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Leamington - 2026/27

I manage clubs on Football Manager Mobile and then tell you what happens.
Started on 7 December 2020 by Harleygator
Latest Reply on 22 April 2021 by Harleygator
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Harleygator's avatar Group Harleygator
6 monthsEdited
Football Manager Mobile Story – Introduction & Contents



The playthrough I’m doing is a normal save with no themes or gimmicks; it isn’t a Pentagon or Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge, I’m not reviving dormant giant clubs or creating a new Red Bull franchise, nor am I doing Academy only or exclusively signing players whose first names are Alan. I’m just playing the game as I would maintain an ordinary career, managing teams in the way that best presents itself, leaving them when I get bored, ultimately weaselling my way into the upper echelons of world football and, not withstanding a lack of ability, taking a crack at winning something big.

Consider this post merely an excuse to use as a table of contents going forwards, because it’s a nightmare trying to scroll through posts on a story.

CONTENTS

S1E1 - Leamington - Summer 2020
S1E2 - Leamington - Pre-Season 2020/21
S1E3 - Leamington - October-November 2020
S1E4 - Leamington - December-January 2021
S1E5 - Leamington - February-March 2021
S1E6 - Leamington - April-May 2021
S1E7 - Leamington - VNN Play-Offs 2020/21
S2E1 - Leamington - Summer 2021
S2E2 - Leamington - Pre-Season 2021/22
S2E3 - Leamington - August-October 2021
S2E4 - Leamington - November-December 2021
S2E5 - Leamington - January-February 2022
S2E6 - Leamington - March-April 2022
S2E7 - Leamington - FA Trophy Final 2021/22
S3E1 - Leamington - Summer 2022
S3E2 - Leamington - Pre-Season 2022/23
S3E3 - Leamington - August-September 2022
S3E4 - Leamington - November-December 2022
S3E5 - Leamington - January-February 2023
S3E6 - Leamington - March-May 2023
S4E1 - Leamington - Summer 2023
S4E2 - Leamington - Pre-Season 2023/24
S4E3 - Leamington - August-October 2023
S4E4 - Leamington - November-December 2023
S4E5 - Leamington - January-February 2024
S4E6 - Leamington - March-May 2024
S4E7 - Leamington - FA Cup Finals 2023/24
S5E1 - Leamington - Summer 2024
S5E2 - Leamington - Pre-Season 2024/25
S5E3 - Wales - August 2024 - European League Qualification
S5E4 - Leamington - August-October 2024
S5E5 - Wales - October 2024 - European League Qualification
S5E6 - Leamington - November-December 2024
S5E7 - Wales - December 2024 - European League Qualification
S5E8 - Leamington - January-February 2025
S5E9 - Wales - March 2025 - World Cup Qualification
S510 - Leamington - March-May 2025
S511 - Wales - June 2025 - World Cup Qualification
S6E1 - Leamington - Summer 2025
S6E2 - Leamington - Pre-Season 2025/26
S6E3 - Wales - August 2025 - World Cup Qualification
S6E4 - Leamington - August-October 2025
S6E5 - Wales - October 2025 - World Cup Qualification
S6E6 - Leamington - November-December 2025
S6E7 - Wales - December 2025 - World Cup Qualification
S6E8 - Leamington - January-February 2026
S6E9 - Leamington - March-May 2026
S7E1 - Leamington - September 2026
Best of luck mate. Looking forward to what you have planned.
Harleygator's avatar Group Harleygator
6 monthsEdited
Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S1E1 – Summer 2020

(Leamington FC, National League North)



Interesting fact: this is the first football game I have ever bought on an odd number. I started playing football games with, predictably, FIFA on the Playstation 2; it was FIFA 2004, and I recall hating every song in the tracklist except that other song by Junior Senior, the one that isn’t Move Your Feet that no one can remember the name of. I had that s**t on repeat. From there, the even-numbered obsession blossomed – FIFA06, LMA Manager 2006, FIFA08, Football Manager 2008, FIFA10, FM 2010, FM 2012, FM 2014, FM 2016, FM Mobile 2016, FIFA18, FM Mobile 2020.

This year is a break from the pattern, but not a break from tradition. In every version of every football game, I begin from the bottom – LLM in England at the lowest possible level with an underdeveloped club, and on FM I throw in the Dutch, Russian and Portuguese nations as preferred future destinations. I have started at Leamington FC, a Midlands-based club in the National League North with a tiny stadium and limited funds and facilities, even for a side at their level.

Predictably, my formative assessment of the squad is as one would expect of a side at this level: undeveloped and unprofessional. The lack of depth in the squad isn’t a major concern, as we have an allowance of 6 long-term loans, and the 25 players registered with the club are reasonably comparable in ability, allowing for a good degree of rotation. The real concern, however, is the culture; as mentioned, the squad is unprofessional and severely lacking even in the most basic corrective attitude, a strong Work Ethic. As a result, I’m expecting less than enthusiastic efforts in training, hindering the development of the players, and will have to tailor my tactics to a squad who won’t commit to a hard-pressing defensive approach.

My first move at the club, having read the squad report, was to reassign the responsibility of Captain. Jack Edwards was the club’s resident captain, but although he had a clear advantage in his strong leadership ability, I felt he lacked the personal character to get to grips with a juvenile squad. Instead, I awarded the captaincy to Callum Gittings, a club veteran and model professional who, notably, takes particular exception to the club’s culture too and wishes to change it. I hope, as an influential and upstanding character, he will help to steer his teammates in the right direction.

Goalkeepers – Jake Weaver, Ben Newey, Ethan Pheasey
Defenders – Josh Martin, James Mace, Jack Lane, Kyle Morrison
Full-Backs – Dan Meredith, Junior English, Shay Nicholson, Stephan Morley, Tom James
Midfielders – Callum Gittings, Joe Clarke, Jack Edwards, Simeon Maye, Joel Giblin
Wingers – Sam Osborne, Connor Taylor, Pedro Fernandes, Kaiman Anderson
Strikers – Joe Parker, Danny Waldron, Lance Smith, Shaemus O’Loughlin
Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S1E2 – Pre-Season 2020/21

(Leamington FC, National League North)



I usually conclude my transfer business within days of the opening of the window, in part due finding transfers the most interesting part of the game, and because I’m pretty effective at squad building. I have a keen eye for spotting gaps in ability within a squad, and then identifying players with the talent, enthusiasm and cost efficiency to fill them. Thus, within 7 days of taking on the head position at Leamington, I had brought in 7 players in 7 key positions – mostly young loan signings from upper tiers, all without wage contributions on our part. I also took a slight risk in signing Ben Alnwick – a tough negotiation yet still led to a fairly hefty wage, but the 33-year-old has almost a decade on my next oldest keeper, which may hopefully inspire greater confidence at the back.

On a more negative side, I am still unsure how to make the best of the Club Dynamics feature, and none of the signings really contribute in terms of personality to an improvement of the culture at the club, something identified as a major problem in my last update.

IN – Free – Goalkeeper, Ben Alnwick
IN – Loan – Central Defender, Ibane Bowat from Fulham
IN – Loan – Defensive Midfielder, Mason Goodridge from Burnley
IN – Loan – Central Midfielder, Sidnei Tavares from Leicester City
IN – Loan – Attacking Midfielder, Harvey Vale from Chelsea
IN – Loan – Winger, Amadou Diallo from West Ham United
IN – Loan – Striker, Michael Tait from Aston Villa

OUT – £16’000 – Goalkeeper, Ethan Pheasey to Guiseley
OUT – £9’000 – Striker, Shaemus O’Loughlin to Spennymoor Town


Regrettably, while I consider myself adept as an administrator of squad development, I am by no means an accomplished tactician. One of the major reasons I enjoy LLM saves, and tend to abandon them once the club has progressed is because I very often lack the tactical knowledge which is necessary to raise the performance of an average set of players above their on-paper expectations.

I typically stick with the same tactical approach – 4-2-3-1 direct attacking, with the AM position pulled back to DM for tougher matches. Occasionally, particularly if the main striker is injured, I experiment with a strikerless formation; I operate 2 inside forwards and a shadow striker anyway, so this frees the ST position to be pulled back to DM. However, I haven’t found this to be particularly effective in most cases, especially not in LLM, though it proved devastating on an FM20 save with Manchester United and a front 3 of Rashford, Fernandes and Inaki Williams. I’ve not played around with the pre-set tactical approaches like the much-touted Gegenpress, but this will be a consideration should results demonstrate my tactical ineptitude.

(3 – 1) Bath City (H) – M Tait (1), K Anderson (1), J Parker (1)
(2 – 2) Dulwich Hamlet (H) – M Tait (1)
(2 – 0) Oxford City (A) – M Tait (1), J Parker (1)
(3 – 0) Hampton & Richmond Borough (H) – M Tait (2), S Tavares (1)
(0 – 1) Braintree Town (H) –

I’m reasonably happy with pre-season result – 3 wins, a draw and a loss against teams from the National League South, who I supposed would have been of equal quality when arranging the friendlies. Michael Tait’s contribution of 5 goals is a real positive to take away, especially, with his understudy Joe Parker also netting 2 from the bench, demonstrating some strength in depth up front. Let’s hope such lethality continues into the season proper.
Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S1E3 – October-November 2020

(Leamington FC, National League North)



As mentioned in previous updates, the culture at Leamington leaves plenty to be desired. The squad is unprofessional and lazy, and without the funds to do a full and lasting overhaul, it will be a long-term project to rebuild a solid core within the playing staff. Installing our resident model professional, Callum Gittings as captain and setting up a sequence of mentoring partnerships lays the foundation for my work in this regard, but confronting the slackers is a priority. Doing this for the first time, however, meant learning a harsh lesson about the Club Dynamics system – I criticised Kaiman Anderson for his lack of effort in training, without realising that the sub-standard winger was yet still an influential player at Leamington; he reacted poorly to the criticism of his inexperienced manager, and this subsequently upset the rest of the squad too, sparking a marked decrease in morale. Something to consider when talking to players in future, methinks.

(2 – 0) Curzon Ashton (A) VNN – C Gittings (1), H Vale (1)
(0 – 1) Boston United (H) VNN –
(1 – 1)p Bromsgrove Sporting (H) FQ3 – J Parker (1)
(1 – 3) Gloucester City (A) VNN – A Diallo (1)
(0 – 3) King’s Lynn Town (A) FQ4 –
(3 – 2) Hereford (H) VNN – M Tait (2)

Overall, there isn’t much to take from the opening games of the season. It was an underwhelming start in respect of results, falling somewhere around the lower half of mid-table. The biggest disappointment was the win against Bromsgrove Sporting, a team we were expected to beat comfortably; slogging it 120 minutes so early in the season isn’t ideal when you lack depth as we do. Being comfortably beaten twice in the league is also a concern, given how these results fail to correlate with our successes against corresponding sides in pre-season.

IN – Short Loan – Full Back, Ben Chrisene from Aston Villa

Conceding in almost every game, I tried to plug a perceived weakness at left-back with another loanee, Ben Chrisene, who I had identified in pre-season before electing to sign players in other positions. He comes in on a 3-month loan.

(0 – 1) Spennymoor Town (H) VNN –
(1 – 3) Guiseley (A) VNN – H Vale (1)
(1 – 2) Kettering Town (A) VNN – J Edwards (1)
(1 – 2) Gateshead (H) VNN – C Gittings (1)
(2 – 2) Blyth Spartans (H) VNN – K Anderson (1), M Goodridge (1)
(1 – 0) York City (A) VNN – M Tait (1)
(1 – 1) Kidderminster Harriers (A) VNN – M Goodridge (1)

We close November in a hugely disappointing position, having suffered a series of annoying defeats in games we might fairly have won with a bit of fighting spirit. It’s easy to identify that the temporal nature of a team built on young loanees lends itself to less of a battling mentality, yet still it must be said that these are talented players playing, mostly, below the threshold expected of their abilities. And, further, there is no excuse for the performances of Ben Alnwick, whose awful shot-to-save ratio belies his experience. It is difficult, though, to see what one might do about the situation, given that Alnwick is a core player and leader within the squad.

Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S1E4 – December-January 2021

(Leamington FC, National League North)



Results being what they were through to November, big changes were required as we head into the Christmas period. A clear problem could be fixed immediately – Ben Chrisene, a loanee from Aston Villa had put in a sequence of poor performances at left-back in his short time at the club, and it was a simple decision to send him packing. I replaced him with 28-year-old Jernade Meade on a free transfer, something which garnered much praise from the board. I also saw the opportunity to make a move of the heart, rather than the head – former Manchester United winger Chris Eagles, who I once had on the back of my shirt as a teenager (seriously) – who was not only a decent addition to the squad, but also a remarkably cheap one.

IN – Short Loan – Striker, Charlie Jolley from Wigan Athletic
IN – Free – Attacking Midfielder, Chris Eagles
IN – Free – Full Back, Jernade Meade

OUT – Terminated Loan – Full Back, Ben Chrisene to Aston Villa


Michael Tait, who had been an important goalscoring option for us in pre-season, got a fairly lengthy injury against Kidderminster. While I made a move for a temporary replacement in Charlie Jolley, I decided to use this opportunity to trial a strikerless 4-1-2-3 formation, with Harvey Vale operating as a lone shadow striker, flanked by inside forwards.

(0 – 3) Telford United (A) VNN –
(3 – 0) Braintree Town (A) FT2 – S Tavares (1), H Vale (2)
(0 – 0) Southport (H) VNN –
(1 – 0)e Boston United (H) FT3 – H Vale (1)
(1 – 1) Flyde (H) VNN – H Vale (1)
(2 – 3) Darlington (A) VNN – H Vale (1), K Anderson (1)

This change in approach yielded a moderate improvement in results as we progressed through November. Yet while results in the cup were especially promising, we were still well below expectations in the league. It was clear, as per the lethality of Vale during this period, that there was some merit to the strikerless approach, and perhaps one could also credit a more compacted midfield-based formation with a sequence of clean sheets. On the other hand, with Tait shortly to return and no other viable starting option than Vale in that AM position, it is clear that the strikerless approach isn’t sustainable for the remaining months – though, perhaps as a template to build on for the future – and that reinforcements in core positions were very much needed in January.

IN – Free – Central Defender, Lloyd Jones
IN – Free – Central Defender, Connor Johnson
IN – Free – Central Midfielder, Reece Cole
IN – Short Loan – Defensive Midfielder, Josh Austerfield from Huddersfield Town


Though performances will ultimately be the arbiter, I tentatively say that my January business may have been among the most successful conducted in over a decade of football management games. With a raft of contract expiries and bored long-term free agents, I was able to negotiate three impressively favourable deals in Jones, Johnson and Cole, their cumulative salaries adding less than £1K to the weekly wage budget for a trio of starting XI-standard players.

(1 – 1) Chester (H) VNN – H Vale (1)
(2 – 2) Alfreton Town (H) VNN – H Vale (1), M Tait (1)
(3 – 5) Chorley (A) VNN – M Tait (3)
(1 – 2) Eastleigh (H) FT4 – H Vale (1)
(2 – 1) Farsley Celtic (H) VNN – Eagles (1), Gittings (1)
(0 – 0) Brackley Town (A) VNN –

Despite an apparent improvement in league results over the last two months, the teams around us conspired in their efforts to leave us in a worse position at the end of January than in November. My frustration reached a head away to Chorley, a game in which Ben Alnwick conceded every single shot our opposition had. Risking the ire of a squad in which he is seen as a leader, I dropped him from the starting XI and played Jake Weaver instead for the remainder of the month. I have no idea whether the FM algorithms will signal this to Alnwick to stop being complacent, but one can only hope, as it is in defence where our failings this season are rooted, particularly in the efficacy of a player who is not earning his rather hefty salary.

Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S1E5 – February-March 2021

(Leamington FC, National League North)



I started February with another run-in with Kaiman Anderson about his disruptive attitude in training, but again, bizarrely, the squad at large continue to side with the player – just further highlighting problems with the poor culture at the club. The addition of new players in recent months, conducted with the purpose of improving the character as well as the prowess of the squad, has mellowed the pot somewhat, but there is still a sizeable contingent of the feckless enough to react to discipline with disruption.

With our position precariously balanced on the edge of the relegation zone and a squad with whom I command little respect, one is tempted by thoughts of moving on. Nevertheless, I have a job to do, and continued to tweak with the tactical foundations which had shown promise over the holiday period; specifically, I switched from an Attacking mentality to a more balance position on the pitch, and decided to scrap my Disciplined approach for more creative freedom. Ben Alnwick returned to the starting XI.

(3 – 1) Curzon Ashton (H) VNN – C Jolley (2), L Jones (1)
(1 – 0) Bradford Park Avenue (H) VNN – J Edwards (1)
(2 – 1) Boston United (A) VNN – H Vale (2)
(1 – 0) Gloucester City (H) VNN – R Cole (1)
(2 – 0) Guiseley (H) VNN – M Tait (1), R Cole (1)

To mimic the old adage about buses, you wait ages for a win, then 5 come along all at once. The return of a refreshed Alnwick and the integration of our two latest signings in Jones and Johnson at centre-back, replacing Mace and Lane meant a vast improvement in our defensive record. With the change in creative focus, almost like flipping a switch, a team which had found itself hovering above the drop put in a series of confident victories, leading with great surprise to my first personal award, VNN Manager of the Month for February 2021.



OUT – Loan Expired – Striker, Charlie Jolley to Wigan Athletic

(1 – 0) Hereford (A) VNN – M Tait (1)
(2 – 1) Spennymoor Town (A) VNN – M Tait (2)
(1 – 2) Gateshead (A) VNN – A Diallo (1)
(3 – 0) Kettering Town (H) VNN – M Tait (1), R Cole (1), H Vale (1)
(2 – 1) York City (H) VNN – H Vale (1), A Diallo (1)

This good turn of results continued into March, and we rather inexplicably found ourselves in contention for the play-offs as the month ended. If one dared to be optimistic, being only 13 points off the top and in the best form in the league, it’s not impossible to mount a challenge for the title in the remaining 12 games; but, as I consider such a prospect, it’s quite clear that this is more a mathematical fancy than a workable plan given the size of the gap and unproven resolve of a team which has really only started to display its quality.

Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S1E6 – April-May 2021

(Leamington FC, National League North)



With the season coming closer to its conclusion, and with the squad in high spirits following a run of great results, I decided to chance a series of cost-efficient contract renewals; deciding that I would only retain players for the same or less money, I managed to re-sign a good core of players, notably the club’s ageing captain, Callum Gittings. Nevertheless, as we rolled into April unexpectedly focused on a possible promotion fight, I have in mind the incoming mini-exodus of greedier players and a possible squad rebuild along more preferable lines in the summer. Where, just two months ago I flirted with the prospect of abandoning a sinking ship, there is now, somewhere in the sentence, a laboured metaphor about lighthouses and dry land.

OUT – Loan Expired – Defensive Midfielder, Josh Austerfield to Huddersfield Town

IN – Free – Defensive Midfielder, Mo Adams


With Michael Tait injured for what seemed like the 10th time this season, I realised that I needed to bolster the midfield, especially the defensive midfield position in which Mason Goodridge had been working overtime thanks to Josh Austerfield having spent around about 9 of his 12 week loan injured. Fortunately, MLS side Atlanta United had just released 24-year-old Mo Adams, who was eager to return to his native country, and to a league with far more quality than the MLS.

(2 – 0) Blyth Spartans (A) VNN – R Cole (1), H Vale (1)
(0 – 1) Kidderminster Harriers (H) VNN –
(2 – 1) Telford United (H) VNN – H Vale (1), J Meade (1)
(2 – 0) Southport (A) VNN – H Vale (1), R Cole (1)
(2 – 2) Flyde (A) VNN – H Vale (2)
(3 – 2) Chester (A) VNN – H Vale (1), A Diallo (1), R Cole (1)

We closed out April with an early birthday present to me – Reece Cole, in 94th minute against Chester, walloped home a 35-yard freekick to send us into 4th, going into the final month. This result was doubly pleasing as I have developed an instinctive dislike for Chester having spent 4 years at university living with a Wrexham fan, who would sing anti-Chester songs whenever he got drunk, which, being from Wrexham, was about 5 times a week. Adapting to injuries by having Harvey Vale as a lone shadow striker had again proven to be a tactical change verging on the mentally transcendent as the Chelsea loanee bagged his 20th goal of the season.

(3 – 0) Darlington (H) VNN – C Eagles (2), H Vale (1)
(1 – 0) Chorley (H) VNN – L Jones (1)
(1 – 0) Alfreton Town (A) VNN – M Tait (1)
(1 – 1) Brackley Town (H) VNN – M Tait (1)
(3 – 0) Farsley Celtic (A) VNN – M Tait (2), A Diallo (1)
(2 – 0) Bradford Park Avenue (A) VNN – H Vale (1), S Osborne (1)

By some as yet unidentified, possibly eldritch force, my Leamington side, who had for months teetered on the edge of non-league oblivion, improved upon recent form in the final month and secured our place in the VNN Play-Offs not merely comfortably, but effortlessly. We were perhaps aided by a sequence of games against bottom-half sides, though this nevertheless required an effort which a squad not renowned for its work ethic were able to conjure. Perhaps the most satisfying event, though, was to FM FM, when Sam Osborne popped up in the dying days of May to score his first and only goal of the season; after many years of seeing that little notification pop up throughout March and April, this was a goal which myself and many others will find very satisfying.



And so my first season of my first save on FM21 comes to a head with a play-off fight against Spennymoor Town, Gloucester City and Chorley, all three of whom had beaten us early in the season, and all three to whom we had returned the favour after January. I go into these games with cautious optimism as the in-form side, though certainly not unimpeachable, as demonstrated by recent disappointments against Brackley and Kidderminster. My greatest concern is that Harvey Vale will miss the first fixture due to a knock; we have been highly dependent on his goals in the latter stages of the season, and the team is notably weakened by his absence.

You found some pace at the end, an excellent way of salvaging something from the season. Had the recovery started some weeks before, you could even have challenged for the title
Quite the contrast to earlier results. A brilliant run in the second-half of the season. Best of luck in the play-offs. Let's hope the momentum you take into them serves you well, even without a key man in Vale.
Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S1E7 – VNN Play-Off 20/2021

(Leamington FC, National League North)



To find out on the day of an important match, perhaps the most important match of the season, that your best defender, Dan Meredith, has been called away on international duty is unpleasant enough; but to discover that he is being called away for something as insubstantial as representing Scotland just takes the biscuit. The full-back positions have been a point of concern through the season, with Meredith and Jernade Meade having no serious competition from the 4 other first-team full backs one might choose from. I decided to go for youthful vigour over an experienced head and replaced Meredith with Shay Nicholson.

I went into the Gloucester game with a lot of nerves; I’ve been shivved by FM too many times to count on good form going into matches which are the culmination of a season’s worth of efforts. Reacting to the loss of Harvey Vale, our top goalscorer, to a small knock, and with that gap in talent now presented on the right side of defence, I pulled the side into a slightly more contained position, relying on our already narrow positioning to lock out the opponent.

(1 – 0) Gloucester City (H) VNN – C Gittings (1)

And it worked, facilitated by a helpful early goal from our captain, Callum Gittings. In true Jose Mourinho fashion, I spent most of the game controlling the clock, playing safe, and generally frustrating the opposition. Ben Alnwick, at times inconsistent as a stop-stopper, was rarely tested as Gloucester were forced wide.

Gloucester City being, on paper, the worst side in the Play-Offs, our next game would require slightly more than basic game management; we would play Spennymoor Town, who had finished above us in the table. Fortunately, both Meredith and Vale had returned, meaning we went into this final with a full-strength side. I could (and did) return to a more balanced position, mentality, whatever you call it.



We did it! I had thought, when Vale missed a penalty in the 4th minute, that I was about to be FM’ed; but the player redeemed himself with an impressive performance and two goals, bringing his final tally for the season to 24 goals. I hadn’t expected to be promoted, and the form which I managed to hold in the latter half of the season to achieve it has taught me quite a few things. It’s quite clear that I made some errors in the transfer market in pre-season – namely, that I made an incorrect assessment about the core of the side, and ought to have signed players on the level of Jones (DC), Johnson (DC) and Cole (MC) much sooner than I did. I’ve also discovered that you don’t need a striker to bang out great results and, in fact, a competent attacking midfielder can be as effective as a traditionally positioned forward. There are also a few functionality quirks with regards to club dynamics and loanee players which need to be factored in. I will address all of these things as I prepare for the next season.

---

Replies

@Tango, I think I can credit the revival with the addition of Reece Cole, Connor Johnson and Lloyd Jones; I'm not sure they were available prior to January (or I didn't see them if they were) so I think that the only time I could've revived sooner was by actually signing players in the right quality earlier in the season. A lesson learned.

@ScottT, thanks. Things always tend to be stronger in the second half, I find, as you find a rhythm and tinker tactics until they click. Plus, January and the chance to sign new players and any winter expirees always goes a long way.
congrats, the gods of FM accepted your offer and you were allowed to progress
Great character from Vale to respond to missing a penalty in the way he did. Congratulations on promotion!
Harleygator's avatar Group Harleygator
5 monthsEdited
Football Manager Story: A Football Manager Story
S2E1 – Summer 2021

(Leamington FC, National League)



As expected, the summer began with an exodus of players from the squad. This is to be expected in LLM, as clubs tend to rely on a large contingent of cheap talent from the upper leagues, as well as short-term contracts for club-owned players. While this can lead to losing important players due to ambitions above the club or demands for too much money, it’s also an opportunity to revamp or revitalise a squad; in this case, to redress the imbalance of deadwood in the forward positions. As mentioned previously, the effectiveness of playing a strikerless formation was a lesson I wanted to carry into my plans for Leamington, and with this in mind I allowed the contracts of every striker at the club to lapse and subsequently released them.

OUT – Released – Goalkeeper, Ben Newey
OUT – Released – Winger, Sam Osborne
OUT – Released – Winger, Connor Taylor
OUT – Released – Striker, Danny Waldron
OUT – Released – Striker, Lance Smith
OUT – Released – Striker, Joe Parker
OUT – Loan Expired – Central Defender, Ibane Bowat to Fulham
OUT – Loan Expired – Defensive Midfielder, Mason Goodridge to Burnley
OUT – Loan Expired – Central Midfielder, Sidnei Tavares to Leicester City
OUT – Loan Expired – Attacking Midfielder, Harvey Vale to Chelsea
OUT – Loan Expired – Winger, Amadou Diallo to West Ham United
OUT – Loan Expired – Striker, Michael Tait to Aston Villa

IN – Graduate – Central Defender, Robbie Gelhardt
IN – Graduate – Defensive Midfielder, Gareth Patterson
IN – Graduate – Striker, Kris Ellison
IN – Graduate – Striker, Ryheem England
IN – Graduate – Striker, Saif Mengi


Rather annoyingly, the youth intake literally wiped out the whole first stage of my plans to go strikerless with the promotion of three of the b*stards from the “academy” (local school leavers, most likely). Four of the players are likely to be forgettable, but one of the players is among the best regens I’ve seen in recent years – Kris Ellison, a target man who could grow into a real team leader, whether for Leamington or some future club. Among his notable stats, 15 Aerial, 15 Leadership, 18 Teamwork and 17 Pace; and while lacking in other areas, he provides a new option when I want to variate from the planned strikerless formation.

In terms of team building and transfers, I am not going to rely on loan signings going forwards, even if it means stretching the wage budget a bit. The reason is that functionally, FM doesn’t allow a full scope of interaction with all aspects of loanee players, making it more difficult to manage things like morale and development for these players; and morale being a particularly viral phenomenon in the club dynamics, this is a lack of control which is intolerable as we move into a higher league with tougher opposition and, likely, less consistent results.

Goalkeepers – Ben Alnwick, Jake Weaver
Defenders – Lloyd Jones, Connor Johnson, Jack Lane, Josh Martin, James Mace, Kyle Morrison, Robbie Gelhardt
Full-Backs – Dan Meredith, Jernade Meade, Shay Nicholson, Stephan Morley, Junior English, Tom James
Midfielders – Mo Adams, Reece Cole, Chris Eagles, Callum Gittings, Joe Clarke, Jack Edwards, Simeon Maye, Joel Giblin, Gareth Patterson
Wingers – David Alvarez, Kaiman Anderson, Pedro Fernandes
Strikers – Kris Ellison, Ryheem England, Saif Mengi

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Replies

@Tango, indeed, I will live 6 months less for this promotion, but it's worth it.

@ScottT, I think my side has missed more penalties than they've scored, honestly, so at least they can do the job in open play.
I managed to pull off a beautiful strikerless formation in FM16, then never again. Interesting to see that it still works

off-topic: I was reading about British town names, now I don't know if I call your GK Ben Alnwick or Ben Annick

You are reading "Leamington - 2026/27".

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Stam
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