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A Cardinal Sin - Woking our way to the top

An FM19 Story
Started on 20 October 2018 by JT / First Post
Latest Reply on 6 February 2019 by mgriffin2012 / Last Post
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Still on top and still in the driving seat. You can't win every game but you're doing a pretty good job of winning most!

Woking FC - December 2020


December



A month of goals and in particular goals from Greg Luer who smashed in 11 goals over the month giving us 4 victories from 6 games including progression in the FA Trophy against Maidenhead.

It was some performance from the man but our form is still up and down and we have lost that consistent swagger we had in the early part of the season. Our defence is a little leaky and i think we are not getting enough protection from the midfield as well as perhaps lacking the quality at the back that we need. I have plenty of wage budget spare but my squad is too big and i have players whinging a lot so i am going to have to trim it a little to make it easier to manage.


But the table still shows us top somehow and that is what matters. We have a fight on our hands with Barnet, Maidstone and Bromley all on my tail. Can we hold on for the title? I don't think we can unless we refresh in some key areas which is what i will be looking to do in January.

Woking's December player of the month


No surprise that Greg Luer is the winner here. He was on fire and doubled his goal tally for the whole season in just one month. He also won the leagues player of the month which to be honest was no surprise and he is now closing in on 100 goals under my management. A true Woking Legend!

Boy Wonder to go?



The teams wanting his services is growing and is now including Crystal Palace and Watford who have both been to see him play. His performances are dipping and he told me he wants to go. Some bids have come in on the 1st January and it might be the end of the Boy Wonder's time at the club.

Can i keep him?
Incredibly tight at the top of the league. Your form is strong enough at the moment, it's just about trying to cut out the occasional losses to ensure you remain top. A nice win over your rivals in Aldershot will particularly please the fans - who must be dreaming given you're top after just coming up.

Fingers crossed you somehow manage to tempt Hessenthaler to stay, however with his form dropping due to his focus being elsewhere, it could be time to cash-in on him and receive a good fee of money to reinvest.
Hessenthaler needs to stay and it should be the number 1 priority for the club right now, a good run of form should see you pull away from the chasing pack though!
No Hessenthaler, you must stay! :O
Luer has had a great month! As much as Hessenthaler may go, I think Luer is proving a great goalscorer to make up for him! :P

Woking FC - January 2021


January Sales


As you can probably guess, Russell Hessenthaler has left Woking, well sort of. The bids came flying in on the 1st January and they just kept going. The initial figure in my head was around £250k and the bids came in but eventually i was able to move the bids up higher and higher until i got to eventual winners of his signature Southampton. The Premiership side bid £600k for his service, offered me a friendly, 40% of the next sale and have also let me keep him for the rest of the season on loan.

A great deal of money for a club this size and now the record sale from the club. It is a real shame but it was always going to be a fight to keep him and i am now deeply invested in seeing how far this kid can go.

He wasn't the only sale though as Vontae Daley Campbell also got League suitors as Portsmouth bid £100k for his services and also agreed to loan him to me for the rest of the season. He like Hessenthaler was getting unsettled and it is good money for a right back who has only been average this season.

So £700k gained in sales and there was some investment back. Aaron Kuhl was signed for £30k from Billericay to help bolster a midfield that can sometimes get overrun at times. He is now the highest paid player at the club and will partner Knott in the midfield. The other investment comes in the form of the junior coaching budget increasing which hopefully helps us find another Hessenthaler all over again.

January


Now onto the field where the transfer sagas of Hessenthaler and Daley-Campbell certainly distracted the side as we started the new year with two defeats against Stockport and Ebbsfleet to put us on a run of 3 straight defeats in the league.

To help break our run we had an FA Trophy 2nd round tie against Vanarama South side Eastleigh and with the news of Hessenthaler and Daley Campbell all sewn up, the boys were focused again as we smashed the south coast side 5-0 with Hessenthaler himself getting two goals on his re-debut. That victory has seemed to reset us to some degree as we clawed our way to two victories against Harrogate and Wrexham as we look for some semblance of form.


So we have been knocked off top spot but we are still in the hunt for promotion along with Barnet, Hartlepool and Bromley and if we are going to win the league than we are going to need to sort out the defence. I am scouring the world for defenders but nothing looks like it will improve us and that is worrying me as without some new blood there, i think we will struggle to keep up the pace.

Woking's January's player of the month


Greg Luer wasn't quite as good as December but another 6 goals to his name sees him now top the scoring charts in the league and hit 26 goals for the season. The man is a non-league scoring machine and now has 103 goals in two and a half seasons.
Still in touch and progressing in the FA Trophy, that's all you could have asked for!
A decent fee received for the two outgoing players, especially Hesenthaler. The business to get him back on loan for the remainder of the season is particularly clever. Glad to see a couple of wins, as well as progression in the FA Trophy, at the end of the month to get you back on track. Hopefully the defence can be tightened in some way and we'll see an improvement. To be in with a shout of promotion is still very impressive.
Just shows the type of quality that you had in Hessenthaler when he's moving to a top tier side for that sort of money, but good news you have him on loan for the season now.
Southampton??? :O
JT's avatar Group JT
10 monthsEdited

Woking FC - February 2021


Sorry for the radio silence. Not had a chance to play much over the christmas break meaning i couldn't update

February


Some tough fixtures in February as we had some FA trophy action as well as tough ties against fellow Promotion hopefuls Maidstone and Hartlepool but with Hessenthaler and Daley Campbell both now focussed after sealing moves away from us at the end of the season, we should be well set. So how did we do?


Well not too bad but we are hardly on fire. The Maidstone game saw 3 absolute belters of goals including a 30 yard drive from Hessenthaler. That Southampton move clearly improving his mood. That was followed up by a tough two ties against Chesterfield in the FA Trophy as we played out two 1-1 draws eventually needing penalties to put us into the next round.

We were shattered when we went away to Hartlepool and it showed as we got smashed 3-1 but after that we had a week to recover and because of that we were able to beat Dover and Torquay 5-0 on aggregate before Port Vale comfortably knocked us out in the FA Trophy Quarter finals.


As you can see it is a tight old tussle at the top as it looks like it is going to be a three way fight for the automatic promotion spots with Barnet and Hartlepool just ahead of us. To be honest, i would be mightily surprised if we could beat both of them as we look gassed. I constantly have players needing a rest including Hessenthaler and i just can't seem to keep a strong 11 for the whole season which is due to my lack of rotation and that is caused by a lack of quality.

Promotion could be too much too soon and another season building out the side especially with Hessenthaler and Daley Campbell both not here it might not be the worst thing in the world to miss out.

Woking's February's player of the month


What a difference a move can make as Russell Hessenthaler hits form straight after the move. 6 goals in the month shows his class and hopefully he can keep this up for our title hunt which will be a great send off for the man.

Woking FC - March 2021


Updates coming thick and fast today as we edge ever closer to the end of Season 3.

March


An undefeated month but a month full of draws as we just failed to click all month.


It was a horror show at Gateshead and Greg Luer had to rescue a draw with a 93rd minute goal. In fact we were rescued in the next two games as we scrambled to two 1-1 draws against Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge. We were just not at the races when we took on York.

In another scrappy game we managed to score a penalty early on to give us a rare lead in a game this month and one we managed to hold on to. We scored early in the next game against bottom of the table Oxford City but we couldn't push on from there and were pegged back to 1-1. Finally March finished with a battling 2-1 win over Spennymoor. So where are we in our battle?


Somehow that run of form has seen us go top. Barnet haven't scored in 4 games and Hartlepool saw a litany of draws like us. Still incredibly tight but it is almost like all 3 of us are too scared to go up and are wanting another season in the National. We have 6 games left and they look like this


Some tough sides there with Tranmere and Chesterfield being strong sides whilst we have local rivals Aldershot and promotion rivals Barnet to contend with. Can we do it?

Youth Intake


A third youth intake and with Hessenthaler leaving, i was hoping for another gem. This is what we got. Jack Lockwood has potential with decent physicals and crossing and dribbling ability to boot. Hugo Pearce and Ross Smith have potential but will need to improve quite a bit to challenge the first team.

Woking's March player of the month


In a weird month where we were undefeated but played poorly all season it was hard to find a star but Greg Luer wins again mainly due to his important goals in the Gateshead game.
With six games to go it looks like this could be a thrilling title race, good luck with the remaining fixtures!
A few too many draws in March for my liking, but its got you top so you can't complain really. Hopefully a good run in the final six games will lead you to the title and automatic promotion.

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