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Old 05-16-2012, 12:22 AM   #351
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Apr 20, 2013 (afternoon)
Blyth (6-11-27, 24th) at Ebbsfleet (14-11-19, 18th)

They're 1:6 faves, we're 10:1 dogs on the road. Just one more match to endure after this one. We actually beat them 4-2 in our previous meeting, seems like a lifetime ago. 5-4-1 Counter to start.

GK: McDonald
D: McGovern, Seery, Jones, Purvis, Rowbotham
MF: Brown, Morrison, Groves, Bembo-Leta
ST: Lobjoit
Bench: (Sinclair, Wedderburn, Mole, O'Connor, Gonzalez)

Halftime: Blyth 0 - Ebbsfleet 0
Quiet first half, especially for us, outshot 5-1 with only 36% of poss. Our only momentary threat came from a nice long run by Bembo-Leta, something we need to see more from him.

Fulltime: Ebbsfleet 4 - Blyth 0
West buries a loose ball rebound from high in the area at 51'
West scores again, closer this time, after a quick pass from Harley at 53'
Seddon from high in the area at 62'
Switch to 4-4-2 Attacking at 63'
Morrison foul in the box, West buries the penalty at 67'
As of 70' (and a wide shot by Mole) we've been outshot 14-2

Sigh. McDonald's good first half turns to disaster. We just came apart across the board in the second half. Outshot 17-6, and nothing particularly dangerous in that half dozen.

McDonald 6.7
McGovern 5.8, Seery 6.1, Jones 5.5, Purvis 5.2, Rowbotham 5.1
Brown 6.3, Morrison 5.4, Groves 6.7, Bembo-Leta 6.6
ST: Lobjoit 6.0
Subs: Mole (62' for McGovern) 6.3, Sinclair (71' for Rowbotham) 6.6

Apr 20, 2013 (postmatch)
Heck of a way to mark my 100th career match as a manager. That's 18 straight without a win, in case you're counting.
Fans are said to be devastated by the manner of the defeat. No kidding.
__________________
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:42 AM   #352
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Apr 23, 2013
Our Reserves played a fitness friendly at Consett, managing a scoreless draw. The game marked the return to action of MF Laste Dombaxe who had been out for several months due to injury.
----

Apr 27, 2013 (morning)
Our U18s lost to Doncaster U18s 1-0 on the road thanks to a goal in the 45'.
----

Will Antwi requests again to be listed, I just go along with it & fax every club on the planet to get him the hell out of here. Of course we know that no one is going to bite, apparently none of my players have any real value to anyone ... including me.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:16 AM   #353
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Apr 27, 2013 (afternoon)
Blyth (6-11-28, 24th) vs Stockport (13-10-22, 19th)

4-4-2 Attacking to start. Stockport technically hasn't assured themselves of staying up but to be relegated we would have to beat the stuffing out of them and either Newport co or Kidderminster would have to win big (Stockport leads them both by 3 pts and has a 5 GD and 11 GD edge respectively). we're 7:1 dogs at home, they're 1:3 faves. Appropriate somehow that we're playing in a steady rain, matches the mood around the club.

GK: Dovey
D: Brown, Seery, Groves, Sinclair
MF: Phillips, Matondo, Wedderburn, Bembo-Leta
ST: Armstrong, Lobjoit
Bench: (Rowbotham, Janneh, Mole, O'Connor, Knight)

Halftime: Blyth 0 - Stockport 0
Took two shots in the first five minutes, didn't have another & were outshot 5-2.

Fulltime: Blyth 1 - Stockport 1
Wedderburn foul in the box, McConville denied by Dovey on the penalty at 48'
Fraughan with a fluke goal that bangs in off the underside of the bar at 69'
Mole takes our first shot in an hour
Switch to Overload at 84'
3 mins extra time
LOL, dovey comes forward at 90'
Groves centers a pass for Lobjoit at 91:30 ... Sheridan fouls him & a PK is awarded
Mole takes a breath ... comes forward ... and scores at 91:58

A final stab at glory by Mole who is sure to exit the club. He had played over eleven HOURS without a goal prior to that. Outshot 10-4, played like crap & stole a point anyway.

Dovey 6.4
Brown 6.7, Seery 6.8, Groves 7.3, Sinclair 7.0
Phillips 6.9, Matondo 6.0, Wedderburn 6.8, Bembo-Leta 6.7
Armstrong 6.0, Lobjoit 6.7 & 1 assist
Subs: Mole (67' for Armstrong) 6.8 & 1 goal, Janneh (67' for Matondo) 6.9, O'Connor (85' for Bembo-Leta) N/A

Apr 27, 2013 (postmatch)
Can't help but chuckle at the ending, although our opponent might find it less funny the point still keeps them up. We finish in dead last place, one point behind Braintree, 16 points from safety.
__________________
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:27 AM   #354
JonInMiddleGA
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May 1, 2013
No awards for us, nothing notable other than me making a few expiring contract players available for Reserve duty as they have two matches left to play in their Group 5 season.
---

The club technically made a profit of $65.51k last month which sounds great ... except that the board provided a $120k cash injection
---

May 2, 2013
Our Reserves lost 2-0 at home against Bradford Reserves. 5 yellow cards for us (Mole, White, Rowbotham, Stephenson and Williamson), I guess some of the first teamers didn't enjoy the reserve duty. Tough titty.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:43 AM   #355
JonInMiddleGA
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May 8, 2013
Our Reserves lose to Hartlepool Reserves 2-1 on the road. We played a man short after Mellish was sent off at 30', trailed at 36', Antwi equalized at 67', lost on a goal at 84'. Loanee Josh Rowbotham twisted his knee & will be out for a month, meaningless (to us) since that ended the Reserve season.
---

May 11, 2013
Our U18s lost to Rotherham U18s 3-0 on the road.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:51 AM   #356
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
May 13, 2013
Gavin Fell put together a training report for the past season

Andy Williamson & Louis Wallace made some improvement
Theo Brown improved well.
Will Antwi decliend slightly
Shaun Vipond, Ian Breckin and Lee Peacock showed early signs of decline.
Youth GK Jonathan Henly made some improvement.
Youth players Tamer Dalton, Dennis Robson and Andrew Musungu among others improved well.
----

At least 10 coaches have been fired in the past 24 hours, so far I'm not among them. And the players have left for break until July 1, 2013.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:04 AM   #357
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
May 18, 2013
Tottenham celebrates a magnificent treble after beating Man City 1-0 in the English FA Cup final at Wembley. That gives them the FA Cup, the English League Cup and the European Super Cup this season.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:34 AM   #358
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
May 25, 2013
5th place finishers Cambridge won the playoff round & promotes to npower League 2 along with regular season champs Dag & Red.
---

We've payed out $20k to be shared among the squad on a pro-rata basis for our last place finish.
---

We received $9.15k for our BSBP finish
---

Aldershot Town's Alex Rodman won BSBP Player of the Season
Tamworth's Jean-Paul Marna was top goalscorer with 21
Salisbury's Marvin Williams won Goal of the Year with a curled shot vs York
---

Man City retained the English Premier Division title, while Norwich, West Brom and Wigan were all relegated
---

Chelsea's Frank Lampard wins Footballer of the Year
Man City's David Silva is the English Player's Player of the Year
Man U's Javier Hernandez was the EPL Top Goalscorer with 29
West Ham U's Jack Collison was the Young Player of the Year
Wolverhampton's Wayne Hennessey was the EPL Golden Glove
West Ham U's Ruud Gullit was the EPL Manager of the Year
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:43 AM   #359
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 1, 2013

We've been paid $14.63k as part of our continued partnership with Hartlepool.
---

The Board is satisfied with my coaching of the team.
Without a doubt the biggest disappointment is our terrible performance in BSBP. The club's growth in stature since I took charge has been a positive.
We lost $85.47k last month.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:45 AM   #360
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 3, 2013
We have a new jersey sponsor, a 4 yr deal worth $22k per year (up from the previous $12k/yr deal)
---

Our initial payroll info has been handed over ... $8.75k per week with a $0 transfer budget, subject to alteration based on expectations.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:44 PM   #361
Poli
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Could be worse, you're still kicking. I think you'll have the goods to compete next season. After all, you did take Blyth to BSP in one season with...well, not much.

You're better for what you know now as well.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:57 PM   #362
JonInMiddleGA
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Jun 9, 2013
The transfer window has reopened, I suspect we're going to see a number of players flying out of it.

Cheltenham Town & Bristol Rovers have made offer for Theo Brown (p.a. deal) with Aldershot lurking in the wings

Staylbridge has offered Nathaniel Wedderburn a contract (p.a. deal)
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:15 AM   #363
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jun 10, 2013
Now that it appears I may be sticking around in spite of our disastrous season, I suppose we ought to take a look back at the year that was. A lot of the problems can be found in the numbers

Goalkeepers
David Knight 26 starts/26 app - 34 GA, 7 shutouts, 1 MOM 6.67 rtg
Greg Hartley 15 starts/15 app - 33 GA, 1 Shutout, 6.33 rtg
Nathan McDonald 9 starts/10 app - 18 GA, 1 Shutout, 6.52 rtg
Jack Dovey 2 starts/3 app - 3 GA, 1 Shutout, 6.40 rtg

They weren't that bad but a lot of the goals given up were just terrible. Hartley & Dovey spent most of the year pouting but they were clearly less viable in goal than Knight.

---
Defenders
Carl Jones 39 starts/39 app - 3 goals/1 assist, 6.77 rtg
Danny Groves 27 starts/39 app - 1g/2a, 6.82 rtg
Frank Sinclair 26 starts/35 app - 6.54 rtg
Dylan Purvis 24 starts/31 app - 1 g/2a, 6.68 rtg
Will Antwi 17 starts/19 app - 1g/1a, 6.61 rtg
Jalmard Kulsten 14 starts/15 app - 0g/1a, 6.59 rtg
*Josh Rowbotham 12 starts/13 app - 0g/1a, 6.65 rtg
Stuart Giddings 12 starts/13 app - 6.86 rtg
Richard Slaughter 11 starts/23 app - 1g/1a, 6.58 rtg
Tom Seery 11 starts/11 app - 2g/0a, 6.74 rtg
Matthew Martin 10 starts/10 app - 6.28 rtg
Sam Sawyer 9 starts/11 app - 6.56 rtg
Theo Brown 8 starts/11 app - 1g/0a, 6.68 rtg
Jordan Mellish 3 starts/4 app - 6.25 rtg
Phil Stevenson 3 starts/3 app - 5.73 rtg
Liam McGovern 2 starts/3 app - 6.25 rtg
Ian Breckin 2 starts/3 app - 6.07 rtg
Darren Holden 1 starts/1 app - 5.90 rtg
Michael Pearson 1 start/1 app - 5.50 rtg
Joe Henderson 1 start/1 app - 5.70 rtg
Rhys Paul 1 start/1 app - 5.30 rtg
Lloyd Foot 1 start/1 app - 5.40 rtg

As you can see, it wasn't for lack of trying that we didn't really find a strong backline. Jones slumped badly from mid-season on & rarely showed signs of the player we once had. Seery was a pleasant surprise & a rare case of someone that took advantage of the chance we gave them. Sinclair aged badly during the season. Breckin was a total flop as a veteran influence. Giddings started playing well & then got hurt, leaving Kulsten to play too often.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:28 AM   #364
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Midfielders
Paul Matondo 32s/39a - 5g/4a, 6.77 rtg
Steven Morrison 24s/26a - 1g/2a, 6.67 rtg
Wayne Phillips 23s/31a - 2g/8a, 6.77 rtg
Jason White 21s/25a - 1g/3a, 6.69 rtg
Alan O'Connor 20s/29 a - 2g/2a, 6.69 rtg
Shaun Vipond 18s/18a - 2g/3a, 6.57 rtg
Nathaniel Wedderburn 15a - 1g/0a, 6.55 rtg
Reece Hands 12s/14a - 2g/1a, 6.61 rtg
Lewis Whiteley 10s/14a - 0g/1a, 6.55 rtg
Djeny Bembo-Leta 9s/13a - 0g/0a, 6.58 rtg
Danny Whitaker 7s/10a - 1g/1a, 6.69 rtg
*Jordan Richards 7s/9a - 0g/2a, 6.60 rtg
Jack Abraham 2s/5a - 1g/0a, 6.53 rtg
Hassan Janneh 1s/3a - 0g/0a, 6.83 rtg
Louis Wallace 1s/2a - 0g/0a, 6.10 rtg

Bastions of mediocrity overall. Matondo slumped horribly as the season went south. Vipond even more so. Loanee Richards was good on his first stint, useless on his second. Phillips' numbers look gaudy but those assists came mostly off set pieces. White showed flashes early & then tanked.

Strikers
Jamie Mole 36s/46a - 16g/8a, 6.86 rtg
Graeme Armstrong 17s/21a - 3g/1a, 6.53 rtg
Billy Lobjoit 12s/14a - 2g/2a, 6.56 rtg
Darryn Stamp 5s/9a - 1g/0a, 6.70 rtg
Leeroy Chinthengah 4s/8a - 0g/0a, 6.37 rtg
Jonson Clarke-Harris 4s/6a - 0g/0a, 6.20 rtg
Lee Peacock 2s/2a - 0g/0a, 5.85 rtg
John Cofie 1s/3a - 0g/0a, 6.05 rtg
*Darren Stephenson 0s/1a - 0g/0a, N/A rtg

Tough to find a more misleading stat line than Mole's. Long stretches of nothing and then a hattrick out of nowhere, 4 of his 16 goals on PK's. Armstrong, the former captain, did little. Lobjoit is our hope for the future offensively but he's far from a certain bet. Veterans Stamp & Peacock did little, supposedly talent youngster Clarke-Harris & Cofie did far more harm than good.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:34 AM   #365
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 10, 2013 (afternoon)
Nathaniel Wedderburn has signed on with Staylbridge. Useful guy, would have liked to keep him around but he had other plans.
---

Aldershot has joined the bidding for Theo Brown.
---

We're in a bit of a bind at the moment, until the current contracts expire & players exit, we're almost completely handcuffed on resigning anyone even if they're willing.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:27 AM   #366
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 14, 2013
Boreham Wood has offered Alan O'Connor, Staylbridge & FC Halifax are also interested.
---

Theo Brown has agreed to terms with Bristol Rovers. The talented 19 y/o would have been a great piece next season but was never interested in signing beyond a p.a. deal & even that was very pricey.
---

Workington has made an offer to Darryn Stamp. No biggie, wasn't going to bring him back anyway.
---

June 20, 2013
Alan O'Connor has reached agreement with FC Halifax
---

June 21, 2013
Frank Sinclair has officially retired. His playing career spanned 24 years from 1989 to 2013. He made 631 appearances, scoring 12 goals and made 28 international appearances and scored 1 goal for England. His prime was spent at Chelsea (169 league app) and Leicester City (164 league app). He was a solid veteran presence for us and we wish him the very best.
---

Workington has reached agreement with Darryn Stamp. Toodles.
---

Lee Peacock retires after 20 years of professional soccer starting in 1993. He starred for Carlisle United for several years before moving on to Mansfield, Man City and Bristol City before a journeyman existence in the twilight of his career.
---

Ian Breckin retires after a 20 year career that ended with 3 appearances for us. He began at Rotherham (132 app) before joining Chesterfield (212 app) for the longest stint of his career.
---

Our official losses for last year were $180k.
---
__________________
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:37 AM   #367
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 24, 2013
Alex Ferguson has decided to retire at Manchester United. Speculation revolves around Roberto Di Matteo, with names includes Terry Connor, Jens Mustermann and David Moyes also mentioned.
---

Harry Redknapp has retired from Tottenham. Ass't coach Kevin Bond in considered the favorite for the job with Terry Connor & David Moyes also linked.
---

Jalmard Kulsen has retired after a 9 year career. He started at Limerick F.C. before moving on to Sligo and then two seasons & 14 league appearances for us.
---
__________________
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:47 AM   #368
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 24, 2013

Also, Football.guardian.co.uk published their 2012/13 seaason review. This ought to make recapping things fairly concise & I'll share the key bits here.

Premier
Winner: Man City
Relegated: Norwich, West Brom, Wigan
Top scorer: Javier Hernandez/Man U 29
Highest Avg Rtg: Yaya Toure/Man City 7.75

Championship
Winner: Blackpool
Promoted: Blackpool, Blackburn, Burnley
Relegated: Watford, Bournemouth, Coventry
Top scorer: Charlie Austin/Burnley 32
Highest Avg Rtg: Patrick van Aanholt/Brighton 7.64

League 1
Winner: Charlton
Promoted: Charlton, Hull, Portsmouth
Relegated: Carlisle, Yeovil, Chesterfield, Wycombe
Top scorer: Yann Kermorgant/Charlton 29
Highest Avg Rtg: Scott Laird/Stevenage 7.61

League 2
Winner: Colchester
Promoted: Colchester, Crewe, AFC Wimbledon, Exeter
Relegated: Fleetwood, Morecambe
Top scorer: Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro/Rochedale 23
Highest Avg Rtg: Stephen Jordan/Rochedale 7.84

BSB Premier
Winner: Dag & Red
Promoted: Dag & Red, Cambridge
Relegated: Kidderminster, Bath, Braintree, Blyth
Top scorer: Jean-Paul Marna/Tamworth 21
Highest Avg Rtg: Danny Murphy/Wrexham 7.37

BSN North
Winner: FC Halifax
Promoted: FC Halifax, Solihull Moors
Relegated: FC United, Bury Town, Chester
Top scorer: Danny Morrissey/Solihull Moors 21
Highest Avg Rtg: Mark Lynch/Gainsborough 7.82

BSB South
Winner: Chelmsford
Promoted: Chelmsford, Staines
Relegated: Lewes, Hendon, Redditch
Top scorer: Tim Sills/Basingstock 16
Highest Avg Rtg: Jack Bartham/Woking 7.45

Regional Premier Divs
Promoted: Guiseley, Boston Utd, St.Albans, Kingstonian, Weston-super-Mare, Hampton & Richmond

FA Cup
Winner: Tottenham

League Cup
Winner: Tottenham

Community Shield
Burnley

Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Yeovil

FA Trophy
Aldershot

European Qualification
EC Cup Group Stage - Man City, Man U, Chelsea
EC Cup Best Playoff - Arsenal
Euro Cup 4th Qual Rd - Tottenham, West Ham
Euro Cup 3rd Qual Rd - Liverpool

Awards
Footballer of the Year - Frank Lampard/Chelsea
Players' Player of the Year - David Silva/Man City
Top Goalscorer - Javier Hernandez/Man U
Players' Young Player - Jack Collison/West Ham
Golden Glove- Wayne Hennessey/Wolves
Manager of the Year - Ruud Gullit/West Ham
__________________
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:56 AM   #369
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 25, 2013
We've once again entered squads for the Reserve & U18 leagues.
---

Carl Jones has been named Player of the Year by the fans
---

Fans Best Eleven for the season were:
GK: Knight
D: Slaughter, Purvis, Jones, Groves
MF: Matondo, White, Morrison, O'Connor
ST: Armstrong, Mole
Others: Hartley, Sinclair, Phillips, Vipond, Lobjoit, Antwi, Bembo-Leta
----

2 players have been added to our Overall Best Eleven, Wayne Phillips & Alan O'Connor, both are in the "also mentioned" group.
---

The 2013/14 BSB North match schedule has been announced. We kickoff at home against Colwyn Bay on Sat Aug 10 and then travel to Corby Town on Wed Aug 14. Boxing Day will have us on the road at Vauxhall Motors, the same club will end the season with us at Croft Park on Sat May 3.
---

We will receive $14.17k for TV rights over the upcoming season.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:05 AM   #370
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 25, 2013 (afternoon)

We get our expectations for the upcoming season, which is to achieve a respectable league position in BSBN (appears to be defined as a top half finish).
That's good for $8.5k weekly salary budget & $0 transfer budget.

If we upgrade those hopes to promotion it'd be another $500/wk, if we shot for winning it all again that would add an additional $250/wk.

I leave things as they are, I don't think one good player, which is about what that $500/wk is worth, is going to assure promotion & I figure I'm on shaky enough ground after the losing streak as it is.
---

A bunch of youth contracts have expired, some of those players we'd like to keep around probably but ... we're still way over budget for another week.
---

Jonson Clarke-Harris, Pearce Farren, Olly Bashford, Callum Wilson, Jonathan Henly, Laste Dombaxe, Andrew Musungu and Craig Cresswell are all added to the Reserves as they have aged out of U18 competition.
---

June 26, 2013
To our amazement (and possible delight), Hartlepool has accepted our request to extend the loan of Josh Rowbotham for the upcoming season. Hopefully he will agree.
---

BSBN promotion odds have been released by Sky Bet. Kidderminster is the Even odds favorite to promote. The rest of the main contenders include
Blyth 3:1
Barrow, Boston Utd, Southport 6:1
Altrincham 12:1

I wish I had their confidence
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:23 AM   #371
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
June 28, 2013
Naturally, Josh Rowbotham has rejected the loan offer. We'll try again later I suspect.
---

Former Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini has been named as the new coach at Tottenham.
---

June 30, 2013
Contract expirations aplenty
The following players have expired contracts but have opted to remain at the club on a month-to-month basis for the time being:
GK Greg Hartley, Kieran Gonzalez,
MF Jason White, Hassan Janneh, Richard Slaughter, Sam Sawyer
D Matt Martin, Lloyd Foot, Michael Pearson, Jordan Mellish, Sam Christensen,

---

The following contracts have expired & the players have left the club effective immediately:
GK David Knight
MF Shaun Vipond, Paul Matondo, Wayne Phillips, Adam Forster
ST Jamie Mole, Graeme Armstrong
Ass't Mgr Gavin Fell
Physio John Whiley
---

I was offered an extension of my contract, with a decrease in pay from $1000/wk to $925/wk. I counter with $950/wk and they immediately agree. After last year I'm lucky to still have a job at all.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:18 AM   #372
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July 1, 2013
Leeds has hired former player Terry Connor to take over as their new head coach
----
The board is satisfied with my coaching of the team. They're happiest with my "tight control of the payroll" (!?!?!?) although they and the fans are unhappy with my allowing Jamie Mole to leave (as though he was giving me a choice ... his agent was asking for $1,100/wk)
----

We have a new assistant manager ... welcome 30 y/o Jonathan Worthington to Blyth. He's a major upgrade in most areas, with Man Mgt 14, Discipline 17, Determination 16, Judging Ability & Potential both 13, Motivating 13, Attacking 14, Fitness 12 and Mental 12. At $275/wk through next season he feels like a reasonable bargain.

We also have a new coach, but he needs less introduction. Welcome to the staff and welcome back to the club 37 y/o Jalmard Kulsten, who retired at the end of last season. He's rated 15 for Defending, 13 for Determination, 12 for Adaptability. Comes on board for $220/wk through next season.
---

July 2, 2013
Man U has appointed 41 y/o Spanish legend Unai Emery as their next head coach. Valencia is now looking for a replacement (and will have $3.2m in compensation to help with that task)
---

Sunderland is looking for a new coach after Martin O'Neill steps down to return to his former job at Aston Villa. He was at Villa from '06 to '10, joined Sunderland for two seasons with mid-table finishes and the 2012 League Cup.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:31 AM   #373
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July 3, 2013
We release the annoying Greg Hartley on a free. It clears $170/wk in salary but moreover it prevents me from listening to him whine about not being our full-time starter.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:50 AM   #374
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Just caught up with this. Admire the perseverance.
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:54 AM   #375
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Just caught up with this. Admire the perseverance.

Thanks DC, it was easier to pick back up after taking a little break (not really a planned break, but that's how life worked it out). At the moment I'm sort of splitting time between this & Minecraft.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:12 AM   #376
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July 6, 2013
Starting to bring in trialists now, or at least we're trying to. Precious few people are interested in coming here, at least not if they have any appreciable amount of talent AND a reasonable future salary expectation.

33 y/o LD/ML Aaron Brown is here & could win himself a place with some good outings.

We're in desperate need of help on the midfield flanks ... and most other positions too.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #377
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July 9, 2013
In on trial comes 18 y/o ST Elyon Egbeku, formerly of Leyton Orient. A little bit of offense but probably not ready for first-team action. Still, worth a look.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:24 PM   #378
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July 13, 2013
Far too quickly for my taste, our first friendly has arrived. It'll be at home at Croft Park against League 2 side Rochdale, a club that finished 5th in their league last season. Feels like a considerably uphill battle ahead.

We'll roll out what might very well be considered our first team lineup today, in a new 4-4-2 Diamond formation.

GK: Dovey
D: A.Brown*, Jones, Antwi, Groves
DMC: Sawyer
MF: Whitaker, Bembo-Leta
AMC: White
ST Mutero, Cofie

Available: (Berry*, Smyth, Lobjoit, Holden, Thompson, Egbeku*, Kay, Paratore*, Dombaxe, Seery, Christian*, McDonald)
* indicates trialists

1' - Cofie gets a yellow card for tripping
2' - Mutero takes our first shot, saved easily
13' - Rochdales misses a 1-on-1 wide right
16' - White turns the ball over in our end, they hit the post with a shot
37' - Gray beats Dovey with a half volley (0-1)
42' - Carl Jones goes down injured, Sub Seery, also switch to Counter
45+1 - White shoots from distance, well wide left

Outshot 7-2, only 39% poss, only 63% passing (49% by D), we're basically outclassed here & they're taking it rather easy on us thus far. We'll shorten the passing style to try to help with that. Groves (5.7) has been the worst, Sawyer & Whitaker (both 6.7) have looked at least okay, Sawyer in particular.
Sub Dombaxe for Cofie (move Bembo-Leta to ST). I suggest that the team show a little more competitiveness.

55' - Sub Holden (for Brown), Kay (for Antwi), Paratore (for Leta), back to Standard
61' - Kay launches a long shot that almost handcuffed their keeper
68' - Holden with a centering pass into the box ... Dombaxe heads it in (1-1)
68' Sub Smyth (for Groves), Berry (for Sawyer), Egbeku (for White)
73' - Seery just misses after an inswinging corner by Whitaker
79' - Whitaker rattles the post after a nice cross by Dombaxe
84' Sub Christian (for Whitaker), switch to 4-4-1-1 Std

Fulltime Blyth 1 - Rochdale 1 (friendly)
Not too bad really. Ended up outshot 8-5, but that's 3-1 our favor in the 2nd half. Ended up with 46% poss, finally started hitting a few crosses (had zero in the first half) and one of those led to our goal.

In addition to MOM Dombaxe (7.4) we had 6.9's from Seery, Paratore*, Kay, Holden, and Smyth. On the downside, Groves (5.8) looked bad as did Cofie (5.9), Bembo-Leta & Jones (6.2) weren't much better.

July 13, 2013 (postmatch)
Carl Jones will be out 4-5 weeks to recover from a pulled hamstring
Several more trialists come on board, there are definitely spots to be had
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:36 PM   #379
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July 14, 2013
We re-sign Sam Sawyer to a contract through the end of the season. Same price as his rollover weekly deal, $300/wk plus $110 app fee.

We make sure clubs know that Jack Dovey is still available (he wants to leave), Chelteham, Fleetwood and Kettering all feel his wage demands are excessive, Bristol Rovers would have to reduce payroll first, and all of those as well as Stockport & Newport aren't prepared to make an offer at the current asking price ($65k + 25% next sale) even for a player valued at $70k.

We try again at $50k + 15% next sale. Same result basically.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:04 PM   #380
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Aaron Brown, FWIW, was on my Eastwood team last season, Jon. Did adequately, then decided to retire to part time. Well, Aaron, you were already part time. Little old in the tooth as well, I decided to go younger.

I did resign Forsdick. That was definitely a bad move. 6 games so far, he hasn't even been listed as a sub yet. I may try and move him at some point...but I have over 1k to play with on the salary figure...so it's not like paying Forsdick is killing me yet.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:54 PM   #381
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I'm in an unusual (for my short career) situation at the moment, I'm about $1500 short of the budget target but the salaries the board allows me to offer are quite small, $375/wk for a 1st teamer & $500 max for a key player.

I haven't worked out the math yet but I suspect (to my dismay) that they'd rather see a bunch of low quality/nearly useless signings than a few that might actually help the squad. Given the roster situation at the moment, I almost wouldn't have minded being fired, scoring goals seems pretty hopeless right now.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #382
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Jul 15, 2013

Another friendly, this time hosting Hartlepool in that contractually obligated match they give us as part of the feeder club deal. Different lineup as we both try to work players up to match fitness and figure out what our actual best first team lineup is. We'll rock a 4-4-1-1 Counter to start

GK: McDonald
D: Holden, Berry*,Williamson, King*
MF: Musungu, Hands, Smyth, Thompson
AMC: Lobjoit
ST Clarke-Harris

Available: (Kay, Paratore*,Nwachuku*, Wilson, Wignall*,Egbeku*,Seery, Whitely, Farren, Quinn*, Janneh, Gonzalez)
* indicates trialists

12' - Mullen heads home a short free kick after disengaging our DC's (0-1)
15' - Seems funny to see Rowbotham playing against us
24' - Berry misses high with a header off a corner
39' - Odelusi with a long run past Berry, feeds Mullen in the area (0-2)
Halftime - Heavens to Betsy have we looked bad. 5 players with <6 ratings bad. Only 3 with rating of 6.6. The cumulative stats aren't terribly lopside (outshot 4-2 for example) but we're just doing next to nothing.

We switch to a 4-4-2 Standard, simply pushed Lobjoit further forward
Sub two players who look "uninterested" & one for fitness
45' Sub Gonzalez (for McDonald), Egbeku* (for Lobjoit), Wilson (for Musungu)

54' Clarke-Harris on a run in traffic, keeper comes out to deny him
55' Smyth plays a ball just a bit long, Clarke-Harris stumbles & manages only a weak header easily saved
56' Sub Whiteley (for Hands)

65' Sub Nwachuku* (for Thompson dinged), Quinn* (for Berry)
71' Sub Janneh (for King), Wignall* (for Smyth), Switch to 4-4-2 Diamond Att
81' Williamson trips Millien after getting beaten in the midfield, yellow card
84' Clarke-Harris awful effort on a shot right out in front all alone
87' Clarke-Harris gets another try blocked, misplays a cross on the rebound

Fulltime Hartlepool 2 - Blyth 0
We ended up outshooting them 10-7, with 6 of the shots coming from Clarke-Harris. 4 of those shots were on target but were pitiful efforts that weren't even close. That's his m.o., bursts of flair that lead to shots but nothing really threatening, which is how he ends up with a 5.8 rating. After telling the team as a whole that they'd have to play better in a real match, I speak to a lot of players individually based on their performance. Notable is the angry reaction from trialist Jamie King (5.9) when I point out that I'm not happy with his performance. Attitude? After you play poorly? Not a way to get yourself a contract bub.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:46 AM   #383
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July 16, 2013
FYI, I'm detailing the pre-season much more than seems normal, there's so much turmoil about the roster & the lineups we'll use that it seems like the interesting part to me right now, much more thought than I've had in the first two seasons, so I'm just rolling with it here

So a couple of friendlies under my belt, not sure how much I've actually learned about the current roster ... other than it may be a tough climb this year.

We're planning a pretty full pre-season slate of friendlies, all the way down to the U18 level. Not only do we need to build fitness but I've also got to see as many players as possible in action in order to figure this thing out.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:00 PM   #384
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Jul 17, 2013
Our "Reserves" play a friendly at Billingham Synthonia, a semi-pro Northern D1 side. Technically speaking these are "reserves" for us but there's also 5 trialists starting as well as some players who are tentatively expected to make up the reserves but anybody has a chance to grab a spot at this point.

Nwachuku scores on a penalty at 4:15 (1-0)
They level it on their first shot of the match, Gonzalez totally offguard at 24' (1-1)
Bennett banks in a shot off the goal frame at 27', assist to Nwachuku(2-1)
Abraham taps home a rebound at 43' (3-1)
Halftime - When you outshoot an clearly physically inferior side 10-3, you should have a lead & we do. Let's see how we do when we remove most of the trialists & first team candidates

Hunt scores again, this time turning Bashford inside out to get free for a long one that gets past Archer at 59' (3-2)
Multiple subs again at 69'
Ferguson takes a knock & has to come off at 83'

Fulltime: We hang on for a 3-2 win. Predictably our advantage fell off once we subbed heavily but given last season's turn of events I'll take any positive feeling I can find. Playing notably well were Abraham, Bennett, and Nwachuku. Playing notably poorly were Bashford (5.4) and Stevenson (5.7)
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:03 PM   #385
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Jul 18, 2013
A groin strain suffered while sprinting against B'ham will keep Chris Ferguson out of action for 3-4 weeks.
----

Our U18s get a fitness friendly of their very own, hosting Carlise U18s at Croft Park. I'll spare you the details, only one shot taken by each side in the first half. Mo Davies finally put us in front at 60'. Sheppard made it 2-0 with a 30 yard surprise at 65'. They beat Henly but hit the post at 85', that was the last real threat. Standouts included Davies (MOM, 7.8), Sheppard (7.5) RD Gary Pemberton (7.4) and DMC Ehab Pemberton (7.1). Less than stellar day for our supposedly best ST Adam Drury (6.0 in 45 mins).
---
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:35 PM   #386
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July 19, 2013
Another day, another friendly, this time at Turnbull Ground to take on Whitby. This should be a win against a Northern Premier side, that's the purpose here as much as anything, so it better be a win. 4-4-2 Diamond Standard

GK: Dovey
D: A.Brown*, Warren*, Seery, Groves
DMC: Sawyer
MF: Musungu, Bembo-Leta
AMC: Whitaker
ST Lobjoit, Cofie

Available: (Antwi, Morrison, Egbeku*, Wallace, Dombaxe, Clarke-Harris, Purvis, Christian*, Mutero, Christensen, Paratore*, McDonald)
*indicates trialists

9' - Cofie intercepts a header after a goal kick, runs in & scores (1-0)
14' - Groves free kick hits the post, Cofie's rebound header is saved
44' - Cofie centers, Lobjoit scores (2-0)
Halftime - Outshot them 9-3 and generally ran them ragged. Just a solid first half for nearly everyone. Sub Mutero for Musungu (6.2, yellow card), Purvis for Groves

60' - Sub Dombaxe (for Bembo-Leta), Clarke-Harris (for Cofie), Paratore (for Whitaker), Wallace (for Sawyer)
69' - Paratore feeds Clarke-Harris just outside the box for an easy goal (3-0)
69' - Sub Antwi (for Seery), Sub Christian* (for Lobjoit)

Fulltime - Blyth 3 - Whitby 0 friendly
Not bad, we had a little lull in the mid point of the match but on the whole I'll take it. I tell them club that if we play like that when it really matters things are looking very good indeed ... and it pissed of both Cofie & Clarke-Harris, as well as about a half dozen others. Where do I keep finding these tempermental divas, I wasn't downplaying the outing, actually meant to be encouraging. Sigh.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:47 PM   #387
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July 22, 2013
Another friendly that we're expected to win, as we welcome lower division side Guernsey to Croft Park. 4-4-2 Diamond, and an important night for a number of players hoping to earn a contract and/or a spot in the first team.

GK: McDonald
D: October*, Berry*, Quinn*, King*
DMC: Morrison
MF: Harrison, Ricketts*
AMC: Hands
ST: Egbeku*, Nwachuku*

Available: (Foot, Paratore*, Farren, Stevenson, Wignall*, Dombaxe, Mellish, Whiteley, White, Slaughter, Wallace, Gonzalez)
*indicates trialists

24' - Nwachuku taps home a tiny pass from Harrison in the box (1-0)
Halftime - Not much to be said, we outshot them 6-3, had 57% poss, havent' done quite enough with th echances we've generated though.
Sub Mellish (for Berry), Wignall* (for Hands, yellow card), Dombaxe (for Nwakchuku*), Whiteley (for Ricketts*)

46' - Dombaxe almost scored off the kickoff but was just a step offside
53' - Wignall on a run up the middle, taps it to Dombaxe right beside him for an easy shot & goal. (2-0) Wignall took a pretty good spill on the play but stays on for now.
60' - Sub Slaughter (for Harrison), Wallace (for Morrison)

Fulltime - Blyth 2 - Guernsey 0 friendly
Outshot them 8-1 in the second half, 14-4 for the match. Had 56% of poss, completed nearly 3/4ths of our passing & 1/3rd of our crosses. Never really challenged, which is as it should be.

Wignall (7.2) was MOM, with an assist & four runs, something we get very few of most matches. Egbeku (6.2) and Mellish (6.1) underperformed the rest of the squad.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #388
Poli
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The question is, at this point, is he wignasty or wignifty?
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:00 PM   #389
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Jul 22, 2013 (postmatch)
Wignall suffered a gashed leg on that spill and will be out for 2-3 weeks while he is treated. That creates a tough situation, as he'll be out for the remainder of his trial period.

No offers for disgruntled DC Will Antwi btw, not even at a price of $3k (1/3rd his value)
-----
July 23, 2013
Chelsea has signed Los Angeles forward Landon Donovan for a fee of $4.3m. While saying the leaving the club and coach Bruce Arena was "a big wrench", Chelsea has to be hoping that change of scenery will return the American to form. A double-digit scorer for five straight seasons with L.A. earlier in his career, he hasn't reached that mark in the past four season with the club.
----

July 24, 2013
We've agreed to a youth contract with 18 y/o Nnamdi Nwachuku. He's played well in his trial thus far and might be a welcome addition to our impotent offense.

We make a similar offer to Benjamin Wignall, gashed leg & all, we're awaiting his final decision.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:01 PM   #390
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The question is, at this point, is he wignasty or wignifty?

His ass better be wigsigned after I took the chance to offer him something in spite of his injury.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:53 PM   #391
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July 24, 2013
An odd (and unintentionally scheduled) double-header with friendlies for both our reserves and our U18s.

Our Reserves were heavily favored over Whickham but rather slept walked through the first 30 mins. Bennett hit a 30 yard lob to put us in front 1-0 at 35'. Bennett got the assist on our second goal with a nice cross into the middle for Janneh at 44'. Chinthengah hit a 25 yarder at 54'. They got one back off a rebound at 59' and that cued us to make some subs. Paratore got a goal just minutes after coming on, pouncing on a loose ball at 86' to make it 4-1. In the end we got outshot 12-8, had considerably less possession (44%) but made our shots count against a lesser club. Janneh (8.2, MOM) and Bennett (8.2) were exceptional.

Our U18s went on the road to play Esh Winning. McKeever put us up 1-0 tapping in a rebound off a corner at 9'. They tie it up with a nice 1-2 play at 40'. Our first half featured some of the worst passing I've ever seen, maybe the worst (33% at 30'). We try to tighten up some things at the break. Goodall rolled one in from long range to put us back up 2-1 at 55'. Sheppard put on the icing with a rebound goal at 84', after Goodall came close to scoring himself. We come away with a 3-1 win, outshooting them 17-12.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:43 AM   #392
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July 26, 2013

Benjamin Wignall agrees to terms on a youth contract.
----

Another friendly, this time at home against lower division side Knaphill. We'll be in Attacking 4-4-2 (really a 4-1-3-2)

They pick up a red card at 19' when the last defender took down Clarke-Harris about 30 yards out. It hasn't done us much good thus far, scoreless at halftime which isn't what we should be doing here. Sub Whitaker (for Musungu 6.4)

57' - Sub Purvis (for Brown, knocked), Dombaxe (for Christian)
58 - Cofie gets stoned by the keeper, Bembo-Leta missed the rebound in embarrasingly wide fashion
68' - Sub Whiteley (for Bembo-Leta), Chinthengah (for Cofie, knocked), Antwi (for Daly)
69:12 - Whiteley banks one off the underside of the bar after a centering pass from Groves (1-0)
79:30 - Chinthengah does it mostly by himself with a nifty dribble move & a shot into the left corner (2-0)
85' - Chinthengah hits the post with a quick shot from the area
92' - Groves with a total fluke on a cross from 35 yards out, it banks in off the far post (3-0)
Fulltime Blyth 3 - Knaphill 0 friendly
That wasn't really pretty, and several players are mad that I didn't kiss their asses for playing about 25 minutes to beat an inferior side that was a man short. Groves cooled down after I praised him individually, he deserved it (MOM 9.0) but overall I'm not very jacked. We managed 15 shots to their 7 but they were a man down for nearly the whole match, we should have done even more.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:44 AM   #393
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jul 28, 2013
We've agreed to one year contract terms with several players who were on rolling contracts,including Hassan Janneh, Jack Harrison and Alex Archer. None of the deals added more than a few extra dollars per week to tie them up through this season.
----

July 29, 2013
Mexico wins the Gold Cup with a 3-1 win over Canada in The Rose Bowl.
----
We add Brad Ricketts to the list of trialists signed to youth contracts.
----

Another day, another friendly, this time against East Scotland Premier side Spartans. We beat them 2-0 last pre-season, would love to do at least that again.

6' - Nwachuku puts one past the keeper after recovering from a tackle (1-0)
8' - They equalize almost immediately as McPherson dekes King out of his cleats (1-1)
24' - Henderson gets a yellow card for a little jersey tugging defense
36' - Antwi gets knocked down hard in a collision, gets a yellow card for his troubles, and has to come off Sub Morrison on, move Sawyer to DC

Halftime - We've had the shots, 10-3 in our favor, just can't put enough of them on target. Sub Dombaxe for Mutero (Lobjoit to ST)

61' - Sub Sinclair*, Kay, Rickard, O'Nien* and Ariyibi* for Sawyer, King, Egbeku, Nwachuku, and Abraham

65' - They took the lead on a rebound off the crossbar ... but McGowan was offside and the goal was waved off

74' - Sub Martin (for Henderson), Ann* (for Lobjoit), Whiteley (for Dombaxe)

Fulltime Blyth 1 - Spartans 1 friendly
I let the club know that we were somewhat disappointed. Some reacted well, others negatively. Can't please everybody I reckon.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:48 AM   #394
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
July 29, 2013 (postmatch)
Well this sucks. Antwi injured his hip during the match & can miss 3 months if he sees specialist for $1k or 5 months if we treat him ourselves. I'll spend the money, not because I want him back but because I want him healthy to improve our chances of moving him and getting some sort of return on our investment.
---

July 30, 2013
Robert Paratore agrees to terms and comes on board. Fans are said to be delighted with youngsters already asking for his name to be put on the backs of their little jerseys.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:10 AM   #395
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
July 30, 2013
We terminate the trial of young MF Patrick Christian. He was only so-so in his five appearances and his request for a full contract of $375/wk was simply absurd.

We also can't come to terms with Aaron Brown and end his trial. Would like to have used him but it's been noted that he was having problems motivating himself to play for me, plus he wouldn't come down on his p.a. fee demands, we were stuck on about $250 per, he wanted $400 per and wouldn't come below $350.

We terminate the trial of 18 y/o Sam Berry. The young DC was uneven in three apareances and his passing was horrible. Combined with poor stamina, he just wasn't a good fit.

We part ways with Jason White, didn't appear focused in warmups before the Guernsey match, which isn't good when you're on a month to month deal. Bottom line is that he simply isn't worth the $400/wk he's costing us.

We also have concerns about the attitude of a number of players who are finding it tough to motivate themselves to play "for a coach with such a low reputation in the game"

D Tom Seery, GK Nathan McDonald, ST Billy Lobjoit, MF Reece Hands, D Danny Groves, GK Kieran Gonzalez, as well as trialists Gary Sinclair, Adam Quinn and Jamie King.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:20 AM   #396
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
July 30, 2013 (afternoon)
The U18s Cup first round draw took place today, with us getting Bromley U18s at home on Wed Sept 4.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:04 AM   #397
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
July 31, 2013
My personal assistant notes that the contracts of 63 players have either already expired or will expire in the next 12 months.
----

You thought the doubleheader of friendlies was odd? How about a tripleheader, starting with our senior squad at Dunston.

16' - Warren goes up for a header off a corner & scores with ease (1-0)
22' - Paratore buries a nice centering pass from Clarke-Harris (2-0)
35' - Purvis inexplicably delivers an own goal at high speed (2-1)
Almost looked like he'd turned heel there for a minute, just wheeled & fired a rocket past Dovey

Halftime - 57% of poss, 7-2 shot edge, 70% passing to their 53% ... and our lead is just a single goal. I tell 'em to keep it up, notably Cofie looks complacent on the field & Hands didn't seem to be listening in the clubhouse. Let's see if he notices this
Sub Slaughter for Hands
58' - An own goal, Slaughter's long throw-in is headed by Seery, punched by the keeper and flies off the back of a defender right into the net (3-1)
62' - Sub Sinclair* for Purvis (tiring), Bembo-Leta for Clarke-Harris (knocked)
71' - Sub Lobjoit for Ricketts (tiring)
79' - Whitaker corner into the area for Seery, quick pass to Slaughter, quick goal (4-1)
89' - Sub Quinn for Seery
Fulltime: Blyth 4 - Dunston 1 friendly
Seery (8.4, MOM) ran them ragged indeed. Outshot them 14-5, had 56% of poss, completed 70% of passes, dominated in the air. Nicely done, as it should have been
----
Our Reserves are at Brewery Field to face Spennymoor
Bennett puts us up 1-0 with an easy goal off a centering pass by Harrison at 11'. Harrison buries a nice cross from Chinthengah at 19' to make it 2-nil. Switch to 5-3-2 at the halftime, try some Defensive for a change.
Fulltime: Blyth Reserves 2 - Spennymoor 0 friendly
Played a lot of people out of position in the second half, worked on defensive positioning and the like.
----

Our U18s head to Kingsley Park Stadium to take on Ryton. A curving shot beats Henly and we go down a goal at 16'. Ugly first half, multiple subs at the break in hopes of seeing something different. Offside calls back a goal that would have put us down by two at 65', we make another round of subs.
Robson hits the crosbar at 78'
Fulltime: Ryton 1 - Blyth U18s 0 friendly
Didn't play well at all, lots of poor performances today. Lousy passing (54%) and horrible shooting (0/6 on target) did us in.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:21 AM   #398
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Aug 1, 2013
Barnet signs trialist Gary Warren. He's done well here in his opportunities but nothing that would justify the $525/wk he's after afaic.
----

The board remains satisfied with my coaching of the team, although they aren't happy about me letting Jamie Mole get away (what was I going to do, he wanted $1k/wk, my max allowed is $500/wk).
----
Aug 2, 2013
Just 8 days until the start of the regular season. Only one first squad friendly left to play.
----
Hartlepool RD Matthew Pennington turns down our loan request.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:03 AM   #399
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I find myself looking at the physical column as the "does this guy look good off the bus" column.

It don't have to be great for me to be interested, but double digits will get you in the door.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:55 AM   #400
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Aug 3, 2013
Our final senior squad friendly of the pre-season is here, as Championship side Birmingham comes to Croft Park. Should be a nice payday at least. We'll open with a 5-3-2 Defensive, try to stay in it for a while at least.

GK - Dovey
D - Henderson, Quinn*, Sinclair*, Wilson, Groves
MF - Slaughter, Sawyer, Bembo-Leta
ST - Cofie, Clarke-Harris
Available Subs - Seery, Paratore, Nwachuku, Purvis, Dombaxe, Lobjoit, Wallace, Ricketts, Egbeku*, Holden, Morrison, McDonald

10' - We've survived thus far while allowing only one shot
20' - Only two shots allowed thus far, but poss.is starting to swing (only 43%)
30' - Outshot 2-1 so far
31' - Sinclair gets a yellow card for toppling Asante from behind on a fast break
40' - Outshot 4-1 but we're still scoreless, they've been off target three times
Halftime - On the whole I'm pleased with the effort at least, we've played level against a club that's three leagues ahead of us. We've only had 39% poss. and are only completing 57% of our passes, but we've hung in there.
Sub Nwachuku (for Cofie, knocked)

48' - Corner is headed over, they'll try again, Sinclair clears this one to midfield
50' - Outshot 5-1, still alive
60' - Outshot 6-1, still alive ... Sub Seery (for Quinn, 6.1)
62' - Maybury misses an open net at point blank range, chipping it over the bar
65' - Slaughter takes a knock & needs to come off ...

67' - Sub Holden for Slaughter, moves Henderson {gulp} to ML, Sub Wallace (for Sawyer, tiring), Sub Dombaxe for Bembo-Leta
71' - Sinclair clears pressure out of the area, Dombaxe runs onto the long ball but it's tackled away just as he reaches the offensive area
75' - Holden clatters Wallace in the area ... penalty !King steps up and buries it (0-1)
76' - Sub Purvis (for Groves, tiring), Lobjoit (for Clarke-Harris, tiring)
83' - Switch to Attack ... why not?
85' - Lobjoit takes a corner, it's nudged free, Henderson gathers the loose ball & fires ... blocked out for another corner
86' - Lobjoit with a corner to the far post, it's a 50-50 ball that's knocked outside, loose ball battle & Henderson fouls the defender to end the threat
87' - Sub Egbeku for Henderson (tiring), Ricketts for Sinclair (tiring)
89' - 3 minutes of added time

Fulltime: Birmingham 1 - Blyth 0 friendly
Gave it a heck of an effort, the penalty was fairly deserved. Outshot 11-2, only 41% poss., only 61% passing ... and I don't feel particularly bad at all. Quinn (6.1), Cofie (5.9) and Nwachuku (6.2) had bad games but Wallace (6.9), Sinclair (6.9) and Sawyer (6.9) were well above expectations. If we can hold them to a single goal, we should be able to hold some BSBN sides in check as well.
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