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

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    The World of Football Management - Chapter 7 - Global Attraction


    Within weeks of my one year contract at Boca coming to an end, I found myself facing the media in my first press conference as a newly appointed manager though it wasn't quite what I had in mind in terms of a 'glorious' return to the land of UK. Nor was it a return to the hot seat at Manchester City where I certainly had unfinished business after that disastrous reign.

    It would have been nice to face a media filled room with a million questions to answer from several different journalists. Instead, I was standing outside of my new home, fielding questions from local journalists. There was a couple of familiar faces from the Sun and BBC Sports but my appointment had largely gone under the radar. Perhaps that just shows the direction that my career had gone since those glorious days at Alfreton, Hoffenheim, Stuttgart and Stoke.

    That had surely been the pinnacle which earned me the biggest job of all, managing England. But it hadn't worked out, nor had a quick role at Man City and after struggling to get a job for quite some time, I ended up spending a year in South America to restore my reputation. I thought I had done just that, winning the Inter-American Cup and the Copa Mercosur but it seems my time there had largely gone under the radar and after hoping to return home to an abundance of job offers, I soon learnt that wasn't the case.

    There had been one offer, but I'd discounted it after deeming it almost an insult. A position at a league that was surely beneath me at this stage of my career? I'd won countless of trophies and there wasn't anything better than that? Was it just circumstances or was there really no-one who was willing to give a chance again? It's amazing how quickly a career can nose-dive. I suppose I now know how Alan Curbishley feels!

    After a few weeks, I started to think about that job offer that was still available. Could it be just what I needed after all? A return to my roots and the chance to restore my reputation with a long term project? It'd so nearly worked out at Alfreton where I had stuck with signing free agents for the club and got them as far as the second tier. Could I go one better with this football club instead? I'd decided that a chat with their chairman wouldn't hurt who took me on a 'tour' of the stadium, a pitiful 1,500 capacity ground where just 50 were seats. There was going to be a lot of work to do there, that's for sure. Financially, it'd be a struggle too. But I have shown that I can manage finances so that didn't concern me too much.

    What did concern me was the project that the owner had outlined when I met him in person.

    "I want to build a football club that is well known around the world."

    Well, everyone who follows a football club would love that, wouldn't they?

    "I want there to be only a single player from each nation in the squad. That's how we can get our name out there. That's how we can really tap into the world market. You could have say 50 nations at the club so that's how I dream of getting Leamington out there. We shall be a global attraction!"

    That's right. I had agreed to move to Leamington bloody Spa.

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    You certainly wasted no time since leaving Boca, but I certainly didn't see you rocking up at Leamington Spa

    Liking the restriction on yourself too, I've done that before but there's a bit of a difference between doing it with Real Madrid and doing it with Leamington Spa

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    You certainly wasted no time since leaving Boca, but I certainly didn't see you rocking up at Leamington Spa

    Liking the restriction on yourself too, I've done that before but there's a bit of a difference between doing it with Real Madrid and doing it with Leamington Spa
    It's a bit of a drop but it does add to the story!

    There certainly is a big difference The end result (hopefully) will be a lot more rewarding as well so it will make for an interesting challenge. I think it'll require a bit of patience to begin with as I imagine Leamington will only be able to attract the UK nations and likes of Scandinavian countries so we will see how it goes!

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    When was that Curbishley story written?

    Oooooh - nice new story

    What league are they in?

    Will be a bit of admin etc checking which nations you do/do not have

    Can you keep original squad to start or have to get rid straight away?

    If you have dual nationality I guess you can use either until they capped for whatever nation?

    Good luck - will be following

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    I think it was only a few months ago. I remember coming across it on Facebook.

    All will be revealed in the next update for your other questions

    Agreed though, it'll be a pain to remember which nations I have currently got in the squad Hopefully I'll never make a mistake and sign two!

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    Oooooo this is a story I can get into! Will be following - love the restriction too.

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    Nice one, JayFlo. I'm hoping it may have more interest for more of our overseas viewers as well. It must get boring for most of them to see domination in the Premier League

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    In many ways, taking this job at Leamington was a replication of my time at Alfreton. There, I was starting my career for the first time at the lowest level. There, I'd been restricted to making free signings and working with my hands tied behind my back in terms of attracting new players. That journey had gone as far as the Championship, but I'd soon been unfairly sacked after a tough spell. I couldn't take the club any further but had high hopes of going further with Leamington.

    Alfreton had also possessed the smallest ground in the Conference. I wasn't even managing in the Conference this time. I was starting below that, in the Northern Premier League. Leamington's New Windmall Ground was a pitiful thing to look at. The joint-smallest stadium with a capacity of just 1,500, the same as Brackley Town. However, where Brackley could offer 150 seats, Leamington had just 50!

    After meeting my mysterious chairman, who gave no name as we met, I'd been shown to a pokey little room and handed the books for the club. I wasn't just going to be a manager here, I was also running the finances. Leamington didn't even have an accountant! To my surprise, there was actually 86,230 in the bank but I wasn't going to be able to spend any of it. I knew as well, the money would soon evaporate!

    Leamington was effectively run by skeleton staff. The chairman was said to never be around, there was none of this managing director, chief executive or director of football nonsense here. The only staff on the books were all part-time (as were the players!). There was a physio, a scout and two coaches, one of whom was also a player. This really wasn't going to be easy. But I quickly made a decision that there would be no part-time contracts from here on in. If the club wanted to go far in the game, they were going to have to become a professional outfit and start dedicating all their time to training instead of holding down two jobs, or even three in some cases.

    I met the four members of the backroom staff and assured them that their jobs were safe. I wasn't going to talk contracts with them but I'd use their experience for the time being while I can and just in case I couldn't bring anyone of my own. No point upsetting the apple cart and putting noses out of joint just yet. Stefan Moore was the player-coach and I had him take me to meet the players who were training on the pitch itself. Something else that I didn't particularly like, as the pitch should be kept pristine for match day! But that's the level I found myself in, I suppose...


    Stefan Moore was the first person I met behind the scenes, currently a player-coach at the club
    Spoiler!


    As we walked to meet the players, I soon learnt that Stefan was the very same graduate of Aston Villa, who'd gone on to play for the likes of Queens Park Rangers and Walsall. Though he was 33 years of age and had carved out a decent career at this level, I started to wonder if he would be better of focusing on the playing side of the game. Stefan took me to meet the players, who were being put through their paces by the other coach - Martyn Naylor, another who had been a player for Leamington but was now a full time coach. He'd started out at Hereford but had also played for The New Saints, Telford and Rhyl.


    Martyn Naylor, the only coach on the books
    Spoiler!


    Martyn cut short the training session for me to introduce myself to the players. I didn't say too much, just that I was looking forwards to working with them all and would like each player to come and see me individually after they'd finished training. I also asked them all to visit Nathaniel Barnard, the physio, before seeing me as I'd asked him to put together medical reports on each player ahead of pre-season getting underway.

    Spoiler!


    Leaving Moore to join in with the training session, I walked back with Nathaniel who got ready to run his assessments on the players while I had a quick word with David Mitchell, the only scout at the club. Aged 62, I suspected he wouldn't be working at the club for much longer but I asked him to start scouting around for young talents. With no money to spend, I'd soon realised that I would need to work with the current squad for the time being and slowly reshape it. I was under no obligation at all to move players on so I planned to reassure the players that they'd all be given a chance to show me what they could do and in the meantime, hopefully I could attract players to join the club. As I mentioned before, I wasn't going to upset the balance at the club so I wasn't going to worry about their abilities. It's important to keep them happy and I could put my own stamp on the squad as time goes along. As David went away, there was a knock on my door as my first appointment with the players arrived.

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

    First to arrive was Tony Breeden, who'd brought along the medical report from Nathaniel as I had requested. Before long, I'd met all four goalkeepers and it was reassuring to know that I had options to choose from. Medically, they were all OK with Chris Kiely getting a note that he was very rarely injured. As I spoke to each of them, I found that the contract of Neil Collett was up at the end of the season and so he was offered a new full-time contract, as opposed to being a part-timer. I did though, offer less than he was currently on to see if I could save some money.

    DEFENDERS
    Simon Forsdick, Liam Francis, Delroy Gordon, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda, David McNamee.
    Spoiler!

    The defenders followed one by one after I met with the goalkeepers and after David McNamee left, I felt exasperated. There really had been no management behind the scenes in terms of contracts because all but David McNamee were out of contract at the end of the season! As a result, I took the same path in offering them new contracts at a reduced wage in the hope that they'd accept given that they'd be made full-time. It also concerned me that not only there were just six defenders on the books but also that only one was a left back. What's more, Connor Gudger handed me a note from the physio to say that he was somewhat prone to injuries which was encouraging! Age wasn't on the side of McNamee, Forsdick or Gordon though as they are in their thirties but it was good to know that McNamee, who'd been capped 4 times for Scotland and was our only international, could pass on his experience.

    MIDFIELDERS
    Junior English, Josh Hawker, James Husband, Stefan Moore, Craig Owen, Craig Owens, Dan Quigley, Jordan Sangha, Peter Till.
    Spoiler!

    Well, I certainly took some time to get through the 9 midfielders! What I found worrying was that we were well overstocked in central midfielders. Who needs 7 centre midfielders?! What's more, there was none who could play a defensive midfield role nor none who could play on the left wing. I could see myself asking a few of these lads to play out of position until I could get some round pegs to fit round holes! Again, five of them were out of contract including Craig Owen and Craig Owens who I had to double check weren't a typo or a duplicate name on my list! Jordan Sangha too, was on loan from Walsall but as he wouldn't be earning a wage, I opted to keep him in the squad for now. Medically, only Josh Hawker had a problem which wasn't serious. He was out with a groin strain at the moment so would miss two weeks of pre-season. As for Stefan Moore, I offered him a deal to concentrate full-time on his football instead of coaching as it may well give me the opportunity to bring an extra man in.

    STRIKERS
    Nicky Gordon, Ricky Johnson, James McPike, Rob Ogleby, Dean Perrow.
    Spoiler!

    Apparently, Nicky Gordon (who after being quizzed, confirmed he is not related to centre-back Delroy) is fit as a fiddle at the age of 33. The remainder of the strikers were also out of contract which was beginning to infuriate me. What if I wasn't able to bring in adequate replacements within twelve months? I could end up with barely eleven players! After discussing contract talks, I sent the five of them on their way with thoughts that I may well be overstocked in that position if I were to revert to a lone striker formation that I usually prefer but hadn't adopted for quite some time.

    As Dean Perrow left after my final appointment, I put away my notebook and grabbed the phone. It was time to start making enquiries to bring in some extra faces behind the scenes and to arrange a few friendlies to see exactly what these boys can do.

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    Certainly some work to do on recruits, short in defence especially and overstocked in centre mids, suppose you could go with 3 in the middle but then that leaves Till kicking his heels unless you can bring in a left winger and go with ya favoured 4-5-1 although slightly different.

    Ogleby should be able to bag you a few goals though I feel.

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    Ogleby looks useful at this level and is Welsh, so already flying the flag of internationalism. Having Kiely (Irish) and McNamee (Scottish) helps too, and Moore is part-Jamaican.

    Hope you keep hold of Magunda - he’s from Leamington itself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Certainly some work to do on recruits, short in defence especially and overstocked in centre mids, suppose you could go with 3 in the middle but then that leaves Till kicking his heels unless you can bring in a left winger and go with ya favoured 4-5-1 although slightly different.

    Ogleby should be able to bag you a few goals though I feel.
    I had hoped some of the midfielders may be left footed so could play on the wing. Unless I use Moore and Till as wingers for the time being. We shall see!

    Quote Originally Posted by JayFlo View Post
    Ogleby looks useful at this level and is Welsh, so already flying the flag of internationalism. Having Kiely (Irish) and McNamee (Scottish) helps too, and Moore is part-Jamaican.

    Hope you keep hold of Magunda - he’s from Leamington itself!
    Is he really? Nice to have a local talent then!

    In all honesty, these guys will not count towards the nation count as it'll only be players coming in who will count, given that they're likely to be replaced at some point along the way.

    Dual nationalities may be something I'll avoid too, especially if they haven't been capped yet.

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    • I vaguely remember the name Stefan Moore – but both him and Naylor not great
    • Barnard a bit of an old timer physio – h doesn’t even have “20” for that either!
    • GK – all look much of a muchness – maybe bin 2 of them though to save wages? I guess keep those with lowest wage/longest contract?
    • DEF – Forsdick is decent but age against him, Francis is good, Gordon is awful (re-train as DM?), Gudger looks like a team player and could be ok, Magunda and McNamee can be sold! Looks like you have a LOT of work to do in this area for recruits!
    • Midfield – Bag ‘o’ Nails – all the best! HUGE improvements needed here!
    • Strikers – Not Great! Oglebey looks the pick of the bunch

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    That shows the level I'm at mate. Literally the very worse team in the English leagues.

    You're suggesting retrain a defender to a midfielder which leaves me with 5 I don't bother with the retraining thing though, doesn't always keep the player happy.

    Everyone gets a chance. Like I said, considering I can only sign one player per nation, I might struggle to attract enough players at this stage so I'm opting to keep them. Got no money either way and don't imagine they'll fetch much!

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    Global Attraction - Season 1 - July
    Nations = 0

    It didn't take me long to arrange friendlies. Hoping to bring in any sort of cash through gate receipts, I arranged four friendlies at home against Lowestoft, Mildenhall, Bishop's Stortford and Horsham. There was no logic behind the teams I invited, just a friendly against anyone in the non-leagues!

    That gave me seven days to learn all I could about the players and bring in my own men for the backroom. Negotiations for the new contracts was mixed. Rob Ogleby, Neil Collett, James Husband, Craig Owens, Simon Fordsick, Connor Gudger, Joe Magunda all rejected the initial offer I had put forward to them to become full-time players. I went back to each of them to offer an additional 25 and 100 for Ogleby.

    Some did accept straight away though. Liam Francis, Delroy Gordon, Dean Perrow, Junior Engilsh. Ricky Johnson and James McPike agreed a 100 wage cut which I thought was great news for the club financially! So too did Stefan Moore who was now no longer a coach, so he could focus full-time on playing for the club.

    Fordsick then agreed to a wage cut of 75 after agreeing terms at the second time of asking along with Craig Owens, Neil Collett, James Husband, Craig Owen and Rob Ogleby. Meanwhile, it was a case of third time lucky in getting Joe Magunda to agree a new deal which was 50 less than he was earning before and so too eventually did Connor Gudger to ensure that I no longer had anyone out of contract in 12 months time!

    While that was all good business in saving some cash and ensuring we had bodies in the squad, the biggest news was the arrival of some staff to help me out behind the scenes and some of them were recognisable names indeed!
    Spoiler!

    They're all top quality scouts and coaches in my book so I'm delighted to have them on board. I honestly wouldn't be too surprised in the future if they're lured away which could work out nicely if we get some compensation but for now, they'll have a lot to offer. Sadly, I couldn't attract any more scouts or physios to the club at the moment. There were some that were interested but would command a fee that we simply cannot pay. Steve Staunton was asked immediately to scout out the next opposition and Brian Flynn would start us off with our search for talent around the globe. I will check the market every now and then to add four more scouts and two physios but it's a good start.

    While all the negotiations were going on with the players and the backroom staff, we had some games to play! It wasn't ideal but for all four friendlies, two players were asked to play out of position at defensive midfield and on the left wing. I was of course, lining up in a very familiar 4-5-1 formation.




    Friendly
    Leamington 4:0 Lowestoft.
    Breeden 8, Magunda 7, Gudger 7, Francis 7, Forsdick 8, Husband 7, Owen 8, English 7, N.Gordon 8, Moore, 7, Owens 7.
    Goals - Forsdick x2, Owen, N.Gordon.
    Assists - Magunda.
    MotM - N.Gordon.

    A fine start for me considering I'd been worried about those two players playing out of position but English and Owens did very well indeed considering they normally play in centre midfield. Whilst Nicky Gordon got the supporters man of the match award, my pick was definitely Simon Forsdick who seemed to be everywhere!


    Friendly
    Leamington 2:1 Mildenhall.
    Collett 7, Forsdick 7, Gudger (Magunda 6), McNamee 7, D.Gordon 7 (Sangha 6), Owens 6, Till 8, Husband 7, Johnson 7 (McPike 7), Moore 7, Quigley 7.
    Goals - McNamee, Till.
    Assists - Moore.
    MotM - Till.

    Another victory but this one came at a cost with three players going off injured! I'd shuffled the team around to give others an appearance with only Simon Forsdick (but moved to right-back), Connor Gudger, Craig Owens (from left wing to defensive midfield) and Stefan Moore staying in the side. Moore and Gudger were my only options in their spots and typically, Gudger was injured after seven minutes which forced me to field Joe Magunda at left-back. Delroy Gordon then pulled up in the 62nd, which saw midfielder Jordan Sangha play at centre-back but we did have a like for like replacement when James McPike took over from Ricky Johnson! I'm also learning that Forsdick likes a tackle (no pun intended ).

    Ricky Johnson was now out for a month with a twisted ankle which was OK as we had four other strikers to choose from. Connor Gudger was my worry but he was only out for 10 days with a bruised shin whilst Delroy Gordon was out for a week with the same injury. What a pair of babies! Liam Francis was also out with a strained neck which meant I had just three defenders to pick for the next one!

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    Well done on the friendly wins mate, I’d be asking if any of the new backroom staff will put their boots (and gloves) on for a season or two

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    What a backroom staff!

    Nicely done with the friendlies!

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    How long contracts offered to back room staff?

    You should have made Flynn a coach and McBride a Scout

    Some VERY famou faces there though - assume they do not count to your nations numbers though?

    When you send Scouts abroad does it not cost money? if so, keep an eye how much

    Good work on results

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Well done on the friendly wins mate, Id be asking if any of the new backroom staff will put their boots (and gloves) on for a season or two
    Haha, they'd surely do a job!

    Quote Originally Posted by ZanSnake View Post
    What a backroom staff!

    Nicely done with the friendlies!
    Good start, just two more to go and hopefully no more injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    How long contracts offered to back room staff?

    You should have made Flynn a coach and McBride a Scout

    Some VERY famou faces there though - assume they do not count to your nations numbers though?

    When you send Scouts abroad does it not cost money? if so, keep an eye how much

    Good work on results
    Just whatever they wanted, can't recall right now.

    Can see what you mean about McBride. Flynn coaching atts not good enough imo, he has high scouting atts. Besides, both showed up in the relevant coach/scout filters.

    No, backroom staff don't count towards the nations. Just playing staff.

    Never thought of costs involved in sending scouts abroad. I'd be surprised if that's accounted for given they earn a wage anyway.

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    Make them players in the save editor

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    Global Attraction - Season 1 - August
    Nations = 0

    I couldn't complain with the way pre-season had begun. Despite having no natural left wingers nor defensive midfielders, the players had put in the effort in our two friendlies, seeing us beat Lowestoft 4:0 and Mildenhall 2:1. The only downsides had been injuries to Liam Francis, Ricky Johnson, Connor Gudger and Delroy Gordon. Fortunately, the latter was back to training before our third friendly which was great timing whilst I also had Josh Hawker available for the first time but with Gudger out injured, I now had three spots where someone was asked to do a job out of position.


    Friendly
    Leamington 4:3 Bishop's Stortford.
    Feeney 5, Magunda 7, McNamee 7, D.Gordon 7, Forsdick 7, English 7, Owen 6, Hawker 8, McPike 7, Moore 8, Till 7.
    Goals - Moore x2, Magunda, Hawker.
    Assists - Hawker, McNamee, McPike, English.
    MotM - Moore.

    With Craig Owen and Peter Till being right sided midfielders, I decided that they'd be my options for either wing until we had natural players to play on the left. I also had plenty of centre midfielders to sit back into defensive midfield (Junior English in this case) whilst David McNamee was asked to play at left back. The result went in our favour in a 4:3 scoreline where we had led 4:1 at the break. Sadly Lewis Feeney didn't make the most of his start in the sticks.

    With my scouts reporting that Michael Thalassitis (forward) and Jordan Brown (left back) had been Bishop's Stortford's best players, cheeky loan bids were unsurprisingly rejected so we wouldn't be getting a Cypriot nor an English representative for our project just yet.


    Friendly
    Leamington 2:1 Horsham.
    Kiely 7, McNamee 7, Gudger 6 (D.Gordon 6), Francis 7, Magunda 8, Sangha 7, Till 7, Quigley 9, Ogleby 8, Moore 7, Owen 7.
    Goals - Magunda, Ogleby.
    Assists - Quigley.
    MotM - Quigley.

    To my pleasant surprise, all but Ricky Johnson were fully fit and raring to go for our final friendly which saw more game time for those yet to feature. Typically though, and I was warned about this, Connor Gudger lasted just 12 minutes before being forced off the pitch for a second time. Despite the personnel change again with McNamee moving to left-back, we picked up another win with Rob Ogleby scoring on his first outing.

    Gudger's injury transpired to be a sprained ankle (he'd been injured with a bruised shin last time) so he would miss our first competitive game of pre-season. Meanwhile, cheeky loan offers for either Nat Brown or Ashley Hemmings from our next opponents were turned down. Both were English with Brown being a centre half and Hemmings a much needed left winger.

    With all four friendlies now concluded where all but 33 year old striker Dean Perrow had got game time, I gathered the troops to thank them for their efforts in pre-season but warned them that the hard work was now going to begin. Winning all four friendlies may look good on paper but the competitive stuff was about to start and we were going to have to knuckle down now to cover for each other, especially those who are having to fill in for the time being.


    National League North
    Boston Utd 1:2 Leamington.
    Breeden 7, Forsdick 8, McNamee 6, Francis 6, Magunda 7, Hawker 6, Till 6 (Husband 7), Quigley 7 (English 6), N.Gordon 8, Moore 8 (Ogleby 7), Owen 6.
    Goals - Hawker, N.Gordon.
    Assists - Moore.
    MotM - Forsdick.

    Boston Utd took the lead after just 7 minutes. But we fought back with a penalty converted by Josh Hawker which Stefan Moore had won before Nicky Gordon put us ahead. It's a great win and even more so in my book considering that when legs had started to tire, I added Ogleby and Husband to the pitch that made it four players playing out of position!


    National League North
    Leamington 1:1 Brackley.
    Breeden 7, Forsdick 7, Gudger 6, Francis 7, Magunda 6, Hawker 6, Till 7 (Husband 7), Quigley 7 (English 7), N.Gordon 7, Moore 7 (Ogleby 7), Owen 7.
    Goals - English.

    Connor Gudger was recalled to the team when reporting 'full fitness' before the game and managed to get through it this time without an injury! This was another game where I had to make changes to address fatigue in the second half but I certainly felt it was one we could win, especially given that Brackley were a similar sized club to Leamington and also because Josh Hawker missed a penalty this time which we had won in the 8th minute. Substitute James Husband had actually given us a lead but we'd conceded in the 83rd minute. Still, I think I would have taken an unbeaten start to the season after two games.


    On the transfer front, David Mitchell left it very tight indeed to report back with potential youth talent for the club to purchase but after reading his report, I sat back with an ironic smile after learning that he had recommended we sign three centre midfielders...! But a fourth option was a Welshman who looked a versatile option, being able to play as a defender at right-back or in the middle as well as the all important defensive midfield spot. The only trouble was that the deadline passed before the teenager could put pen to paper!

    That meant that there were no additions at all as I had tried my luck also with a few loan signings, including one for Brackley left-winger Courtney Cameron and either one of Lewis Turner or Ben Parker at Harrogate but it was not to be. For the time being, I was going to have to work with what I have got and hope for the best!

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    AMC

  39. #22
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    Fine end to pre-season and lovely start in league

    Damn - can't see players without a club until Jan?

    Not good that you haven't got anyone in - at least it's a decent chance to evaluate what you have and "maybe" save some cash

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  41. #23
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    Yep, transfer window now closed until January.

    I'm not too fussed. Happy to work with what I've got in the meantime and use that spare time to see what players my scouts dig up.

    So hopefully come January, I'll be able to announce a few signings including the Welsh teenager

  42. #24
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    Got the Welsh Teenager att's?

    Be good to see next month if you are making/losing money and what sort out crowd at home v capacity you get

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  44. #25
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    I'll post it up if we do sign him

    We're the smallest team in the game, there'll be no doubt that we lose money every month

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