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Ryan Ferguson: The Unorthodox Approach

For most, the battles stay on the pitch. For Ryan Ferguson, his battles are off it.
Started on 7 May 2017 by Justice
Latest Reply on 21 October 2017 by Aaron
£44 million is a lot of cash and could be used in many ways but whatever way it is used will be used in the best way possible to boost Whitehawk!
Looks like a quality player
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Season Twelve: Pre-Season Review

An Overview Of Whitehawk FC In Pre-Season 2027


Ryan Ferguson: Ahead of what would prove to be my final season as Whitehawk manager, we had embarked on a pre-season tour of North America with the aim of improving the players' fitness levels in a relatively hot environment, while also connecting with our fans from the continent. A number of transfers were made by the club, both incoming and outgoing, throughout our pre-season.


Whitehawk Spent A Total Of £79M On Incoming Players

Three senior players left the club permanently, with Riccardo Mansueto (DC), Brahim Díaz (AMC) and João Félix (AMC) finding themselves being moved on. Hot prospects Victor (ST) and Claudio Rotariu (AML) found themselves loaned out, with the club earning a sum of £375,000 per month for the pair. A number of other youngsters were loaned out including, most notably, Cléber Fernando (AMC), Nicolás Martínez (AMR) and Pedro Tavares (MC), with the latter joining Premier League side West Ham United for the full length of the season.

Three major senior signings were made. Miroslav Novakovic (ST/AMR), Kylian Mbappé (AML) and Emanuel Mammana (DC) all joined, for a combined fee of £68,000,000 (£73,000,000). The latter joined on a free transfer from title rivals Manchester United. Three hot prospects were brought in in the form of Cléber Fernando (AMC), Ameth Keita (MC) and Victor (ST) for a combined fee of £10,5000,000 (£10,750,000). The three would be loaned out to gain experience.

The squad was in very good shape. There was a great mix of experience and young talent, but it was worth noting that even some of the younger players had great experience. 24 year old midfielder Anton Nyman had already made 169 Premier League appearances for Whitehawk over just six seasons.

Young star Tomas Mrva (ST) was expected to break in to the senior squad for the first time, at the age of 18. For the likes of Riccardo Barbosa (AMC), 19, and Pipoca (DL), 19, squad rotation roles were expected. They would be helped on the way by older players such as Predrag Rajkovic (GK), 31, Emanuel Mammana (DC), 31, and Lewis Cook (MC), 30.


Whitehawk Recorded Five Wins From Five In A Successful Pre-Season

1-0 Win vs Deportivo Toluca (A), Friendly - 10/07/2027 Attendance: 14,336
In our only friendly to be played in Mexico, we faced a Deportivo Toluca side who were hungry to win. We used what was very much a second string side, with the likes of Daniel Bentley and Ricardo Barbosa starting, and it was the latter who scored the only goal of the game with a sizzling long range effort which nestled in the top corner.
Ricardo Barbosa (Team) - 8.5/10

2-0 Win vs New York Red Bulls (A), Friendly - 14/07/2027 Attendance: 19,670
A large number of first choice players were drafted in to this fixture, some without even recording a single day of training, and it was new boy Miroslav Novakovic who made the difference. The Serbian striker scored twice in the first half to seal the win for Whitehawk in New York.
Miroslav Novakovic (Whitehawk) - 8.7/10

3-1 Win vs Swansea (N), Friendly - 17/07/2027 Attendance: 4,717
It was a fixture against fellow tourists Swansea, which was a true test of our character. Swansea opened the scoring through a direct free-kick just minutes in to the game, but a Jason Coffey goal leveled the score just over ten minutes later. Late goals from Pipoca and Anton Nyman provided another victory for Whitehawk.
Erkan Aktaş (Whitehawk) - 8.4/10

5-1 Win vs Real Salt Lake (A), Friendly - 23/07/2027 Attendance: 18,309
A comfortable victory over Real Salt Lake rounded off a very successful North American tour. Jason Coffey scored twice in the opening fifteen minutes to give us a comfortable lead, and goals from Emanuel Mammana and Rasmus Nissen Kristensen before half time put the game beyond doubt. Real Salt Lake scored through a direct free-kick for some consolation, but Miroslav Novakovic struck back immediately to keep a four goal lead.
Gradimir Lucic (Whitehawk) - 9.0/10

2-0 Win vs Blackburn Rovers (A), Friendly - 29/07/2027 Attendance: 24,056
A return to England brought one final friendly for the pre-season - a trip to Ewood Park to face feeder club Blackburn Rovers. With a Charity Shield fixture just days away, we opted to use a number of second string players, but it was Kingsley Osagie who opened the scoring after just eight minutes. A Jay Lambert own goal gave us a two goal lead, which we kept for the remainder of the game.
Kingsley Osagie (Whitehawk) - 8.3/10

Overall: It was a pre-season to be very happy with. Five wins from five, with plenty of impressive performances. We conceded just two goals, with both coming from direct free-kicks. I'll put the concession of these free-kicks down to a lack of match sharpness and hope it does not become a regular occurrence throughout the season.

August Fixtures

Whitehawk Would Play Community Shield & UEFA Super Cup Finals In August

August would bring the start of competitive football for Whitehawk. A visit to Wembley to face Manchester City in the FA Community Shield would kick things off, while a trip to Watford would then open our league account. A UEFA Super Cup final against Arsenal at the Via del Mare in Italy was an exciting prospect, while we would also face Premier League opposition Bournemouth, Manchester United and Arsenal in a tough end to the month. It was a very tough schedule to open the season, but one we knew we were capable of picking up maximum points in.

Comment Section

mgriffin2012, it is good money, but unfortunately I would require about double that to improve the squad in any position! :( The money will be kept for future facility upgrades!

MJK46, which one?

Previous Update: #34 - Whitehawk Duo Moved On
Next Update: #36 - Ferguson: One Game At A Time
Great month there especially the win over RSL. The player I was talking was Brahim Díaz and forgot his name. BTW your update to the first post is top of the line and well organized.
That is a great pre-season campaign but you have a gruelling opening few weeks including the two finals, although I don't doubt you'll come home with more silverware!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Ferguson: One Game At A Time

Sir Ryan Ferguson Was Confident Of Another Positive Season


Ryan, your season starts tomorrow with an FA Community Shield final against Manchester City. How excited are you to play for a piece of silverware at Wembley again?

Ryan Ferguson: "Any game you play at Wembley is always one to remember. I'm a very lucky manager to have had the opportunity to manage there on quite a few occasions, with both Whitehawk and England. It is a fantastic stadium where dreams are truly made.

Tomorrow will be exciting. We play against Manchester City, a top side just like ourselves, and it will certainly be a game to remember. They have plenty of talent in their squad who have fantastic title-winning experience, but so do we. We have a young squad, but an experienced one that knows how to perform at the highest level. It will be a good contest between two teams who deserve to be there."

Unai Emery will be your opposing manager tomorrow. How does he rank among the managers you have faced in your career to date?

Ryan Ferguson: "Oh he's up there with the very best, there's no doubting that. He's had a brilliant managerial career so far, managing a number of top teams including Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla, Valencia, and now Manchester City. He goes in to a bracket of managers I have faced which includes José Mourinho, Slaven Bilić, Carlo Ancelotti, Massimiliano Allegri and David Wagner. They are the best managers I have ever faced."

Your side became only the second ever team to remain unbeaten throughout an entire Premier League season, do you think it can be achieved again this season?

Ryan Ferguson: "Well, I hope so. We have improved with every single day since last season, and we are more than capable of achieving this again in the coming season. It would be a monumental achievement for us to do it in a second consecutive season.

But that's not what we set out to achieve when we begin a season. We take each game as it comes. Our situation regarding player availability and fitness can change drastically in just a single day, so anything could happen. We could also play well in a game, but it could mean nothing in the end if the opposition happen to play better. Does that make us weak for losing, if we play well and still earn no points? Of course not, which is why we need to make sure we perform as well as we can in each game."

You have a number of young players who are regularly involved for your side, most notably Albert Wetzel, Franco Díaz, Kingsley Osagie and Jason Coffey. Are you worried that a lack of experience could hinder your side in difficult games?

Ryan Ferguson: "A lack of experience? Wetzel has played over 250 games for Whitehawk in all competitions, in just six years at the club. Franco Díaz played over 50 games last season, having been a key player in his loan spell at Málaga for two seasons previous to that. Osagie has played well over 100 games for this club in just three seasons, and he is probably England's best player at the moment. As for Coffey? He has been a Whitehawk player for four seasons, has been regularly involved, and already has 88 goals in all competitions, at the age of 22. That's phenomenal.

You should not mistake age for experience. A player can be thirty years old, but he might have played less than one hundred games throughout his career. Another player could still be in his teens, and reach that milestone. Which one is more experienced in matches; the guy who rarely played throughout the most part of a career, or the guy who has been regularly involved since turning professional? I know who I'd pick."

You've brought in three big name players to strengthen your side already,
including Kylian Mbappé. Are more signings unlikely?

Ryan Ferguson: "I feel our squad is in very condition right now. We have brought in the players we have needed, while a number of younger players have developed in to first team quality. I won't rule anything out, because anything can happen which changes our situation, and replacements may be needed as a result. We have contingency plans in place, should they be required. But, as it stands, we don't need to bring anybody in, so it is not a current plan."

Comments Section

MJK46, I was very happy with our results in the North American tour, and thank you!

mgriffin2012, it will no doubt be a tough month, but to be successful you have to grind through tricky schedules!

Previous Update: #35 - Season Twelve: Pre-Season Review
Next Update: #37 - Whitehawk Win Community Shield Clash
A really cool in depth interview man, youve got such a strong squad available to you, even the managerial talents of Unai Emery should find it tricky to beat you!
If you don't win by 4 I will get you fired haha. Good luck and I feel this will be a great match and tune up for the season.
Brilliant interview ahead of what should be a cracking game: time to get them shooting boots on
A very thorough interview with RF. I very much agree with his point on the youth - I feel like a lot of pundits especially doubt players due to age, when they are more able than many of the older players. Have to say though, David Wagner one of the best managers you've faced? An interesting choice! :P
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Whitehawk Win Community Shield Clash

Whitehawk Ran Out Victors In Their Community Shield Clash Against Man City


The domestic season of English football had been kicked off with a traditional curtain raiser in the form of the FA Community Shield final. Almost 82,000 fans attended Wembley for a highly anticipated fixture between Whitehawk and Manchester City.

Whitehawk earned themselves a trophy win on the day, scoring twice as Manchester City could only find the back of the net once. Goals from debutant Kylian Mbappé and Jason Coffey gave Whitehawk a comfortable lead. Manchester City midfielder Ronald de Boer cut the deficit to one goal with fifteen minutes remaining, but Whitehawk held out to claim their first trophy of the season.

2-1 Win vs Manchester City - FA Community Shield

Kylian Mbappé Scored A Goal On His Whitehawk Debut

The opening game of the English season was an opportunity for two of the country's top clubs to showcase their talents ahead of the season. Whitehawk and Manchester City certainly did not disappoint in doing so, with debutants appearing for both sides.

Whitehawk's first choice goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic was absent with a hernia obtained a month previously, prompting second choice goalkeeper Daniel Bentley to make a rare start. Emanuel Mammana made his debut for the club in defence, partnered by captain Stephen Lacy, with Erkan Aktaş and Facundo Foti flanking them in a back four. Anton Nyman and Franco Díaz were the two central players, while Kingsley Osagie played behind Jason Coffey in attack. Debut stars Miroslav Novakovic and Kylian Mbappé were on the right and left of Whitehawk's attack, respectively.

Manchester City manager Unai Emery opted to start Under-23s goalkeeper Josh Jones, ahead of regular first choice Jan Oblak. Left back Gonzalo Zipitría made his debut in a defence which also contained Welsh right back Lee James, and central defenders John Stones and Stéphane Antangana. New signing Masaaki Ida played alongside Saúl and Emil Levashki in midfield, while Stevens Fofana and debut academy star Stephen Brown flanked the midfield. Gustavo Martínez was City's lone striker.

Whitehawk started the brighter of the two teams, with Kingsley Osagie running the show between midfield and attack. The English attacking midfielder was finding pockets of space in front of City's defence, and caused a number of problems. In the fifth minute of the game, Osagie made the difference. The Englishman picked up the ball twenty five yards from goal and played an inch-perfect pass to Kylian Mbappé in the penalty area. The latter needed just two touches; one to set himself, and the other to shoot past Josh Jones in Man City's goal, giving Whitehawk an early lead with a goal on his debut.

Manchester City recovered well from this goal, and held Whitehawk's persistent attacks off. Neither side found it possible to create another notable opportunity to score in the first half, and tensions boiled over as Stephen Lacy and Masaaki Ida found themselves booked.

The second half began with Manchester City applying all the pressure in attack. However, they found it impossible to penetrate Whitehawk's defensive line, with Whitehawk's midfielders closing down the man in possession.

Manchester City grew impatient and, just seven minutes in to the second half, committed a number of players forward. However, this was their downfall, as Franco Díaz won the ball back and started Whitehawk's counter attack. Kingsley Osagie found himself on the ball twenty yards in to his own half, but played the perfect pass over the top of Manchester City's defence in to the path of Jason Coffey, and the Irishman made no mistake in finishing the move, and doubling Whitehawk's lead.

Jason Coffey nearly doubled his tally minutes later, but was denied by an excellent save. A ball over the top, this time by Anton Nyman, once again set Coffey through on goal, but his corner-bound effort was tipped on to the post by Josh Jones.

Manchester City clawed a goal back with fifteen minutes to go. A lapse in concentration from Whitehawk's Miroslav Novakovic allowed Saúl to pick up the ball on the left wing with acres of space. The Spaniard played a deep cross towards back post, where Ronald de Boer was jogging on the spot to head his side back in to the game.

However, Manchester City could not muster another goal, and Sir Ryan Ferguson's Whitehawk side were the victors. The Hawks had lifted their first trophy of the season, and their display had impressed pundits and fans alike.

Kingsley Osagie (Whitehawk) - 8.4/10

Ryan Ferguson's Interview

Ryan Ferguson:
"I think there was a lot to be happy with. Most importantly, the victory brought another trophy to the football club, and we have to credit the players for that. We faced a very strong Manchester City team who are well organised and very formidable. Our players produced some fantastic football to open up their defence on a few occasions, and we took our chances when they presented themselves. Hopefully this will be the first of many trophies this season."

Comments Section

mgriffin2012, well, I think it is fair to say that Emery gave us a proper run for our money!

MJK46, well I guess I'm gonna get fired! :P

InfraBae, we got the goals, and the win followed! Hoping for more big goals throughout the season! :P

ScottT, yes, David Wagner! He has transformed Watford in to a free-flowing passing team. He has brought a style of football that has left all sort of pundits admiring his work, and has made Watford a very very strong outfit!

Previous Update: #36 - Ferguson: One Game At A Time
Next Update: #38 - Carra & Nev: Whitehawk Are Favourites
I think Mbappe is going to be a superstar for your team and equally I think your management can propel him into the worlds elite! Congratulations on the silverware man, a good start to the campaign to say the least!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Carra & Nev: Whitehawk Are Favourites

Balik Sports Pundits Discuss Whitehawk's Capabilities On Monday Night Football


David Jones: "Okay, we have one last team to discuss before we turn our focus to tonight's Premier League season opener between Manchester United and Everton. Gary, Jamie, just how formidable, and in many ways dominant, a team has Whitehawk been in recent seasons?"

Gary Neville: "I think most of the credit, if not all of it, has to go down to the manager, Ryan Ferguson. He came to the club when they were really a nothing side, in truth, and he has made them a global force to be reckoned with. There have been some tough times for him and the club on the way, but very few, and he has always managed to spark a comeback from any sort of dip in fortunes.

I think when you talk about the top managers in Premier League history, you would talk about Alex Ferguson, José Mourinho, Arsène Wenger, and I would add Ryan Ferguson to that list. Okay, you could argue that he's only been a Premier League manager for six seasons while the others have been involved in the league for a lot longer than that, but the impact he's had with the players he's had at his disposal, he's been as good as any of them."

Jamie Carragher: "I think when you talk about the great teams of football; the Real Madrid's of the 50's and 60's, the Liverpool's of the 70's and 80's, the Manchester United's of the 90's and 00's, you talk about the trophies they won in that time. If you're judging a team on how successful they have been, there's no better indication of their success than what they've added to the trophy cabinet.

How many trophies have Whitehawk won in the last few years? Two Premier League titles, three Champions League's, two FA Cup's and more in just the past three seasons alone. If you told me, three years ago, that any team would go on to that, let alone Whitehawk, I would have laughed. Three times European champions, in a row. Great teams don't last forever but, when Whitehawk do eventually decline from their superiority, they'll have set the bar so high than any succeeding super team just won't be able to match."

The Pundits Analyse Whitehawk's Defensive Structure

David Jones: "What has made Whitehawk this super power? What is their secret formula to success?"

Gary Neville: "It has to be their defensive strength. Look back at last season, they conceded just seven goals in thirty eight Premier League games. Seven goals. That's madness. If you consider the record least amount of goals conceded in a Premier League season previous to last season was fifteen, conceding less than half of that is a sign of some truly terrific defensive organisation and performances.

We'll take a look at Whitehawk's defensive shape leading up to their second goal against Manchester City in the Community Shield last weekend. The goal comes from Whitehawk being able to withstand pressure, winning the ball back, and then penetrating City's defence within seconds.

It all starts with the back four, which I've marked here with a white line. Look how deep the two central defenders, Lacy and Mammana, are positioned. They're not allowing any City player to be able make a run in behind them. Foti, the left back, is tucked in alongside them, closing off any space for Fofana to run in to. The only defender to be slightly out of shape here is the right back, Erkan Aktaş, who is closing down the ball as it is in his zone. But, as you can see, there's no City player running in to the space behind him."

Jamie Carragher: "You also have to admire how that midfield trio is set up. Franco Díaz, the more defensive of the three, has dropped a little bit deeper, and himself and Anton Nyman are closing down the spaces in front of their back four. You can also see Kingsley Osagie coming from his number ten role to just hold off two of City's midfielders from pushing up in to Whitehawk's half. Man City can't get the ball in to the areas in front of Whitehawk's defence, because there's just no space. There's no pockets for players to pick up the ball and turn on the spot.

Now look at the front three of Whitehawk. They don't come back to do much closing down in their own half, but instead they're in position where they can quickly make a transition from defence to attack, and hurt Man City when they get the ball. That's how Whitehawk's second goal against Man City was scored. It came from a Osagie pass in to Coffey, who had been playing on the edge of City's defensive line."

David Jones: "Well, are there any flaws to Whitehawk's game plan?"

Gary Neville: "Yes, there are, but not too many teams have clued on to it. It is something I've always been critical about, and that is that their wide attacking players don't come back to help out the full backs. They don't track back make up the numbers in the wide defensive areas, and you can see the danger zones highlighted in pink to reflect their absences. If a team can get the ball in to those areas, Whitehawk are in trouble."

Martin Ødegaard Was At Fault For Manchester City's Only Goal

Jamie Carragher: "We'll take a look at the goal Manchester City scored last weekend. It comes from a very clever quick free-kick, but the opportunity only arises because of the poor awareness of the highlighted man here, Martin Ødegaard. As Gary said, Whitehawk's wide attackers don't like to do much defending, and Ødegaard demonstrates this here. He lets Saúl run past him in to open space, Dybala picks him out well, and Saúl then has a plenty of time to pick out de Boer at the back post to score.

I think it is a massive risk to be playing with three players on the pitch who do not contribute much defensively. They'll get caught out at times, but they've won so many trophies in recent seasons that maybe there are good enough elsewhere to make up for this."

Whitehawk's Goal Scoring Record In The League Was Not Prolific

David Jones: "Gary, does the goal scoring ability of Whitehawk's attackers make up for their lack of defensive responsibility?"

Gary Neville: "Looking back at previous seasons, I would have to say no. They haven't had a true out and out goalscorer in those areas, to be perfectly honest. I think Gradimir Lucic scored over twenty goals in all competitions last year from a wide left position, but that is just one player. They haven't scored enough to merit neglecting their defensive responsibilities.

I think they have improved in this area over the summer, though. They spent big bucks on Kylian Mbappé, a seasoned goal scorer, and it looks like Miroslav Novakovic will be playing on the right hand side of the attack. Both players can contribute with goals, and I would be expecting big seasons out of them if they do neglect defensive work."

Whitehawk Were Expected To Win The League Title Again

David Jones: "Having won the title last time out, are they favourites to go on to retain the trophy this season?"

Gary Neville: "Well I think any team coming in to a season as champions are favourites to lift the trophy again. Like I said, they have an incredible defensive record and they've added two very talented goal scorers to their side. They'll prove to be tough for anybody to beat.

But, I do like the shape of Manchester United's squad under José Mourinho. He got rid of two very experienced players in Marco Verratti and Emanuel Mammana, but he has bought well this summer. Jorge Alexandre and Marko Pjaca are two very dangerous attacking players, and Luken Díez is possibly the best central midfielder in world football at the moment. I think, with the talent he's got in his squad and his experience as a manager in this league, Manchester United should be favourites to win."

Jamie Carragher: "I'm gonna go with Whitehawk to win the title this time around. I think they showed last season exactly what they're capable of, and they brought in players to really strengthen their side and fill any holes we might have thought they had in their ranks.

You also have to remember that the core of their team is still very young, but they have another year of football under their belt. I'd expect Anton Nyman, Franco Díaz and Kingsley Osagie to produce world class performances in midfield this season, and the two full-backs, Erkan Aktaş and Facundo Foti are all so important to Whitehawk's defence. I reckon they'll win it."

David Jones: "Okay, and that is all for now. We will take a short ad break before returning to discuss Manchester United's chances against Everton at Old Trafford this evening. Can José Mourinho's Red Devils make the perfect start to the season as they look to regain their title, or will Everton manager Brun Labbadia prevail in his first ever Premier League game?

As always, we are.... grateful to *gulp* Supreme Leader Balik Baladeen for purchasing Sky Sports from the ungrateful hands of Rupert Murdoch, and thus founding Balik Sports. Supreme Leader Balik Baladeen is a..... lovely individual and is a.... big chunk of tasty.... man me--- ah f*ck this, I quit."

Hawk-Eye 4-2-3-1

Hawk-Eye 4-2-3-1 Is The Tactic Which Is Currently Used By Whitehawk

So, I have officially published the tactic which I am using in this story. Some of you may be familiar with the Hawk-Eye 4-3-3 tactic which I published a couple of years ago. This new is an evolution of the older one, using a different style of defending to win games. I have carefully studied trends in modern day football to come up with new defensive philosophies. I am not guaranteeing results, as it would be very foolish to even consider the idea that "plug & play tactics" actually exist. They don't, in case you're wondering.

You can find this tactic by following this link, or by clicking the image above: Hawk-Eye 4-2-3-1

Comments Section

mgriffin2012, thank you! I am hoping Mbappé will raise his level of performances to that of the true elite, but I am very happy with his contribution so far!

Previous Update: #37 - Whitehawk Win Community Shield Clash
Next Update: #39 - Teenage Debutant Rescues Victory
I like the authentic feel that you put in in the tactical analysis
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Teenage Debutant Rescues Victory

Eighteen Y/O Tomas Mrva Came Off The Bench To Score Twice For Whitehawk


Whitehawk opened their Premier League account with a 2-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road, but had to wait until the 72nd minute for substitute Tomas Mrva to score the first of his two goals. The eighteen year old Slovakian senior international was brought on to make his debut for the club in the 67th minute, having been on loan to French side SM Caen in the previous season.

2-0 Win vs Watford - Premier League

Tomas Mrva Scored Twice In The Final Eighteen Minutes To Decide The Game

Sir Ryan Ferguson had named an unchanged starting eleven from Whitehawk's victory over Manchester City in the FA Community Shield last weekend, with first choice goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic still sidelined with injury. This meant another opportunity for new boys Kylian Mbappé, Miroslav Novakovic and Emanuel Mammana to impress from kick-off, while Tomas Mrva was named on the bench with the possibility of making his club debut later on in the game.

It was Watford's first competitive fixture of the season and manager David Wagner named former Whitehawk attacker Brahim Díaz in his starting eleven, while star man Antonio Agüero passed a late fitness test to start behind striker Alessi Bartolotta.

It was a game with few chances as both teams were eager to dominate possession of the ball. Whitehawk were presented with the only real goal scoring opportunity of the first half, eight minutes in to the game, as Kingsley Osagie's inch-perfect lofted pass picked out Jason Coffey in the box. However, the Irishman scuffed his shot well wide.

Neither team could break down the other, as each first ball, and the resulting second ball, was evenly contested. Stephen Lacy and Emanuel Mammana marshaled Whitehawk's defence well, while Matt Mcginn and Sergio Heerkens were equally well-organised in Watford's. With thirty three minutes remaining, Ryan Ferguson sought change and brought on Martin Ødegaard, Gradimir Lucic and debutant Tomas Mrva for Miroslav Novakovic, Kylian Mbappé and Jason Coffey.

With eighteen minutes remaining, it was Gradimir Lucic and Tomas Mrva who made the all-important impact, with the latter scoring the opening goal. A loose aerial ball on the edge of Watford's penalty area was met by the head of Gradimir Lucic, cushioning the ball in to the path of the unmarked Tomas Mrva. Mrva showed composure beyond his years to plant a first-time half-volley beyond the helpless Giulio Giacalone. It was a debut goal for the Slovakian.

Nine minutes later, and Tomas Mrva would have his second goal of a memorable debut off the bench. Kingsley Osagie was at the heart of Whitehawk's every move, and he picked out Facundo Foti in acres of space on the left. The full back fired a low cross in to the box, with Tomas Mrva on hand to coolly convert.

The second goal settled the game, and Whitehawk cruised to an opening day Premier League victory, thanks to debut star Tomas Mrva. It was a twenty three minute cameo to remember for the teenage Slovakian international.

Tomas Mrva (Whitehawk) - 8.5/10

Ryan Ferguson's Interview

Ryan Ferguson:
"It was a difficult game against a very talented Watford side, but I thought we performed well and deserved the three points. We were very well organised defensively, and I don't remember any real moment we had to worry about conceding throughout the whole game. Credit has to go to the whole team for providing a great shift to win the ball back.

It was a great moment for Tomas Mrva, and I am delighted for him to be able to make such an impact given the pressures of the game. It was perhaps not the most ideal moment to give a teenager his debut for the club, but he made the difference when he came on to the pitch. He scored two fantastic first-time goals which you would only expect of the most experienced and most prolific of marksmen. He works hard in training and deserved his chance, and you can expect to see plenty more of him in a Whitehawk shirt as the season rolls on.

We have to turn our attentions away from the Premier League for the time being. We travel to Italy to play Arsenal in the UEFA Super Cup, and we must be very well prepared for this game. We both deserve to be competing for this trophy, and it is amazing that two English clubs should be battling it out for this European honour. We want to come out on top and retain this title, but we know it won't be easy."

Comments Section

MJK46, thank you! I felt it was important to humanise the analysis for people to really understand what's going on!

Previous Update: #38 - Carra & Nev: Whitehawk Are Favourites
Next Update: #40 - Whitehawk Claim UEFA Super Cup

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