.

    Looking forward to seeing your summer business.

  23. #148

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    Great comments

    I have high hopes for Sundstrom too. At such a young age, he has the potential to really make a name of himself and could be a regular for the 5 years if he keeps it up! Out of all the lads, he probably has the best chance of getting recognised internationally too?

    My priority is to sign three new defenders and two attacking midfielders to add a bit of competition. The rest will depend on sales and freeing up spots in the squad!

    Btw, only top two go up in the patch But I'll take any improvement on 10th as long as the squad takes shape along the way!

  24. #149

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    • Surprised you didn’t sub Collet at HT
    • Great win to finish the season though!
    • GK – I have no love for any of them
    • DEF – Chato average is awful. Francis looks to have good att’s. Good games and experience under the belt for Randles.
    • MID – Spaniard amazing!, Khan also great, I like Ledsham but feck him with his attitude, the Swede has been a breath of fresh air. Otherwise, Butcher only other one who is ok. Getting Khan signed up a priority!
    • STR – NO SCREENIE FOR OGLEBY (you duplicated McPike). I’d bet Ogleby starts/goals is better than Johnson. Never been given a proper run I’m not surprised he doesn’t want to sign a new deal!
    • Scouts on a well deserved holiday – hmmmmmmmmmmmm – they need to be bringing back more options given the number of them!
    • Great news on contracts. Gudger is a grafter and good to see Randles sign
    • Good deal on Collet – did you say you don’t bother on the 25% fee?
    • Feck sake – Khan gone Maybe could be loanable again?

  25. #150

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    Think you've asked that before, I never sub a player on their performance. How humiliating it would be to be subbed during a game. Poor man-management!

    Agree, very concerned with that average for Chato. I'll try and give him a proper run of games in one position next season rather than shuffling him around all over the place. Francis should be a leader but can be capable of a few howlers. Guess that's why he is at Leamington!

    Guererro is awesome! Ledsham had the chance to become a legend but his time is up, I want to try and cash in on him.

    My bad re: Ogleby. It's now fixed so you can check his stats out! It was McPike's stats from last year I'd left in by mistake.

    Scouts have worked non-stop since I appointed them, no holiday last year! Built up a big shortlist now so they get to recharge their batteries and come back with the rest in mid-June!

    Yeah, no 25% fees on players over 21.

    Gutted on Khan, really thought we'd be able to bring him back then FC United of wankers came in with a cash offer and I couldn't compete Was waiting for him to be released then hoped to snap him up.

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