For those of you that are familiar with me and my stories, I'm happy to have you reading again! For those of you that are strangers, sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey.
As promised, I will begin my FM2011 journey with a team that has become dear to my heart. When I first stumbled upon the FM series in 2009, I had no idea what I was doing. When I decided to work my way up from the bottom of the English leagues, I settled on Newport County. I had a handful of saves at the helm of Newport with the most successful one leaving them just shy of promoting into the Premier League. The goal this time around is to take Newport County to the pinnacle of not only English football and the Premier League, but also to the pinnacle of international football and the Champions League. Let the games begin!
Newport County, Blue Square Bet Premier, 2010-2011 http://www.bluesqfootball.com/Images/bluesqprem/bsq-premier-top.gif
4th round Qualifying, 3-0 vs Whitley Bay
1st round, 2-1 vs Chelmsford (BSS)
2nd round. 1-2 vs Hartlepool (League 1)
1st round, 1-1 vs Gateshead (BSP)
1st round replay, 2-1 vs Gateshead (BSP)
2nd round, 1-0 vs Crawley (BSP)
3rd round, 3-1 vs AFC Wimbledon (BSP)
4th round, 1-0 vs Ebbsfleet (BSS)
Semifinal Leg 1, 3-2 vs Luton (BSP)
Semifinal Leg 2, 1-2 vs Luton (BSP)
Finals, 2-0 vs Mansfield (BSP)
Most Goals - Craig Reed, 23
Most Assists - Craig Reed, Tony Taggart, 14
Highest Average Rating - Leon Browne, 7.52
After a solid first half to the season, we still found ourselves looking up to Luton. I liked our chances of securing a playoff bid, however, as we found ourselves situated comfortably within the top 5 of the BSP at the open of the January transfer window. I planned on upgrading the team, and was pleased that I was able to get more available funding by reassessing my team outlook to the board.
With some increased funding, I went out and added two new strikers. I was losing our leading scorer because he didn't want to come back on loan and our 3rd leading scorer suffered a longterm injury, so I couldn't sit pat. Late in the window I also secured the services of a solid defender from the US. With my new additions we went on an epic streak of 28 games without a loss. This streak saw us overtake Luton both in the league table and in the FA Trophy.
It seemed like this run spurred the team's confidence to new levels and as a result we did a double - winning the BSP outright and getting promotion to League 2, along with winning the FA Trophy. I'm hoping that these victories are enough to encourage the board to have the team go professional. If we are to survive relegation in League 2, I need more resources made available in terms of scouts, coaches, and funds.