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Lower League Management - Finally Cracked?

Started on 29 May 2014 by Bantams
Latest Reply on 9 June 2014 by Walter
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Bantams's avatar Group Bantams
9 yearsEdited

Lower League Management – Finally Cracked?

When I load up football manager to start a new game I have always gone for the higher league teams up until now. I've done this ever since I started really taking interest in the Football Manager Series in 2009. But one thing I often overlooked in the game was Lower League Management, It never really tickled my fancy. I've had a couple of half-arsed attempts at managing my local side Bradford when they used to be in League Two with super Nahki Wells but ever since them going into League 1 I hadn't bothered.

I've been reading a couple of the Lower League Management Stories on this site, the likes of Justice & Josh doing very well in their saves and also that of BartS. Which teaches you all the nitty gritty things about managing a club at the foot of the English pyramid, throw that together with just about every guide out there on the web and I’m at a stage now where I am comfortable to attempt and to also document a LLM story.

So who will I be?

I took a very good look around the Skrill Premier and the Skrill N/S and have decided that I’ll be managing Kidderminster Harriers for this challenge, they have everything required to become a great team. An ambitious chairman, relatively healthy finances, stadium and facilities that can be worked on.

Who will I be playing as?

I will be playing as current manager and former Coventry manager Andy Thorn. Thorn is a manager I have a lot of time for and you have to feel sorry for the way it all happened at Coventry for him. He did a remarkable job this season in real life managing to have a very successful cup run in the FA cup by a Non-league side’s standards and he will of no doubt helped the clubs finances with such performances.

I have also set myself the following targets:
  • Reach the Football League
  • Promotion from League 2
  • Promotion from League 1
  • Promotion from the Championship
  • Eventually win the Barclays Premier League
  • Win the FA Cup
  • Win the Carling Cup
  • Qualify for a Continental Competition
I hope you are all going to join me for the ride, hopefully I’ll be able to complete these challenges and this is a story that I will be putting a lot of time and effort in so I hope you all enjoy!
I hope you stick to this story, as LLM saves are really fun! Good luck!
Thanks Josh, and don't worry I will be doing, I'm already some way into this save and I'm loving the lower league management so I definitely will be sticking with it :P
Bantams's avatar Group Bantams
9 yearsEdited

Lower League Management – Finally Cracked?


I met up with the chairman to discuss this year’s agenda, he was very clear about what he expected from me... Promotion from this league.

I've got a £20,000 budget to work with and I have £3000 to spend on wages to bring in some quality and help push towards our goals this season. I was shocked to have been given such a healthy backing in all fairness but I wasn't planning on spending a penny of that £20k, the only players I’ll be looking to bring in are free transfers and loans.

After the meeting with the chairman I sat down just before the meeting with my backroom staff that I inherited when I joined, not many of them seem to have a clue, nor are they at the standard of which I need to really turn this team into a force. I’m going to have to look at using up that wage bill on a staff revamp, I don’t want to run over any though, I want to finish the season in the black not the red!


Due to being in the Skrill Prem and not having the best talent in the world at my disposal, I decided to keep it simple with the tactics, I drew up two for the season and this was going to be the key to any success we have so it needs to be perfect.

First up is a simple 4-5-1, four defenders (two traditional center-backs and 2 traditional full backs, nothing fancy. They’re just there to do their jobs and nothing else, the center-half's to keep the strikers at bay and the full backs to keep the wingers quiet and provide support for the wingers.

In midfield we have three players, a defensive midfielder his job is to sit there and not let anything get past or through him. And the other two are CM’s playing the role of a defensive deep lying play-maker and the other as a box to box midfielder helping the defensive line out and looking to start attacks.

Two wingers, looking from what we have down the left at the club there isn't much they offer in attack so they will play a supportive winger role, their jobs being to get the balls whipped in for the Striker to hit home. The right sided winger’s duty will be to attack and to push up and almost play as a second striker, he has the option to shoot on sight but also has to be sensible enough to know when to pass or cross too, we don’t currently have anybody in to play this role but I am looking at a couple of names at the moment.

The sole striker will be our main hub for goals, he will play as a target man and look to hold the ball up to bring others into play and also expected to get in the box for those crosses and squared balls to put into the net.

The type of football I want us to play is a more direct rigid style of play, hoof the ball up towards the wingers and the target man and look to go on from there, we will go out with an attacking mentality every game too, in this league it’s just about outscoring your opponents, but we need a good balance at the back too, in order to make this easier for us in games.

The other formation is just a simple 4-4-2, nothing fancy at all just a backup option if it’s ever needed if we need to push for a goal late on.

I already have two targets in mind, we already have a very good squad here so I don’t want to be making many changes. We could do with a bit more quality down the left hand side of defence and someone to play on the right wing in the main tactic. Once we have players for this we are all set and ready for the season ahead. Hopefully a promotion is on the cards this time around...
Very nice update, I use the same tactic as you lol, except I prefer my forward to be a DLF rather than a TM. Anyway, very well written!
Great minds think alike ey? I use the Target Man because it suits the players here, we dont really have a striker with pace, just someone who can be hit long and bully his way into the box to score a goal :P
gl, will follow
A great start to the story. I love LLM stories so will definitely be following your journey!

Two Join Kidderminster

SSN can officially confirm that Kidderminster Harriers have completed the signings of left back Lee Naylor (free) and winger Michael Coulson (loan)

Lee Naylor joins for on a free due to his contract running out last term, it is reported that he has taken a hefty pay cut in order to find himself first team football for this term, and he has reported how delighted he was that a manager like Andy Thorn still has faith in him to come in and do a job, he had this to say:

"Look when you get to the age I am and you're wanting to get first team football, you may either have to change position or drop down to a low league. That isn't the case here, the gaffer rang me up and said he needed to add a player who can offer something down the left hand side, and I'm honored that he came in for me. I'm 33 now and I wasn't expecting to even be playing football this year but I'm glad that my future is sorted and that I have at least one more season in me!"

The Harrier's other signing is that of York City's Michael Coulson on a loan signing with the option to buy at any point, Michael has recently spoken out about his joy of being able to get first team football and had this to say:

"For me it was a no brainer, I wasn't going to be getting much football at York this season so I was put up for loan and Kidderminster came knocking, I wasn't going to turn down the chance to go there and play under Thorn. I know that if I play to the best of my ability then there is no reason that I can't prove my doubters wrong, and maybe even help this team claim promotion, then who knows? I may even end up staying here long term!"

Andy Thorn has also expressed his delight at bringing in the two new faces:

"I'm glad I'v been presented with this opportunity, they are two cracking players with a lot to offer us going forward. We hadn't had to bust the bank to bring either in, the only money we're spending is on Lee Naylor's wages, and that isn't even a lot. Also with Michael's loan it offers us flexibility going forward, if he's successful here then we can get him on a permanent basis on the cheap so it benefits us hugely!
Basola - Cheers Mate, I hope to impress! :)

Jamesg237 - Thanks James! Appreciate the comment and glad to have you on board, hopefully I don't disappoint! :P

Massive thanks to Josh_MU for the banner also, amazing graphics as per usual from him! :)
Two good signings there. I've used Naylor before in a LLM save, very solid player. Interested to see how Michael Coulson does!
Coulson is quite the player, from past experience playing against him. Great captures :)
Josh_MU - Naylor's a pretty solid player for this level so even though he's old he can still do the business and I've played a fair way ahead and Coulson is an animal!

Justice - Thanks for the comment, and indeed he is mate! He has been in devastating form this season as you'll see over the next few updates!
Bantams's avatar Group Bantams
9 yearsEdited

August - October Results

We started the season magnificently, only losing one game out of seventeen! We have defended magnificently to start off the campaign and we have been in fine form infront of goal too! We have done everything required of us so far in terms of going for promotion and hopefully the form can continue into November and onwards!

Another pleasing factor is that we have qualified for the FA Cup, after beating Boston Utd 3-0! The draw sees us come up against Oldham who are currently playing in League 1. So it will no doubt be a tricky fixture and having the Home advantage could prove to be very important and should we win it will also put us on the map for knocking a team out two divisions higher than ourselves. It would be fantastic to go on a cup run as it would help the finances copious amounts and that means we'll be able to upgrade the facilities and the playing surface because it is looking a little bit worse for wear!

Player of the Segment

As far as picking a standout player so far it proved to be a very tough task indeed, but I have decided that it is going to be three players this time, not just the one Danny Lewis, Michael Coulson & Michael Gash for the following reasons:

Danny Lewis

The lad has been in incredible form so far this season managing to keep 12 clean sheets from the opening 17 games in all competitions, he has done what is asked of him on the rare occasion that the defence were beaten and made some very smart and also some fantastic saves to keep out opposition.

Michael Coulson

Michael has come in from York on loan, and he looks like he's one of our own! He's settled in fantastically and he's almost immediately established himself as one of the key players here at the club! He has been in scintillating form down the right for us assisting many goals and also scoring an incredible total of 7 goals including the one hat-trick against Alfreton to win us the game.

Michael Gash

Just like the other Michael, Gash has been in superb form in front of goal so far this term. He has won just about every aerial duel there has been so far and also has been prolific in front of goal. He's our main target man but he's also clever with his feet and he's chipped in with a couple of goals from his feet and also a bucket full from his head. He had a quite start due to him finding his feet but now he has burst out of his shell and is in predator like form in front of goal scoring a impressive total of 9 goals
Lovely update style! A great period in your first few months, promotion is on!

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