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Old 06-24-2014, 05:25 PM   #501
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Dec 28, 2013 (morning)
Our U18's played a league match vs Eastbourne Boro, losing 2-0
They get a fluke header that bounces in off the crossbar at 27'. They hit the post and miss at 45'. Those were the only two official shots of the first half. 74' Ferguson is high with a header, our first shot of the match. Moments later Ferguson gets a yellow for persistent fouling. Creswell plays a long ball to Branker, his shot is turned away at 78'. We're in overload mode, Madine misses a header wider right at 80'. They get a close range goal at 84 and we're done for.

Not sure where that went wrong, we just got dominated. Didn't get off a shot for 74 minutes, only after we switched to Fluid from Balanced did we show any sign of life at all. They were better in the air (78%-54%) but otherwise largely even on the stat sheet. Ferguson will miss the next U18 match having gotten his 5th yellow of the season.


Dec 28, 2013 (afternoon)
Blyth (6-7-8, 14th BSBN) at Colwyn Bay (5-7-9, 18th BSBN)
They are a 6:4 favorite. Stick with 4-4-2 Diamond Standard to open then figure out what comes next. We kind of need a win here, don't want to get much closer to the drop zone than we already are.

GK: McDonald
D: Giddings, A.Jones, Seidu, Groves
MF: Sawyer, Harrison, Ricketts, Moke
F: Mutero, Rickard
Available Subs: (Nightingale, Carruthers, Cofie, Whitaker,,Dovey)

16' - After a bit of a chippy start to the match, Moke gets dragged down in the box from the blind side ... Rickard takes the shot and nails it right off the keeper's fingertips (1-0) His first goal since October after missing nearly two months with various injuries.
41' - A corner try by Giddings, into the middle of the box ... Seidu goes down hard and is awarded the penalty ... Rickard misses it wide, he's really struggling physically, maybe back from the ankle injury too soon?

Halftime - We make it to the break with a one goal lead that should be two in all honesty. We'll start the second half in Defensive mode, hoping to get just a little more out of the banged up player Rickard and Groves.

59' - Mutero is denied after a nice give and go with Moke
61' - Sub Nightingale (for Groves, tired & knocked)
61' - Sub Carruthers (for Rickard, tired & knocked) ... switch to 4-1-4-1 ... remain Defensive
71' - Sharp passing from the midfield creates a chance for Carruthers but his shot is turned away, the rebound cleared
76' - They break down our defense, work the ball for a shot from the spot ... and Dean Bennett ties the match (1-1)
77' - Switch to Standard
82' - A corner kick, a header, we're saved by the crossbar
82' - Sub Whitaker (for Giddings, tired) ... switch to 4-1-3-2, move Moke to ST/AMR
89' - Three blocked shots in the area save our bacon under intense pressure
90:45 - Sawyer chases down a loose ball in the offensive half, he's trampled by Tomlin who gets his second yellow card and we'll be up a man for the 3 remaining minutes of extra time. Attack mode activated
93' - Whitaker's crossing attempt is headed out for a corner
95' - Mutero has a clean chance ... right into the keeper's belly

Fulltime: Blyth 1 - Colwyn Bay 1

Dec 28, 2013 (postmatch)
Hard not to feel that one got away. We actually got outplayed if you look at the stat sheet but for most of the match it felt like we had control. Well, better a point than no points I suppose.

After the match, we confirm that we've reached an agreement to keep GK Jack Dovey here through next season.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:34 PM   #502
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
December 29, 2013 (afternoon)

More than two dozen player contracts will expire in 6 months.
Nearly two dozen youth contracts will expire in 6 months.
8 staff member contracts will expire in 6 months.

Lots of decisions ahead.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:50 PM   #503
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
December 31st, 2013 (evening)

Our match vs Corby has been postponed due to a waterlogged field at Croft Park. It has been rescheduled for Wednesday January 22, 2014.

Young AMC Robert Paratore is officially a professional, signing a new deal with us that will keep him here through next season.

Young D/MF Louis Wallace has also signed a new contract, keeping him here through 2016.

With that bit of news, we wish you all a Happy New Year.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:59 PM   #504
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 1, 2014

Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze has won the World Golden Ball Award. David Villa of Barcelona was the runner-up, while Man Utd's Javier Pastore was 3rd.

Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze has won the World Player of the Year Award. Man U's Pastore was 2nd, Villa of Barcelona was 3rd.

Man City's Yaya Toure has won the African Footballer of the Year Award.
Man U's Andre Ayew has won the African Young Footballer of the Year Award.
Arsenal's Park Chu-Young has won the Asian Player of the Year Award.
West Ham U's Winston Reid has won the Oceania Player of the Year Award.
Liverpool's Aiden McGeady has won the Irish Player of the Year Award.
Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale has won the Welsh Footballer of the Year Award.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:07 PM   #505
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 1, 2014 (late in the night)

The vast number of players with contract situations has kept me awake, thinking, considering, wondering, pondering. The questions, and problems, are not insubstantial.

The club is bleeding money steadily. A 175k loss last year, a $216k loss YTD, $80k lost last month alone. Relegation has hurt our match day income, season ticket sales were down about 30% (that's $75k lost right there), prize money will be down after our Cup/Trophy flops. Loan repayments and interest is far in excess of last year ($6k total then, $36k YTD and more to come).

We're actually a tiny bit under our total payroll budget, spending $8,300/wk of an $8,600/wk allotment ... but with a staggering 93 players on some roster somewhere.

A total of 42 different players have appeared in league matches this season, and we've only played 22 matches so far.

Let's look at the roster in a little more detail

Goalkeepers
Jack Dovey 14 appearances ... $140/wk through 6/30/15
Nathan McDonald 11 appearances ... $170/wk through 6/30/14

Defenders
Andy Williamson 20(3) .... $8/wk, full time month to month, not interested in discussions
Darren Holden 15 ... $8/wk, full time month to month, not interested in discussions
Danny Groves 14(3) ... $425/wk through 6/30/15
Sam Sawyer 13(3) ... $350/wk through 6/30/15
Tom Seery 11 ... $160/wk through 6/30/15
Dylan Purvis 10(2) ... $220/wk through 6/30/14
Andrai Jones 8(1) -- loan n/a through 1/21/14
Stuart Giddings 7 ... non/contract, $170 appearance fee
Richard Slaughter 6(6) ... $275/wk +$90 app fee, part time month to month, not interested in discussions
Carl Jones 6 ... $625/wk through 6/30/14
Joe Henderson 4 ... $8/wk, full time month to month
Nigel Seidu 3(1) ... $190/wk through 6/30/15
Rhys Paul 3 ... $8/wk, full time month to month
Louis Wallace 1(2) ... $10/wk through 6/30/16
Daniel Boateng 1(2) ... $300/wk through 6/30/16
Sam Christensen 1 ... $180/wk, rolling
Will Antwi 1 ... $325/wk through 6/30/14
Chris Carruthers 0(2) ... $575/wk through 6/30/14
William Nightingale 0(1) ... $8/wk through 6/30/15

WILL EDIT TO CONTINUE
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:47 AM   #506
Brian Swartz
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Quote:
We're actually a tiny bit under our total payroll budget, spending $8,300/wk of an $8,600/wk allotment ... but with a staggering 93 players on some roster somewhere.

A total of 42 different players have appeared in league matches this season, and we've only played 22 matches so far.

That is ... astonishing. And intimidating. Don't even want to think about trying to juggle that.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:58 AM   #507
JonInMiddleGA
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Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
That is ... astonishing. And intimidating. Don't even want to think about trying to juggle that.

It just sorta ... happened.
And this is at a Blue Square Bet North club.

What scares me is what I'd do if I actually had, you know, resources & money & stuff.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:27 AM   #508
mrtourette
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Jesus McCranberryjuice that's a lot of players. You could lose as least three quarters of those, if not more.

Looking at some of their contracts it won't save you much money, but at least it would a hell of a lot easier to identify your best team.

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Old 06-25-2014, 06:31 AM   #509
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 1, 2014 (wee hours, continued)

Midfielders
Danny Whitaker 19(2) ... $400/wk through 6/30/14, not interested in talking
Trevor Mutero 11(4) ... $8/wk, full time month to month
Robert Paratore 10(3) ... $160/wk through 6/30/15
Djeny Bembo-Leta 8(3) ... $250/wk through 6/30/14
Brad Ricketts 8(1) ... non/contract, $85 appearance fee
Adriano Moke 7(1) ... $600/wk through 6/30/15
Reece Hands 5(1) ... $150/wk through 6/30/14
Steven Morrison 4(2) ... non/contract, $210 appearance fee
Shane Clarke 4(1) ...non/contract, $230 appearance fee
Mo Davies 3(7) ... $40/wk through 6/30/15
Andrew Higgins 2 ... $8/wk, full time month to month, won't talk
Niall Smith 1(1) ... $8/wk, full time month to month
Benjamin Wignall 1(1) ... $8/wk through 6/30/14
Jack Harrison 1 ... $30/wk through 6/30/15
Lewis Whiteley 0(1) ... $8/wk through 6/30/14

Strikers
John Cofie 16(3) ... $230/wk through 6/30/14
Jonson Clarke-Harris 12(4) ... $250/wk through 6/30/14
Billy Lobjoit 7(5) ... $210/wk through 6/30/14
Nnamdi Nwachuku 4(2) ... $8/wk through 6/30/14
Matt Rickard 3(4) ... $65/wk through 6/30/15
Leeroy Chinthengah 0(1) ... $20/wk through 6/30/14
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:44 AM   #510
JonInMiddleGA
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Originally Posted by mrtourette View Post
Jesus McCranberryjuice that's a lot of players. You could lose as least three quarters of those, if not more.

Looking at some of their contracts it won't save you much money, but at least it would a hell of a lot easier to identify your best team.

Part of the roster bloat stems from the board's desire to field a U18 squad for competition. Likewise a reserve squad for competition. If I'm gonna roll 'em out there then I want to have plenty to choose from.

One thing that stands out to me after starting this whole "what do we have" process is less than half of the players hanging around the clubhouse have not appeared in a league match this season. That might be a tad much.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:14 AM   #511
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 1, 2014 (wee hours, continued)

So we know, sorta, where we stand with the players that have seen action in BSBN this year ... but what about the rest of these guys?

Here's a look at the others, and what they're costing us
(sorted by assistant coach recommendation)

Goalkeepers
Jonathan Henly ... Youth contract, $8/wk, expires 6/30/14
Tamer Dalton ... Part-time, $15/wk, expires 6/30/14
Matty Hunter ... P/T, $75/wk, expires 6/30/14
Alex Archer ... P/T, $35/wk, expires 6/30/15
Rob Fry ... Yth, $8/wk, expires 6/30/14
Kieran Gonzalez ... P/T, $180/wk, rolling
Kerthney Batey ... Yth, $8/k, expires 6/30/15

Defenders
Ben Weaver ... rolling, $70 appearance fee
Kellen Daly ... rolling, $90 appearance fee
Ben Jefford ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Alex Donald ... rolling, $110 appearance fee
Michael Wilson ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/15
Olly Bashford ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Charlie Butt ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Reece Loudon ... P/T, $40/wk through 6/30/15
Jordan Kay ... P/T, $80/wk through 6/30/14
Callum Wilson ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Jack Folan ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Liam McGovern ... F/T, $8/wk, rolling
Phil Stevenson ... P/T, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Lloyd Foot ... P/T, $140/wk, rolling
Matthew Martin ... P/T, $210 wk, rolling
Michael Pearson ... P/T, $160 wk, rolling
Anson Watson ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Gary Pemberton ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/15
Michael Madine ... P/T, $8/wk through 6/30/16
Jon Holland ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/15
Lokman Kaymaz ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Ashley Wheeler ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Rory McKeever ... Yth, $8/wk, rolling

Midfielders
Tommy Smyth ... P/T, $20/wk through 6/30/15
Luke O'Nien ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Niall Thompson ... P/T, $20/wk through 6/30/14
Jamal Branker ... Yth/ $8/wk through 6/30/15
Hassan Janneh ... P/T, $180/wk through 6/30/14
Andrew Musungu ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Joshua Scully ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/15
Laste Dombaxe ... P/T, $20/wk through 6/30/15
Josh Greenhoff ... P/T, $140/wk through 6/30/14
Dean Goodall ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Jack Abraham ... P/T, $150/wk through 6/30/14
Ross Armstrong ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/15
Ehab Pemberton ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/15
Chris Ferguson ... P/T, $10/wk through 6/30/14
Craig Cresswell ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14

Strikers
Pearce Farren ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
William Johnson-Cole ... non-contract, $210 appearance fee
Elyon Egbeku ... Yth, $8/wk through 6/30/14
Kaine Sheppard ... P/T, $140/wk through 6/30/14
Shane Bennett ... P/T, $50/wk through 6/30/14
Dennis Robson ... P/T, $10/wk through 6/30/15

----------

Wow ! We've got quite a bit of dead salary, something I honestly didn't realize the depth or degree of until now.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:22 AM   #512
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 1, 2014 (wee hours, continued)

As bad as this financial management must look to an outsider, in some cases the players aren't still here for lack of trying to get rid of them.

Although we haven't talked about it much, the following players have been transfer listed & offered around repeatedly ... to no avail

MF Reece Hands 5(1) ... $150/wk through 6/30/14
D Matthew Martin ... P/T, $210 wk, rolling
GK Kieran Gonzalez ... P/T, $180/wk, rolling
D Michael Pearson ... P/T, $160 wk, rolling
D Will Antwi 1 ... $325/wk through 6/30/14
D Phil Stevenson ... P/T, $8/wk through 6/30/14
MF Josh Greenhoff ... P/T, $140/wk through 6/30/14

And these are transfer listed by request, not entirely by my choice
MF Danny Whitaker 19(2) ... $400/wk through 6/30/14, not talking
ST Jonson Clarke-Harris 12(4) ... $250/wk through 6/30/14, not talking
MF Lewis Whiteley 0(1) ... $8/wk through 6/30/14

The educational part of this (in-game) insomnia fueled exploration of the books is how much -- relative to our small wage budget -- we could clear simply by convincing expired contracts to leave in a timely fashion.

edit to add: I'm going to give something a try here. Removing Clarke-Harris and Whiteley from the transfer list. Looks like only Pearson, Whitaker, and Antwi are technically there "by request".
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:29 AM   #513
mrtourette
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
Part of the roster bloat stems from the board's desire to field a U18 squad for competition. Likewise a reserve squad for competition. If I'm gonna roll 'em out there then I want to have plenty to choose from.

Do you manage all three teams? Must be a head-fuck. I've never had that so I don't know how strictly the board assess the reserve/U18 progress but I'd just set a coach to manage those teams and use a bunch of scrubs, leaving you free to concentrate on the first team.

Anyway looks like the upcoming Summer will be a good chance to gut your squads of any deadwood.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:35 AM   #514
JonInMiddleGA
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Originally Posted by mrtourette View Post
Do you manage all three teams? Must be a head-fuck. I've never had that so I don't know how strictly the board assess the reserve/U18 progress but I'd just set a coach to manage those teams and use a bunch of scrubs, leaving you free to concentrate on the first team.

Anyway looks like the upcoming Summer will be a good chance to gut your squads of any deadwood.

Yeah, crazy as it sounds, I have been actively managing all three teams. Honestly, I kind of enjoy watching the U18s about as much as I enjoy the first team ... then again, it's actually a pretty good team (currently 2nd in it's U18 league) so that might account for the enjoyment. It's nice to actually win, or occasionally even dominate, an opponent.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:16 AM   #515
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 1, 2014 (morning)

Despite burning up the fax machine & dropping prices to basically nothing beyond a small percentage of next sale, we managed no offers or interest at all for: GK Gonzalez, D Antwi, D C.Jones, D Martin, D Stevenson

MF Greenhoff got minor interest from Eastleigh but not at our asking price (I think it was $10) and not before they reduce their payroll

We sign young DMC Lokman Kaymaz to his first professional contract, $10/wk through 6/30/16

Hassan Janneh wants first team football, I promise to try to give him a chance. Honestly, in very limited appearances (7 games) over the past two seasons, he's actually been decent (6.83 lifetime rating). I don't know where/when/how he can make the lineup, but I'll try.

Lewis Whitely suddenly wants a new contract. I tell him I'll offer something in the next month.

Darren Holden also wants a new deal. I'll figure out what to do in the next month.

Jan 1, 2014 (afternoon)

Our Reserves played a league match at Gateshead, winning 4-2.

A mixed lineup today, with regular U18 keeper Tamer Dalton getting the start here (our next U18 match is against a winless dreg). Today is also against the last place team in our reserve league, just 4 goals scored in ten games thus for and winless, with only a draw to their credit ... and yet they're a 1:2 favorite.

Their star striker outruns Rhys Paul and scores at 7'. Trialist Miller-Rodney with a desperation cross to Cresswell who fires it true to tie things at 20'. Their star striker AGAIN abuses Paul and we're down a goal at 28'. Cresswell strikes again, off a nice pass into the box from Massacci and we've drawn level at 68'. Higgins sails down the left flank, crosses, Milller-Rodney is there to head it home off the underside of the bar for the lead at 76'. Their star, Heather, fires it wide one-on-one. 91' Higgins lobs a free kick into the box, Paul heads it home to ice it.

Cresswell puts up an 8.8 and bossed the midfield. Tyrell Miller-Rodney, playing out of his natural position, had an 8.2, Higgins an 8.0
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:01 AM   #516
JonInMiddleGA
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Jan 2, 2014 (morning)

So, back to the roster.

Kieran Gonzalez, who is here on a rolling expired contract, fails to see the wisdom in leaving to seek a better situation elsewhere. I tried.

Michael Pearson, see above.

Ditto Will Antwi, although his refusal at least makes some sense due to being under contract until June.

The problem here is that I really need to move some of the dead weight in order to resign some of the players I'd like to keep.

The limited available funds play a role in watching as trialist Cadamarteri signs with Gloucester and potential signee French striker Wesley Ngo Baheng joins Braintree.

-----------

Jan 3, 2014 (morning)

Assistant coach Chris McCabe has extended his deal through the end of next season.

Reece Hands is bitchy. I pretty much tell him he's free to go. He's bitchier ... but isn't smart enough to just walk away from his whopping $150/wk contract.

------------

Jan 4, 2013 (morning)

Our U18s played a league match at Dover,

Unusual lineup today featuring several players who haven't seen regular playing time at all. If we can't use them against the worst team in the U18 league, then, well ... "experts" don't agree with my decision, they're picking Dover. Nwachuku heads one home off an assist from Armstrong at 28'. Armstrong banks one in off the upright at 44'. No call on a handball, they score moments later at 50'. We have a Goodall goal wiped out on a questionable offside call at 52'. Goodall gets his goal on a direct free kick at 61'. Goodall feeds Branker on a breakway at 64' and we're in control. Goodall leaves with an injury at 83', still earns MOM honors with an 8.9

No news from the physio, apparently Goodall will be okay
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:26 AM   #517
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 4, 2014 (lunchtime)

Even with a match in a couple of hours, I can't quite put the whole "what about this roster" thing out of my head.

I like the 4-4-2 Diamond, it's been better to us than other formations. I want to look at thoughts of my best assistants & see how they view the full list of options, never mind for a minute what we've done / been doing, what do they think in terms of talent that we ought to look at doing.

I'm thinking, theoretically, two full teams at each position at each level ought to be enough to satisfy even my lots-of-bodies preferences. If someone is outside that, maybe they shouldn't be hanging around too long.

Here's how Coach Pat Noonan (my best combo of current & future talent assessment on staff) sees our roster stacking up

Goalkeeper
21 y/o Dovey 3.5 current/4.5 future ... signed through 2015
22 y/o McDonald 2.5/3.5 ... expiring & won't discuss
18 y/o Dalton 1.5 / 3.5 ... expiring & won't discuss
23 y/o Gonzalez 1.5 / 2.0 ... rolling & won't leave
19 y/o Henly 1.5 / 4.0 ... expiring
20 y/o Archer 1.0 / 2.5 ... signed through 2015
20 y/o Hunter 1.0 / 2.5 ... expiring
18 y/o Fry 4.5 blue / 2.5 ... expiring
16 y/o Batey 1.5 blue / 1.0 ... signed through 2015

I'd like to keep Dalton as next year's Senior backup ... would like to have Henly stay and share the Reserve role with Archer ... Batey could start for the U18s and find a new backup there

Defender Left
30 y/o Carruthers 3.0 / 3.0 ... expiring, won't talk
19 y/o Donald 2.5 / 4.5 ... rolling, won't talk
20 y/o Holden 2.0 / 4.0 ... month to month, won't talk
20 y/o Henderson 1.5 / 4.0 ... month to month
20 y/o McGovern 1.0 / 3.0 ... rolling
23 y/o Martin 0.5 / 3.0 ... rolling
27 y/o Giddings 0.5 / 0.5 ... non-contract, appearance fee
23 y/o Slaughter 0.5 / 0.5 ... month to month, appearance fee, won't talk

It's not a bad group really, some have played better than their stars, except none of them will commit to being here a year from now.

Defender Right
20 y/o Massacci 4.0 / 4.5 ... trialist
21 y/o Boateng 3.5 / 4.5 ... signed through 2016
23 y/o Groves 1.5 / 3.0 ... signed through 2015
19 y/o Butt 1.5 / 3.5 ... expiring
19 y/o Wilson 1.0 2.5 ... signed through 2015
21 y/o Pearson 1.0 / 2.0 ... rolling
18 y/o Nightingale 1.0 / 2.0 ... signed through 2015
21 y/o Kay 5.0 blue / 2.5 ... expiring
22 y/o Purvis 0.5 / 1.5 ... expiring
18 y/o Wilson 4.5 blue / 3.5 ... signed through 2015
19 y/o Folan 4.5 blue / 2.5 ... expiring
16 y/o G.Pemberton 1.5 blue / 0.5 ...

I'd like to sign Massacci but his demands are more than I can pay by about double. It's probably a group where I can't keep everybody I'd like to keep but we could at least cover all the bases if everyone who can leave does so

Defender Center
22 y/o Andrai Jones 3.5 / 4.0 ... loaner, expires later this month
19 y/o Seidu 3.0 / 4.5 ... signed through 2015
18 y/o Daly 2.0 / 4.5 ... rolling, appearance fee
20 y/o Williamson 2.0 / 4.0 ... month to month, won't talk
20 y/o Paul 2.0 / 3.0 ... month to month
20 y/o Seery 1.5 / 3.0 ... signed through 2015
18 y/o Weaver 1.5 / 5.0 ... rolling, appearance fee
17 y/o Smyth 1.5 / 4.0 ...signed through 2015
27 y/o Carl Jones 1.5 / 1.5 ... expiring
21 y/o Foot 1.0 / 3.0 ... rolling
19 y/o Bashford 1.0 / 3.5 ... expiring
31 y/o Antwi 1.0 / 1.0 ... expiring
21 y/o Stevenson 5.0 blue / 2.0 ... expiring
21 y/o Christensen 4.5 blue / 2.0 ... rolling
18 y/o McKeever 4.5 blue / 2.0 ... rolling
18 y/o Watson 1.5 blue / 0.5 ... expiring
17 y/o Holland 1.5 blue / 1.0 ... signed through 2015
18 y/o Wheeler 1.0 blue / 0.5 ... expiring
17 y/o Madine 1.0 blue / 0.5 ...signed through 2016

The position with the most bodies but it's a 2x spot. Probably a position where first team action and perceived ability level haven't matched up as well as you'd expect but I'm very performance oriented for playing time, several of these guys have played above or below their ability
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:49 AM   #518
mrtourette
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Two full teams at each level is cetainly the maximum, you could get away with fewer if you're prepared to move players around your different teams if you need cover or if you can find defenders that can play multiple positions across the back. I mean having 12 centre-backs is probably excessive given that the fourth choice for each team will hardly play, you could go with three for each team and then have an extra youngster who floats between the teams as and when cover is required (or backfills an U18 spot if you temporarily promote one of those to cover an injury in the first team).
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:59 AM   #519
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 4, 2014 (lunchtime, continued)

DMC
26 y/o Clarke 1.5 / 1.5 ... non-contract, appearance fee
19 y/o Jefford 1.0 / 3.5 ... expiring
18 y/o Scully 1.0 / 2.5 ... signed through 2015
21 y/o Sawyer 4.5 blue / 2.0 ... signed through 2015
18 y/o Wallace 4.5 blue / 2.0 ... signed through 2016
25 y/o Morrison 0.5 / 0.5 ... non-contract, appearance fee
17 y/o Kaymaz 1.0 blue / 0.5 ... signed through 2016

On paper we're not in real good shape here, but it's one of our most stable positions for the next couple of years.

Midfielder Left
Carruthers, if not at LD
19 y/o Musungu 1.5 / 3.5 ... expiring
20 y/o Higgins 1.5 / 4.5 ... month to month, won't talk
20 y/o Harrison 5.0 blue / 2.5 ... signed through 2015
17 y/o Goodall 3.0 blue / 1.5 ... expiring
17 y/o Armstrong 1.5 blue / 1.0 ... signed through 2015

A patchwork position most of the season, with Giddings/Slaughter/Whitaker among those seeing playing time in the absence of better options most days. Interesting to see that the three highest starred players with this as their primary position/role only have a combined total of 5 games of first team action

Midfielder Right
23 y/o Moke 4.0 / 4.5 ... signed through 2015
20 y/o Thompson 1.5 / 4.5 ... expiring
33 y/o Whitaker, if not at AMC 1.0 / 1.0 ... expiring, won't talk
19 y/o Ricketts 1.0 / 2.5 ... non-contract, apperance fee
20 y/o Davies 1.0 / 2.0 ... signed through 2015
22 y/o Bembo-Leta 0.5 / 1.5 ... expiring
20 y/o Whiteley 5.0 blue / 2.0 ... expiring
19 y/o Dombaxe 4.5 blue / 3.0 ... signed through 2015
22 y/o Janneh 4.5 blue / 3.0 ... expiring
21 y/o Abraham 0.5 / 2.0 ... expiring
18 y/o Ferguson 0.5 blue / 0.5 ... expiring

Not a bad group really, but how many will still be here next year?

AMC
33 y/o Whitaker 1.0 / 1.0 ... expiring, won't talk
18 y/o Smith 2.5 / 4.5 ... month to month
19 y/o Wignall 1.0 / 3.0 ... expiring
19 y/o O'Nien 1.0 / 4.0 ... expiring
19 y/o Paratore 5.0 blue / 3.0 ... signed through 2015
19 y/o Cresswell 1.0 blue / 0.5 ... expiring

A reasonable amount of talent & potential here, but only one of them is sure to stick around next season

Striker
20 y/o Cofie 4.0 / 5.0 ... expiring, won't talk
19 y/o Clarke-Harris 2.5 / 4.5 ... expiring, won't talk
20 y/o Farren 1.5 / 4.0 ... expiring
20 y/o Rickard 1.5 / 3.5 ... signed through 2015
20 y/o Lobjoit 1.5 / 4.5 ... expiring
19 y/o Johnson-Cole 1.5 / 3.5 ... non-contract, appearance fee
20 y/o Mutero 1.5 / 3.5 ... month-to-month
18 y/o Branker 1.0 / 4.5 ... signed through 2015
20 y/o Sheppard 1.0 / 3.5 ... expiring
21 y/o Chintehngah 1.0 / 3.5 ... expiring
19 y/o Nwachuku 1.0 / 2.5 ... expiring
19 y/o Egbeku 1.0 / 3.5 ... expiring
21 y/o Bennett 5.0 blue / 1.5 ... expiring
17 y/o Robson 2.5 blue / 1.0 ... signed through 2015

Look at all that talent and/or potential. Look at how much of probably isn't going to stick around. In some respects this is the most depressing position group for me
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:08 PM   #520
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 4, 2014 (afternoon)

I guess it was just as well I spent all that time worrying with the future over lunch ... our match against Harrogate has been postponed until Jan 29th due to a waterlogged field.

So the first team gets a week off until their next match, but the reserves, with a match now rescheduled themselves, are looking at being off for over a month. The next official match for that group isn't until February 5th. Looks like some friendlies coming up, otherwise we're going to have some fat lazy players.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:27 PM   #521
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 8, 2014 (morning)

Our Reserves played a fitness friendly against lower division side Whickham, drawing 2-2.

Andrew Higgins misses the match after a training injury, the lineup is a mixture of first-teamers needing fitness work & not expected to play on Saturday and the usual reserve suspects. Playing the match in light snow. A scoreless first half, we look about an interested in being here as ... well, nobody looks any less interested to be here than our players. Down 2-0 at 78' Musungu scores off a corner by Wignall. Janneh bangs in a rebound at 87' to draw us level. 92' minute see a penalty assessed, only to have Morrison choke and fire it straight to the keeper.

-------

January 9, 2014 (morning)
A little bit of interest being shown in Reece Hands, although I may get blasted for letting him go for nearly nothing if anything comes to pass.

Recent trialist Tyrell Miller-Rodney has agreed to terms with Basingstoke of BSBS, choosing them over Solihull Moors. We were not planning to make him an offer.

--------

January 11, 2014

Recently acquired youngster Ben Jefford has signed a new professional contract with us, a deal that will keep him here through 2015.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:52 PM   #522
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Time to start a doubleheader of matches

January 11, 2014 (morning, continued)

Our U18s played a league match at Sutton Utd, winning 6-0.

Off to a flyer at 4' on an uutstanding goal by Ferguson, after an offensive zone takeaway by Armstrong & a nice feed from Robson. Branker sends one deep & then chases it down, one on one goal at 7'. Donald sets up Ferguson at the point, another goal at 17'. Bank shot off the post by Armstrong is IN at 23'. Branker gets his second goal on a fast break feed from Ferguson at 34', that's five goals from five shots. Our first miss comes at 41' when Ferguson rattles the crossbar. I'm ecstatic at the half. Robson scores just 48 seconds into the half to make it 6-0. Branker hits the post after chasing down a half-field length pass at 52'. Armstrong goal disallowed for offside at 81'.

Simply incredible. Ferguson is MOM with 2 goals and 2 assists for a 9.5, Branker & Donald end up at 9.2. Our lowest rated starter was Tamer Dalton for a 7.5 and all he did was finish with a clean sheet. We scored six goals on just eight shots, with one miss off the crossbar and the other off the post.

And now the bad news: Alex Donald strained knee ligaments will keep him off the pitch for the next 7-8 weeks.

---------

January 11, 2014 (evening)

Our Reserves played a fitness friendly vs Scottish semi-pro side Tranent, winning 3-0.

Shaun Clarke nets a wicked strike from waaaaaydowntown at 4'. Niall Smith has one called back for offside at 19'. Egbeku scores in added time before the half. Just subbed on Ricketts knocks home a rebound at 62'. A delightful round of football as we outshot them 12-4, good shot selection overcomes subpar passing & possession.

RD Jack Folan will miss about a week, some dead leg issues.

----------

January 12, 2014 (afternoon)

The board has injected $325k to help with the club's running costs.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:48 PM   #523
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 15, 2013 (afternoon)
Blyth (6-8-8, 15th BSBN) at Hyde (11-3-11 9th BSBN)
They are a 4:5 favorite. Open with 4-4-2 Diamond Standard
GK: Dovey
D: Giddings, Seery, Seidu, Boateng
MF: Sawyer, Carruthers, Moke, Paratore
F: Mutero, Clarke-Harris
Available Subs: (Nightingale, Janneh, Rickard, Groves, McDonald)

5' - Seery slips on the wet grass, knocks in an own goal while trying to defend a corner (0-1)
11' - Mutero just misses a shot high
27' - Seidu makes two nice tackles but fails to clear, concedes a corner
45' - Moke gets a yellow card due to an obvious dive
45'+ - Mutero all alone on a breakaway, missed so wide that it would be comical if it weren't sad

Halftime: Not a great half, we've got to step it up & I like the AssMan tell them so. We tweak the strategy, looking to be more fluid, float more crosses (we're winning the headers today so why not?), and switch to Attacking (which I meant to do from the opening kickoff but the instruction didn't take)

48' - We miss off a corner, they counter in a hurry, long run but the finish caroms off the crossbar to save us
55' - Sub Janneh (for Moke, tiring & 6.0)
58' - Dovey punches a shot away, the rebound goes to the far post where they tap it in (0-2)
58' - Sub Rickard (for Giddings, tiring) ... shift Carruthers to LD, Mutero to LM
69' - Boateng trips a flyer down the flank, that's his second yellow and now we're a man short.
72' - Paratore shows signs of life but his shot is harmless
80' - Sub Groves (for Clarke-Harris, tired & knocked) ... shift Carruthers back to LM, Mutero back to STL
83' - Mutero skips past a defender, his shot is turned aside for a corner

Full time: Hyde 2 - Blyth 0

Ugly. Boateng gets sent off & sucked (6.1) before he did. We just looked totally outclassed. Seery (7.4) played well after the early mess, Carruthers (6.9) and Sawyer (6.8) were alright, the rest were in the 6.1 to 6.5 range and that's not going to cut it.

January 15, 2014 (postmatch)
I'm not too harsh, not too easy on Boateng in the post-match presser. He let his teammates down today & I acknowledged that fact.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:11 PM   #524
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 16, 2014 (midday)

We've called a press conference to introduce the newest member of the club, DMC Adnan Ahmed, formerly of Bradford Park Avenue of the Northern Premier. This season he had 8 assists and a 7.51 average rating in 20 games for them. Over three seasons there he tallied 10 goals and 12 assists in 86 games. The 29 y/o old Pakistani also has international experience with 17 caps and 4 goals for his national club.
----------
January 16, 2014 (afternoon)
At the recommendation of our physios, we will grant a one week leave to John Cofie (recently injured in practice in a collision with Seidu) and {SMDH} to Adnan Ahmed who appears to be worn out from all the action at BPA. We'll just consider it "time to get his personal affairs in order" for Ahmed.

We've also reached agreement with Joe Henderson on a small ($50/wk) contract that will keep him here through next season.

------

January 17, 2014 (morning)

Recent trialist LD Charni Ekangamene has signed ... with Hyde.

ST Leeroy Chinthengah wants first team soccer (doesn't everybody?). I cautiously point out that he didn't fare too well the last time he got that chance (6.37 avg rtg in 8 appearances last year) and he says he doesn't care, he just wants to leave. Okey dokey buddy, have at it.

MF Lewis Whiteley wants first team soccer (haven't I heard that before?) I also know that he'd like to make $300/wk to extend his contract, so I'm having a tough time not laughing before he even enters the room. In a conversation that went (as seems to happen in FM too frequently) rather odd rather quickly, I offered to let him out on loan, he said something about "how could you say that after the last time we talked about first team football", I said that was months ago I thought you'd moved on, he says he doesn't think he can work with me anymore & I tell him that's fine, he's transfer listed.

And, as I suspected would be the case, he doesn't get a single bit of interest for the bargain price of $2.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:12 AM   #525
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 18, 2014 (morning)

Our U18s played a league match vs Maidenhead, drawing 1-1.

Hard to imagine this group could play better than it did last time out, I'm just hoping there isn't a huge letdown after that big win. Not flat to start but we give up a PK at 25' and let them take the lead. Three minutes later Nwachuku gets hurt & has to go off. At 36' Maidenhead loses a man to injury themselves, seconds later Smyth plays a wicked cross to Armstrong who pots the tying goal. 56' we miss a golden opportunity during a scrum in front of their net, another close call at 58', hope those don't haunt us. 93' Ferguson misses off the bar, Armstrong can't corral the rebound for a put back. We outshot them 14-2, dominated pretty much all phases of play, just couldn't close them out.

January 18, 2014 (afternoon)
We get the bad news from the physio, Nnamdi Nwachuku will be out two months to recover from a torn groin muscle.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:12 PM   #526
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 19, 2014 (morning)
We released unhappy GK Kieran Gonzalez on a free, (hopefully) removing his $180/wk rolling contract salary cost from the ledger going forward.

We likewise released DL Matthew Martin on a free, (hopefully) removing his $210/wk rolling contract from the books too.

OOC note: I had to Google how to do this, I had forgotten where that was as a menu option. And I'm saying "hopefully" off the books since the Finances section doesn't reflect the reduction so far, hoping that will show up tomorrow

January 19, 2014 (afternoon)
Our Reserves host Scottish D1 side Kelso United for a fitness friendly, losing 2-1

5' into the match they score on a 20 yard whistler off the post. At 30' Wignall answers with a 20 yard strike of his own. They retake the lead off a corner at 69', our keeper Matty Hunter didn't see to react at all & they bounced a header in. 75' Niall Thompson completely misses an empty net.
I wasn't exactly thrilled with the effort, a lot of 6.0 and 6.1 ratings. Response in the locker room was somewhere between disinterested & almost hostile.

January 20, 2014 (morning)
Whaddya know, Reece Hands says he would like to be removed from the transfer list (he's been negotiating offers from as many as four clubs). Umm, lemme see here ... no.

OOC Note: Yes, the next day's salary report does reflect the reduced load after the players were released on a free

January 21, 2014 (evening)
Blyth's Reece Hands is said to be very happy at having agreed to terms with Cambridge of npower League 2. We confirm the deal.

OOC Note: Very interesting to see how that played out in consecutive segments

Fans have agreed with all three of the recent departures, let's hope they feel the same way about a fourth

We have released DR Michael Pearson on a free, clearing $160/wk from the books for his rolling contract
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:31 PM   #527
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 22, 2014 (morning)

Before our fixture in the afternoon, we hold a short press conference to introduce our latest signing, 21 year old fullback Aziz Deen-Conteh. The pacy defender from Sierra Leone spent four years in the Chelsea development system & has 8 caps to his credit despite his tender age.

On the downside, the loan of Andrai Jones from Hartlepool has finished & he has returned to his parent club (in spite of us getting agreement from the club to extend the deal to the end of the year more than a week ago). Negotiations will continue in th ... hang on a sec, phone. Oh good, Hartlepool have accepted the loan offer for Andrai Jones. Hopefully he'll arrive back here shortly.

We have also released DC/ST Sam Christensen on a free, saving $180/wk from his rolling contract. The versatile player never really found a spot in his 2+ seasons here, appearing in 3 league matches during that time with an average rating of 6.17. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
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Old 06-26-2014, 03:10 PM   #528
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 22, 2013 (afternoon)
Blyth (6-8-9, 16th BSBN) vs Corby (11-6-8 8th BSBN)
We're a 6:4 favorite, one that could really use a win or else things are going to start getting a little uncomfortable on the league table. We're currently just 1 point clear of the drop zone but with at least 2 matches in hand on all the teams beneath us. We'll start in 4-4-2 Diamond Attack, let's try to get a goal quickly. We may have to do a lot of things quickly, as we'll see our favorite ref Scott Duncan again today. By the time he gets finished carding people we may not have any players left.

GK: Dovey
D: Deen-Contah, Seery, Seidu, Groves
MF: Sawyer, Carruthers, Janneh, Moke
F: Mutero, Clarke-Harris
Available Subs: (Giddings, Nightingale, Lobjoit, Paratore, McDonald)

13' - Groves lays a nice long free kick into the area, Seidu is onto it but shoots weakly right to the keeper. Should have done more with that.
14' - 5th foul of the match on Corby, this one gets them a yellow on the dangerous striker Williams
15' - Clarke-Harris misses an open net with a weak dribbler. Did we forget to eat breakfast today?
24' - Dangerous chance for Corby's Williams but he's ruled offside
25' - Carruthers takes a nice feed from Janneh but heads it harmless over the goal
28' - Groves fires a free kick wild & high. Another wasted opportunity
44' - Corby takes their first shot of the match

Halftime: They've dominated possession but done nothing with it. We've had several good chances but done nothing with it. I let AssMan Worthington encourage them to press on in the second half.

52' - Sub Nightingale (for Sawyer, tired) ... shift Groves to DMC ... switch to Standard
66' - Dovey comes up big with a save of a point blank blast
76' - Sub Paratore (for Janneh, knocked) ... shift Moke to MR .. switch to Counter

Full Time: Blyth 0 - Corby 0

January 28, 2014 (postmatch)
Not sure how to feel here. We played better for much of the first half but failed to capitalize on any opportunities. They pressured us hard in the latter stages of the match but we persevered. And it IS a point against a team in the upper third of the table. I should be happy ... or at least a little happier than I am. Can't dwell on it too long however, short turnaround for another match on Saturday.
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Old 06-26-2014, 03:17 PM   #529
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 23, 2014 (morning)

Oh oh. The dreaded "we need a team meeting" message from GK Coach Carl King. {gulp}

I tell them that I want to ensure heads don't drop, we've got the ability to change our fortunes. Sam Sawyer backs me up, Adrian Moke agrees with Sawyer. Giant leap in player morale for nearly everyone ... except Mutero who had no change (hmm ... does he speak English, better check) and Clarke-Harris who actually saw his morale drop a bit.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:03 PM   #530
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
January 25, 2014 (morning)

Lots of contract-y type stuff going on around here. Once I got that bee in my bonnet I guess I wasn't going to rest until I got things at least better under control.

DC Andrai Jones has declined to return to Blyth on loan. Disappointing really, he was playing well for us and I thought was having a productive stay for himself as well.

Neither Carl Jones nor Wil Antwi generated any interest from any club we faxed, not for loan nor for transfer.

Scout Craig Berry has agreed to a contract extension that keeps him on board with us through next season.

19 y/o AMC Luke O'Nien (1.0 current / 4.5 potential) has signed a professional contract through the end of the 2016 season. $80/wk with a bump to $250/wk after 25 games.

20 y/o ST Billy Lobjoit has signed a contract extension that gives him $275/wk this year, +5% next year, plus bonuses of $70/app & $140/goal. If he could make a couple extra thousand by scoring that'd be fine by me.

19 y/o GK Jonathan Henly has signed a professional contract through the 2016 season. $45/wk with a raise to $120 after 30 games played.

21 y/o ST John Cofie has agreed to a contract extension that keeps him at Blyth through next season. $325/wk, +10% next year, plus app & goal bonuses. While struggling a bit lately, he's still our leading goalscorer with 9 tallies so far this year.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:35 PM   #531
JonInMiddleGA
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 25, 2013 (afternoon)
Blyth (6-9-9, 16th BSBN) vs Guiseley (10-5-11 10th BSBN)
We're a 5:4 favorite,still looking for a win after five matches without one. We'll start in 4-4-2 Diamond Attack, we actually played pretty well that way last time out. We'll do this one in an absolute downpour.

GK: Dovey
D: Giddings, Williamson, Boateng, Nightingale
MF: Ahmed, Whitaker, Davies, Paratore
F: Cofie,Lobjoit
Available Subs: (Paul, Mutero, Rickard, Purvis, McDonald)

32' - The crossbar saved our butts on a rocket shot
36' - Dovey with a nice save but it gives them a corner ... which they cash in (0-1)

Halftime: I am not a happy camper. I am a loud unhappy camper. Davies (5.9) and Cofie (6.0) are particular subjects of my ire.

47' - Cofie misplays a pass & starts Guiseley on a break, they cash it in
(0-2). Fuck all
54' - Sub Rickard (for Paratore, tired & knocked) ... shift Whitaker to AMC, Davies to ML ... switch to Overload
65' - Sub Purvis (for Nightingale, injured)
80' - Another goal, Dovey just sort of brushed the ball with his hands & let it go in. WTF?
81' - Sub Paul (for Cofie, sucking mightily) ... shift Boateng to DL, Giddings to ML, Davies back to MR, Rickard to STR

Full Time: Guiseley 3 - Blyth 0

January 25, 2014 (postmatch)
An utter shit the bed performance. Outshot 9-3, we never put one on target all day. Cofie, and his shiny new contract, puts up a 5.5. Davies & Williamson & Whitaker had 5.8s, Giddings a 5.9. Only Boateng & Ahmed played fairly well (both 6.8)

Fans are said to be devastated by the pitiful showing. I understand how they feel.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:54 PM   #532
Brian Swartz
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Join Date: May 2006
Ouch!
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:21 PM   #533
JonInMiddleGA
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Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Jan 29, 2013 (afternoon)
Blyth (6-9-10, 18th BSBN) vs Harrogate (7-4-14, 20th BSBN)
They are a 6:4 favorite, can't blame the oddsmakers considering how we've been playing of late. We'll start in a 4-4-1-1, trying to get off the schneid.

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Seery, Seidu, Groves
MF: Higgins, Ahmed, Smyth, Moke
F: N. Smith, Mutero
Available Subs: (Boateng, Clarke, Clarke-Harris, Sawyer, Henly)

15' - They get behind the defense with speed, McDonald punches the shot away
17' - Niall Smith puts a shot on goal, denied
24' - Groves lobs up a corner, Seery is there for a header ... off the crossbar
27' - Ahmed with a direct free kick ... lobs ... scores (1-0)
36' - Ahmed with a free kick ... sails it wide ... right to Seidu on the left corner all alone to nudge it in (2-0) ... Seidu does a happy dance after his first league goal for Blyth
45'+ - Ahmed from the corner, lobs one up to Seidu at the far post ... he heads it to Seery coming from the opposite side & he knocks it home (3-0)

Halftime: Not bad.

55' - Ahmed sails one just high over the bar, second near miss in the last couple of minutes
59' - They get a fast break opportunity, McDonald denies 'em
60' - Higgins picks up a yellow card
61' - Sub Sawyer (for Seidu, brilliant but knocked) ... Switch to Counter
75' - Sub Clarke-Harris (for Higgins, yellow card) ... shift Mutero to ML ... switch to Defensive
84' - Switch to Contain

Full Time: Blyth 3 - Harrogate 0

January 29, 2014 (postmatch)
That's better, well done. Seidu is MOM (8.9), Ahmed bossed the midfield (8.2), Seery played well (7.9) and scored his first goal of the season. Smyth & Higgins both made their league debuts, Seidu & Ahmed both scored their first league goals for us.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:29 PM   #534
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February 1, 2014 (morning)

Our U18s played a league match vs Havant & W, winning 3-1

Branker's first two tries early in the match were off target, not the third one, he puts us up at 18'. He gets another one at 32'. He also took a hard knock late in the half so we'll be careful & sub him out. 54' sees a red card for H&W as well as a PK for us, Robson took the foul & buried the PK. We give up a goal off a free kick at 76'. 83' Gary Pemberton gets hurt & has to come off, we've used up our subs so we're 10 on 10 now.

Pemberton will miss a month with a pulled hamstring. Branker will apparently be fine.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:55 AM   #535
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Feb 1, 2014 (afternoon)
Blyth (7-9-10, 15th BSBN) at Nuneaton (6-8-13, 18th BSBN)
They are a 4:6 favorite, fair enough since we're at their place. We'll start in the 4-4-1-1 Attacking again since it worked out okay last time. We'll also play this one is a light snowfall that started earlier in the day.

GK: McDonald
D: Carruthers, Seery, Boateng, Jefford
MF: Harrison, Sawyer, Smyth, Moke
F: Paratore, Mutero
Available Subs: (Purvis, Ahmed, Cofie, Whitaker, Dovey)

5' - Nuneaton corner, first shot is a header that hits the bar, McDonald misses the rebound & they knock it home. What a mess. (0-1)
15' - Corner again, same result except this time they just headed it home straightaway (0-2) This looks to be over before it even starts. Switch to Counter since they seem to be coming at us pretty good.

Halftime: Ugly. Brutal. Jefford's debut has been especially abysmal (5.4) and knocked to boot. Paratore (5.8) and Seery (5.5) have been just about as bad.

45' - Sub Cofie (for Jefford) .. switch to 4-4-2 Diamond Attacking
57' - They just miss one off the right post
68' - Sub Whitaker (for Moke, tired)
74' - Mutero misses wide left, our first shot of the second half
83' - A 30 yard strike hits McDonald in the hands & bounces right in (0-3)
91' - Paratore goes down hard after a challenge, has to come out ... Sub Purvis


Full Time: Nuneaton 3 - Blyth 0

Feb 1, 2014 (postmatch)
We simply got dominated. I don't know why. Poor games for Jefford (5.4), Carruthers (5.4) Seery (5.5). Only Sawyer (6.8) played reasonably well. Maybe Whitaker (6.7) too. Outshot 9-3, never put a single one on target.

A "robust challenge" late in the match leaves Boateng with a bruised jaw, he'll miss 7 to 10 days. The way he played, it's not a big loss.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:35 AM   #536
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Feb 2, 2014 (morning)

The papers say that Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen a new coach for the USA U21 team ... Preki.

Feb 3, 2014 (morning)
DC Tom Seery has a cold. Of course you send him home you twat. Did you see how he played against Nuneaton?

Nigel Seidu and Adnan Ahmed were selected for the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven. Yipee.

Feb 4, 2014 (evening)
Our Reserves played a fitness friendly against South Shields,

Scoreless first half. DL Liam McGovern gets a red card for a chancy challenge at 46'. They finally score at 63'. ST Johnson-Cole misses a completely empty net, shooting right into the side, at 72'. 30 yard strike baffles Henly and we're down by two. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised we didn't just quit entirely. Oh, DL Joe Henderson will missed 7-10 days with a stubbed toe.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:10 AM   #537
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Feb 5, 2014 (afternoon)
Blyth (7-9-11, 16th BSBN) at Eastwood (9-5-13, 14th BSBN)
They are a 5:4 favorite, We'll go 4-4-1-1 again.

GK: Dovey
D: Deen-Conteh, Paul, Seidu, Groves
MF: Higgins, Ahmed, Smyth, Janneh
F: Whitaker, Clarke-Harris
Available Subs: (Nightingale, Moke, Rickard, Sawyer, Hunter)

2' - They rattle a shot off the woodwork, pounce on the rebound (0-1)
7' - Smyth with a fair try that was saved
13' - Hopkinson with another try. Their star is too fast for us.
44' - Seidu skims the bar with a free kick

Halftime - Not real happy. We're only down one but it could and should be more.

49' - Seidu misses high
52' - Whitaker crosses ... Higgins heads it home for his first ever league goal (1-1)
69' - Sub Moke (for Janneh, tiring)
79' - Seidu misses another header off a cross, that's 0-3
79' - Sub Nightingale (for Ahmed, 6.0)
80' - They get a breakaway, shot it wide
83' - We get three cracks at it from the area, can't put it in
90+ - Moke crosses, Whitaker's shot from the arc is saved

Full Time: Blyth 1 - Eastwood 1

Feb 5, 2014 (postmatch)
We escape with a point, better than what I had started to expect. Higgins (7.8) is MOM. Seidu improved dramatically in the second half (6.0 to 6.9)
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:22 AM   #538
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Feb 8, 2014 (morning)

Our U18s played a league match at Dorchester, drawing 0-0

Just about an even match all around. DC Rory McKeever (7.8) was MOM.
Bad news though, ST Dennis Robson sustained a broken foot, he'll be out 4-5 months.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:24 AM   #539
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Feb 8, 2014 (afternoon)
Blyth (7-10-11, 15th BSBN) vs Workington (11-2-15, 13th BSBN)
We are a Pick 'Em favorite thanks to being at home. We'll go 4-4-1-1 again, Standard this time.

GK: Dovey
D: Carruthers, Williamson, Sawyer, Groves
MF: Musungu, Ahmed, Smyth, Moke
F: Paratore, Rickard
Available Subs: (Seidu, Nightingale, Lobjoit, Whitaker, McDonald)

16' - Smyth sails a shot high over the crossbar, our players are furious about a no-call in the box seconds earlier.
22' - Smyth feeds Rickard in traffic ... he spots Moke just outside the box ... back to Rickard ... GOAL ! (1-0) ... Only the second time we've had a lead in the past 7 matches ...
23' - Switch to Counter for a bit
34' - Smyth cranks up another one, it's blocked for a corner .. which is headed out for another corner ...which we get nothing from
37' - Musungu is just barely denied a goal in his debut by a nice save
39' - Groves with a free kick from about 25 yards out ... to the far side for Sawyer ... GOAL ! (2-0)
43' - Paratore overshoots Groves with a pass ... he chases it down & wheels a cross into the box ... Rickard ... GOAL ! (3-0)

Halftime - Well, that's been fun. Rickard matches his career goals total in just a half. We're looking a little more tired than usual at the break but if we could just get one more goal early here we might be able to cruise home. Switch to Standard

47' - One-timer gets them on the board. So much for the cruising to the finish line idea I guess (3-1) ... back to Counter
60' - Instead of shooting, this time Boyd passes into the middle for their second goal (3-2)
60' - Sub Whitaker (for Paratore) ... switch to Defensive
74' - Moke sails a shot high & wide right
82' - Whitaker corner ... to the near side for Williamson ... GOAL ! (4-2). Whew.
82' - Sub Nightingale (for Groves, tired)

Full Time: Blyth 4 - Workington 2

Feb 8, 2014 (postmatch)
Big win. Rickard (8.8) is the obvious MOM. Nobody was lower than a 6.9 except the two AMC's and they were 6.8. We outshot them 12-2, controlled 56% of possession, passed well, held them to just 7% of crosses.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:45 AM   #540
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
Before our fixture in the afternoon, we hold a short press conference to introduce our latest signing, 21 year old fullback Aziz Deen-Conteh. The pacy defender from Sierra Leone spent four years in the Chelsea development system & has 8 caps to his credit despite his tender age.

I have Deen-Conteh as the team's starting DL heading into our first season in L1, so this can work out well, I think.
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:31 PM   #541
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Feb 10, 2014 (afternoon)

Our Reserves play a fitness friendly at Ryton, losing 3-2

It took just 99 seconds for them to score. Dombaxe rockets one in at 37' to tie. Long shot by Hancock is his second goal for Ryton at 48'. Niall Smith draws us level with a goal at 85'. An own goal by DC Foot gives them back the lead at 87', and that's all she wrote. N. Smith, Dombaxe, Wignall all played pretty well. Paul, McGovern and Lobjoit all sucked.


Feb 11, 2014 (morning)
Four players -- Groves, Sawyer, Higgins and Rickard -- were named to the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven.


Feb 12, 2014 (morning)
GK Matty Hunter and ML Andrew Musungu have reached agreements that will keep them with the club through next season.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #542
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Feb 12, 2014 (evening)

Last month's OCD spell over the state of the roster(s) and contracts has, I think, helped me gain a little more control over the bigger picture. Since this season really boils down to "don't get fired" at this point, I'm allowing myself to at least look ahead to next season a bit.

With the schedule finally settling back into a once-a-week routine (13 matches left, only one instance right at the end of anything more than once a week) I can take more time with something that I at least hope I can do something about: next year, 'cause this one is pretty much shot.

I'm still thinking mostly in terms of 2 players per position at each level -- our fitness purely sucks, few players are ready/able to go back to back right now -- but until youth intake rolls around I can't figure a whole lot about next year's U18s. That means I'd like to have at least 4-5 players I can count on, commiserate to their level, at every spot.

Let's look at the guys through the eyes of our best evaluator, coach Jack Noonan. Italics mean they are NOT signed beyond this season

GK
Dovey - McDonald - Dalton - Henly - Hunter - Archer - Fry - Batey

DL
Deen-Conteh - Carruthers - Donald - Holden - Henderson - McGovern - Giddings -

DC
Boateng - Seidu - Daly - Williamson - Paul - Seery - Weaver - Foot - Jones - Bashford - Antwi - Stevenson - McKeever - Watson - Holland - Wheeler - Madine

DR
Groves - Jefford - Butt - C. Wilson - Nightingale - Kay - Purvis - M. Wilson -
Folan - G.Pemberton

DMC
Ahmed - Clarke - Sawyer - Morrison - E. Pemberton - Kaymaz

ML
Musungu - Higgins - Loudon - Harrison - Goodall - Armstrong

MC
Ahmed - Smyth - Greenhoff - Wallace

MR
Moke - Thompson - Ricketts - Davies - Whiteley - Janneh - Ferguson

AMC
Whitaker - N.Smith - O'Nien - Wignall - Paratore - Dombaxe - Cresswell

ST

Cofie - - Bembo Leta - Clarke Harris - Farren - Rickard - Mutero - Johnson Cole - Lobjoit - Branker - Chinthengah - Sheppard - Nwachuku - Egbeku - Bennett - Robson


Interesting, eh? (Yeah, right)

Here's what stands out to me: Of the players that would be recommended starters, 10 of 11 are contracted through at least next year. In spite of our middling (or worse record), I figure that's actually a good thing.

After that things get kinda sketchy. There are players that I'd like to keep around but they either won't negotiate at all or they're completely unreasonable about what they want.

I'd like to keep GK Tamer Dalton for example, he won't discuss it. I'd like to keep at least one of the LD's Donald or Holden, neither will talk. I'd like to keep ML Higgins and probably Goodall too, haven't been able to work anything out. We'll most likely have to upgrade with MR or AMC or both, as Moke can't play both at the same time.

Plenty of work to do ... as long as the board will keep me around to do it.

edit to add: Oh, one other thing

4 of our 8 most expensive players will be surely (or at least likely) be gone after the season (out of favor DC Carl Jones, the disappointing DL/ML Chris Carruthers, AMC Danny Whitaker, and over the hill DC Will Antwi). That should give us at least a little flexibility in terms of both re-signing a few players and acquiring others.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:29 PM   #543
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Feb 14, 2014 (evening)

Facing a tough match tomorrow against 6th placed Kidderminster, a high scoring outfit battling for at least a playoff spot. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at the table in BSB North with 13 fixtures left for everyone.

1st place Alfreton looks more than set. They're 14 points ahead of 2nd place, they're 20-8-1 on the year with a +40 GD. Yeah, that's right: one loss all year. We actually drew them 3-3 back in early November.

Teams in the playoff spots right now are:
AFC Telford(54), Gainsborough (52), Staylbridge (51) and Barrow (51)

Just behind them chasing are Kidderminster (48) and Droylsden (47)

Then there's an uppermiddle pack of Corby (43), Hinckley (41), Vauxhall (40), Hyde (39) and Guiseley (38).

There's there's the lower middle class, including us: Eastwood (36), Workington (35) and BLYTH (34)

There there's the pack looking at the drop zone:
Southport (31), Altrincham (30), Colwyn Bay (30), Nuneaton (29), with the current relegation candidates being Harrogate (28), Worcester (25) and Boston Utd (25).
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:32 PM   #544
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Feb 15, 2014 (afternoon)
Blyth (8-11-11, 15th BSBN) at Kidderminster (14-7-9, 6th BSBN)
We are a big underdog against one of the league's top teams. We'll go 4-4-1-1 again, Counter this time. In the previous meeting we managed a 1-1 draw, their only score was a mistake by McDonald that led to an own goal. We equalized with Davies scoring as a late sub.

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Paul, Seidu, Groves
MF: Higgins, Ahmed, Smyth, Moke
F: Whitaker, Cofie
Available Subs: (Sawyer, Mutero, Rickard, Seery, Dovey)

0' - McDonald is forced to bat away a shot just 18 seconds into the match, but he's up to the task.
1' - Long ball played down the flank for Cofie, he's outrun & so he absolutely blasts the defender Osborne. He's hurt & goes off for treatment, Cofie gets a yellow card for his troubles
7' - Contested ball near midfield, Higgins fouls and gets a yellow card too
14' - Mike Williams fouls Moke, he gets their first yellow ... Ahmed's free kick sets up Cofie but he's denied ... Higgins handballs the rebound
17' - Another nice save by McDonald keeps things scoreless
28' - Ahmed shot is harmlessly wide
40' - Whitaker loooong free kick for Cofie, their keeper intercepts
41' - Another long ball to Cofie, backpass to Whitaker who sends it right back and deeper ... Cofie breaks free ... and banks the shot in off the far post (1-0) ... we'll play Defensive til the break

Halftime: I'll take that, now just keep it up. Let's start the half defensive just to avoid a quick equalizer & then likely go back on the counter.

47' - Whitaker lobs a corner toward Seidu at the far post but it's headed away easily ... Groves chases it down, feeds Whitaker on the left, he tries to center a pass for Moke but it hits a defender ... Lewis can't handle the ricochet and it's an own goal (2-0)
49' - Dangerous moment but they head one over the crossbar
52' - Smyth crossfield pass to Moke who dribbles once and fires ... GOAL !!! (3-0)
65'- Seidu picks up a yellow card for holding
66'- Sub Rickard (for Cofie, knocked & a yellow)
73'- Kidderminster threatens but shoots high over the bar
74' - Sub Seery (for Seidu, yellow)
76' - We clear the ball out of our own area, Whitaker gets trampled by Byrne ... that's his second yellow card & we're a man up

Full Time: Blyth 3 - Kidderminster 0

Feb 15, 2014 (postmatch)
Who woulda thunk it? Moke (8.1) is MOM, clean sheet for McDonald (who was bitching about wanting more starts before the game), highly efficient day with 3 goals on 5 shots, 4 of which were on target. Our defense allowed only one half chance in 6 shots. Cofie ends his scoring drought at just shy of 700 minutes.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:39 PM   #545
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Feb 15, 2014 (evening)

I couldn't be in two places at once as usual, so I missed our U18s fitness friendly at Durham. The 1-0 loss was less concerning than news that ML Dean Goodall will be out 2 months after straining knee ligaments after twisting sharply.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:46 PM   #546
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Feb 16, 2014 (morning)

Just looking at the unlikely two match winning streak we're suddenly on ...

-- It's the first time all season we've won back-to-back league matches
-- It's the first 2 match win streak in league play since the final two matches in the 2011/12 season (that clinched our brief promotion)
-- We've scored 7 goals in the past two, we'd scored only 6 in the previous 9
-- It's the first time in my career that my team has scored 7 goals in any two match stretch of league play. We scored 8 goals in two matches back in 11/12, with a three match stretch of 3-0, 5-1, 3-1 wins in the FA Trophy 3rd round Qualifying / League Match / FA Trophy 1st round
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:08 AM   #547
JonInMiddleGA
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Feb 18, 2014 (morning)
Three players -- Danny Groves, Adriano Moke and John Cofie -- were selected in the BSBN Team of the Week first eleven.

Feb 19, 2014 (morning)
Our Reserves played a league match vs Scunthorpe Reserves, losing 2-1.

They finally score, off a free kick, at 31'. I say "finally" because to this point we've been outshot 9-0. Being underdogs apparently relaxed the side far too much. We switch to attacking just to try to spark some energy, they finally break us down with a goal at 85'. Musungu gets a consolation goal at 92'. Outshot 17-5, way to mail one in guys.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:36 AM   #548
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Feb 22, 2014 (morning)
Our U18s played a league match at Eastleigh, losing 2-1.

Trialist ST O'Halloran is trying to hard for us, missing everything. They take the lead at 37' from a set play. Branker knots things up with a goal at 48'. Another set piece gives them the lead back at 56'. Niall Smith's shot to tie at 91' hit the post. We run out of time in a busy game with 12 shots for each team. Madine (7.7) was MOM despite the loss.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:21 AM   #549
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Feb 22, 2014 (afternoon)
Blyth (9-10-11, 14th BSBN) vs Southport (8-8-14, 17th BSBN)
We're a 6:4 favorite at home as we try to continue our winning ways. We'll open 4-4-1-1 again, Control this time.

GK: McDonald
D: Deen-Conteh, Sawyer, Seidu, Groves
MF: Higgins, Ahmed, Smyth, Moke
F: Whitaker, Rickard
Available Subs: (Boateng, Nightingale, Mutero, Cofie, Dovey)

24' - Crazy sequence in the offensive end that saw us hit the post not once but twice only to come away empty
33' - Higgins shuffles the ball to Ahmed who whips it to Smyth who fires ... GOAL ! (1-0) His first ever goal for Blyth
44' - Seidu gets a yellow card for a rough foul at midfield

Halftime: Keep going boys

69' - Sub Mutero (for Whitaker, knocked) ... shift Rickard to AMC
74' - Groves feeds Mutero in close but he misses an empty net
76' - Mutero takes a long shot but it's just a bit high
81' - Mutero on the left corner, feeds Higgins who feeds Rickard in front GOAL ! (2-0)
81' - Sub Boateng (for Rickard, tiring) ... shift Moke to AMR, Groves to RWB ... Switch to Defend
83' - McDonald makes a tough save
85' - Wright gets free & open for Southport but shoots weakly wide right
89' - Seidu is beaten deep, one on one ... goal for Taylor (2-1)
89' - Sub Nightingale for Seidu (tiring, yellow) ... shift Boateng to DC ... switch to Contain
92' - Boateng makes two straight tackles in less than a minute
94' - A late shot from the area slips wide right for Southport


Full Time: Blyth 2 - Southport 1

Feb 22, 2014 (postmatch)
That got a little closer than it should have. Seidu was in a tough spot on the goal, he already had a yellow card & couldn't challenge as he normally would have. Smyth (7.4) was MOM. Danny Graves made his 125th appearance for Blyth, a fact that we note & praise in the presser.

Meanwhile Jonson Clarke-Harris wants to bitch about playing time. Naturally. (Gee, hard for me to get too worked up since you've made it clear you don't want to stay past this season anyway. Bitch).
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:53 AM   #550
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Feb 25, 2014 (morning)
Our Reserves played a league match vs Hartlepool, winning 2-0.

The starting 11 includes some former first-teamers (Giddings, Williamson, Purvis, Clarke-Harris) who have either fallen out of favor or are in need of fitness work. Let's see if they take advantage of the opportunity to shine or if they just phone it in. Through 30 minutes it's scoreless, Hartlepool playing tough on defense despite a few near chances for us, Foot has been twice denied by quality saves. Scoreless at the half, every player is between 6.7 and 7.0 for us. 61' minute we had to sub twice, Giddings goes down & has to come off, Groves was knocked in the first half & wanted to gut it out but with them subbing fresh bodies we can't afford him out there at half speed. At 80', our tenth shot of the match & our 4 clear cut chance finally gets through for the lead as Clarke-Harris scores. Niall Smith pots an empty-netter at 88'.

We were expected to lose by several goals, instead we have starters ratings between 6.9 and 8.6, the high mark belong to Niall Smith who was MOM. Purvis will miss two weeks with a sprained wrist.
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