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Working My Way Up
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  1. Working My Way Up

    To those of you who were reading Just Give Me A Chance, I lost the save and I apologise. I was looking forward to the save but my computer crashed and the save was lost so I am bouncing back with this...

    Again, like Just Give Me A Chance I will be playing on FM16. I don't have the money to buy 17 at the moment and this is my way of keeping my interest high in FM until I can afford it. I hope you all enjoy and please leave feedback so I know people are interested.

    Working My Way Up

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    There I am. F.M. Saddler. Now nobody will have heard of me.

    I am a normal person chasing the dream and I have no experience in football. My aim is to work my way up the managerial rankings and become the greatest manager in history. Now I know that doesn't sound realistic but it's my aim and it is what I have wanted to do since I was a child.

    I have always loved football but never had the skill to play it. I did try playing for a Sunday team but to be truly honest, I was dreadful. My record you ask? Played 2 games, got 1 red card and got injured in the other game. Impressive?

    Now I chase my dream. Management. If I get offered any job I will take it, as long as it is a better job. No downgrading just me trying to work my way up to the top divisions and obviously the main aim, to one day win the champions league.

    Now I know where I am willing to manage; England, Ireland, N.Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain and France. Quite a long list but I feel it gives me a good range to apply for.

    I applied for 8 jobs as soon as I set down ranging from the lower divisions of England and Italy to the Irish and Scottish divisions. I don't care where I start I just want to be given the chance to prove myself.

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  2. Working My Way Up

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    Two weeks into the job search I received my first contract. Cabinteely in Ireland saw me as the perfect man to see out what looked like a done season despite only being half way through. Out of 2 of the 3 cups and with just 12 games left to play they saw me as more of a caretaker than manager to guide them through the final months.

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    So this is how they'd done so far. 18 points off the top 3 and with no relegation threat it just seemed to be a case of me working my way as close as I could to that top 3 but there was a clear division in class between that top 6 and us bottom 2.

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    We had 3 wins on the season against Limerick, Waterford and Cobh Ramblers. 3 good victories, especially against Cobh who currently sit 2nd and are battling for the top spot. The worry for me is the lack of goals but also two losses to bottom side Athlone, their only 2 wins of the season.

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    And this is the team that will hopefully give me my first step up the managerial ladder. Fagan in net has the quality but has been poor in his 2 games. Ekanem is a rock at the back and should be at a much higher level than this. We have an abundance of wingers but struggle in the middle of the park so Brown and Slater, or whoever occupies those spots, will be key to our game. Especially on the break where I expect them to create for us on the counter.

    It's a very young squad with only 5 players who aren't teenagers in a squad of 22 and those 5 players are 20, 20, 23, 23 and 26. I'm looking forward to hopefully developing the young talent and seeing them become a strong side.

    josh_brady likes this.

  3. Working My Way Up

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    After taking control of my first game I was sat with 1 loss from 1 game to my name and it wasn't easy to take. Athlone made it 3 wins from 3 against us as 2 defensive mistakes cost us the game in vital moments.

    Going forward we were superb creating 4 clear cut chances and 3 half cut chances but it was at the back where the problems lay.

    McDonagh made the first mistake as he played the ball across the backline but missed everybody leaving O'Neill to tap home. With no pressure on him he should have done better but he managed to play the ball behind everybody and it cost us big time.

    We then pulled it back through Hanley who received the ball on the edge of the area, turned and smashed home into the corner to level things up.

    However a late mistake from Brilly cost us the game as he took too much time to clear the ball and was dispossessed leaving Molloy alone in the box to hammer home the winner.

    We deserved a point looking at the stats but you cannot gift opponents those sort of chances and get away with it. It was a promising but massively frustrating start for my managerial career...




  4. Working My Way Up

    So after losing my first game in charge I needed to continue to push forward on this season and try and showcase my skills. We weren't bad in the first game but it was against a weak opposition and we still lost. So let's see how things have gone...

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    A better performance but we were robbed of 3 points. Greene gave them the lead before Hamzat and Hanley provided us with a lead going into the final minutes. We sat back and defended but Kenny snook through the line and slotted home but the replays showed he was offside so the wrong decision costs us.

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    The defensive mistakes return. The own goal really shows our struggles at the back as we failed to clear our lines from a corner forcing Brennan to panic and hit it into his own net. Again, not that bad going forward but woeful defensively.

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    An interesting game for me as I have always had a soft spot for UCD. Hanley once again saves us from the loss but there wasn't enough to sneak a win. UCD tore us apart and we didn't deserve the point but I'll take it. We also lose Hanley for up to 5 weeks which could hurt us massively.

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    The back line needs some massive improvements as shown in this game. McCaffrey single handedly destroyed us as Quinlivan and co struggled to deal with the front man. For the first time in my reign I can truly say we were also poor going forward...

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    We were in the game until Lehane came off the bench and much like McCaffrey for Drogheda he single handedly tore us apart. The confidence is gone in a young squad and I'm not sure I can do anything to save it.

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    A brief lapse in concentration costs us any points as Shannon and Doyle cancelled out Brilly's first half strike. We deserved the points but once again the consistent theme is a leaky back line.

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    We were on top for 80 minutes but Athlone made their early dominance count as they made it 4 wins from 4 against us on the season to rise above us in the league standings.

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    One of two teams I've managed to not lose against and we lose. I don't know whether I am cut out for this but the board have allowed me to bring in some extra coaching staff to help me out meaning it isn't just me and my AM.

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    Similarly to the Athlone game we dominate for 80 minutes but our opponents make the early minutes count in another tough to take 1-0 loss. We don't look as poor at the back and we are still good going forward but we just lack the confidence to execute.

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    As was the case last time UCD provide a masterclass and destroy us. They pass and move so quickly that they effectively take our midfield out of the game. We need to improve but honestly after just 2 draws in 11 and 7 losses on the bounce I expect to be sacked after our final game.

  5. Working My Way Up

    So with 11 games gone in my managerial career I sit with 2 draws and without a win. A dreadful record and I fully expect the sack or for the board to let my contract run down. Defensively we have been woeful and it's making it hard for what has been a good attacking threat to hurt teams like we should.

    But anyway, just as I see an email come through from the board I expect to read something along the lines of "board meeting" or "Cabinteely sack F.M.Saddler", but what I do see is this...

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    A new contract!

    Apparently the board have liked what they have seen and were willing to even give me a £40 increase in wage. Despite being winless they feel I am doing the right things and that with some reinforcements I can be more successful in the future.

    They also mentioned that they believe for the players, especially such a young squad, to be behind me they have to show that they are backing me for the future. So I'm not too sure if this is an experiment to see if certainty can bring a lift to the squad or whether they actually have some trust in me.

    All I know is that with 2 points from a possible 33 I couldn't turn it down.

  6. Working My Way Up

    So on the back of a shock new deal I was hoping for a performance to prove I deserved it. The final game of the season was here against a Drogheda side who have beaten us convincingly before.

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    In the first half we were superb. The backline stood strong and denied Drogheda of any real chances other than long distance hit and hope shots and we created 3 or 4 decent chances going forward.

    The second half was a similar performance but it turned out Drogheda have 3 players capable of scoring goals which can only be described as screamers. Nangle was the first, hitting from 40 yards out before McCaffrey decided to take a chance from outside the box and smashed home into the top corner.

    Finally, and most annoying, was Hyland scoring a goal that can only be described as world class. From around 30 yards out and closer to the sideline than the box he curled a shot over Fagan which dropped perfectly in to the far corner.

    Now I am not saying we haven't been poor under my reign but every time we have pulled out a decent performance teams either get lucky refereeing decisions or score unbelievable goals which you expect to see in the premier league, not the Irish first division.

    All I can say is I hope we can do better next season, as my career seems to be resting on it...
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  7. I will be following

  8. Working My Way Up

    So here I am 12 games into my career, winless but somehow rewarded with a new contract. I know the strengths and weaknesses of this team and I will look to improve it heading into the new season as we look for the spark we need to become one of the leading pack.

    It's obvious that Hanley is alone up top, no matter who is played all the pressure is put on him. Whilst he was injured we managed just 2 goals in 6 games, in the 6 games he featured for me we managed 6 in 6 with him grabbing 4. So there is a need for extra quality up front.

    We also need a little bit more quality in the middle of the park. The young trio of Brennan, Boyle and Brilly did well but we need someone more creative to give us the extra threat going forward.

    I'd argue the only other real need is to improve the left side of the pitch. We currently have Knight and Brown operating on the right side and whilst they are both strong options we need the extra depth and a bit of extra quality.

    Overall I feel with have the quality to push forward but we need the extra quality to be able to build on a poor start to my career.
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  9. Working My Way Up

    So looking ahead to adding the quality I previously talked about to the squad as well as my first pre-season I had one other thing I wanted to do.

    Get my first coaching qualification. Getting the first job is a big step but I now have to look to constantly improve and here at Cabinteely I seem to be in a set up where the board trust me and it is a stable job baring complete disaster so I made the request.

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    And they accepted!

    They continue to put their money and trust into me despite my poor record and lack of experience and hopefully I can make it worth it for them. The course will develop my skills a lot as a manager and it's what I need at the moment.

    I seem to be reliant on the backroom I have built around me and that isn't something I want if I am to work my way up the managerial pyramid as I hope to. The backroom have been superb but I feel if I add something to my own skill set that this team can do a lot better than what we did last season.

    There was one other piece of news in the "off-season" which didn't come to anything but I was linked with the TNS job in Wales, apparently I was a favourite for their board once they'd sacked their previous manager but I squashed any rumours in the conference stating that I am happy here in Ireland.

    It would have been a step up with the Welsh division being ranked 117th in the rankings whilst the Irish First Division sits in 138th. However with the board putting this much faith in me and there being no formal approach from the Welsh side I never made the move.

    It seems there will be another year in Ireland.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by josh_brady View Post
    I will be following
    Cheers mate, hopefully won't have any issues with this save. Should last a while too as I won't be able to get FM17 till new year by the looks of it

  11. Working My Way Up

    So my first pre-season had arrived and it was a big one. I need to get my first wins under the belt and gel a team together which were lacking confidence and in some areas the quality to compete. Having a cohesive team will be key to the season and getting that first competitive win in the league which I failed to get in 12 attempts last time round.

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    And there it is; 7 games, 4 wins and 3 losses.

    Cabinteely 1-3 Warrenpoint
    A big first game and a tough loss. Warrenpoint took a break from their season to play the game against us as the reside top of their decision and it was a tough game. They dominated play but as usual it was defensive mistakes which cost us.

    Cabinteely 1-2 U19's
    Another tough loss. I experimented with tactics and it didn't pay off. We played well but just couldn't find the net. I wasn't too bothered by the result as it showed some of the quality we have available beyond our first team.

    Glebe North 2-3 Cabinteely
    A fantastic result. We were 2-0 up thanks to goals from Hamzat at the half and an early Hurley goal in after the break settled it. Glebe's goals were very late and just consolation goals so I am not too bothered about them.

    Bluebell United 1-3 Cabinteely
    A good showing ahead of what will be our first competitive tie of the season, even if it is unimportant to the board. We got 3 goals early in the game and never looked back, we had plenty of other chances but failed to take them before the hosts got a late consolation.

    Killester United 0-1 Cabinteely
    3 away games, 3 wins. The 4th minute goal was one of what could have been many. Killester didn't have a shot on target till the 87th minute whilst we finished the dominant performance with 57% possession, 12 shots and 8 on target.

    Cabinteely 0-0 Bluebell United (3-4 on Penalties)
    After a frustrating 120 minutes against a Bluebell side we had already beaten we went to penalties and after missing our first 2 we were playing from behind and reliant on another missed spot kick from the visitors.

    Cabinteely 2-0 Cleary Celtic
    FINALLY! A HOME WIN! The 3 away wins were superb but we needed to prove we could do the same in what we may need to make our fortress. Hanley stepped up on his return from injury and buried two goals whilst many other players had, but failed to take, chances.

    Round-Up
    So it was a good pre-season in my eyes. We signed strong (which I will go over soon) whilst I grabbed my first wins, 4 of them to be exact. We showed the attacking threat was still there from last season whilst also showing an improved back line compared to the last campaign.

    4 different scorers recorded goals; Hanley (3), Hamzat (4), Kiely (3), Hurley (1); which worries me a tad as I wanted the goals to come from everywhere but at least the reliance isn't entirely sat on Hanleys shoulders as was the case in my previous 12 games.

    Defensively we got 3 clean sheets and conceded only 3 goals in our 4 wins. It shows that our backline has the potential to be stubborn but it will be tested against a higher quality of opposition in the league campaign. Hopefully we can pull off some more of these performances when it matters though and make up for the miserable start to my managerial career.



    josh_brady likes this.

  12. Working My Way Up

    So with pre-season done it's probably time to walk you through the new faces at the club. There were 2 signings after the end of last season who came in before the transfer window opened.

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    Walsh is a player I had to bring in as he offers us a lot more quality in the middle of the park. The 24 year old is an all round quality player who will add some physicality and technicality to the middle of the park.

    Hurley was signed as we didn't really have a left winger at the club last season. Physically he is probably one of the best players at the club and he isn't too bad technically but at 20 years old he has a large chance of improving.

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    Then there was the rest....

    Willie John Kiely is a player I originally looked at for the name, yes I am that immature. The 27 year old will offer some clinical finishing along with some decent attributes across the board. He will be key for us this season up top and proved so with his 3 goals in pre-season.

    Relihan is a similar signing to Walsh. He is a well rounded player and at 24 will partner him in the middle. He will likely be just a key but my coaches see him as having a lot more potential than Walsh.

    O'Donnell is the oldest player at the club at 33. He adds some experience to the front line and could potentially bang in a few goals as our backup striker. He will likely only come in when injuries occur but he is an experienced head we didn't have.

    Harney is the signing of the window for me. The former Premier Division man will add experience to the backline at just 25 years old and captain our side from the right back position.

    Kaguako is something we needed at full back. He could potentially steal the starting RB spot from Harney and push the captain into the heart of defence but he can also serve as a backup left back.

    Doherty was signed as a "backup" to Hurley and will likely serve that role despite being a higher rated player. Technically he is better however with our counter style of football I will stick to using Hurley due to his pace and physicality on the break.

    Finally was a signing I didn't plan on making. Hand will come in and start at left back. Offering a superb option on the left hand side it allows Knight to slot in at CB and provide more quality there.

    Round Up
    I didn't expect it but we actually have a superb squad in our hands. Our starting 11 is good enough to battle most teams but what worries me is our backup players. Mostly youngsters with a lot of potential there is a lack of current ability in our depth.

    The main improvement was to the backline. Harney, Kaguako and Hand all could potentially start in the back 4 this season and they all have a lot more quality than last seasons options. The players we previously had weren't bad but they need some time to develop to be ready where as we now have a lot more current quality to challenge whilst the kids develop.

    Overall I think we have improved all over. Our starting 2 central midfielders offer more quality than the previous duo of Brilly and Brennan. On the left hand side we have added to wingers who will fight for the starting role. The up top we have brought in 2 strikers in Kiely and O'Donnell who will bring a lot more threat to the side whether off the bench or starting the game.

    I am confident we should do better than last time round. My first target is to finish above Athlone and get a win against the side who got all 4 of their wins against us last season. I then want to draw closer to that leading pack of 6 who have a clear quality difference to us bottom 2.

  13. Working My Way Up

    So the league campaign was under way and whilst the performances had improved massively the results hadn't. Both results so far were unfair based on the performances of both sides but the fitness of the squad does take it's toll on results.

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    This was a really tough result to take. We had been superb throughout having challenged throughout. Our performance throughout the game was exactly what I expected as we countered quickly and created a lot of chances. We played well but it just came down to fitness as we go on to lose 4-2.

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    We hit twice as many chances as our visitors on the day but it's two losses from two as we fall to a 2-0 defeat. McCaffrey tore us apart last year but was largely ineffective today with his only two shots being tap in rebounds. Their first was just unlucky, a corner was cleared and one of their midfielders hit it from the edge of the area and a wicked deflection saw it roll to McCaffrey who tapped home. The second came in the deadly final half an hour where we just failed to get to the ball quick enough leaving him with a second tap in.

    So there it is; 2 league games, 2 losses and we are the only team after 2 games pointless.

    Results have been unfair and I don't think we have been poor in either game. For the first 60 minutes against Limerick we were the better side but just failed to take some chances to put the game to bed. Then Drogheda got a bit lucky before taking control in the final 30 minutes again. We created 4 half chances and 2 clear cut chances; Drogheda had 0 of either.

    I am working on the fitness of a young squad to try give us a better chance in that final half an hour. That seems to be the only issue we have had so far as we have turned in 2 good performances. Going forward we are deadlier than ever but defensively as we tire we seem to revert to our previous seasons struggles.

  14. Enjoying the story so far, keep it up.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by mathllanber View Post
    Enjoying the story so far, keep it up.
    Enjoying playing it so far mate, glad people are following!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________________
    So we are now 4 games into the season and although performances have been mixed we have improved on last season, let's see how we have done.

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    Again we weren't bad but we were hurt in the final third of the game. English and Grimes provided the goals for Shelbourne but once again we performed well but just lacked the final finishes to make the most of our chances.

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    Another game another loss and we now sit bottom of the league 4 points off of Athlone. My worry after today's game was the lack of play out wide. We aimed to hit down the flanks in the first half but we changed it up a bit in the 2nd half and we came close to rescuing our first point.

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    So this is the new system. The 4-4-2 just wasn't working, we weren't moving the ball quickly enough on the counter and we weren't exploiting the flanks as I hoped we would have so I switch to this.

    Harney moves into the centre of a back 5 with Kaguako returning from injury and also as his performances have been poor on the right side. I am hoping the introduction of a back 5 makes us more stubborn at the back as we seem to be conceding too easily at the wrong times. We also see a new keeper introduced as Fagan just hasn't been good enough so Kelly comes in and has his chance to prove himself.

    The main changes then come in midfield. We switch to a 3 as we drop the wingers and have a third central midfielder. Having looked at the stats we seem to be getting a lot of the goals through the middle of the field with through balls especially being deadly. I will look to Walsh and Brennan to provide the key threat on the counter whilst Relihan acts as the cover to the back 5.

    The width will hopefully be provided by Hand and Kaguako on the overlap. Hand has been doing that throughout but with the wide player there I don't think he has pushed forward as much as he maybe could have done and I hope that giving him the space to move down the flank with ease.

    Up top we will aim to do the same as normal. Hanley will act as the runner and hopefully provide the assists to Kiely as the advanced forward.


  16. Working My Way Up

    So it hasn't been the start I had hoped for and it hasn't really got any better. We continue to keep competitive in games but whilst our opponents continue to make the most of their chances we are failing to convert the chances we create.

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    Athlone continue their good start as they exploit a tired back 5 to get the win. We were completely in the game and deserved a point but once again we lose to a late goal.

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    AGAIN! LATE GOALS EVERY SINGLE TIME!

    Once again we deserve at least a point but Waterford scored from their only shot of the game as we created 7 chances which we failed to convert. We need to work on our fitness and finishing but this is just frustrating.

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    For once the result was fair as Wexford just dominate the game and we fail to impress anywhere on the pitch until late on. We created chances in the final 20 minutes but our front 2 failed to take any of them.

    I know all the results have been poor but I honestly think the bulk have been unfair as teams continue to get late goals or convert one of their few chances. We need to improve finishing but we also need to focus on fitness to stay in the game for 90 minutes, not just 60.


  17. Have you actually picked up a single win yet as Cabinteely boss? Brutal form. Confidence must be shot. Good luck in getting out of this rut before you end up unemployed.

  18. So here is the issue. I have built a squad with a ton of quality compared to the one that was available last year but nothing is happening. Now I think the reasoning behind this is because I am failing to bring confidence to a team who have 0.

    Now Cabinteely are a team who gave me everything. My first chance, my first contract renewal and my first run at a Coaching Qualification. And that is why after considering it for a long time I decided to do this...

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    It comes after a 2-0 loss to table toppers Limerick but what made my decision earlier was the fact that we dominated the game but due to the lack of confidence the players never executed to their ability.

    I know somebody will go there with a strong squad to work with and the chance to make the most of what I have put in place. The issue is I couldn't sit and watch a young squad get depressed about losing every game to late goals and not be able to pick them up.

    Youngsters need a manager who can pick them up when they are down and bring the confidence back in to get them performing. If they sit and over think they lose confidence in their abilities and it isn't something I could let happen to a squad with a ton of potential.

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    So there it is. A dreadful start with 21 games played and 19 losses. It is dreadful and I am surprised I wasn't sacked. I am still working towards my coaching licence and I do feel I have developed as a manager but I now just need to hope there is somebody else who will be willing to give me that shot at building my career.

    I can see it taking a while as lets face it I have been dreadful but I feel if given the chance I can have success still.

    Here is hoping I can continue to work my way up...

  19. Quote Originally Posted by Shedender View Post
    Have you actually picked up a single win yet as Cabinteely boss? Brutal form. Confidence must be shot. Good luck in getting out of this rut before you end up unemployed.

    Thought I would upload the next post before replying. I didn't pick up a competitive win. The quality in the division in terms of the resources available for training seems to have been just a lot better than what we had.

  20. Working My Way Up

    So after winless 288 days in charge of Cabinteely I looked ahead to my next move but also started to think about what went wrong in my time in charge of the Irish side.

    Tactically I was too "panicky". I installed many tactics during my time to try and get the most out of a side which had the quality but not the confidence and the basis of these changes were always to get the most out of our backline. Just in the first 7 games of the season I had used 4 different tactics in an attempt to find that first win. In the future I need to put more faith into the tactics I develop and let the team find their stride in the systems I implement.

    Another one of the issues was my transfer business. Now don't get me wrong the players I signed were very good but when you look at where the players were brought into play it shows a few issues. I signed 3 full backs, 2 strikers, 2 left wingers and 2 central midfielders. Not all of these players can play and it caused further confidence issues in that when they weren't playing they were getting frustrated.

    I think my final issue was monitoring the morale of the squad. I knew results were affecting the teams happiness but when I looked into it before resigning I found a squad that were depressed being here and didn't want to play. That was a big issue for an inexperienced side.

    A squad with more experience would maybe have been able to get over that hump by themselves but I didn't know how to resolve the issue and just had to make the decision of leaving somebody else to try their best to bring happiness and success to a strong squad.

  21. Working My Way Up

    So after a couple of months out of the managerial game I had landed myself another job. I had applied for around 10 openings and been interviewed for 3 all in the non-league realms of English football. My preferred role was Chester but they rejected me after being relegated from the Vanarama National League.

    It was then Sutton who were my next option but they decided to go for a more experienced option in an attempt to push them up the rankings of English football. So that left me with my 3rd choice...

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    Yes, I was off to Margate in the Conference South!

    I would view this as a massive step up but after surviving their first season in the 6th tier of English football a late run of poor results including 6 losses on the bounce to end the season and just 2 wins in 15 games forced them to sack their previous manager.

    I also managed to get them to agree to giving me a 2 year deal in order to give me more security as I look to improve as a manager. It is still an increased wage to what I was receiving in Ireland but I was originally offered a 1 year deal on £375 a week.

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    So they comfortably survived by 11 points in the end but it was a disappointing finish after being on the edge of the play-off spots before that 15 games struggle at the end of the season. I think part of the struggle was down to this though...

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    Now there is a decent amount of quality in that squad and a lot of potential however when you consider the fact they only had 19 players to use and 4 of those were on loan it is no wonder they struggled late on in the season.

    I will aim to keep the bulk of the squad together. Moore has already accepted a deal which once confirmed will see his wages drop from £800 a week to £500 a week whilst Fanimo and Akindayini are contracted for another year so will only be allowed to leave if somebody matches my valuation.

    There are obvious areas of improvement. Goalkeeper Alexander will be the only keeper in the senior squad when Tupper returns to his parent club and he isn't good enough. Defensively we need to bring in a lot of quality and quickly, especially at RB where our only 2 are currently on loan.

    Midfield looks good with only Jamie Collins in on loan leaving us with 8 options who can all do a good job. The main issue is in central midfield were I will look to bring in some more depth to support the likes of Johnson, Donnelly and Moore. Out on the flanks though we look superb with our backups being capable of starting and our starters being capable of playing at a much higher level.

    Then up front we have 3 options. Akindayini is the main man having 15 goals in 48 games but he could be set to depart with interest high in the young man. Buchanan and Thalassitis are then our only real options but with a combined 4 goals in 34 starts we need to add quality up top.

    So there it is; I have a summer to mould the team into my liking and hopefully the chance to truly settle in and move forward with the conference south side. This could be seen as a true make or break chance in my career; here's hoping it goes well!

  22. Working My Way Up

    So with a summer to bring the squad together I had my first pre-season in England. I had my aims and the big one was to go through pre-season winning all the winnable games; so how did I get on?

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    Margate 2-1 Deal
    This was not good enough. We were poor for 80 minutes but then came alive in the final 10 minutes. We should have been walking this game and to only get a late 2-1 victory, especially down to a penalty, is not good enough.

    Sittingbourne 0-2 Margate
    Much better! We controlled the game but it took 75 minutes to break the dead lock. Loanee Fitzgerald was the man to do it as he struck a beautiful volley to get the lead. Thalassitis then doubled the lead in injury time to guarantee the win.

    Margate 0-3 Birmingham

    I set this fixture up purely to bring some money into the club and it did help. I never expected a win and after going 2-0 down in 10 minutes I expected a lot worse but it was actually a decent performance after the opening 10 minutes.

    Chatham 2-1 Margate
    I don't know whether the team were just tired from coming back into action or whether this was a knock on affect of the 3-0 loss to the Blues but the result was not good enough. We went 2-0 down and only just stayed in the game but the lack of creativity going forward is a big issue.

    Margate 0-1 Cray
    If the last result was not good enough then this one made me furious! We weren't even good enough to be in the game as our supposed "starting 11" were torn apart by a weak team. We created nothing and in all honesty have been dreadful in our last 3 games at the back.

    Round Up
    I expected 4 wins, we got 2. I could have dealt with 3 but this was not good enough. We were poor in our first game before a strong performance and I expected the form to continue past the Birmingham game from the Sittingbourne game but it hurt us a lot more than expected.

    We seemed to lose all confidence, or interest, after that Blues game and I am just hoping that it doesn't drag through into the season as I look to get my first competitive win...

  23. Working My Way Up

    So with the poor pre-season done lets take a look at the new boys that failed to bring the quality I expected in what I thought would be easy pre-season fixtures...

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    Kissock was the first signing made. He was brought in with the hope of being the anchor in midfield we needed however the scouts were wrong and we have brought in another winger. He has the quality to play but with the depth we have there it could be a struggle to fit him in.

    Then came the permanent transfer of Caprice. The RB had been key for us last season and with his loan and contract coming to an end we fought Woking to tie him down and won the battle to do so.

    We then continued to add depth in the middle of the park. Gabsi is a creative young midfielder who has the quality to create chances from nothing and that is what we needed. Fitzgerald is a bit of a mixed midfielder who can play in many roles but I couldn't reject the chance to bring him in on loan without having to pay wages.

    We then fixed one of the big issues we had in the squad; our keeper situation. McDermott and Keto were brought in within 24 hours of eachother and will battle out for the number 1 spot in net. Keto has the clear advantage in quality but struggled to perform to it in pre-season whilst McDermott made his claim for the starting spot. Keto will take the field in our opening game but he is at risk of losing it quickly if he doesn't perform.

    Then we focused on fixing 2 areas; striker and defensive midfielder. Gregory comes in on loan from newly formed affiliate Preston and has the quality to bag goals for us this year despite being just 17 years old. Pattie was a very late signing but similarly to Gregory has the quality to add the goals this year.

    The other sigining was of Isaac Maynard who will be the back up option in the CDM role should we use it. He is a good young talent with a lot of potential and this is his chance to prove he still has the ability to forge himself a career.

    There was only one outgoing and that was of right sided player Bryan. We just didn't require him so I agreed to let him go. I have tried to offload many more as we are over the wage budget and with many players in the U21's on upwards of £500 a week I tried to force them out of the club but they seem reluctant; to be fair I would be if I was being paid £500 a week to do nothing!

  24. Working My Way Up

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    NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!

    I was absolutely fuming after this game as a squad of very much capable players, who had done okay in pre-season, allowed the hosts to just walk all over them. We played our best 11 and we just didn't do anything well enough.

    The average rating of our back 4 was 5.9; midfield was 5.8 and if it wasn't for Gregory being superb when introduced the supposedly "league 2 quality striker" Akindayini would have represented the strikers with a rating of just 6.2!

    If we put in another performance like this before the transfer window shuts I won't be scared to pull the trigger and offload the likes of Akindayini and Fanimo who were beyond dreadful despite being our "best players". I have already looked at getting rid of Akindayini as he hadn't impressed in pre-season and the only thing that stopped me was the thought of what he could do for us in the league.

    My career continues to start of poorly as I now have 22 games to my name without a win despite my best trying. Hopefully this game isn't a sign of things to come and we can push forward from it and improve massively.


  25. Working My Way Up

    Played 23
    Lost 20
    Drawn 2
    WON 1!!!!

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    FINALLY!!!

    I couldn't believe it after seeing Weston-super-Mare tear apart their opposition on the opening day but we ground out a win. We dominated the opening half an hour with Akindayini proving his worth to the club with his first of the season.

    Weston-super-Mare, a team I have a soft spot for, then came back into the game and it was a back and forth affair for the rest of the game. In all honesty it came down to one thing...

    7 Shots 6
    1 Shots on Target 0

    Yeah, we had the only shot on target of the game. However poor we were in front of goal though Weston matched us. The thing I am happy with though is that we created chances as our attacking players bounced back from a poor run to end pre-season and begin the league campaign.

    We have the quality and today showed it but I can see a lot of games this season coming down to the confidence the squad have. After seeing the effect of the one loss to Birmingham it could be a big issue heading into the thick of the season as one big result could break us.
    jordalicious likes this.

  26. Working My Way Up

    So after gaining my first career win I thought I would look into the tactic that had allowed us to do so...
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    So there it is. The team that won me my first competitive game.

    Originally the plan was to play a counter attacking 4-1-2-3 for the season and try use the quality we have down the flanks to feed the ball into target man Akindayini. That was proven not to work in pre-season and against Maidenhead so I made the switch to this.

    The aim of this tactic is to control the ball. Move the ball around, pressure the opponent, exploit the flanks and make the most of a quick passing game. And it worked. I had initially thought to play just a standard 4-4-2 but when assessing who was ready for the Tuesday night tie I opted to switch a few things round and I think this is what I will do throughout the season.

    Whichever tactic I use the best thing to do is to alter it to fit what the players are best at doing. If I had played the tactic I wanted to the exact point then Johnson would be further forward, the two wingers further back and Akindiyini would be a poacher, not a target man. But I opted to play to players strengths and with the part time nature of the club this will be done a lot to match the fitness levels of the squad; rotation in players will be matched in rotation in roles.

    Oh and another thing you may have noticed... I dropped Keto. Nobody is conceding 5 goals in any of my teams and keeping their place in the side; McDermott performed well and will keep his role until I am forced to put Keto back in.
    Last edited by FMSaddler96; 15/11/2016 at 09:59 PM.

  27. Working My Way Up

    So two more games have passed since my initial managerial win and it has been a tough couple of fixtures...

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    The hardest result I have had to take as a manager. We dominated the game and deserved all 3 points, or at least a point but the last minute free kick saw Eastbourne take the points. We had issues marking Romain who tore us apart on his way to a hat-trick but we definitely deserved something from a superb game.

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    And the issue comes back...

    A tough loss to Eastbourne was backed up by a dreadful performance. Hemel were just as bad in the opening 45 minutes but after the break they had their plan; hoof it into the box for Taaffe to get his head on it. Fair to them it worked but on a day I was hoping for a bounce back performance I got nothing.

  28. enjoying this. really not going well but I'm sure you'll turn it around

  29. Quote Originally Posted by TheBattman View Post
    enjoying this. really not going well but I'm sure you'll turn it around
    Cheers mate hopefully things improve as we head further into the season. Finding it really tough to get things going at the moment but still enjoying the save

  30. Working My Way Up

    We now sit at the 10 game mark for the league campaign and we have a mixed batch of results. Let's go through the last 6 games to catch us up...

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    A really tough result to take as we made the best of our chances and kept a good team at bay but a late deflected shot somehow found it's way into the net to deny us of our 2nd win of the season.

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    Another good performance and another tough result to take. We struggled to make the most of our chances and probably should have had a 2 or 3 goal lead before Bognor got their equaliser.

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    A good attacking side just controlled the game in the whole. We had a few chances but couldn't keep Wilson at bay as he hit a brace against us. We weren't poor but we really didn't do enough to challenge.

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    We played absolutely fantastically against a very strong side. Boreham haven't had the start they would have hoped for this season and we came so close to continuing that as we hit the post 3 times in a game where the Wood converted their only shot of the game.

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    We deserved all 3 points in a game where we completely controlled the play. We were so stubborn defensively that I felt we could've played any team and kept a clean sheet. We also created going forward but Oxford's keeper was in superb form to deny our front line from breaking the deadlock.

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    What a performance by the lads. I won't deny the fact that the visitors, currently chasing the top spot, dominated the tie but we were superb defensively for the 3rd game on the bounce. Gosport were frustrated throughout and then we took advantage of it in the final 10 minutes by piling forward and Buchanan got his 2nd of the season in our 2nd win.

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    So the table doesn't make for pleasant reading as we have the target of a top half finish to fight fro but the board aren't pulling any triggers yet as the performances are pleasing. We improved defensively game by game as I continue to tweak the tactics and find our best 11.

    Going forward we very rarely fail to create chances, the issue is converting them. We do need to improve still but to end the opening 10 games with 9 points is pleasing considering we have a new manager, new assistant manager, new squad and new regime.

    We can continue to push forward and if we can string some results together in our next run of games then I see no reason we can't pull ourselves into the top half as we sit just 5 points off of the top 11 and 7 off of the play-off spots.

    One other point I'd like to make is the fact that in 10 games here I have 9 points; in 21 games for Cabinteely I had 2. I am definitely developing as a manager and finding my footing in the managerial world. I know I have been improving but it is nice to have the results to show it. I just hope that I can do enough to meet the expectations set by the Margate board and give back to the club who gave me my second chance.

  31. Working My Way Up


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    Again it was a tough loss to deal with as we were completely in the game. The tie was very back and forth but St. Albans have two clinical strikers and it was one of them in Morias who opened the scoring. We had some very good chances but some good keeping kept us from levelling the game.

    And as I thought we were continuing to move forward and improve I received this...

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    Now I thought this was harsh. The knew when they hired me that this would be a project that would take some time and I have made that clear throughout so when they had the meeting to discuss my future after 1 game I wasn't happy about it.

    I replied to them saying as much and they agreed it was stupid to have had the meeting but also said I needed to pick up a result in our next game, a cup game against Met Police, in order for me to keep my job...

  32. Working My Way Up

    So with my job and possibly career potentially on the line we had what should be a simple task of beating off the Met Police in the FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifiers.

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    And simple it was!

    If there is any doubt that we have been performing it will have been put to rest in this game. We controlled the opening half an hour but it took some tactical switches to really start to threaten the Met Police goal. I decided to instruct the team to move the ball quicker and be more attacking and to hit the early crosses and it worked.

    In the 36th minute a beautiful ball across from Moore saw Kissock volley home the opener before Akindayini got our second after being played through by Gregory early in the 2nd half. Kissock then provided Gregory twice in the second half for the youngster, on loan from Preston, to tally up his 5th and 6th goals of the season.

    We truly controlled the game and Met never looked like threatening but this fixture should definitely have cleared some doubt from the minds of those above me in my position at the club.

    We were rewarded with a 3rd Qualifying Round tie against Southern League Premier Division side Basingstoke at home, a game we should win to push us to the brink of a big draw in the FA Cup first round.
    TheBattman likes this.

  33. Working My Way Up

    It's been a busy and frustrating time since the Met Police game as I hit the 20 game mark in charge of Margate...

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    A frustrating result as we fail to control one man who continually punished us. We couldn't control Ofori-Acheampong and despite a good performance on the rest of the pitch we come away empty handed.

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    We were just poor against a better side. Gregory continues to be a bright spot when we hand in poor performances. It's worrying that most of our goals are coming from 2 men.

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    A poor result in the FA Cup qualifier to take it to a replay. The visitors controlled the opening 45 minutes before we dominated the second half but just couldn't find the goal.

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    So no FA Cup run as we go out on penalties. We should've won and were unlucky against a keeper who was just unbelievable and going into the penalty shoot out he was always going to come out on top.

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    A completely unfair result as Dorchester score a last second goal to steal a point. We dominated but once again fail to punish teams with our chances.

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    My worst managerial performance as we were completely walked over by an average side. Maidenhead got the extra goal but they have done it to many teams this season...

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    Finally a game where we punish teams! Gregory got the goals but it was a superb performance from all as a play-off chasing side were dominated in all aspects. We controlled the game and scored at the right times to get all the points.

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    BACK TO BACK WINS! It was a deserved 3 points as we once again controlled the game but for once we managed to seal the win late on rather than giving points away. We were the better team on the day and Akindayini broke his goalless streak.

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    So with one loss in 4 league games we seem to be turning the corner, especially with back to back wins. The league position isn't great but we are working up the table and improving quickly. Gregory has been superb now sitting with 12 goals.

  34. Working My Way Up

    So after climbing up the league rankings, sort of, I looked to build on the success, again sort of, that I was beginning to gain...

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    So we couldn't continue the strong form as a dominant first half from Gloucester put the game to far out of our reach. We were better in the 2nd half but failed to make our chances count.

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    So it was into the cup next and it was a walk over win for us with 4 goals in the opening 16 minutes winning the game. Dorking got a late goal but after the opening 16 minutes our players seemed to just control play.

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    Tactical changes changed the game. Wealdstone were the better team but after the hour mark we managed to turn it around thanks to some tactical switches.

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    Back into the cup and my best win yet. We just controlled the entire 90 minutes and 3 goalscorers plus an own goal gave us a massive 6-1 win and a big confidence boost making it 3 wins on the trot.

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    A dominant performance for Welling as we fail to capitalise on the confidence boost. Welling just defended their lines well and forced us to push up before hitting on the break with some pacey wingers.

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    And just like that they want to discuss my future. The meeting leads to an agreement that I must gather 9 points in 5 games otherwise my job is gone....

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    Such an unfair result against a superb team but the progress is shown from my 1st game when we lost 5-1.

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    A huge win as we bounce back from a tough defeat. The sending off definitely helped but we were unlucky not to have broken the lead earlier on in the fixture.

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    A very even game where the hosts provided clinical finishing to edge it. With 2 games left I require 2 wins otherwise my time at Margate is over...

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    A huge win with a stroke of luck. A draw was probably a fair result but the own goal straight after their equaliser gave me hope heading into what could be my final game at Margate, or as a manager...

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    In the end I fall one win short. We weren't poor but Hemel took the lead and then just sat back on it. We came close to equalising hitting the post quickly in succession but as we pushed for 2 goals they got the final one to kill the game off.

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    So it ends after 30 games. It was a much better time in charge of Margate but in the end the slow start set me back too much as our inconsistent form lead to me struggling to climb out of the relegation battle.

    I have definitely improved and will be looking to jump straight into a new job but it could be tough to find one with my record.

  35. Working My Way Up

    So after a disappointing sacking by Margate I had to look to jump straight back onto my feet and continue the progression I have made in my career. It took about a month but that was down to delaying the offer to see about other possible alternatives...

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    So at the end of January I am brought in to manage 2nd placed Welsh Premier side Bangor City. I had pushed the offer off for a couple of weeks after being interviewed by Conference side York and Scottish side Annan but in the end opted to sign for the Welsh side.

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    I see a drop in wage but I do think this is a step up. Bangor are expected to be challenging for the title but have struggled this season. The division is ranked higher than the Conference South and will be a bigger challenge.

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    And this goes to show how tough it is. Just 3 losses in the league all season as well as 1 cup loss and the previous manager was sacked. It won't be easy to keep the board happy with TNS dominating the league but I know the challenge I am stepping into.

    We have a tough task of gaining on them but I have already looked at some big signings which would bring us closer to their quality when they come in.

  36. Working My Way Up

    The results below are from before I was hired and cover the previous managers reign and it shows how tough it will be after seeing him be sacked after superb form like this...
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    Just 4 losses all season including a loss to top side TNS and a loss in the unimportant "theWord Cup" and he was sacked. It certainly won't be easy but I have a lot of motivation and a squad capable of doing well.

  37. Working My Way Up

    So here I was in Wales with the second best team in the country. Not too bad considering I had just been sacked by a Conference South side but I had just 24 hours to prepare myself for my first game. We had a cup game to prepare for in a tournament we were expected to reach the final in.

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    So it was a hard fought game and we deserved the win in the 90 minutes but it went to extra time and penalties. We were superb and the referee added 1 minute on, 92nd minute they equalise.

    We went to penalties after neither side could muster up the energy to create any decent chances to get the win and it wasn't an easy penalty shoot out. The original set of penalties finished at 3-3 sending it to sudden death where we claimed a 8-7 win from the spot kicks to advance to the Quarter Finals.

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    So my improvement is obvious as I win my 51st game. I'll continue to push forward in Wales and hopefully get my first awards or trophies in this season.

  38. Working My Way Up

    So like I said there were 4 signings coming into the club as I tried to pull us closer to league leaders TNS...

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    Menagh is the first as I looked to add some depth on the left wing. The 23 year old comes in from 3rd place Airbus on a free and will be key when we look to stretch play. With good crossing, dribbling, acceleration, pace and natural fitness he could be fantastic but his 5 rated stamina could cause issues.

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    Another winger comes in in Ryan Broom. The 20 year old signs on a free from Aberystwyth where he has been key all season. Simlarly to Menagh he has key attributes in good areas but with better Stamina. He could be key on the right should we require wide play.

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    Graham is next and the defensive midfielder fills a gap we didn't really have filled. He is unlikely to ever start but will be a good backup player and offers something we don't have in a defensive midfielder. At just 17 he was cheap and has a ton of potential which he could easily fulfil for Bangor.

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    Finally is striker Tony Gray. In for free from 3rd place Airbus the striker is the 3rd top scorer in the division. 12 goals in 22 games isn't bad and hopefully he can continue his clinical finishing as a backup striker to Branco with Boundford and Smith not being as good as first thought.

  39. Working My Way Up

    So with the players in place, the motivation and goals made clear let's look at the tactics that will hopefully help us meet our goals...

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    Our main tactic as we have a squad of central midfielders and strikers who have been scoring for fun. We will look to get the fullbacks up the pitch and keep the ball in the middle as we make the most of 3 quality strikers. Simple instructions as we look to make the most out of the quality we possess rather than trying to complicate things.

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    Very similar story but get the ball out wide. We have strong wingers with the additions of Broom and Menagh but this tactic will likely be used most late on in games when teams are tired. Stretch play, make the oppositions defence do a lot more running and exploit tired players. Again it's a simple set of instructions as we have the quality to outplay teams.


  40. Working My Way Up

    So here I am before my first league game and I don't know how to feel about it. We have the quality to do well but this is the first true test of my managerial skills. Am I capable or have the failed times at Cabinteely and Margate been down to me?

    Firstly I'd just like to show the climb. I find it amazing that after 21 winless games at Cabinteely and being sacked by relegation threatened Margate I have made this rise but...

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    Just a year ago I was managing in the Irish First Division which has dropped 2 places in the rankings but still is worse than where I am now. After rising into the 129th ranked division of the Conference South and being sacked I now reside in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League. A mighty 117th ranked division and 1* reputation.

    But anyway back to the game. My first league game is against Airbus and after taking 2 of their key players off of them I knew they would be coming for the revenge...

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    But they didn't get it as I make it 2 wins from 2 for Bangor. We opened up the scoring in the first half as former Airbus man Gray got the assist for Smith to make it 1-0. Airbus then came back into the game though but the idea of bringing wingers on worked.

    Once again it was a former Airbus man with the assist as Jamie Menagh played the ball across the box to another new boy in Broom who tapped home to double our lead. Airbus then piled on the pressure but we defended strongly and only allowed what would turn out to be a consolation goal late on.

    And our next game you ask? TNS! I don't expect anything from it after the last time we faced them and got battered 4-1 but I'd like to keep it closer than that. I have added a lot of quality to what was already here and see no reason we can't keep competitive with the league leaders.

  41. Working My Way Up

    So here it was my first true derby game as we host TNS. They lead the league by 14 points so it is unlikely we will every catch up to them but this is my chance to show how good we can be and prove myself as a manager. It's a huge game for the club, the fans and me but after a 4-1 battering last time round I am keen to ensure we remain competitive against a side who obviously own the division right now.

    TNS have 6 division titles on the bounce since we last won one in 2010/11 and have 10 out of 14 titles since former Welsh giants Barry have gone out of existence. We will look to break that dominance next year but right now I am aiming to prove they aren't as good as they look.

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    What a game...

    Gray got his first for the club after we dominated the first 42 minutes but failed to make chances count, a story which has been everpresent in my managerial career. It was a good goal with right back Field whipping a free kick in from the half way line and Gray rising highest.

    However with the boys too excited they lost focus and TNS came right back from the kick off. They passed the ball around quickly but patiently waiting for their opening before burying the ball in the bottom corner.

    After the break TNS were on top but never created any real chances. We forced them to just long shots whilst continuing to create chances on the break. With the introduction of wingers came a massive chance as Menagh came down the left and drilled the ball across the box but Gray could only knock it against the post.

    TNS continued to push for the winner but never really threatened as we held the 14 point leaders to a 1-1 draw and showed the quality we possess.

    After a good point we have a tough fixture list to look ahead to as we continue the Championship conference; we host Bala and Llandudno before a QF cup tie against Airbus at home. We then face Connahs Quay before a final four games of TNS away, Airbus at home, Bala away and Llandudno away.

  42. Working My Way Up

    So into game 4 we go on the back of 2 wins and a draw. I don't know why but there is something putting me off about this fixture as I just have a nervous feeling...

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    I was right to be nervous as we were dreadful. The first half could have finished with us being 6 or 7 goals behind but Bala failed to take chances which we continuously gifted them. As we went into the break I was furious and made the switch to bring on wide men, it helped the performance but we were never going to claw back from the first half.

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    The stats show how poor we were with Bala being gifted 4 clear cut chances and 6 half chances whilst we had 1 of each. If we had made the most of possession and had more than 25% of our shots on target we may have stood a chance but that was dreadful.

    We remain in 2nd with 6 games to go and we are 6 points clear of Bala. We face them again in our last but one game in what could be a huge game if we don't bounce back. I want to finish 2nd comfortably and at least make the final of the Welsh Cup.

  43. Working My Way Up

    Before I get the post underway I just want to say; thanks for the following so far but let me know if there is anything you'd like to see from the story whether it is posts about different things (tactics, players, other divisions or teams, etc.) or whether you think there is anything I should do. I see a lot of other stories on here and the amount of likes and replies they get and it makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

    So on the back of my first loss in charge of Bangor there was only one thing I wanted; a win! We needed to bounce back quickly and especially going into the Welsh Cup Quarter Final.

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    What a win. It's a very rare thing that I get to say this but we were clinical. We had 5 shots all game and all 5 were on target whilst the wasteful Llandudno hit 12 shots with just 3 on target. It was that clinical finishing which gave us the win as we took our chances.

    But it wasn't as if we needed to be clinical as we had 55% possession and controlled the game. We were just the better team and patient in our build up. I dropped Gray into a shadow striker role to try create better link up play between the midfield 3 and front 3 and it worked superbly as we recycled dead moves a lot better.

    I was impressed by the performance all round. Connor Roberts, who has forced me to let him leave in the next window, was superb early on making a couple of huge saves. Our back line pushed the Seasiders back at every chance forcing them to go for long shots but they never paid off.

    Our midfield 3 just controlled the play. Moving the ball nicely and spreading it out wide to the overlapping full backs we brought Llandudno out a bit which gave the front 3 of Gray, Branco and Smith the room they needed to create and take chances.

    We head into the quarter final against Airbus with a big win under our belts and I am hoping the confidence will carry over and take us a step closer to the final we're expected to reach.

  44. Working My Way Up

    So we are here ahead of my only real meaningful game for the season unless we win and advance in the Welsh Cup. We are hurt by the players who are cup tied in Gray, Menagh and Broom as all 3 have played for other clubs in the competition.

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    The only thing more disappointing than the defeat is the performance. We had a real chance to win this competition but Airbus had a plan and executed it. We definitely missed Gray and the options of wide players in Menagh and Broom and in the end it was a lack of options which hurt us.

    We dominated play and the shot charts but failed to hit the target once. We missed the link up play of either Gray as a shadow striker or the wide play of Menagh and Broom but in the end that's just excuses.

    There is one good thing though as the day before the game we get our youth intake and there are a few players with very good potential who could possibly make an impact now but this is the key man...

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    In a batch of youngsters which included a potential future starting keeper and a couple of players with very high potential this man stands out. The 6 foot central defender will be used in the final games of the season as we look to develop him. He is good in the right areas (heading, marking, tackling, decisions, work rate) and will only improve in other areas. It's a player I am excited about and it partly makes up for a upsetting defeat to Airbus.

  45. Working My Way Up

    After the disappointment of the cup exit I opted to focus on two things. Developing our wide play and bringing through the younger players. We have nothing to play for now other than the 2nd spot in the division and that should be safe so I saw no reason why not to.

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    So this is the 18 that will see the season out. Shaheen Gibbs and Leon Owen are both youth intake players from this season and I'll look to prepare them for first team football as they may be needed next season. With Menayese's loan ending in the summer and Roberts forcing his way out they could be future starters.

    We then have Redman, Graham and Jones on the bench who are all high potential kids who I will look to bring into action to give them some experience heading into next season. This screenshot was taken after the game I will talk about in a minute so Graham will likely come in for the injured Damien Allen.

    Then up front with Rodrigo Branco's contract expiring and him having a work permit rejected upon request after offering him a contract I have opted to have him as a backup. He is a good player but we need to prepare for life without the man and that's why he is on the bench.

    We also drop two strikers in favour of wingers. I feel Broom and Menagh are of a high quality and whilst playing 3 up top has been successful at times I feel like stretching the field out could be fantastic for us, especially with Gray up top who can be prolific when in form.

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    The man who cannot stay proves his worth. Branco was the key man as he came off of the bench to score a 5 minutes brace to give us the win. We were a bit slow starting but around the hour mark we hit our stride and never looked back.

    It also saw a first appearance for Roger Graham off of the bench. The youngster came on after we got our first and he helped to provide a strong back line against any counter attacks. He definitely looks like a player who could be key in the future if he meets his potential.

    Unfortunately TNS's lead which was there from before my arrival was too much for us to chase and they win the league yet again. We will look to break their dominance of Welsh football next season.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Working My Way Up-squad11subs.png  
    jordalicious and TicTactition like this.

  46. Working My Way Up

    So with 4 tough games left to play it was now down to trying to consolidate that 2nd place in the league behind TNS. It was more or less safe baring a disastrous finish so I focused on bringing in the kids to give them some time and look ahead to next season...

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    After they had claimed the title it was our job to try and ruin their celebration. Similar to the first time I faced them we dominated opening minutes but failed to take chances until an unlucky own goal went in for us. They came straight back though. We were superb and if it wasn't for a stupid sending off for Gosset the fitness would have been their to hold on to a point or even challenge for all 3.

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    So in came Graham, the youngster was playing well but eventually got sent off for a just as stupid foul as Gosset in the previous game. We had control of the game but it once again came down to the fitness of our 10 men versus the fitness of their 11, and once again we lost that battle.

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    The frustrations continue as we were the better side for the entire game but once again failed to be clinical in our finishing. Branco continues to show what we will be missing as he tries to showcase him for future employers but we are unlucky not to claim all 3 points.

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    4 goals to end the season with 4 winless games. I opted to play a rotated side including the kids and pushing any players who are potentially leaving to the bench but it is still no excuse. We were dreadful; Owen who had been good for us when needed at CB was dire and the midfield just didn't seem interested. This game alone gives me a lot to think about heading into next season with the pressure quickly piling up after a terrible end to the season.

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    So there it is, we finish 2nd. A massive 22 points separate us and title winners TNS but we at least finished 6 points ahead of the chasing pack. It wasn't until after the final game when the following table appeared that I realised the table was split into two "divisions" to end the season; very lucky for Connah's Quay who had the least points in the division, but finished 6th... This Welsh division seems a bit broken!

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    When I saw this is made the end of the season less painful, especially the 4-0 loss to Llandudno who actually finished the season strongest finishing a top of the "Welsh Premier League Championship Conference". It would have been nice to have seen the above table before the end of the season as I headed into the final game thinking there was nothing to play for yet we could have at least won this.

    We are going to take a lot of improving to challenge next season, especially with some of the losses in players. We expect to lose stand out keeper Connor Roberts and star left back Cai Owens who are both refusing contracts with the hope of moving to a bigger team. Rodrigo Branco is forced into leaving at his contracts end with his work permit rejected. We also lose Menayese who returns to Cardiff where his contract is expired, I have tried entering contract talks but he shows no interest. We will also be losing Damien Allen as he refuses to become just a coach whilst asking for £250 a week to be a Player Coach, a massive £165 more than what he is currently on.

    All in all I have come up with the following list of what we need to sign:
    Starting Goalkeeper
    Right Back
    Centre Back
    Left Back
    Central Midfielder
    Left Winger
    Right Winger
    Central Attacking Midfielder
    Striker

    This won't be easy though as the board have already revealed their plans to lower the wage budget by about £800 a week meaning we will have to be very clever with our transfer business.

  47. Working My Way Up

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    So the board appear to have re-thought the situation with the budgets and have opted to keep it at a similar level to what it has been this season. It should give me enough room to improve the squad this summer especially with some of the outgoing transfers expected.

  48. Working My Way Up

    So with the 1st of June comes the first two arrivals to the club. With players yet to depart at the end of June there will be a lot more business coming up but these were two players I had to bring into the club and I took my chance to snap them up before anybody else did.

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    Scott Quigley is the first and the striker has a ton of quality and still more potential. A decent finisher he adds a bit of physicality to our front line. Mentally he is good in the right areas and although my assistant manager suggests he is better suited to the Defensive Forward role I feel he is more suited to being a Poacher.

    Quigley was previously with Aberystwyth and had a decent season getting 7 goals and 3 assists in just 12 games for them. I am hoping he can continue that sort of record for us.

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    The second is of right back Callum Morris who comes in from Bala where he had an okay season. With Owens set to leave our only right back options was Field and although he was great with a league leading 13 assists I feel at 31 it was time for him to be used as a rotation player.

    Morris will likely be used as a wing back as some of his attributes are lacking. I like his mentals and I hope they can be key to his game whilst he develops the rest of his game.

    So with two signings out the way I have to look for the following players before we hit an important season for the club and my career:
    Starting Goalkeeper
    Centre Back
    Left Back
    Central Midfield
    Left Winger
    Right Winger
    Central Attacking Midfielder

    I feel the youth we have at the club are enough to cover for any injuries as back ups but we need to aim to have all areas covered with quality players to help us push for a title challenge.

  49. Working My Way Up

    So with me thinking I only had to focus on transfers this popped up...

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    I have no idea how but we have qualified for the qualifying rounds of the Europa League. It is a tough draw compared to what we could have had but I look forward to the challenge and hopefully a bit of extra money for the club.

  50. First Team
    Not bad going lad, good luck with Bangor, Ryan Broom could be a decent player for you.

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