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Unbelievable Jeff!! A Hartlepool United Story!!
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  1. Unbelievable Jeff!! A Hartlepool United Story!!




    UNBELIEVABLE JEFF!! A HARTLEPOOL UNITED STORY!!

    Jeff Stelling, probably Hartlepool United's most famous fan...and a man that most of the UK football community know and love! Getting us through Saturday afternoons for as long as most of us can remember, I can't imagine anyone else ever taking over Soccer Saturday from the main man himself!



    Now Jeff's not had it easy as a Pools fan over the past few years and we've had to witness the anguish, disappointment, pain and disbelief through our TV screens! Jeff shows the emotion that we all feel as football supporters and this story is in honour of him as I take over as manager of his beloved club and try to give him something to celebrate and bring the good times to Hartlepool!

    The long term aim is to take them all the way to the top of English football. Something that should take me quite a while, with them currently languishing in the National League (4th tier), having occupied non league status for the past couple of seasons now! Between 1958 and 2017, the club fluctuated between League One and League Two always kind of being the mediocre side that would battle for playoffs in League Two and struggle against relegation in League One!



    The Hartlepool fans have had nothing....absolutely nothing to celebrate over the years as they've never won a single trophy!! The highlights being a runners up spot in League Two in both 2003 and 2007, but no Hartlepool player has ever won a winners medal for anything...something else I will be trying to change!



    The club play their home games at Victoria Park, a pretty old stadium which was built all the way back in 1886! It has a capacity of 7,856 and during my tenure here, I'd like to see us into a new stadium altogether!



    As far as my profile goes for this game, I have started with the recommended badges and experience as suggested by FM for this level! That means I have a Continental C Licence and playing experience as a professional footballer at local level!

    Career Progress

    2018/19 Season
    Vanarama National League; Winners
    Emirates FA Cup; 3rd Round (Coventry City)
    Buildbase FA Trophy; Semi Final (Halifax Town)

    2019/20 Season
    Sky Bet League Two; Winners
    Emirates FA Cup; 2nd Round (Barrow)
    Carabao Cup; 4th Round (Man City)
    Checkatrade Trophy; 2nd Round (Man City U23s)

    2020/21 Season
    Sky Bet League One; 4th (Playoff Winners)
    Emirates FA Cup; 1st Round (Forest Green)
    Carabao Cup; 1st Round (Preston)
    Checkatrade Trophy; 2nd Round (Liverpool U23s)

    2021/22 Season
    Sky Bet Championship; 7th
    Emirates FA Cup; 3rd Round (West Brom)
    Carabao Cup; 3rd Round (Rotherham Utd)

    2022/23 Season
    Sky Bet Championship; 6th (Playoffs; Lost in Final to West Brom)
    Emirates FA Cup; Quarter Final (Arsenal)
    Carabao Cup; Quarter Final (Manchester City)


    Trophy Cabinet

    1x Sky Bet League One Playoff Winners (2020/21)
    1x Sky Bet League Two Champions (2019/20)
    1x Vanarama National League Champions (2018/19)


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Unbelievable Jeff!! A Hartlepool United Story!!-honours.jpg   Unbelievable Jeff!! A Hartlepool United Story!!-chris-ball.jpg  
    Last edited by TheNotSoSpecialOne; 1 Week Ago at 09:18 AM.

  2. Squad Overview, Tactics & Finances


    Squad Overview

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    Looking over my new squad, the first thing I notice is that I have a team full of players who should be in their prime years of their careers, between the ages of 25 and 28! Only two players aged 30 in the team, so we're not bordering a mass of players about to retire and who will need quickly replacing which is good! At the same time, we only have 6 teenagers in the squad, which means there isn't a lack of experience either! Most of the team have a fairly balanced personality too, so we shouldn't have too many clashes amongst the lads!

    The Stand Out Three!

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    Carl Magnay is a top centre back for the National League and my biggest fear is not being able to keep hold of him! Not only does he have great attributes for a central defender, but he is also a natural born leader and someone I'd love to name my captain (providing he can stay loyal to us)! Bradford City, Oxford United and Peterborough are all sniffing around at present!

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    Now, if Magnay does leave the club, then it's Liam Noble that could be named as my captain in his place! At central midfield, he will be the heartbeat of my side! Again, he looks like a top player for this level of football!

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    The third player I'm picking out is goalkeeper, Scott Loach! He adds some experience to the side and spent a lot of his early career playing for the likes of Watford in the Championship, so he can definitely lend this kind of knowledge and experience of the game to the younger lads in the team! He's a pretty tasty keeper and could step up and win us points by himself! If we can get a quick promotion within a couple of seasons, there will be no need to replace him either as he'd definitely be good enough for League Two as well!

    Tactics

    I will be having a play around with these throughout pre season and will come back to you on what I've decided. Initially, with the players at my disposal, I am likely to start off with something like a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1. One things for sure, I'll look to play attacking football I think!

    Finances

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    I have just over £100k in the bank, but no transfer budget and only about £800 spare in the wage budget as well. Improving the squad during my first season will not be easy! Well, that is unless Magnay leaves for half a million lol!



  3. Good luck mate will be following this story, hope you get up in first season and can keep your top players mate.
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  4. Saturday 11th August 2018



    Saturday 11th August 2018

    Transfers In

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    My first signing as Hartlepool manager was the season long loan deal for Charles Vernam from Notts County! I desperately needed to bring another attacking midfield player into the club after the injury to Luke Williams and Vernam fits the bill of what I was looking for. He has good passing ability, with the vision to go with it too. He can also finish when he gets into the opposition box and has a good work rate about him as well! He's a great addition to the squad and could play a big part in our season this year!

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    My second signing was another season long loan, this time Joel Rollinson who joins us from Reading! The 19 year old winger can play down the left or right and will provide much needed cover in these areas! He has some pace to offer and can whip in a decent enough cross once his man is beaten, and that's all I'll be asking of my wide men in the midfield!



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    The board's expectations for the upcoming season seem pretty reasonable and as long as I can secure a top half finish in the league, they'll be happy!

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    Before we'd even kicked a football, one of my best players, Luke Williams, has picked up an injury that will keep him out for the first half of the season! Absolutely gutted!

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    Carl Magnay is handed the captain's armband in a bid that it will encourage him to stay at the club...at least for this season!

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    The bookies have us at 9/2 to win the title this season, with a predicted finish of 6th place! If we can acheive that in my first season in charge, I'll be well chuffed with that!

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    Although pre season started with a thrashing from Coventry, which was to be expected I guess, the rest of our friendlies went pretty well and the football got better and more attractive to watch as the lads got used to my tactics!


    Tactics

    With the season about to kick off, these are the two tactics I will be starting off the campaign with! There's not a lot of fundamental differences between either except for one implementing an AM whilst the other is more defensive with a DM! What I have done differently on this save which I've never done before, is tinkered with every single players individual instructions! Normally, I pick their roles and leave their instructions as per the roles....however, these tactics have gone more in depth and focus on strengths and utilising them for each and every player! Hopefully it works and will help me get the best out of everyone!

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  5. Good luck with this mate! Interesting to see how get on against the mighty Heed Army but fingers crossed you can get some additional strength and have a surprising season!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  6. Friday 7th September 2018




    Friday 7th September 2018

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    Season ticket sales are announced and they're not bad for a non league side!



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    This was a difficult opening fixture for us away at one of the better sides in the league! However, we rose to the occasion perfectly and my lads gave me a winning managerial start! We went down, but responded brilliantly and a Liam Noble free kick had us level by half time! Then, Noble converted a penalty with 10 minutes to go to give us the lead! A change in tactics from our 4-2-3-1 to our 4-1-2-3 formation and a more defensive mentality towards the game ensured we held on until full time to take all 3 points!

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    We went from playing one of the best teams in the league, to one of the worst here! I was pleased to get the win in the end and we made our extra man count after their sending off in the 59th minute! Up until then, we had dominated, but struggled to break them down as they came here with a very defensive mentality clearly looking like they were playing for a draw!

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    A good result away from home against another top side. Chesterfield had also won their opening two games and came into this with home advantage and full of confidence! However, we held our own and earned a decent point!

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    This was another game that I would have expected to win at home, so I'm pleased we got the job done! It was probably our most complete performance of the season so far, always in control, creating plenty of chances and defending well to limit their opportunities too!

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    Well that's not a bad way to start my managerial career as I win the Manager of the Month award for August!

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    Another game I'd have expected us to win, but this time we came up short as we just couldn't find the back of the net. We never looked like losing it, but our finishing let us down and cost us a couple of points here!

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    With only 2 days gap since the Maidenhead game, a number of changes were required to a tired first 11! And the boys that came in played well as we completely dominated the game from start to finish! Again, we struggled to find the back of the net from open play but two Jake Cassidy penalties were enough to see us through and put another 3 points on the board!

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    A great start to the league campaign sees us unbeaten in our opening 6 games, as we sit 2nd in the table! Doesn't really mean anything at this early stage of the season, but it's good to have set our stool out early and show the rest of the league we're not here to just make up the numbers this season!

  7. Friday 19th October 2018



    Friday 19th October 2018

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    My first permanent signing as manager of Hartlepool is 23 year old centre back, Bevis Mugabi! The Ugandan was transfer listed by Yeovil Town, but they didn't want any money for him so I picked him up on a free transfer! My backup centre backs were pretty poor and I lacked options in that position, but Bevis comes in and can immediately challenge for a first team place with his stats, although I won't rush him in too quick as he is lacking match fitness having not played a game so far this season.



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    Our best performance of the season so far as we absolutely batter Dagenham & Redbridge! Nearly 30 shots on goal and converting 4 of our chances gives us our biggest win so far. Joel Rollinson and Liam Noble celebrated a brace each as the midfield gave me a solid game all round!

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    Solihull Moors came into this game without a win in their opening 7 games, so I was confident we could inflict another defeat on them here and extend our own unbeaten run. And we did exactly that as we ran out pretty easy winners. Solihull clearly have a hard time scoring goals and I can see them struggling this season unless they get a top striker in and fast!

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    A top of the table clash as we took on 2nd placed Aldershot! We looked the better side up until the 39th minute sending off of Mark Kitching! That's when Aldershot started to dominate and went ahead through a penalty just 2 minutes later! Things evened out again when The Shots had one of their own sent off on 57 minutes, and we created the better chances in a pretty open final half an hour, but we couldn't find the equalizer and suffer our first defeat of the season!

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    After dominating this game, it looked like we were going to lose when they went in front with only 6 minutes to play after Liam Noble was sent off for us! However, my players showed great determination and with only a minute remaining on the clock, Lewis Hawkins scored the equalizer that secured us a well deserved point!

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    Back to winning ways, but how on earth did we only score 1 goal in this game!! And it took a penalty as well...we really are squandering a hell of a lot of chances at the moment!

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    Luke Molyneux was named as the Young Player of the Month for September.

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    Another dominant performance here against a struggling Barrow side, but again I feel like we should have won by a bigger margin! Jake Cassidy's winning strike was a beauty from outside the box, whilst new signing Bevis Mugabi came on for the final 20 minutes to make his debut.

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    There's no denying that we got away with one here as we were bloody awful against a Maidstone side that had only won 2 of their opening 12 games this season! A late Luke James goal nicked all 3 points for us as he volleyed home a powerful effort from inside the box!

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    Our 2nd game against a Kent side in 5 days and this one ended in a draw! Dover came into the game in good form having only lost 1 of their last 10 games, so a draw isn't the worst result in the world, although we did create enough chances to have probably won the game.

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    Fourteen games into the season and we still only have one defeat to our name. If you'd have offered me that at the start of the season I'd have bitten your hand off! Despite only losing one game though, our good form is still not enough to see us topping the table and instead we sit 3rd and Aldershot look almost unstoppable at the moment! Already there is a bit of a gap opening up between the top 4 and the rest and I'm glad we're in the mix. Salford fans will be mightily disappointed with their start as their club sit 19th despite being pre season favourites to lift the title.



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    We'll invite National League North side, Altrincham, to Victoria Park for the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup!

  8. Best of luck with this save - I will follow for sure! I particularly enjoy lower league saves and a very good start to the campaign.
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  9. Cracking start to your save mate, is the interest in Magnay still hanging around?
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by dporter8999 View Post
    Cracking start to your save mate, is the interest in Magnay still hanging around?
    Yea mate, major interest from Coventry at the moment

  11. Doing well mate! KIU
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  12. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend
    Looking good - what skin is that?
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by KLIPPYBO View Post
    Looking good - what skin is that?
    Cheers fella...we are doing much better than I expected at this stage. Won't get too carried away just yet but if we can keep this up for a couple more months we could think about challenging for the title. It's the Andromeda skin downloaded from FMScout mate.

  14. Friday 9th November 2018


    Carl Magnay

    Friday 9th November 2018



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    Despite Altrincham being from the lower league, I didn't take any chances with my squad selection here and kept to a pretty strong lineup! It paid off as we cruised past the National North side with ease and into the 1st round proper we go!

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    Bevis Mugabi will have an opportunity to go back to Yeovil in the first round of the FA Cup.



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    FC Halifax are amongst a load of clubs chasing down the top 4, so this was a massive win for us! It was Bevis Mugabi who stole the show for me as he scored his first Hartlepool goal, but also pulled off the most sensational tackle at 2-1 to stop a clear goalscoring opportunity and keep us in front! A massive 3 points this! Great to see Luke Williams making his return after 4 months out injured as well!

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    Salford were pre season favourites to win the title and all I can say on this performance is 'HOW?'. They were absolutely terrible and we literally walked all over them on our way to our biggest win of the season so far! Everyone turned in a shift for us today and the team performance was superb! Luke Williams got another 10 minutes as he continues his return back from a big injury.

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    Nicky Featherstone picked up an injury in training after the Salford game that will see him miss up to 5 weeks! He's been a constant in my side so far, so will likely be sorely missed!

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    We made hard work of this one, but got over the line in the end and put another 3 points on the board! Braintree were resolute and determined and tough to break down, but offered very little going forward.

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    Our good form has continued and now there seems to be a clear top 3 in the league as Leyton Orient have dropped off the pace a little. Only goal difference seperates us and Fylde at the top, with Aldershot hot on our heels.

  15. Smashing start to the season mate - one of the hardest parts about the National League though is that there is only one automatic promotion spot. You at least look like you’ll make the playoffs - best of luck!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by WeArePalace View Post
    Smashing start to the season mate - one of the hardest parts about the National League though is that there is only one automatic promotion spot. You at least look like you’ll make the playoffs - best of luck!
    Yea despite the board only wanting a top half finish, my personal target was to make the playoffs so I'll be pleased if we can achieve it. We've set ourselves up well for the 2nd half of the season with a 14 point gap back to 8th already opened up!
    WeArePalace likes this.

  17. Monday 3rd December 2018


    Luke Williams

    Monday 3rd December 2018



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    Although Yeovil are in the league above us, there's actually only 4 places separating us as they sit 22nd in League Two and there's a chance our positions in our respective leagues could be reversed next year. As expected, it was a tight game which could have gone either way, and we just about nicked it with the winner coming from Liam Noble as he hit a fantastic free kick into the bottom corner on 42 minutes!

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    I'm a Gillingham fan so this is a great draw for me personally as we invite the Pride of Kent to Victoria Park for the 2nd round of the FA Cup! As much as I hate to admit it, it's a winnable tie for us as well!



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    We will play Hereford away in the first round of the FA Trophy.



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    Despite complete dominance against Bromley, we have to settle for a single point as we couldn't find the back of the net. Both strikers were carrying minor injuries into the game and it showed as they both lacked that killer touch in front of goal.

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    Well I wasn't expecting that! The stats give the impression of a close game, whilst the scoreline tells a completely different story! We were absolutely electric in front of goal here as we smashed 6 past a Gateshead side that is actually pretty good! Not sure if they had an off day or not, but don't really care either!

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    There was one piece of bad news that came out of the Gateshead game though. First choice left back, Mark Kitching, will miss up to 7 weeks of football after going off injured!

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    Eastleigh sat in the top 7 at kick off, so this was another really important win for us! Danny Amos was in the starting 11 in place of the injured Mark Kitching and got us on our way with the opening goal, a fabulous left footed effort into the bottom corner from outside the box!

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    We lose another of our back 4 as Carl Magnay will be out for just under a month after picking up an injury in training!

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    I was expecting a tough game away at 3rd placed Fylde and I think it might have been a lot tougher had we not come out of the blocks so fast and bagged 2 early goals inside the opening quarter of an hour! It set us up nicely and all we had to do from there was defend well for the remainder of the game...which we did!

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    All of a sudden, we've opened up a 7 point gap at the top of the table. Granted, Aldershot have a couple of games in hand but we've certainly piled on the pressure for those! After 21 games played, we've scored more and conceded less than any other team in the division and with 20 points back to 8th, we're looking good to at least make the playoffs this year!



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    The board offered me a new 2 year contract with a circa 30% pay rise...I'll also get another 20% pay rise if I can get the club promoted!

  18. Friday 4th January 2019


    Nicky Featherstone

    Friday 4th January 2019



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    Gillingham are not having a good season! They sit 22nd in League One with only 4 wins from 20 games, have recently sacked Steve Lovell, and came into this game low on confidence! On the flip side, we are absolutely flying and fear nobody right now and it showed as we absolutely battered the club I support and dump them out of the FA Cup to progress and pick up some more vital prize money!

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    More League One opposition for us in the next round of the FA Cup and another home draw. Coventry are up next and they'll provide a much stiffer test than the struggling Gills as they sit 5th in the 3rd tier.



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    A game of two halves this one...in the first half we were sensational and put 5 past the Barnet keeper, but in the 2nd we were very boring and looked more than happy to just sit back and see the game out. Honestly, if we hadn't switched off in that 2nd half, we could have won this by double figures as Barnet were simply terrible!

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    Without a doubt our most fruitless performance of the season so far as we are beaten at bottom side, Boreham Wood! With us playing the team at the bottom, I thought I'd give a first start of the season to goalkeeper Ryan Catterick...it backfired!

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    A close game against Orient ended in a 1-1 draw. It was one of those that could have gone either way and a point a piece is fair on both sides.

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    Centre back, Michael Raynes, stepped up and nodded home two headers on our way to a nice away win against 11th placed Harrogate.

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    What a game! Both sides created plenty of chances and scored 7 goals between them with some very tidy finishing! Jake Cassidy and Conor Newton both bagged braces for us as we just edged it to take all 3 points.

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    Jake Cassidy was named as the Player of the Month after scoring 7 goals in his last 5 games!

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    With our 4th and 5th choice centre backs playing here, due to injuries and tiredness, I didn't expect the boys to keep a clean sheet here. But they proved me wrong, which meant that Conor Newton's 1st minute strike was enough to seal the win!

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    We now have an 8 point lead at the top of the table as we managed to get through a very busy December schedule with only 1 loss! Aldershot, back in 3rd, still have a couple of games in hand but even if they win them both, they'll still be 5 points behind us as well! More importantly though, we move closer and closer to guaranteeing a playoff spot as we continue to increase the gap between ourselves and 8th which is now up to 24 points!



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    Playing lower league opposition, I could have fielded a weakened side, but I think the FA Trophy is a cup we can win this season so I didn't want to take any chances! It proved to be the right decision as the players guided us to a comfortable first round win!

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    Joel Rollinson did pick up an injury in the Hereford game though, that will keep him out of action for up to 5 weeks!

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    The second round draw pits us against AFC Telford at home! They currently sit 18th in the Vanarama National North.

  19. Friday 8th February 2019


    Scott Loach

    Friday 8th February 2019



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    We might have missed a major opportunity to knock Coventry out here with the home advantage. We were the much better side througout the game but just couldn't find that 2nd goal to give us a buffer! Once they got the equalizer with 20 minutes remaining, it was tight with both sides missing a late chance to win the game! We'll head back to the Ricoh Arena for the replay and I'm sure Coventry will be a lot better at home!

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    The replay turned out to be a very strange game!! We had an incredible 1st half and Coventry didn't look up for it at all as we raced to a 3-0 lead by half time. Looking nailed on to qualify for the 3rd round and with our FA Trophy game just 3 days away, I decided to bring off 3 key players at half time (Liam Noble, Joel Rollinson and Jake Cassidy) in order to give them a rest! Whether it was that which disrupted our own game, or whether the Coventry players just got a major bollocking at the break which kicked them into life, I don't know, but the 2nd half was a totally different story and the League One side stunned us by coming out and scoring 4 during the second period to knock us out of the competition! It's tough to know how to feel about it as we were massive outsiders for this one, but at the same time we threw a 3 goal lead!



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    Thanks to a Charles Vernam brace, we're through to the next round of the FA Trophy. Vernam scored two crackers here both from outside the box as he takes his goals tally into double figures for the season! Jake Cassidy had a bit of a shocker up front and if he'd have been on his 'A game' then we might have won this by a much bigger scoreline.

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    We're working our way through National League North sides in the FA Trophy and next up is York City away from home!



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    Maidenhead are one of the weakest teams in this league and this game was a walk in the park for us in all honesty. We put 4 goals past them, with no goals coming from our strikers. We seem to have decent finishers amongst the whole team here at Hartlepool which is something I really like!

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    From such a free scoring game against Maidenhead, we couldn't hit a bloody barn door from 10 paces in this one and therefore have to settle for a single point!

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    Last time we played Dagenham, we thrashed them 4-1 and with them sitting at the foot of the table, I expected a similar result here. However, we made hard work of it and record back to back 0-0 draws in the league!

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    Much better! After two league games without scoring, we smashed 5 past a struggling Solihull side! Good to see Jake Cassidy boost his confidence with a couple of goals as he continues his bid to win the golden boot.

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    A massive, massive result away at our main title rivals! Our slick passing around the Aldershot box was too much for them to deal with and some reckless defending allowed Liam Noble to score a hat trick of penalties which gives us a big step towards promotion!

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    That last game against Aldershot was absolutely huge as they'd closed the gap right up to us with their games in hand and had they beaten us, we'd be level on points! However, because we won, we've maintained a 6 point lead! It looks to be coming down to a two horse race for the title between us and them now. With 26 points back to 8th place, it should only be a matter of time before we guarantee ourselves at least a playoff spot!

  20. Monday 11th March 2019



    Monday 11th March 2019



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    When York took an early lead, it looked for a very brief moment that there might be an upset on the cards. However, we'd levelled things up by the break and after we took the lead on 63 minutes with a nice curling effort from Charles Vernam, it only ever looked like one winner! As it was, Vernam went on to complete the hat trick and we advance to the 4th round.

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    We took on Maidenhead in the 4th round and a narrow 1-0 win sees us through to the semi finals. Things became a bit more difficult after Liam Noble's sending off, but we managed to hold on to our slender lead and see the rest of the game out! In 3 meetings with Maidenhead this season now, they have failed to score a single goal against us!

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    We'll now go away to FC Halifax in the semi final. Could a day out at Wembley be on the cards...we're only 1 game away from a trip to the national stadium!



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    Just before our league game with Wrexham, we received some really bad news! Centre back Michael Raynes will miss up to 2 months through an injury picked up in training! Despite Carl Magnay and Bevis Mugabi having higher ratings than Raynes, he has played more games than both of them and recorded an average rating of 7.25 so far this season, so he will be sorely missed!

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    Wrexham are massively underachieving this season and with this defeat they dropped to the bottom of the table. Things were nervey for us at 1-0 for a long time until Luke James came off the bench to wrap things up late on!

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    We did our best to throw away a 3 goal lead here and when Ebbsfleet pulled 2 back, I was worried we were going to throw the win! However, a late goal Nicky Featherstone on the break secured the win in the end and it's another 3 points on the board!

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    We started this game slowly and were off the pace for a while and Barrow capitalised as they went two up! However, after a few bollockings from the touchline and a half time kick up the arse, the lads pulled it back to earn a point!

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    I win my 2nd Manager of the Month award this season for February!

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    I really wasn't expecting such a big result here against a Halifax side that are sitting just outside the playoffs! We were brilliant, played some great football and were a joy to watch! Great to see 5 different players getting on the scoresheet too!

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    Our good form has continued, but Aldershot continue to keep up the pressure and are now only 4 points behind us! With 10 games remaining, it looks like it's going right down to the wire between us two!



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    The youth intake throws up only 3 players that are likely to amount to anything and could have a long term future here.

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    The best of them is 15 year old left back, Christopher Lynch, who definitely looks to have the potential to be a first teamer at some point here!

  21. Friday 12th April 2019



    Friday 12th April 2019

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    On transfer deadline day (28th March), I brought in another winger to help boost our attacking options. Kieron Cadogan was available on a free transfer and joins the club on a 1 year deal. He has a good work rate, high level of determination, some pace about him and is a decent dribbler of the ball. He can definitely bring something to the team and I felt it was important to add another permanent player to the squad as I currently have a lot of loanees.



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    Dover are 5th in the league, so we knew this wouldn't be easy and had to settle for a draw. In all fairness, they probably deserved something from the game, but it's still gutting from our side to concede the equalizer so late on!

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    The point against Dover guarantees us a playoff spot this season! Already, that is above the board's expectations so not matter what happens now, I've over achieved.

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    It wasn't all good news from the Dover game though. We've lost first choice right back, Kenton Richardson, for the rest of the season most likely.

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    A really bad result as we are beaten at home by Maidstone! Only our 3rd loss of the season in the league, but couldn't have come at a worse time with Aldershot breathing down our necks at the top of the table!

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    Our defence seems to be having a bit of a wobble and this is now the 4th game in a row that we have conceded 2 goals which is slightly worrying! Luckily, we were playing bottom side Braintree who can't defend themselves so we managed to get 4 past them on our way to a win!

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    We got away with this one as we turn in a less than convincing performance against relegation threatened Bromley! A wonder goal from Jake Cassidy was the difference between the two sides and was enough to secure us the win though!

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    The win over Bromley takes us to a new points record for the club!

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    It was also our 27th win of the season which is another record for Hartlepool United FC...am I going down in the club's hall of fame yet?!

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    Another sending off for us here as our discipline continues to let us down and it cost us today as Gateshead ran ragged with the extra man and managed to smash 5 past us on their way to victory! The only positive for us to take from this game was Jake Cassidy's hat trick!

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    There's no doubt about it, our form has definitely taken a dip and it could be at just the wrong time of the season too! Despite that, we do remain top of the table though by just a single point now, although we do have a game in hand over Aldershot! It has looked like a two horse race from a long way out, but we can all but confirm now that it will definitely be us or them that lifts the title this season!



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    The first leg of the semi final ends in a draw. The main aim for us here was not to lose as I felt confident we could get the job done at home, and we achieved that! We were the better side here and probably could have won the game though, but we'll take this result after having to play most of the 2nd half with 10 men.

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    We're not going to Wembley this year and I'm gutted! I'd targeted this competition as a trophy we could win this year and am so disappointed to go out at the semi final stage! We saved our worst defensive performance of the season for one of our biggest games and it simply wasn't good enough! Needless to say, the boys got a stern bollocking at the end of the game and were told in no uncertain terms "You better not f*ck up the league now"!



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    With our cup runs this year, we have brought some extra cash into the club and with the bank balance looking healthy, I asked the board to invest some more money into future youth recruitment.

  22. Saturday 11th May 2019


    Jake Cassidy

    Saturday 11th May 2019



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    Considering our recent form has not been the greatest, this was actually a bloody good performance against 3rd placed Fylde! We completely dominated them...something we haven't done for a little while in any game. It only looked like a matter of how many we'd score and on the day, 2 was enough to seal 3 points towards that precious title! Unfortunately for us, Aldershot beat Dag & Red as well so we don't pull away from them at all.

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    This was our game in hand over Aldershot and unfortunately we weren't able to maximise on the opportunity as we're soundly beaten at home by Salford! It leaves us 1 point ahead of Aldershot now with 3 games remaining each!

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    A Luke Williams free kick provided the goal that gave us the win, but Scott Loach should take all the plaudits for his fantastic penalty save at 0-0! They say goalkeepers can win you games and this was one of those days.

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    Aldershot could only manage a draw with Barrow which leaves us 3 points clear with 2 games to go. Because of our far superior goal difference, it means 1 more win will be enough to secure the title!

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    Boreham Wood might be battling relegation, but they had beaten us earlier in the season so we weren't going to take them lightly, especially with what was at stake! The lads were told in my pre match team talk to go out there and give me a title winnin performance...and they delivered! We absolutely battered Boreham Wood's goal for 90 minutes and could easily have had 6 or 7 here in all honesty, but we'll happily settle for the 2-0 victory! Job done! Aldershot won as well, which means that we can't officially be crowned as champions yet as if we lose 10-0 and they win 10-0 on the final day of the season they can still nick the title off us lol!

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    Although we pretty much had the title wrapped up, I'm pleased to win on the final day of the season and sign off in the right way and ensure we win the league outright and not on goal difference! It was a professional job from the lads today as we got the job done with no hiccups.

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    The final league table confirms our status as champions of the National League and Hartlepool United's first ever piece of silverware! I have to admit I feel slightly sorry for Aldershot as they reach 100 points themselves and only lost 6 games all season and most year's this would have been easily enough for them to be champions themselves! Instead, they'll now have to do it the hard way via the playoffs, but a small part of me will be supporting them! Salford definitely picked things up during the 2nd half of their season, but still fail to make the playoffs in what has been a campaign to forget for them!

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    We've also set a couple of new records. One for the National League as we scored the most goals in a season and one is a new club record for least defeats suffered! A truly memorable season for me in my first year in charge!


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    We'll have a little bit of money to play with next season, but again I am likely to look to the free transfer market and loans to improve our squad over the Summer.

  23. What a way to finish the season with winning the title on the final day. Be good to see how you do next season
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by leckuno View Post
    What a way to finish the season with winning the title on the final day. Be good to see how you do next season
    Cheers mate! I think we would have had it wrapped up a little earlier if it wasn't for Aldershot also having a pretty amazing season! I mean, you gotta feel for them a little bit as they reached 100 points and still don't win the title!!
    leckuno likes this.

  25. End of Season 2018/19



    End of Season 2018/19



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    Chesterfield won the playoffs and will join us in League Two next season! I'll be keeping a cheeky eye on Aldershot to see if they run away with the league next year as I expect them to!

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    Jake Cassidy finished the season as the league's top goalscorer with 27!

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    I also took the Manager of the Year in my first season in charge. Well chuffed to pick up a prestigious award in my first year in management!



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    Right back, Kenton Richardson, absolutely runs away with the supporter's award! It actually surprised me a little that it was by such a wide margin with so many of our players having great seasons this year. Richardson also lifted the Young Player as well, whilst Mugabi is the signing of the season...which I completely agree with - he was a fantastic addition to the squad in the January window!

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    The media review gives us deserved praise after a wonderful season which saw us exceed expectations! The league positions table shows that we were top of the division for more than half the season!

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    The squad dynamics are excellent at this stage, as I'd expect after a title winning season.

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    The squad stats for the season show that there were plenty of players who recorded average ratings above the 7.00 benchmark that I ideally look for, with Kenton Richardson having a fantastic season as he topped the pile with 7.45!! However, it is Liam Noble that really stands out for me as the central midfielder bagged himself 15 assists and 16 goals throughout the campaign...that's a pretty amazing return for any player at any level! Molyneux and Rollinson did their jobs from the wings contributing with 12 assists each and scoring 19 goals between them as well! The on loan Charles Vernam also grabbed 17 goals from attacking midfield roles, whilst Jake Cassidy won the league's golden boot and scored 29 for us in all competitions, recording the highest number of man of the match awards for the season too (8).

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    Naturally, the board couldn't be happier with me!

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    The commercial summary makes for good reading with everything on the up!

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    We have a new senior affiliate in Swansea and I'll definitely be looking to take advantage of this relationship over the Summer and hopefully bring a couple of youngsters in on loan for next season.

  26. Thursday 4th July 2019


    Thursday 4th July 2019

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    Before we get on the the new players to join us, this is the released list! There's no really big names for us here, but instead all of these were backup players for the first 11 last season and I just don't think they'll cut it at League Two level so have decided not to renew their contracts.

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    With promotion back to the football league, we can expect a busy Summer as I look to improve the squad ready for League Two. My first signing is goalkeeper, Ted Smith, who joins the club on a free transfer from Southend. The 23 year old made 11 appearances for them last season, conceding only 6 goals and looks like he could do a good job for us down in the division below. He will likely relegate Scott Loach to backup keeper now and come in as my immediate number 1 between the sticks!

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    Luke Molyneux was brilliant for us last season, so the next thing on the agenda was to extend his loan from Sunderland for another season!

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    Taking advantage of the affiliation with Swansea, I moved to bring in 23 year old English striker, Courtney Baker-Richardson on a season long loan. He will provide good competition or Jake Cassidy up front and definitely has the stats to bang in the goals in League Two! Let's hope he can get a few for us!

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    Another season long loan wrapped up as Birmingham's 21 year old winger, Beryly Lubala, joins the squad! Lubala has only made 1 senior appearance in his career to date (all with Birmingham), so he is a bit of an unknown quantity, but I'm prepared to take the risk on him and give the lad a shot to show his parent club what he can do!

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    Last season, we had Danny Amos on loan at left back to provide competition for Mark Kitching. However, I decided not to renew his loan spell and instead have opted to bring in George Cox on a free transfer. The 21 year old was released by Brighton and looks to have some decent stats for such a young player without much game time, so I'm hoping he can come in here and with some games under his belt he will improve further.

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    The centre back position needed a new addition to bolster my options at the back and it's Charlie Goode that joins us on a free transfer from Scunthorpe. He spent last season on loan at Northampton in this division, making 32 appearances, and helping them to a 13th placed finish in the league! He'll definitely compete for the starting 11!

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    Cameron Humphreys is another centre back that joins us on a free transfer. He has come through the Man City youth, so should have some pedigree about him and at 20 years old he still has plenty of improvement in him! He'll get some game time this season for sure, although he may start 3rd or 4th in the pecking order, based on current stats and ability.

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    Possibly my best signing of the Summer is 23 year old Scottish midfielder, Ryan Blair, who comes in on a free transfer from our parent club, Swansea! He spent last season on loan with Dunfermline in the Scottish Championship and made 28 appearances. He is already a 4 star rated player, making him one of my best players in the whole squad upon arrival! At 23 years old, he has his best years ahead of him too!



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    We will kick off our League Two campaign with an away trip to Northampton Town who finished 13th in the division last year. We follow that up with our first home game against Wycombe, before going to Yeovil who we knocked out of the FA Cup last year!



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    My first ever game in the Carabao Cup pits us against Lincoln City at home!


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    We'll bag nearly £300k this coming season in TV money.

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    The board are not taking it easy on me this year with a mid table finish expected in the league, despite only requesting a top half finish in the league below last season!

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    We have a few pre season friendlies lined up against mixed opposition. The games against Cheddar and Horncastle should be comfortable wins and confidence boosters for the lads, before we take on bigger challenges in Swansea and Middlesbrough!

  27. Monday 19th August 2019


    Kenton Richardson

    Monday 19th August 2019

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    Another signing to announce as Danny Redmond joins the club on a free transfer. After a couple of loanees left the club in the Summer, I needed to strengthen the attacking midfield options and Danny is perfect as he can provide cover on the left wing and through the middle! He has some superb all round stats and is a great addition to the squad! Last season, he played his football for TNS, where he scored 4 goals and got 4 assists in 21 games.

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    Considering we only just returned to League Two, we're actually expected to have a decent campaign and the bookies have us at only 55/1 to win the division this year. That leaves us expected to finish in and around mid table!

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    I've made no changes to the captaincy for the upcoming season and Magnay keeps the armband!

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    Pre Season went well enough with the highlight being the fact we kept 5 clean sheets! The loss to Middlesbrough can be forgiven, whilst we earned a decent draw against a strong Swansea side! All lower league opposition games produced sizeable wins to boost the lads morale and confidence going into the new season and I think we're raring to go!

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    An extra 650+ season tickets have been sold following our return to League Two football!



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    The Checkatrade Trophy is another new competition for us this season, although I won't be taking it too seriously in all honesty! We have a pretty tough group, but at least my rotation/backup players will get decent runouts!



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    A good performance to start the season off and we earn a respectable point away at Northampton who finished mid table in this division last year.

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    New goalkeeper Ted Smith picked up an injury in training after the Northampton game that will see him miss 3 weeks of action!

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    Brilliant result for our first home game of the season as we record a comfortable victory over Wycombe! Luke Williams got us on our way again with his 2nd goal in 2 games!

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    Yeovil would have been looking for some revenge on us for knocking them out of the FA Cup last season, but they didn't get it and instead it was us that scored a more impressive win over them! Jake Cassidy is off the mark for this season with his first 2 goals of the campaign!

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    Unbeaten in our first 3 games in League Two means we're in the top 5 who are all on 7 points! Obviously, it's early days but I'm extremely pleased to have started so well!



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    We came from behind to beat Lincoln and progress in the Carabao Cup! Molyneux bagged his first goal of the season, whilst Courtney Baker-Richardson gets his first for the club!

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    Bradford City will be the visitors to Victoria Park for the 2nd round now! Hopefully we can get through this fixture and then draw a big Prem side at home to get the fans in and get some decent cash from ticket sales.



  28. Sunday 15th September 2019




    Chesterfield came up with us last season after winning the playoffs, but have made a winless start to their campaign. And we piled on the early pressure with a big and pretty easy win here. Their fans should be geared up for a long, tough season based on this performance! Jake Cassidy scored his 2nd brace in 2 games as he starts to find his stride at the higher level!



    I'll take a point here all day long! Not only are Blackpool one of the favourites to win this league, but we had to play the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Mugabi's sending off! I really though Blackpool would pile on the pressure late on after that, but they really didn't seem to want it!



    With the games coming thick and fast, this proved a step too far for us! Bury are tipped to finish in the top 3 this season and with home advantage they were able to capitalize and inflict our first defeat of the season on us! Can't be too harsh on the lads though, we came up against a good side and held our own and on another day it might have swung in our favour!



    Birmingham loanee, Beryly Lubala, wins the Young Player of the Month award for August!



    Our best team performance of the season so far as we batter Exeter on their own turf! This result never really looked in doubt from the 8th minute when a Liam Noble penalty put us in front!



    Having already beaten Lincoln in the Carabao Cup, I felt confident we could beat them again here in the league. And I wasn't wrong as we thrashed them. Carl Magnay was the unlikely goalscoring hero today with 2 from right back, and chipped in with an assist as well as he delivered a man of the match performance!



    Eight games into the season and with only the 1 loss to Bury on our record, we are top of the league! It's very tight up there with only 4 points separating 1st-9th (Notts County and Macclesfield could go above us with their game in hand too) and it's also very early days so nothing to get excited about, but we've made a good, solid start that gives us something to build on!





    Boom! Get in there! We take League One's Bradford all the way and knock them out on pens! Scott Loach performed miracles in goal for us and pulled off 3 incredible saves in the shootout to see us through!



    We got the home draw we wanted but not against one of the big Prem sides. Instead, we'll take on Portsmouth in the 3rd round!





    Our first group game in the Checkatrade Trophy pitted us against Wigan, one of the favourites to win the competition. Despite that and the fact we rotated the squad a little, we still battered them, but failed to score. Unbelievably we come away with defeat after Wigan score with their only shot of the game to scrape a 1-0 win!



    16 year old left back, Christopher Lynch, made his debut for the club in the Wigan game! The youngster gave a good account of himself too with a 7.2 match rating!



    Which also makes him the club's youngest ever player!
    Attached Images
    Last edited by TheNotSoSpecialOne; 24/04/2019 at 03:11 PM.

  29. Does anyone else know why FM Base all of a sudden is showing all my images as links rather than thumbnails?? I know they've had the site down a few times over the last week doing updates and now this has happened? Can anyone tell me how I fix it please?
    Hampus Silverholt likes this.

  30. I'm sorry I can't really help with the issue. One thing is that I don't think it's happening to everyone and I'm really not sure why yours are showing up as links instead. Sorry I can't be of any help though mate.

  31. Quote Originally Posted by WeArePalace View Post
    I'm sorry I can't really help with the issue. One thing is that I don't think it's happening to everyone and I'm really not sure why yours are showing up as links instead. Sorry I can't be of any help though mate.
    It's a massive pain in the arse and have to admit it's really annoyed me! Might have to switch to another site if I can't work out a way to fix it!

  32. Quote Originally Posted by TheNotSoSpecialOne View Post
    It's a massive pain in the arse and have to admit it's really annoyed me! Might have to switch to another site if I can't work out a way to fix it!
    Right, I might have worked out a way to get around it by uploading the images and posting the links via imgur. It's more long winded and a bit of a pain, but I've managed to edit the above post and the screenshots are now showing as pictures and not links!
    WeArePalace likes this.

  33. Quote Originally Posted by TheNotSoSpecialOne View Post
    It's a massive pain in the arse and have to admit it's really annoyed me! Might have to switch to another site if I can't work out a way to fix it!
    I feel your pain with this, I have no idea what to do with images and it's never been a problem before.

  34. Monday 21st October 2019



    Monday 21st October 2019







    If it wasn't for Vale keeper, Sam Hornby, this could have been a massive scoreline! However, he was in brilliant form between the sticks for them and kept the score to a respectable 1-0!




    We had to work hard for this win over Cheltenham but got the job done in the end. There were a few nervey moments when they pulled it back to 3-2, but Kieron Cadogan put the game to bed late on with his 2nd goal of the game!




    After winning all 4 of our games in September, I won the Manager of the Month award!




    When we knocked Gillingham out of the cup last year, I said there was a likelihood we might be playing them in League Two this season and I was proved right. They haven't made the most convincing start this year either and came into this game in mid table obscurity, and with us flying at the top of the table, we recorded another win over them here! However, as a Gills fan, I can honestly say I didn't enjoy this one bit!




    Macclesfield finished 18th in this division last year and are doing much better this season as they sit in the top half. That being said, we were still able to go away from home and get a win here! We limited them to only 1 shot in the entire game, so really it was about how many we'd score...2 was plenty!




    Being a Gills fan, I can't bloody stand Swindon, so this was our sweetest victory under my management so far! I loved every minute of it and it's safe to say that I didn't shake Swindon boss, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's hand after the game!




    Not quite sure what happened here. We were simply awful. Struggled in attack and we were a shambles in defence. Although we created more chances, Cambridge were the slicker of the two sides and deserve credit for their win!




    Now 14 games into the season and I didn't expect us to be topping the table at this point but that's where we find ourselves after winning 10 of our games! What's even better than that is that we've already opened up a 5 point gap back to Notts County in 2nd place as well! And what's even better than that is that we are 11 points clear of 8th placed Forest Green...could a minimum of the playoffs be on the cards again?!






    I fielded a full strength side here as, with home advantage and the fact that Portsmouth are really struggling in the Championship, I felt we could win this game! And I wasn't wrong as we took another team to penalties and again my lads came through a dreaded shootout to claim another scalp! Will be rewarded with that big home tie against a Premier League side in the next round now?




    You're damn right we did! We'll invite the mighty Manchester City for the next round and we'll be guaranteed a full house and some decent gate money from that one! We'll probably get spanked mind you, but the finance boost and the opportunity for our lads to play against some of the best players in the world will be worth it (assuming City field a strong side and not a bunch of kids)!






    Again, I made loads of changes for the Checkatrade Trophy and we were expected to lose to Wolves youngsters! However, we managed a draw and even picked up a bonus point by winning the penalty shootout! It still leaves us 3rd in the group with 1 game remaining, but as mentioned at the start of the season, I'm simply using this competition to rotate the squad.




    And that's why I'm paying no attention to the competition this year as it clearly means nothing to our fans as we record our lowest attendance in 35 years!






    Our great start to the season has convinced the board to keep hold of me for a little longer by offering me a new 2 year contract with another pay rise! Of course, I accepted!
    Attached Images

  35. Hi guys, just letting you know this is going on hold temporarily. My laptop screen is busted and I have got to send it off via work for repair.... (word of advice....Microsoft surface pros are very delicate around the edges so don't pick them up from there)! Probably going to be without it for 3-4 weeks at least. Luckily I do have a home PC and will be able to continue playing FM on there. I will be starting a new save on there later today with the plan that I will pick this up at a later date as well and play the two saves in parallel with one another.
    leckuno likes this.

  36. It's OK....I managed to get the save off my laptop and on to my PC! Hooked my laptop up to my TV via a HDMI cable so I could see the screen, and then uploaded the file and downloaded it onto my PC. So I don't need to start a new save after all and can continue with this one! Well chuffed as I am really enjoying this!
    leckuno and Hampus Silverholt like this.

  37. its ok mate look forward to your new save and when you pick this one back up, keep up the good work mate.

  38. Friday 22nd November 2019



    Friday 22nd November 2019




    It was a top of the table clash as 2nd played 1st! Now we might be close in the league, but this contest (if you can call it that) wasn't close at all, as we completely embarassed County in front of their own fans! A stunning performance from my boys that saw us open up a 6 point lead at the top of the table!



    After thrashing Notts County, we proved here that we can do it the hard way as well with a solid 1-0 over a good Crewe team! Bevis Mugabi's header from a set piece was the difference between the two sides here!



    Luke Molyneux picked up the Young Player of the Month award for October!



    Whilst I made it back to back Manager of the Month wins!



    Solid result away at Rochdale as Young Player of the Month, Luke Molyneux continues his fine form with a man of the match performance and a goal! Jake Cassidy came off the bench to bag his 8th goal to seal the win late on! Rochdale manager, Keith Hill, was sacked following this result!



    I think we would have had a much tougher challenge here against 5th placed Colchester if they hadn't had a player sent off within the first half hour. After that moment, we were all over them and the only surprise turned out to be that we only scored one goal! However, Ryan Blair's first strike for the club was enough for all 3 points!



    Eighteen games into the season and incredibly we've opened up an 8 point lead at the top and I think we can now realistically look at making it back to back league wins if we can maintain this form! And even if we don't end up winning the league, automatic promotion already looks well within our grasp as a minimum as we have a 13 point buffer back to 4th!





    Man City brought a pretty strong side with them to Victoria Park and it was no surprise to anyone to see them win the game easily! However, we enjoyed ourselves and the chance for my plaers to share the pitch with world class stars like these will do wonders for their morale! Especially, striker Courtney Baker-Richardson who managed to grab a goal that he will never forget!





    Luke Williams and Jake Cassidy were both on top form here as their goals saw us through to the 2nd round! We battered managerless Rochdale to be fair and they were never really in the game!



    Unfortunately, we did lose Luke Molyneux to injury during the Rochdale game and he will now miss up to 2 months!



    And we will take on non league opposition in the 2nd round as we go to Barrow.





    A weakened side which included a 16 and 17 year olds was still enough to beat Port Vale in our final Checkatrade Trophy group game! We certainly didn't dominate the match, but we took our chances well!



    Central midfielder, George Armstrong was handed his debut for the club against Vale, and the 17 year old played OK with a 6.80 match rating.



    The win over Port Vale was enough for us to leapfrog Wolves U23s into 2nd place in the group and qualify for the knockout stages.



    After Manchester City knocked us out of the Carabao Cup, we will now take on their youngsters in the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy.
    Attached Images

  39. Tuesday 31st December 2019



    Tuesday 31st December 2019



    When you have 25 shots on goal, you're always likely to score at least 1, and one was enough here to beat Grimsby! Charlie Goode this time popped up with a headed effort as he scored his first goal for the club!



    Tranmere came into this game bottom of the table, so anything less than a win wouldn't have been good enough. But my boys kept their heads and their professionalism as they got the job done to extend our winning streak to 6 games in all competitions and record our 5th straight clean sheet as well!



    For the third month in a row, I lift the Manager of the Month award! Making a bit of a name for myself here in the football league!



    Considering we had to play more than 80 minutes of this game with 10 men, following the early sending off of Cameron Humphreys, we will have to take this point as a good one! Especially as late on it looked like Forest Green had nicked a winner with only a couple of minutes remaining, only for Beryly Lubala to score an injury time equalizer!



    A great 2nd half turnaround earns us all 3 points at Crawley! We were poor in the first half, but a good kick up the arse for the players at half time from moi seemed to do the trick and they looked a lot more focused in the 2nd half! All 3 of our goals were headed efforts as Crawley couldn't seem to cope with our crosses into the box!



    To be fair to Newport County, they put up a good fight and were one of the better sides to have visited Victoria Park this season so far. However, unluckily for them they still walk away with nothing and it's another home victory for the mighty Pools!



    Northampton held us to draw earlier in the season and very nearly did the same again here! However, Beryly Lubala had other ideas as he scored a brilliant solo effort from outside the box with only a couple of minutes remaining to put us in front. Danny Redmond then scored his first goal of the season to finish things off in injury time!



    Really disappointing not to win this game after being 3-1 and 4-2 up during the match! However, you can't win them all and at least we didn't lose and preserve our current unbeaten run in the league!



    We finish 2019 top of League Two and if you'd have told me that at the start of the season, I'd have never believed it! But we've been brilliant so far this year, with our home form standing out as we are yet to lose a game at Victoria Park in the league this season! We lead the division by an incredible 14 points and are a massive 18 points clear in the automatic promotion spots. Surely it's nailed on that we'll be playing League One football next year?!





    Not at all happy with this! Going out of the FA Cup to lower league opposition is simply unacceptable! We created a lot of chances but our finishing was awful and Barrow made us pay!





    Man City U23s came into this game as 1-2 favourites to win the game and it was no wonder when they have players like £15 million valued Douglas Luiz and £8 million valued Lukas Nmecha in their team! I mean, just one of those players is worth more than our entire team...worth more than the entire value of our club in fact! Despite the gulf in class though, we did hold our own against City's talented youngsters and took them to a penalty shootout! However, it was them that prevailed on the day and we won't be winning the Checkatrade Trophy this year...although I'm not too disappointed as I never really tried to win it anyway. The competition has served it's purpose of giving game time to some backup players and a couple of promising youngsters from the U18s!





    The board have agreed to fund my personal development and hopefully in 6 months time I'll have the next coaching badge on the ladder!
    Attached Images

  40. Wednesday 19th February 2020



    Wednesday 19th February 2020




    Jake Cassidy had a fantastic season last year and I was concerned going into the football league as to whether he'd be able to make the step up! However, I was wrong to doubt him and he scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season to give us victory over Chesterfield here!



    A bit of an off day in front of goal for us as we created loads of chances but failed to find the back of the net. On the up side, Wycombe couldn't score either so we take a point!



    This game was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. First I had the jubilation of 17 year old George Armstrong scoring his first senior goal for the club as we raced into a 2-0 lead! Then that pissed off feeling as we threw that 2 goal lead away, before being livid at going 3-2 down! Then I had some reprise as we scored an injury minute equalizer to salvage a point...before Blackpool went straight down the other end and nicked a winner. So it's fair to say I finished the 90 minutes feeling pissed off!



    That loss to Blackpool brought our 13 league game unbeaten run to an end. 13 - unlucky for some I guess!



    Bury are going well in the league and are one of our closest rivals, although they're still a fair way behind. We would have extended that lead further here if it hadn't been for a last minute lapse of concentration that allowed them to equalize with virtually the last kick of the game!



    Exeter came into this game 2nd in the table, but we'd already beaten them 3-1 earlier in the season at their place so I felt confident. That confidence was not misplaced as we romped to another easy win over the South West club!



    Mark Kitching picked up an injury against Exeter that will see him miss a couple of months! It will give me an opportunity to give more game time to young prospect, Christopher Lynch!



    Our worst performance of the season results in our biggest league defeat! In fact, it's the first time in my career that we've lost a league game by 3 goals...and it hurts!



    I was looking for the lads to bounce back after the defeat to Lincoln, but instead we laboured to a poor draw against a mid table Port Vale side!



    I will become the first Hartlepool manager to reach 100 games managed since Danny Wilson back in 2008 who reached 133!



    We really should have beaten a struggling Cheltenham side, but our discipline let us down here with two players getting sent off! Based on that fact alone, I guess we have to look at a draw as a decent result!



    We've definitely had a dip in form over the past few games, but it hasn't really effected us as far as the table is concerned as we still maintain a massive gap at the top of the table! As long as we can quickly turn our form back around, it should only be a matter of time before we tie up first a playoff place, then automatic promotion and then the title!




    Christopher Lynch is probably my best prospect at the club, so it's no surprise that the likes of Sheffield Wednesday are sniffing around the 16 year old left back. However, £27,500 is a bit of a piss take of an offer and was quickly rejected!



    Sheffield Wednesday did come back with a significantly bigger offer, but still nowhere near my valuation of the player so again it was rejected! I would need at least £500k to allow him to leave now! Further offers came in on transfer deadline day from Reading, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Preston, but nobody got anywhere near my valuation of the player, with the biggest offer being £325k from Portsmouth.
    Attached Images

  41. Friday 27th March 2020


    Ted Smith - Goalkeeper signed from Southend last Summer

    Friday 27th March 2020



    The Gills came into this game 3rd in the form table, where as we had slipped down to 14th, so the momentum was with the home side! And they very nearly won the game, if it wasn't for Carl Magnay's absolute cracker from about 25 yards to save us a point in the final minute!



    Back to winning ways with a good home win! The defence was a little suspect here, but when you're banging in 4 at the other end it doesn't really matter. Every win now brings us closer to promotion and with an unbeaten home record, it's at Victoria Park that we might get those much needed results to confirm our League One status for next year!



    Left back, Christopher Lynch, has already broken the record for our youngest ever player this season, and his goal against Macclesfield now makes him the club's all time youngest goalscorer as well!



    Jake Cassidy piped up with two cracking goals to give us an away win over Swindon! They were both stunning powerful strikes from well outside the box which left the keeper with absolutely no chance!



    We gained revenge on Cambridge who had beaten us earlier in the season on their own turf! However, we are a different animal at home and have proved unbeatable at Victoria Park so far this season in the league and gave Cambridge a very different game today! Danny Redmond was the star of the show with two goals, the first one being a cracking first time volley that he hit from about 12 yards out!



    A very comfortable home win as we have nearly 30 shots on goal and net 3 on our way to victory! Jake Cassidy scored the first to get us on our way again and he is having another great season!



    That win over Notts County guarantees us at least a playoff spot this season, with 8 games still to go!



    Central midfielder, Liam Noble, picked up an injury in training that will see him miss the remainder of the season! He's had a decent year, scoring 7 goals and getting 6 assists in 28 appearances in all competitions.



    Crewe are a good side who are challenging for a playoff spot, so this was a good win at their place! Jake Cassidy just can't stop scoring at the moment, whilst Luke Williams also bagged his 8th of the season!



    Just one game after securing a playoff place, we go one better and confirm our promotion to League One!



    Seven league games remaining and promotion is already in the bag! Potentially, it may only take one more victory to secure back to back league titles as well! With only 3 more home games remaining as well, I'm keen to ensure we keep that unbeaten record at Victoria Park too!



    It's a really poor youth intake this season with not a single player that looks like a future first team star! Disappointing!



    With promotion to League One confirmed, the board announced the budgets for next season. They've put a few thousand quid in the wages pot, but the transfer budget is minimal again! Looks like another Summer trying to pick up free transfers and loans!
    Attached Images
    Yeti01, leckuno and NashBigginss like this.

  42. Saturday 2nd May 2020


    Beryly Lubala who has been here on loan all season

    Saturday 2nd May 2020



    We very nearly threw away a 3 goal lead here and I'd have been livid if we had! Rochdale came and had a go and missed a glorious opportunity to level things up late on as well, so we've probably had a bit of a let off here!



    We weren't crowned League Two champions immediately after the Rochdale game, but a couple of days later. And who better than my club, Gillingham, to beat Blackpool and confirm us as champions!! What an amazing achievement by us this season - well done to all my lads!



    It's another Manager of the Month award for me as I rack up the personal acolades as well!



    Colchester are a big team in this league, so this has to be seen as a decent point at their place.



    Luke Molyneux joins the injury list and won't play again this season! It could mean he's played his last game for the club as his loan spell ends at the end of the season.



    Pleased to see that just because we have the title won, the lads are not letting up and are maintaining a good level of performance! Grimsby haven't really got anything to play for as they can't make playoffs but won't go down, and they looked like the ones who are just seeing the season out now!



    Our penultimate home game of the season ends in victory over bottom side Tranmere and all but consigns them to relegation. I'm extremely pleased with this win as I desperately want to maintain that unbeaten home record for the whole season!



    A simple 1-0 win to take us to the 100 point mark for the 2nd season running!



    Luke Williams is the latest player to be sidelined and will miss the last couple of games of the season with injury!



    We win our final home game of the season to ensure we remain unbeaten at Victoria Park for the entire campaign, an achievement I am extremely proud of!



    I handed out another debut to a player from last year's youth intake. 17 year old Colin Bell (RB) gave a good account of himself too scoring a match rating of 7.10!



    Beryly Lubala picks up the Player of the Month award for April.



    And it's a 5th Manager of the Month award of the season for me!!



    There's only one Jake Cassidy!! The main man came off the bench to bag our opening goal and his 22nd of the season, before Danny Redmond added a 2nd in injury time! Worth noting that I started three players who came through last year's youth intake too - Christopher Lynch, Colin Bell and George Armstrong!



    There you have it...the final league table which shows that we absolutely pissed it! A massive 27 point gap between us and 2nd placed Blackpool shows that we were absolutely immense this season!! We finish the season with the best attack and 2nd best defence as well! Blackpool and Lincoln also secured automatic promotion and will join us in League One next year!





    After winning back to back league titles, I guess it was only a matter of time before other clubs came knocking at my door. Naturally, I rejected Fleetwood's approach as I want to take Hartlepool to the top!

    Attached Images
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  43. End of Season 2019/20



    End of Season 2019/20



    Rochdale won the playoffs and will come up to League One with us next season!



    Charlie Goode won the League Two Player of the Year!



    Jake Cassidy finished runner up in the Top Goalscorer stats!



    I added the League Two Manager of the Year award to my Vanarama National League award from last season!



    No less than 6 of my players were named in the League Two Team of the Year!



    Again it's a defender that the fan's vote for in their player of the season. This time, it's centre back Charlie Goode that takes the prize! He cleaned up as he also took the signing and young player of the season awards as well!



    The media review is again full of praise for our overachieving club! And the league positions show that we topped the table for virtually the entire season!



    Liam Noble and Jakes Cassidy have joined Carl Magnay as team leaders, whilst Scott Loach and Nicky Featherstone dropped down to highly influential in the squad hierachy. As for managerial support and dressing room atmosphere, it's all gravy baby!



    We have a best 11 announced this season at the end of my 2nd year in charge and the one shock for me is that young Christopher Lynch has gone straight in at left back despite only 18 appearances for the club! Also quite surprising to see captain, Carl Magnay, only makes the bench after being such a big part of our title winning team last season, as well as playing his part in this year's success as well.



    Looking over the squad stats for the season, again I am pleased to see plenty of players recording average ratings above 7.0! Jake Cassidy is a player I am beginning to love and he topped the goalscoring stats again, bagging 22 this year! Courtney Baker-Richardson, Luke Molyneux and Beryly Lubala were all great loan signings and all chipped in with their fair share of goals and assists! Luke Williams also had a good campaign with 13 goals from midfield, whilst Kieron Cadogan did well when he played considering he was brought in as a backup player for the league below last season! The defence were immense this year and the signings of Charlie Goode and Cameron Humphreys at centre back proved to be an excellent partnership at the back! Ted Smith took over the number 1 jersey from Scott Loach and had a good season between the sticks, and we have every reason to be excited about some of our young prospects coming through, none more so that left back Christopher Lynch who made 18 appearances this year...the key will be keeping hold of him as there is plenty of interest from Championship clubs!



    The commercial summary shows big increases in sponsorship and broadcasting money! However, competition prize money and matchday retail took a hit, based on the fact that we only got through one round of the FA Cup this season!



    In other news, Ipswich came knocking at my door but I swiftly rejected their appraoch!
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  44. Wednesday 1st July 2020



    Wednesday 1st July 2020



    Peter Kioso was the only player from the first team squad that was released this Summer as I try to hold together most of the team initially.



    One area of the squad I didn't really need to improve was the centre back position. However, 22 year old Connor O'Grady became available on a free transfer after Sheffield Wednesday decided to release the player and I just couldn't say no! He has some fantastic stats and will push Goode and Humphreys all the way for their spots in the starting lineup!



    Luke Molyneux has had two fantastic seasons with us on loan and has really grown as a player during that time as well! So when Sunderland announced they would be releasing him, it was a no brainer to offer the lad a permanent deal with us!




    With our promotion, I wanted the board to find me a better senior affiliate to hopefully get a better quality of loan players here next year! They have come up trumps and we announce a new link with Arsenal! The link with Swansea has now been cancelled.



    My Assistant Manager, Ged McNamee decided to move on despite me offering him a new deal.



    Leam Richardson joins the club as my new number 2! He has experience in the Assistant Manager role for the likes of Wigan and Portsmouth, so is a good addition to my backroom staff!



    I finished my Continental B Licence coaching badge!



    Bristol City are the latest club to come calling for my services!



    The fixtures for the upcoming League One season are released and we kick off at home to Bradford City, before an away day down in Plymouth! Our home form will likely be crucial again next season if we're going to have a successful campaign!



    We'll pick up nearly half a million quid in TV rights this coming season!



    The board have announced their expectations for the upcoming season and after two straight promotions, they are expecting a tough season ahead and just want me to keep us in the league if I can! As far as the cups go, they're not expecting any heroics!



    BREXIT has happened!



    I asked the board to invest in the youth recruitment and they duly obliged!



    We'll play 5 pre season friendlies, mostly against higher league opposition! The games against Huddersfield and Arsenal should see good crowds and bring in some dough!





    The first round of the Carabao Cup has drawn us at home to Preston North End!
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  45. Friday 31st July 2020


    Scott Loach

    Friday 31st July 2020





    Nicky Featherstone picked up an injury in pre season that will see him miss the first half of the season!



    Carl Magnay also picked up an injury that will see him miss the start of the season!





    Taking advantage of the new affiliation with Arsenal, I brought in 19 year old American striker, Folarin Balogun on a season long loan. The youngster has bundles of pace and can strike fear into opposition defences with his speed and dribbling skills! He'll offer great competition to Jake Cassidy this season!



    My second season long loan signing from Arsenal is attacking midfielder, Ben Cottrell. The 18 year old is another player with loads of pace and could combine really well with his club-mate Balogun! He has an eye for a decent pass, a good work rate and good off the ball movement. I'll certainly be expecting goals and assists from the youngster this year!



    With the injury to Featherstone, I needed to bring in another defensive minded centre mid and Jacob Davenport is the perfect fit! The 21 year old joins on a season long loan from Blackburn and is good enough to slot straight into our starting lineup as he is a class above! His all round stats are great, but what really stands out is is work rate and determination - two traits that I love in any player!



    My only permanent signing of the Summer has been striker Andrija Novakovich! He immediately becomes our highest valued player and the first in our ranks to break the £1 million barrier! So the fact I got him on a free transfer looks like a bargain! His stats speak for themselves and he is a very strong striker for this league, and at 23 he can still improve too! Novakovich was released by Reading, but spent last season on loan playing for Fortuna Sittard in the Eredivisie, scoring 12 goals! The fact he can score 12 in Holland's top league, means he should be scoring for fun in League One!



    This affiliation with The Gooners is turning out amazing for us, as I added my 3rd season long loan signing of the Summer from them! 19 year old winger, Xavier Amaechi, is possibly the best of the three as well! A very exciting youngster with great dribbling ability and technique to go with it and with the abundance of pace he offers, he could install fear into opposing full backs all season long! I've managed to add some serious pace to the attacking side of our team this Summer with this youngsters on loan from London and to say I'm excited to see them in action is an understatement!



    Ted Smith has got the ump! A bid came in for our number 1 keeper from Oxford United of only £125k...yes that's a lot of money at this level but still well under my valuation! I went back and asked for £400k and they pulled out. Ever since, Ted has been giving me shit saying that I priced him out of a move. Not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep the disloyal little prick at the club now!




    I managed to add a modern day legend to my backroom staff this Summer as well, as Robbie Fowler joins the coaching team! OK, not a Hartlepool legend, but a legend nonetheless, and I'm sure his arrival will be a massive boost to our players, especially the strikers!



    Carl Magnay keeps the captaincy for a 3rd year. It was a tough decision this season as I'm not sure whether Carl will hold down a regular first team place this season, but on paper I couldn't deny he is still the best man for the job! However, I did remove Liam Noble from his vice captain duties and that role now goes to new signing Connor O'Grady! If O'Grady has a good season and holds down a starting 11 spot for most of the campaign, then he'll possibly get the armband next season!





    Pre season has gone pretty much as expected! Wins over Barnet and Mansfield were good, if unspectacular, whilst Huddersfield and Arsenal turned us over! The highlight was the win over Bolton!



    Despite two straight promotions, we are not predicted by the bookies to finish bottom of the table! Yes they have us going down in the bottom 4, but only just! And they've been very wrong over the last two seasons, so hopefully we can prove them wrong again this year!



    One of our new Arsenal loanees, Folarin Balogun, is one of the favourites to be the best player in the league this year! What a coup he could be!
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  46. Congrats on the back to back titles! Will be interesting to see how you get on this season!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  47. Just caught up, quality second season! Really like the look of your new striker, should be 20 odd goals this season if given the right service by Davenport.
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  48. Quote Originally Posted by NashBigginss View Post
    Just caught up, quality second season! Really like the look of your new striker, should be 20 odd goals this season if given the right service by Davenport.
    We could be electric in attack this year with our arsenal under 21s squad lol! Added a 4th pacey attacker from them on loan as well who will be shown off in the next update
    NashBigginss and WeArePalace like this.

  49. Enjoying reading this doing well with back to back promotions i created a new Team from scatch and got them from bottom to top with lots of free and loan signings, keep an eye on Arsenal youngsters as now in Premier League i have Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock from them on Free also had couple loan of them other time which really helped.
    Keep up good work want any players to check let me know i can recommend some i had that helped. Interesting season your going have but i'm sure with your signings you can proof everybody wrong again.
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  50. Quote Originally Posted by Tekneeks View Post
    Enjoying reading this doing well with back to back promotions i created a new Team from scatch and got them from bottom to top with lots of free and loan signings, keep an eye on Arsenal youngsters as now in Premier League i have Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock from them on Free also had couple loan of them other time which really helped.
    Keep up good work want any players to check let me know i can recommend some i had that helped. Interesting season your going have but i'm sure with your signings you can proof everybody wrong again.
    Thanks mate, appreciate the comments! I'm really excited about the 4 youngsters I have on loan from Arsenal this season and think they could really tear up League One if I'm honest! No reason why we can't be aiming a lot higher than a relegation battle again!

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