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Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley

  1. Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley

    Hello, and welcome to my rather ambitious save for FM17.

    Verwood Town, known as the Stags, are an amateur football team playing in the Wessex Premier, the 9th level of English football. Perennial relegation candidate since their promotion to this level, several managers have kept them up but have gone on to leave due to what they perceive to be a lack of ambition from the club.

    Managers have left due to no budget being created, ensuring that Verwood remain fully amateur.

    In real life and in game, the Wessex Premier is full of Semi-pro teams and players, with some footballers dropping down from the 6th tier for equal or better pay. Thus, you can see how hard it is to compete when you can't give players any money!

    I'm going to be quite broad with my ambitions, and see just how far I can take Verwood up the pyramid.

    Here is all the info about Verwood:

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-verwoodinfo.png Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-verwoodhonours.png Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-verwoodfacilities.png

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    Non-League: Verwood veer towards Tanner for new manager

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    2 Hours ago / Neil Perrett / @neilperrettecho

    YOUNGSTER Jack Tanner is hoping that his local knowledge of Non-League football will set him on the path to success at Potterne Park, despite his tender age – and lack of coaching experience.
    The 20 year-old has covered local football – including the Stags – for a few years, but has never been on the other side of the white lines.

    He told the Daily Echo: "I'm very happy with the direction we're going in. Everyone at the club wants to be the best they can be, no more than me."

    "Previous managers have left because we won't make the step up from Amateur, and I agree it is harder to compete - but I'm keen to get to a semi-professional standard sooner rather than later. But at first, I want my players to have the desire to play for pride and joy, rather than cash."

    "I don't think age is important. The best way to earn the respect of the players is by winning games and I'm confident I can do that. At the end of the day Verwood are a club on the up, and I can see myself being here quite some time."

    "It's a valid point to bring up; it is unusual for the managers to be younger than some of the players. I've already met with the players and there aren't any problems so far. There are plenty of examples of young managers succeeding, and I feel that I can as well."

    "I've been the critic in the stand, now it's my time to shine - I know the game inside out at this level, and that could prove vital over the course of the season."

    His only post in local football was as Press Officer for National South outfit Poole Town, and becomes the third ex-Dolphin to take over at Potterne Park, albeit the first to become manager from an off the field capacity. Both Carl Poore and Gavin Reeves had spells under Tom Killick, who guided the Dolphins from the Wessex League to their current league, three tiers higher.

    Tanner’s first competitive game will be against Longwell Green, of the Western League, away from home in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round. The prize fund for the winners is £1,500. The winners will face either Albion Sports or Bradford Town.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-fa-cup-epr.png
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-dailyechobig.png   Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-echobig.jpg  
    Last edited by HalRobsonKanu Enthusiast; 01/01/2017 at 09:38 PM.

  2. Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-echobig.jpg
    Non-League: Tanner lines up coaching staff for Stags
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    4 Hours ago / Neil Perrett / @neilperrettecho

    BOSS Jack Tanner admitted that his choices for coaching staffs relied mainly on their experience, but the youngster has also opted for the ambition of youth to match his own ideals and age.

    Ashley Vickers (Pictured), is both an experienced player and manager at local level - managing Dorchester Town in the National South, and winning the Wessex Premier with Blackfield and Langley as Player-Manager.

    Tanner told the Daily Echo:
    "I wanted leadership both off and on the field, so when Ashley popped up I had to have him. He's managed at a higher level, he's played at a higher level, he's won this league both as a manager and a player. He didn't just tick all the boxes, he made new boxes for me to tick."

    "I'm quite excited; he's very good at what he does and that can only be great for the team. The experience, the quality - and he's doing it all for free!"

    Other arrivals include 25 year old James Smith as a scout, 18 year-old Callum Robinson as a coach, and a more experienced head in Ronnie Evans as Head Physio.

    "People may think it's bizarre the variation in ages, but I need experience but also the imagination of younger people. I want to spend a long time here, and having staff who can be expected to last the spell with me is key, in my eyes."

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-jamessmith2.png
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    Last edited by HalRobsonKanu Enthusiast; 01/01/2017 at 06:46 PM.

  3. looks like the manager could have whiskers... looking good so far

  4. Pre-season 16/17

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-pre-season.png

    After the money spinning tie against Brentford (We made £4,000, woohoo!) I still hadn’t brought in many players, due to all the competition for players. It wasn’t until the last few friendlies that we had actual players, and we finally started to score some goals!

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-singings1.png
    All of the above players came in over the pre-season, but I am still assembling my squad. At this point we were still very light in the middle of the park.

    We’re currently utilising what I would call a 4-1-2-3, with a DM, two CMs, two wide AMs and the sole striker, despite depth up top. It’s worked so far but I am open to a bit of tinkering.

    Up next is a proper report for the FA Cup. For league games I will do just a monthly update, for the FA Cup and FA Vase I’ll do a bit more in depth overview, to reflect real life coverage.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-echobig.jpg

    Non-League: Verwood victorious in the FA Cup
    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-lgstats.png

    4 Hours ago / Ned Payne / @nedpayneecho
    JACK Tanner tasted victory at the first time of asking as his charges ran out 3-2 winners away at Longwell Green.

    Bobby Scott was the hero as his brace secured £1,500 for Verwood, and a place in the next round. It wasn't all plain sailing as the away side found themselves a goal behind at the break, but the Stags managed to get back in the game via Scott on the 50th minute mark.

    Speaking to the Daily Echo, Tanner said: "I thought we did well to respond from the early onslaught. To go a goal behind was disheartening, but to have two glorious opportunities go to waste might have played on our minds. We've hit the woodwork twice, so to pick ourselves up to take the lead took some mental strength."

    "We sat back a bit and they replied, but for ourselves to retake the lead was brilliant. The last thing you want is a fixture pile up at the beginning of the season, so to ensure we're already into the hat for the next round is key."

    "Bobby Scott showed why I endeavoured to bring him here, but I felt Dan Cann was unlucky, especially when he hit the post. He's having to play out wide despite being more suited to the centre of the pitch, but he has experience there and I trust him. I wanted a big nasty striker I can chuck balls at, and that's where Dan Cann can excel. Bonus is the fact he can score a few too.""

    "We've set out to avoid the drop, but I'd like a bit of cup action and a bit more ambition. We're slowly building to our goals, but every game is tough at this level. As well as the FA Cup, the FA Vase will be up and running soon and I'd like a run in that."

    "The blueprint that I'm following, Tom Killick and Poole Town, saw them wait a few years before getting out of this league, through no fault of their own, and they combined a league winning season with an FA Vase Semi final appearance. Why can't we aim for something similar?"

    "I have ambitions for the club, and that is to slowly creep up the leagues. I want to win everything I can, and this is the last level you can compete in the Vase."

    "I'm not saying we're going up, but on the off chance that we do earn promotion, we may never have a chance to lift that trophy, which would be a shame. A day out at Wembley is what's eventually on the cards, but that's just a pipedream."

    "At the moment, basing it on current performances from ourselves and around the league, we might have a few chances at the FA Vase. That's fine - we're a young side finding our feet in senior football, so a few hiccups are to be expected. We will stumble, we will fall. That's the nature of football at this level, and in general."

    "I'm confident we can hit the ground running in the league, that's for sure."
    Last edited by HalRobsonKanu Enthusiast; 01/01/2017 at 08:31 PM.

  5. August 16

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-august16.png

    An unbeaten month, with three wins out of four in the league, totalling 10 points which leaves us top going into our FA Cup 1st Qualifying tie.

    Apart from the Albion Sports game, we're always a little bit suspect at the back and I can see a late goal coming in the near future. I'm not panicking just yet, but it's something that needs reviewing.

    There are only 4 Wessex Prem sides left in the FA Cup, so we will start to lag behind in the league in terms of games played.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-augustsignings.png

    Signing wise I raided Team Solent for their four stars, because when you're not paying wages you might as well stockpile players! Despite this Team Solent have matched our league form and are directly below us in the table, only due to us scoring one more goal.

    Injury wise we were hit a few times, first of all Dan Cann suffered a thigh strain that has kept him out of almost all of the games in August. New signing Jesse Waller-Lassen is now out after the last game, he'll miss two weeks' worth of football.

    There was one other injury, to Lewis Alderman, which would have kept him out of our side for 4-5 weeks - but despite me being nice to him and asking him how he was doing, he didn't appreciate my conversation! For someone brought in for depth he was instantly released, with a few players better options in his position.

    A few players are eligible for our u23s, but the board won't let me bring in a new manager. Ash Vickers will take over, so now I can bring in more players. Same goes for my u18s, Callum Robinson will be in charge. I'll review the situation and see if there are any immediate benefits.

    The nature of th
    e FA Cup means it will be sandwiched between league games, but in this case I felt it made more sense to include it in the monthly overlook.
    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-sc.png

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-albionresult.png

    Verwood Town have coupled their league form with a cup run after running out 2-0 winners over Albion Sports.

    Speaking to South Coast after the game, manager Jack Tanner stated: "We all wanted to avoid a trip up to Bradford midweek - apart from the long trek, the affect of playing another game so early on in the season and losing home advantage, it would have cost the club a lot of money - rivalling the amount we would have earnt."

    "It's a joke quite frankly - this stage of the competition should be regionalised, like it always has been. The FA can cater for the big boys by removing replays later on in the competition, but they just show how little they care when stuff like this happens."

    "I dread to think what my squad would have looked like going up there - most of the squad probably couldn't have travelled, mixed with the injuries we had. I made it clear how imperative a win was - and my boys have delivered."

    "The penalty incident - I agreed with the official completely, it was a definite foul. Refs are now clamping down on incidents at set pieces, and it was nice to see. Bobby (Scott) unfortunately missed the spotkick, but I had faith that he'd come up big."

    "His tenacity to close down the defender and set himself up was great, but his overall play made him a nusiance. That's why their centreback got sent off - he couldn't deal with him."

    "We'll just take it one game at a time. If we play like we did today, I don't see why we can't go that little bit further. Teams from the 7th tier are coming in now, and an away trip to some of the bigger onces could be a nice financial gain for the club."

    New signing Greg Ngoyi joined after the game, a move delayed due to his work permit.

    "Greg has experience at a higher level, so we're excited to see what he can do at ours. He has bags of pace, so I might utilise him on the wing, who knows? The deal was complicated further by the work permit, but he's lived here for over 10 years - he's just awaiting his paperwork for a new passport."

    Verwood have received £1,920 for their win, and have been drawn at home against North West Counties side Hanley Town. The Stags' away trip to Fareham will be re-arranged.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-hanley.png

  6. LLM is usually a good long term save good luck

  7. Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-sc.png
    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-hanley1result.png

    Jack Tanner saw his side miss out on confirming their place in the 2nd qualifying round, before finding out a win in the replay will see him visit his former club.

    After the match, a rather frank Tanner told South Coast: "We've controlled the game, but to be fair, we never looked like scoring lots of goals despite the posession and the shots. They've been given two chances, taken one, and it looked like we were crashing out, which would have been unjust."

    Bobby Scott ensured Verwood lived another day with his 5th goal in the competition, coming off the bench to grab an equaliser. "Bobby has done it again - he just seems to love the magic of the cup, doesn't he! He's done well, and I feel if we generated anything more of note he would have had two goals again."

    "Dan Cann has made his return, albeit briefly, but I'm unsure if he'll be starting in the replay. I've yet to decide who will be travelling, because Hanley is over 3 hours away, and that's not including stops. Some players will miss out due to their work commitments, and that's a shame."

    "Whilst I'd love to rant about the FA's decisions, if we had been more clinical here it would just be an afterthought. We'll be up against it now, as travelling so far does affect players. But we only have ourselves to blame. It's another case of inflicting more trouble for ourselves - fixtures will begin to build up, but I'm confident I have the depth to navigate through this challenge."

    "I wouldn't go along with scrapping replays, I'm a traditionalist and I feel that they mean something, but if both teams want to agree to finishing the tie over one game with extra times and penalties, it should be their prerogative.

    "The chance to play against Poole for me is the biggest incentive. I thought it would be a while until we were clashing heads competitively, but I couldn't believe it when they came out the hat."

    "I don't have a relationship with the manager per se but he's aware of what I'm doing here. There's a few ex-Poole players as well, so it'll be interesting. I want to go there and win - prove that I'm now a capable manager, not just a press officer."

    "Tom Killick, and to a lesser extent Alex Pike, they are the examples of taking teams from this division and becoming one of the better sides in non-league. It'll be tough, but I think they'll rather focus on the League than the cups. I'm not expecting anything though - it will be good to see how far we've still got to go."
    Last edited by HalRobsonKanu Enthusiast; 02/01/2017 at 12:13 AM.

  8. Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-echobig.jpg

    Non-League: Penalty heartache for Tanner as Verwood crash out of the FA Cup

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    4 Hours ago / Ned Payne / @nedpayneecho

    Jack Tanner was left bemused after he saw his Verwood side fail to beat Hanley at the second time of asking, as the Stags' dream of facing National South Poole faded after spotkicks.

    Dan Cann made a goalscoring return but turned into a villain when he failed to convert his penalty, setting the tone for the other penalties that followed. Lewis Lindsay and Sam Byles also missed their spotkicks as Verwood eventually lost 4-3.

    An emotional Jack Tanner told the Echo:
    "We've only got ourselves to blame - over two legs we dominated, but when you constantly fail to put chances away then what can you do? We're 1-0 up, you hit the bar - unlucky - and it falls to you again, an open wide goal infront of you. And you miss? How? I'm just bemused."

    "To go out on penalties like that was pathetic. There's no real pressure - yet you bottle it. I'm going to have to look for a set-piece specialist soon, because I don't think there's capable players here."

    "We had a great draw - and we've thrown it away. Good luck to Hanley, they'll need it- Poole won't be merciful in front of goal."

    "In a way, it's a good thing - we won't be embarrased in front of a huge crowd. There's still along way to go, both in the season and in terms of the performances."

    "To be honest, and fair to Hanley, they were better today. And that's what we expected, but they were only better because we let them. We let them have another chance, another goal. We have to be more ruthless."

    Verwood's next chance at cup glory will come in the form of the FA Vase, as they have been drawn at home to Bedfont Sports in the 2nd Qual. Round.

    "I've made no secret what my intentions are in regards to the FA Vase. I want a deep run, and Bedfont shouldn't be a problem - they're struggling in the league, so we have to take our chances."

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-bedfontvase.png

  9. September 16
    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-septemberresults.png

    After the disappointment in the FA Cup at the start of the month, we managed to string together a little unbeaten run, and a few cleansheets, before another embarrassing cup game at home to Bedfont, who are struggling in their division.

    However a change in formation saw my side quickly make amends, putting 7 past them in the replay to secure the £800 prize fund.

    I brought in a new Chief Scout, saving money by bringing him in as a player. I think he made his debut in the 7-0 win, but for the most part he's just there for depth, and will rarely see gametime.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-septembersignings.png

    My defence always concerns me, so I have brought in players for depth. All four are left sided defenders, so you can see where I feel there is concerns! You won't see his impact until October, but Jamil Roberts made an instant one in his first game.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-septembercomps.png

    We're still playing catch up in regards to the league, but we're in a strong position to make top spot our own. The cup distractions quieten down now until the end of October, but we have 5 away games on the bounce, playing Tues- Sat so rotation will be a must.

  10. October 16
    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-october-results.png

    You expect to play a lot of games at this level, and during September we managed 8 - two of those due to having to play replays, and another friendly. Those cup runs have had a knock on effect in October, where we had to play 9 times, and 8 times in the league!

    Quite impressively we managed 8 wins from 9, losing only once in the league, to Blackfield and Langley, traditionally one of the big teams in this division. They are semi-pro, with star striker Jamie White (Easily National South standard, once scored 51 league goals at this level) grabbing two against us. However, it was our poor start and poor tactical choice that gave them a 3-0 lead prior to half time.

    The aforementioned Jamil Roberts scored 46 seconds into his debut, but ended the month on a sour note when he was sent off for diving (second yellow.)

    The other big signing was Kim Jae-Heon, an ex-Pompey youth player. Internet research indicates he was last at the Nike Academy, and he was another instant impact. As you can see our away game at Lymington was heading towards a draw, before Kim popped up from 25 yards out to ensure we got full points.

    He also fired one in from 25 yards in his second game, but we couldn't quite get an equaliser against Blackfield and Langely. He was one of a few players brought in for added depth, with the middle of the park still a bit light.

    After the B and L game we started scoring for fun, but the game against Portland was a tough one, especially when you take into account they are struggling. We couldn't break them down until they gifted us a pen, with one of the players sent off for dissent. After that point it was plain sailing, and we ended the month with three clean sheets as our impressive home form continues.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-signings.png

    The only other signing is an u18, Max Holland, who my scout with Judging Potential 14 reckons could be a good future star. Into the u21s he goes.

    League wise we are top by five points, with a game in hand over second. In the Vase we are away to Bridlington, who despite being 11th in a league equivalent to our own, have won the FA Vase in the past. A good sign is the fact that they are a few points and places behind Albion Sports, a side we comfortably dispatched in the FA Cup.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-comps.png

    I also asked for a new contract, because I was being paid the unrealistic £500 base fee this database set me on. Not great for a club averaging less than 60 people a game.

    I could only go down as low as £140, but it gives me a lot more room for another coach and means there is less pressure financially.


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    When Jack Tanner was announced as the new manager of Verwood, few would have predicted the rise of the club to the summit of the Wessex Premier, a division they had always languished near the botto​m of.

    The amateur side's ambitions have been strengthened by tying Tanner down for another year, but chairman Steve Jefferis revealed it was Tanner's own initiative to sign a new contract.

    "He came to me one night after training, and asked if we could discuss a new deal. At first, I thought it was just an extension to tie him down - job security and all that - but when he asked for way less money than he was on, it was a shock - a pleasant shock!"

    "He's shown fantastic commitment by signing the new deal and taking a huge wage cut, which I am sure will please the players and fans alike."

    Tanner told South Coast Journalism that "I'm delighted to have signed a new deal. I'm absolutely loving it here and it was a no-brainer to commit to staying for even longer."

    "I felt it was highly hypocritical of me to ask my players to play for nothing when I brought home half a grand a week, which was a huge burden on the club financially. Hopefully it will boost the club's coffers, and enable us to move closer towards our semi-pro ambitions."

    "However, the main reason I wanted to sign this new contract is that I firmly believe in this team and what it can achieve. We are going places - I've seen enough to believe that the future is very bright for this team and I want to be a part of it. If I didn't, signing a new deal would've been a bit pointless."

    "Hopefully it also will allow for a bit more room to bring in more backroom staff - Ashley (Vickers), my assistant, he's doing it for free due to his playing commitments. The thing is, he's not playing much - so we might discuss a better deal more suited for his role." Shortly after this article was released, the club announced the signing of Shaun Harper as a new coach.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-shaunharperstats.png
    Last edited by HalRobsonKanu Enthusiast; 02/01/2017 at 10:07 PM.

  11. Brilliant start so far, really enjoying reading this

  12. November '16

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-novemberresults.png

    Our title credentials took a big hit during this month, dropping points on four occasions and failing to record a single cleansheet. A first ever defeat at home (and the first time we ever dropped points at Potterne Park!) to Hamworthy, before our main title rivals Bemerton Heath beat us as well. I can't find the picture of the league table, but I'm fairly certain at this point we were 2nd, behind by a few points, but with a game in hand.

    The only positive was a win in the FA Vase, a competition I really want to win. Bridlington took an early lead but all the action was in the first half, as we pulled it to 2-1. Our reward - a home tie Vs. Runcorn Linnets in the 3rd round at the beginning of December, and £975!

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-fa-vase.png

    Playerwise, I started looking for quality rather than quantity, raiding Team Solent for their final star - Tyrell Mitford. 5* Potential and 4/5* Ability, he is apparently best suited for the Southern Premier (7th tier), so I hope he can fire us up to his rightful home sooner rather than later!

    Nick Grimes (Brother of Matt Grimes, the starlet) was too good not to poach and instantly became a key part of my backline. Tim Brown was an apparent improvement on Chico Ramos in goal, but in between the sticks is where I still need to improve.

    No players left the club during the month.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-novsign.png

  13. December '16

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-decembergames.png

    The weather and our cup runs ensured we only played 4 competitive games, but we did go undefeated. Relatively plain sailing in the FA Vase saw us ease into the 4th round, which gave us an away trip to Eynesbury. A disappointing draw away at Newport (Isle of Wight, a bloody trek) saw our dismal form on the road continue, but that was the only negative in a month of relative positives. Using the money we earnt from the last round, I sent myself and another coach on coaching courses, which blew through the money raised.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-favase3rd.png Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-vase4thdraw.png

    On the player front, we're still Amateur and whilst that means we can't attract top top talent I've still managed to charm a few "Big" Non-League names through the door. Ben Mackey is well-known(ish) for being a guaranteed goalscorer for the top bidder - apparently in real life he's gone into body building, which explains why he has no clubs or clubs offering him a deal.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-decsigns.png

    Nick Hutchings is a winner of the Non-League goalkeeper award, and having watched him week in week out for a while, his stats don't do him justice. However, he is an upgrade on what I have in terms of keepers, so he drops down from the National South to resurrect his career. In real life it's something he did as well - dropping down to the Wessex Prem with Poole, rising all the way to the National South in 5 years.

    Ross Johnson came in as partly an upgrade, partly due to suspensions and injuries stacking up. Anthony Guppy signed for different reasons - I switched to a 3-5-2, which required an AM. I didn't have any, so he was picked up from Wembley.

    No player exits again so nothing more to report on.

  14. How high up the leagues do you have to get before you can consider Semi-Pro?

    And good luck

  15. January '17

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-janresults.png

    It wasn't a very good New Year for my side, as we crumbled against AFC Porchester, who were sniffing about in 3rd. 2-0 down, we bring it back to 2-2 - and we then let it slip again. Infuriating. Our poor away form in the league then stretched into the cups, as we failed to beat Eynesbury in the first game. A replay at Potterne Park - and the new signing Ben Mackey popped up to send us through into the 5th round, where we entertained Swaffham for a place in the Quarter Finals.

    The Vase win rejuvenated my players, and we started to piece together a winning sequence - finally winning an away game at Bournemouth Poppies.

    Our cup run is slowly seeing us bank more and more cash, picking up £4.5k for the two wins.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-2k-money.png

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-more-money.png

    We got another home draw in the QFs, as we slowly approach one of my main targets - I'd much prefer to win the Vase and not go up than win promotion and lose in it now.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-vase-qfs.png

    During all of this a random club apparently wanted me, or so the press thought. I soon put an end to that. #UpThePotters #VerwoodTilIDie

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-ashford.pngVerwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-ashford-2.png

    No new players, but we offloaded Taylor Smith, a AML I brought in for Dan Cann for one game, with the intention of using him more - that wasn't the case, as it slowly transpired he was useless. When it doesn't cost to bring in a replacement, your position in the team can always change - which is a shame, but it means players can attract the attention of clubs in higher divisions and bugger off there and then.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by RoblinThePAFCGoblin View Post
    How high up the leagues do you have to get before you can consider Semi-Pro?

    And good luck
    I don't actually know - some clubs in my division already are, and apparently I have a wage budget of £1.7k a week - but I can never offer it, unless they're one of those players that are greyed out, or a regen. Bizzare. My ingame status also states the club as Semi-Pro - it's just baffling.

    Cheers, I'm confident I can win something this year.

  17. February '17

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-febresults.png

    6 games, 11 points, and an appearance in the FA Vase Semis to come. Luckily for me, my nearest competitor, Bemerton Heath, their star striker is now out for 5-6 weeks and when he doesn't play, they're useless. This means I'm now 9 points clear, but the FA Vase draw wasn't "sexy" at all - it was awful:

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-vase-semis.png

    Against a team from my division, that obliterated me less than a month ago? No thanks. The other two teams were midtable in their respective divisions, so this was the hardest draw possible.

    However our Semi appearance was only possible due to Ben Mackey, who seems to be a cup striker - he popped up again with the winner to send us closer to the final.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-qf-money.png

    £4.5k more in the bank, but unfortunately Jemal Wiseman, one of our stars, picked up a lengthy injury, keeping him out for most of the month.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-febxit.png

    It was bad news transfer wise, as my players' good performances started attracting other teams - and worse - other teams with money. Dan Cann wanted to leave so I was fine with it, but my two fullbacks were snatched away from me - and when I offered new deals, they wanted money I quite literally can't offer them.

    So I was left floundering for replacements, so I looked at the other teams who made it to the QFs with me - and I picked up Ross Sutton, a leftback. So I hadn't replaced everyyone....


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    Non-League: Verwood veer towards Vase as they enter Semi-Finals

    2 Hours ago / Neil Perrett / @neilperrettecho

    BOSS Jack Tanner hopes he can go one step further than the example he is comparing himself to - by taking Verwood into the FA Vase final, and better Tom Killick's attempt with Poole Town.

    Circumstances may play a huge part - according to Jack Tanner - "I think what really didn't help Poole was the fact the journey to Whitley Bay - all the way up north - set them back financially, especially compared to their opponents. Northern League teams are quite infamous for rejecting promotion to remain big fishes in smaller ponds, so Poole were always going to be up against it."

    "In comparison, AFC Porchester is just up the road - but the downside is they know all about us, and have beaten us recently."

    "Any local manager looks at Poole and Tom (Killick) and goes "That's what we should do" but it's a hard ask. The only other advantage Tom had over us is the fact his team was semi-pro - I've got lads playing for nothing, all of them. I think it should be a factor - but I won't let us pretend that we're the underdogs, because we've got quality."

    The Potters host Porchester in the First Leg, before travelling to their Wessex Premier Promotion rivals for the second. "I'm not really concerned where we get the goals to go through, just that they come."

    When quizzed about the two sides' chances of winning the League, Tanner said: "The ball is firmly in Bemerton's court. They've got experience, money, and more importantly, no cup distractions. If they don't win the league it will be a travesty for them."

  18. Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-sc.png
    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-fa-vase-2nd-leg.png
    Verwood Town came out on top against divisional rivals AFC Porchester in the FA Vase semi finals, thanks to a hat-trick for Tyrell Mitford.

    The Ex-Team Solent star struck just two minutes into the second leg to put the Potters 2-0 up on aggregate, before a brace in the second half made it certain that the Potters now have two major chances of silverware.

    Despite the result, boss Jack Tanner was left fuming by a shocking revelation - that the Potters won't have their trip to Wembley, despite being in the final.

    "It's a joke - but I don't see many people laughing, especially wearing red. The FA have just announced we'll be playing at home - but what happened to our Wembley day out?"

    "As soon as I saw it I was shocked. Apparently the FA Vase isn't pretty enough for the FA, and whilst I'm grateful we're hosting the final, it just takes a bit of the gleam off it. I've sold these lads a dream of going to Wembley - they've achieved just that, in theory, and on paper. The FA made no mention of this, not until the final minute."

    "We're getting TV Money, which is nice, but we're going to have a tiny crowd. We can't even play it during the regular season, so there's going to be a gap in between the end of the league season. The Wessex Prem has no playoffs, so if we lose the league, there's no distraction to pick my players up."

    "However, the one advantage is we can focus on the league now and make sure we do what we can to win us that title."

    "We're in a perfect position for two trophies out of two, I want to guarantee it, Wembley or not."

    The Potters received £6,000 for their victory.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-vasefinal.png

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-marchresults.png

    March '17

    Well, our cup run continues but our poor away form lets Bemerton in with a shout. Our draw with Sholing, relegation candidates, was made even worse when Kim Jae-Heon fractured his ribs, leaving him out until the Final.

    I rested a few players for the Fawley game, and it really showed. Luckily we bounced back in the second leg, before dispatching Team Solent, who look destined to be relegated. I should probably feel guilty - we've used them as a feeder club!

    At this point we still held our 7/10 point gap over Bemerton, a lead that kept on changing due to Bemerton having games postponed.

    We play them in April......


    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-marchsigns.png
    You'll probably recognise one of those names, and that is Ben Birch. Saffron had already knicked Lindsay off me, and I tried to resign him - they slapped money on his contract, and I was powerless. I got luckier with Ben Birch, who is a fantastic centre back. I needed him, but this point of the season is when I suffered a mass exodus. The two Bishop's Cleeve lads were regens (My youth intake was so shocking I didn't bother to take any pictures.)

    The downside of the awful intake? I set my assistant to auto sign them, which I presumed just handed them a £0 contract like everyone else. Nope, because apparently these are the only players you can pay. So I have a bunch of useless regens taking a total of £200 p/w until June, and I can't get rid. Plebs.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-marchouts.png

    Biggest name there should be Bobby Scott, who was one of my main strikers. Other big misses were Quaynor, Birch (Briefly) and Nathan Stamp, my versatility option. The only reason I care about Chico Ramos leaving is because of his awesome name.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-feb.png  

  19. End of Season

    Well here is when the men are separated from the boys, and where legends can appear out of nowhere. The Wessex League edged over into May, so I thought I'd wrap up the whole year here. With two trophies on the line, will we achieve promotion and cup success. With no playoffs, there is only one way out of this league - by winning it.

    Confidence should have been flying high after reaching the Vase final, and a late draw against Bashley saw another positive performance. We only scraped a draw at lowly Moneyfields (who would be relegated) and we narrowly edged out Hamworthy, keeping our lead relatively intact. At this point, with three games to play, we were seven points clear - and we knew if we drew with 2nd placed Bemerton in our next game, we were champions.

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-earlyapril.png

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-bemertonhome.png

    A Nick Grimes own goal meant we would have to look for a result against Newport - as it seriously looked like we might bottle it. Into the penultimate game of the season, infront of a home crowd - could we seal it in style? Luckily the Bournemouth Echo rocked up to cover the game:

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-echoheadline.png

    Non-League: Verwood Crowned Wessex League Champions Despite defeat

    Jack Tanner might have been mistaken for someone whose side had lost a league title - but the Potters' boss has made his debut season one to remember.

    Tanner told the Daily Echo: “To win the league in this fashion is something I can attach much pride to, I must admit. To win only one of your final six games is a travesty, no matter your league position.”

    “It felt at times we lacked the mentality and the strength, mentally, to achieve our ambitions, and that doesn’t bode well for the Vase final. We’ve now got a lengthy lull where we haven’t won for a few games – and I’ve got to turn that into a win, in a high pressure game.”

    Whilst the Potters couldn’t overcome lowly Newport (IoW) at home, Bemerton suffered a similar collapse at the hands of Cowes, being sunk by two second half goals in two minutes.

    “The only positive is that we were the best team in the league over 42 games, so a slump like this just takes the gloss off of it. We need to rebuild for the Vase, and then for next year, because staying in the Southern League will be a challenge.”

    “It’s disappointing seeing players being lured away by money, especially when we’re so close to an achievement few have celebrated before. I mean, I’ve always allowed players to treat us as a stepping stone, but most of them are just stepping sideways. I mean, that’s how I feel. I wish those departing players the best of luck in their future endeavours.”

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-eossignings.png Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-eosexits.png

    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-sc.png


    Verwood on the Verge of Greatness - Wessex League to Wembley-vaseinal2.png

    Jamil Roberts will be lauded as the Potters' Vase hero after scoring the sole goal of the final, but it could have been much more comfortable according to boss Jack Tanner.

    "When you've hit the woodwork, missed a penalty, and generally controlled the game, you get this feeling that the script has been written and it just won't be in your favour. At that point you're looking for someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, and that's exactly what Jamil has done."

    When asked how his side compared to previous Wessex League winners, Tanner replied "I think, when you compare us to Poole and Salisbury, that you have to take into account we're still amateur. Those teams, especially Salisbury, had a bit of spending power to send them up - and we've done it with nothing, and gone one step further than both clubs."

    Both Poole and Salisbury were FA Vase semi- finalists during their Wessex stints, and with Verwood becoming one of only three teams to do the Wessex League- Vase double (After Winchester 05' and Sholing 14') there must be some claiming that the side were one of the best to grace the league. But Tanner was having none of that, stating: "It must seem highly critical, but we were never going to be close the record points total set by Poole. We lacked something special about us, and whilst we've really limped over the finish line, there was no one really pushing us hard all year. It was just a very lacklustre campaign - the sides who chucked money at it failed, offering chances for ourselves to take top spot."

    Verwood received £10,000 in television money, £35,000 for winning the FA Vase, and £2,500 for the League title. "Hopefully we can start offering money for players, because I think their patience is starting to thin."
    Last edited by HalRobsonKanu Enthusiast; 07/01/2017 at 11:46 PM.

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