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The only way is up...

Started on 30 July 2012 by gizzydrop / First Post
Latest Reply on 2 August 2012 by gizzydrop / Last Post
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When we are young, there is always one certain team that we hold close to us, that has a special place, that first match your dad takes you to see. United? Arsenal? Chelsea? Maybe...but for me, that was West Bromwich Albion.

All of my hours of hard work on the training ground and in the park on a Sunday, I hoped would one day lead to playing for MY club. Having played for the WBA youth squad for 2 years, I know what it is like to taste a bit of that dream, but things don't always turn out the way we hoped.

Now I am 26 and find myself out of work. Surely my past in football, my enthusiasm, my drive and grit should amount to something? But who in their right mind would hire me to manage a premier league side? haha, it really does make you laugh.

There is, however, a local team from Solihull, the Solihull Moors, who founded in 2007, have found it difficult to really get anywhere in the Blue Square Bet North. People say its never too late to follow your dreams, mine being to manage my beloved WBA, and we all need to start somewhere. We don't just pop out of school and snap our fingers and all of a sudden achieve our hopes and dreams.

I made my way down to Damson Park to stake my claim. After a meeting with the chairman, Nigel Collins, who seems to share the same ambitions as I do, we thrashed out a £325/week 2 year deal for me to take the plunge and get this club off the ground. It is a big gamble hiring someone as inexperienced and young as myself.

However, just like Nigel said to me....the only way is up, Adam.

This is looking rather interesting and I'll follow this ;)

Liverpool for me, lol. Started off supporting Manchester United but once I grew up and became sensible I switched allegiance to Liverpool ;) hahahaha. The first football match I watched was a Liverpool one - unfortunately I have never gotten the chance to go to a stadium and watch it live or anything :(
Nice story so far!! Are you planning to get a job offer at WBA in the end?? My first football match was Stoke at the Brittania!!
After meeting the staff and media, it was time to start this seemingly long uphill process. I've told them I am going to reshape this club from top to bottom and i'm a people's person, so they can come to me when they have a problem, even though i'm a hard nosed bas***d!

There is an awful lot of dead wood and very little quality in both the coaching staff and the players. We seem to have more directors than the rest of the staff combined, unfortunately this is probably not an issue I can address. I cleared out the back room team apart from the physiotherapist who has 12 for physio, can't seem to find better.

As for the players, they are on part time contracts generally, and a number of them play for free. Despite some of them really not being of much use, the ones that play for free are basically staying just in case. Some players have been sold and some released. My thinking is I would rather pay the compensation and have the room on the wage budget to bring in some stuffing and some quality. Here are a few... Especially happy with the keeper who's potential is to be a leading npower league 1 keeper and players for £55/week!





You will also be happy to hear that pre season went well. Obviously it is all about getting match fit and it is the season that matters, even so...always nice to be scoring and not conceding many right?



Feels like I am really lacking some quality in places but it will be a slow process. For now need to focus on producing some good results and if things dont go to plan, can always loan some players in january or bring in some new recruits.

#60488 Glenn T : This is looking rather interesting and I'll follow this ;)

Liverpool for me, lol. Started off supporting Manchester United but once I grew up and became sensible I switched allegiance to Liverpool ;) hahahaha. The first football match I watched was a Liverpool one - unfortunately I have never gotten the chance to go to a stadium and watch it live or anything :(

First match my dad ever took me to was WBA...when we used to be good!

#60489 jamstoe : Nice story so far!! Are you planning to get a job offer at WBA in the end?? My first football match was Stoke at the Brittania!!

Exactly, I want to build up a good reputation and hopefully the WBA position will become available sometime in the future. When I hopefully get that job...time to conquer the world ;)
This story is looking as if its gonna be v.good. Its great to see people doing stories on the lower leagues rather than Manu scum etc. Good Luck. My first match was Luton Town when they were in the championship. How times have changed.

Strong start to the season for Solihull Moors


(H)Solihull Moors 6 - 0 Colwyn Bay
(A)Solihull Moors 2 - 2 Droylsden
(H)Solihull Moors 1 - 0 Vauxhall
(A)Solihull Moors 0 - 0 Gainsborough
(H)Solihull Moors 3 - 0 Altrincham
(A)Solihull Moors 4 - 1 Bishop Stortford

which leaves the league looking like so...




Well this is a much better start than I had considered. Using a variety of tactics and I seem to be hitting the nail on the head at the moment, especially happy with the performance of my keeper James Gilpin who appears to be a real gem. Not only that, but as you can see my strikers have settled in just fine.
Jake Rosier - 5 goals in 6 games with 7.75 rating (one of my free transfers with great potential)
Simon Johnson - 6 goals in 6 games with 7.7 rating
Cant get anyone else to catch fire in the end zone yet.

As I said near the beginning, the midfield is a little bit of a worry for me, lots of people coming through, some dead wood, and a couple playing out of position. The other challenge is that people are frequently getting tired, meaning I need to rotate the squad a lot.

At the back it is looking very nice indeed, I am well loaded with talent as well as experience and my left back Thomas Lyskov having a good average rating after his minor injury, 3 games and 7.3. Also only conceded 3 goals in 6 games (!)

Couple of things to note
1) Players fatigue - players seem to lose their match fitness quickly as well as getting tired quickly. I imagine this is due to being part time and the number of matches our league has to offer.
2) Finances not looking great at present but now the transfer window has closed, and all the business that was done was to bring in recruits and no one wants any of my players...hopefully will be steadily going up as I am under the wage budget.
3) I have requested a couple of things like increased scouting range, some more coaches...flatly refused, we obviously have no money to do anything with :p. As ive said before, looks like a long drawn out process where I will need to win some stuff before anything will budge.

As much as I like this save, think there will be a lot of updates that are just the month by month scores and really try and make an impact in the transfer window. It will be vitally important to try and get people cheaply who will be developing nicely when I (hopefully) get promoted.
Do you ever get it when you are not quite sure if you are asleep or awake..? Is it a bad nightmare? Is it reality? You pray it is the latter...

Sloppy start to September stutters Solihull surge

(H) Solihull Moors 0 - 3 Workington
(H) Solihull Moors 0 - 2 Hinckley

What a disaster! They say football is a funny old game and it is, maybe I got the tactics wrong? I tried to dominate proceedings but maybe it was best to not get ahead of ourselves?

These were two games (at home!) that we were meant to be firm favourites for. I would like to say we got unlucky but as my nightmare suggested, we got stuffed and didnt turn up. However, things did take a turn for the better...

(A) Solihull Moors 4 - 0 Harrogate
(A) Solihull Moors 4 - 0 Boston UTD

Absolutely demolished these two teams, didnt get a damn sniff! Slightly worried with regards to my last game of the month though, a relegation battling team who I should beat...how will the gods see my fine form?

(H) Solihull Moors 1 - 1 Gloucester

grrrrr!! Again, home, again, should dominate the match, again, didnt turn up....so unfuriating. Demolish teams who should beat you away but can't beat easier teams at home?

Overall, September hasnt been too bad. 7 points from 15 is not great but the league table still leaves us here...



The nightmare that the month started as certainly picked up, however, had we got something more out of the matches we were meant to, we could certainly be sitting in the top 3 rather than just inside the playoffs.

Similar points to the first month to note
1) James Gilpin continues to be a rock between the sticks.
2) Simon Johnson (11 goals, 11 appearances) and Jake Rosier (9 goals, 11 appearances) continue to impress up front.
3) Struggling some games in midfield, lacking some real quality there so I am going to spend the next month looking for loan opportunities or a free transfer, especially for DMC as currently I only have one good player there (and he is out of position!)
4) Looking reasonably good at the back, having to rotate all the time is a pain in the ass. Also 3 of my defenders are over the age of 31 and play for free, so this is an issue I might need to address in January as they probably wont cut it in the division above.

Any tips for teams you should be beating at home? I generally tell them to relax and they react positively but the result doesn't come?
You need money, right?
Well start of season 2, you can get lotsa money.
1: Organise as many friendly tournaments as possible with the highest possible teams.
2: simulate matches on match day
3: ???
4: Season 3, you should have a good 1-3M in your pocket.

Disaster!


(H) FA CUP 2ND ROUND Solihull Moors 5 - 1 Leamington

Sounds like a good result with 4.5k for my troubles...however
Simon Johnson for 3-4 months!
Jake Rosier Unfit, hopefully back in training shortly
Thomas Lyskov Unfit, hopefully back in training shortly

Luckily Sam Lovatt, one of the young strikers i brought in (who isnt as good as I hoped!), scored a brace vs Leamington and his average rating is on the up.

Stay tuned :)

Aloft in August


(H) FA CUP 2ND QUAL. ROUND Solihull Moors 5 - 1 Leamington
(A) Solihull Moors 1 - 0 Halifax
(H) Solihull Moors 2 - 1 Blyth
(H) FA CUP 3RD QUAL. ROUND Solihull Moors 4 - 0 Cirencester
(A) Solihull Moors 2 - 1 Hyde
(H) FA CUP 4TH QUAL. ROUND Solihull Moors 4 - 2 AFC Telford

What a month it has been, 6 wins in 6 and that wasn't good enough for manager of the month!

Coping without Simon Johnson is going very well with Sam Lovatt managing a brace and a hat-trick to move him up to 8 goals from 14 games. No doubt this was partly down to John Melligan and Will Richards with 18 assists between them in 31 games.

Defence has been solid once more. Stuart Pierpoint has not been getting many games at his preferred CB, but has been making RB his own with an average rating of over 7 this month when played there whilst veteran Craig Hinton has been injured. Matthew Pike has also been performing well at CB. Brought him in at the start of the season but was injured for a while, average rating of 7.1 and this is how he is looking...



A little bit of business this month. My 29 year old CM/M(R) John Melligan has signed a 1 year contract for 230 a week. Previously he was playing for free, I felt due to his 10 assists and general gelling with the rest of the team, as well as my problems with midfield in general, it was best to pay up and keep him on board.



Furthermore, I got rid of one of my poorer strikers and brought in someone who looks like an absolute gem. Charles Adameno has come in on a free for 250 a week, and in his first game vs AFC Telford he scored a brace with an average rating of 9, he comes in as my best current striker.



Hope you are all enjoying my story, please do comment, good or bad =)
This now leaves the league table looking (very pretty) like so



And in the first round of the FA CUP we play MK Dons, a real challenge from League 1
Great story so far I will definitely be following to see where you end up and if you can achieve your dream of leading out your boyhood club at The Hawthorns. I am a life long Manchester City supporter for 26 now almost 27 years and you've given me a great idea for my next story (Probably FM2013 now though). I must say The Baggies have great passionate fans also I've been there on many occasion Vs West Brom and it's always been a great atmosphere.
Your story is really interesting because people like me get no exposure to lower league or semi-professional clubs. This is great, and I hope you have the patience and energy to carry on and manage West Brom! :)

Solihull continue their good start


(A) Solihull Moors 1 - 2 Nuneaton
This was 1st vs 2nd, disappointed to lose, but it was away and we had a penalty shout turned down, and conceded to 2 goals from outside the box.
(H) Solihull Moors 4 - 2 Histon
2 goals for Histon was doing them a real credit, all over them for the entire match.
(H) Solihull Moors 2 - 1 Stalybridge
This was 1st v 2nd again, we produced twice their chances and 4 clear cut ones, a deserved win.

Not a bad start to the month. One of my (unplayed) experienced left back got offered a contract elsewhere, he was playing for free anyway and worth nothing. Also an experienced back up striker left, also playing for nothing and a value of 0, so hopefully shouldn't affect the team at all.

With Sam Lovatt, Jake Rosier and Charles Adameno leading the front line, scoring is not the problem. Remember, also have my leading scorer Sam Johnson to come back from injury hopefully before christmas. NB Sam Lovatt in these 3 games scored 2 of the best chips I have ever seen, real or virtual, dont know where they came from at all.

Next up is away to MK Dons in the first round of the FA Cup...wish me luck!

#60728 mcfc1985 : Great story so far I will definitely be following to see where you end up and if you can achieve your dream of leading out your boyhood club at The Hawthorns. I am a life long Manchester City supporter for 26 now almost 27 years and you've given me a great idea for my next story (Probably FM2013 now though). I must say The Baggies have great passionate fans also I've been there on many occasion Vs West Brom and it's always been a great atmosphere.

Yeah, I remember the 1-1 draw we earned against you at the Hawthorns this season, 12 men behind the ball and scored on the counter ;). Not the best football so to speak but...far superior team. But yeah, excellent atmosphere down there.

#60734 Gurdit : Your story is really interesting because people like me get no exposure to lower league or semi-professional clubs. This is great, and I hope you have the patience and energy to carry on and manage West Brom! :)

Glad you are enjoying it, will try and keep it lively with pictures and all the information I can think to show you. I hope I will have the energy to do it, the support I get from telling the story helps no end.

FA CUP FIRST ROUND SHOWDOWN WITH MK DONS


(A) Solihull Moors 1 - 3 MK Dons

Not much to write home about unfortunately. They dominated the game and I tried to play on the counter attack, managed a goal but conceded 3 in the process. We are disappointed but when we sit back and realise the opposition we were against...can't really complain that much.

(A) Solihull Moors 1 - 2 Worcester

This was very disappointing performance. Scored an early goal and looked to be coasting it. Beginning of the second half they had a 30 min period where I dont think we had a shot and we couldnt recover from conceding twice although we certainly created plenty of chances

(H) Solihull Moors 6 - 1 Abington UTD

This FA Trophy 3rd round qualifier was a nice chance to flex our muscles after back to back defeats and being dumped out of the FA Cup, and they didnt disappoint. With a hat-trick from Jake Rosier, as well as goals from my other 2 strikers, Charles Adameno and my new addition Alvaro Jalo.

Jake Lovatt has been scoring regularly but I am looking to the future where I dont think he will cut it. Furthermore, Jalo has a better current rating, as well as having a pay as you play contract of £70 per performance with a goal bonus, so wont encumber me too much financially.

So overall a turbulent month, dumped out of the FA Cup but sailing through the FA Trophy, beat 2nd in the league and lost to 19th...mr consistency we are not. Still seem to be scoring freely and I have a few people back from injury, as well as bringing in a new face in Alvaro Jalo.



Ive gone to town on trying to loan a CM...another update will follow soon.

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