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The Football Managing Mercenary
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  1. DJ love this as much as last years story. If you keep this performance going it will be tough to leave Grimsby when the big boys come calling!


  2. I actually have no idea Dan, apparently it inspired me! Thanks again!

    I am genuinely starting to think the same thing Neavie Pops. Perhaps this is my year! Cheers for your support as always!

    Thanks alot Osullm, thankfully I've been to Grimsby in real life and couldn't leave quick enough. No offence to the good people of Grimsby but if Barcelona come knocking I'm not going to be hanging around!



    April 2020





    4th April 2020
    League Two



    With League One football and an unexpected promotion at their fingertips the boys suddenly suffer a massive wobble as their precariously lofty position suddenly becomes clear to the team. A disappointing performance and a cruel late goal ensures a fitting start for a disappointing month of football.


    11th April 2020
    League Two



    It took Dagenham and Redbridge just nine minutes to stick their boot in as the playoff chasing side set about making sure that the penultimate month of the season was a disappointing one for the Mariners but our Albanian midfielder Gjuci thankfully clung on to what remained of the clubs resolve to secure what could prove to be a hugely important point.


    13th April 2020
    League Two



    Having seemingly wallowed in our own misery in the first half the boys thankfully burst into life in a thrilling second half of football as they looked to try and overturn a relegation battling Scunthorpes narrow lead. Unfortunately despite their best efforts the Iron refused to release their hold of the points leaving it late to cruelly snatch them all away with just seconds remaining.


    18th April 2020
    League Two



    Capping off a month of rude awakenings, a Plymouth side desperately battling to cling on to the final playoff spot in the league ensure a heart breaking month for the Mariner faithful as they score the only goal of a lifeless game of football to once again leave us pointless and broken at the end of ninety minutes of disappointment.


    April 2020
    League Two



    If it's not entirely clear from my down-trodden match reports, April broke me. Just when I thought I had worked out how to properly manage a football team, I am given a very rude awakening as to just how much I have to learn. With two games remaining I still have a small glimmer of hope...The League One dream isn't dead just yet.

    Death Ball, PatrickLFC and Nosibor like this.


  3. May 2020





    2nd May 2020
    League Two



    With both clubs battling for a place in the automatic spots, it seemed the Dons were about to condemn us to the lottery of the playoffs before a Conor Wilkinson inspired fight back saw us salvage a point and remarkably re-enter the automatic promotion spots as Swindon slip up to put us back in control following a thrilling game.




    9th May 2020
    League Two



    Our Irish striker seems to be in inspired form of late as he attempts to almost single-handedly drag the club up into League One with a goal just after the break but before we could pop open the champagne Wycombe spoiled the party smashing home a brutal equaliser and handing the advantage back to a posed and ready Swindon...






    With a remarkable season under their belts and the brutal realisation that they missed out on League One football by the narrowest of margins, the boys now have to pull themselves together as they look to force their way through the lottery of the playoffs...



    May 2020





    16th May 2020
    League Two - Playoffs Semi Final - Leg 1



    A superb first half saw the boys dominate a Bristol Rovers side that narrowly scraped into the playoff race in the final game of the season but once again the boys concentration seemingly drifted off to an early promotion party as they gifted the Gas with a late route back into the game to set up a thrilling encounter at Blundell Park.


    May 2020




    20th May 2020
    League Two - Playoffs Semi Final - Leg 2



    In a repeat of the first leg the boys thrilled the home crowd as they cruised into a seemingly comfortable two goal lead but with just minutes remaining, League One awaiting and the home-crowd celebrating, Bristol Rovers returned to spoil the party. Two sloppy late goals forced us into extra time with a morale shattering goal sending the Mariners faithful into despair as our remarkable season ends in complete disappointment...


    May 2020
    League Two



    ...With the season done and dusted it's hard not to feel a slight twinge of disappointment as we sit watching eventual Playoff winners Bristol Rovers steal our place in League One but having gone from relegation battlers to promotion contenders in just one season, it has non the less been a season to remember for the mighty Mariners.

    Death Ball, PatrickLFC and Nosibor like this.

  4. Unlucky in the playoffs dj! There is nothing worse than losing the final! Chin up and go again!

  5. Such an unfortunate way to end a brilliant season. On the bright side, you could have a serious shot at the title next year!

  6. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    So close. Better luck next time!

  7. Unlucky mate,next year


  8. Indeed there is not Dan, I can't remember the last time I actually won a playoff to be honest.

    Fingers crossed Patrick! I have a horrible feeling it might have been a flash in the pan though!

    Thanks DeathBall!

    Here's hoping Neavie!


    I'm off to watch the Mighty Rams and then to get incredibly drunk, so have a great new year gents. Thanks as always for the support!




    For myself and Grimsby it has been a season to remember.

    With the club on the cusp of entering League One, belief flooding back through the Mariners faithful and a Manager who has somehow managed to convince them that he knows what he is doing, things have never looked better...

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

    ...And the same goes for the top three.

    It's a season of consolidation for the Managerial Elite as all three hold tight to their lofty position.

    For top earner, Carlo Ancelotti and Barcelona head coach, Luis Enrique it was a season of silverware as both men lead their clubs to domestic doubles this season to keep their names in high praise around Germany and Spain. For Diego Simeone however it was a season to forget.

    Despite being seemingly untouchable at the helm of Atletico, The Argentinian manager failed to continue the clubs rampant progress up the standings as they crash out of every cup competition, completely flop in the Champions League and crawl their way to a shaky third place finish.

    Deigo could do with taking some tips from a managerial wonderkid...

    Derby Jack
    Grimsby
    £1,100 per week

    Having finally broken the one thousand pound a week mark, my season remarkably took a turn dramatically upwards.

    With the coaching qualifications finally starting to trickle in, my reputation now actually more then just a vague hint of looking competent and a club seemingly well on their way to breaking out of the basement of English football, things are certainly going well.

    This doesn't feel right...







  9. With the club remarkably going from relegation favorites to narrowly missing out on an unexpected promotion to League One, the club and myself are keen to ensure our new found status is not just a flash in a pan...



    First things first is the annual culling of the out of contract players.

    With just three players contracts coming to a close, we waste little time in helping them to pack their bags for pastures new as we release all three to clear some space for our new arrivals.

    With the unneeded winger James Dayton joining defensive duo, Osho and Cleary out the exit door, the stage is set for the club to make some strong additions to the team as we look to shore up the squad and make the break-through into the promised land of League One.





    From: Norwich City
    Cost: £60k

    With the club managing to actually pull some funds together for a relatively healthy transfer budget we waste little time in using it as we splash the cash to land Norwich's young midfielder Diallang Jaiyesimi. The Nigerian will slot perfectly into the team as we look to add some more depth to what prove to be an effective attacking midfield trio.



    From: Out of Contract
    Cost: Free

    Sam Howells arrives as one for the future, as the former Swan looks to try and snatch up some valuable experience from the bench. With the center of defence a clear weak point this season, hopes are high that Sam Howells will eventually develop into a solid defender to lead the club in the very near future.



    From: Sheffield Wednesday
    Cost: £115k

    The most expensive transfer of the season and also my short career has us snap up Blonde bombshell, Jack Lee. The Twenty One year old is a superb defender for this level and with his best years still ahead of him, the solid all round defender is set to make a massive impact for this club for many seasons to come.




    A quick and efficient transfer window see's the club make three like for like swaps to immediately bolster the squad for the season ahead.

    With all three holding on to potential that could well see them play much higher up the chain, hopes are high that they can be the extra kick the team needs to break through into League One.

    Last edited by DerbyJack; 02/01/2017 at 01:29 PM.

  10. Good luck this season DJ! Hoping you can emulate last seasons success

  11. Loving this story DerbyJack. Good luck for the coming season...

  12. Just caught up jack! Connor is killing it for you... looks like my choice to release him will come back to haunt me!! unlucky on the playoffs but I think you will soon have another job offer! Keep it up man!

  13. I'm completely baffled that some league 1 side hasn't come calling for an interview, with that kind of turn around. Excellent season, and good luck with finding a better paying job in a higher league.


  14. Thanks Dan, second season syndrome does await however!

    Thanks very much Stuart!

    He really is making the most of his new opportunities! Fingers crossed Wanderer, Connor could be my ticket to a new bumper wage. Thanks again!

    They are more sensible then it seems jmckenzie! Thanks very much, I'll keep annoying League One sides until they eventually break!




    Preseason
    2020/21




    11th July 2020
    Friendly



    The Preseason gets underway with a quick victory over Newcastle Town. Not to be confused with the Black and White giants in the North East, The Castle are from the little known Newcastle Under Lyme in Staffordshire and where soon reminded of their lowly status with two goals on the half hour mark that secured a well earned victory for a slow starting Mariners.


    18th July 2020
    Friendly



    The club quickly ramps up the pace as they ease to a three goal victory over Vanarama South side, Welling. With The Wings far from being on par with the League One chasing Mariners, the comfortable result was certainly expected but a dominant display and a first goal for new arrival and fantastically named Diallang Jaiyesimi was certainly a welcome boost.


    25th July 2020
    Friendly



    Three games done and the club continues to wrack up the victories this time with a narrow win over a determined Wealdstone. With the non-league side clearly bolstered by their viral superfan's fame, they held on to their clean-sheet with grim determination with only a Cali thunderbolt proving to be enough to break their resilience.


    3rd August 2020
    Friendly



    Final game of the pre-season has the club see off Premier League side, Leicesters exciting young talents with a late flurry of goals, finally seeing the boys break through a tough and spirited defence as they ensure a perfect set of warm-up games, for a side determined to build off the back of last season's exploits.



    With last season success still fresh in the back of my mind, the formation for the forth coming season was in little danger of going through any kind of overhaul. My 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree formation can wait...for now.



    With Grimsby's wealth of attacking midfielders at their disposal and a reformed defence, the 4-2-3-1 formation is set to stay in place for yet one more season.

    With one of the most free-scoring attacks and leakiest defences to be found in the top half of the League, the "Kevin Keegan" approach is apparently working wonders alongside my lack of actual ability!


  15. CM (D) - I like it! Good luck for the upcoming season, it would be great to see you win the league although if you're top of the table, the offers may come rolling in!

  16. looking good that pre season was good and connor again getting in on the goals! What is the media predicting for you and what is your prediction?

  17. Love this manager story. I have followed it from FM16 and am very happy you decided to continue it on FM17.

    You seem to be having a better time if it this year mind.

    Keep up the great work DJ.


  18. I would be a fool not to listen, its certainly not down me any harm since taking it on board! At this stage it's just about getting noticed anyway possible! Certainly is different for it to be about events at the top of the table rather then the bottom! Thanks Patrick!

    13th Place this season! Not a bad improvement at all but a bit of a kick in the teeth following our playoff exploits, personally I would settle for a top half finish this time around....but in all honesty I want a title! I have had a taste of success and I like it!

    Thanks very much indeed Worthy. It does seem to be going rather well. perhaps my Christmas Tree formation was holding me back all along? Thanks again!



    August 2020





    8th August 2020
    League Two



    It takes just One hundred and Twenty Seconds for League Two to remind us just how hard we are going to have to work to return to the top of the table, as a Blackpool side desperately looking to stop the rot, smash home the opening goal with another late in the second half cancelling out Connor's equalizer and with it any hopes of starting the season in style.


    12th August 2020
    EFL Cup - 1st Round



    Much like last season we are sent packing from the League Cup at the first time of asking, courtesy of a harsh cup draw and a fortunate performance from a Championship side. Clearly nervous in the fortress that is Blundell Park, Blackburn struggled to break down the League Two side, eventually relying on the lottery of penalties to end any hopes of a giant killing.


    15th August 2020
    League Two



    Despite starting the season with two losses, the boys do turn on the style to stroll past Cambridge and pick up their first points of the campaign. Having gone down just after the half hour mark it seemed we were in for a rough afternoon until the boys turned on the style just before the break, dominating the entire second half and getting us back on course for the top.


    19th August 2020
    League Two



    It turns out our route to the top might not be quite so simple. Perennial League Two stragglers Barnet seem determined to finally build a gap between themselves and Non League football and a resilient performance saw The Bees cling on to a well earned point and ensure the home faithful continue to enjoy a frustrating start to the season.


    22nd August 2020
    League Two



    Remember when Sven was in charge of these guys? Crazy times. Even the Swedish Lothario would have been impressed by the football on show at Meadow Lane as both sides threw caution into the wind, with wave of attacks testing their slow starting defence's and some last minute heroics snatching the win for the Magpies as Wilkinson's late leveler is cruelly cancelled out.


    29th August 2020
    League Two



    With Wilkinson's efforts amounting to just one solitary point the unfortunate Irish finisher was once again left ruing what could have been as his second half opening thunderbolt of a shot was cancelled out by the final kick of the game, thanks to some generous overtime from the referee. I'm starting to feel that last season may have been a footballing anomaly already...


    August 2020
    League Two



    An incredibly frustrating start to the season see's the club drop crucial points across the board as they struggle to see out the game with tired legs and low heads. With a huge chunk of the season still ahead of us, we can only hope that the boys can rally before it's too late for us to match the leading pack.

    Death Ball, PatrickLFC and Nosibor like this.


  19. September 2020




    1st September 2020
    EFL Trophy - Group G



    First game of the still mysterious Checkatrade Trophy has us go toe to toe with the recently relegated Burton Albion. The Brewers are struggling to adapt to life back in League One but made no mistake in their hunt for some morale boosting silverware as they cruise to an easy win courtesy of a hat-trick from their eighteen year old sensation, Middleton.


    12th September 20120
    League Two



    The woes continue to grow in the League as we again fall short in another end to end game as our second half domination comes too late to get the Mariners back into the game with a strong Wrexham side, clinging on to the points and ensuring that both clubs continue to travel in different directions.


    15th September 2020
    League Two



    At this point goal-less draws have already become a welcome sight. With a squad seemingly devoid of motivation and belief, the new signings failing to gel and the club leaking points faster then the hole in the titanic, the early going in this season is already proving to be a test to my managerial abilities...I think I'm back to normal.


    19th September 2020
    League Two



    A second half red-card at least gave us some thing to blame for another loss in the league but truth be told Forest Green dominated proceedings, opening the scoring after just seven minutes and running our beleaguered defence ragged for the remainder of the game to leave the home fans already starting to question my ability. The honeymoon period is well and truly over.


    26th September 2020
    League Two



    With Forest Green wasting little time in snatching the lead in the previous game, Gillingham decided to up the stakes as they find the back of the net just seconds from the whistle leaving the referees lips at the start of the game. The lightning quick goal proved to be more then enough to hold us at bay as the Gils ease to victory.


    30th September 2020
    League Two



    A glimmer of hope! Just when I thought my good fortune in my new career had come to long overdue end, the boys return to their best as Connor Wilkinson finally finds himself scoring for the winning side and new arrival Jaiyesimi joining him on the scoresheet to smash the Swans with a dominant first half of football. Keep the faith!


    September 2020
    League Two



    Our horrific start to the season has us back in the depths of League Two and in the unwelcome familiar territory of the relegation battle I joined the club in just over a year ago. With the losses racking up and just two victories to their name, the squad is doing just enough to keep their head's above water.


  20. Bloody hell, Lincoln survived! Nice to see they've sorted the defence out this season though...
    PatrickLFC and 1magine like this.


  21. A minor miracle Godfish. They're actually doing quite well thus far but the Media still predict them for a precarious 22nd place finish. Fingers crossed!



    October 2020





    3rd October 2020
    League Two



    Any hopes of building off our thrashing of Wycombe are soon squashed as Jack McKay cancels out his fellow Irishmans opening goal in a decidedly one sided second half of football that saw Shrewsbury eventually cruise to a comfortable victory. This kind of way-ward form is certainly not going to have us knocking on the door to League One anytime soon.


    6th October 2020
    EFL Trophy - Group G



    We are all but knocked out of the Football League Trophy as Newcastle's young starlets secure the win courtesy of some haphazard penalties from our tired squad. having pushed for the entirety of the game some weak finishing proved costly as Newcastle's Under Twenty-Threes claim a fortunate victory.


    10th October 2020
    League Two



    With the club all but knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy, the boys suddenly seem to have some renewed determination. Key Italian midfielder, Cali opened the scoring after just Twenty minutes of football and some much missed resolute defending saw the Mariner's loyal supporters finally rewarded with all three points.


    17th October 2020
    League Two



    Once again the footballing gods smile upon us as we make it back to back victories in the most dramatic of fashions. Having equalised just seven minutes from time, it seemed The Dale were about to claim a fortunate point, until a two footed challenge, a well worked move and a well converted tap-in saw Grimsby reclaim the lead and with it the points.


    24th October 2020
    League Two



    All of a sudden things don't seem so bad. With three victories on the trot the club's precariously low position has suddenly turned around and our determined push for promotion has once again started to re-emerge from the depths. A superb display from the midfield ensure another three points against the struggling Stags.


    31st October 2020
    League Two



    Having started the month so poorly, we end the month back on a high as we snatch our fourth straight victory courtesy of an own goal just seconds after half-time. The sloppy own-goal came off the back of a well worked corner and the fortunate opener proved to be just the break we needed against an otherwise rigid Port Vale.


    October 2020
    League Two



    From the depths of the relegation zone to the safety of mid-table. With the boys turning on the style...and good fortune, the Mariners find themselves sailing comfortable away from the already fierce dog-fight at the bottom and back towards the excitement and hope found towards the head of the table.

    Last edited by DerbyJack; 05/01/2017 at 09:55 PM.

  22. Looking good mate! you needed that last month it was looking grim! Connor is banging them in! is he up there in the top goalscorers??? any places your looking to strengthen during the jan window?

  23. I am new to the site, I have just been through all of this and it makes for a very interesting read and certainly passing the time at work! I am looking forward to further updates.

    BTW - I like the look of Jack Lee, a good centre half.


  24. Thanks Wanderer, I was certainly starting to look around rather nervously until October! He is actually in sensational form which is quite impressive given the fact his potential has apparently spiraled down. Unfortunately I didn't check back then but I think he was well within the top 10?! Just the midfield is all. Nothing major.

    Thanks very much Calder and welcome to the site! I'm glad to hear there are still plenty of us browsing at work! In Lee we trust!



    November 2020





    7th November 2020
    FA Cup - 1st Round



    Having been knocked out of the League Cup and Trophy at the quickest opportunity we complete the trifecta as we spiral out of the FA Cup in the first round courtesy of some surprisingly confident football from Sutton United. The National League side, should have been easy pickings for the in form Mariners but a goal just before the break left us stunned and the minnows on their way to the second round.


    10th November 2020
    EFL Trophy - Group G



    Capping off what was a horrendous competition for the Mariners we crash out of the English Football League Trophy on the back of a three goal thrashing from Doncaster Rovers. Having not once been in the entire game, Rovers dominated the entire fixture, as the League One side gave us a huge reminder of just how far we have to go to reach League One.


    14th November 2020
    League Two



    On the back of the humiliation from Doncaster it would be safe to say our morale has taken a bit of a dive but with their heads held low the squad bounced back in absolute style as they stole a narrow victory over a strong Stevenage side to return the club to winning ways and resume a slightly more cautious race towards League One.


    21st November 2020
    League Two



    The boys continue to press towards the promised land as a rare goal for young striker, Charles Diallo has us skip past recently relegated Chesterfield and back towards the playoff spots. With the squad once again feeling a surge of self belief following their back to back victories it seemed we we're set for a sensational run in to the new year....


    25th November 2020
    League Two



    ...Maybe not. Our usually unflappable midfielder Cali, apparently ignited his Italian passion within the first twelve minutes of the game to see him quickly sent to the stands following a horror challenge. To their credit the ten men held on until the last few minutes of the game with the Daggers eventually bursting the deadlock in style snatching a flattering three goal victories.


    28th November 2020
    League Two



    And we're back! Once again the boys pull out all the stops in the League Two local derby as they restore some pride from the thrashing just three days ago with an emphatic victory over The Imps courtesy of some sensational plays from our attacking midfielders. Does this make up for a three goal annihilation at home?


    November 2020
    League Two



    Despite suffering some humiliating defeats leaving every cup competition behind in a trail of tears and having our very status as League One chasing side strongly questioned, the squad still manages to burst it's way back into the playoffs as we barrel towards the mid-way stage of the season.


    November 2020
    EFL Trophy - Group E



    The less said about this the better... The boys bow out of the Football League trophy having scored just two goals, losing every single game and suffering a severely bruised ego. Truth be told I actually tried this time around. Grabbing some unexpected silverware would have been a welcome boost to my reputation....it might have had the opposite affect this time around.


  25. that fa cup match must have been dreadful! Especially losing at home.


  26. It was indeed Aldo, at least it felt vaguely normal though!




    December 2020






    12th December 2020
    League Two



    Before a ball is even kicked a slow starting December burst into life with two job offers from a mid-table MK Dons and a Rotherham side wallowing in the depths of the Championship. Given the recent attention the boys didn't exactly do me any favors in progressing up the ladder and my potential suitors wasted little time in making their moves following the game...



    December 2020
    League Two



    Well that escalated quickly...

    With the Mariners still poised on the edge of the playoffs despite their recent thrashing, I take a shortcut into the heart of League One as the newest club on the block, Milton Keynes Dons throw caution into the wind to snap me away from my growing career on the East Coast.

    I guess it's time to see if my luck finally comes to an end with the most hated club in the football league...



  27. Well done on getting the MK Dons job! I hope it comes with a nice payrise!

  28. so after a while away i went back to start a journey career after reading this, and the progress has been phenomenal.
    Started with Stirling being paid a mighty £150 p/w and gained promotion to Ladbrooks League 1 in my first season. After promotion i resigned as i felt there was no way I could take them further (turns out i was right, 2 seasons later they were relegated out the leagues and replaced by the mighty Gala Fairydean).
    I though after those exploits i'd get a new job quickly.....cue 9 months out until Gateshead offered me a position in the conference with a massive wage £600p/w. 3 seasons later they were in the Championship, by then there was not a hope i would be able to take them any further so i applied for what felt like every available job in europe and south america, eventually ending up at Nuremberg. I have to admit i made i mistake, and misread their league position. I thought i'd made it to the big time of the Bundesliga.....but it turns out they were relegated so league 2 it was (with a nice wage rise to 4k p/w).
    A year after promotion with them I just got poached by Koln with a healthy almost millionaire salary of 12.5k and about to start my first season in one of europes big leagues. Hoping a good season here will bring me a move to a big team.
    Last edited by ratmsm1; 09/01/2017 at 12:35 PM.
    ekul785 likes this.

  29. Good work on the MK Dons job DJ! Great to see you beginning to move forward

  30. Congratulations on getting the MK Dons job! Good luck!

  31. Nice lil move there! Good luck!

  32. Great to see this series back again. Good luck with Milton Keynes!

  33. Great work on getting the MK Dons job mate!


  34. Thanks alot Naterr!

    Wow ratmsm, way to make me look completley average. And here I was thinking I might actually be on course to finish this challenge! Great progress, hope the rest of your career goes just as well in the Bundesliga! I had a great time with FC Koln last season, grew a bit of a soft spot for them from it as well.

    Cheers Dan, makes a change to be going in the right direction!

    Thanks very much Stuart!

    I hope it will prove to be Neavie, thanks again!

    Appreciate it Zanz, I think I might need it this time around.

    Thanks as always Seano!





    Cheerio League Two!

    With the Mariners in the midst of a transformation into a League Two Powerhouse, I take a quick shortcut into the paradise that is League One.

    With my bags packed and my cross-country cab ready and waiting there is just enough time to take a look back at just what we managed to achieve in a season and a half in scenic Lincolnshire...


    2018/19
    League Two




    My time in lovely Grimsby started off ensuring that I didn't make an immediate return to non-league football. Thankfully the shockingly bad form of Aldershot and Eastleigh ensured a more relaxed end to the season as a promising end to the season at least gave some sign that we might have more in our pocket then a Twenty First place finish...


    2019/20
    League Two





    ...And the boys didn't disappoint. With just a handful of signings and a brief dabbling in the tactics, the Mariners suddenly transformed into promotion contenders bludgeoning their way to a fourth place finish as they narrowly miss out on automatic promotion and are sent packing in an end to end Semi-Final. Instant transformation.


    2020/21
    League Two





    Looking to ensure our lofty finish last season was not just a minor blessing from the footballing gods, we set out into my final season with the Mariners keen to continue our League One promotion push. With my time being cut short just before the mid-way point of the season, it seems the boys are well on their way to proving their worth in the basement of English football.



    With a Play-off spot in their reach, the squad proving to be more then capable of matching last seasons achievements and belief flooding through Blundell Park, I leave the East Coast club poised and ready to join me in the wonderland that is League One.

    Despite somehow proving to be a relative success with the Mariners, it has not just been a one-way deal, after a slow start I have finally completed all my National Coaching badges courtesy of a generous Grimsby board.

    Having arrived in Grimsby slightly apprehensive of my luxurious surroundings it has turned out to be a beautiful arrangement.

    So Long, and thanks for all the fish!

    Death Ball, Seano, ekul785 and 7 others like this.

  35. Jack if you don't sign Connor you will go down in my estimation hahaha! congrats on the MK job on wards and upwards!


  36. I'm not going to sugar coat it Wanderer, Connor is apparently not even close to making it at a higher level then League Two. Thanks again!



    I'm on a roll!

    With my coaching badges framed and mounted on the wall and my reputation quickly ranking up, I head into League One full of undeserved confidence and with a brand new cocky swagger.

    Having transformed Grimsby from bottom to top, it's time to keep the ball rolling in the rough and tumble of League One.



    From the East Coast to the concrete paradise that is Milton Keynes. Glorious.

    Given my previous job in the luxurious beach resort that is Grimsby, the 1960's town in the heart of Buckinghamshire is actually somewhat of an improvement...of sorts.

    Time to bless England's most controversial football club with my new founds talents...



    From just over One grand a week to a whopping Three and a half thousand.

    My wallet is ready.

    With the board rewarding my League Two exploits with a huge pay raise and even a two year contract, it seems I am set to get stuck into life in the footballing no-mans land that is League One in style but before I do, it's time to see just what I'm going to have to achieve to keep my new found earnings rolling in...





    From the playoffs of League Two to the middle of League One. With the previous manager seemingly turning the club into a solid mid-table side it suddenly dawns on me just what is expected of me at the helm of the Dons. The board clearly has huge aims for this club. Mid-table just isn't enough. It's time to gear up for the frantic race into the Championship.

    With over half of the season remaining and the club actually in the midst of a decent run of form, I'm going to need to get up to the pace of a seemingly wide-open League in quick time.

    There's no time to waste!


  37. I assume the previous MK Dons manager was sacked for mid-table mediocrity on the back of three wins out of the last four league matches, plus progressing in two cup competitions. Not a bad run of form over the last six matches.

    It's a tough gig this football manager lark...

    Good luck, DerbyJack.


  38. In all honestly I thought he must have left for another role but he was genuinely sacked. It turned out no matter what you do if you lose 3-0 to Burton its game over...Cheers Stuart!





    With half a season to mount a reasonable challenge for the play-offs, I'm going to need every man to rise to the occasion.

    With a January transfer window looming, there's just enough time to evaluate the Dons first team before I work my magic to turn this languishing mid-table team into a Championship bound squad on a one way trip to glory...or something close at least...



    Once again I arrive into a squad painfully lacking in central midfielders.

    Despite the gaping hole in the middle of the field, it is not hard to see why the board expects big things of this team.

    This squad is looking solid.

    With a packed out defence led by some exciting young players and one of Southampton's finest youth prospects, the back line looks to be set for a solid future for many years to come, whilst a wealth of attacking players gives us numerous options going forwards led by one of England's brightest striker prospects.



    Paul Hume, rumoured by the press to be the next Micheal Owen... In hindsight that's not entirely a good thing. With the media predicting him to peak before he reaches the age of Twenty and spend the rest of his career on the sidelines, its time to milk him for all hes worth before it's too late! In all seriousness at just eighteen, Hume is an absolute wonderkid. Sharp shooting, rapid pace and the mental attributes of a lionhearted finisher. It's time for Hume and his forehead to take center-stage.




    Snapped up from the depths of Manchester United, Ro-Shaun Williams might not have made an appearance for the Red Devils but the central defender with the physical attributes of a brick shit-house on wheels has already made a solid start to his career in Milton Keynes. With the Twenty Two year old set for a long future at the subtly named Stadium:MK, we've got plenty to be positive about at the back.




    With a strong squad at my disposal, a league awaiting my debut and the entirety of Milton Keynes desperately googling my name, I'm ready to get stuck into League One

    Last edited by DerbyJack; 11/01/2017 at 01:04 AM.

  39. I loved the definition of brick shit-house on wheels, actually laughing of it


  40. Thanks Zinedine, It's the only description that truly fits!



    December 2020





    19th December 2020
    League One


    First start in Stadium:MK and the boys welcome me in style. As I quickly put in place the 4-2-3-1 formation that has proved so successful in my previous two roles, the squad instantly blends with the attack minded tactics running Colchester ragged in a dominant first-half that saw future star Paul Hume snatch a brace and kick my Milton Keynes career off in style.


    26th December 2020
    League One



    The honeymoon period looks set to last as I snatch a narrow victory over Exeter with a goal just three minutes from time breaking the deadlock and rewarding the club with my second win in a row and the clubs fifth in a row overall. It seems I have arrived at the best possible time.


    28th December 2020
    League One



    The year ends in dramatic fashion but more importantly with another three points. My perfect start with The Dons very nearly came to an end against a battling Bristol Rovers but a midfield masterclass and a sensational free-kick from Southampton loanee, Tom Vokes was just enough to keep The Gas at bay until the final whistle.


    December 2020
    League One



    Just three games into my career in Buckinghamshire and the club has immediately shot up from the obscurity of mid-table to the edges of the play-offs. I would love to say that this was entirely down to my inspired arrival but truth be told the League is just incredibly tight right now. With half a season to go things remain wide-open.

    Death Ball, Seano, Rushton and 8 others like this.

  41. Brilliant start to your tenure in Milton Keynes. Hopefully you can keep it up.

  42. A weird sacking situation but a bargain its benefitted you and what a start to the reign!


  43. Cheers Worthy! Here's hoping!

    Indeed it was never expected to land a job with a League One side this high up the table. Not complaining though! Thanks Dan!






    Having sat back whilst the Don's rose to the top of the table, it's time I probably did something about proving that any promotion attempt the club makes actually involves some of my hard-work.



    Before I can look at building upon the squads already strong foundations, there's the departure of Cameron Dummigan to deal with.

    The promising Northern Irish right-back will leave a huge gap in our previously rigid back-line but with the transfer already arranged before I had even arrived at the club, there's not a lot I can do as Championship side, Brighton snatch away the Twenty Four year old with just a one million pound bid.

    With the disappointing departure behind us I quickly made my moves to strengthen the team.





    From: Manchester United
    Cost: £500k

    First thing that I quickly learnt about MK Dons in the transfer window is that this League One club is actually flooded with money. I waste little time in splashing some of the six million pound budget as I snap up the Red Devils talented young midfielder Seb Rowan to add some depth and potential to a weak central midfield.



    From: Leicester City
    Cost: £275k

    Continuing my ever present trend of snapping up young talent, I keep my eyes in the youth clubs of the Premier League to sign up Adam May from former champions, Leicester City. The young left winger will add some true flair to our flanks, with the physical attributes that should keep him regularly causing problems for League One's full backs.


    From: Queens Park Rangers
    Cost: £175k

    Final signing of the window has me make the moves to bring in Iraqi midfielder, Yaser Kasim. The Thirty Year old has forged out a solid career throughout the lower rungs of the English Leagues and his undoubted experience and solid all round ability should see him make an instant impact in the middle of the Dons midfield.



    Three signings, one departure and a rather alarming hole left in the back line.

    I'm not sure I've entirely strengthened the squad but non the less at the minute I seem to have a Midas touch.

    Time to see if my football blessings continue into the new year!



  44. January 2021




    2nd January 2021
    FA Cup - 3rd Round



    The new year starts off with a whimper as we are immediately knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship strugglers, Sheffield Wednesday. The Owls might be wallowing in the depths of the Championship but they certainly proved the difference in class between the two teams as they snatched a narrow victory to book their place in the next round.


    6th January 2021
    League One



    The League also splutters into life for 2021 as we condemn ourselves to defeat within just Twenty minutes of the game as an own goal and a red card gift promotion chasing Luton Town with another three points to their impressive tally. With just half a season remaining this kind of performances doesn't exactly bode well for our own promotion chances...


    9th January 2021
    League One



    ...This on the other hand will do the trick. Another sensational free-kick from our Southampton loanee Tom Vokes got things off to a sensational start with the ever improving Paul Humes netting another for his young career to put us back into contention for the playoffs and put the previous result well behind us.


    13th January 2021
    EFL Trophy South - 3rd Round



    The Dons cruised through their group to this stage and despite not entirely having any real desire about claiming anything from this competition, the boys still ensure they would be present in the final few stages of the competition as they narrowly cruise past a spirited Oxford side with young starlets Hume and Chapman working their magic.


    16th January 2021
    League One



    ...Well that hurts. Portsmouth are lost in the bottom half of the table but certainly didn't look like a side fighting to avoid being dragged into the relegation dog-fight as they absolutely demolish their way to a comfortable four goal victory with their inspired striker, Ashley Fletcher showcasing his talents with a sensational hat-trick. Hume, take note.


    23rd January 2021
    League One



    Thankfully the humiliating result in the previous game failed to damped the teams spirits as they come back from behind to snatch the victory late into the game against Peterborough. The Posh frustrated us with some clinical defending in the first-half but yet another converted Vokes set piece and a late Hume pile-driver finally broke through to scoop up all three points.


    26th January 2021
    EFL Trophy South - Quarter Final



    With the form being decidedly dodgy the boys finally lay down the law as they destroy Dagenham and Redbridge with a five goal whitewash. The increasingly brilliant Paul Hume led the charge with a solid brace whilst the rest of the midfield behind him took their opportunity to get on the score-sheet as we strolled into the semis in style!


    30th January 2021
    League One



    We round off a strange month of football with another convincing victory over Southend as we make it nine goals in two games to restore not only some pride but our chances of getting something from what is potentially shaping up to an impressive season for the Dons as Hume bags another brace and the Young Player of the Month trophy to go with it.


    January 2021
    League One



    Despite some rather hap-hazard football the boys battling has seen them push on yet further as they slide their way into the Playoff positions as we barrel towards the business end of the season. With Hume in fine form, the midfield showcasing their collective talents on occasion and the defence battling to keep up with the rampant pace its going to be a true race to try and claim something from my first season with the Dons.


  45. A good month for you, and what seems to be some good signings as well. Hopefully that RB gap wont be too much of an issue. Good luck for next month!

  46. Superb month especially keeping strong in the league with the efl trophy progression!


  47. Thanks Zanz. I've got just about enough cover in there to survive the season bar any horrific injuries!

    Cheers Dan, would be nice to grab an early trophy!



    February 2021





    6th February 2021
    League One



    With the club finding itself rapidly shooting into the Play-Off spots, I am soon given a wake-up call as we are humbled by Bradford. The Bantams proved to be more then capable of keeping my seemingly free-scoring Dons at bay with only a late fight-back giving us a glimmer of hope but it proved to be too little, too late.


    13th February 2021
    League One



    The wake up cool soon becomes a rather rude awakening as we are left frustrated by Walsall. A goal late into the first half saw the Swallows snatch the lead and they bitterly clung on to their slender advantage till the final whistle as they leave Stadium:MK with all the spoils and send us straight out of the play-off spots already...


    17th February 2021
    League One



    Thankfully the rot comes to a quick end as we return to winning ways over a sorry looking Wigan. A four minute demolition job just before the break put The Dons well and truly in control and saw us cruise to the end of the match clutching on to our one-goal lead with grim determination as we look to restart our late bid for promotion.


    20th February 2021
    League One



    Fellow play-off chasers Bolton arrived at Stadium:MK and looked set to quickly end our rejuvenated push for the Championship with a two footed challenge, a straight red-card and a well converted free-kick routine seemingly putting the Trotters well in control. Fortunately Granger's right-foot restored some pride in front of the home crowd as we battled our way to a hard earned point.


    24th February 2021
    EFL Trophy South - Semi Final



    With our League standing looking rather fragile of late, the boys wobbly form carries over into the latter stages of the Checkatrade Trophy as we are sent packing by fellow League One side, Exeter. Our opposition are struggling in the lower rungs of the League but a quick opening saw them book their place in the final and end my hopes of some long awaited silverware.


    27th February 2021
    League One



    With our disappointing cup exit, a dubious looking play-off push and the defence looking decidedly fragile the boys tear up the form book to absolutely destroy fellow promotion chasers, Millwall. A five goal annihilation from the incredibly talented Paul Hume led the way, with the rest of the team matching up to his impressive standard to secure an earth-shattering victory.


    February 2021
    League One



    On the back of our heroic efforts over Millwall we leap frog The Lions, clinging on to our playoff position on goal difference alone. With just a handful of games remaining the race to the end of the season is going to be intense. If we can nail down some real form, we are more then capable of causing an upset or two. The dream is alive!



  48. March 2021




    3rd March 2021
    League One



    On the back of our seven goal trouncing of Millwall, we make it ten goals in two games as we once again pull out all the stops to see of Sheffield United. The Blades are certainly not a side to be taken lightly but another Paul Hume masterclass and a late goal from January arrival May was more then enough to keep the former Premier League side at bay with ease.


    6th March 2021
    League One



    The rapid pace of the games begins to catch up with the squads legs as they struggle their way to a draw against a determined Swindon side. The Robins deservedly took the lead following a dominant spell either side of the whistle but a late red card served as rallying point for the Dons as they battled back to share the points courtesy of Kasim's second for the club.


    13th March 2021
    League One



    Well that puts an end to it. With the points rolling in of late, a promotion bound Fleetwood increased their claim to a spot in the Championship with a ruthless three goal white-wash at Stadium:MK. The club at the top of the standings certainly seemed to be the real deal as they brushed a-side our previously determined squad on their way to another three points.


    20th March 2021
    League One



    On the back of a demoralizing loss at the hands of Fleetwood, we thankfully pull out the stops to claim the points against a free-falling Birmingham. The Blues have spiralled out of the Championship and are making hard work of League One, with a convincing defeat to the Don's continuing their slide into obscurity. Dark times in the West Midlands.


    24th March 2021
    League One



    We continue to keep the points rolling back in as we squeeze our way past Oxford. The U's look set for a season of obscurity with mid-table beckoning and a Granger solo-effort helped to push the Don's on to potential greatness whilst leaving Oxford stranded in the middle of the table with little left to play for at this late stage of the season.


    28th March 2021
    League One



    With a narrow victory over Oxford under our belts we repeat the trick to edge past Northampton courtesy of young Kazim Aziz's midfield thunderbolt. The goal just past the half-way stage of the first-half settled the nerves of the squad as they easilly fended off Northamptons efforts to claim another three points to the clubs now impressive record.


    March 2021
    League One



    Despite losing to a now third place, Fleetwood, the club has climbed yet further into the ranks as they start to make themselves truly at home in the promotion race. With the clubs above us only narrowly ahead and the boys more then capable of pulling off some fantastic results, the potential for something truly incredible is growing.

    Remember when I used to have no idea what I was doing? ...All a bluff. Honest.


  49. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend


    Nice climb. How far are the top two?

  50. Amazing couple of months! Keep it up and get a title eh?!

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