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LLM: Altrincham, Barrow and Vauxhall!

Three friends playing FM14
Started on 6 July 2014 by endipau
Latest Reply on 25 July 2014 by endipau
  • POSTS17
  • VIEWS9082
endipau's avatar Group endipau
10 yearsEdited

So, after both reading and watching a whole lot of Football Manager stories I’ve decided to write my own story. What I hope will make this different from other stories, is that I will be playing with two mates 

We are three guys from Norway that have been playing Football manager together on a regular basis since FM 2010. We have always played it the same way, LLM in England. This is just the way of playing we find the most fun. I don’t think anyone of us considers them self to be experts of the game, so you should think we are either ;). When I compare how we play to guys on forums and YouTube we probably do a lot of mistakes, but that is OK for us, we are having fun and that what matters! :D

The story will get updated every now and then. We don’t have the possibility to play each day due to other commitments on the spare time and we do need all three to continue. We are not really looking for tips and hints as to what we can do / should do, but more interested in trying to give you guys a good story, but we will of course love comments! The story will be posted on multiple forums and it will continue on the forums where people are interested in it.

All three of us will be starting in Conference North (England) and we have selected the following teams; Altrincham, Barrow and Vauxhall. So a bit of a spread when it comes to the teams financial status and player abilities.

To start off, I've just made a quick comparison of the clubs status as we start the game. In case you are wondering, we are playing with a big database where we added players from UK and Ireland. Previously games we have gone for really large database with players from all of Europe and other continent, but the game will run really slow, so this time we start off with a smaller database, about 36*000 players and staff. We also start as Sunday League footballers.

Club______________|_Altrincham (Roald)_|__Barrow (Endre).__|__Vauxhall (Hansi)____|
Predicted to finish.__|_______1_________|_______11________|________21_________|
Stadium___________|____Moss Lane.____|___Holker Street___|____Rivacre Park_____|
Stadium Capacity___|.6085 (1154 seated).|4416 (1000 seated)|__3500 (266 seated)__|
Training facilities.___|__Below average.___|__Below average.__|_______Poor.________|
Youth Facilities_____|______Basic_______|______Basic.______|_______Basic________|
Estimated Value____|_______550K.______|______300K_______|_______150K________|
Transfer budget.____|_________0K.______|________0K_______|_________0K________|
Wage budget.______|_______5,6K.______|______.3,2K_______|_______1,5K________|
Current wages._____|_______5,6K.______|______.2,9K_______|_______1,4K________|
Best GK___________|__Stuart Coburn____|__Tony McMillan.___|__Zak Jones.________|
Best DL___________|__Mike Williams____|__Paul Edwards.____|__Andy Nicholas______|
Best DR___________|__Shaun Densmore.__|_Andrew Burns..___|__Stephen Wainwright_|
Best DC___________|__Scott Leather____|__Duran Reynolds.__|__Tom Hannigan_______|
Best DM.__________|__Carl Rodgers_____|__Richard Davies___|__MatthewWilliams.___|
Best ML/AML.______|__Nicky Clee_______|__Ted Cribley______|__Louis Barnes_______|
Best MR/AMR.______|__Greg Wilkinson___|__Alex Meechan..___|__Karl Clair_________|
Best MC/AMC.______|__Simon Richman___|__Alex-Ray Harvey._|__Tom Rutter.________|
Best ST___________|__Damien Reeves.___|__Nicholas Rushton.|__Jordan Rugg._______|

*Best players are based on Assistant managers reports

My initial predictions are that Altrincham will make good use of the strong squad. If their manager can manage to free up some wage budget and sign even better players, he will be off to a good start of the game. Will fight for promotion in the end.

I do not think that either of Barrow and Vauxhall will manage to win promotion the first season. Top half at best and in worst case fight against relegation (Experience from previous games)

I’ve not listed transfers and tactic yet, but what are you guys initial thoughts?
good luck mate! damien reeves is an absolute LLM beast on FM13, not sure about 14 though. So are you choosing what team?
Thank you!

Yeah, we have seen what Damien Reeves can do before ;). Altrincham acctualy have 3-4 strikers that are rather good.

I will be playing Barrow myself. So I will be the middle guy when it comes to club status / economy :)
Omg! I'm from Barrow <3 we will get promoted! By the way, in real life we had a takeover and now will have £2 million over 2 years to try get us into League 2 / top Skrill Premier side:)
Watch out for Vauxhall, their strikers know how to have high-scoring seasons on FM :P
2014-07-06 12:37#183061 ChloeAJLee : Omg! I'm from Barrow <3 we will get promoted! By the way, in real life we had a takeover and now will have £2 million over 2 years to try get us into League 2 / top Skrill Premier side:)

Awsome, do you watch their matches as well? Anyway, don't expect to much from Barrow the first season in our game, i've har bad luck with them before ;). £2 millions, that is a lot! no wonder they managed to sign Jason Walker back to the club. He was so good for Barrow in Football manager 2011, loved him! Hope he is just as good in FM 2015 :)

2014-07-06 12:40#183064 Justice : Watch out for Vauxhall, their strikers know how to have high-scoring seasons on FM :P

The guy playing Vauxhall, Hansi, Has done very well with the team earlier. Even with really low wage budget.
Interesting :) I've had my own fling with Vauxhall in FM13 garnering over 15 seasons with them, having made them European & World champions. I'm hoping Hansi can do the same :P

The team tactics have been created

All of us pretty much decide the tactic on day one. It is a combination of fitting tactics to the players and fitting players to the tactic. We have preferred tactics that we like to use and try to play them as best we can. I sort the tactics in the order I think they will be used by the different teams. As for any game, the tactics are up for changes if we don't get get the wanted results ;)

4-2-2-2: In our games, this has been the classic tactics for Roald. With excellent strikers and good Offensive wingers already in the club this will fit Altrincham well.
4-2-2-2: A lot like the other tactic, just with two defensive midfielders and less offensive wingers.

I normally play a very narrow tactic without wingers. But I want to score more goals, so i will try with some less narrow tactics
4-3-1-3-1: This will probably be the main tactic.
4-1-2-1-2: A narrower tactic. Barrow does not have the best wingers so might end up playing like this.
4-4-2: Standard tactic, nothing fancy. Players know this formation so nice to have in backhand in case the two first fails.

4-4-2: Most well known tactic. He has used this with a lot of luck earlier
4-2-2-2: Same as Atrincham, more offensvive version of the normal 4-4-2

I wanted to try a new tactic with Barrow that i've seen other stories used but never tried before. You might notice that Altrinchams defensive tactics seems to be a downloaded tactic, but for us this is OK. So you dont have to worry about it. After my experience, downloaded tactics normally does not work to well LLM :)

Are there any tactics you guys belive in more then others here? Or some that will be rubish?

Im hoping my two friends can drop by every now and then for some comments as well. I don't want it to be to Barrow centered story :)

What do you guys want in the next updated, Friendly matches or transfers? I will write about both, just wondering what is the most interesting to read

FYI: The game has progressed a bit more then the updates i will give. I will stay a bit behind the actual game since i might need some buffer. It can happen that we dont get to play for a whole week, but I want to be able to updatet the story :)

Friendlies, the first early test of the teams during the warmup for the next (For us first) season in Conference North. We don't Control the friendlies our self, that is left for the assistant to do.

Our assistants will also arrange friendlies for the next season(s?) as well. We used to arrange friendlies our self, but figured out we could invite e.g. Real Madrid for friendlies and they would always accept. This was atleast in earlier version a good way to make money, but we did feel this was more an exploit of the game then anything else. We then started to wait for other teams to invite us for friendlies instead, but this was really unbalanced. Sometime nobody would invite us, and that is no good. So we figured out that the most fair thing to do is to let the Assistant manager handle the arrangement of friendlies. For what it is worth, we allow our self to play as much as we like against out own youth teams, U21 and U18.

Altrinchams friendlies summary:

Altrincham 5 - 1 Altrincham U21
Altrincham 4 – 7 Hibernian
Altrincham 0 – 6 Tranmere
Altrincham 3 – 2 Leeds U21
Tamworth 0 – 2 Altrincham
Altrincham 2 – 4 Man Udt U21
Abbey Hey 0 – 1 Altrincham
Trafford 0 – 5 Altrincham

First of, 5-1 against own youth team. We consider this very good, as we very often either draw og loose this first friendly game. Altrincham suffered three big losses, against Hibernian, Tranmere and Man Utd U21. But when we compare players on the teams, the opposition is way stronger. I am impressed that Altrincham scored a total of 6 goals against does teams. The only game Altrincham did not score in was the 6-0 loss against Tranmere. This shows that Altrincham knows where the goals is!

Top scorer friendlies: Kyle Perry (5 goals)
Top Assists: Nicky clee (4 assists)

It is worth nothing that Damien Reeves did not score any goals, he ended up with 1 assist.

Barrow Friendlies Summary:

Barrow 2 – 1 Barrow U21
Barrow 0 – 3 Bolton U21
Barrow 1 – 2 Wolves U21
Barrow 1 – 1 Hamilton
Barrow 2 – 1 Blackburn U21
Barrow 1 – 2 Wigan U21
Barrow 0 – 1 Barrow U21
Burscough 2 – 2 Barrow
Lancaster 0 – 2 Barrow

Also Barrow won the first game against the U21 youth team. The sad part is thats one of just three victories in the friendlies. Two draws and four losses. The youth teams have players witch are in general better then Barrow players, so I don't feel that bad. The 0-1 loss against my own U21 team on the other hand hurts a bit. Unlike Altrincham, Barrow never scored or conceded a lot of goals. Scored 11 goals in 9 games and conceded 12. Hope we can score more when the season starts.

Top scorer friendlies: Phil Marsh (4 goals)
Top Assists: Dan Parkinson (3 assists)

On a general basis, most friendlies ended with players on moderate ratings. I hope they can perform better when the real matches kicks off!

Vauxhall Friendlies Summary:

Vauxhall 3 – 2 Vauxhall U21
Vauxhall 0 – 7 Kilmarnock
Bamber Bridge 1 – 0 Vauxhall
Vauxhall 3 – 0 Vauxhall U18
Hyde 1 – 2 Vauxhall
Vauxhall 2 – 1 Vauxhall U21
Vauxhall 4 – 3 Rhyl
Vauxhall 0 – 6 Tranmere
Vauxhall 1 – 1 Chorley
Vauxhall 4 – 1 Liverpool AFC
Chirk 0 – 1 Vauxhall

And we have a hattrick in victories over the youth team in the first friendlies. This has never happened in any of our games before that I can recall XD. Vauxhall had two pretty bad losses but other then that it dosn't look to bad. Just like Altrincham they got smashed by Tranmere, which of course plays in a higher league. They had a few games where they managed to score quite a few goals, which are good. They struggle to keep a clean sheet though, just like Barrow.

Top scorer friendlies: James Spray (6 goals)
Top Assists: Rodney Jack (4 assists)

James Spray looks like an interesting talent. Physicly strong player. But Tom Rutter will also be interesting to watch throughout the season.

Transfers is one of my personal favorite areas of the game, especially the first season. Trying to figure out what players to keep and who is a waste of money. Locating that one player that will make the difference and help you exceed expectations. Forming the squad to fit your play style, everything, you have to love this. I can’t guarantee that any of us have made any great signing, what I can guarantee is that some signings will be a great disappointment!

Inn the next few posts I will give you a quick overview over each teams transfers :)
endipau's avatar Group endipau
10 yearsEdited

Dany Boshell______MC
Stuart Coburn_____GK
Brian Smikle___MR/MC/ML
Adam Griffin_____DL/ML
All of youth

Some players has left Altrincham in order to increase the margin between wage budget and current wages. This includes all of the youth players. They are just not good enough to keep them on a contract. Two of the players are older payers on the way down in their career, the other two I assume Altrincham can replace with stronger players.

Name__________Position___Age___Wages (£)
Brice Irie-Brie______MC_____21_____190
Matty Edwards_____GK_____22_____190
Paul Scott_______DC/DR____34_____350
Jamie Farmer______GK_____20_____50
Josh Barton______MR/DR___19_____190
Jimmy Sangare___DC/DR___29_____350
Jonathan Wafula___MC/MR__19_____150
Alex-Ray Harvey__MC/MR/ML_22____350
Reece Flanagan____MC_____18_____NA (Loan)
Matthew Preston____DC_____18_____NA (Loan)
Kieron Morris_______ML_____19_____NA (Loan)

Transfer review:
Mainly young players, most of them strong enough to make a good impact already in the first season. If these guys can develop more they will be interesting to follow. Alex-Ray Harvey was signed from Barrow as they where not able to keep him with them anyways. Brice Irie-Brie looks like a really nice player and he does not cost to much.

Most of the players that's been signed are specialized in one position on the pitch. Some players are on high wages, but they will most likely fit into the starting 11.

Current Wages: £ 6,699
Budget Wages: £5,625
Available: £-1074

Busted the wage budget by quite a lot! The clubs balance at the start of the season is just short of £150K

All youth
Alex-Ray Harvey___MC/ML/MR

Loosing Alex-Ray Harvey before the season starts is a big blow. He was probably the strongest player in the squad when looking at stats. He is also young and would last a few years. To bad he was not on a contract when the game started and it was not possible to give him what he wanted. Youth players were rubbish, so they got the boot.

Matthew Cassidy_______MC/DR____24_____180
Matthew Boland__________MC_____20_____NA
Mansour Assouimani______DC_____30_____250
Jack Gwilliams___________ML_____18_____250
David Maguire____________GK_____22_____NA
Michael Laws____________DC_____30_____NA
Doyle Middleton__________MC_____19_____NA
David De Oliveira_______MC/MR____29_____NA
Simon Harrison________MC/MR____24_____NA

Unlike the two other teams, Barrow signed most players on a non-contract. This was done to not overshoot the wage budget to bad. Mostly young players. Maybe I should have signed some more routine, but I was a bit short on resurces. I am really happy I managed to sign Mansour Assouimani, I think we will be really good for me. A solid and experienced central defender. David Maguire is not the no.1 GK in the league, but I wanted to sign a new GK since the current one has really high eccentricity. Most are avarage players, but I hope they can perform good and improve even more before the next season. Jack Gwilliams is rated to be a decent league 2 player. So I hope he can make an impact now and in the future.

Current Wages: £ 3,990
Budget Wages: £3,149
Available: £-841

Also Barrow busted the wage budget by quite a lot! The clubs balance at the start of the season is £26K. So I will probably be hitting red in the not to distant future. As for the wage budget, I am planing to get this down mid season when I have a better overview of witch players perform and who is not needed.

Zak Jones___________GK
Gary Martindale______STC
Owen Davies_________MR
Aron Ray____________STC
Lloud Ellams______STC/MR/ML
Matty Koslyo______STC/MR/ML

Vauxhall sold their GK, but as we will see lower down, they bought in replacements. Other then that it was mostly young players released from their contract. I am guessing they where non-contracted and Vauxhall just didn’t want to keep them.

Sam Ramsbottom______GK_________18__________NA
Moses Barnet________DL/DC________22__________240
Michael Brough_______MC/DC_______32__________95
Famoud Sonki_________ML_________32__________250
John Grant___________STC_________32__________250
Will McCall__________ML/DL________21__________120
Andre Francis________MR/DR_______28__________250
Decio Gomes________DC/MC_______29__________250
Rob Davies__________MC/MR_______26__________100
Paul Jones____________DC_________35__________210
Jordan Belcher_________GK_________17__________35
Jeff Whitley____________MC________34__________170
Willy Guerte___________GK________40__________220
Djeny Bembo-Leta____STC/MR______21__________240
James Spray__________STC________20__________250
Graham Ward________ML/MC_______30__________110
Rodney Jack_______MR/ML/STC_____40__________275
Phil Midworth_______DR/DC/DL______28__________250

Soooo....Vauxhall basicly sign a whole new team, with a total of 18 signings! Not all of them look like they are going to play very much the first season. Im guessing they where signed as talents with the future in mind. There are quite a few older players, but most are young / mid twenties. So it looks like Vauxhall is trying to balance out experience and youth. I think James Spray looks like a really exiting signing. He is young, but already looks like he can be a very good target man for this level. Other then him, I don't think any players sticks out a lot.

Current Wages: £ 5,701
Budget Wages: £1,575
Available: £-4,126

I am lacking words for this. Vauxhall has managed to just rip the wage budget appart. Have you guys ever seen someone that was able to use this much more then the budget? I would assume the board would stop the signings, but not for Vauxhall. Current wages is more then 3,5 times more then budget. This may strike a serious blow for the Vauxhall economy. Maybe he is hoping for promotion the first season?

Current balance: £-26K. And I think this will only get worse. Will be interesting to see how this will develop as the season(s) go on.
That was it for the transfers. What do you guys think? Did we do good/OK/Poorly? :)
The first games of the season are completed, with mixed luck. One thing all three had in common is that we at some point of the game where 2-0 down... Thing were not looking good.

Worchester 2 - 2 Altrincham

As the only team of the three Altrincham started with an away game. In a very even game, Worchester managed to first get 1-0 after 13 minutes, before double the score two minutes before half time. Altrincham probalby did some changes in the break, but it took 22 minutes into the second half to score the 2-1 goal. Five minutes later Altrincham equalized, 2-2, which also ended up as the final score.

Player rating ++

Barrow 3 - 2 Brackley

Barrow had an even worse start to the game, 1-0 down at home after just five minutes and 2-0 after 15 minutes. This early in the game things were looking really dark. Some tactical changes even out the game a bit and luckily Barrow got a goal 10 minutes before half-time. Second half was also a close game, but Barrow pulled the longest straw. The equalizer came in the 70. min before the 3-2 lead was scored in the 79. min. No more goals the last 11 minutes. I am really pleased that Nicholas Rushton starting the season with two goals.

Player rating ++

Vauxhall 1 - 3 Gainsborough

Just like the two other teams, Vauxhall also had a rough start to the game, 1-0 after 25 min, 2-0 after 32 min. The difference is that Barrow and Altrincham turned the game around. Instead for vauxhall goal Gainsbourough increase to 3-0. Vauxhall managed to get a goal in the 4. minute with Tom Rutter. Looking at the stats for the game, Vauxhall has any right to not be pleased. The game was very even and maybe Vauxhall created the most chances.

Player rating ++

I will not go this much into details for the other matches. I just wanted to write some more about the first of the season. I will probably cover special games like against each other more as well.

I also hope that we can pick up some more comments as the season has started and we will start to see the results of our work.

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