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The Football Managing Mercenary
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  1. Cheers Neavie, I honestly have no idea. I think sheer desperation and persistence eventually saw the chairman show pity on me.

    Thanks DeathBall!

    Goodbye Non-League Football!

    Having scrapped and battled my way to turning the Lions into a National League force, its time to make my way to the glitz and glammer of League Two...

    Before I make my way to the scenic city of Grimsby there is sometime to take a look back at what I achieved during a short but sweet spell with Guiseley.

    Vanarama National League

    Things started off in dramatic fashion. With the entirety of my debut year in management coming down to the final ninety minutes of the season, the Lions pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season to scrape their way to survival and ensure I remain employed for longer then one season. Flying start.

    Vanarama National League

    Having signed nearly every teenager in the country with a slight degree of talent the boys restarted their careers in the basement of English football in fine style as they drag the club to its highest ever finish in the clubs long history, taking the entire league by surprise by not just avoiding the relegation dog-fight but securing a respectable mid-table finish.

    Vanarama National League

    Staying with the Lions until February the club was once again on course for its highest finish with the club trying its utmost to grab a top half position. Having made some fine early running the boys even found themselves within the playoff spots until falling away towards the finale. Fortunately for me I would still find my way into the football league regardless...

    With two and a half season almost under my belt, I've actually made a rather healthy start to my career.

    With a quick arrival into the football league, a club with big ambitions awaiting my arrival and a welcome chance to boost my mediocre reputation on the big scene ahead of me, It's time to bid farewel to the Lions.

    Time to ruin my previous hard work, embarrass myself and sabotage Grimsby's hopes of establishing themselves in the football league.

    Last edited by DerbyJack; 08/12/2016 at 08:22 PM.

  2. New career objective - keep Grimsby below Lincoln

  3. I've got bad news Godfish, I'm already failing. The Imps aren't exactly having a good time of it this season.

    The Promised Land awaits.

    Despite breaking my way into the Football League in relatively short time, my reputation and qualifications remain painfully low.

    With the Lions unable to stump up the cash to send me to get my badges and only a mid-table finish in the National League to my name, I've certainly got a lot to prove with the Mighty Mariners...

    From Yorkshire to Lincolnshire and the lovely fishing town of Grimsby...

    It might not rank up beside the beautiful surroundings found alongside the likes of Barcelona or Inter Milan but Grimsby still has plenty to offer....mainly fish.

    Non the less I'm not here to view the surroundings, I'm here to play football and earn money...

    A one hundred and fifty pound pay rise. My third in three seasons. No stopping me now.

    With my contract now dangerously close to the one thousand pound a week mark, I'm already closing in on a wage more befitting of a manager within the Football League.

    With just one solitary season to ensure I hang around long enough to hit that magic marker, it's time to see what I've got myself into...

    Having been briefly in the running for nearly every League Two club that found itself in the bottom half of the table, I remarkably have landed a job with a club seemingly managing to avoid the battle at the foot of the standings and an unwelcome return to the National League.

    With just a handful of games remaining to ensure the clubs survival and hefty gap between ourselves and those towards the safety of mid-table, I've got little time to waste to ensure I keep the club out of the relegation dog-fight.

    Let's get going...

    Death Ball, Seano, naterr and 2 others like this.

  4. Fifteen games left in the season and a clubs League Two status in the balance.

    With no time to truly evaluate the squad and with my tactical ability stretching about as far as one shoddy formation and a lot of luck its time to take a quick glance at the Grimsby squad before we dive head first into League action...

    With a relatively strong but imbalanced team at my disposal it takes little time to workout quite why the Mariners have struggled this season.

    The club finds itself with just one solitary striker on the books...and he isn't even permanent.

    With some of the most talented players to be found among the clubs numerous attacking midfielders I at least have some hope of working the ball towards the oppositions goal however I certainly know where my attention will lie should I survive until the transfer window.

    Before I can dream of bringing in a lower league sharp shooter its time to show-case some of the clubs most talented stars...

    The Italian maestro. Having arrived from his home nation just one season ago Cali has emerged as the most important player within the entire team. With a neat eye for a pass and the mental abilities that will see him thrive at this level, the young work horse will certainly be crucial to my current and future plans.

    With a number of attacking midfield options in the squad, Tom Barkhuizen emerges as one of the best. As one of the paciest wingers in the entire division and a finish that will hopefully see him make up for our lack of options upfront. I will be hoping the right winger will be able to add to his nine goals for the season to keep my League Two career alive.

    With the squad briefly greeted and a rather half-hearted attempt at a formation scrubbed up, it's time to get these boys into the action.

    Don't let me down gents!

  5. Looking forward to the next chapter in your journey.

  6. Thanks Neavie, I will try and up the pace a bit. Sorry for being so slow recently!

    February 2019

    20th February 2019
    League Two

    First game at the helm of the Mariners and within the Football League see's us snatch a hard earned point following an end to end game against a Blackpool side also keen to distance themselves from the relegation dog fight. With the boys very fortunate to claim the draw with a goal four minutes from time its safe to say I didn't entirely thrill the home crowd with my arrival.

    23rd February 2019
    League Two

    Final game of the month see's me quickly pick up my first win in League Two after just two games as the boys waste little time in putting bottom of the table Eastleigh to the sword. A well earned three points, goals raining in from across the pitch and an unbeaten start to my life in League Two. God bless you Eastleigh and your National League bound campaign.

    February 2019
    League Two

    Two games in to my career with Grimsby and despite being unbeaten I have somehow managed to take the club down a position into nineteenth. Solid Start. Despite my mixed start to life in the football league I head into the final three months of the season eager to pick up from my emphatic start.

  7. Mate I am loving this story! hope you get past the dizzy heights of Dortmund this time around!!!

    Can I suggest posting your entire team at the end of each season so we can see things like highest rated player.. most used players ETC as we only see goalscorers at the moment.

    Keep it up !!

  8. Cheers Wanderer, fingers crossed!
    Not a bad Idea, I'll give it a go but might have to wait till next season as I'm a bit further head then here unfortunately! Thanks again!

    March 2019

    2nd March 2019
    League Two

    Having kick started my League Two career in decidedly average style, I head into the second month in disappointing style. A tight game against a Hartlepool side only narrowly ahead of us in the standings set the tone for the remainder of the fixtures for March as we slip up sending myself and the Mariners further down the table.

    6th March 2019
    League Two

    Having lost to a team just above us in the league we continue a stellar month of football with a defeat to one of the only clubs beneath us in the shape of the mighty Imps. Having snatched the lead just before the break, through our stylish winger Barkhuizen I was confident of snatching three points until a second half collapse saw the points quickly disappear.

    9th March 2019
    League Two

    Its safe to say I wasn't exactly enjoying the most magical of honeymoon periods with Grimsby and another disappointing performance certainly had me pining for a return to Yorkshire. I can however take some slight comfort from the fact that the Hatters are closing in on a place in League One. It counts for something....right?

    16th March 2019
    League Two

    Yeah it just goes on... A brief attempt at a fight back gave me a glimmer of hope from the start of the second half but before I could even calm myself down following the much needed equalizer, Carlisle soon put me back in my place with two quick fire goals and an injury to Davison, who apparently jumped from the some form of height in despair, capping a sensational day.

    23rd March 2019
    League Two

    Should I just pack my bags already? My fifth defeat in a row has us once again lose to just the one goal as this time The Gas fire in an early goal to grab the points. It's almost as if the team only has one striker upfront... who has yet to find the back of the net this month... and is now out for the remainder of the season. Brilliant.

    27th March 2019
    League Two

    It's over. It's finally over. On the back of what might quite possibly be one of the worst starts to a managerial career in recent history, Albanian winger Ador Gjuci smashes home a long awaited winner to give me a much needed three points against a Cambridge side who must be wondering just why the footballing gods hate them. I'm back!

    31st March 2019
    League Two

    Well that revival was short lived. On the back of our narrow victory over the U's, we make the long journey to the middle of no where for a painfully boring draw against Yeovil. Despite the entire journey being essentially a waste of just about everyone's time, I was more then happy to claim a point!

    March 2019
    League Two

    Yup. I'm back to my best.
    Having apparently ridden my luck to actually gain some genuine and surprising respect from the footballing world, it seems I have run out of good fortune in style. With the club now sitting just above a relegation zone thankfully all but taken care of, my time in League Two hasn't exactly got off to the brightest of beginnings.

  9. Surely just a minor blip

  10. You didn't have much to work with but you should keep Grimsby in league two this season. A bit of wheeler dealing over the summer and you will have a mid-table team on your hands.

  11. Based on the last few years I think it might actually be just how I play the game Neavie...

    I hope so Woolly, god knows what would have happened had I arrived earlier in the season. I'll hold you to that! Thanks!

    April 2019

    6th April 2019
    League Two

    We manage just two games without defeat as a frustrating game against Oldham has us returned to our pointless ways with the home crowd once again growing increasingly despondent with my tenure. A second half red card sums up a disappointing weekend for the Mariners with Italian midfielder, Cali sent to the stands.

    13th April 2019
    League Two

    Thankfully the boys soon have us back on the right track as the sneak a victory over the perennial yo-yo club, Barnet. For once the Bees actually don't find themselves among the relegation dog fight but that didn't stop them from falling to an early defeat as a seventh minute goal proves to be enough for us to snatch the points.

    20th April 2019
    League Two

    Having just snuck past Barnet, hopes were high that we could make it back to back victories for the first time since arriving in the club as we go toe to toe with a seemingly National League bound Aldershot. Unfortunately it seems the boys are determined to make me the least popular man in Grimsby with another disappointing home performance and a red card for the hot-headed Cali.

    22nd April 2019
    League Two

    Thankfully on the road, the boys do however manage to claim another away victory with another fine solo effort securing the victory as Honeyman slams home a second half winner to ensure the travelling support at least make their way back to the East Coast with their heads held high.

    April 2019
    League Two

    Just two games left in the season and I've actually managed to take the club up the table for the first time since arriving. That achievement is slightly less impressive from the depths of Twenty-Second place but non the less it's something! With only six points up for grabs I'm desperate to snatch some late additions in the final month to make our finish look slightly more respectable.

  12. Good luck with Grimsby DJ! Another step forward thats for sure!

  13. Thanks Dan, Might not be glamorous but it counts!

    May 2019

    4th May 2019
    League Two

    With the sole aim for the final month of the season to finish as high as possible we get off to a rather sluggish but all too familiar start at home as we are left frustrated in front of the loyal Mariner fans by a ten man Leyton Orient. Safe to say I'm going to have to improve our home form next season...

    11th May 2019
    League Two

    Rounding off a bruising but thankfully safe debut season in League Two comes another lackluster performance as we let Shrewsbury pick up three points to help them on their way to claiming a play off spot. Generous. With the boys unable to match up to the early pace its clear i have some work to do to get myself and the club up to the challenge of League Two football.

    May 2019
    League Two

    Not exactly the rampant early rise up the table but non the less at least we managed to finish clear of the drop goal difference. With another season fast approaching and League Two football not about to get any less brutal in the forth coming months, there is little time to waste in bringing in some Football League saving talent.

    Tom26, Death Ball, Seano and 4 others like this.

  14. Delighted to see you survive, but nice to see Lincoln up there despite that shocked goals against column...
    TheBattman likes this.

  15. Well done on surviving! that was a tough battle. You inspired me to try this mate and I am doing it as Bolton Wanderers currently with a transfer fee of 10k.... how do you get a decent team with that amount of money. I am getting destroyed in the finances too I am losing 500k a month with no way to stop it, I have sold most of my players to the barebones so my overall money is at 1.1 mil but losing 500k a month will have me in the red very soon!!
    Any tips??

  16. good to see you survived! promotion next season??

  17. well done on survival! enjoying this story

  18. Loving the story

    Hey Derby Jack,

    Followed your story in FM16 and loved it, glad I found that you're doing a similar task again. (Hopefully no need for time travel).

    Loving the story so far this year.

    Looking forward to seeing you achieve your goal of highest paid manager in the world and the first few seasons appear to be promising.

    I have a question, when you do interviews with prospective employers, do you say what they want to hear or go with your own philosophies?



  19. Thanks Godfish, not going to lie they are looking pretty wobbly with the most generous defence in the entire country...

    Cheers Wanderer. I'm honestly probably the least qualified person on this entire website to give advice. I mainly just sign anyone with a slight bit of potential who was released by the Premier League giants. Sometimes you land a gem and more often then not their willing to work for apprentice wages!.Bargain! When it comes to a club deep in debt, I tend to have jumped ship before it's too late! Abandon all hope!

    Cheers Naterr, I'll settle for just being employed!

    Thanks SeanKeaney, glad to hear it!

    Hi Nosibor, Thanks very much for joining me again, hopefully go a bit further then last time. I try to go with my own philosophy but usually when I get more frustrated it just comes down to me begging as much as possible and hoping someone shows some pity. I'm not exactly gifted...

    It's been a season of change.

    From Non League football to the fierce battle in League Two and I'm not the only one getting used to new surroundings...

    Carlo Ancelotti Diego Simeone Luis Enrique
    Bayern Munich Atletico Madrid Barcelona
    £250,000 per week £180,000 per week £150,000 per week

    The Special One has gone.

    Jose and Manchester United suffer a season to forget with Luis Enrqiue soon taking advantage as his Barcelona earnings see him slide into the top three.

    Meanwhile Carlo and Diego remain steadfast at the top of the game.

    Ancelotti continues to impress within Germany as he scoops a domestic double with the mighty Bayern Munich, whilst Diego Simeone joins him with two Spanish cup trophies and narrowly misses out on the La Liga title and the Champions League trophy, finishing runner up in both of them.

    Whilst Diego might be dreaming of loading the Atletico trophy cabinet to the brim I am left merely dreaming of eventually scooping something....

    Derby Jack
    £900 per week

    Three months into my career and having guided the club to safety I still remain below that one thousand pound mark.

    Some thanks I get.

    It's almost as if I managed to somehow drag the club into a seemingly impossible relegation battle and won only two of my first ten games in charge of the club.

    As if I could sink that low...

    Death Ball, Seano, naterr and 3 others like this.

  20. I was a bit late to enjoy your FM 16 series, but seeing as theirs this one il be keeping up on this as it goes along

  21. My favorite challenge so far, hopefully your terrible luck in England from FM16 wont continue and you'll climb the ranks quickly

  22. That rotten ungrateful board! You did what you were tasked to do and kept them up, you were just making it more interesting by finishing closer to the relegation zone than you started, nobody wants a boring mid table finish all season long

  23. Thanks for joining me Horton!

    Thanks alot dporter, I'm just waiting for it to kick in soon!

    I'm glad you agree Neavie! Some people just don't appreciate the football league being spiced up do they?

    Having guided the club to safety with about as much grace as an obese ballerina, I head into my first transfer window with the Mariners, keen to turn the squad towards my style of play.

    Time to impress...

    On first appearance a rather busy exit at Blundell Park but with only one two departures from the first-team it only proved to be a much needed clear out for the squad.

    The only departure of real note was that of back-up stopper James McKeown. The Thirty year old was forced off the bench by the goal keeping duo of Adam Legzdins and Gregor Zabret, who both provide more then enough ability between the sticks and a tidy little bid from former Premier League side, Bournemouth soon had our third choice stopper making his way down the coast.

    With a good spring cleaning and the departure of our only loanee striker, I was eager to get down to work...

    From: Out of Contract
    Cost: Free

    First arrival of the window has me make quick moves to fill that gaping hole upfront as we snap up teenage striker, Charles Diallo. The former Liverpool youth lasted just three seasons with the Reds before being deemed surplus to requirements but the determined forward could well prove to be invaluable in Lincolnshire.

    From: Out of Contract
    Cost: Free

    Five years with Brighton saw Irish midfielder Dessie Hutchinson make just one first-team appearance before being shown the long-awaited door. At Twenty-Three the ball-winning midfielder might be closing in on his peak ability and his solid all round stats should bolster the clubs hopes of Football League survival.

    From: Out of Contract
    Cost: Free

    Having spent the majority of his teenage years in Fulham, Mattias Kait had no worries about the recent Brexit vote and the Estonian midfielder made the short hop across his adopted home country to slot into the Mariners first team. Another solid all round midfielder Kait will be a strong addition to our attacking midfielder line-up.

    From: Out of Contract
    Cost: Free

    Final arrival has me finally manage to add some much needed depth upfront as we sign Conor Wilkinson on another free transfer. The Irish striker has had a taste of League One football but will be keen to find his way back into the league as the lead finisher of a club on the brink of exiting the football league altogether.

    Not exactly a squad-wide transformation but non the less, the boys are looking a darn sight better this time around...

    ...not entirely a hard job when you consider they didn't even have a permanent striker when i joined.

    Death Ball, Seano, Wilko and 4 others like this.

  24. Preseason

    13th July 2019

    First game of the pre-season has me quickly trying to get the boys up to speed with a match against National League's Chester. Having dominated the entire first-half the boys still showed cause for concern upfront with them snatching just the one goal leaving Chester with enough hope to fight back late into the second-half.

    20th July 2019

    Second game of the season has us make our way slightly down the coast to the neighboring picturesque sea-side town, Cleethropes. Anyone that has been to Cleethorpes probably wanted to leave just as quickly as we did with a four goal whitewash courtesy of new arrival Wilkinson sending us home happy.

    27th July 2019

    Another trip into the Vanarama Leagues for a match up against Essex's finest club, Braintree. One again we struggle against our lower league opposition as we suffer a complete melt down on the half-hour mark to gift the minnows with a brace of goals before Albanian midfielder Gjuci saves our blushes with a second half equaliser.

    5th August 2019

    Final game of the pre-season has us lay down the law as we cruise past non-league AFC Rushden & Diamonds. It seems the boys are most definitley at their best when up against opposition who have yet to even break into the Vanarma Leagues. This certainly bodes well for the forth coming season...

    Having once again not entirely given the Mariners faithful any form of belief...or even hope for the forth coming season, I am reduced to blaming the tactics entirely. If it's not a Christmas Tree then it's just not right!

    With an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation and one of the weakest defence's in the entire league, we are going to have to solely rely on outscoring our opponents and praying for the best. The "Kevin Keegan" approach to football.

    With the club actual fairly comfortable financially and some vague sense of importance around the club with some actual work in the transfer window I could soon have the club towards my tried and tested 4-3-2-1 formation.

  25. I'd definitely recommend changing the BWM to a CM (D) or something similar. The BWM runs around like a headless chicken trying to win back the ball which can leave your defence exposed, the CM (D) holds his position more. Just a suggestion

    Still loving the story though, all of the ups and downs

  26. Jack I have just released Connor from my Bolton save!! please don't show him to be a worldie!!! if he gets a value of over 500k I will kick myself.

  27. Thanks Patrick, I will give it a try when I get the chance to change things around, although running around like a headless chicken does seem to be somewhat of a tactical trademark for my formations.

    Wanderer I honestly think you have nothing to worry about! I'm more or less hoping the ball bounces off him and by some slim miracle finds it's way to goal. High hopes!

    August 2019

    10th August 2019
    League Two

    The season gets off much as it ended as we succumb to a narrow loss against a Leyton Orient side keen to burst into the battle for League One. Despite being well within the game for the entire first half a sloppy second saw us soon fade into the back as we make an early entrance into the bottom half of the table.

    14th August 2019
    EFL Cup - 1st Round

    The League Cup offers no safety as we are quickly ejected from the competition by Round One heavyweights, Sheffield Wednesday. The Owls waste little time in claiming a commanding lead, that they frustratingly held until the whistle despite a spirited fight from the Mariners.

    17th August 2019
    League Two

    The horrible start to the season continues as we are once again left behind by a second half solo effort with promotion favorites Notts County continuing their perfect start with a narrow but deserved victory. If we are to stand a chance of Football League survival we are going to need to sharpen up in the second half.

    21st August 2019
    League Two

    Finally the boys manage to find the net in the football league as they sneak past Barnet to claim a morale boosting victory. Having snatched the lead just before the break, hopes were high that the boys could see out the game until another sloppy second half ensured a dramatic finish to the game with new signing Diallo returning us to winning ways.

    24th August 2019
    League Two

    That return lasted all of three days as Oldham crush us with ease at Boundary Park. The former League One side seem keen to make an instant return back to the safety of the division above and following an emphatic performance and another lackluster second half the Latics look to kick-start their season following a slow start in style.

    31st August 2019
    League Two

    We round off the opening month with an encouraging sign of resolve from the boys as they bounce back from the disappointment in the previous game to return the favor over a sloppy Cambridge United despite going a goal down within the first quarter of an hour, a brace from former Bolton product Connor Wilkinson helping us on our way to the points.

    August 2019
    League Two

    A disappointing start to the season might have seen us rack up three losses already and make an early exit from the League Cup but non the less with two victories and six early points we might just have enough about ourselves to hopefully stay out of the relegation battle for the foreseeable future. One can only hope.

  28. Bolton Product helping you get the three points!!! at least some Bolton players are doing something for another team as they are doing nothing for me!!Come on jack top half for XMAS you have 3 days!

  29. Tough luck this month DJ! Hopefully you can bounce back with a couple wins

  30. He certainly did. My assistant manager doesn't exactly rate him as highly as my scouts promised but it seems Connor actually does possess some ability! Thanks alot Wanderer!

    Cheers Dan, I hope we can!

    September 2019

    3rd September 2019
    EFL Trophy - Group E

    In what is quite possibly the most controversial and entirely pointless competition in Football League history the club announces itself to the Checkatrade Trophy elite with a painfully drawn out victory over League One's Chesterfield. With over one hundred minutes of goalless football it took a sloppy penalty shootout to decide a deserving winner.

    7th September 2019
    League Two

    A return to league action has us continue our mixed form as we play out a goal less draw with a Blackpool side struggling to match up to the early pace. Having been rejected for the Tangerines job earlier in my career the life-less game was hardly an indication that the Blackpool board had made a mistake.

    14th September 2019
    League Two

    Another victory comes along to boost our hopes as we make hard work of a home tie against a Yeovil side looking set for a disastrous relegation battle this season. A sloppy own goal saw our rather hap-hazard defence gift Yeovil a lead until a goal just before the whistle pulled us back into the game with Olley securing the points mid-way through the second half.

    21st September 2019
    League Two

    Once again we are unable to build any kind of momentum as we are quickly shut down by Swindon Town. The Robins are looking keen to make an impact this season and already look to be leading the early pace as they smash home two first half goals that completely took the wind out of our young squads sails.

    28th September 2019
    League Two

    This season has thus far been nothing but mixed. With the squad unable to bounce back from the convincing defeat in the previous game they struggle to another goalless draw with Accrington Stanley with the entirety of Lancashire bored into submission with neither side barely able to muster any shots on goal.

    September 2019
    League Two

    Still unable to put down any kind of form or muster any actual threats upon goal it seems that the Mariners are set for a season of mixed fortunes. Perhaps a seventeenth place finish wouldn't be such a bad thing? With the squad slipping another spot further down the table we can only hope our slide stops soon.

  31. October 2019

    2nd October 2019
    League Two

    Once again our league form starts with disappointment as October gets underway with a late loss to Forest Green. Having played out more then our fair share of goalless draws in the previous two months, the goal just seconds from the final whistle was almost a small blessing...shame the home crowd didn't see it that way.

    5th October 2019
    League Two

    The club finally showcases its true talent as it burst into a mini winning streak with a Barkhuizen inspired victory over Crawley Town. The right winger has been all but invisible in the last few games but finally reveals his talents to the Mariners faithful with a brace to keep the club out of the relegation dog fight.

    8th October 2019
    EFL Trophy - Group E

    A return to the English Football League Trophy has us pick up a surprise victory over Premier League giants Manchester City's Under Twenty Threes. The boys battled valiantly against some of the countries brightest young players but it proved to be veteran midfielder Fabian Delph who would have the biggest impact being sent to the stands after half an hour and gifting us the victory.

    12th October 2019
    League Two

    On the back of their Football League trophy victory the boys returned to the league in high spirits smashing home four goals in a long awaited goal fest at Blundell Park. With the midfield lighting up the game not even a late goal from the Imps could spoil the party as we make it two convincing league wins in a row. The top of the table beckons!

    19th October 2019
    League Two

    Connor Wilkinson once again emerges from the depths to rattle in a flurry of goals to kill off a play-off chasing Bristol Rovers. The Irish striker might not be exactly consistently finding the back of the net but when he does, the boy certainly knows how to do it with style, doubling his season tally with a sensational hat-trick.

    26th October 2019
    League Two

    Our winning streak comes to an end in the most dramatic of styles as a rampant second half of football see's both club throw their defensive duties away and throw everything towards the goal. A late comeback from the Mariners nearly saw us claim a deserved point but their spirited efforts fell just short to see the Gills claim an important three points.

    October 2019
    League Two

    The club finds itself entering the relatively unknown territory of mid-table as we start to wrack up the points in style. With the League already shaping up to be incredibly close this season it looks like we are set for an interesting season. If we keep this kind of form up, who knows where we could end up?!

  32. 11th Great achievement!! looks like a win can get you high up there and a loss will take you all the way done... good luck on your tight rope you can do it

  33. I never knew Man City 23's were able to play in the EFL trophy. Would be good thing in real life if they were involved in the lower leagues just like in Spain.

  34. Thanks Wanderer, The League is certainly looking tight, I hope we can do it!

    Nor did I Jonny, truth be told I know very little about this competition other then that its bizarre!

    November 2019

    2nd November 2019
    League Two

    Before we can get comfortable in our mid-table position Stevenage set about pushing us back down into the dangerous bottom half. In what has become a staple of Grimsby games recently the first-half of the game was a complete borefest, with Stevenage eventually bursting into life just after the hour mark to claim all three points.

    9th November 2019
    FA Cup - 1st Round

    Having been knocked out of the League Cup within the first round we repeat the feat in the FA Cup as we are sent packing by our fellow EFL Trophy competitors Chesterfield. The League One side made quick amends for our earlier victory scoring within just four minutes but a quick reply was eventually snuffed our as Sordell smashed home a second-half winner.

    12th November 2019
    EFL Trophy - Group E

    Whilst the FA and League Cup might not have exactly gone to all, we can at least take some comfort from the prestigious EFL Trophy as we pick up yet another victory to round off the group stage courtesy of a red card from our League Two rivals, Notts County. The knockout stages await!

    16th November 2019
    League Two

    We return to the League in apparently inspired form to cruise past Rochdale. Irish striker Connor Wilkinson once again finds the back of the net in style as he fires home a tidy brace to send the Dale packing and force our way back into mid-table. Our form remains frustratingly mixed. We can only hope for some consistency soon!

    23rd November 2019
    League Two

    An uncharacteristically exciting game saw us cling on for all three points in a ding-dong battle against Hartlepool. Connor Wilkinson finally proves that he is capable of scoring just one goal as he kick starts a sensational game but it took our attacking midfielders to make the difference as they do just enough to secure the points.

    27th November 2019
    League Two

    On the back of two victories we finally looked like a team about to prove their worth in the brutal world of League Two until the mighty Stags arrived. Having put the entire crowd to sleep with another first half of lackluster football we eventually woke the fans with a second half opener before Mansfield ensured the fans could drift off without worry with a quick equaliser.

    30th November 2019
    League Two

    With a small portion of the fans waking up in time for the long journey to Plymouth we rewarded their loyalty with a first half that actually gave them a reason for coming. Albian midfielder Gjuci scored just before the break with our rarely featured Estonian signing, Kait doubling the lead to send the Mariner faithfuls home happy.

    November 2019
    League Two

    Uncharted territory! Taking everyone by surprise, including myself, the club has actually managed to claim an early playoff spot. With the season barreling towards the mid-way point the boys have somehow managed to emerge as genuine contenders. I'm not sure how this is happened but I'm definitely going to take all the credit.

    November 2019
    EFL Trophy - Group E

    Having topped the table and cruising our way into the knock out stage of the competition, the boys can definitely take some credit from their impressive performances. One small problem. This competition is truly bizarre. With penalty wins apparently awarding just two points and the Under Twenty Threes of the Premier League elite ready to humiliate at any moment I have no idea what the next rounds offer.

    Death Ball, Seano, ekul785 and 5 others like this.

  35. Merry Christmas!

    I have actually managed to wrangle a short break this year so might not be posting for a little while. Have a great Christmas guys!

    December 2019

    10th December 2019
    EFL Trophy North - 2nd Round

    I'm not sure if this is part of the EFL Trophie's setup or just happened to be luck of the draw but non the less the second round of the competition has us go up against fellow Group E qualifiers, Chesterfield. Having narrowly squeezed past them in the group stage and been humiliated in the FA Cup, a four goal white wash was not exactly on the cards. It's almost like no-ones taking this cup seriously?!

    14th December 2019
    League Two

    The goal frenzy in the previous game is long gone by the time we arrive in Wycombe with both clubs seemingly incapable of putting together any kind of meaningful attacking move and eventually giving up and settling for an unattractive but thoroughly deserved point. Thrilling stuff.

    21st December 2019
    League Two

    Thankfully a slightly more interesting tie then the previous one as we send the Mariners faithful off into the Christmas period with a second point. Leyton Orient wasted little time in bringing the game into life but a Barkhuizen equaliser gave a much needed boost to our festive cheer with the board spreading the joy with an early present...

    26th December 2019
    League Two

    The one thousand pound mark has been broken! With a new bumper contract in tow, I sent the boys out with renewed vigor to go up against everyone's favorite reborn team, AFC Wimbledon. With my wallet more full then ever before the boys pulled off a superb clinical performance to secure the win. Surely just a mere coincidence...

    29th December 2019
    League Two

    We round off another year of football with our second victory of the month courtesy of Olley's early goal. Scunthorpe are heavy favorites to end their recent rot and finally climb back up the table but on the back of another disappointing showing from the The Iron it looks like the Mariners might stand a batter chance of bursting into League One!

    December 2019
    League Two

    An unbeaten month of football, a bumper new contract and a shot at making a shocking entrance into League One. What is happening? I'm not sure if this is just my year of I have finally worked out how to play this game but for once I actually look like I know what I'm doing. Progress!

  36. Great stuff, don't listen to me, your tactic is working just fine! Good luck with the unexpected promotion push and congrats on the new contract too

    Enjoy your holiday!

  37. Just read through the whole series mate, absolutely love it. Keep it up mate!

  38. Thanks very much Patrick, hope you had a good one!

    Thanks alot Spuddy!

    January 2020

    1st January 2020
    League Two

    The new year starts in disappointing fashion as we kiss goodbye to our recent reversal of form, to gift Dagenham and Redbridge a narrow and undeserved victory. The Daggers spent the majority of the fixture on the back foot with the Mariners running the show but a converted corner just before the break proved to be enough to see us slump to defeat.

    4th January 2020
    League Two

    The new decade continues to frustrate as we slip up against a Promotion chasing Notts County, with the Magpies striking twice in a dominant second half to see us slipping closer towards the edge of the Playoff spots as we draw closer to the end of season run in. Perhaps ignoring the January transfer window was a mistake...

    11th January 2020
    League Two

    Bring back 2019! It's three defeats in a row as we are left rocked by a fast hitting Barnet. Having rifled their way into a two goal lead before the break, the boys could only muster an instant reply before eventually spending the rest of the ninety minutes frustrated with a Nartey red-card summing up the boys fruitless efforts.

    14th January 2020
    EFL Trophy North - 3rd Round

    Our run in the EFL Trophy finally comes to its expected end as we are sent packing from the competition by fellow League Two side, Blackpool. Despite being reduced to ten men it seems the Sea-siders are determined to grab a last chance at snatching some silverware smuggling a victory via the lottery of penalties to head towards the final.

    18th January 2020
    League Two

    We finally bring an end to our new year hoodoo as we force our way to all three points against a strong Oldham side. The Owls started the game brightly claiming the lead in an end to end fifteen minutes of football but a controlled second half saw the Mariners quickly reverse the scoreline to claim a much needed three points.

    25th January 2020
    League Two

    We return to back to back victories with a tight game against Cambridge United with both sides trying their utmost to secure the points in a frantic first half of football. Once again the boys kept their heads to find a way back into the points with Wilkinson's goal just before the whistle proving to be enough to repair our flagging playoff dream.

    January 2020
    League Two

    Despite a shoddy start to the year the club still finds itself nestled within the playoffs and just four points adrift of a miraculous spot in the automatic promotion spots. With four months of football remaining the boys certainly have everything to play for but simply to find ourselves so far clear of the bottom half of the table is a major feat upon itself.

  39. A good couple of months before January, good to see you still in and around the playoffs though

  40. Followed most of this last year until i fell off the face of the planet
    Great to see it back this year again!

    Loving it so far! First season at Guiseley had me biting my nails, great achievement with them bringing them up the table so fast!
    Doing another great job at Grimsby! Are you going to start a trend here and just join clubs beginning with 'G' ?


  41. Good job with Grimsby!! Are you already linked with League one or even higher clubs? Or do you want take it easy at the moment?

  42. Thanks Dan, can't understand how we've managed to find ourselves this high to be honest.

    Hey Seano! Thanks very much, glad to see you back. The early days certainly made things interesting but I'm making steady progress for once! I think you might be on to something. Next stop Galatasaray?

    Thanks Nnicod, not yet, I'm just clinging on to enough reputation to not be laughed out of League Two at the minute but judging by how this season is going I could be set for a fast-track to the Premier League!

    February 2020

    1st February 2020
    League Two

    Having knocked us out of the Football League trophy we manage to get one back over Blackpool as another red card for the Tangerines actually pays off for the Boys. Having more then given us a run for our money for the majority of the game, a two footed challenge gave us a shot at claiming the points, with Gabriel Osho firing home a late winner.

    8th February 2020
    League Two

    Our winning streak comes to an end as we are held by Yeovil in a thrilling game of football. Having led for the majority of the game, the plucky Glovers refused to let go, clinging on to a point as they clawed back three times to claim a deserved and hard-earned point.

    15th February 2020
    League Two

    Swindon Town are deep into what it shaping up to be a thrilling race for the automatic spots and the Robins wasted little time in keeping up with the rampant pace as they dispatch the Marines with just the ole solitary goal, conserving their efforts for that is certainly going to be a dramatic end to the season at the top.

    19th February 2020
    League Two

    The defeat doesn't damped the team spirits as they quickly fire their way back into contention with a narrow victory over Accrington Stanley. Stanley looked set to leave us frustrated once more but despite seeing our lead slip just minutes into the second half we remained clam to quickly restore our lead and with it, all three points.

    22nd February 2020
    League Two

    The boys are unable to build from the victory as a frustrating month continues with a one all draw with Forest Green. Having taken the lead within just seventeen minutes, The Boys clearly expected to romp to a comfortable victory over the struggling home side but an instant equaliser soon gave them a welcome reminder to never take their foot off the gas as we accepted our solitary point.

    29th February 2020
    League Two

    Rounding off an important month of football comes another disappointing draw, this time against Crawley Town. Having secured the lead just before the break everything seemed to be going to plan until the hapless central defender, Richard Nartey sliced home a horrendous clearance to force us to settle for another unwarranted point.

    February 2020
    League Two

    A testing month of football has the club surrendering points left right and center but in what is shaping up to be one of the tightest months in recent memory, the club still manages to find itself not just deep within the playoff spots but on the brink of breaking into the Automatic spots. This season is shaping up to be truly bizarre.

    Death Ball, Seano, dani3w and 3 others like this.

  43. Good job, i'm really enjoying reading through this story.

  44. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    That's how tight things usually are when I play in League One or Two, a few good result and my team shoots up the table. Some not so good and still hold on to a good position.

  45. Still hurts me to see the Mariners doing well, but least you are in charge! Keep it up mate, and the quicker you leave them the better

  46. See Yeovil clawed you back three times, shame we struggle to do that in real life! Another good month, top spot and second seem out of reach at this stage however automatic promotion seems possible now

  47. nice work so far

  48. Thanks very much GenerationGinge!

    I really love it being so close, makes just about the dullest of seasons capable of becoming interesting with just the slight run of form!

    Sorry Godfish. Unfortunatley your boys are going to be lucky to avoid relegation this season. Thanks as always!

    Yeah they certainly proved tough to break down. You never know what could happen! Cheers Dan!
    Thanks Cbarber!

    March 2020

    4th March 2020
    League Two

    A superb month of football kicks off with the local rivalry against The Imps. With automatic promotion well within their reach an inspired squad made the short journey to Sincil Bank, dominating the majority of the game and claiming a two goal lead with only a late consolation goal the only downside of an otherwise flawless game.

    7th March 2020
    League Two

    On the back of their convincing victory the boys pulled out all the stops to run riot over a sloppy Bristol Rovers. The Gas had no chance in an entirely one-sided game as our League One focused squad ensured they would make no mistake, controlling both halves of the games to send Bristol rovers home empty handed.

    14th March 2020
    League Two

    The points continue to keep rolling in as the club inches its way past a strong Gillingham side. A well worked corner saw the side charge into a one goal lead courtesy of a Cleary bullet header with Greg Olley bringing an end to the Gills hopes of taking anything from the game with a cool finish against the run of play.

    21st March 2020
    League Two

    With morale at an all time high the boys pull off a superb victory over a Stevenage side also battling for automatic promotion. Keeping Stevenage at bay for the entire first half with some calm and collected defending before leaving the a frustrated Boro completely aghast as we snatch a second half winner to seal another three points towards our surprising promotion push.

    25th March 2020
    League Two

    The winning streak comes to an end but the boys still manage to remain unbeaten with another well worked corner proving to be enough to secure a point against a strong Rochdale side. With the club finally forced to take their foot off the gas it was crucial to see the boys not let the end of their run bring an end to their League One dream...

    29th March 2020
    League Two

    ...And they didn't let me down. Having snuck us past Stevenage with a second half winner, Albanian midfielder Gjuci returns to the forefront to guide us past Hartlepool and cap a superb month of football for the Mariners after just six minutes. Results against our fellow promotion chasers are certainly giving me so brief hope that we're not actually here through sheer luck!

    March 2020
    League Two

    Well that was unexpected. One unbeaten month of football and the boys have not only burst through the playoff spots but have emerged well within the automatic spots and equal on points with the league leaders, Leyton Orient. Truth be told I'm not sure how we got here, if we quite deserve it or even if we would survive at all in League One but I'm not going to complain!

    Tom26, Death Ball, dani3w and 6 others like this.

  49. Wow! Where did that month come from, did that just to shut me up, top spot is in sight now!

  50. POW! what a month! Just one question, what have you done with the DerbyJack from FM16? FM17 DerbyJack is making this look far to easy Well done mate and KIU
    osullm likes this.

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