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The Darren Fletcher Journey

Started on 9 February 2021 by Feliks
Latest Reply on 1 March 2021 by TheLFCFan
Cassidy and Byrne are very good additions, should get on very nicely this season.

Pre-Season Review

This summer would be my first pre-season as a professional football manager, giving me the chance to build a squad and familiarise them with my tactical system. Fitness was also key, as we look to finish in the top three again this season and make inroads against the dominant Old Firm.
Date Opponent Result Goalscorers
03/07 Albion Rovers A 0-3 Stewart, Cassidy, Carrington
06/07 FC Utrecht H 3-1 Fraser (x2), Polworth
10/07 Cumbernauld Colts A 0-2 Byrne (x2)
24/07 Leyton Orient A 0-2 Cassidy (x2)
I didn't want to overschedule when it came to friendlies so we played four in total to build match fitness. Our Scottish trips to Albion Rovers and Cumbernauld went as expected, and we weren't troubled facing English fourth-tier side Leyton Orient, but our best win was undoubtedly a 3-1 win over FC Utrecht, likely the calibre of team we will need to beat to make it to the Europa League group stage.
Player Nat. From Fee
Jack Wilshere free agent free
Ross Stewart Ross County free
Cameron MacPherson St Mirren £69,000
Kerr McInroy Celtic free
Eddie Carrington Tottenham free
Matthew Craig Tottenham free
Jack Byrne Shamrock Rovers £350,000
Kelland Watts Newcastle loan
Ryan Cassidy Watford loan
Scott Fraser MK Dons free
Player Nat. To Fee
Jordan White St Mirren £88,000
Ricki Lamie Kilmarnock £47,000
Although we didn't have the most incredible budget, this window was my chance to bring in the players I wanted and I didn't waste any time, signing a total of eight players for the first team squad and a couple of promising youngsters as well. Jack Byrne was the major purchase at £350,000 and address some shortcomings on the wing for us. Jack Wilshere and Scott Fraser, both free transfers, should provide some absolute class whilst Watts and Cassidy represent great squad depth on loan.
Pre-season's main premise is to get the players fit and ready for the start of the season but it's always nice to get a good run of results together. Fletcher will be pleased.

Motherwell draw Maribor in Europa League playoff

2 August 2021

Motherwell have been drawn against NK Maribor in the UEFA Europa League playoff.

The Slovenian champions overcame Legia Warszawa to reach this round after being eliminated from the Champions League by Ludogorets.

The first leg will be played in Scotland on the 19th of August, with the return leg in Slovenia on the 26th.

Motherwell failed to reach the group stage of the Europa League last year after a disappointing loss to MSK Zilina but a win in this fixture will secure their first ever group stage entry in a continental competition.

The loser of this tie will join the new UEFA Conference League at the group stage.
Not the easiest of challenges for Motherwell. Maribor have a good level of pedigree with experience in European competition.

2021/22 Squad Report

Whilst in my first six months I largely had to make do with what I had, this summer I had been able to make a number of additions to the squad to both bolster the quality at the club as well as fit the style of play I want to implement. We're not quite at the financial level of the likes of Hibernian and Aberdeen but I think this squad has the goods to secure best of the rest again.
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Jordan Archer 28 GK
Trevor Carson 33 GK
Aaron Chapman 31 GK
The dependable Trevor Carson will remain our number 1 choice this season after a strong 2020/21 campaign. Jordan Archer remains as our number two, refusing to leave the club despite me accepting offers for him, whilst Aaron Chapman - who missed most of last season with injury - will provide depth.
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Jake Carroll 30 D(L)
David Devine 20 D(C)
Liam Donnelly 25 D(RC), DM
Charles Dunne 28 D(C)
Declan Gallagher (captain 30 D(C)
Nathan McGinley 24 D(L)
Kelland Watts 21 D(C)
We haven't made too many changes to the defensive unit this season, and will rely again on the quality performances of Declan Gallagher and Jake Carroll who really shone last year. Kelland Watts is a promising centre back on loan from Newcastle that will vie with David Devine for the left centre back position. Nathan McGinley and Liam Donnelly are two players who need to prove their usefulness this season or may find themselves on the chopping block.
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Jack Byrne 25 M(R), AM(RC)
Allan Campbell 23 M(C)
Scott Fraser 26 M/AM(C)
Cameron MacPherson 22 M(C)
Kerr McInroy 20 M(C)
Mark O'Hara 25 M(C)
Liam Polworth 26 M(C)
Jack Wilshere 29 M/AM(C)
Midfield was where we made the biggest improvements this off-season, and where I hope we can win our games. Allan Campbell remains the linchpin in central midfield but I'm spoilt for choice as to his partner; Scott Fraser, Jack Wilshere and Liam Polworth are all top players for this level and in order to fit them all in a few of them will play wide as well. Jack Byrne is our only true winger and has pressure to succeed due to his £350k price tag whilst Cameron MacPherson will likely play predominantly at right back.
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Ryan Cassidy 20 ST
Chris Long 26 ST
Ross MacIver 22 AM(RC), ST
Ross Stewart 25 ST
Tony Watt 27 ST
Last season's leading goalscorer Chris Long will likely pair up with Ross Stewart as our striker partnership for this season, with Ryan Cassidy providing depth and some competition for a starting spot. Tony Watt is a player who's been frustrating so far, and will need to improve to keep his spot in this side.
Squad Facts
Youngest player: David Devine - 20 years old
Oldest player: Trevor Carson - 33 years old
Shortest player: Allan Campbell - 174cm
Tallest player: Aaron Chapman - 204cm
Lightest player: Jack Wilshere - 65kg
Heaviest player: Declan Gallagher - 93kg
Highest earner:: Jack Byrne - £3,200 p/w
Lowest earner: Kerr McInroy - £475 p/w
Most capped international: Jack Wilshere (England) - 34 caps
The options in midfield look fantastic!
A really strong squad going into the new season. Slightly off the pace of Celtic or Rangers, but a few plucky performances should see you through that.
Looking forward to the next instalment. Keep the good work
A strong squad is forming here and a good run in Europe will really help to boost the finances and allow you to start competing with the big two.

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