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John Warrington: The Submarine Captain

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JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-28 09:07
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

So here it is, my journey into the world of football (manager) with Tranmere Rovers. Next stop the Premier League....eventually

I'm going to keep this opening post free to keep a record of my career.

The story so far

2017/18 - - | National League - 1st | FA Cup - 4th Round | FA Trophy - Winners |
This post was edited by JohnWarrington (2018-06-02 09:19, 2 months ago)
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-28 09:12
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

About the Club

General Information



After being relegated from the football league in 2015 and losing out in the playoffs last season, we are predicted to finish 3rd in the National League this time around. Only the two relegated sides Hartlepool and Leyton Orient are higher. I won't be aiming to finish 3rd, I'm looking to go one step further than last season and win the National League and with it, a place in the football league. We have a couple of local derbies this year with Wrexham and Chester which should spice things up a bit.

The Stadium



For a national league club, Tranmere have one of the nicest grounds around (I know this from experience having visited a number of the others this year IRL). With a capacity of just over 16,000, we are in a great position for when we start climbing up the leagues. I'd expect us to average 3,000/4,000 fans this season. The games against Wrexham and Chester will likely bring in a few more thousand.

Facilities



Facilities wise, we look ok but only that. Pretty much everything is either average or adequate. I have no idea how this compares to the other teams in the league but I'd imagine we'd be one of the best. I will definitely be looking to improve this if we can, especially the youth recruitment. If I can improve on the youth side of things then my plan is to bring young players through into the first team.
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-28 09:13
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

Staff

When I joined the club, I decided to do a complete overhaul of the backroom team to help us reach our potential after two unsuccessful seasons in the National League. To start with, I got rid of all the current staff team with only Andy Parkinson (the Under 18's manager) staying on.



Then the hard work began. Recruiting for every single staff role is hard work let me tell you. My aim was to build a balanced staff team with a staff member able to cover every aspect of training and I was pleased with the people we were able to bring in.



Coaching Team

We made five additions in terms of the coaching staff. Former West Ham reserves manager Nick Haycock joins as assistant manager whilst Jason Blake, formerly of Burnley, will head up our youth development program. This is an important job as I'm looking to use our young players in the first team wherever possible. Jack Robinson will be in charge of coaching the goalkeepers, having previously been at Manchester United. Nick Harvey is our new fitness coach, with Ryan Semple completing our coaching team.

Recruitment Team

Pedro Pereira joins the club as Director of Football. It'll be interesting to see how we can work together as I've never worked with one before. Tommy Miller heads up our scouting team, with Josst Volmer and Peter Mead in support. Kelvin Herd is in charge of our Data Analysis department.

Medical Team

We have a really good medical team at the club now. Matt Radcliffe, who was previously at Manchester United, joins us as Head Physio with Luke Anthony in support. Neal Lattimore heads up our Sports Science department, supported by Taylor Lovelock.


Following the complete overhaul of the staff team, we now have the best backroom team in the league and a base on which to build as we climb higher up the leagues.

JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-28 09:14
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

Transfers

Transfers Out



As well as overhauling the staff team, I made plans to overhaul the playing squad as well. Tranmere have a lot of players who can be deemed 'squad players' and it was my goal to get rid of as many as possible. All the players that left the club were ones that I had targeted for selling, with the exception of club captain Steve McNulty. When Newport came in for Steve, there was no way I could say no, with him likely to retire at the end of the season anyway.

Transfers In

These departures would have left our squad looking thin, however, I had already managed to bring in quite a few players of Football League quality.



Nick Hayes joined us on loan from Ipswich. He's a young goalkeeper who will provide back up for regular no 1 Scott Davies. I was worried that our other keeper Luke Pilling does not have the ability to step up if Davies were to get injured during the season.

Our defence saw a huge rebuild. Steve McNulty and Jay McEveley leaving would have left us with just Ritchie Sutton, Adam Buxton, Liam Ridehalgh and Evan Gumbs as defensive options. Given my play to play a 3 at the back with wingbacks, this would have been catastrophic. Jonatas Centeno and Alexander McQueen have joined as our options in the full-back positions, meaning we now have 4 viable options for two positions. The signings of Connor O'Grady, Sam Brotherton, Ryan McGivern and Will Packwood now give us six options in the heart of defence.

I've brought in Tom Burridge and Chris Dawson to improve the central area of midfield, these two will fight for a place alongside Jeff Hughes, Jay Harris and James Wallace. Wallace still has two months out with the injury he picked up last season.

Up front, I brought in three players. Jake Pickard comes in from Queen of the South, former Rovers man Terry Gornell returns to the club and Kayne Diedrick-Roberts provides a backup option and some pace for the end of games.
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-28 09:14
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

*Clicking pictures will show player screenshots

Goalkeepers



Scott Davies - Nick Hayes - Luke Pilling

Defenders

Fullbacks



Adam Buxton - Liam Ridehalgh - Alexander McQueen - Jonatas Centeno

Centre Backs



Ryan McGivern - Will Packwood - Sam Brotherton - Connor O'Grady - Ritchie Sutton

Midfielders

Centre Midfielders



Chris Dawson - Jeff Hughes - Jay Harris - James Wallace - Tom Burridge

Wingers



Ben Tollitt

Strikers



Andy Cook - James Norwood - Terry Gornell - Jake Pickard - Kayne Diedrick-Roberts

Reserves



Evan Gumbs - Mitchell Duggan - Devarn Green - Elliott Rokka

Out on Loan



George Waring (Kidderminster) - James Alabi (Dover) - Jake Kirby (Salford) - Eddie Clarke (Kidderminster)
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT 2018-05-28 09:55
gb 1268 posts 174 likes joined Apr 04, 2016
Nice to see you back on the site writing again. Love the use of pictures to send you to a screenshot, it's very useful as many won't know these players. On that note, Terry bloody Gornell... oh lord. :P
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-31 17:53
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

August-December 2017

I'm mostly happy with the start I've made to my football management career. We are sitting pretty up the top of the table and have put in some great performances along the way. The 4-0 win away at Woking being one such performance. James Norwood, Jake Pickard and Andy Cook have continued to build on their partnership up top and are looking lethal up there.

We're not as solidly as I'd like defensively but that comes with playing an attacking 3-5-2 with the wingbacks getting forward. Alexander McQueen has been very hit and miss and Nick Hayes has nailed down the number one spot for now. Ben Tollitt is now back in training and I'm retraining him so he is able to play up top. If he fails with that I'll probably look to move him on. Liam Ridehalgh and Ritchie Sutton have both gone out on loan for the rest of the season to get some game time.

In the cups we're doing well. We're into the third round of the FA Cup, AFC Wimbledon awaits us in that one. We're also into the FA Trophy 2nd round with Chelmsford due a visit to Prenton Park.







Matches Played - 27
Goals Scored - 87
Goals Conceded - 29
Yellow Cards - 50
Red Cards - 2
Average Attendance - 5,657

Top Goalscorer - Jake Pickard - 26
Highest Average Rating - James Norwood - 8.01
Most Assists - Jake Pickard - 16
Best Pass Completion - Nick Hayes - 80%
Most POM's - Jake Pickard - 9
Most Yellow Cards - Tom Burridge - 9
Most Red Cards - Tom Burridge, Alexander McQueen, Chris Dawson - 1









Injury wise we haven't been too bad really. We got Ben Tollitt and James Wallace back from long-term injury and we've only had a couple of long-term ish ones. The season started with a bit of a blow, James Norwood breaking a toe in the win at Torquay and being ruled out for 6 weeks. Terry Gornell deputised well and Gornell himself got injured when Norwood returned.



John Warrington Manager of the Month x3
Andy Cook Player of the Month x1
Jake Pickard Player of the Month x1
Jake Pickard Young Player of the Month x2
Alexander McQueen Goal of the Month x1
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-31 17:54
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

January - May 2018

What a season! We've won the National League and will be playing League Two football next season! Not only that, we set the record for most goals and most points in National League history. An excellent way to start my career in management and hopefully we can do something similar next season. Halifax will join us in League Two after winning the playoffs.

Andy Cook, Jake Pickard and James Norwood stood out up top, as did Tom Burridge in the center of midfield. Connor O'Grady and Sam Brotherton, along with Will Packwood, built a really solid partnership for us at the back and I'm hoping to sign atleast one of them permanently. I think our season was summed up when the list of candidates for 'National League Player of the Season' came through. Just check this out!



We still have one more game to go in the season too with an FA Trophy Final at Wembley against National League North side Spennymoor. I'm very confident in our chances of winning that and making it a league and cup double.







Matches Played - 46
Goals Scored - 132
Goals Conceded - 44
Yellow Cards - 82
Red Cards - 3
Average Attendance - 5,726

Top Goalscorer - Andy Cook - 39
Highest Average Rating - James Norwood - 7.73
Most Assists - James Norwood amd Jake Pickard - 25
Best Pass Completion - Nick Hayes - 84%
Most POM's - Jake Pickard - 12
Most Yellow Cards - Adam Buxton - 15
Most Red Cards - Alexander McQueen - 2









Things were a little mental on the injury front with us picking up quite a few in the second half of the season. There was one week at the end of February where we saw four first-teamers hit by injuries. Fortunately, the injuries didn't cost us as we have a large squad.



John Warrington Manager of the Month x1
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-31 17:55
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


Tranmere completed a league and cup double, beating Spennymoor by four goals to one at Wembley to win the FA Trophy.





Tranmere: Hayes, Centeno, O'Grady, McGivern, Packwood, McQueen (Burridge 81), Grant (Hughes 65), Dawson, Cook, Norwood, Pickard (Gornell 65).
Subs Not Used: Davies, Wallace.

Booked: McQueen.

Spennymoor: Brooke, Walker, Tait, Laird, Amos, Ramshaw, Dixon, Collins (Makela 73), Hurst, Fewster, Mondal (Taylor 78).
Subs Not Used: Griffiths, Foley, Chandler.

Booked: Larid, Dixon.



Referee: M Atkinson.
Stadium: Wembley.
Attendance: 28,578 (2,237 away)
Possession: Tranmere 53% - 47% Spennymoor
Shots: Tranmere 20 - 6 Spennymoor
On Target: Tranmere 8 - 4 Spennymoor
Fouls: Tranmere 10 - 21 Spennymoor
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-31 17:55
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

National League Awards

Manager of the Year



Really disappointed to not win this but I can't complain about losing out to Jamie Fullarton. He did a superb job with Halifax, getting them promoted to League Two with us.

Player of the Year



Don't agree with this at all. Should have gone to Jake Pickard or James Norwood but nice to see an ex-Rover win the award. It's a shame Larnell didn't fit into my system.

Golden Boot



Another ex-Rover picking up an award, albeit on loan quite some time ago. Andy Cook [ushed him all the way but unfortunately, he was pipped to the post.

Club Awards



Fans' Player of the Season

Couldn't agree more. I'd have been amazed if James didn't win this award. To see Jake Pickard and Chris Dawson in the top three was also no surprise. All three of them have been fantastic but Nors has been sensational. Andy Cook will perhaps feel a little disappointed to not be in there.

Goal of the Season

No surprises here. It was a fantastic free-kick from Alexander and it won Goal of the Month in the league awards.

Signing of the Season

Totally agree. Jake has been superb for us since joining and has really proven himself to be a quality striker. He's worked well alongside Andy Cook and James Norwood and it'll be interesting to see how he does in League Two next season.

Young Player of the Season

Can't argue with this one. See above.
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-31 17:56
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

The Stats



Most Appearances
1. Andy Cook - 57 (1)
2. Will Packwood - 55
3. Connor O'Grady - 54 (2)

Most Goals
1. Andy Cook - 41
2. Jake Pickard - 33
3. James Norwood - 27

Most Assists
1. James Norwood - 25
=. Jake Pickard - 25
3. Andy Cook - 13
=. Terry Gornell - 13

Highest Average Rating
1. James Norwood - 7.71
2. Jake Pickard - 7.69
3. Chris Dawson - 7.42

Most Tackles Won
1. Adam Buxton - 265
2. Chris Dawson - 176
3. Alexander McQueen - 157

Best Tackle Completion Ratio
1. Ryan McGivern - 84%
2. Connor O'Grady - 82%
=. Will Packwood - 82%

Most Interceptions
1. Will Packwood - 278
2. Ryan McGivern - 166
3. Connor O'Grady - 161

Distance Covered per 90 mins
1. Alexander McQueen - 14.2km
2. Adam Buxton - 13.9km
= Jonatas Centeno - 13.9km

Best Pass Completion Ratio
1. Nick Hayes - 84%
2. Conor Grant - 77%
3. Scott Davies - 77%

Most Chances created per 90 minutes
1. James Norwood - 1.37
2. Jake Pickard - 1.33
3. Terry Gornell 1.26
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-05-31 17:57
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

Around the Leagues

Premier League

Champions - Man United
Rest of top 4 - Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool
Relegated - West Brom, Everton, Brighton

Championship

Champions - Wolves
Promoted - Leeds, Derby
Relegated - Barnsley, Bolton, Burton

League One

Champions - Blackburn
Promoted - Oxford, Portsmouth
Relegated - Doncaster, Plymouth, Bristol Rovers, Rochdale

League Two

Champions - Cambridge
Promoted - Luton, Coventry, Yeovil
Relegated - Crawley, Morecambe

National League

Champions - Tranmere
Promoted - Halifax
Relegated - Boreham Wood, Solihull Moors, Chester, Guiseley

National League North

Champions - Salford
Promoted - York
Relegated - Nuneaton, Curzon Ashton, North Ferriby

National League South

Champions - Bath
Promoted - Wealdstone
Relegated - Weston-super-Mare, Truro, Poole

FA Cup

Winners - Chelsea
Runners-Up - Man City

Carabao Cup

Winners - Tottenham
Runners-Up - Man United

Community Shield

Winners - Arsenal
Runners-Up - Chelsea

Checkatrade Trophy

Winners - AFC Wimbledon
Runners-Up - Walsall

FA Trophy

Winners - Tranmere
Runners-Up - Spennymoor

Champions League

Winners - Chelsea
Runners-Up - Man United

Europa League

Winners - Marseille
Runners-Up - Arsenal
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT 2018-06-01 12:24
gb 1268 posts 174 likes joined Apr 04, 2016
Fantastic season for Tranmere there and they're back in the EFL - where they rightfully belong (like in real life, congratulations on that too!) Hopefully you'll be able to keep hold of Andy Cook though. :P
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-06-02 09:18
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016
2018-06-01 12:24#249572 ScottT : Fantastic season for Tranmere there and they're back in the EFL - where they rightfully belong (like in real life, congratulations on that too!) Hopefully you'll be able to keep hold of Andy Cook though. :P

Thanks :) Don't blame Cook for going IRL. Think I'll be able to keep hold of him on the game, fortunately.
JohnWarrington's avatar Group JohnWarrington 2018-06-02 10:18
gb 463 posts 7 likes joined Jan 07, 2016


"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a Deadly Submarine" - Johnny King (Tranmere legend)

Transfers

Transfers Out

Released Players



I released a lot of players over the summer who didn't feature for us last season, primarily to reduce the wage bill. The two most high profile are probably club captain James Wallace, and Jeff Hughes. Wallace has since joined Blackpool whilst Jeff Hughes is still a free agent. As of writing this, the only other players to have actually found a new club are James Alabi, who has joined Barrow and Terry Gornell, who has joined Salford. I think this just goes to show that I made the right decision in releasing these guys.

Transfers Out



As well as releasing players, I sold a few too. It was with a heavy heart that I let Ben Tollitt go but the other three aren't really starting members of the first team so are replaceable. I hadn't planned on selling Ryan McGivern but when Cambridge came in I decided to sell as he's getting on a little bit.

Transfers In



With the massive amount of departures, we found that my squad was now looking quite thin. The first thing we did was to extend the loans of Connor O'Grady, Nick Hayes and Sam Brotherton. These three played an important role for us last season and we think that they will again this season. After signing those, we knew what targets we had in mind. Now the season is upon us, we're delighted with the business we managed to do.

To provide backup/challenge Nick Hayes, I brought in Joe Fryer. The 22-year-old played 33 games for Stevenage in this league last season whilst on loan from Middlesbrough.

In defence we brought in Joe Riley, TJ Eyoma, Connor Wood and Harry Lennon. Joe Riley and Connor Wood are to cover/replace Adam Buxton and Alexander McQueen in the wing back positions, Joe playing on the right and Connor on the left. I feel like squad depth will be key if we are to do well in League Two. Harry Lennon is good enough to play straight away at center back, whilst TJ Eyoma is more of a backup option.

Last season our midfield was pretty strong so I didn't really feel the need to improve it much. I renewed the contracts of Chris Dawson and Tom Burridge before bringing in Ollie Banks, Rob Vincent and George Marsh. George Marsh is more of a backup option but Vincent and Banks are more than capable of breaking into the first 11. It'll be interesting to see if they are able to.

Up top I made the controversial decision to release Terry Gornell. Terry had a good season last year but I don't think he's up to League Two standard. To replace him, I brought in Denny Johnstone who spent last season at St. Johnstone. I'm unsure as to whether he'll be able to break the partnership of our usual front three.

You are reading "John Warrington: The Submarine Captain".

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