From Cows to Crowns

  1. From Cows to Crowns

    Greeting and welcome to From Cows to Crowns the FM story of working our way up from a semi-professional position to running the best team in the world. It will be a long slog, but we will get there together.

    Just a preview of what is ahead. This story will focus on team dynamics, tactics, and the overall storyline of the team's progress through each season, and my way of climbing up the ranks to football manager fame and glory. This story will not focus on a game by game play by play. If you want see how individual games are played you can check out my YouTube channel, but this story will stand on its own without that.

    As I begin writing this story I am four games from the end of my first season. So it will begin by talking about what lead us to where we are now and then we will progress into the future together. I may be vague at first and I don't have screenshots of the early days as I did not decide to write the story until now. To see more detail I will refer to relevant YouTube videos to show a more complete picture of the squad and individuals.

    Chapter 1 Decisions

    We begin our journey in the lowest levels of the Scottish leagues. As a manager we have set our sights on one day leading the likes of the mighty Manchester United, but today we take over Cowdenbeath. A semi-professional outfit that is doing quite well in Ladbrooks League 2, but very much desires a spot in League 1. The board is just asking for a playoff spot this season, and I agree to the projection not wanting to risk my first job too much without seeing the team play first.

    After reviewing the team and experimenting in a couple of friendlies I came to a hard decision. I could meet the board's projection for a playoff spot by building the team from under. Improving the defenses and getting in a decent striker that could carry us through next season, or I could wreck this team's next season and win the league by focusing on aggressive attacking football, players at their best now, powerful loan players, and going to the very edge of the budget with no eye to the future. If I chose the second route then I would have to get picked up by a different team the following year as there would be little chance for recovery.

    Wrecking teams is not what I do, however I really want to be a professional manager so I am going to sacrifice Cowdenbeath to the alter of my success, and they will love me for it.


    Chapter 2 Meet the Players

    What forced me into my hard decision to sacrifice the team's future to the goddess of victory was the overall player makeup. We have 6 great players in the league, and then we have. . .everyone else. The majority of my team sitting at about 2 star ability while I have a few shinning stars. I will go over the shinning stars here, and if you want to see the full team check out the linked video, where I go over the initial setup for the entire save and first season.

    Dean Brett

    A fullback on the right, and star man of the team. He is world class at free kicks, amazing at penalties, and has excellent corner taking abilities. Add into that decent tackling, crossing, a high work rate, aggression and bravery and you have a 23 year old dynamo. He would be a comfortable start for most Ladbrook Championship sides. However this player has an attitude from the start. A high value player that shows from day one he doesn't respect me as a manager and has little intention of sticking with the team.

    Nikolay Todorov

    19 years old, 6'5'', excellent heading, decent finishing, and good vision. A target man that is on loan from hearts until the January window. This kid is destined for goal scorring glory as the team's target man.

    David McGurn
    at 35 years old, sitting in the goal is our team's captain. With good leadership, experience, and most importantly some great shot stopping.
    McGurn's ability in goal may be what we need to fund a real attacking formation for the season.

    Chris Turner
    A 29 year old midfielder that works well in multiple roles. What he lacks in physical's and technicals he makes up for in mentals abilities. His composure, determination, and vision could lead this team going forward. He also provides decent leadership to the midfield.

    Lewis Moore
    Another loaner, till the end of the season. 18 years old, fast, agile, excellent dribbling and technique. If this kid learns to cross and finish he will be the star in a premiership team one day. For now his presence almost requires us to use a formation involving wingers.

    Aaron Murrell
    Loaner number 3, we have him until January. 18 year old with bags of pace, excellent off the ball and all the first touch, finishing, and heading you could ask for at this level. He will join Todorov as a primary goal scorer this year.

    The Rest
    The rest of the squad is underwhelming. A slow defensive line with poor heading. The other midfielders have a low work rate and poor technicals. There are no other real strikers so we must rely on our loans.

    Chapter 3 The plan and progress

    We run an aggressive 424 with target man, poacher, and 2 wingers. The midfield has a box to box and central midfeilder on support. The flat back line runs 2 wingbacks and 2 central defenders. We rely on heavy pressure to the front and an excellent goalkeeper for our leaky defense and then just hope our strikers know where to find the net.

    For the first half of the season we remain at the top of the league usually by the skin of our teeth. We have one of the leakiest defenses in the league, but by maintaining the top goal scoring with Murrell doing a great deal of work, and Brett making the most of dead ball situations we score 40 goals in our first 20 games. We have a slew of injuries sometime hitting key players like Todorov which keeps us from running away with the top of the league, but we maintain our position with many high scoring action packed games. The fans love it.

    By January we manage to extend the loans of Murrell and Todorov as well as bringing in a decent winger in the form of Monti to further enforce the attack strength of our team. Other transfers are aimed at shoring up our poor back line, but then disaster strikes.

    McGurn the goalkeeper we relied on so heavily all season is injured, and at 36 retires from the game. Snedden steps into goal, young and ill prepared and Chris Turner takes over the captaincy. Brett insists on leaving the team and gets the entire squad to back the move, and Turner refuses to support any decisions I make as manager. Refusing even to talk to players who are upset.

    Our team sits at the top of the table, complacent and with its morale in the pits. Then the unthinkable. Snedden our last goalkeeper is injured, out for 5 games. We have to rethink everything and put a 16 year old in goal. Our attack remains strong and even without a proper man in goal we manage to scrape a few draws.

    Chapter 4 The Now

    We are four games from the end of the season. We are two points ahead at the top of the table. We don't play any other top teams for the rest of the season and Sneddon is back in goal. Our fate is in our hands. This team is no good for next season. I did OK maintaining a budget, however we rely far to much on loans, and much of our talent wants to leave. We must win this season and ride that high to a new job hopefully with a fully professional team.

  2. Quite a fancy suit you got there.

  3. We can see you are going to be a very flamboyant manager from that outfit.

  4. Chapter 5

    Season 1 Complete

    With our last four matches on the horizon, we sit 2 points atop the league table. The team as I predicted is falling apart at the end of the season. I did nothing to build this team. I built a castle of goal scoring power atop shifting sands and poor defenses. Todorov and Murrell with proper support have dragged this team to this position, and are maintaining strong ability, but the team is crumbling behind them as players demand better management and Brett our key man in the back demands to leave the team. Others complain about no playing time in a team with no real chance to show the little depth that it has.

    Game 1 against Stirling 0-1
    No real chances for our side, our strikers never even see the ball near them.

    Game 2 against Abroath 0-2
    We are absolutely crushed and demoralized, we are down from the championship position we held for so long and now the little morale the team had left starts to crumble.

    Game 3 against Forfar 1-2
    We show spirit in this game but it sees us only another defeat we are two points down on the the table now with little hope left. Other teams will have to fail for a much needed win to see us as victors.

    Game 4 against Elgin City

    Spirits are low, but motivation is high. We need to hold at least a playoff position. The team comes out firing on all cylinders. Chance after chance is created and the goals are made. The unexpected happens. Everything goes our way! The top of the table can't pull it together we win the Championship! By what though? Not by points, no by goal difference. No it comes all the way down to results between teams

    A 2-1 victory against Elgin and we are on top of the world.

    From Cows to Crowns-fm-2017-02-03-13-58-03-178.jpg

    Shortly after I resign my position at the club and hope that the high this victory brings will launch me into a professional role elsewhere. I will be happy to leave Scotland behind me.

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