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Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

  1. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Forest Green Rovers


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    As this is my first FM story, I thought I’d introduce myself, my name’s Will and I’ve been playing FM for a fair few years now. I’ve decided to write a story to show how I manage a club, hopefully anyone who reads this will be able to pick up tips I’ve learnt and these will come in handy. I’d appreciate any feedback to where anyone thinks I’m going horrendously wrong.

    I’m an avid York City fan, who are currently floundering in the Vanarama National League. I would have chosen to manage them, but due to a squad overhaul in the past couple of months, FM is out of date which is a tad annoying. So instead, whilst choosing a team I have still gravitated to the National League, but instead decided to manage Forest Green Rovers. An interesting club, being the first “all vegan” club. My first action once I’ve been appointed manager will be to reinstate meat and potato pie and Bovril on the menu. The club has been steadily working its way forward through the National League and is now ready to join the football league for the first time.

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    Last edited by wjackson24; 02/01/2017 at 02:34 PM.
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  2. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Philosophy

    Usually, I would look to play attacking and fluid football, however here I’m going to try something different. We’re going to look to play defensively and with structure. I’m targeting back to back promotions and I’ve found that attacking, fluid football can be difficult to play when you’re a small fish in a big pond. Hence, we’re going to lay the foundations for our success early and develop a system which will allow for plenty of giant slayings. We’re going to play proper football, hoof the ball to the fat lad up front.

    With Forest Green being an “all vegan” club, I feel obliged to reinstate some aggressive, meat scoffing, battering rams to the team. The National League is a tough physical league, so ‘flair’ and ‘technique’ can do one, we’ll be looking for determination, aggression, strength, work rate, jumping reach and speed. I’m going to focus on recruiting individuals with the correct personality, something I’ve never really focused on. I don’t want any overpaid spoilt turds who will cry when the slightest thing doesn’t go their way, every player needs to be ready to get stuck in and keep going to the final whistle. I want a tough team, with players akin to Terry Butcher, Genaro Gattuso, Roy Keane. Essentially, the team needs to be full of absolute nutters, if I could clone and play Oliver Kahn in every position I would. So, that outlines our recruitment policy.

    Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club-kahn.jpg
    (Covered in blood of his enemies, the mental titan Oliver Kahn)

    After reading an interesting article about “Moneyball” by Alex Stewart on thesetpieces.com, I’m going to apply the following rules regarding transfers which he kindly laid out:

    1) Net wage spend is more important than net transfer spend

    2) Don’t needlessly splash out on new players or sell old ones when you take over a club – the New Manager Syndrome.

    3) Don’t buy players who impressed at international tournaments: they’re likely to be overvalued and past performance is no indication of future performance, especially when they’re playing with a different team. There are different incentives and a different tactical set-up at tournaments, and it’s a super small sample size.

    4) Sell your players at the right time: when they’re around 30 years old, goalkeepers aside.

    5) Use the wisdom of crowds: ask all your scouts and a Director of Football if you have one.

    6) Buy players in their early twenties, which avoids the problems with not developing properly, and means previous statistics have greater value.

    7) Sell any player if a club offers more than they are worth and try to replace them before they are sold.

    8) Don’t buy players if you don’t need to: develop a youth network and try to develop your own players.

    By using these, we should hopefully be able to generate enough cash to propel us through the leagues and develop a decent youth system.

    The next post will be the evaluation of the backroom staff and squad, including any necessary changes that I’ll be attempting to make. Thank you for reading and again, any feedback would be appreciated!

  3. Sounds like an interesting story there bud good luck hope you go well
    wjackson24 likes this.

  4. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Staff

    On arrival at any club, I always check the backroom staff and make any necessary changes immediately, shipping out the deadwood if the finances are there to do so. All current staff should accept a mutual termination on any manager’s arrival, so getting rid of the unwanted deadwood isn’t too difficult.

    To be frank, Forest Green’s backroom was a state. I went to have a meeting with the scouting team, I then realised there was no scouting team. So immediately I brought in a chief scout and a further two scouts. The chief scout we hired was Bobby Dickson (£350 p/w) who has 17 judging current ability (CA) & 18 judging potential ability (PA). I’d recommend him for any team, as he can be snapped up on a £0 compensation contract from Queen’s Park. The further two scouts hired were Tim Davies (£375 p/w, 12 CA & 13 PA) and Pat Holland (£375 p/w, 17 CA, 13 PA), giving us the best scouting team in the league.

    The coaching staff was in disarray too, with two goalkeeping coaches and two fitness coaches, yet no coach to specialise in the other technical or mental attributes. The second goalkeeper coach, who had 7 goalkeeping accepted a mutual termination of contract, however, it included a hefty £9k compensation fee which I was reluctant to accept. We really needed to make space for a new coach, so off he went. In came Dan Murray (£375 p/w & 15 defending) to ensure the squad is receiving decent defensive coaching. In alignment with developing a decent youth system, the board suggested we hire a Head of Youth Development, so former Brentford Head of Youth Development Ose Aibangee (£400 p/w & 16 working with youngsters) joined.

    Squad

    Next on the agenda, evaluating the squad. Plenty of players are technically proficient, however, on a whole the squad lacks aggression and teamwork, which doesn’t really fit with my philosophy. I think a squad overhaul may be required. However, that wouldn’t really be financially efficient, so we might have to wait until next season for the dream of a squad full of angry giants is achieved. Below I’ve listed some of the key players for the upcoming season.

    Rhys Murphy: A current York City player in the real world, so of course I’m going to list him as a key player. An all-round decent striker who boasts decent physical stats. He’s 6”1’, with 13 acceleration, 12 pace and 12 strength, so he should be a handful for the National League defences. He’s going to be the big man playing off the even bigger man and I expect he’ll be our top scorer at the end of the season.


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    Elliott Frear: A pacey winger, who is proficient at dribbling and crossing. He’s determined and has decent work rate, but he’s also a puny weakling. However, we need to harness our creativity going forward from somewhere so he’ll have to do. We’ll be relying on him to supply plenty of crosses to the forwards.

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    Dan Wishart: A versatile player who is natural in every position on the left flank and 4 & half star potential. He’ll be operating at left back for us, providing some decent height and strength to our defence. With 11 crossing, we’ll be asking him to provided early crosses to the forwards from deep.

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    We’ll be entering the transfer market to strengthen the spine of the team. Sam Russell is our strongest goalkeeper at 2 & a half stars, so we’ll be looking to recruit a new keeper. A new centre back is also on the shopping list, as we’re lacking quality in this position and our system will be focused around defence. Once we’ve made these signings, I’ll post another update on the squad for the upcoming season.

    The next post will be outlining how we’re planning to play for the upcoming season and the tactics we’ll be using!
    Last edited by wjackson24; 02/01/2017 at 02:33 PM.

  5. For increasing the picture size, click on them when you put them in the post, should give you an options menu to play with. Solid start though mate, although as a Lincoln fan, if you could not beat them, that would be grand!
    wjackson24 likes this.

  6. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Tactics

    Defending

    We’re aiming to win games by keeping a clean sheet and nicking a couple of goals on the counter, so everything is going to be orientated around defence. We’ll be playing with the team shape set to structured. This is so the defence and midfield keep their shape and aren’t caught out of position in the event of a counter attack or losing the ball in a dangerous area.

    A deeper defensive line will also be adopted, giving the opposing team little chance of a playing on the counter or through balls in behind. It’ll also compress the gap between the defence and midfield. This limits the space in which the opposing forwards have to operate and since these forwards aren’t going to be too technically gifted, it should work well. With this compressed space one of our players should always be close to win the ball back with a meaty challenge (unfortunately for our vegan fans) and initiate a counter.
    We’ll be defending in two banks of four, which I’ve attempted to highlight below.

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    The defence sits rather narrow, the wingers drop back and sit narrower to cover the flanks. The two central midfielders also sit rather deep, protecting the defence.

    Building Up

    Here I’m going to talk where I want to lose the ball, which may seem odd. We’re going to be looking to build up on the wings, if we lose the ball here, there is far less risk than if the ball is lost in the centre of the pitch as the ball has further to travel to our goal.

    I always start with the goalkeeper when looking at how a team is going to initiate an attack. This should be a regular occurrence during games as we should be restricting the opposing teams to long shots. I’ll be attempting to use the following 2 options for this tactic and it all depends on how the opposing team is lining up and pressing.

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    Option 1 is hoofing a long ball for the big man up front to knock down for either his strike partner, the on rushing winger or the advancing CM. If the target man is winning the majority of the aerial duels, I’d use this as the primary method of distribution, however if he’s being regularly outmuscled, we’ll be using our secondary option. The keeper can distribute the ball to the full back, ideally the full back on the side which the poacher is playing. He should then have the option of knocking it wide to the winger or playing a direct through ball for the poacher. Obviously if the target man (TM) is not getting on the end of those long balls and the other team are really pressing our defence with 2 strikers or wingers, then those 2 options are rather useless, so we’ll just cross that bridge when we get to it.

    When we win the ball back in the centre during open play, there should hopefully be a few options to initiate an attack. I don’t want any of the defence to attempt risky passes, to keep clean sheets we need to avoid mistakes. So, if our defenders are being pressed, they can play a direct ball up to the big man or a through ball over their defensive line. Otherwise, they’ll be looking to find the deepest CM, as he’ll be the link between the defence and attack. He can then distribute it to the rest of the team who should be charging forward.

    The more advanced CM of the two will be on support duty, so he will drop deep whilst defending. However, to assist whilst attacking, he’ll have the player instruction ‘get further forward’ and ‘dribble more’. This will essentially transform the formation to a 4-4-2 diamond whilst attacking. He’ll be the engine of the team, so will need plenty of stamina and pace to ensure he can get back into his defensive position promptly. It’ll also mean another man close to the TM to knock the ball down to.

    So, this outlines the plan. Once we’ve been able to test and tweak this tactic, as well as making the necessary signings to ensure it’s effective, I’ll post the tactics we’ll be using.
    Last edited by wjackson24; 03/01/2017 at 08:49 AM.

  7. good detailed start so far man! good luck.
    wjackson24 likes this.

  8. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    New Signings

    Ian McLoughlin


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    I was keen to secure a new keeper for the upcoming season as Sam Russell was only rated 2 & half stars, so in comes McLoughlin on a free transfer. According to our scouts, he’s a decent League 2 keeper, so at £750p/w he’s a shrewd signing which impressed the fans. At 25, he’s got plenty of time to develop, however, according the coach summary he isn’t going to improve much.

    Sebastien Faure

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    A very exciting signing on a free transfer, the centre back Faure joins to strengthen the spine of our team. He’s a good player for League 2 teams so should dominate in the National League. He’s not the best in the air annoyingly, with only 13 jumping reach. However, he has 15 heading and is very pacey for a centre back. We’ll look to develop his jumping ability. He does show the correct mental attributes that meets our philosophy, he’s brave, aggressive, determined and a hard worker.

    Ollie Palmer

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    Man mountain Ollie Palmer joins from Leyton Orient on a season long loan, with an optional future fee of £35.5k. The 6’5” giant will be a key player for us this season playing as the target man up front. We’re only paying £200p/w towards is £1000p/w contract, so it’s a good deal for us. He’s going to be a handful in the air with 17 jumping reach and 16 strength. He epitomises our philosophy, 16 aggression, 15 bravery, 16 determination, 20 teamwork and 20 work rate.

    Jack Finch

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    A loan signing from Coventry, he’s been brought in to add some depth, height and determination to the midfield. He’s only 20 but has 12 leadership, so will contribute this to the midfield.

    Michael Raynes

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    Our final signing of the season, another decent League 2 player joins on a season loan, with an optional future fee of £26k. We’re only contributing £160p/w towards his contract, so it’s another shrewd signing. I was keen to sign him as he adds leadership to the team which has been lacking. He’s a potential captain for the upcoming season.

    I’m glad to adhered to the “Moneyball” rules, spending a grand total of £0 on transfers this window! I believe the future optional fees in Palmer and Raynes are good deals which give us flexibility if they turn out to be flops, however, I’m sure they’re going to be great players and will lead us to League 2.

    I’ll be highlighting how we’ve got on through pre-season in the next post. If anyone has any thoughts on these players brought in or if there is any players you'd recommend, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know. Thanks for the comments so far!

  9. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Pre-Season

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    Overall, I’m very happy with how pre-season went. Fitness was gained, tactics were tested and some good results was obtained against teams in league 1 & 2. There was the concerning 0-4 loss against Leeds, but the score line didn’t really reflect how we played.

    Leeds


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    We created 2 clear cut chances whilst they created 3, so they didn’t completely dominate, despite having a whopping 62% possession. We also had the same number of shots on target, which is encouraging. 2 of their goals was the result of individual errors, so I’m not too concerned about that result. They are also 3 leagues higher than us, so it’s all good.

    Exeter

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    Next up was league 2’s Exeter, which we demolished 4-2. Here we practiced ramping up the tempo in the last 15 minutes of each half to catch them off guard, which seemed to work very well as we scored 2 goals in these periods. Murphy acting as a poacher had a very good game, registering a goal, an assist and a rating of 8.6. His goal came from Faure stepping out of defence early, winning the ball back, then launching a long ball over Exeter’s defence just as their entire team were shifting forward, catching them off guard and leaving acres of space for Murphy to get in behind. I may look to use this tactic in future, setting a central defender to ‘ball playing defender’ with ‘stopper’ instructions.

    Swindon

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    League 1 team Swindon proved more of a challenge, which we came through sweetly with a 3-1 win. The tenacious Murphy reacted quickest to a dropped ball from the keeper to slot home before big Palmer got on the end of a floated cross to make it 2-0. A lucky own goal made it 3-0 in the second half and we were cruising. We went more defensive, dropping deeper, playing narrower and lowering the tempo. They scored a driven long shot from outside the area to make it 3-1. I’m disappointed we couldn’t hold on for a clean sheet, but overall it was another encouraging performance.

    Bristol Rovers

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    Another League 1 team which we manage to beat 2-1 with a bit of luck. McLoughlin showed his class by saving a penalty on the 55th minute. However, poor defending from our right Bennett allowed them to score a well worked goal shortly after. We then managed to break well down the right flank. Murphy pulled a clever ball back to Frear who arrived late, cutting in from the left in acres of space who slotted home. There 2 centre backs were pulled out of position attempting to mark big Palmer. Murphy then scored a well-placed shot to make it 2-1.

    Now that pre-season is complete, I'll post our final squad roster for the season and the tactics we'll be employing!
    Last edited by wjackson24; 03/01/2017 at 11:01 AM.

  10. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Squad

    Goalkeepers

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    New signing Ian McLoughlin will be our first choice goalkeeper. Sam Russell provides decent cover. Maxsted and Lefebvre are decent youth players with plenty of potential. I’m keen to loan them out to get first team experience. We haven’t been able to work a loan deal out for either of them yet, but we’ll keep trying.

    Defenders

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    Our first choice back 4 currently is Bennett at right back, Faure and Raynes in the centre and Wishart at left back. Clough can step in at centre back when either of our first choices are tired or absent. Racine is currently out on loan and will be a great addition when he returns.

    Midfielders

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    We’ve got plenty of depth in midfield. Frear will play on the left wing and Marsh-Brown on the right. Marsh-Brown doesn’t really have the correct mental attitude to be in our team long term, so if he doesn’t perform, he’ll be moved on. In the centre we’ll rotate between Finch, Noble and Traoré. I’ll try give Chemlal some game time to ensure he develops.

    Forwards


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    Palmer and Murphy linked well in pre-season, so they’ll continue their partnership up front. Robert can stand in for Murphy when he’s absent as he has pace for the poacher role. Moore (who’s listed as a defender but is a natural striker) will be Palmer's replacement as he's tall and decent in the air.

  11. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Tactics

    Here is the tactic for the upcoming season which will be the basis for our system. It’ll change on a game to game basis depending on the threat/weaknesses of the opposition.

    Formation

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    I dabbled with the idea of the CM-D being a DLP-D, however we want the ball to get forward as quickly as possible and the DLP slows the play down to retain possession, which we’re not really bothered about.

    The left back will be slightly more adventurous, Wishart is the first team choice here. He’s decent at crossing, so he’ll be asked to cross the ball more often from deep. The rest of the defence are no nonsense defenders.

    The left winger is set to support duty, meaning he’ll get into crossing positions and stay wider more often than the attacking right winger. We’ll be playing Frear on this flank who’s a good crosser of the ball, so it makes sense to keep him wider and have him floating in the crosses.

    As I explained in an earlier post, the CM with support duty has ‘get further forward’ to aid attacks and help cause an overload. Since we’ve got decent players who can dribble in this position, such as Traoré and Noble, I’ve selected ‘dribble more’. This ensure they really drive the team forward whilst attacking. However, with this player instruction we run the risk of committing the sinful act of losing the ball in the centre, meaning we’ll be exposed. When we’re shutting games down and playing even safer, this will be removed.

    The right winger is set to Winger with attack duty, he’ll get further forward to play off the Target man and to arrive late to get on the end of the left winger’s crosses.

    Up front we’ve got the classic TM & poacher combo. If the opposition is overloading the midfield, the TM will mark their deepest midfielder, cutting him off from the rest of the attack. Essentially, it’ll transform the target man into a defensive forward whilst we’re defending. This’ll mean he’ll get knackered easily, he’ll be running a fair distance and fighting for the ball in the air, so he’ll probably be substituted for some fresh legs in the closing stages.

    Team Instructions

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    Our tempo will be set to normal so that we can adjust it accordingly as the match develops. We’ll slow it down whilst we’re winning and defending. We’ll speed it up when they’re defending deeper and we’re struggling to get through. We’ll also select be more expressive in these scenarios.

    A slightly deeper defensive line will be adopted, giving us the freedom to drop even deeper when required. I dabbled with the idea of getting stuck in to really bully teams which is part of our philosophy, however getting stuck in means going to ground and compromises our defence structure, so we’ll be selective when using this.

    Building up, we’re exploiting the flanks to make the most of the wingers and to lose the ball in less dangerous areas. If we’re more rampant on a certain flank, exploiting the other flank can be removed to channel more attacks down their weakest flank. More direct passing will get the ball forward quicker. We’ll also be passing into space to get balls in behind.

    I haven’t selected any attacking instructions. Hit early crosses will be selected when the opposition is pushing higher up the field. We’ll also be floating crosses in against small teams, allowing Palmer to position himself and make the most of them.

    All in all, it’s a pretty simple tactic that can be adjusted to adapt to various situations. I’ve found in FM with tactics that sometimes less is more. I’d appreciate any thoughts on these tactics and any glaring mistakes/ weaknesses.
    AldoKemp-1 likes this.

  12. That Sebastian Faure is some signing!!
    wjackson24 likes this.

  13. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Boreham Wood

    The first game of the season against Boreham Wood. I’ll start the first few matches with in depth posts to how we approach the match, our game plan and how the game actually went.

    Pre-Match Analysis

    For the pre-match analysis, I check the team report overview, the last tactics used, the strikers and central defenders.

    Upon checking the team report, the biggest thing that stands out is that they’re a small team, meaning attacking through our target man should be effective. They have also struggled attacking against a 4-4-2 formation, so our usual formation should be sufficient.

    Checking the last tactics used, they appear to use an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, meaning our game plan of drawing them out and exploiting the space behind should work.

    Upon viewing their centre backs, I notice that they’re jumping reach is poor and they are very slow. Which again reinforces the fact our normal game plan should be sufficient.

    Game Plan

    We’re going to stick to what we’ve done all pre-season, sit deep and then get them on the counter. We’ll be playing direct to Palmer to challenge their defence in the air. We’ve swapped the target man from his usual side so he’ll be against their smallest centre back. Finch will also be starting in midfield to add that extra height, so hopefully we can bully them at set-pieces. Here is how we’re lining up:

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    Match Report

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    A great start to the season, in a game which we dominated. However, I’m slightly frustrated that they somehow managed to score 3 goals against us, despite only creating 2 half chances. Our game plan worked and we bullied them, winning 68% of the aerial duels. To say we are playing with a defensive mentality, it sure doesn’t seem it. We forged an impressive 5 clear cut chances, which I’m very happy about.

    We started with a high tempo and the opposition defence couldn’t handle Murphy’s movement. He got on the end of a driven cross from the left wing to score the first goal within 5 minutes. Wishart provided the second only 4 minutes later, smashing a decent free kick into the top right corner. However, this lead didn’t last very long. Somehow,two long shots ended up in our goal and it was 2-2.

    Wishart stepped up again and scored a glancing header from a free kick. After winning another corner, again they can’t deal with our physicality and they drag down Faure from a corner to concede a penalty, which Murphy dispatches neatly. We then concede a goal very similar to the one we conceded again Bristol Rovers. The right back Bennett is needlessly drawn out of position leaving Andrade to slot home from a tight angle. It was a good finish so credit goes to Andrade. Shortly after the interval Big man Palmer then rose highest and scored a header to make it 5-3, we went defensive to see out the second half and ensure it’s less frantic than the first.

  14. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Sutton Utd

    Pre-Match Analysis

    Upon checking the team report overview, it’s apparent they’re another small side. Palmer should have a good time up front and win the majority of the aerial duels. They’ve played well against teams with a 4-4-2 formation, probably because they’ve overloaded the midfield. We’ll be watching for this will be ready for Palmer to drop back to mark their deepest lying midfielder. Numerous of their goals have been scored from through balls, our defences deep line should nullify this threat. They often attack through the right flank, so left back Wishart will be less adventurous if they’re looking threatening down that flank.

    Game Plan

    We’ll be sticking to our usual tactics for this game. Palmer will be ready to drop deeper whilst defending and we’ll be ensuring our right flank is secure by setting Wishart to a more defensive duty if we look vulnerable. We name an unchanged line up from the Boreham Wood game.

    Result

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    An incredibly frustrating 1-1 draw, in a game which we really should have seen out. We dominated the majority, defending well and creating 4 clear cut chances to their 1. We played our game of sitting deep, inviting the pressure and then hitting them on the counter. We were too physical for Sutton to handle for the majority, winning a whopping 72% of the aerial duels, but that means nothing if we can’t be clinical with the chances created. It’s a concern which will have to be addressed, but how is a tough question.

    It was a calm start, where we kept shape and dealt with their wingers well. Bennett did well against the pacey Deacon. Another long ball is hoofed up field and Palmer muscles his way to it and brings it down and given time to turn. By this point Toure is steaming past the defence from the CM position. Another long ball over the top finds Toure and he has bags of time to bring it down and slot it past the keeper on the 35th minute.

    We then sit deeper as usual to frustrate Sutton. This works, Palmer misses a sitter and so does Marsh-Brown, who headers against the bar at close range. I decide to shut up shop by bringing on an extra defender for the unusually quiet Murphy. We’re defending well and they’re not getting a look in….. It’s the last minute, jobs a good one, until a cross from deep is whipped in and the entire defence switches off and look on as the substitute Biamou plants a free header into the net. All three central defenders stood stationary. So understandably I was annoyed, maybe it was a mistake bringing on another defender and we should have continued with the 4-4-2. We don’t have any time to respond, it was the last action of the game and it ends 1-1. In future the team needs a kick up the arse in the last few minutes and not switch off until it’s over. A touchline team talk should hopefully sort this.
    Last edited by wjackson24; 04/01/2017 at 04:06 PM.

  15. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    August

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    A steady start to the season, with 3 wins, another draw and a loss. Including a win in the Southport match which was selected for TV.

    Gateshead

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    Another game, another disappointing collapse. It’s all going so well, Murphy’s latched onto an angled through ball and buried it, so we’re 2-1 up. All we have to do is see the game out and not balls up like in the last game, but up steps Raynes. He makes a royal cock up of what should be a standard clearance in the last minute and passes it to Hoarse who’s loitering outside the box, Hoarse then proceeds to smash a long-range effort in. Raynes earns himself a 5.9 rating and a shouting at. Seeing games out are becoming a problem, we went more defensive, slowed the tempo but it wasn’t good enough. I’m chalking it down to being unlucky, we created more chances and if we keep playing as we are, we’ll soon starting winning.

    Woking

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    Our two strikers linked incredibly well, with Palmer and Murphy both setting each other up for their goals. However, another clean sheet eluded us as we conceded another sloppy goal in closing stages of the match. We seemed to again lose concentration. However, it was only a half chance they score and we restricted them to 0 clear cut chances.

    York

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    A good win over my beloved York City. We dropped Raynes due to him playing poorly in the past couple of games, so in comes Clough. Murphy scored early with some good movement to create space and Frear found him with a driven cross. We then defended well to see out the rest of the game and claim a clean sheet. It was the second consecutive game where we restricted the opposition to 0 clear cut chances

    Maidstone

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    Marsh-Brown received a head injury in training, so Robert replaced him who impressed for under 23’s a few days before.
    A very disappointing result where luck wasn’t on our side. Bennett received a red for a bad tackle. We then switched to 3 at the back and changed our winger’s duty to defensive wingers. Rhys Murphy sprung their offside trap, latching onto a good header by Moore to create a clear-cut chance which he blazed over. Raynes came on as the third centre back, I decided to put my faith in him, giving him a chance to make up for his previous poor showings. He rewarded me by scoring a daft own goal.


    Southport

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    We rotated the squad due to the fixture being played only two days after the Maidstone game. Moore starts instead of the tired Palmer and begrudgingly Raynes starts. We started well, Noble drove into the box from midfield and smashes a great shot across the face of goal and it nestles in the top corner. Shortly after Moore is through on goal and hits one against the post. Murphy got on the end of a good cross and heads against the post from point blank, missing another clear-cut chance. Palmer came on as we were missing his physical presence and he bullied his way to a through ball and slotted it home.
    Last edited by wjackson24; 04/01/2017 at 08:53 PM.
    naterr likes this.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by wjackson24 View Post
    I’m an avid York City fan, who are currently floundering in the Vanarama National League. I would have chosen to manage them, but due to a squad overhaul in the past couple of months, FM is out of date which is a tad annoying.
    Have you tried using the Editor to update York City's squad?

  17. Enjoying this, keep up the good work. And good luck!

    If I may include a request, could you include a league table screenshot now and again please so it's easy to see at a glance how Forest Green Rovers are doing?

  18. Quote Originally Posted by Stuartsays View Post
    Enjoying this, keep up the good work. And good luck!

    If I may include a request, could you include a league table screenshot now and again please so it's easy to see at a glance how Forest Green Rovers are doing?
    Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    I haven't even downloaded the editor yet, I waste hours messing around on it so I thought I'd avoid it until I really need it!

    I had forgot I'd missed the league table out from the August update, I'll start including it from now on.

  19. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    September

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    I'm pleased with the the results from September, apart from one hiccup during the Dover match. The squad and tactics seem to be gelling well. We now need to keep the momentum from three wins on the bounce going.

    Chester

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    A hard fought victory, where we restricted Chester to only one shot on target. Murphy seized on a mistake from their injured centre back to win the ball and only have the keeper to beat. We managed to keep another clean sheet which is promising.

    Dover

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    A disappointing result, where our game plan didn’t really work. We’d been working on attacking set pieces but failed to have any attacking threat through them. We should have been strongest in the air, but instead we found ourselves 1-0 down after Dover swung in a free kick which McLoughlin attempted to punch and missed. They then had a free header at an empty net, it was an individual mistake which lead to the goal. Dover had conceded numerous goals in the last 15 minutes of the first half. So we upped the tempo and this paid off with a Murphy goal. Frear then had a clear cut chance early in the second half after some great play from Marsh-Brown which he skewed wide. Lafayette then again rose highest to beat our defence to a cross and bury another header making it 2-1. A disappointing result which on balance, we probably deserved to lose.

    Eastleigh

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    A very good result, where our game plan worked a treat. However, another clean sheet eluded us through another McLoughlin mistake for a second game on the trot. Eastleigh is a physically strong team, probably the strongest in the League. They’re highest rated in aerial duels won, so we changed our set up here. We opted for playing the ball on the ground more, to nullify their strength in the air. This worked well, with Murphy and Marsh-Brown getting the goals. An own goal then made it 3-1.

    Bromley

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    Finally a decent clean sheet. However, the finishing at the other end was rather poor. We had 3 clear cut chance and we failed to convert all of them. Luckily, Marsh-Brown drifted into space and Frear found him with a good cross, he was able to bring it down and smash it past their keeper from a difficult angle for a goal in the second consecutive match from the right wing. Although, our defending was great. We restricted them to only 5 shots compared to our 25. All their shots were classed as long shots as well, so they failed to create any clear cut or half chances.

    Braintree


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    A very hard fought 1-2 win, in a game we really failed to get a hold of after they had a man sent off on the 31st minute. They had 15 shots in total and these were all long shots, so for a 2nd match in a row we restricted the opposition to only long shot and no clear-cut chances. Palmer used his strength to create space and bury a cross for the first goal. They equalised through a long shot which creeped in. Marsh-Brown bailed us out once again when we upped the tempo immediately after they scored, scoring a goal for the 3rd consecutive match.

    League Table

    After a good first month, we're at the top of the table. However, this means little at this stage and there's plenty of football still to be played.

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  20. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    October/November

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    Apart from the horrendous 0-3 loss to Barrow, we’ve had a solid start to our campaign. Winning 6 on the bounce was pretty impressive. It only came to an end due to the FA Cup fixture against League 2 team Luton. We drew at home before bravely fighting and losing on the away replay fixture. It’s good to know we’re able to compete with a team from the division above. However, the lack of clean sheets has been concerning. We’ll be looking to improve this over the next month.

    Murphy had a storming couple of months, smashing 4 in against Guiseley and then a hat trick only 4 games later against Macclesfield. In total he’s scored 20 goals in 24 appearances, which makes what happened in the last match incredibly disappointing.

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    He’s going to be sorely missed as he’s been our main goal threat. I wouldn’t be surprised if our results start deteriorating as a result of his injury. I’ll be attempting to bring in a replacement as soon as possible, either on a free transfer or loan deal.

    But where does the past couple of months results leave us in the table………

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    We’ve still retained our top spot! We’re starting to pull away from semi professional Maidstone in 2nd, who’re leading the rest of the pack by 7 points. But again it’s still early in the season and to get complacent at this stage would be a huge mistake.

  21. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    December

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    Only 4 fixtures this month, including an FA Trophy tie against Eastleigh. We haven’t missed Murphy as much as I anticipated. However, another late goal cost us a point away at Torquay. Robert who’s been coming off the bench to bolster either the attack or midfield plugged the gap caused by the absence of Murphy initially, before our new loan signings came in and made an impact.

    New Loan Signings

    Josh McQuoid

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    Former Bournemouth and Northern Ireland International Josh McQuoid joins on a season long loan, where we’re contributing £300 p/w towards his wage. He can play up front and as a right winger, so he’ll add depth to each position. He’s already proved a decent signing, bagging the winning goal in the away fixture at Dover. He initially rejected our loan offer, but after declaring interest in him and swooning him through the media, he accepted our second attempt.

    Rushian Hepburn-Murphy

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    Shortly after Murphy’s injury, I requested a senior affiliate club to loan players from. The board returned Aston Villa as a suggestion. As such here we’ve managed to loan Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, a pacey, determined striker made a Premier League appearance last year. He lacks Murphy’s physical presence, but I’m hoping his pace makes up for this. He’s got 14 dribbling and 14 finishing, so he should be a handful. He scored on his debut against Torquay, however it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat.

    League Table

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    Despite the loss at Torquay, we’ve extended our lead to 6 points. The rest of the pack have closed the gap to 2nd place. We’re safe for now, but we need to pushing for clean sheets and wins.

  22. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    January

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    Four wins on the trot is somewhat overshadowed by a draw against Barrow and a loss at Sutton, where we looked very poor. However, in the absence Murphy a surprising hero stepped up to continue scoring. Fabien Robert, who had been a utility player came and asked for more game time. I wouldn’t usually pander to these requests, but I thought I’d give him a shot. He rewarded me with 6 goals in 5 games, including a hat-trick against Bromley.

    Hepburn-Murphy had been coming off the bench and linking well with Palmer and Robert, registering a few assists and another goal. However, he joins the injury list with a twisted knee against Braintree, he’ll be out for 3 weeks. Hopefully Robert can keep his good form going and lead the line in the absence of Murphy and Hepburn Murphy.

    Transfer Window

    We’ve had a quiet transfer window, we’ve shipped out some of the deadwood and agreed a contract for next season.

    We’ve sold Marcus Kelly who’d come back from a long-term injury and second keeper Sam Russell. We’ve got two good youth keepers so Russell wasn’t needed.

    Dean Brett

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    I feel the team now has the physical presence to be dangerous from set pieces, but the delivery has been lacking. So, we’ve agreed a £650p/w deal with dead ball specialist Dean Brett who will be joining us next season. He’s lacking physicality, but as he’s taking the set pieces it doesn’t matter too much. He has the correct mental attributes to join the squad and will be deployed down the right flank.

    League Table

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    Despite missing Murphy, we’ve kicked on and increased our lead to 10 points at the top. We now need to keep calm, avoid injuries and keep pushing steadily towards the title, avoiding complacency.

  23. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    February


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    It’s been a difficult month in the National League for us. We’ve cruised to the FA Trophy semi-final, but haven’t won in 6 National League games, which is rather worrying. I’m blaming this major drop in form on our poacher injury crisis.

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    This screenshot was taken at the end of the month, so the time out indicates the time until the players will be fully fit from 01/03/17. Murphy who’s our first choice has been out since December and won’t be returning until the end of March. I have no idea what Robert and Hepburn-Murphy were doing together, as they both somehow suffered twisted ankles in the same training session. McQuoid would have been an adequate replacement; but he’s needed to cover the right wing as Marsh-Brown is also out with a twisted knee.

    So, we’ve had little option except to give youngster Blake Davies a run out in the poachers role. He had little impact in the Gateshead and Woking game, but then from nowhere smashed in a hat trick against Torquay before bagging another against Tranmere. Davies and Palmer need to quickly form an effective partnership in the National League. Previously we’d been conceding more than I would have liked, but always had the firepower up front to get us the win. It’s a worrying situation I’m hoping Davies and Palmer can solve themselves without me having to instigate a change in tactics, as any change could cause us to decline further.

    League Table

    But has this run caused us to fall off our perch at the top of the table?

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    Not quite yet! That 10 point gap has saved us and we’re now only 3 points ahead of Maidstone in 2nd. We need to start picking up wins quickly, I’m confident our tactics and system will see us through.

  24. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    March

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    Oh dear. We managed to finally pick up a win against relegation candidates Macclesfield. But it was merely a blip in what was a shoddy month to come. A loss to National League South side Chelmsford in the away fixture of the FA Trophy was rather embarrassing. I’d made the decision to rest the 1st team as we needed to keep them fresh to push for a win in the National League. However, its worrying that our 2nd team can’t beat a team in the division below.

    Keeping the first team rested didn’t pay off as we then lost in a Dag & Red game, where Hepburn-Murphy featured after making a quick recovery from his injury, before then picking up another. Key player Palmer also picked up an injury, adding to the crisis.

    I called a team meeting after we drew against Chelmsford at home. I told them that they’d been rather diabolical recently and surprisingly everyone agreed. I think the general determination in the squad caused this response, which was good to see. We then reacted incredibly well, with a decent 3-0 win against Solihull at home.

    Just as things were looking up, further discord in the squad struck. For some bizarre reason, both Christian Doidge and Mohamed Chemlal pranced off to the media about their lack of playing time, which I was not amused about. I’d made a promise to Doidge to attempt to loan him out, in which we offered him to clubs but no one was interested in taking the snake. Chemlal had been getting game time recently as the squad’s been bare due to injury, so I have no idea what he’s complaining about.

    I didn’t even approach them about what they did. I wasn’t angry, I was disappointed, the worst thing that your parents could be. So I composed myself and then did what any self-respecting, dignified manager would have done. I sent them to rot in the under-18’s and transfer listed the pair of them. The sooner we get rid of ‘Devious Doidge’ and ‘Crafty Chemlal’ the better.

    The reaction of the rest of the squad was interesting though, a number of key players lead by captain Raynes rallied, reiterating that the pair were out of line. I was pleased as this highlights the decent mentality of the squad. However, Robert and Moore were angry at how I treated the two. I really don’t need players who’re going to stick up for snakes, so they’ve also sealed their fate and will be released when their contracts expire at the end of the season.

    League Table

    After another turbulent month, surely we’ve dropped off the pace at the top of the table…….

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    Somehow, we’re still clinging on to 1st by only 1 point. Next month is rather hectic and the last month of the National League. We now however only have this competition to focus on. I’m going to try switch up our tactics to surprise the opposition in our last 6 games of the season. Hopefully this will stop the rot which seems to be spreading.
    TheBattman and naterr like this.

  25. Going well so far! let's hope you keep going as strong and get the Title!
    wjackson24 likes this.

  26. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    April

    Did we manage to turn around the poor run of form and secure the title?

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    Of course we did! We went on to rack up 6 straight wins, smashing in 19 goals. We switched up tactics, introducing a 4-1-2-3 as well as using our 4-4-2. I think the decline was down to my stubbornness and not being willing to adapt to our system. The element of surprise was lacking from our game and our opposition knew how to exploit our system.

    As a result of our decline in the later months of the season, I’m going to add more variation to our play next season and get the players more familiar with other formations.

    The return of Rhys Murphy was a catalyst in the end of the season push for the title. I thought he may have taken awhile to regain his form, but I was clearly wrong. He was grateful for the faith I’d placed in him!

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    League Table

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    We finished 1st, leading the rest of the pack by 8 points, achieving our season target and gaining promotion to League 2 for the first time in the clubs’ history!

    Next post will be the end of season round up and awards.
    TheBattman and naterr like this.

  27. Woohoo new champion in the house! Congratulations!
    wjackson24 likes this.

  28. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    End of Season Review

    Overall I’m very happy with how the season has gone, despite the sketchy decline of form in March. I’ve learnt that you can’t tinker solely with one system all year as your opponents adapt and can predict how you’ll play. The element of surprise is a rather useful weapon and can be deployed to completely throw off the team you’re facing.

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    National League Golden Boot

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    Rhys Murphy finished 2nd despite missing 4 months of the season, I reckon he could have won the award of he remained fit. However, credit goes to Jamar Loza who tucked away an incredible 37 goals.

    Season Awards

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    We can see Ollie Palmer was voted ‘Fans player of the season’ by a considerable amount. I agree with the fans, when he played well (which was the majority of the time) the rest of the team followed. He also bagged the goal of the season to help his cause.

    Stats

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    Again we can see Palmer had the highest average rating at 7.41, which is pretty impressive. He did his job as a target man incredibly well, this is also highlighted by the 15 assists he racked up. His loan ends at the end of the season. We do have the option to make it permanent by paying £35k. However, I think I’m going to be sneaky with this one, his contract also expires at the end of the month. So instead of a paying the fee I’m going to try snap him up on a free transfer. He loves the club and the fans love him, so it’s a no brainer to try get him to stay.

    Finances

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    We’ve already declared new sponsors for the upcoming season, which is definitely needed. Our finances aren’t in as good of a state as I originally thought. We’ve been hemorrhaging money this season, despite being well under the wage budget. As a result, we haven’t been able to put in place that youth system I’m wanting to develop. I’m thinking we’re going to have to stick to the ‘Moneyball’ rules and accept any offers more than the value of the player. Faure had a good season and already has clubs sniffing around him. Unfortunately, I doubt he’ll be at the club for next season.
    Last edited by wjackson24; 13/01/2017 at 10:53 AM.
    TheBattman likes this.

  29. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Forest Green Rovers: 17/18 Season

    EFL League 2

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    After a great first season, we managed to secure promotion to the EFL League 2 for the first time in the clubs history by winning the title. We did so by playing defensive, direct no nonsense football, setting up a system which can now be used in a league where we’ll always be the under dogs. It should be an exciting season where hopefully we topple teams expected to thrash us. The tactics used seem to work with players who I didn’t particularly want last season, so I’m excited to see how it fares where we can bring in physical players specifically for this system.

    I’ll also be closely monitoring the finances this season, I’m hoping now we’ve stepped up a league we’ll have a bigger match attendance and more income. Last season the board rejected nearly all my requests due to financial worries. If the club is to grow and for us to start developing a good youth system, we need better finances.

    On another note, thanks to Zinedine Zaiddin we’ve got these sweet new kits for the upcoming season! I tried to keep to club’s owners vegan vision so the eco friendly (I think) Tesla Motors are the new sponsor.

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  30. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Pre Season

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    We’ve had a good pre-season with some decent results. We thrashed minnows Brimscombe and Bishop’s Cleeve with convincing 5-0 and 6-0 wins. Senior affiliate Aston Villa and Everton proved tougher challenges, but we managed to avoid defeat in both games. The clean sheet against Everton was impressive as we nullified Lukaku and he left the field with a 6.4 rating.

    Transfer Window

    We’ve had a busy transfer window, bringing in a whopping total of 17 players. We’ve shipped out 16 players as we search to build a squad with the correct mentality and physicality.

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    Good riddance to Devious Doidge and Crafty Chemlal. However, as predicted we couldn’t keep hold of the heart of our defence Faure, he had a great first season and had plenty of clubs sniffing around him. When League 1 Plymouth came in for him I knew he wouldn’t be happy if we’d rejected the bid, so we haggled within reason and secured a fee of £190k for him. We brought him in on a free transfer, so it’s a tidy profit after just one season at the club.

    The total incomings (£215k) amounted to more than the outgoings (£210k) which was pleasing. We’ve formed a squad capable of performing in this league without losing money.

    Key signings

    Jed Wallace

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    Championship winger Jed Wallace joins on a season long loan. We’re not paying his wages, but we’re paying £12.5k a month, which is essentially like contributing £3k a week wages. He’s rated by our coaches as a ‘decent championship player’ so he should excel against League 2 teams. He displays the correct mentality to fit in with the team and will be a key player for this season.

    Stephen Kingsley

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    A ridiculously good signing for a League 2 club. Premier League full back Kingsley joins on a season long loan where we’re contributing £700p/w to his contract and 3k a month fee. So it’s about a £1.5kp/w we’re contributing. He featured in the Premier League last season for Swansea, so clearly he’s a player of high pedigree. We’ll be looking to use him on the left flank and ask him to get forward to influence the attacks.

    Joey Barton

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    Another player who featured in the Premier League last season. The infamous Joey Barton joins on a free transfer from Burnley with a £1.2p/w contract, expiring at the end of the season. He’s getting on at the age of 35 and this is reflected by his physical stats, but he’ll be sitting deep and he’ll be rather static, so he won’t have to do much running. He’s determined and a good long range passer, so he’ll be able to find our forwards with some searching long balls.

    Youth Signings

    DJ Buffonge

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    Former Manchester United youth player, 18 year old DJ Buffonge joins on a free transfer with a £600p/w contract. He’ll develop into a good championship winger and is decent enough for the first team now. But we need to work his mentality, hopefully with him being around our other players displaying the correct attitude, he’ll soon develop this.

    Thomas McDermott

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    Former Tottenham goalkeeper youth prospect Thomas McDermott. He’s a current under 21 international and should develop into a good keeper. He’s determined and has the “Uses long throws to start counter attacks” player trait, which should fit with our tactics well.

    Rhyle Ovenden

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    Welsh Under 19’s player Rhyle Ovenden joins on a free transfer with a £250p/w contract. At 6’4”, he fits our philosophy and has already developed physically, so we don’t need to worry about that. He’s got a good attitude which will definitely aid his development. We’ll be focusing on improving his technical attributes.

    Other notable signings include:
    - Ben Tozer, a utility player who’s natural at central defence, central midfield and right back. He’s got a long throw of 17, so we’ll hopefully be replicating some Rory Delap throw in routines.
    - Irish under 21 Kevin Toner on loan from Aston Villa, capable of playing in central defence and left back.
    - Keinan Davis on loan from Aston Villa, who’s be acting as a poacher and should hopefully bag some goals.
    - Big man Ollie Palmer on a sneaky free transfer after his loan finished last season.
    - Fraser Franks on a free transfer, to bolster the defence.
    - Youth prospect Herson Alves, a tall Portuguese attacking midfielder.
    - Ben Gordon on a free transfer, a veteran centre back and potential captain for the upcoming season.
    - The French Nigel Atangana, a 6’4” centre midfielder with a great engine on him, at the moment he’s the best candidate to play alongside Barton in the midfield.
    - 23 year old centre back Joe Gorman for £12k, a player with plenty of scope for development and already great in the air.
    - Aaron Amadi-Holloway on loan, who was quickly returned to Fleetwood after he was injured and never really challenged in the air whilst in the target man position.
    - Instead, in came the taller and stronger Amadou Bakayoko, who’ll be back up to Palmer.

    Next post will be the squad roster for the season and any changes to our tactical system!

  31. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    Squad

    Goalkeepers

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    Ian McLoughlin is still our first team choice, he performed well last season despite a couple of minor blips. McDermott will feature in some games to ensure he continues to develop.

    Defenders

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    Franks and Brett will feature at right back, with Franks being the defensive option and Brett used to influence attacks. We’ll be partnering Gorman and Gordon in the centre. Gordon is tutoring Gorman, so hopefully they’ll develop a good relationship and work well together. Kingsley will feature heavily throughout the season at left back and on the left flank. We’ll be asking him to get forward more.

    Midfielders

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    Championship winger Jed Wallace will be operating on the right wing, I’m hoping he can register plenty of assists. Joey Barton and Atangana will be playing in the centre. Barton will be the brains whilst Atangana will be the brawn. I’m keen that DJ Buffonge gets plenty of first team experience and continues to develop, so he’ll be featuring on the left flank.

    Strikers

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    Palmer will continue to be an integral part of the team, operating as our target man for the season. Playing off him we have the options of Murphy and Davis. Bakayoko will be a decent rotation option if Palmer’s fatigued. We’re pretty bare on the striker front currently and any major injury could damage us. I’ll keep sniffing around for a decent free transfer to add depth up front.

    Here is our first choice team for the season! Franks and Davis have injuries which should clear for the start of the season.

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    naterr likes this.

  32. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    August

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    A steady start to the 17/18 season in League Two, with some good results in the EFL Cup & Trophy. We’ve also started bagging goals from corners, being effective from set pieces is a trait I wanted to develop at the start of the season, so it’s encouraging we’re heading in the right direction.

    We managed to overcome senior affiliate Aston Villa in the 1st round of the EFL Cup, with Racine burying the winning goal from a well worked corner. We then went on to beat Brighton in the 2nd round, with Davis coming on as a sub and bagging the winning goal. We also dispatched League One Burton in the EFL Trophy Group stage, however there’s still plenty of games to play in group stages so we won’t get too excited just yet.

    However, we only registered one win the League Two, we need to start picking up wins. We had a slow start to the National League and still managed to finish first, so I’m not too concerned at this stage.

    League Table

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    We’re currently 16th in the table which is rather disappointing, but we’ve only played 5 games whilst others have played 6. Another win and we’ll rocket up the table.
    dporter8999 likes this.

  33. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    September

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    A month where we managed to find our stride. We’ve started racking up points in the League and we also played perhaps the most exciting game of FM I’ve seen in the 3-2 win away to a strong West Ham side. It was decided from a last minute penalty by Bakayoko, I’m usually relatively calm whilst playing FM, apart from the occasional outburst of “What are you doing you pleb!?” But this game had me acting like a mad man. I even got carpet burn as I slid across the living room as Bakayoko blasted in the winning goal.

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    (Mourinho replicating my celebration as Bakayoko scored)

    Aston Villa loanee Keinan Davis found his scoring boots and he’s bagged 7 goals throughout the month. Hopefully his form will continue.

    For the first time I think in forever, we made a monthly profit! So, in alignment with our philosophies, I requested a youth recruitment improvement which was accepted. I think this is a major turning point for the club, we’re starting to head in the right direction, we need to continue to compete without relying on investments from the chairman to keep us afloat.

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    League Table

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    Without sounding too smug… As I predicted we found our feet in the League and we’ve shot up the table to 3rd place and to an automatic promotion place. But we won’t be getting too excited just yet, there’s plenty of football to be played.
    NathanITFC likes this.

  34. Usually a silent reader, but I'm loving this! I really like how you go into detail about how you think when playing FM and the reasoning behind your choices.
    wjackson24 likes this.

  35. @shasterix Thanks for the comment, it's encouraging to hear you're enjoying the detail of my ramblings!

  36. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    October

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    A difficult month. We lost to Chelsea Under 20’s on penalties in the EFL Trophy Group stage which was pretty gutting. It was a match that on balance we could have won. The rest of the month comprised of 2 wins and 2 losses in League 2 and another loss on penalties to QPR in the EFL Cup 4th Round. We put up a good fight against a Championship side, so it’s not all bad. It also allows us to focus on the League, which can only be a good thing.

    Our young, ex-Manchester Utd, free transfer DJ Buffonge has lived up to the hype this month. He’s really kicked on despite my reservations about his attitude to claim Player of the Month award, scoring 3 goals in 4 appearances from the left wing. I hope he continues to push on and develop his stats.

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    League Table

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    Our 2 wins and losses have seen us drop off the pace slightly, but we’re still in the play off’s. We’ll continue to push for an automatic promotion spot!

  37. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    November

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    A month with plenty of ups and downs, including smashing Portsmouth with a mighty 7-1 victory, where loanee Bakayoko plundered 4 goals winning him Young Player of the Month award. Buffonge also continued his impressive form from the previous month, making him runner up.

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    In a similar turn of events as last season, we lose our striker in the poacher role to long term injury. Keinan Davis is struck with knee tendonitis, ruling him out for 5-6 months. As we were in this situation last season, it’s pretty frustrating. Fraser Franks who’s been excelling at right back is also ruled out.

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    However, as soon as Davis was injured we set out to scour the transfer market for free transfers and stumbled across a very good player. Adam Le Fondre or ALF for short, joins on a free transfer.

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    He’s a decent all round player, with good finishing and composure who scored 8 goals in the Championship last season. Ideally, I would like him to be slightly more pacey but with 13 acceleration he’s no slouch. His age is a slight concern as he’s only going to get slower, but he should tie us over until we find a good long term replacement.

    League Table

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    At the end of November, we’re still up near the top of the table and only 1 point off the automatic promotion places. If we can keep up this form, I’m sure we’ll be in a good position for promotion.
    naterr likes this.

  38. Forest Green Rovers: The Meatiest Vegan Club

    December

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    A great month in the EFL League Two, but a disappointing exit from the FA Cup to Championship side Burton. The number of clean sheets we’ve racked up this month is encouraging and we’ve only conceded one goal in 5 games. The defence is really starting to gel despite being chopped and changed this month. Barton and Atangana are providing great cover in central midfield, breaking up attacks before the opposition works the ball into our box.

    Adam Le Fondre has only scored once this month, I was hoping for a greater goal output from him. However, he’s just been introduced to the team and is still adapting to our system so we’ll give him more time before we drop him to the bench.

    League Table

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    After a good month, we’re flying in League Two and are 3 points clear of Leyton Orient. Hopefully we can keep this up, but I have a feeling that Orient are going to give us tough competition until the end of the season. We’ve already played and lost to them earlier on in the season and are playing them away next month. It’s a must win game if we’re going to win the title, but I’ll be happy if we end up in any of the automatic promotion places.

  39. Happy with automatic promotion place is not enough, keep focused on winning the title! Best of luck, good lad

    Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk

  40. This is great stuff mate! I also enjoy a Forest Green save, they're an interesting team. We also think very similarly in terms of how we manage. I'll be keeping an eye on this, for sure!

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