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On a quest to be the best (Take II)

  1. On a quest to be the best (Take II)

    Hello all and welcome to what I hope will be my one and only Football Manager 2017 career as I attempt to once and for all conquer Europe and then, eventually, the World and I'll try not to stop until it's conquered. When I last attempted this on Football Manager 2015 which you can see HERE I reached the year 2074 before losing interest and even then I was nowhere near completed which isn't surprised.

    Europe is the most difficult to complete as you can see there is thirty four playable countries along with the "big four" of England, France, Germany and Spain. Africa only has one playable league and that's South Africa while Asia has eight (including Australia) and South America has six.

    After trying different countries but failing to get employment, I've decided to opt for the much 'safer' route and that's starting in the home nations alongside Republic of Ireland. I've loaded all playable divisions from the five countries loaded as I look to start 'employment' on what should be an memorable journey around Europe and potentially the World.

    Managerial History:
    Stirling Albion: 12 July 2016 - 13 June 2018 (1 year, 336 days) Resigned
    Sutton United: 13 June 2018 - 27 May 2019 (348 days) Resigned
    Institute: 5 June 2019 - 31 July 2020 (1 year, 56 days) Joined Shelbourne
    Shelbourne: 31 July 2020 - 8 October 2021 (1 year, 69 days) Resigned
    Dundalk: 5 January 2022 -

    Trophy Cabinet:
    League Two play-offs 2018
    National South 2019
    FA Trophy 2019
    Intermediate Cup 2020
    Airtricity First Division 2021

    Countries Conquered:
    England (2/11)
    Northern Ireland (1/9)
    Republic of Ireland (1/6)
    Scotland (1/7)

    Last edited by Shedender; 15/11/2016 at 12:56 PM.
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  2. __________________________________________________ ______
    It's time to meet the manager!

    Instead of posting this in the OP I've once again decided to do the "meet the manager" in a separate post which will have a picture of me (well not quite me, but still, my "manager" as well as my managerial stats although truth be told, they won't be much to look at. When I done this on FM15 the manager stats allegedly rose quite fast in the beta, I hope this year is different.

    *Please note: This is NOT a picture of me

    Just like always in my career, I am "Shedender", a twenty nine year old Football Manager who just wants to finally make a break in the management game and it's something I've been looking forward too since I was a little boy playing football games on the original Playstation. I was born in Dundonald, Belfast and support my local club Bangor.

    I'm also a massive fan of English club Newcastle United, Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers and German Bundesliga club Dortmund. As per the norm, I'm going to try and play a 4231 (wide) formation but I have no idea what style I'll be playing, yet.

    So, what do my managerial stats look like?

    Poor but that's absolutely fine as I'll be starting on a 'traditional' Sunday League Footballer reputation (Boys Brigade reputation wasn't available, the last time I actually played football, poorly, but still played) and I'm sure the stats will rise up but I'm hoping not too quickly as that'll be unrealistic indeed. All stats are currently on one except for Mental and Youngster Knowledge which is on two while Tactical and Player Knowledge are on three. I've stated that I'm a 'knowledgeable' manager.

    These are the jobs that are currently available (there's two International jobs which are England and Algeria but International jobs don't help this career) but I've already ruled out the vacancies at English League One duo Coventry and Shrewsbury and Scottish Championship side St. Mirren.

    I don't really want to manage in England yet so that also rules out the possibility of Bishop's Stortford and Weston-super-mare - there's one job in the bottom tier of Scottish football in Stirling while there's one job in Wales and that's Cardiff Met Uni, Galway is available in Republic of Ireland while Northern Ireland has four vacancies and they are Premiership side Carrick, Championship One's Loughgall and Premier Intermediate League's (Championship Two on the game) duo of Newry City and Dundela.

    I've an idea at who I want to start at, just need to boss an interview.
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  3. __________________________________________________ ______
    Starting in 'rainy' Scotland

    Tuesday, 12 July 2016

    I didn't ideally want to begin this career within the combines of the United Kingdom but sadly I did and I have began this career up north in Scotland at the very bottom. For those who can't remember, I've started this career with NO coaching badges and a reputation of a Sunday League Footballer so it's going to be an epic challenge of success, failure, heartbreak and success - but mostly heartbreak and failure.

    I should've been at our twelfth festivities here in Northern Ireland but instead I'm starting a quest in football management.

    And my, soon to be hopefully epic career begins in the land of Irn Bru and Tunnock's Tea Cakes as I've been appointed the new manager of Scottish League Two club Stirling Albion as I agreed to sign a one year deal at Forthbank Stadium.

    For those who don't know Stirling Albion, they're a semi-professional club and they ply their trade in the bottom tier of Scottish league. They're predicted to finish the season in fourth place which would equal a play-off spot and I feel that's acceptable. I don't have much money in the way of a transfer budget or wages but that's fine as it's my first job in management and I can't expect Real Madrid/Manchester City etc. types of wage/transfer budgets.

    We've got a decent squad at my disposial but the problem is I've only got one out and out striker and that's Blair Henderson while we've got not one, not two, not three, not four but FIVE right wingers which is unbelievable but Callum Morrison is only on-loan until January I believe.

    Improvements are needed but it won't be easy.
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  4. Much like Dan, I came across your save on sortitoutsi last year Shedender and I read through a ton of pages to find out how your journey went so I'm happy to catch your career early on this time haha! Good luck with it! It's good to see a fellow Gers fan too. I have a Clyde soms on the go just now as well so it'll be good to see how you get on in the Second Division as well. Have a look at Steven Ross if you're looking for a striker. I brought him in and he's apparently a 'good League One' striker.

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  5. Good luck my friend. Hopefully some trophies in Scoootland!
    Shedender likes this.

  6. It's a challenge I've enjoyed in the past 1magine but I also know it's pretty impossible to conquer. I actually did take a look at Steven Ross, because as you can see, we've only one out-and-out striker but sadly he wanted too much dosh.

    Cheers Tobey Mason. I would love to get some trophies at Stirling but it won't be easy.
    __________________________________________________ ______
    Stirling Albion: Mid season round-up 2016/17

    I wasn't sure on how I was going to update this career but with our section being quiet at this moment in time I've decided to do mid season and end of season update. If I was to do updates every month like I used to then I'd become quickly demotivated, lose interest and this career would die before it's even begun. The more comments I receive means the more I'd be motivated to play. I've reached the New Year here in Scotland so it's time for an update.

    I'm sorry to regret that we have exited all the cup competitions before Christmas which is massively disappointing. We had a dreadful stint in the League Cup, losing all our group games conceding eleven times and scoring the one meesley goal against Premiership side Hamilton. The club fared better in the Challenge Cup before our quarter final exit to run away Welsh Premier leaders The New Saints who ripped us to shreds while our run in the Scottish Cup was halted in the third round, losing at home to non-league side Forres Mechanics in which, despite dominating large parts, we just couldn't get the goals.

    With our disastrous run in the League Cup, confidence was shot as our league campaign began with a six match win-less run in League Two but we then quickly recovered and won three on the bounce before two 1-0 defeats against Montrose and Edinburgh City. Our main issue is the defence/goalkeeper as the club have kept just four clean sheets in the league thus far. In our game away to Berwick we came from three goals down to salvage an unlikely point which was excellent.

    All the eggs can go into one basket now as since we are out of all the cup competitions, my Stirling side can concentrate on trying to win promotion to League One and I'm close to deciding the league's impossible as we're currently eleven points behind leaders Arbroath. Annan looked close to be doomed and finish bottom as they're nine points behind newly promoted Edinburgh.

    The last piece of news in this update is that the Stirling Albion board have allowed me to begin getting my coaching badges as they've accepted my request to start studying for my National C which is going to take approximately four months to study and the football club are paying the six hundred pounds fee to cover the course, so I better pass.
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  7. Not too bad thus far in Shedender, hopefully can keep it coming!
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  8. Cheers for following Dan. You're my 'inspiration' for doing this type of career.
    __________________________________________________ ______
    Stirling Albion: End of season round-up 2016/17

    Season number one has come and gone and we've had a decent start to the campaign thus far although those draws (seven thus far) have damaged our potential promotion hopes, thus far. But we are unfortunately out of all the cup competitions before Christmas time and now we can full on concentrate on attempting to get promotion to League One.

    Just three defeats and three draws came in the second part of the campaign as our form drastically picked up. The year began with a single goal victory at home to Edinburgh City while we ended our League Two campaign with a seven match unbeaten run, keeping six clean sheets out of those seven and in five consecutive game as confidence is high - but, did we at least reach the play-offs?

    Yes! The club have ended the league campaign in third place and thus we've secured a play-off spot and we will face Forfar Athletic in a two-legged semi final and although the games are going to be tough, we should have confidence. We finished just three points behind the champions Arbroath while Elgin will be in a two-legged relegation play-off.

    The first leg in the semi final against Forfar Athletic ended in a 1-1 draw which I was a little disappointed with as attacking midfielder Jack McCue had given us the lead but that only lasted two minutes as Travis levelled for the Station Park outfit.

    And it's Forfar who have progressed to the final after a single goal win at Station Park courtesy of Lewis Milne's strike ten minutes into the second half and it was a tight game iirc and despite playing on several options including 'overload' we just couldn't bag a leveller to force a minimum of extra time and it's another season in League Two for Stirling.

    Near the end of the campaign I applied for a vacant job at National League side Dover Athletic who were in a relegation battle and I believe might've ended up being relegated and I'm sure they would've been favourites for their respective league - sadly I was unsuccessful and I remain at Stirling . . . for now.
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  9. Hard luck in those playoffs, but you were thereabouts this year, if you stay, I'm sure you'll have your first trophy this time next season!
    Shedender likes this.

  10. Oh no doubt Dan, Forfar are no mugs. I'd love to leave Stirling in the summer but only if the correct job becomes available.
    __________________________________________________ ______
    Stirling Albion: Pre season round-up 2017/18

    We had a tremendous end to last season until we lost to Forfar Athletic at the semi final stage of the relegation/promotion play-off so another season in League Two awaited not just Stirling Albion but also myself. Near the end of last season I applied for the Dover job who ended up being relegated to the National South and because they're predicted to finish twelfth, I'm glad I didn't get the job after all - they're also manager-less now after the latest manager got sacked after 61 days.

    I've also applied for another vacancy in Scotland but I'm still waiting a response from them.

    And this will be our first team squad heading into the new campaign and my second season at Stirling and although there's still room for improvement, well, not much talent is available at the moment. Despite being released in the summer (wouldn't agree to a new deal) Scott Davidson has re-signed for the club while Kyle Turnbull, Steven Swinghurst, Murray Loudon, Alan Gow and Kalvin Orsi are all new signings for this season.

    I'm still looking for a youngster goalkeeper and will continue until the end of the transfer window.

    It would turn out to be a mixed pre-season program for ourselves as we'd either win 2-0 or draw 0-0. Four games were played all on the road and things began with a two nil win at Hurlford before drawing a blank at Oakley despite dominating, Stirling Thistle were eased past two nil while our short pre-season preparations ended with a scoreless draw at Tynecastle FC.
    Nurquidi98 likes this.

  11. __________________________________________________ ______
    Stirling Albion: Mid season round-up 2017/18

    Because no other jobs were available in the summer, well except for one which still says 'applied', I have had no real choice to remain at Stirling Albion for at least another campaign in an attempt to get promoted to the Scottish League One, I don't want to remain 'loyal' because this challenge is about trophies and not loyalty.

    For the second season running we are out of all the cup competitions before Christmas which is massively disappointing but c'est le vie but it's progress as we actually picked up points in the League Cup, beating Stirling 2-0 at home and beating Stranraer on penalties. Yet again we crashed out of the Challenge Cup to Welsh Premier League side The New Saints while the side also crashed at the first hurdle in the Scottish Cup against League Two 'rivals' Clyde.

    It's been an enjoyable first part of the season minus that away defeat to Clyde in which we got outplayed and lucky only to have lost three nil. Our league campaign began with three consecutive clean sheets, continuing on from last season. One season I'd love to go an entire campaign unbeaten at home but it won't happen this season. We ended twenty seventeen with a hard fought 4-2 win away to Edinburgh City.

    And we will head into twenty eighteen second in the League Two table but nine points behind the leaders Clyde and we face them next at Forthbank Stadium. Stenhousemuir, despite beating us recently, are bottom and three points behind Elgin City who escaped relegation last season by winning the relegation/promotion play-off.

    And the final piece of news in this update is the board are once again allowing me to take my coaching badges and if I'm successful, it will be my National B as I slowly get my required coaching badges which'll make this career 'easier' in the long run. Once again it's going to take approximately four months of study and once against Stirling Albion will be paying the six hundred pounds fee for the course.
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  12. __________________________________________________ ______
    Stirling Albion: End of season round-up 2017/18

    Promotion to League One has always been the aim this season so I'm not overly disappointed we exited all the cup competitions before Christmas, okay maybe slightly but the possibility of promotion will get me over that pretty quickly. We have had a tremendous first half of the season even though we're nine points behind the leaders Clyde but they have to drop points, correct?

    The new year began well as we trounced the leaders Clyde 5-2 at Forthbank but then followed that up with a disappointing defeat at home to Elgin while the rest of our defeats in the second part of the campaign came on the road to Berwick, Clyde, Elgin, Cowdenbeath and more annoyingly bottom of the table Stenhousemuir. The league campaign ended with perhaps an undeserved single goal win at home to Annan. Frustrating enough for me, Kalvin Orsi's goals have dried up.

    So it's got to be the play-off's for the second season running as Stirling finished nine points behind the champions Clyde who, although we 'duffed' them at the beginning of the year, had a tremendous season (+33 GD as well) and I'm sure they'll do well next season but the question remains, will we join them? Stenhousemuir finished bottom and will need to win a two-legged play-off to remain in League Two.

    We travelled to Annan Athletic for the semi final first leg as a classic play-off contest ended all square. Winger Murray Loudon gave us the lead on nineteen minutes but we couldn't hold on for a first leg advantage as Ryan Watters levelled at Galabank.

    The second leg was a lot better, as despite falling behind twice due to goals from David McKenna and Ryan Watters, we struck four times at Forthbank Stadium. Murray Loudon struck two wonderful free kicks while Connor McMullan and an Peter Watson own goal also struck and we'll face fellow League Two side Berwick in a two-legged final with a place in League One awaiting.

    Despite taking the lead twice we had to settle for a draw at Berwick. Ross Smith had headed into a nineteen minute lead but Euan Bauld made it one apiece on a half hour, seven minutes later Murray Loudon had regained our advantage, Darren Whyte made it two two with seventeen minutes remaining and that's how it ended.

    But trophy #1 was secured as we've been promoted to League One after this two one (four three on aggregate) victory at home to Berwick as full back Ross McGeachie and left winger David Turner scored to give up a 2-0 lead on the night, Alisdair Stark pulled a goal back for the Wee Rangers but Stirling held on to secure promotion to the third tier of Scottish football.
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  13. __________________________________________________ ______
    Heading South

    Wednesday, 13 June 2018

    Even though promotion was won to League One in Scotland via the play-offs, I felt my time at Albion was up as I needed to progress in this career. Just days after a two legged win over Berwick I headed to the 'Job Centre' in an attempt to find work, I found a job in England which I found appealing and I quickly applied, attended an interview and was offered the job which I snapped and my time at Forthbank Stadium was over.

    So I'm delighted to announce that I've been appointed the new first team manager of National League side Sutton United who ended the campaign being relegated to the National South, I've agreed to sign a one year contract at Gander Green Lane and I can't wait to get started. Sutton paid £28k to Stirling for my services - I was happy enough at Stirling but this career is about trophies, not loyalty. Finally, of course it had to mention my humbling Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Forres Mechanics, of course it did.

    And now, I had to make the seven and a half hour journey down from Stirling with all my s**t to start my next chapter.

    I've ended up making three signings thus summer and although I'd like to add another one or two, it might not be feasible. Lewis Ward is a shot stopper who has cost us four grand from Reading, Dan Matsuzaka has re-joined on loan from Southend and Aaron Cunningham has left National League's Hartlepool United for fourteen and a half grand. I had re-mewed a few loan deals already at the club as I thought they could've done a job for us this season.

    And this will more than likely be the squad that'll begin our National South campaign and it's a squad that's def. capable of getting an immediate return to the National League at the first time of asking. I'm not one for being a 'fan' of loan deals as I'd rather have the players on a permanent basis but I've five currently on-loan including two central defenders who, more than likely, will be first choice. I'm hoping Jack Stevens (AMC) and Michael Cregan (ST) can be crucial in my success this season.
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  14. Well done on trophy one mate and on the new job!
    Shedender likes this.

  15. Just had a browse through your 2015 story, very impressive stuff, your commitment to a save is outstanding! I shall follow this one for sure!
    Shedender likes this.

  16. Thanks for the comment Dan, I'm hoping I can add more to my collection.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the career I had throughout FM15 as I felt that was 'epic' but sadly I lost interest and decided to end the career, I've no interest in letting this one finish early although it is quite impossible to conquer.
    __________________________________________________ ______
    Sutton United: Mid season round-up 2018/19

    At the end of last season I made the decision to leave Scottish side Stirling despite getting promoted to League One but whether I'll end up regretting the switch the Gander Green Lane will remain to be seen. They're predicted to win the league and an immediate return to the National League but whether that'll happen or not remains to be seen.

    For the first time in this career, we remain in a cup competition after Christmas after progressing to the second round of the FA Trophy but we needed not just penalties but also a replay to get past fellow National South side Wealdstone. Our run in the FA Cup ended in the first round proper, losing to League One's Oxford United - in the previous rounds Sutton beat Cirencester (5-0 after a replay), Harrow (3-2) and Chelmsford (2-0) before the first round exit, but we did force them to a replay.

    And it's been an enjoyable first half of the 2018/19 campaign but it's also important we keep it up if we're to try and get a title/promotion back to the National League. The side had lost two of their opening ten games (and drawing one, on the opening day to less), we also had went on a goal 'drought' in which we had failed to score in four of five games while the calendar year ended with back-to-back victories although no clean sheet.

    But that doesn't bother me too much because we will begin 2019 top of the National South table and nine points clear of second and third placed Maidenhead and Bath. Sutton currently have a +16 goal difference and if the form can be maintained then we'll win the league, but it'll be tough.
    Nurquidi98 likes this.

  17. __________________________________________________ ______
    Sutton United: End of season round-up 2018/19

    So season one has been concluded at Sutton United and it has been an enjoyable campaign thus far as not only do we sit top of table, nine points clear but we also remain in the FA Trophy - it would be quite remarkable if we were able to chalk of a double this season but it won't be easy.

    We only remained in the FA Trophy come the New Year but I'm delighted, shocked, but delighted to announce that the FA Trophy has been chalked off after an excellent 2-1 win over [s]former[/s] holders Dulwich Hamlet in the final. Waltham Abbey were defeated in the third qualifying round, a replay and penalties were needed to see off Wealdstone in round one, round two saw us stuff Maidstone at home, the third round we eased past non-league Barwell 5-0, Torquay were beaten 1-0 in the fourth round at Plainmoor before we beat Salford City in a two legged semi-final.

    The win in the final against Dulwich was made even sweeter after we had lost our first choice 'keeper in the last league game for nine weeks.

    And wow, what a tremendous second half of the season as we dropped points in only seven games (three draws and four defeats) and kept eight clean sheets in the process. The club were already nine points clear heading into the New Year and going throughout the month of January maintained our top spot placement. We did have a slight 'stutter' at the business end when we had won twice in six games but the campaign ended with back-to-back victories against Weston-super-Mare and Whitehawk.

    Champions. It turned out to be an excellent campaign for Sutton United as not only did we secure not only the FA Trophy but the National South title as well, finishing twelve points ahead of runners-up Dover Athletic but whether I'll decide to remain at Sutton for next season in the National League or not yet remains to be seen even though I had recently penned a new one-year contract extension.
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  18. __________________________________________________ ______
    Heading To My Homeland

    Just one season was spent at Sutton United but the decision was made to resign at the end of the campaign. I didn't feel the club could compete to a high standard back in the National League and with this career being all about trophies and not loyalty, well, I made the tough decision to step aside.

    And this is the conformation that my time at Gander Green Lane has indeed come to an end after just one full season at Sutton, but it was an enjoyable season as I not only won the National South title (as expected) but we also added the FA Trophy to my trophy cabinet, which is slowly starting to grow.

    So the major question now needs to be asked, where's my next destination?

    Unless I'm forgotten, I believe dani3w has managed this team briefly but I've decided that Institute Football Club will be my next destination on this journey. The football club were relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 18/19 campaign but I'm [s]sure[/s] hoping they'll be favourites to win the Championship next season but I expect some players to be unhappy following relegation. I've penned a one year deal at The Riverside Stadium, earning a meesley £220 quid p/w.

    We've a solid enough squad to choose from with two players returning from loan spells out while the two loanees the club had last season have also re-signed for another seasonal loan. A few players would like to leave the club following relegation - goalkeeper Harry Doherty (currently injured) and striker Danny McKee being two but they're under contract and I've no intention on letting them depart - if the squad can remain united throughout the season, I could secure a double.
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  19. Nice play off win with Stirling and a brilliant ease to the title with Sutton Utd too! Hopefully this next job works out just as well.
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  20. I sure hope it does 1magine, it turned out to be an easy enough time at Sutton, whether it'll be like that at Institute remains to be seen.
    __________________________________________________ ______
    Institute: Mid season round-up 2019/20

    Whenever I decided to make tender my resignation at Sutton United and move to Institute following their relegation I completely understood that I'd have had some players who would've been unhappy after the club but I did tell them under no certain terms to "suck it up, you're under contract", no one has come in for them and they remain unhappy but because they're good players, they'll play so they better perform.

    The club entered three cup competitions this season - League Cup, Irish Cup and Intermediate Cup and we still remain in both the Irish and Intermediate Cups. Cliftonville dumped us out of the League Cup, 2-0 at Solitude while the side have beaten Hanover, Strabane and Newington thus far in the Intermediate Cup and will travel to Malachians in the fourth round. Our run in the Irish Cup began with a hard fought two one win at Dergview and a trip to Premiership side Carrick awaits in round five.

    Now this not the form of a team that's predicted to win the league, is it? It's been a dreadful first part of the league campaign in which we've only won five of our opening sixteen games but somehow I haven't been sacked nor am I under any sort of pressure seemingly which is a strange 'un but I won't complain. The calendar year ended with a four all draw away to Tobermore in which we had to come from 4-1 down iirc to salvage a point.

    And I will take Institute into the second part of the league campaign down in ninth place, fourteen points behind the leaders Warrenpoint Town and nine points behind Ards who currently occupy to final play-off spot. I'll need to guide the club on an excellent run of form if we're to have any chance of securing promotion but at the moment it's not looking likely.

    But I was hoping my time at Drumahoe would've been a short one because during the first part of the season a job vacancy at The New Saints became available after their manager, Craig Harrison, headed to Dagenham and Redbridge - I attended the interview but unfortunately I was unsuccessful and I remained at Institute.

    Didn't mind as much this time because it would've been a two seasonal (minimum) job at TNS due to them already being out of the Welsh Cup by the time the job became available. Now, I need to play the waiting game for this job to come around one more time as it's ideally the only job you can take in Wales that'll see you successful straight up.
    Nurquidi98 likes this.

  21. Great story so far, keep it up.
    josh_brady and Shedender like this.

  22. Cheers mathllanber and don't worry, I intend to keep it up.
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    Institute: End of season round-up 2019/20

    Somehow I haven't been sacked as Institute manager despite having an atrocious league campaign to date as we're down in ninth place in Championship 1 despite being the preseason favourites to win the league - the only saving grace is we're still in the Intermediate Cup, another trophy I was hoping I could win whenever I took the charge at the Riverside Stadium.

    Our run in the Irish Cup ended in the sixth round after a two goals to one defeat away to Premiership side Glentoran at The Oval, we had shocked another Premiership side in Carrick the previous round, beating them 1-0 in a replay. But one trophy that was signed sealed and delivered was the Intermediate Cup after we beat Dergview 3-2 in the final despite falling behind twice in a crazy final twenty minutes - in the other rounds of the Intermediate Cup the side managed to beat Hanover, Strabane, Newington, Malachians, PSNI and Lisburn Distillery.

    The league form picked up slightly in the second part of the campaign after back-to-back 2-0 wins at home to Newry and Loughgall but that was then followed by back-to-back 2-0 defeats away to Bangor and home to Larne but we then duffed Banbridge Town seven goals to two. Our league campaign ended with back-to-back wins and clean sheets but everyone knew the title had gone before the New Year began.

    So despite being the preseason favourites for the league, the club had to settle for a massively disappointing eighth place finish which simply can't be acceptable. The eleven league defeats simply cost us any chance of secure at least a play-off spot. I don't understand why, but I haven't been sacked nor am I no longer under pressure. I plan to stick around for one more season unless something else comes up. Ards won the league which cheeses me off a little.
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  23. __________________________________________________ ______
    Republic of Ireland Bound

    I've decided to make the decision to leave Institute whenever a job vacancy became available "down south" in Republic of Ireland. The club in question are currently rock bottom and possibly could be relegated to the First Division and that's the main reason why I've decided to take the job, if they do end up being relegated then I pray I can keep my job as I'm not the one to blame.

    The club in question?

    Shelbourne. After delaying it for two weeks to consider the offer, I decided to jump and I hope it's a switch I don't end up regretting but I've been thrown into the deep end with my first set of fixtures which will begin "tonight" with a trip to Cork City. Institute received fourteen thousand in compensation.

    And this was the 'deep end' I was talking about because with the side already on a losing win-less run my first four games will see us travel to Cork, host Shamrock Rovers, travel to Dundalk and welcome Derry to Tolka Park. Ouch. Confidence could be even more shot if Shelbourne get duffed in those four games.

    And finally this is the league table at the time of my arrival, as you can see Shelbourne are rock bottom and technically nine points behind Wexford Youths who occupy the tenth place (one position outside the relegation/promotion playoff spot). Just two wins from their opening twenty two games is quite terrible although they were predicted to finish bottom but the goal difference is quite alarming, minus 32. Relegation could be a certainty.
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    Shelbourne: Final Eleven League Games 2020

    Whenever I finally decided to jump ship to Republic of Ireland club Shelbourne I took charge of a club, not only bottom of the Premiership table but also low on confidence. Relegation wouldn't be the worst thing for the my sake as I'd assume we'd be favourites for an immediate promotion to the top flight - the question needs to be asked though, will we end up being relegated or would we end up surviving against the odds?

    Confidence was low and that was obvious when I failed to win any of my opening five games and then I started regretting about leaving Institute as I thought I'd never pick up maximum points but we did when Wexford Youth (undeservedly) were beaten 2-1. Three more wins would end up following against Finn Harps, Sligo and St. Pats. I deserve to win Manager of the Year (ha!) after guiding a confidence ridden club to four more league wins.

    But those back-to-back wins weren't enough as Shelbourne were assigned to relegation in their one and only season in the Premiership (since the save began) but I sure as hell gave it a go as goal difference (-36) is what ended up sending us down when all the smoke had cleared. Wexford Youths are in the relegation/promotion playoff while Dundalk retained a league title they had failed to win in the previous two seasons.

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    Shelbourne: Mid season round-up 2021

    Relegation from the Airtricity Premier Division has been and went and now it's time for the squad to concentrate and ensuring we make an immediate return to the top flight in Republic of Ireland but to ensure that, I need to keep the majority of the squad together and also attempt to add quality and I feel I done just that - no one of any "significance" left the club while I brought in Darragh O'Driscoll (Free), Jon Egan (Free), John Foster (Free from Derry City), Ciaran Kelly (Free from Galway United), Craig Donnellan (Free from UCD) while Paul Caulfield's loan from Sligo was extended for another season.

    As per usual, we will begin with the cup competitions - in both the Leinster Senior Cup and EA Sports Cup the club crashed at the first hurdle as Dundalk (and rightly so) beat us 3-1 at Oriel Park while fellow relegated side Wexford Youths beat us one nil at Tolka Park - victory on the road at Letterkenny seen us progress to the third round of the Ford Cup but the draw hasn't been yet been made.

    The league form has been solid enough, even if we have annoyingly lost three times at Tolka Park (and four league defeats in general) so my hopes of turning our home into a 'fortress' has disappeared quickly. We hadn't lost any of our opening eight league games before back-to-back home defeats - we have ended the 'mid season' with three games without a win and our first game in the second part of the campaign is on the road to leaders Cabinteely.

    And we lie in second place (our predicted media finish, Wexford favourites for title) as the season hasn't been the worse - four league defeats is a little annoying but it's important the side bounce back as soon as possible. Cabinteely, predicted to finish second bottom, are the surprise leaders but whether they'll be able to maintain the form or not remains to be seen.

    Finally, the board are allowing me to take my latest coaching course which if successful will see me capture my National A Licence. It feels like it's been a "while" since I've been on one of these courses so I hope I'll pass. Once again it's going to take approx. four months of study and the Shels will be covering the six hundred pounds fee for the course.
    josh_brady likes this.

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    Shelbourne: End of season round-up 2021

    The first part of the campaign has been quite enjoyable at Shelbourne and we're still deep in the title hunt, I'm sure Cabinteely can't maintain their excellent campaign and the bubble is due to "burst" sometime, or so I hope. We have thirteen league games remaining and a minimum of one Ford Cup game in which we ended up being drawn out at home to Premiership side Galway.

    Our run in the Ford Cup seen a quarter final exit after defeat at home to Cork City who deservedly won 1-0 at Tolka Park. In the third round I guided Shelbourne to a shock, but fully deserved single goal win at home to Premiership side Galway United due to an early goal.

    To say the second part of the campaign was a mixed one is an understatement, things began well with six consecutive wins - including huge victories away to Cabinteeley and home to Cobh Ramblers - but the season then didn't end particularly well as Shelbourne failed to win any of their last five league games, which was a little annoying.

    But the league was won and I've chalked off the Airtricity First Division title which has delighted me. We won exactly 50% of our league games, drawing eight and losing six times as we finished two points ahead of Cobh Ramblers who will be joined in the play-off by Cabinteely. Athlone finished rock bottom, a point behind Bray.

    And following the league success, I tendered my resignation with immediate effect as I'm fully aware the club will struggle in the top flight.
    jordalicious likes this.

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    Staying put in Ireland

    Whenever I made the decision to leave Shelbourne at the end of the 2021 campaign I had to play the waiting game for my next opportunity despite applying for several jobs "across the pond" as I failed to even get interviews at League One duo Preston North End and Milton Keynes Dons, League Two's Colchester United and even National League's York City - whenever I seen one job become available in Ireland I knew I had to apply for it and pray I got it.

    Quicker than expected but I'm joining @[Dan] at Oriel Park as I've been appointed the new manager at Dundalk and I'm chuffed they've decided to appoint me. The previous manager departed to become the new gaffer at Scunthorpe United and I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I've signed a one year deal which will expire in December 2023 but I'm hoping the country will be almost chalked off before the current deal expires.

    Don't be alarmed but this is the entire first team squad and, to put it lightly, it's a little on the large side. It's a solid enough looking squad but some players will need to depart the club in this transfer window as we're currently over the wage budget and I'm unable to get any coaching badges ffs but I don't know whether some players will leave permanently or just on loan deals. Two players from the first team (Ger Gunning and Ryan Brennan) have already left on loan but whether more will follow, well, only time will tell.

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    Dundalk: Mid season round-up 2022

    I'm delighted to have landed on my feet while remaining in Republic of Ireland in an attempt to almost chalk the country off. Dundalk have done well in recent years in the league even though they haven't been overly dominant (Derry City have won the league twice iirc) but with four cup competitions and the league to potentially win, this could turn out to be a tremendous campaign, or a disastrous one.

    I've only been at Dundalk for six months but two trophies have already been secured as the President's Cup (2-1 vs. Derry City) and Leinster Senior Cup (3-0 vs. St. Patrick's Athletic) headed to the Oriel Park trophy cabinet. We still remain in the Ford Cup and the EA Sports Cup while we'll face Malmo in the Champions League second qualifying stage, although not important, should help our bank balance.

    And just like @[Dan] Dundalk have been excellent in the first part of the 2022 season despite suffering two single goal defeats on the road to Longford Town and St. Patrick's Athletic. Our success has been built on not just attack but defence as well as the side have kept nine clean sheets from our sixteen league games thus far and the first part of the season ended with back-to-back one nil victory against Cobh Ramblers and Bohemian. As you can also see, I beat my former employers Shelbourne 3-0 at Oriel Park.

    Seven points clear of St. Pat's with I believe seventeen games remaining, this are currently looking good for the league title as we've been in excellent form but it's also important that it's maintained. We have a +18 GD as you can see we haven't conceded too many at present. Shelbourne have done better than they did at this stage the last time in the Premiership, they've won four of their sixteen games and are out of the bottom two.
    jordalicious likes this.

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    Dundalk: End of season round-up 2022

    It's been an enjoyable first part of the campaign at Dundalk as not only are we seven points clear at the top of the table but we've already won two trophies (President's Cup & Leinster Senior Cup) while we still remain in the EA Sports Cup and FAI Ford Cup so it's very possible FIVE trophies could be signed sealed and delivered in my first season at Dundalk which would be incredible, perhaps expected but incredible nonetheless.

    We've won every domestic cup competition Republic of Ireland threw at us although the side needed a penalty shoot-out to get past Sligo Rovers in the Ford Cup but we did beat the same opposition in the EA Sports Cup final, winning that one 2-0. We didn't have the worse run in Europe as Swansea City ended up beating us four nil on aggregate in the Europa League play-off.

    The league campaign could've ended better as the side failed to win any of it's last four games - drawing against Sligo and St. Pats while losing against Shamrock Rovers and more surprisingly at home to Limerick. The side did thump Shamrock Rovers 5-1 but they had went down to ten men very early on while the club had also secured excellent wins at Cork and Derry.

    And as predicted Dundalk won the league but the most surprising thing was we only finished four points clear of St. Patrick's Athletic at the summit but if it wasn't for being complacent then it would've been more. Galway finished rock bottom, Cobh Ramblers will go into the relegation/promotion play-off which meant my former employers Shelbourne survived and quite comfortably in the end.

    So I've resigned. I had won everything possible at Dundalk so I didn't see the need to stay on. Just one season was spent at Oriel Park.

    But before I resigned, our run in Europe meant the club was no longer in the red and it also meant I was finally able to ask to go on a coaching course a few weeks before I would end up tendering my resignation and once I'm success, I'll have my Continental C Licence which will then mean I will be three away from getting all my required badges. Just like all the courses, it's going to take approx. four months to study and Dundalk will be paying near a grand to cover it.
    FMSaddler96 likes this.

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