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Building a City...

Started on 24 October 2014 by Jamesg237
Latest Reply on 7 April 2015 by Jamesg237
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2014-10-30 23:54#197843 No1VillaFan : Grrrrrr you beat Leamington again! I think you are an awesome writer and your updates get better and better

Thanks for the kind words! I had to beat Leamington I am afraid; I had to end the season on a good note!

Play-Off Success?

So in my first season of Football Manager 15, I have managed to guide Boston United to the play-offs of the Vanarama Conference North. It is a great achievement, if I do say so myself, but the ultimate goal is now to win three more games and take them up to the Vanarama Conference which will be a huge step in the right direction for the club. It was new territory for the club, the players and me as I had never experienced the play-offs before on a football game.

(6) Boston United vs Stalybridge Celtic (2)

As you can see from the heading, we managed to progress from the semi final stage after demolishing Stalybridge Celtic in both legs of the tie. How we managed this I am not sure; the reason for my curiosity is that so far this season I have set the team up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with the focus on counter attacking football which allows teams to put us under a lot of pressure. I have been surprised; especially in this tie just how good we are at changing defence into attack. Despite setting the team instructions to encouraging short passing, this is something that the team ignores and instead they tend to hoof the ball up to the front men, who have been lethal all season (need I mention Marc Newsham again?). I have kept the instructions in place and have no intention of changing them but instead why fix something that clearly isn’t broken.

It was even more surprising as the two times we came up against Stalybridge this season saw us draw 1-1 and the team lost against them before I arrived at the club. You wouldn’t be blamed for not putting us down as favourites but our end to the season had been a lot more positive compared to Stalybridge’s. We were always going to win in my eyes, especially when Lewis Chambers, who I signed earlier in the season as a backup striker, finally got his first goal for the club. Once this event took place, I knew we were going to be reaching the final and I was confident of our chances.

Boston United vs Solihull Moors

Before telling you about the enthralling final I have to have a little moan about the final. After battling until the very end of the season, getting past Stalybridge Celtic in the semi final, I was looking forward to the final. As with Stalybridge Celtic we hadn’t had much success against Solihull in the league season and they had always been in and around us throughout the season. The issue was not that we had to play Solihull Moors, not that it was the tensest game I have ever experienced in football management but instead the final was played at York Street. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge of football stadia, it is the ground home to Boston United. That’s right; we had to play the final at our home stadium in front of our own fans. Despite this being an advantage to us, this made no sense to me. Ok I wasn’t expecting to be at Wembley Stadium in the final of the play-off of the 128th most respectable league in world football but I was expecting a mutual ground. This would have made it fairer for our opposition and would have emphasised the importance of the game to both sets of fans. They would have been able to enjoy a day out at a bigger ground and cheered their respective team to the goal, the play-off win.

As you can see from the result we have managed to achieve promotion to the Vanarama Conference after a very nervy end to the game that literally left me on the edge of my seat. It had been a very full game until the drama suddenly unfolded. Dayle Southwell, who has been on top form recently and would be in my top five players of the season, scored what looked like a winner until Omar Bogle replied with a neat finish of his own. We headed into extra time and I took a risk. I replaced Caine Winfarrah, who has been another great player this season, with the useless Lewis Chambers in order to refresh things in attack. This ultimately saw the legend that is Marc Newsham move to the wing. This decision was a poor one and was immediately corrected with the two players swapping positions. By this point Solihull had scored another goal to bring the game back level.

It did look for all of seven minutes of game time that Newsham was going to be our hero before Elvins shattered our dreams and scored at the end of the first half of extra time. We made the second half tenser was that we were forced to play with ten men after midfielder Conor Marshall was taken off with an injury. I had made all my substitutions, which led to me setting the team up to play on the counter attack. This resulted in Solihull throwing everything at us. Matthew Gledhill stood his ground and stopped shot after shot and really did keep us within a shout.

The penalty shootout was very difficult to watch, especially when it went to sudden death. The penalties just kept being put away until Matthew Gledhill, who I feel deserved a higher rating, became a hero and saved a penalty from the distraught Perry Cotton. The fans celebrated, the players ran all over the pitch until the game moved me onto the match summary screen. It was a great feeling and it ended what has been a fantastic first season for me at Boston United.
Great work on achieving promotion - and an extremely tense game to decide your fate, too, just what FM is about ;)
Great update mate. Well done on promotion. Good luck in the Conference.
Congratulations, a great first season! The pressure's on for next season now though... unless a new club comes in for you ;)
Walter:That game was the most tense I have ever been a part of! Great fun and what football is all about.

TonkaWolves115:Thank you very much. Hopefully we can sustain a couple of seasons in what will be a tough Conference.

Ziechael:The pressure is on but I am putting it on myself. The board will be happy with avoiding relegation I'm sure. That might be difficult to achieve but definitely going to give it my best shot.
very, very well deserved, its been a pleasure reading this story
2014-10-31 23:20#197969 No1VillaFan : very, very well deserved, its been a pleasure reading this story

As I have with yours! Thank you.
Brilliant playoff win, with so many goals in that extra time period! Now on to bigger and better things!! :D
2014-11-01 04:58#197986 Neal : Brilliant playoff win, with so many goals in that extra time period! Now on to bigger and better things!! :D

It was such a good win and really important for us to get promotion after such a good season.
Excellent work James, must have been a nerve racking game to watch though!
Good luck next year, let's hope for another great season :)
2014-11-01 22:05#198057 pompeyblue : Excellent work James, must have been a nerve racking game to watch though!
Good luck next year, let's hope for another great season :)

Literally on the edge of my seat! A brilliant game to watch and it ended how I wanted it to. It will be a difficult season in the Conference but can only put 100% into it and hope we can get some early points on the board. Thanks for following.

Preseason: Positive signs...

Of course you aren’t interested in how preseason went but instead you will more likely want to know what business I have managed to do in the transfer window. Last season we were one of the few teams who had depth at the club; meaning that we had nearly every position covered in the first team which did at times did involve using some of the under 21s/18s. However, the quality of the backup players was pretty dire and they didn’t put in any significant performances at all last season. There would have been a chance that if they had been given more game time that they could have improved and contributed significantly more but it was a difficult side to break into. Caine Winfarrah, Conor Marshall and Danny Meadows were always going to be in the midfield when fit. Liam Marrs, Scott Garner, Carl Piergianni and Rene Steer (formerly of Arsenal) were also my preferred back four and they all managed to avoid injury. Matthew Gledhill was always the first choice goalkeeper as Sam Vince was just atrocious every time that he was brought in as backup.

Unfortunately for a number of players they were deemed surplus to requirements at Boston United. If I’m honest I can’t remember playing Karlton Watson at any point during the season and it didn’t cost a thing to release him from his contract. Jordan McLeod had been brought in during the January transfer window as a free agent in order to provide backup for Marc Newsham and Dayle Southwell. Unfortunately for McLeod these two players remained injury free for the season which meant he didn’t get a look in. Before selecting him Lewis Chambers was a preferred option despite him not being much better than Jordan McLeod.

Billy Gibson kicked up a fuss earlier in the season, as did Jack Barlow about the lack of playing time. It got to the point where they constantly wanted to talk about their situation and despite using an assertive tone, they thought they were bigger than me and the club and felt that the rest of the players were well below par and below them. I totally disagree. The rest of the team played so well together and when they were given a chance in my early days at the club, they didn’t perform, resulting in them being shown the door for minimal compensation fees.

Jamie McGhee was a frustrating one as he didn’t seem to want to sign a new contract but instead wanted to move to a higher club. What is he expecting? Did he expect FC Barcelona or Real Madrid to come knocking on his door? Jog on fella! The lad wasn’t good enough for us never mind any “higher” club so good luck to him but he will probably be without a club for a long time. Although rumours are that our league rivals Stalybridge Celtic wanted him to sign on the dotted line.

So unless you are a follower of lower league football, which I have to admit that I am not, you may not recognise the names on the list of players who have joined me at Boston United. Well, apart from one. The signing of Lee Hendrie has been received with mixed reviews because he is now aged 38 and isn’t getting any younger and his “better” days are well and truly behind him. The reason I signed him was to add more depth, to add experience and admittedly because he didn’t cost anything and his wage demands are very low. He is the definition of journeyman with him, since his Aston Villa days where I remember him most from, being at sixteen clubs ranging from Stoke to Leicester to unknown Bandung FC. Hendrie will rarely feature but is not too bad a backup player who will be delighted at being given the chance to prolong his career by at least one more season.

With the departure of Sam Vince, Aaron Myles has been brought in to be the understudy to Matthew Gledhill. He is nineteen years of age and has joined us from Nottingham Forest. He will remain the second choice goalkeeper for the majority of the season but will be looked to step in during domestic cup games. They will be a good opportunity for him to have some game time and it will give Gledhill chance to rest and be more refreshed for the more important games.

Caine Winfarrah was at our club last season on loan from Grimsby Town. He doesn’t possess the best attributes but he does have age on his side and came up against teams that didn’t have the best players at their disposal. He came away with six goals, ten assists, three man of the match performances and an average rating of 7.05. In my opinion that more than justifies my decision to sign him on a permanent basis. He will immediately go back into the position that he made his last season, left midfield with freedom to run at the defence down the flanks. I hope that he pays back the faith I have shown in him and picks up from where he left off last season. Kegan Everington will have to prove that he deserves a place ahead of Kaine Felix who did reasonably well last season. I have faith in the lad to do well and I am looking forward to seeing how he performs.

We are in a fortunate position to have Colchester United FC as our senior affiliate. I have to admit that I was gutted we didn’t get a higher reputable club but Colchester have a number of decent players that we can have on loan, one of which being JJ Wilson. Rene Steer is my first choice left back and he did well last season so deserves to keep his spot. However, JJ Wilson has done well during a good preseason so will be putting up a fight for sure. All in all I am pleased with the transfer dealings I have undertaken and if there is any more business of any kind, I will let you know.
LLM, player turn over, best part of it, nuff said...

Also 38 is the new 38 so Hendrie will be fine, i'm sure........ ;)
2014-11-03 12:42#198198 Ziechael : LLM, player turn over, best part of it, nuff said...

Also 38 is the new 38 so Hendrie will be fine, i'm sure........ ;)

It is one of the most interesting parts of a season I think; depends if the new signings turn out good for us that is. Hendrie will add a bit of experience to the side and help us see out games and could be used as a tutor for some of the younger lads!

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