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Lily White Dreams

Started on 27 January 2020 by Aaron
Latest Reply on 31 January 2020 by Aaron
  • POSTS22
  • VIEWS2509

Salisbury F.C. - Introduction

Salisbury F.C. - A small side in the South West of England that play competitively in the Southern Premier League South. Salisbury were once a regular outfit in what is now called the Vanarama South/National league. Until recently, this is where they would play their football in competition with more well known clubs such as Hartlepool, Chesterfield, and Aldershot for a place in the football league.

Unfortunately for fans of the club, they've never been able to see their club in the football league, the highest level Salisbury have reached is considered to be the FA Cup 2nd round in 2006 in which they held Nottingham Forest to a 1-1 draw, the replay saw them turned over 2-0.

A few years later in 2012, they would reach the 3rd round for the first time in their history, in which they were beaten 3-1 by Sheffield United away from home.

In recent history Salisbury have been successful in the Vanarama leagues, gaining promotion from the Vanarama south to the national where they were considered to be a promotion contender. Poor ownership however would see all chances of league football squandered for the club as they were placed into administration and liquidated.

Salisbury City F.C. no longer exist, but they reformed as Salisbury F.C. and are now back in the Southern League Premier South. They're also favourites to go up to the Isthmian Premier League.

This is where I intend to take them in my first season.

I'm aiming with this story to take Salisbury to the very top of English Football, whether I get past even the first hurdle remains to be seen. Don't expect much, I am by no means an FM wizard, certainly not in lower leagues.

This will go either very well, or very badly but I promise one thing. I will be staying till the bitter sweet? end. Whether this ends in my sacking, or Champions League glory I really can't say for sure.

Hope you guys enjoy and stick a long for the ride, fingers crossed this goes well!
Aaron is back! You love to see it. Aldershot supporters will be pleased, they're certainly not a big club, even at this level. There are definitely bigger names you could have mention, but I won't nit-pick any further. ;)

The First Day

So, it's my first day at Salisbury and the main aim for this post is to give the club a quick review and set out our short term goals for the season. I'll look at setting more long term goals depending on future success. To begin with we'll take a look at the boards vision and see what they expect from myself and the team this year.

By no means is the pressure off me this year. The directors actually want me to achieve a 4th qualifying round tie in the FA Cup which I believe to be pretty unrealistic for a team at our level. I mean I find this hard even with Vanarama National sides... We'll give it a damn good go though.

League expectations are promotion by winning the league. Despite the media's 3rd place prediction the board seemingly have a lot more confidence in us to secure promotion to the league above. Hopefully it's not misplaced!

For those of you bound to be interested I have started my career as a manager with absolutely no coaching badges, and Sunday league football experience to ensure the hardest challenge I could possibly get here.

Now, moving on to finances there's really not much to talk about. We have a steady budget in the black of approximately £10,000, and we spend £5.5K per week on wages. Our total budget being £5.7K which really doesn't leave a lot to be desired when I come to the transfer marked. I will be looking to utilise Non-Contracts as a result of this.

To round things off, team dynamics are surprisingly looking quite good. The players seem to be content with my arrival and they're fairly happy at the club. One thing that doesn't look good to me is the Team Cohesion and this is something I will look to press on with and improve during pre season. Of course this also improves overtime due to competitive results!

Staffing team is looking pretty barren so I'll be looking to see what sort of people I can afford to bring into the club without making any issues with the bank, I have however been able to hand training over to my assistant manager which I will dive into here and there as I see fit.

The team overall looks like it has a pretty solid foundation to begin with, whether it'll be good enough to gain promotion depends on how the other clubs are looking which is something I need to look over. In the next update we'll take a look at the squad, figuring out who our key players are, and what sort of positions need strengthening.

Squad Review

At first glance the team looks pretty good, there's not a lot of depth but the players we do have certainly look full of quality judging by my assistants reports - However accurate they may be I do not know. There's a good number of quality strikers at the club which is as you all know very important at this end of the English football tiers.

Defenders leave a lot to be desired in the depth front and quality could also be improved on so that's definitely something I want to look at. Something that also made me cringe was the sight of that god awful half star keeper, simply not good enough if we want to win the league. Our other keeper is injured for around 6 months, so we can probably rule out using him to replace Charlie Searle.

We've got a decent number of wingers for each side which is always nice to have, and a lot of central midfielders, they're not all great but they might just do the job for us!

Eagle eyed readers amongst you will have noticed this absolute throwback and a half. Leroy Lita is without doubt the best player at club as well as the most experienced. Leroy boasts a lengthy playing career having started off at Chelsea, breaking through at Bristol City and becoming a club favourite at Reading. He's also had stints with Charlton, Swansea, Notts County, and Sheffield Wednesday. He'll be imperative to any short term success we gain.

Moving onto the best midfielder at the club we have an old Eastender's favourite in Ricky Wellard! I joke of course. Ricky is without doubt a fan favourite, he knows the club and area having played at Salisbury twice now as well as in the surrounding area with Wealdstone and Welling.

I can see the hair dryer treatment coming out more than once for this guy

Dan Fitchett was Salisbury's top goalscorer last year and for that reason is the second name to join Leroy Lita on the team sheet. He's considered to be on a level par with the next striker I'm about to show you...

And his name is Toby Holmes. Toby like I said is on a par with Dan Fitchett but he'll be playing second fiddle due to the play type difference between the pair. Toby is considered to be more of a poacher up front and that position is well taken by Leroy Lita. He'll have to do a lot to take that position from him too.

This brings me the tactics I'm going to send the team out with for the coming season. I'm going to be looking at using the wings more often than anything else to get quality crosses into Lita, anything that falls to Fitchett can be swept up by him as he sits in just behind our star man.

There's good ability for crossing out on the wings which is important for this style of play however outside of that ability, a lot could improve.

For me a solid back 4 is always important and as you can see we have everything but that. I haven't filled in the LCD position because we literally have only one central defender at the club, and as mentioned before the only fit goalkeeper we have is...Well...Awful.

So as I said, it's a good foundation but there's work to be done and I'm hoping we can take advantage of the transfer market with the big benefit of our Reading affiliation added to that!

Next up we'll be looking at transfers, and pre season before we head into our first competitive games.
Well, good to see your balance will be completely wiped out in two weeks with the wages being paid! Going to be a long road ahead but in Aaron we trust! Good luck mate, looking forward to following.
Great to have you back, Aaron and Leroy Lita causing chaos is something I never expected to see in FM20 ;)

Transfers & Pre Season

I think I've done as well as I could've in the transfer market to begin with. It's not often teams this low down will want to buy your unwanted players, that or they just simply can't afford them. So unfortunately I'm stuck paying wages to players that really are just surplus to requirements. That's until in a years time when their contracts run out and I can release them.

Unfortunately I have gone slightly over the wage budget and no - you're not getting a sneak preview at the finances. At this point I don't even want to look, but needs must if you want to be successful, and these signings certainly more of a need than a want.

Firstly in comes Mark Phillips who as you can see is pretty old however his ability counter acts this quite a bit. He'll probably only make the grade for a single season but for the time being he is now the best centre back at the club.

Yes I have to pay big wages, no I don't regret it.

Josh key comes in on loan from Exeter, the good thing with this guy is we have to pay no wages whatsoever and in my opinion looks like a quality player at this level. I thought we already had good calibre wingers but maybe we need an extra one to add to depth. Fortunately, Josh brings depth and lots more to the Club.

Okay, so I got it wrong. Our best keeper is actually only out for 3 months and at the point in the save that I'm at, is nearly fully fit but you're dumb if you think I'm playing half star goalkeepers. Charlie Burn fits the bill as a good back up on a non-contract. Not much more to say on that one.

Remember that solid back 4 I spoke about? Well Joshua comes in hopefully to help implement exactly that. Along with Mark Phillips he becomes one of the best defenders at he club and I'm really looking forward to seeing this guy make some great game saving tackles in and around the box.

Alright well, I kinda signed this guy for his name. Maybe he'll stir up some magic in the centre of the park?

Last but not least, Joel Mvovi! He's young, on a non contract basis and provides depth plus lots of potential in the centre of the park. He probably won't play a great deal but I think he could be one to watch for the future!

Pre Season went surprisingly well I think all things considered, we played against some top quality players at Bournemouth and managed to nick a draw, the overall performance was fair decent too, it was far from a drubbing on the stats.

We proved no match for Dagenham as expected, but other than that we were completely solid in defence and ruthless up top and you really can't ask for much more than that. Now it's onto August where we play our first game against Tiverton.

Fingers Crossed for a good start!
Things are looking good, maybe promotion isn't too realistic or maybe I'm just as ambitius as your Board Room #RayMacLegends

Monthly Review - August

Into our first month at Salisbury now and how did we do? Well, not great. Although it may not look that bad, performances this month were actually quite terrible. Pretty much every win here, we scraped, and we didn't even look competitive in the ones we lost.

There were some positives though, that being Leroy Lita has had no trouble hitting the target. He had a lot of chances in the first game which he missed a lot of however come game number two he opened his account for the Lily Whites, ensuring all three points against Gosport at the Raymac.

Met Police scored very early on and from that point on it looked like it would only end one way, although we seemed to settle into the game nothing game off for us. Towards the 80-90th minute we looked at our best but unfortunately we lacked the final product.

During these first Three games we picked up bad injuries to Dan Fitchett and our left winger Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick and it was a shame to miss out on being able to play them against Wimborne and Dorchester however they were back for the last game against Swindon.

Due to the injuries our system of play was shaken a bit so I opted to try something new. In doing that, Dorchester managed to record 17 shots to our 1 in the first half, so I switched back.

We instantly scored from a corner, and were 1-0 up until late on when they equalised, leaving us feeling blue.

End of the month, we needed to win. Top spot is already looking quite a distance away, and we need to put in a good run of form sooner rather than later. So to come from behind against Swindon Supermarine was fantastic.

Dan Fitchett equalised on his return and Toby Holmes busted the net wide open in the 86th minute to send the opposition packing.

So Truro have been absolutely ruthless and to be honest I'm already feeling like top spot could be beyond us. It's not all doom and gloom though, 1 point separates us and the play offs, 4 points separate us from 2nd place. A couple more wins and we could be right in the mix!

Improvements in performances are needed though, because we won't scrape lucky wins all season.
Steady start, but its early doors. Truro really are meaning business, hopefully you can take advantage of them if they hit the curb next month. Good luck

Monthly Review - September

Awful. Simply, awful. I don't know who's been tipping us to gain promotion but so far we've looked way off being that kind of team. Our performances in the league have simply not been good enough and I'm constantly racking my head trying to figure out what's been going wrong.

The month begun with a trip to Hoddeson in the cup who we battered 3-0, it was a class result continuing on from the positive ending of last month. Our strikers were on full form to see us through to the next round where we would play Weymouth.

Weymouth are a Vanarama National side 3 leagues above us, and the board expect me to get 2 rounds on from this one which is leaving me pretty worried about my job security which could be dependant on this tough fixture.

We came back from behind in fantastic fassion against Hayes and Yeading, and in the 93rd minute the ref decided that the extra time he had given was simply not enough. Hayes were able to win a corner well over the allotted time and earn a penalty to level the game 2-2.


Then we hosted Weymouth, the big fixture of the month. In truth we got battered, and they managed to score very late on. Just as I thought we were going to crash out, our loan signing Josh Key managed to lob the keeper from the corner of the box with the last kick of the game, forcing a replay. An incredible moment for us.

We went to their place straight after for the replay and took the game to them. Ricky Wellard scored an absolute screamer to put us 1-0 up before Toby Holmes came on for Lita and coolly put away a second in the 84th.

A minute later, they scored, and we ensured an absolute collapse by conceding once again in the 92nd minute. Straight to penalties, and first choice goalkeeper back from injury Marcus Beauchamp was the hero that pulled us out of the mud and into the next round. We face Farsley Celtic in the 3rd qualifying round.

We ended the month on a massive low losing out to Weston Super Mare in a game we didn't play all that badly in. It really was a bitter pill to swallow.

I decided to change the system a bit due to a large gap between the midfield and the forwards. So I've decided to bring back a forward into AMC, and use youth player Mata here to try and link up the play. Mvovi also comes in at defensive midfield to anchor the defence. I told you to keep an eye out for them, and now here they are so lets see what they can do for us!

The system itself has changed a lot to a more direct counter attacking style. We've looked a lot better despite poor results, so hopefully things start to improve.

There's some obvious quality in the squad with names I recognise instantly like Lita, Wellard and Bentley. The signings of Josh Key and Joshua Webb are also names I'm familiar with and deem to be great additions. August was an inconsistent month, but there's plenty of time to go yet. Truro could be peaking far too early.

Judgement Day?

So sadly it looks like judgement day is already upon us, and the board are already unhappy with my management of the team. I can't say I disagree this far in, performances have been rough and things must improve.

I managed to convince the boss men to give me more time to turn the atmosphere around in the dressing room, but failure to do so could mean my departure from the club less than 3 months in.

Can I do it?
The board are extremely demanding, obviously. Hopefully you can satisfy them with a good run of results.

Monthly Review - October

October has been a bit mix and much, certainly much better in terms of performances but in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup, we put in an abysmal performance against Farsley which I believe is what led to the board wanting to discuss my future.

They wanted to me to get to the 4th Qualifying round and I only made the 3rd, not the start I was hoping for but as I mentioned in previous updates, I feel like that was quite ambitious and we should be positive about a 3rd round finish, especially considering we knocked out a Vanarama National side in the round previous.

We began October away to Truro, top of the league, 9 wins from 10, 1 draw, unbeaten. We entirely up against it and Truro were firm favourites but we made the most of our chances and within 30 minutes we were 3-0 up thanks to 2 goals from Leroy Lita, one coming from the spot and a goal from jack Compton.

We couldn't keep them out all game and they got themselves back in it, but we were strong enough to stave them away from a point. We took all three.

Walton Casual was just a boring game. 1 goal, barely any highlights. Judging by the stats we didn't play all that badly either I guess sometimes it just comes down to luck.

Much better against Merthyr, the type of result I expected to take home a lot more often at the start of the season. It seems the change in tactics so far are working to our benefit, long may it continue.

We crashed out of the FA Trophy at the end of the month to Waltham Abbey who do play in I believe the league above us so not too disappointed though a cup run would've been nice.

We don't sit too far off the play offs now so that is giving me a little bit of promise, hopefully a few more good results can see my job security into a safer stance. Truro still running away with the league, although I hold our win against them in the highest of regard due to it being their only loss in 12 games.

You are reading "Lily White Dreams".

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