This thread will be my documentation of my very own English County Championship. Cricket fans will know that name, being the number one first class competition in the world, and I wanted to transfer the ideas over to football. I was interested to see which counties would dominate, and which would suffer. Would the North or South prevail? Which counties have strength in which positions? I find out all of these and more throughout this documentation.
Setting up an editor data file was just too finicky, so I did what I've done before and used the Fantasy Draft instead, controlling every single side and of course picking pre-selected players. I took about a week to compile the squads, and because the limit for teams is 32, I had to cull a few counties. There were also a couple of counties which didn't have enough players to form a squad, but I'll reveal all the counties involved later on in this post. The draft was strenuous; 32 squads, with 23 players each, means over 700 selections but eventually the draft was complete and the competition started. The most teams available were 32 but only in a knockout cup format, so that's what we've got. A lot quicker than a league, at least.
I had a few rules for each squad:
1. Each team must have 3 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, and 12 midfielders/forwards
2. Of these 12 midfielders/forwards, there must be a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 midfielders (min 2 and max 6 for forwards)
3. Players are ranked by Current Ability
4. Where Current Ability is equal, rank by Potential Ability
5. Age has no bearing
Any counties that couldn't uphold Rules 1 and 2, unfortunately, didn't make the cut.
I decided to not simply use the same counties as the ones in the cricket County Championship, which opened things up for me. Like cricket however, I used historic counties only, meaning, among others, no Merseyside, no Tyne and Wear and no Greater London.
First of all, there were the counties which did not have sufficient numbers to field squads. These were:
Then, the three counties who I cut to leave me with the desired 32.
This, in the end, leaves me with my final 32, as follows: