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[FM18] Fun with Tactics

Discussion in 'Offline Dynasties' started by NML, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. NML

    NML Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    15,257
    FALL UPDATE



    What a roller coaster this season has been

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    We started off red hot and actually led the league after four matches. We were in the playoff spots for almost the entire ride, just recently falling out.

    The start was completely unexpected. Not that we were decent defensively, but the massive amount of goals we were scoring. That ten match run may end up keeping us up, because we have since found the form of a team that was the favorite to be relegated.

    The reality is that this is what I expected our season to be like - we got a gift in that early form. So the rest of the way will be about grinding out points. We currently sit in 14th, ten points clear, and probably don’t even need to match our points to be safe.

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    We got our one required win and the bowed out of the FA Cup. A big run here was never in the cards. FA Trophy starts next month

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    We are in a perfect financial situation. Already over a million in the bank, we have the best attendance in the league and our season tickets (1,600) double up most of the league’s average per match.

    Furthermore, our long term goals have taken major steps forward. The board agreed to increase our junior coaching budget - which increase the potential ability of regens - and then agreed to put our u18’s into the bottom level of the English youth setup. In order to do so, we had to upgrade our youth facilities, which you can see is underway. I haven’t checked, but I imagine we have the best (or nearly the best) youth setup of the entire sixth tier. I went ahead and hired a director of youth development to streamline the process too.

    We’ve added two players since the pre-season - Scott Kerr, a veteran center mid who paired well with Godfrey, but unfortunately picked up a career ending injury after just four matches. He immediately started his coaching credentials so maybe we’ll look to bring him in to the staff. The other was a RB, Mitchell Nelson. A physical beast with a long throw, he’s been uneven with us, but at 28 is in his prime and hopefully settles in as we’ve locked him up until 2019.

    Assuming our form levels off and we seem like good bets to stay up, our focus will be on getting younger talent with fifth tier potential who’s contracts expire at the end of the season. Lots of players rotating in on loan and hopefully we can find some pieces before the offseason.
     
    goblue96 likes this.
  2. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

    Posts:
    14,799
    Location:
    Clifton Park, NY
    Team:
    Michigan
    A guy that posts a lot on a FM message board that I follow posted the following guidelines for player interaction which have worked very well for him in boosting team morale and player-manager relationships:

    • League and cup games: 8.0+ rating - individual chat to praise performance
    • Less than 6.5 rating - individual chat to criticize performance (I've found this one to be marginal - players usually get pissed and respond that their performance wasn't bad)
    • Less than 6.0 rating - one week fine "club procedure" if they complain
    • Straight red card - two week fine and conversation to criticize conduct
    • Top three trainers each week - praise training
    • Improvement in development (.5* increase) - praise training
    • Retraining a new position moves up (ex. accomplished to natural) - praise training
    • Rest for more than a few matches - discuss before resting
    • Congratulating achievements (first cap, first international goal, league wide player of the month, etc)
    I did this in my first season with Stockport and most of the team has me listed as "favored personnel" at the end of the season.

    [​IMG]

    That's just about my entire first choice XI as very close which typically equates to "favored personnel."
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
    NML and Yankee151 like this.
  3. NML

    NML Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    15,257
    WINTER UPDATE



    After an up and down first three months, our hot start had put us in a good spot to stay up but we were also on a run of one point in seven matches. How did the winter go?

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    Neither bad nor good, we managed 12 points in 12 matches. After great run early, a point a match would be plenty to keep us up, so this works. There was some dropped points in there - we lead Hampton 2-0 but only managed a point, and allowed a late equalizer to Poole.

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    We went above board expectations by grabbing a win in the FA Trophy. We managed a good draw for the first round, but stumbled at home and dropped out of the competition.

    All in all, I was pleased. We are vastly out-talented in almost every game yet are staying very competitive. There’s been some signings who haven’t worked out nearly as well as I hoped, namely all my loanees. But we are plugging some holes through trialists and are starting to set ourselves up for next season.

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    Far from safe, we do still sit eight points and seven spots clear from the drop zone.

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    In addition to our already bumped up youth facilities, junior coaching, and youth level, we also got the board to bump up our training facilities! So basically every upgrade possible we could’ve got this season, we got.

    At this point, we just need to stay up and this season will be a massive success. Our final third of the season will have two goals - 1) confirm our survival and 2) build our roster for next year.

    We also have our first youth intake in early March!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
    goblue96 likes this.
  4. NML

    NML Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    15,257
    SPRING UPDATE



    We came into the final stretch of the season in a comfortable spot, just below mid-table but well ahead of the relegation zone. Did we hold on?

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    It got a little sketchy for a bit in March, but we never got lower than 18th and closer than three points, and we had a real nice fun of form late to actually get 14th.

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    It was a top heavy league, with 19 points separating fourth and ninth, but 13 different clubs were in the discussion for relegation during the last month.

    Our late run was enough to get me third place in April for Manager of the Month, and Fraser Murdoch finished in second place for top player.

    I asked for a new contract in February, which was granted. However the first negotiations didn’t go well as they refused to offer a second year. In April, we reopened talks and finalized a two year deal with a slight pay cut.

    I’m quite excited that we finished strong and looked close to a mid-table side. We had two big stretches where we played like a playoff-spots team and that was the difference. While nothing is guaranteed, surviving this season should mean that the club (and this save) is able to at least stay in the active leagues, even if I get sacked.

    We also had our youth intake!

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    As a reference, my head of youth development said this could be our “golden generation.” There’s a ton of players who should eventually develop into sixth tier (or better) players. Even better than that, there’s a group who can contribute right now. This is huge from a financial perspective. Having someone like Chambers or Johnson who can provide cover for two different positions (each) for $7 a week saves a ton of money to use elsewhere.

    Speaking of, our projected payroll went up by over 1k per week to $9600/week. For perspective, we spent $4000/week this season.

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    Very slightly increased expectations, but nothing we can’t (and shouldn’t) accomplish.

    Other things of note:

    - I asked to buy our stadium and the board agreed! This was cool until I realized it was costing us $3m! FUUUUU bring back that $18k in annual rent.

    - Since our youth facilities don’t finish improvements until September, the FA did not allow us to join the youth levels. Should happen next season.

    - Our training facilities also finish in September, which should help our reputation ahead of 2020, where I expect to make a push to the other half of the table.

    - Our player of the year was Owusu, our target man. Despite his (apparent) lack of talent, he banged in 19 goals with a handful of assists. Our leading scorer (and second place for POTY) was Murdoch with 20.

    - We are bringing back Owusu, Murdoch, Holmes (LM), Jones (ST), and Nelson (RB) from our original roster. We added a very talented RM (Wells), two CBs (Daly and Griengi), and a loanee who signed a pre-contract Doyle (CM) throughout the season and they’ll stick with us. Everyone else is moving on.

    - I think this gives us a nice core while still giving us plenty of room to upgrade our overall talent level. Daly was added just as we hit our late run of form and I think the veteran is a big reason why.

    - We still have over $800k even after putting our down payment down on the stadium. Our sponsorship funds have increased from $75k to $150k, which will help offset the $32k a month we have to pay towards the stadium loan. I still think we are in a good spot financially

    - Part of that is because we set a club attendance record! I’m not sure if that just applies to the Phoenix club, but we averaged over 2500 a game. In addition, we broke the single game record with nearly 5000 at the last home match. We lead the league in attendance.

    A great first season in the books. A busy offseason ahead with lots of new additions needed to push higher up the table as we consolidate in the sixth tier.
     
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  5. NML

    NML Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    15,257
    PRE-SEASON PREVIEW

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    Pre-season went as expected. We schedule five cupcakes to generate fitness, cash, and positive morale. They accomplished that. Two matches against bigger clubs - one our parent club - to get some extra money. Got about $20k per big friendly, $10k for the smaller ones.

    We escaped with no major injuries, though we have a trio of people who won't be fit for the first match. But all should feature by the second and hopefully fully fit by the end of the month.

    My new signees:

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    Other roster notes:
    - My club vice-captain and last year's POTY, Owusu, will start as our target man to begin the season. I really tried to replace him this off-season but couldn't find a top talent at the position. Versus paying someone a (relatively) huge salary for a minor upgrade, I'll just stick with him and my youth player as cover.

    - We currently have 14 senior players, with our depth being provided by our youth squad. For match day one, we have three in the starting 11. We've got injuries that aren't completely healthy that they are filling in for, but hopefully by the third match they are just our bench. I'll likely focus on free loanees to fill in when we get long-term injuries.

    - We have nine players who are suited for this tier, with everyone else being just below. Our two missing pieces are left back and striker.

    - We are spending roughly $6k a week on salaries, with $3.5k in room.

    Bank balance sits at $1.1m, so we seem to still be operating in the positives in that regard. Though we might need a run in a cup to have as financially as successful of a season as last year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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  6. NML

    NML Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    15,257
    FALL UPDATE



    We got off to another hot start

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    Only difference is that this time it didn't stop after early September - it carried over the whole first three months. With the cups, we actually had a seven match winning streak at one point. It's been another perfect start for us.

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    We sit in the playoff spots, although I don't really want to get promoted yet. We don't have talent at that level and would almost immediately get relegated back down. But, it'd be great if we could get a top half finish and push for promotion next season. It's early, but we only need to average about a half a point a match to stay up. Shouldn't be a problem.

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    We were only expected to make the third qualifying round, so this is a fantastic run for us. It likely ends at the League Two side, but it's been a nice injection of cash and we nearly sold out against National League Aldershot. We start the FA Trophy next month and might even have an outside shot in that one. With our league position safe, the cups will be our focus for the time being.

    With all of this success, I've moved to "untouchable" status. I parlayed that into a bunch of club upgrades:

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    This puts us with the best overall facilities in the sixth tier, and comparable to the fifth. Some of the professional sides may be slightly better, but it's close. There's really only two more upgrades I'd like to make in the near future - upgrade our training facilities again, and turn pro. The latter will be a big financial move for our club, but we still have $1.2m in the bank even with all our upgrades. I don't want to move into debt, but within the next 12 month we need to switch our focus from consolidating to looking to move up the pyramid.

    Only real negative this season is that we've had a lot of matches and have been hit with some injuries. Holmes (LM) and Birch (RB), maybe our two best players, are both out and will ultimately miss about two months each.
     
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  7. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

    Posts:
    14,799
    Location:
    Clifton Park, NY
    Team:
    Michigan
    Here come the cows

    [​IMG]
     
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