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Old 04-02-2012, 11:36 PM   #151
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
April 14, 2012 (morning)
BSBN Player of the Season shortlist is announced, Jamie Mole is thought to be among the front runners along with Daniel Sparkes. I can't vote for my own guy so I'm thinking maybe I just don't vote? There isn't really another candidate that's in their class frankly.

Another bit of news from the larger world, Championship side Burnely has shocked Premier club Sunderland 2-0 at Wembley to go through to the FA Cup final. They'll meet the winner of Fulham & Wolves in the final.

April 14, 2012 (afternoon)
Blyth (2nd, 23-5-10) vs Droylsden (5th, 18-9-12)

First meeting at their place was maybe our most shocking win of the year, 5-1, with 4 goals in the first half and we held them scoreless until extra time. They played the second half down a man after a red card but we dominated the first half. I'd take a repeat performance for sure. We're 5:4 favorites at Croft Park.

We'll go 4-4-2 Standard to start, not going to play scared here at home. At least not at kickoff.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Jones - Sinclair - Groves
MF: Matondo - Hooks - Vipond - Emms
F: Mole - Armstrong
(Available: Slaughter, Phillips, Taylor, Sawyer, Hartley)

18:41 - Vickers free kick from wide left ... into the box for Nat Kerr ... his header is off the crossbar ... Hooks punts it clear
31:26 - GK Farmer makes a brilliant save to deny Matondo who tried to squeeze a shot in a narrow space near the left post
39:45 - Emms hangs a corner for Hooks .. diving header ... GOAL !!! (1-0)

Halftime - Not the most exciting half you'll ever see, we've been outshot 3-2 but it worked out pretty well for us. We need to improve our aerial play and tackle better, but we're in front & that's a good thing. Just keep it up boys, keep it up

64:15 - Emms whips in a corner, Sinclair is there ... his header goes over the crossbar

68:20 - Sub Slaughter for Armstrong (5.9) (Matondo to LF)
75:11 - Droylsden makes a clear shift into attack mode
76:53 - Vickers with a run into the area ... little bump pass finds Johnson in the box ... he scores (1-1)
Flip-flop Kendrick & Slaughter, Sub Taylor for Matondo (tiring)
86:02 - Connor take a long shot that hits the bar ... rebound straight to Johnson who heads it toward the left post ... Logan runs onto it and scores ... unbelievable ... wait a minute ... there's a flag ... he's been ruled offside, no goal We switch to Counter & sub Phillips on for Kendrick

Fulltime - We escape our own pitch with a miraculous draw. We just came undone in the second half, our forwards vanished completely, probably the worst 45 mins of the year by Mole. We end up outshot 8-4, lucky to scrape out a point frankly. That was unacceptable.

Knight 6.8
Kendrick 6.7, Jones 6.0, Sinclair 6.9, Groves 7.0
Matondo 6.6, Hooks(MOM) 7.3 & 1 goal, Vipond 6.5, Emms 6.9 & 1 assist
Mole 5.8, Armstrong 5.9
Subs: Slaughter 6.7, Taylor/Philips N/A

Apr 14, 2012 (post-match)
Nuneaton destroys Gloucester 4-0, so we now trail them by 2 points. Today's point clinches at least a second place finish for us, as we lead Histon by 7 with only 2 left to play, That's something I suppose. Histon has clinched a playoff spot however. Bishop's Stortford drew Corby, so they remain 1 point ahead of Droylsden, with Corby & FC Halifax both 2 points short of a playoff spot.

In BSB Premier, both Barrow & last years BSBN champ Alfreton are assured relegation.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:57 PM   #152
JonInMiddleGA
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April 15, 2012
Wolves roll over Fulham 3-0 to gain a spot in the FA Cup final against Burnley. It was in unconventional fashion, as all three goals came in extra time, at 99', 109' (own goal) and 120'
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:30 AM   #153
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Tough loss with the gamble backfiring, but I agree it was the right move. Do you play Nuneaton again before the end of the year? Can't recall.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #154
JonInMiddleGA
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April 21, 2012 (morning)
Our U18's drew 2-2 with Histon at Croft Park. Hassan Janneh scored at 24' to draw us level, Tom Seery put us in front at 53' but they answered at 55'

April 21, 2012 (afternoon)
Blyth (2nd, 23-6-10) at Vauxhall (9th, 15-14-11)

First meeting came at home with a disappointing 2-0 loss the result. They scored twice in the first 30' and then shut us down. We'll have to play much better to get points today. At the moment they still have the slimmest chance for a playoff spot, trailing Droylsden by 5 with two matches left but realistically there are probably too many teams for them to leap to make it. We catch them with their leading scorer, David Nwaogu (9 goals) sitting out a 2 match red card suspension. That probably accounts for us being 4:6 favorites today

We'll go 4-4-2 Defensive to start, not sure how long we can stay in that however since we obviously struggled to score against them the first time.

GK - Knight
D: Kendrick - Jones - D'Laryea - Sinclair
MF: Phillips - Matondo - Groves - Vipond
F: Mole - Armstrong
(Available: Slaughter, Sawyer, Hooks, Chinthengah, Hartley)

2:46 - Phillips with an outswinging corner played for Jones ... GOAL !!! (1-0) a flying start with a header right through the keeper's hands

29:18 - Vipond with a steal & a beautiful long ball for Mole ... he lobs ... just wide
33:42 - Mole with space, a right footer ... it trickles wide right
34:58 - Mole in the area from Matondo ... shoots it high & wide, was offisde anyway

Halftime - A 5-1 edge in shots makes this one feel easier than it might have actually been. If Mole was on target the lead would be bigger, simple as that.
I just tell the team to keep it up, but I flip flop Mole & Armstrong positions up front.

56:13 - Lamb takes a header off a corner ... it's high & harmless

64:12 - We block a free kick, concede a corner ... Cleared easily by Matondo ... we switch to Counter

80:00 - Sub Chinthengah for Armstrong (tiring), Sawyer for Groves (tiring), switch back to Defensive

85:57 - Wright with a free kick from the arc ... it's off the woodwork & Sawyer heads the rebound clear

89:00 - 3 mins of extra time ... 89:39 Mole tracks down a deep ball, plays it back out to Sawyer, back to Mole ... he's offside ... 92:33 Chinthengah earns a corner after being tackled nicely inside the box ...

Fulltime - The coaches are upset & want me to rip the team, but looking at the ratings I can't do that in good conscience. It wasn't pretty but it was three badly needed points. Nothing seems right & for the first time ever I skip the overall pep talk. I praise the back line for winning us the match and leave the rest alone. Hopefully they're professionals & understand our situation, although I'd like to have beaten a team that hasn't won in 8 games by more than 1-0.

Knight 6.7
Kendrick 7.0, Jones(MOM) 8.2 & 1 goal, D'Laryea 7.0, Sinclair 7.4
Phillips 6.9 & 1 assist, Matondo 6.8, Groves 6.9, Vipond 6.9
Mole 6.4, Armstrong 6.7
Subs: Sawyer/Chinthengah N/A

April 21, 2012 (post-match)
Workington unexpectedly earns a draw with Nuneaton, so we're both at 81 points with a match to play. We're dead on GD, they're +46, we're +26, so we're going to need some help in the final week.

Bishop's Stortford clinches the 4th spot with a 3-1 win over Corby, Histon beat Eastwood 4-2 to lock up 3rd. Droylsden managed a 1-1 draw with Hinckley, keeping them in 5th place at the moment with Corby, FC Halifax, and Hinckley all 3 points behind. Droylsden has the worst GD (+4), Corby is +17, Halifax is +6, Hinckley is +5 so any of them has a shot next week.

At the opposite end of the table Gloucester upset Stalybridge 1-0, climbing into 19th place a point ahead of Eastwood. Guiseley & Boston Utd are both assured of relegation now 4 points from climbing out.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:00 AM   #155
JonInMiddleGA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izulde View Post
Tough loss with the gamble backfiring, but I agree it was the right move. Do you play Nuneaton again before the end of the year? Can't recall.

Nope, our March 3rd meeting was the second & last. We put ourselves in the unfortunate position of needing help after that gamble failed, but at this level the rosters can be awfully thin and tight schedules are tough. The game, and my task, felt exponentially easier once we got into a one match a week stretch.

In truth, I think (having been away from CM/FM for a number of years) I've been surprised by how well I've been able to figure out what I want to do & what players I need to do it with. I may not be doing any number of things right but at least I have some clue of what I want to do, if that makes sense.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:12 AM   #156
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April 24, 2012
Carl Jones has been selected in the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:24 AM   #157
JonInMiddleGA
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April 28, 2012 (morning)
Our U18's lost 3-2 at Solihull Moors, losing a 2-1 lead by allowing a pair of second half goals. 5 goals scored on only 12 shots combined in an odd game. With one match remaining in their season, our U18s have been locked into a 3rd place finish in Group 10, which was won by Dorcester, with Dover finishing 2nd.

April 28, 2012 (afternoon)
Blyth (2nd, 25-6-10) vs Gloucester (19th, 9-13-19)

We beat them 2-1 on the day after Christmas, with first half goals from Armstrong & Groves, then hung on for the victory. I'll take that result again today, especially if it comes with a side order of Nuneaton not beating Colwyn Bay. The first meeting between those two clubs, for whatever it's worth, was a scoreless draw at Colwyn.

In spite of the disparity in table position, this won't be easy. Gloucester has lost only once in 4 games and since Mark D'Laryea took over as manager, they've posted a respectable 2-3-2 record. That probably accounts for why we're only 5:4 favorites despite being at home.

We'll go 4-4-2 Standard to start, although I'm sorely tempted to try contain instead.

GK - Hartley
D: Kendrick - Jones - D'Laryea - Sinclair
MF: Matondo - Hooks - Vipond - Emms
F: Mole - Armstrong
(Available: Slaughter, Groves, Osborn, Taylor, Knight)

13:05 - Edwards whistles a hard shot wide right ... Nuneaton has scored in the 9th minute to lead Colwyn Bay 1-0

14:52 - Armstrong with a bad pass that's intercepted but Vipond quickly tackles it away ... Hooks steps into it and fires from 35 yards ... inches wide

15:39 - Mole gets grabbed from behind, that pull on the jersey is enough to earn Mustoe a yellow card ... Kendrick looong range free kick bounces off the keeper and is free in the box but Mustoe hoofs it clear

19:30 - Gill free kick from the left channel ... Hamblin's header from the far side is too high

24:00 - Gloucester misfires on a breakaway, we concede a corner ... heavy pressure in the box but Sinclair finally clears it

29:01 - A great sequence of sharp passing leads to a left footed try by Hooks ... denied but the rebound comes to Armstrong for a split second before Hutchinson tackles it out for a corner ... comes to nothing

30:24 - Edwards gets their second yellow of the match, tripping Sinclair
32:34 - Emms down the right channel, deeper than usual ... quick cross to Matondo in the area ... he lets it drop & volleys .... GOAL !!!! (1-0)
... but Nuneaton has extended their lead to 2-0 and Colwyn standout McEvilly is out with an injury

38:55 - Sinclair clears a long ball to Mole ... he's got some room but lobs it wide

44:45 - Armstrong with a solid chance from the right side of the area, Bertram makes the save

Halftime - After a slow start, a flurry of activity. We've outshot them 8-6, with 58% poss. We're passing the best I've seen in weeks, tackling well, crossing okay, creating chances ... and the lead is the smallest possible. We'll follow Graham Fell's advice & look to get more direct passes, they do appear ripe to be beaten deep, we just have to finish when that happens.

45:25 - They get a fair chance running on from the kickoff, shoot it wide left
... meanwhile Newby scores at 54' to draw Colwyn Bay to within a goal at 1-2 against Nuneaton

61:00 - Matondo has picked up a yellow earlier in the half but he's playing great (7.4), we leave him on but remind him to take it easy on tackling

75:18 - Sub Slaughter for Matondo, Osborn for Hooks (tiring), flip Kendrick to LMF, switch to Counter ... now Newby has left the game for Colwyn Bay, their second injury of the match, still trailing 1-2 in the 74'

Emms free kick is lose in the box, we get off a shot but can't score .... they briefly counter but we break it up ...

86:00 - Switch to Defensive ... Emms corner to the far post ... D'Laryea header goes over

87:39 - Sinclair puts the ball out for a corner ... Osborn reads it & intercepts, putting it out near the center line

89:00 - 2 mins of added time ... COLWYN BAY HAS DRAWN LEVEL VERY LATE, Murray with a goal at 82' ... 91:00 Emms with a corner to D'Laryea, again it's just inches high & a Gloucester goal kick ... switch to Contain & try to sub Groves on for Emms

91:47 - Webb with a long ball into the right channel, Davies is there with Slaughter chasing ... he's offside

Fulltime - "We got what we wanted today, a professional effort" 10-7 edge on shots ... 54% poss, great passing in the final third (91%), our tackling improved toward the end and we kept pressure on, forcing 9 corners.

Hartley 6.7
Kendrick 6.8, Jones 7.2, D'Laryea 6.9, Sinclair 7.2
Matondo(MOM) 7.4 & 1 goal, Hooks 6.2, Vipond 6.9, Emms 7.1 & 1 assist
Mole 6.7, Armstrong 6.8
Subs: Slaughter/Osborn N/A

April 28, 2012 (post-match)
The loss is costly for Gloucester, as Eastwood played Droylsden to a scoreless draw & grabbed a point, tying the teams for 19th/20th, Eastwood has a GD of -23, Gloucester -30 and so by the slimmest of margins, it's Gloucester who suffers relegation. The point saves the final playoff spot for Droylsden however, as wins by Halifax and Hinckley left them one point behind.

And God Bless Corwyn Bay ... they hung on to earn a draw with Nuneaton, rallying down 2-0 to level the match at 2-2. Let the celebration BEGIN !
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Last edited by JonInMiddleGA : 04-03-2012 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:31 AM   #158
JonInMiddleGA
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I'm delighted in the post match presser, I suspect that it showed

Quote:
Blyth have won the Blue Square Bet North title. Jamie Mole led the way to glory for the surprise package by notching 26 goals en route to sealing the crown.

Quote:
Delight was on the faces of Blyth fans everywhere tonight as Jon Loveless and his team lifted the Blue Square Bet North. One fan spoke for everyone when he declared that Loveless was the prime reason for the team's success

Quote:
Speaking after the result, the Blyth Spartans board have declared the triumph in the Blue Square Bet North a "truly momentous" occasion and they are delighted with the head coach for bringing home the trophy. The board stated that with Loveless at the helm, anything seemed possible and they were delighted with the success the head coach had brought them.

Quote:
Blyth Spartans' Frank Sinclair has revealed his joy at clinching the Blue Square Bet North title and directed most of the praise towards his current head coach. Sinclair felt the leadership qualities on display during the course of the season was the main catalyst behind this title success
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:41 AM   #159
JonInMiddleGA
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May 1, 2012

Nuneaton's Kevin Wilkin has won the BSBN Manager of the Month award. Bishop's Stortford's Rod Stringer & Gainsborough's Andy Cale finished 2nd & 3rd. I simply smile and ponder the future.

The Board is delighted with the leadership qualities I am demonstrating. Our fantastic performance is BSBN has been a particular highlight. Oh, the fans are slightly concerned that despite good recent results the soccer played by the club has been less than exciting.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:00 AM   #160
JonInMiddleGA
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May 1, 2012 (evening)
Histon beat Bishop's Stortford 3-1 in the first leg of the playoffs
Droylsden beat Nuneaton 1-0

May 4, 2012 (afternoon)
Incidentally, Man City has already clinched the Premier title with 2 matches remaining. Chelsea is currently second, 2 pts up on Man U, Tottenham is securely 4th barring a collapse (6 up on Fulham with 2 to play). To this point Blackburn is the only team assured of relegation. To that end, they fired manager Steve Kean today.

May 5, 2012
--- Swansea has been relegated from the English Premier Division
--- Blyth U18s beat Stalybridge 2-0, courtesy of two goals by Lewis Whiteley.
--- Burnley has won the FA Cup, 2-1, over Wolves.

May 6, 2012 (morning)
Heads on chopping blocks aplenty today. Crystal Palace, Leicester, Northampton, Port Vale, Portsmouth, Southend, and MK Dons all dismiss their head man.

May 6, 2012 (afternoon)
Histon advances in the BSBN playoffs with a 4-2 win over Bishop's Stortford, giving them a 7-3 aggregate total
Droylsden advances in the BSBN playoffs with a 2-0 win over Nuneaton, giving them a 3-0 aggregate total.

That's a pretty epic collapse by Nuneaton down the stretch, failing to win any of their last four games (including playoffs) and failing to score a single goal in the post-season.

Bolton has been relegated from the English Premier Division, head man Owen Coyle was dismissed following the match.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:02 AM   #161
JonInMiddleGA
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May 7, 2012
Ass't coach Gavin Fell (who I seem to insist on calling Graham half the time) has put together a yearly training summary.

Danny Groves, Jordan Mellish and Kyle Barlow made some improvement over the last season.

Jalmard Kulsten & Frank Sinclair have declined slightly, Phil Cave & Wayne Phillips showed showed signs they may be on the decline as well.

Among the youth, Tom Seery, Tamer Dalton, and Andy Williamson made some improvement. Matty Hunter improved particularly well.

Today marks the end of season break, with players on vacation until pre-season begins with training on June 25, 2012.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:42 AM   #162
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Location: Lisboa, ME
Congrats on promotion, may you have many more.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:49 AM   #163
JonInMiddleGA
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Out of character stuff

Dang, that was fun. Couldn't have asked for much more drama in the final match and I'm honestly surprised by the success. I kept expecting things to fall apart more than they did, that was my old pattern years back but it never truly came undone.

The learning curve has felt pretty big, even having played past versions. So much has changed, the game is more intricate than before, downright delicate at times.

I made at least one glaring error that I'm still worried will cost me dearly. I oversigned - classic overanxious rookie mistake I know - and stayed about $500/wk over the salary budget for the 2nd half of the season. That means I've been unable to do much of anything about renewing contracts and honestly I don't know how that's going to work out. I'm hoping that once contracts expire that will clear the decks enough for me to renew the players I want to keep as well as being able to begin negotiations with those of interest that I've scouted. The whole thing about trying to get rid of a player or two that happened with 2-3 months left in the season (the Coulson incident) was born of a desperate desire to sign a pacy LMF I found, I really believe he would have been enough to push us toward clinching with a little less stress at the end.

It's a little unnerving to reach this point & realize how much of the game - both FM12 and real-world - I don't understand. After clinching the league, I had no idea when the next sequence of events would take place, stuff like vacation, official promotion, etc. etc. So right now each time I click continue I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to see next.

I look back at the year and know some of the things I did wrong besides the salary problem. I'm sure I didn't handle training very well at all but hope a guide I found online will at least improve that next year. I obviously still have things to learn about team meetings & handling the interaction system in general.

My biggest concern about next season is BSBP is really two-fold. I'm sure I'm going to be outmanned most of the time but what actually concerns me most about that is my strategic weaknesses making that even more difficult to overcome. It was probably only the last 5-10 matches that I starting paying attention to the "best roles" info in the player reports & trying to play to those strengths when it made sense & fit my general scheme. I know I'm going to have to mix up the formations/strategies more as I move into higher levels, 4-4-2 Standard probably ain't going to cut it nearly as often. I also have to get more structure with my reserves, keep more players match fit in the slower parts of the schedule. I felt very limited in squad choices by having so few guys who were really ready to play, would have loved to have had those veteran LWB's Kulsten & Giddings out there more.

The things I think I did well, at least reasonably, included identifying players who fit certain roles & complimented the talent on hand. Picking up Sinclair was huge, I saw him (based on ratings) as an improved version of D'Laryea and he turned out to be that and then some. Down the crucial stretch nobody on the team played better (7.10 in the last five) and that was very satisfying to me.

Going to be a wild ride ahead for sure, but as most of you already know, this is one heck of a game.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:50 AM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grover View Post
Congrats on promotion, may you have many more.

Thanks, I appreciate the well wishes ... as well as the fact that anybody is gracious enough to put up with my poorly formatted recaps
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:14 AM   #165
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May 12, 2012
Luton wins the FA Trophy, 1-0, over Gateshead. A header in the 91st minute was the game winner.

May 13, 2012 (afternoon)
-- 3rd place Histon has beaten 5th place Droylsden 3-1 in the BSBN Playoff Final and earns promotion.
-- 4th place Salisbury has beaten 3rd place Chelmsford 3-0 in the BSBS Playoff Final and joins regular season champion Welling in earning promotion.

May 14, 2012
-- Histon's Daniel Sparkes has been named the BSBN Player of the Year

-- The BSBN Manager of the Season shortlist has been announced. I'm among the frontrunners, along with Histon's David Livermore. Since you can't vote for yourself, I cast my vote for Carl MacAuley of Vauxhall, who exceeded expectations considerably. Livermore probably deserves it but I'm not inclined to vote for the guy who'll probably beat me for the award.

-- Tottenham's Luke Modric has won the English Player's Player of the Year award. Man City's Danny was 2nd, Gareth Bale of Tottenham 3rd.
-- Stoke City's Peter Crouch won the Premier Division Top Goalscorer award with 24.
-- Everton's Marouane Fellaini won the English Player's Young Player of the Year award
-- Chelsea's Petr Cech won the Golden Glove award
-- Wolves Terry Connor wins the Premier Division Manager of the Year award.

-- And after months of speculation, Arsene Wenger has been fired by Arsenal president Peter Hill-Wood, feeling a change was needed and that Wenger had become stale in his post. The club finished 11th in the English Premier Divsion this season, their first finish outside the top four since 1995-96, their first outside the top five since 1994-95.



Squad bonuses of $8.5k have been paid out to be shared among the squad on a pro-rata basis after winning the BSBN.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:16 AM   #166
JonInMiddleGA
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May 15, 2012
Paul Matondo has signed a new deal with Blyth that will keep him here through next season.

He had been the subject of considerable interest by Lincoln and was playing at Blyth on a per appearance basis.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:36 AM   #167
JonInMiddleGA
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May 26, 2012
Histon's David Livermore has been named BSBN Manager of the Season, narrowly beating out Hinckley's Dean Thomas for the honor. Vauxhall's Carl McAuley finished 3rd.

May 27, 2012
The board have set the initial payroll for the coming season at $10k/wk and the transfer budget at $0. These values may be altered later based on the agreed setting of the club's season expectations.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:15 AM   #168
JonInMiddleGA
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June 1, 2012

Before we look ahead, I think we ought to look back at the improbable season that recently ended. Seems only appropriate. Stats refer to BSBN League play unless otherwise noted, players listed at their most common position

Goalkeepers
David Knight - 27 games - 6.80 rtg - 32g allowed - 7 clean - 19 wins - 1 MOM
Greg Hartley - 13 games - 6.58 rtg - 15g allowed - 4 clean - 6 wins
Max Johnson - 2 games - 6.80 rtg - 2g allowed - 0 clean - 1 win

Knight was clearly The Man in goal, although Hartley did suffer a bit from lack of support at times. Still, Hartley's presence allowed us to keep Knight fresher than we could have otherwise as Johnson was clearly (stats aside) a large step down

LWB/LFB/LD
Joe Kendrick - 33 games - 1 goal / 2 assists / 1 MOM / 6.88 rtg
Stuart Giddings - 7(2) games - 6.66 rtg
Phil Cave - 4(3) games - 6.38 rtg
Jalmard Kulsten - 2(1) games - 6.93 rtg
Matthew Martin - 2(1) games - 6.63 rtg
Brendan Gallen - 1(1) games - 5.80 rtg

Our only loaned player was clearly the star here, we had options in theory but fitness issues kept Kendrick firmly entrenched.

RWB/RFB/RD
Frank Sinclair - 14(2) games - 1 assist - 1 MOM - 7.07 rtg
Nathan D'Laryea - 19(3) games - 1 goal - 2 assists - 6.90 rtg
Dylan Purvis - 19(5) games - 1 goal - 2 assists - 1 MOM - 6.93 rtg
Michael Pearson - 7 games - 6.87 rtg

The acquisition of Sinclair was one of the major keys to our promotion drive, our rotating cast was surprisingly serviceable previously but he brought stability and confidence to the position.

LCD/RCD
Carl Jones - 29(4) games - 4 goals / 2 assists - 4 MOM - 6.98 rtg
Jordan Mellish - 21(3) games - 2 goals - 2 MOM - 6.94 rtg
Wayne Buchanan - 5(3) games - 6.40 rtg
David Coulson - 2(1) games - 6.30 rtg
Tom Seery - 2 games - 6.55 rtg
Phil Stevenson - 1 games - 6.70 rtg
Gary Pinch - 1 games - 5.30 rtg
Sam Christensen - 0(2) games - 6.45 rtg

Jones was a beast in the air for us, clearly our most productive DC. Mellish was a decent second option there, although several players from other primary positions saw time here during the season, the lack of production was potential reserves you see here explains why that happened.

LMF
Paul Matondo - 22(4) games - 5 goals - 5 assists - 2 MOM - 6.96 rtg
Wayne Phillips - 12(10) games - 2 goals - 2 assists - 6.83 rtg
Richard Slaughter - 14(14) games - 4 assists - 6.71 rtg

Matondo stepped up critically for us when Phillips went down to prolonged injury. Slaughter became a super sub on the left side, able to relieve Matondo or Kendrick as needed

RMF
Chris Emms - 26(2) games - 1 goal - 14 assists - 6.95 rtg
Shaun Vipond - 25(4) games - 3 goals - 5 assists - 6.87 rtg
Hassan Janneh - 4 games - 1 assist - 6.83 rtg

Emms was invaluable as the trigger man for most of our corners during the season, Vipond spelled him admirably down the stretch.

MFC
Danny Groves - 27(6) games - 1 goal - 4 assists - 1 MOM - 6.89 rtg
Neal Hooks - 14(6) games - 3 goals - 2 assists - 2 MOM - 6.87 rtg
Jason White - 8(7) games - 1 goal - 1 assist - 6.53 rtg
Sam Saywer - 7(4) games - 1 goal - 6.82 rtg
Chris McCabe - 5(2) games - 6.37 rtg
Simon Osborn - 3(11) games - 2 goals - 6.90 rtg
Lewis Whiteley - 2(2) games - 6.53 rtg
Adam Forster - 1(1) games - 5.90 rtg
Jack Harrison - 1 games - 6.70 rtg

Groves was a solid contributor, Hooks became one as the season progressed. Probably the position where we saw the most younger players show potential to contribute long term.

Striker
Jamie Mole - 32(2) games - 26 goals - 2 assists - 10 MOM - 7.32 rtg
Graeme Armstrong - 31(2) games - 9 goals - 6 assists - 6.93 rtg
Glen Taylor - 11(8) games - 5 goals - 3 assists - 2 MOM - 6.90 rtg
Leeroy Chinthengah - 4(3) games - 2 goals - 6.85 rtg
Phil Bannister - 5 games - 1 assist - 6.06 rtg
Lee Mason - 0(1) game - 1 assist - 6.80 rtg

Mole was outstanding here, Armstrong suffered long droughts at times, Taylor was surprisingly productive overall in his opportunities although inconsistent.

Stat Leaders
Goals - Mole 26 (2nd in BSBN), Armstrong 9 (31st)
Penalties - Mole 5/5 (T1st)
Assists - Emms 14 (4th), Armstrong/Mole 6 each (T44th)
Team Goals - Kendrick 68 (T21st), Mole 67 (T23rd)
Games Won - Kendrick 23 (T5th), Groves/Armstrong/Mole 22 (T8th)
Yellow Cards - Sinclair 13 (T1st, incl. Colwyn Bay stats), Kendrick 8 (T15th)
Red Cards - Purvis 2 (T5th)
Man of Match - Mole 10 (2nd), Jones 4 (T15th)
Pass Completion-Armstrong 84%(2nd),Matondo 82% (12th) Mole 81% (T19th)
Tackles/Game - D'Laryea 3.31 (28th)
Dribbles/Game - Mole 1.09 (45th)
Shots on Target - Mole 53% (3rd), Armstrong 38% (T36th)
Distance/90m - Emms 6.9 miles (26th)
Avg Mins/Goal - Mole 108.04 (12th), Chinthengah 182.5 (27th)
Clean Sheets - Knight 7 (T14th)
Offside - Mole 44 (3rd)
Cross Completion - Purvis 38% (10th), Emms 27%(31st), D'Laryea 27%(32nd)
Key Passes - Groves/Emms 18 each (T20th)
Key Tackles - Mellish 10 (T28th)
Key Headers - Jones 52 (10th),

Team Stats
Goals - 76 (3rd)
Allowed - 49 (2nd)
Attendance - 653 (5th)
Goals from corners - 14 (3rd)
Yellow cards - 67 (T8th)
Red cards - 4 (T9th)
Salary spend - $443k (3rd)
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:39 AM   #169
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June 8, 2012
The transfer window is now open for English clubs. Let the hunt begin.

Blyth has signed 16/yo MF Tommy Smyth to a youth contract through 2014. Has potential and is already adept on set pieces. One to watch for the future.

Blyth has signed 16 y/o MF/DC Louis Wallace. He's a project at either position but has above average aerial skills for his age. Projects as an eventual good player but time will tell.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:04 AM   #170
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June 9, 2012
With the transfer window open & players beginning to move around, it seems like a time to look at where we are currently, what we need to do, and perhaps most importantly how the money to do those things shapes up.

Right now we have a working budget of just a shade under $10k a week.
Our current player payroll total is $8,826.

One of the problems is the allowed salary structure. It appears that most players who could contribute right away are going to ask around $375 to sign, but my First Team limit is $300, with Key Players going up to $525. That's the first problem, maybe the biggest in the long run.

As narrow as our current available money seems, it's actually going to get better, as we have almost $500 in expiring contracts that we'll be happy enough to see come to an end on June 30th. Depending upon who we can acquire, there could be more changes to come as well.

My wishful thinking math goes something like this, in terms of what I'd like to have in a perfect world (no clue how realistic this actually is, but it's what I'd like based on what little I really understand about FM12 & roster mgmt)

-- 2 first team caliber players at every position. That would equal 22 players.
-- At least one designated reserve at every position, preferrably two, but at least one that could be used as needed due to fitness/injury concerns.
-- 2 youth contract players with potential at every position, at least one that could see spot duty on the first team if needed.

That's 66 players, hard to do with quality considering the budget. So let's see where we are at the moment and start prioritizing.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:04 AM   #171
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Goalkeeper

7 keepers are currently attached to the club in some fashion, but only three are signed for next season.

25 y/o David Knight - $425/wk through 6/30/2013
22 y/o Greg Hartley - $140/wk through 6/30/2013
17 y/o Tamer Dalton - $15/wk through 6/30/2014

Four others are here but with soon to expire contracts
21 y/o Max Johnson ($325/wk through 9/30/12)
18 y/o Matty Hunter ($80/wk through 6/30/12)
20 y/o Matty Crook ($120/wk through 6/30/12)
21 y/o Kyle Barlow ($80/wk through 6/30/12)

Where we stand: I'm okay with the top two unless something exceptional becomes a possibility. I'd like to keep Johnson, he's actually one of our more highly rated prospects (4.5 stars) but not at that kind of price. Hunter I can live with as the reserve backup most likely, Barlow & Crook will be welcome to leave as salary relief.

What I want: Looking for at least 1 reserve GK at reasonable cost, could use a backup U18 as well.

What I'm doing right now: Negotiated a 2 yr deal (through 2014) with Hunter, at $75/wk with appearance/shutout/25 career game bonuses attached. He's agreed in principle, will let us know his final decision
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:26 AM   #172
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Strikers
11 strikers are currently attached to the club in some fashion, 8 of those are signed for next season

24 y/o Jamie Mole $625/wk through 6/30/13
28 y/o Graeme Armstrong $500/wk through 6/30/13
19 y/o Leeroy Chinthengah $20/wk through 6/30/14
* 21 y/o Jason White $200/wk through 6/30/13
22 y/o Glen Taylor $190/wk through 6/30/12
19 y/o Shane Bennett $50/wk through 6/30/14
21 y/o Lee Mason $160/wk through 6/30/12
23 y/o Phil Bannister $160/wk through 6/30/12
22 y/o Yanis Galas $130/wk through 6/30/12
** 19 y/o Matt Rickard $8/wk through 6/30/13
** 16 y/o Dennis Robson $8/wk through 6/30/14

* White is more likely to play at MF
** Youth contracts

Where we stand:
Mole & Armstrong are starters barring something better.
Chinthengah is young & cheap, a reserve that could get a bit of 1st team action.
Taylor was quite productive at times last year, a candidate to remain but little further upside.
Bennett similar to Chinthengah, but not ready for prime time IMO.
White is better suited for MF.
Mason & Bannister will not extended.
Galais spent last year on loan to minnow South Shields. He's all pace & better suited to our RMF spot but lacks the dribbling & passing skills to be trusted there. I don't plan to extend him either.
Rickard is a flashy youngster with potential (4.5 stars) but not ready for prime time most likely.
Robson is a strictly youth depth at this point.
What I want:
A third option that's more along the caliber of Mole. Another young prospect.

What I'm doing right now: We approach Taylor but he's not currently interested is contract discussions with us.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:48 AM   #173
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Midfield
22 midfielders are currently attached to the club in some fashion, 17 of those are signed for next season

** 16 y/o Tommy Smyth $8/wk through 6/30/14
** 16 y/o Dean Goodall $8/wk through 6/30/14
26 y/o Paul Matondo $450/wk through 6/30/13
18 y/o Lewis Whiteley $8/wk through 6/30/14
*21 y/o Danny Groves $275/wk through 6/30/12
19 y/o Adam Forster $80/wk through 6/30/13
19 y/o Sam Sawyer $300/wk through 6/30/13
23 y/o Shaun Vipond $475/wk through 6/30/13
20 y/o Hassan Janneh $140/wk through 6/30/13
** 19 y/o Jack Harrison $8/wk through 6/30/13
21 y/o Jason White $200/wk through 6/30/13
** 16 y/o Louis Wallace $8/wk through 6/30/14
** 16 y/o Anson Watson $8/wk through 6/30/14
24 y/o Neal Hooks $160/wk through 6/30/12
* 21 y/o Richard Slaughter $180/wk through 6/30/13
31 y/o Chris McCabe $80/wk through 6/30/12
** 16 y/o Lokman Kaymaz $8/wk through 6/30/14
** 16 y/o Chris Ferguson $8/wk through 6/30/13
27 y/o Chris Emms $240/wk through 6/30/12
** 17 y/o Craig Cresswell $8/wk through 6/30/13
26 y/o Wayne Phillips $375/wk through 6/30/13
40 y/o Simon Osborn $190 per appearance
* Also likely to see time at Defender
** Youth contracts

Where we stand:
I feel good about Matondo at LMF, I feel reasonably good about Janneh & Vipond starting at RMF & RCM. Hooks would probably start tomorrow at LCM, but he's unsigned. Whitely is young but could be 1st team ready, as could Harrison. Phillips feels like a backup to the first team, his injury prone nature concerns me. Emms could be a solid backup I think, but he's unsigned. I like the experience Osborn brings but he gets winded walking through the clubhouse. McCabe will not be extended as a player.

There's plenty of youth available here, as you can see.

What I want More clearly 1st team caliber players.

What I'm doing right now Groves, Emms, and Hooks are not currently interested in discussions with our club. Neither is McCabe, who we wanted to add as a full time coach. Osborn currently only wishes to remain on a per appearance basis.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:02 AM   #174
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The one thing you'll encounter with contract extensions, and I know this was tough because you were over budget the second half of the season, players will most likely refuse to re-sign with you if you wait until May/June to offer them a new deal.

One thing I'd recommend is combing through League 1 and League 2 teams to see if you can get any quality (relative term at this point) players in on loan for a season.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:13 AM   #175
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Defenders

There are currently 31 defenders attached to the club in some fashion, 21 of those are signed for next season.

** 19 y/o Tom Seery $8/wk through 6/30/13
19 y/o Jordan Mellish $300/wk 6/30/13
21 y/o Danny Groves $275/wk through 6/30/12
19 y/o Jordan Kay $80/wk through 6/30/14
19 y/o Lloyd Foot $140/wk through 6/30/13
40 y/o Jordan Sinclair $500/wk through 6/30/13
** 17 y/o Rory McKeever $8/wk through 6/30/13
** 19 y/o Liam McGovern $8/wk through 6/30/13
** 19 y/o Phil Stevenson $8/wk through 6/30/14
** 19 y/o Andy Williamson $8/wk through 6/30/13
19 y/o Sam Sawyer $300/wk through 6/30/13
25 y/o Carl Jones $500/wk through 6/30/14
19 y/o Sam Christensen $180/wk through 6/30/13
19 y/o Michael Pearson $110/wk through 6/30/12
20 y/o Dylan Purvis $220/wk through 6/30/14
21 y/o Matthew Martin $210/wk through 6/30/13
26 y/o Stuart Giddings $170 per appearance
21 y/o Richard Slaughter $180/wk through 6/30/13
26 y/o Gary Pinch $120 per appearance
36 y/o Jalmard Kulsten $170 per appearance
** 16 y/o Ashley Wheeler $8/wk through 6/30/14
26 y/o Nathan D'Laryea $190 per appearance
28 y/o David Coulson $160/wk through 6/30/12
30 y/o Wayne Buchanan $275/wk through 6/30/12
31 y/o Brendan Gallen $375 per appearance
25 y/o Phil Cave $240/wk through 6/30/12
32 y/o Darren Timmons $140 per appearance

Where we stand: Obviously we miss Kendrick here, but I don't think Mansfield is going to re-loan him since we're now both in BSBP. Sinclair may be our most solid starter, even at age 40. Jones joins him in the regular lineup, Mellish almost certainly does as well. Martin probably gets first crack at taking over at LD/LWB, but Slaughter could work in there as well. Cave, Buchanan and Coulson will not be extended. No further offers will be made to Timmons, Gallen or Pinch either.

What I want: Another LD, maybe another strong RD, and at least one more strong DC.

What I'm doing right now: I'd like to keep Pearson around as a backup but he wants ridiculous money ($350/wk). I'd like to sign D'Laryea to a normal contract but he's only interested on a p.a. basis. I get frustrated with his demands ($350/appearance) and make a non-negotiable offer of $300/app. He declines & we're done.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:17 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grover View Post
The one thing you'll encounter with contract extensions, and I know this was tough because you were over budget the second half of the season, players will most likely refuse to re-sign with you if you wait until May/June to offer them a new deal.

That's probably what's hindering me with several of the guys who won't even talk at this point.

Quote:
One thing I'd recommend is combing through League 1 and League 2 teams to see if you can get any quality (relative term at this point) players in on loan for a season.

I spent virtually all of last season looking for loan candidates, my ass't identified a grand total of zero prospects. It wasn't for lack of players, just none of them came with remotely reasonable cost attached. One odd thing I ran into a couple of times were players listed for loan and the club was asking for 0% salary contribution on my part ... but all offers were rejected because I wasn't willing to pick up enough salary. Anything short of 50% and they would have none of it (I kept negotiating even past what was reasonable just to see where the threshold was). I've also been told by the board that they don't much care for loaning players in, so I'm not sure how hamstrung that will leave me either.

I fear my best hope is going to be striking gold of a value similar to what I got from Matondo & Sinclair.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:37 AM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post

I spent virtually all of last season looking for loan candidates, my ass't identified a grand total of zero prospects. It wasn't for lack of players, just none of them came with remotely reasonable cost attached. One odd thing I ran into a couple of times were players listed for loan and the club was asking for 0% salary contribution on my part ... but all offers were rejected because I wasn't willing to pick up enough salary. Anything short of 50% and they would have none of it (I kept negotiating even past what was reasonable just to see where the threshold was). I've also been told by the board that they don't much care for loaning players in, so I'm not sure how hamstrung that will leave me either.

I fear my best hope is going to be striking gold of a value similar to what I got from Matondo & Sinclair.

I had the same problems at Gloucester trying to get players in on loan. Teams wanted at least 50% of wages or some small fee attached. Once I was lucky to get the three players I did when I was in League 1. You should have better luck with this when some of the generated players turn 17-18 and are on contracts and not considered youths anymore. You might have to do some of your own mining, rather than relying on your Ass Man to find good loan prospects. I find the Ass Man always turns up players who teams want a fee from. Best thing to do is go to search players "Listed for Loan" and have the "Unrealistic Targets" box checked. Some players may want to stay at the club, but your chances of finding some sort of quality will improve dramatically.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:03 AM   #178
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June 11, 2012

Stung by D'Laryea's refusal to make a reasonable deal, we found some insurance for the 40 y/o Sinclair.

30 y/o RD Peter Hoy, currently with Bangor City of the Welsh Premier League, agreed to terms and will join Blyth on July 1st when his current contract expires.

He's not a world beater or anything, but compared to our current roster he's above average in more than a half dozen areas including heading, marking, tackling, bravery, teamwork, work rate, pace, jumping and strength. Final cost was $275/wk with a bump up to $325 after 30 appearances. It's a one year deal, so if he makes it into 30 games I figure he'll be worth the extra.

June 13, 2012
We've reached agreement with DC Will Antwi, who joins the club immediately after spending last season with Staines of BSBS. Good with heading, marking, tackling, above average physical tools as well. It's a 2 year deal through 2014 for $325 a week + $50 app. fee. That's considerably less than the $650 p.a. deal he came from.

This makes me feel more secure on the back line, now if we can just fix our other areas.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:19 AM   #179
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June 14, 2012
Veteran DC Ian Breckin has agreed to come to Blyth on a trial basis through the pre-season. The 37 y/o spent the past two seasons with Chesterfield of League 2. Mentally tough, he's solid at both heading & tackling, although stamina is a concern. If he's good to go however, he likely becomes our top DC or at least definitely a regular in the first team.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:38 AM   #180
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June 17, 2012
One week until the BSBP schedule is announced next Sunday. Opening Day is August 11.

Coming up with us are Histon, Welling and Salisbury City. Coming down are Aldershot Town and Dag & Red.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:56 AM   #181
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June 20, 2012
We've signed 17 y/o GK Jonathan Henly to a youth contract. Loads of potential, lead scout Craig Howard believes he could play at a level similar to Hartley some day.

June 21, 2012
We've picked up 21 y/o MF Jack Abraham from Mold Alex of the Welsh Premier League. He's not likely to become a star but he's got decent skills & plenty of pizzazz (17 flair). Came cheap, two years for $150/wk.

More importantly in the long run perhaps is the signing of 31 y/o Dean Daniels as our youth coach. $275/wk for 2 years, he's good with youngsters & has the ability to teach them a lot (double digits in Attack, Defend, Fit, Mental and Motivation among others, and is 15 Working With Youngsters).
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:02 AM   #182
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June 23, 2012

We received an invitation to enter a team in the Reserves league next season. We accept, should improve our overall match fitness without the need to resort to scheduling friendlies so frequently.

We were also asked if we wish to continue entering a team in the U18s league next season. Our board insists on participation and accepted the invitation on my behalf (I would have accepted anyway, interesting to see that they think this is a big deal however)

Also, Football.guardian.co.uk published their 2011/12 seaason review. This ought to make recapping things fairly concise & I'll share the key bits here.

Premier
Winner: Man City
Relegated: Bolton, Blackburn, Swansea
Top scorer: Peter Crouch/Stoke 24
Highest Avg Rtg: Wayne Rooney/Man U 7.69

Championship
Winner: West Ham
Promoted: West Ham, Southampton, Leeds
Relegated: Doncaster, Hull, Portsmouth
Top scorer: Jay Rodriguez/Burnely 28
Highest Avg Rtg: Ronnie Henry/Burnley 7.67

League 1
Winner: Huddersfield
Promoted: Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Sheff Utd
Relegated: Rochdale, Colchester, Hartlepool, Exeter
Top scorer: Shefki Kuqi/Oldham 26
Highest Avg Rtg: Michael Bostwick/Stevenage 7.83

League 2
Winner: Rotherham
Promoted: Rotherham, Swindon, Plymouth, Crawley
Relegated: Aldershot, Dag & Red
Top scorer: Alex Revell/Rotherham 21
Highest Avg Rtg: Ben Herd/Aldershot 7.63

BSB Premier
Winner: Luton
Promoted: Luton, Fleetwood
Relegated: AFC Telford, Alfreton, Barrow, Southport
Top scorer: Jason Walker/York 23
Highest Avg Rtg: Mike Williams/Kidderminster 7.69

BSN North
Winner: Blyth
Promoted: Blyth, Histon
Relegated: Glouchester, Guiseley, Boston Utd
Top scorer: Dan Holman/Histon 33
Highest Avg Rtg: Daniel Sparkes/Histon 7.51

BSB South
Winner: Welling
Promoted: Welling, Salisbury
Relegated: Hampton & Richmond, Thurrock, Weston-super-Mare
Top scorer: Tim Sills/Basingstoke 18
Highest Avg Rtg: Moses Swaibu/Bromley 7.40

Regional Premier Divs
Promoted: Chester, Lewes, Hendon, FC United, Redditch, Bury Town

FA Cup
Winner: Burnley

League Cup
Sunderland

Community Shield
Man U

Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Charlton

FA Trophy
Luton

European Qualification
EC Cup Group Stage - Man City, Chelsea, Man U
EC Cup Best Playoff - Tottenham
Euro Cup 4th Qual Rd - Burnley, Fulham
Euro Cup 3rd Qual Rd - Sunderland

Awards
Footballer of the Year - Frank Lampard/Chelsea
Players' Player of the Year - Luke Modric/Tottenahm
Top Goalscorer - Peter Crouch/Stoke
Players' Young Player - Marouane Fellaini/Everton
Golden Glove- Peter Cech/Chelsea
Manager of the Year - Terry Connor/Wolves
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:09 AM   #183
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 24, 2012

Blyth supporters have voted Jamie Mole as Fan's Player of the Year

The Best Eleven is not suprising
GK - David Knight
D - Nathan D'Laryea, Joe Kendrick, Carl Jones, Jordan Mellish
MF - Paul Matondo, Chris Emms, Shaun Vipon, Richard Slaughter
F - Jamie Mole, Graeme Armstrong
Also mentioned were, GK Hartley, D Purvis/Groves/Sinclair, MF Hooks/White, ST Taylor
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:29 AM   #184
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June 24, 2012 (part 2)
Oof.

The following players have had their salary increased due to the club winning promotion to BSBP
Vipond,Knight, Jones, Mole, Armstrong, Phillips, Slaughter
(Remember, those should all be contracts I inherited)

----
The 2012/13 BSB Premier match schedule has been announced. We will kick off the season at home against debt-ridden Darlington on Sat Aug 11. Our first away match will be against (bitter rival) Gatehead on Tue Aug 14. The traditional Boxing Day match will be at Darlington, our last scheduled match is home against Stockport County on Sat Apr 27.

---
We have been given $8k for TV rights over the coming season

---
The following youth players have been promoted to our Reserves as they are now too old to play for the U18s next season: Adam Forster, Andy Williamson, Lewis Whiteley, Matt Rickard, Jack Harrison, Matty Hunter and Tom Seery.

---
Well hello, what have we here?

Ken Hodcroft & Blyth President Tony Platten are pleased to announce a new link between Hartlepool United & Blyth Spartans. Under the agreement the following will apply with immediate effect:

Hartlepool will be able to send players on loan to Blyth Spartans. During the loan spell the player's salary will be paid in full by Hartlepool United. Blyth have no obligation to play the player and he may be recalled by Hartlepool at any time.

Blyth will host an annual friendly between the two clubs & keep all gate receipts. Hartlepool will pay Blyth an annual fee of $14.63k

---

Decision time: expectations & payroll conversation with the board.
The baseline is Avoid Relegation with $0 transfer budget & $9.75k weekly payroll budget

My options are pretty limited, with the net level being a mid-standing finish with $0 transfer/$10.25k weekly payroll.

I don't have to think long on this one, I don't believe an extra $500/wk is not going to make the difference in staying clear of relegation vs a mid-table finish. I'll leave things be for now and just try to keep our heads above water this year. There's too many unknowns for me right now, including what sort of help we may get from our new feeder arrangement.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:33 AM   #185
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June 25, 2012
Sky Bet has released their BSB Premier promotion odds for the upcoming season.

Dag & Red, Aldershot and Wrexham have been made 5:1 co-favorites to gain promotion this year.

The rest of the main contenders are York (6:1), Lincoln (12:1) and Grimsby (14:1).

They've set our price at 40:1
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:50 AM   #186
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June 28, 2012
18 y/o LD Kadell Daniel has agreed to join Blyth on trial until the end of pre-season. He was most recently under contract to Crystal Palace. Good tackler & marker with some strong mental attributes, not much of a threat to run the ball upfield however & that's something we prefer to have. Still, he'll get a look, could be quite useful as a purely defensive defender.

---
Veteran MF Simon Osborn has left Blyth, being snapped up by FC United, who will play the upcoming season in BSB North. Not likely to forget his one shining moment last season when he single-handedly won us a game, and although we would have liked to have kept him around under a regular contract, we wish him well as he moves on.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:26 AM   #187
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June 30, 2012

As expected, MF Chris McCabe has retired from professional soccer. The 32 y/o made 219 league appearances for Blyth during his 8 year career.
----

Hey, they must like me. The Board has offered to nearly double my salary, from $575/wk to $1,000/wk ... but only for one year. I ask for that to be two years, and they agree so quickly that I think I just screwed myself out of some money.

---
We just had a veritable boatload of contracts expire, players who will be around on a month-to-month/per appearance basis unless or until they're released or decide to move on.

The following players chose to leave of their own accord and we're happy enough to see them off the books
GK - Matty Crook, Kyle Barlow
D Wayne Buchanan, David Coulson, Phil Cave

Coach Adam Johnson chose to leave after his contract ended, I guess our lack of conversation about extending his contract kind of gave him the hint.
----
The following players chose to leave of their own accord and we're disappointed to see them go.
MF Neal Hooks, Chris Emms
We'd have happily resigned both to reasonable deals but they were unwilling to discuss extensions

---
The following players are now out of contract but have chosen to remain for now under month-to-month deals:

MF Danny Groves - we'd like to re-sign but he won't talk, $275/wk
ST Lee Mason - we're not interested in resigning, $160/wk, RELEASED
ST Phil Bannister - we're not interested in resigning, $160/wk, RELEASED
ST Yanis Gallis - we're not interested in resigning, $130/wk, RELEASED
ST Glen Taylor - we'd like to re-sign but he won't talk, $190/wk

Our current salary situation is $8.400/wk with a budget of $9,950/wk
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:00 AM   #188
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June 30, 2012

I guess visits from physio Ewen Fairgreave let me know that we're back in the swing of things.

MF/ST Jason White will miss two weeks due to a strained wrist suffered while lifting weights during training.

MF Lokman Kaymaz will miss four weeks after pulling up with a groin strain while chasing a ball during a training session.

---

18 y/o ST Kaine Sheppard has agreed to a youth contract. The former Leyton Orient prospect is quick & can finish, there are questions about nearly every other part of his game however.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:44 AM   #189
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July 2, 2012
18 y/o MF Andrew Musungu has been signed on a free after his Stoke contract expired. Fans have been bombarding radio shows praising our vision in signing the youngster who has shown good first touch & dribbling skills. He's young but seems to have potential for us.
---
We hold a press conference & introduce our recent new signings, including Musungu who drew the most attention.
---

After that was completed we put pen to paper and made a staff addition: Chris McCabe has agreed to terms with the club as a coach. We're very pleased to have reached agreement to bring him back after his retirement as a player, his skill at teaching the attacking and technical phases of the game will be a big addition to our staff as will his determination.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:24 AM   #190
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July 5, 2012
Forest Green has signed away DL Kadell Daniel, who had only recently arrived at Blyth on a trial. They offered him $450 p.a., so off he goes ... we were strongly looking at him as a first-team starter, so this came as more than a bit of a shock.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #191
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July 5, 2012
Having only just realized that they hadn't left the club, we release the following players on a free transfer:
D Darren Timmons, D Gary Pinch, D Brendan Gallen

---

We've just signed 18 y/o D Rhys Paul, who was until recently a Milwall prospect. He's a very promising defender who already heads, tackles, and marks better than most of our regulars. He also comes with good determination, teamwork and work rate. Strength is an issue, but he's young, we believe he'll get there.

---

Veteran ST Darren Stamp has agreed to join us on trial until the end of pre-season. The 33 y/o shows good determination to go with solid heading skills, most recently he spent two seasons with Gainsborough of BSBN.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:39 AM   #192
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July 7th (morning)
We extend the contract of GK Coach Carl King through next season. We also extend the contract of Coach Dean Harris through next year as well.

July 7th (afternoon)
Blyth (BSBP) at Whitby (Norther Premier Premier) Friendly

Time to start getting in shape & let the guys see something other than the weight room & training field. The lineup looks shockingly similar to what we might open the regular season with if it were tomorrow

GK - Hartley
D: Martin - Jones - Antwi - Sinclair
MF: Slaughter - Matondo - Groves - Vipond
F: Armstrong - Mole
(Available: A cast of thousands)

Halftime - Only a 5-4 shooting edge, only 58% possession as we tailed off toward the latter portion of the half. Rather drab affair so far honestly. Armstrong took a knock just before the half, have to see what that's about, and hope that it's nothing.

Subs: Stamp for Armstrong, Whitely for Slaughter, Janneh for Antwi (Vipond to RCM, Sinclair to DCR, Groves to RD)

49:00 - Vipond intercepts a goal kick at midfield, plays it ahead to Mole, who quickly lays it off to Stamp who shoots from long range ... his low shot from the edge of the arc beats the oncoming keeper (1-0) Hmm ... somebody may be wanting a contract

56:00 - Sub Giddings for Martin, Sawyer for Vipond, Phillips for Matondo
68:00 - Sub Breckin for Groves, Abraham for Sinclair, Aite-Ouakrim for Mole
73:00 - Taylor beats Hartley just inside the post with a shot from outside the arc (1-1)

Fulltime - Eh, not very pretty. 11-6 shots, 61% of poss., just couldn't close.
Sinclair (7.7) was MOM, Stamp (7.2) certainly made an impression with his quick goal. Sawyer's (5.6) missed interception gamble cost us a goal.

More interesting were the observations ass't mgr Fell made. The usual, like Whiteley and Antwi having problems blending into the squad weren't surprising. What I didn't expect was this "Jamie Mole & Paul Matondo appear to have some problems motivating themselves to play for you". Where the heck did that come from?

What I also didn't expect was this "A number of our players appear to have some problems motivating themselves to play with Graeme Armstrong as our captain" Again, where did that come from?

And finally "Both Glen Taylor & Greg Hartley look like they are struggling to cope with the pressure from the interest shown in them" Umm ... what interest would that be? No indications that anyone has approached them nor has anyone approached me about them (they wouldn't have to for Taylor but Hartley is under contract through the end of the year).
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #193
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July 8, 2012
We bring in MF Steven Morrison on trial. The 23 y/o only recently became available with the expiration of his contract with Bala of the Welsh Premier League.

We bring in RD Paul Robson on trial. The 28 y/o spent last season as a starter for Lincoln of the BSBP, scoring 4 goals and posting a 6.89 avg rtg. He has bounced around through several clubs since leaving Charlton back in 2003.

18 y/o GK Alex Archer signs a youth contract. He's a product of the Peterborough system.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:49 PM   #194
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July 9, 2012
Veteran F Leon Constantine joins the club on trial. The 34 y/o spent last year at Boston Utd but had his best seasons in League 1 for Port Vale from 05-07 (32 goals in 2 seasons). He can definitely finish, just not much stamina left.

July 10, 2012
We book a couple more friendlies, an away match at NPD1 side Lancaster City and a home match against just-relegated Blackpool now of the Championship. We'll get killed in that one but there's about $30k-$35k profit expected from it.
---
26 y/o RD Kevin Lee joins us on trial. He's spent the past six seasons with Southport after coming out of the Wigan system. A potential backup/rotation guy on the backline most likely.
---

July 10, 2012 (afternoon)
Blyth (BSBP) vs Musselburgh Athletic (Scottish Eastern Superleague) - Friendly

GK - Knight
D: Kulsten - Mellish - Purvis - Robson
MF: Morrison - Musungu - Lee - Abraham
F: Chinthengah - Aite-Ouakrim
(Available: A cast of thousands)
4-4-2 Standard

10:00 - Chinthengah beats the keeper who rushed out to grab a long ball ... he puts it into an empty net (1-0)
13:50 - Aite-Oukrim with a nice cross from the right channel over to Morrison in the area ... quick sidestep and he shoots ... GOAL (2-0)
29:00- Chinthengah skips past a challenge and heads into the area ... to the right side ... a bender that goes through the keeper's outstretched arms (3-0)
34:30 - Free kick from the left channel by Chinthengah ... plays it easily to Morrison on the near side of the area ... two steps and a left-footed shot ... beats the keeper to the inside of the near post (4-0)

Halftime - That's more like it. Clearly a talent & skill gap today but it's good to see us actually performing to that situation instead of playing down to it.

Subs: Dalton on for Knight, Rickard for Aite-Ouakrim, McGovern for Kulsten, flip-flop Robson to CMR and Lee to DR

55:00 - Sub Bennett for Chinthengah, Harrison for Musungu, Wallace for Purvis, Williamson for Mellish

59:49 - Wallace free kick from the left side ... Williamson diving header ... nicely done (5-0)
60:00 - Sub Pearson for McGovern (knocked)
65:00 - Two nice saves by Dalton, including a one on one where he completely stoned the shooter
69:00 - Sub Smyth for Robson, Christensen for Lee, Sheppard for Morrison
80:00 - Sub Seery for Wallace (mild knock) flip Christensen to DR
93:00 - Stupid foul in the area by Bennett on a meaningless corner, that's a penalty ... Skinner beats Dalton to his right (5-1) Way to put a damper on an otherwise near perfect day

Fulltime - Fair enough. Chinthengah (MOM 9.3) makes his case for more first team action, Morrison (9.2) makes a bid to get a contract. I liked what I saw from Tamer Dalton (6.7) in goal as well, until that wrong guess on the penalty anyway. Also liked the energy shown by Rickard (6.7) in the waning moments. Bennett (5.6) on the other hand, that was just dumb.

Again the comments from Fell are interesting. Lee & Robson are finding it hard to motivate themselves to play "for a head coach of my standing". Morrison & Aite-Ouakrim appear to be struggling to cope with the pressure of interest being shown in them.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:50 PM   #195
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July 11, 2012
25 y/o DR Will Salmon comes in on trial, good tackler, fits the mold of what we like at WB/FB. Spent the last three seasons with AFC Telford.

We've got quite a few nice, or at least quite useful, players in on trial at the moment. Problem with all of them is pretty much the same: they want too much money. Most just want p.a. deals of about $400-$500 per. The few who might sign an actual contract want star money, and none of them look like full fledged stars per se.

Also, we've scouted a ridiculous number of players so far this preseason. Offered a number of other trials that have been rejected in favor of other clubs.
---
Physios tell me that MF Louis Wallace has suffered a concussion following a collision with Frank Sinclair during training. He'll be out about two weeks.

----
July 12, 2012
30 y/o MF Neil Barrett comes in on trial. Looks like a potential backup/rotation player (money not withstanding) after spending the past six season in BSBP, four of those during two stints with Ebbsfleet.

26 y/o MF Michael Pook comes in on trial. Would be a great offensive solution for us at MR but is almost certainly going to be too expensive to sign. Spent last season with Forest Green

----
July 13, 2012
21 y/o GK Kieran Gonzalez has signed a one year deal. Not quite as good as Max Johnson, but with Johnson's contract expiring and no sign of him coming off his excessive salary demands (for a backup), this gives us an alternative.
In a pinch - and that's the only way he's likely to see first-team action - he could play without being too freaked out, having started most of last season for Eastwood in BSBN.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:05 PM   #196
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July 14, 2012 (morning)
We transfer list GK Max Johnson. I'm not paying him nearly as much as Knight & more than double Hartley's salary to be our reserve keeper. He's an odd situation, with a contract that expires in December, we'll either lose him or get something for him. Naturally, no one bites on the offer.

Incidentally, we've finally gotten wind of those "nervous about interest shown" comments. League 2 club Barnet is reportedly interested in Hartley, trialist Kevin Lee is drawing attention from at least three clubs, ditto for new trialist Will Salmon, trialist Paul Robson is getting a look from L2 Hereford, trialist Michael Pook draws attention of three clubs including Hartlepool & Barnet, BSBN side Chester is interested in Glen Taylor, and to my considerable concern, L1 club Plymouth is looking at Jamie Mole

July 14, 2012 (afternoon)
Blyth vs Preston Athletic (East Scotland Premier) - Friendly

GK - Hartley
D: Martin - Jones - Sinclair - Salmon
MF: Phillips - Matondo - Vipond - Janneh
F: Mole - Armstrong
(Available: A cast of thousands)
4-4-2 Standard

20:00 - Mole with a long blast that hits the crossbar ... and then hit the keeper squarely in the back of the head for an own goal (1-0)
30:00 - 9 shots in the first thirty minutes, only one of those on target. Not looking good in pre-season
42:00 - Armstrong's cross into the box is blocked by a defender ... Matondo is there for the loose ball & stuffs it home (2-0)
45:00 - 46:50 Matondo tackles the ball away in the offensive third, feeds Armstrong who shoots from the arc (3-0)
Halftime - I hope we get some match fitness out of this, because there's not much to be had in the way of competition. We're physically dominating them in a way I've never seen from us. 14-0 shots, 68% poss, nearly 80% passing.
Sub Whiteley for Janneh, Chinthengah for Armstrong, Antwi for Salmon, Harrison for Phillips

57:00 - Sub Slaughter for Martin, Groves for Matondo, Stamp for Mole
67:00 - Sub Mellish for Jones, Sawyer for Sinclair
77:00 - Sub Pook for Vipond

Fulltime - Matondo (MOM 8.1) played well, as did Armstrong (8.1). No particular negatives beyond our poor shooting accuracy, hard to complain about a 21-3 edge in shots and 62% poss.

Fell again adds some food for thought. Pook & Mole are having problems playing for a coach of my standing, Mole & Phillips are having issues with motivation with Armstrong as captain.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:25 PM   #197
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July 15, 2012
Trialist Leon Constantine leaves the club and joins Altrincham. Stuff happens I guess.
---

We tell the groundskeeper to make a minor alteration to the pitch this season, adjust to a standard length & width (we had been about six yards longer than average)
----
July 16, 2012
29 y/o MF Marc Canham, who spent the last 2 seasons with Bath in BSBP, has come in on trial. Not much defensively but could provide some offense from the CMF.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:54 PM   #198
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July 17, 2012
Blyth (BSBP) at Lancaster City (N.Premier D1N) - Friendly

So many bodies, so little time to get the fit or even assessed.

GK - Knight
D: Kulsten - Paul - Breckin - Purvis
MF: Musungu - Barrett - Canham - Whiteley
F: Chinthengah - White
(Available: A cast of thousands)
4-4-2 Standard

23:00 - White has to hobble off for treatment
Halftime - Yawn. We're flat, it's a friendly, we're on the road, we're in nothing resembling match fitness. We've outshot them 7-2 thanks to a late flurry, we had only one shot in the first 30 mins. Poss is 63% to us.
Sub Aite-Ouakrim for White (tiring), Giddings for Kulsten, Forster for Whiteley

55:00 - Sub Hoy for Purvis, Rickard for Chinthengah ... switch to Control
66:00 - Sub Slaughter for Musungu, Sheppard for Barrett (Aite-Ouakrim to MF), Seery for Breckin
70:00 - Sub Christensen for Paul
71:10 - Rickard plays a pass ahead to Sheppard, he's got the keeper out ... his lob misses wide by at least 15 feet
89:45 - Slaughter with a cross to Sheppard, his header goes harmlessly over

Fulltime - Well, at least nobody got hurt as far as I know, otherwise this goes down as a disappointment. We outshot them 13-3 but only 1 shot was on target for either team all night (ours). 63% of poss. should generate something more than that. Aite-Ouakrim had a poor showing (6.0) although we did play him out of position for most of the match. Hoy (6.8) was decent, as was White (6.8). Ass't notes that Barrett cointinues to struggle to find motivation whilst playing for me & my low reputation.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:00 PM   #199
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July 18, 2012
Sometimes you just have to trust the people who work for you. On the recommendation of our coaches & scouts, we've signed 28 y/o ST/MR Alan O'Connor on a free from Rockmount of the Irish 1st Division. He's got good pace, stamina and the ability to finish as well as contribute on set pieces. He also comes to us match fit since he's been playing regularly & was the leading scorer on his floundering club.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:56 PM   #200
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July 19, 2012
Sometimes you have to trust the peop ... wait, I said that already.

We also picked up 17 y/o MF/ST Laste Dombaxe, an Angolan who came out of the Tottenham system.
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