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[FM10] An english club in Scotland


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Version used: 10.3.0

Leagues loaded: Scottish Third Division and above

Database: Large (all english players loaded)

I started this career some time ago but due to a lack of internet connection have been unable to post until now

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Berwick Rangers are located in the English border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Despite this they ply their trade in the Scottish league system. Recent history has seen them play mostly in the Second and Third Divsions but many years ago they held their own in the First Division.

Year Founded: 1881

Status: Semi-professional

Nickname: The Borderes

Stadium: Shielfield Park (capacity: 4131 - 1366 seated)

Club Colours: Yellow & Black

Legends: Eric Tait, Warren Hawke

Rivals: Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir

My aim in this career game was to see how far I could take Berwick until I recieved a better job offer. However, despite several offers from higher league teams, I have so far remained attached to The Borderers.

I have been the manager of Berwick Rangers for almost seven seasons now. In that time I have taken them from the Scottish Third Divsion back to the First Division.

You join us in our first season back in Scotland's second tier for 35 years.

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A quick run down of my managerial history with Berwick so far:

2009/10: Third Division - 2nd (lost in playoff semi-final)

2010/11: Third Division - 4th (lost in playoff semi-fianl)

2011/12: Third Division - 2nd (lost in playoff semi-final)

2012/13: Third Division - 1st (promoted as champions)

2013/14: Second Divsion - 3rd (lost in playoff semi-final)

2014/15: Second Division - 1st (promoted as champions)

Furthest progress in Scottish Cup (Fifth Round: 2013/14, 2014/15)

Furthest progress in Scottish League Cup (Second Round: 2011/12, 2014/15)

Furthest progress in Scottish League Challenge Cup (Third Round 2011/12)

Highest transfer fee paid: £12,000

Highest transfer fee recieved £8,000

The club remains semi-professional (the only team in the First Division!) and possess only basic facilities. No ground improvements have been completed due to very tight finances. However a healthy profit so far this season should hopefully provide funds for investment.

We were recently subject to a board takeover from a previous board member, which I had also hoped would lead to investment. Unfortunately the new chairman has told me that he has no funds currently available to pump into the club.

The vast majority of my transfers have been free agent signings during the summer. The club struggles to attract top talent due to its relatively low reputation. My signings are suplemented by a few quality loan deals with parent club Hearts.

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The Key Players:

David Shaw: Full back that can play on either side. A physical player that lacks technical attributes but makes up for it in pace and strength. Having not really ever had any talent at right-back, Shaw was an ideal purchase last season.

Dan Jackson: One half of my young centre-back partnership. Acts as the ball player of the two. Still getting used to his first full season of competitive football.

Will Robinson: Former England under-19. The physical presence of the defensive duo. Pops up with the odd goal from set pieces. A very bright prospect for the future, I intend to build my defence around him.

Victor Palsson: Signed from Liverpool five years ago after a successful trial with the club. Now in his second season as club captain the central midfielder has proved instrumental in the teams rise through the leagues. Probably the most technically gifted player in the squad. There has been a lot of interest in him but I think the future of the club relies on him so I will be doing everything to keep hold of him.

Lewis Turner: Signed in my first season with the club, the right midfielder was once the team’s youngest ever player at just over 16 years old. Still playing over 20 games a season, he still has a role at the club despite not progressing quite as well as I’d hoped.

Kevin McLean: Signed this summer as one for the future but has filled in admirably when other players have been injured. Can play anywhere across the midfield. Has two goals and eight assists from 16 appearances this year. Will probably form the central midfield partnership with Palsson in the seasons to come.

Jamie Mole: Another summer signing, the 27 year old striker has been a revelation since signing. 15 goals and eight assists in his 24 starts has been and impressive debut season.

Paul Dickson: Dickson is the player I am currently building my team around. The 22 year old striker was signed on a free transfer four years ago. Scored 19 goals in his first season and has scored over 20 goals a season every season after that. Has unarguably been the player instrumental in my rise through the leagues. Many more great seasons to come I feel, if I can keep hold of him!

Gary Irons: The third of my quality strikers. Came of age last season scoring 22 goals, having scored just five goals in his previous two years at the club. Has found himself on the bench most of this year but still has a big role to play at the club.

The rest of the squad is made up of a mixture of experienced players with average ability that keep the team ticking over and prospect for the future who are slowly working their way through to the first team.

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The 2015/16 season so far....

I started the season fully expecting to struggle being the only semi-professional side in the First Division and was made the bookies favourite for the drop. The focus of my summer signings had been on tightening up my leaky defence and finding a quality winger. I made a total of nine signings and brought in one player on loan from Hearts. All were free agents and the club was still struggling to attract any real talent.

Preseason went very well with the team scoring 20 goals in their five friendlies, the highlight being a 3-2 victory over a full strength Hearts team.

The season itself however started badly and we found ourselves rock bottom after six games and the bookies seemed spot on with their prediction. We were scoring for fun but so were the opposition!

Results started to come however and we had climbed into mid-table by the end of October.

A further series of good results and goals galore from the strike partnership of Mole and Dickson even got us up to 3rd for a period of time.

A run to the fifth round in the Scottish Cup brought a money-spinning tie away at Motherwell which we only narrowly lost 1-0.

The new year has however brought less favourable results and with no signings made in the January transfer window, we find ourselves down in 5th but comfortably nine points above the relegation playoff position.

The aim for the rest of the season is firstly to mathematically secure our position in the First Division and then to finish as high as we can to maximise our prize money.

Feedback/questions are always gratefully received

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2015/16 Season Part 2

The remainder of the season was marked by a mixed set of results. We managed to secure our First Division safety with three games to go and managed a respectable 5th place finish. We won more games than we lost over the season and finished as the league’s top scorers, which for me was completely unexpected. I was expecting a really tough and ultimately disappointing season so for me the year has been a resounding success.

12 players were set to be out of contract at the end of the year. Seven of these have been offered new contracts and the other five are all going to be released. All of my staff signed new one year deals also.

Over the summer I am desperately hoping for the club to turn professional so that we can attract a better quality of player. All of the players and staff are on full time contracts and the club made a profit of over £750,000 this season so I can’t see why the board would choose to remain semi-professional.

My signings will once again focus on free agents and my main area of concern is obviously the defence. I believe we need to sign a talented and experienced goalkeeper and a high quality centre back.

Season Summary

First Division: 5th

Scottish Cup: 5th Round (1-0 Motherwell (A))

Scottish League Cup: 3rd Round (5-1 Celtic (A))

Scottish League Challenge Cup: 2nd Round (1-0 Clyde (A))

Final League Table

Final League Positions Graph

First Division Team of the Year

First Team

Transfers

Key Player Profiles

David Shaw

Gary MacKenzie

Kevin McLean

Lewis Turner

Victor Palsson

Jamie Mole

Paul Dickson

Awards

Paul Dickson - First Divsion Player of the Year

Career Summary

            
Season      League             Position      Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009/10     Third Division     2nd           Lost in playoff semi-final
2010/11     Third Division     4th           Lost in playoff semi-final
2011/12     Third Division     2nd           Lost in playoff semi-final
2012/13     Third Division     1st           Champions
2013/14     Second Division    3rd           Lost in playoff semi-final
2014/15     Second Division    1st           Champions
2015/16     First Division     5th

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2016/17 Preseason Update

The board chose to leave the club semi-professional which massively hampered my efforts in the transfer window over the summer. I struggled greatly to find any players that were better than my current sqaud.

I did though manage to find the goalkeeper I was looking for. Sean Murdoch had been released by Queen of the South and although not quite to the standard I had set out to find he is better than previous number one Sean Driscoll was, who has in turn been released.

I also signed 19 year old Ian Nelson on a free after being released by Motherwell but I don't expect him to break into the first team for a couple of years.

I am currently in negotiations with Clyde over signing central midfielder Richard Gray, who will act as cover for Palsson and Stirling. I also have three players on trial who I have entered into contract negociations with after decent preseason performances.

Friendlies have shown that we certainly still have an eye for goal and it seems the defence has tightened up a little but only time will show whether this proves to be the case in competitive matches.

The board expectation is for us to avoid relegation which I think is achieveable, but by how much I'm not sure. I'd be happy with a top half finish again and I intend to give some of the younger players some first team experience this year.

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to be Professional does the club need a certain rep maybe?

The club has a National reputation so I really can't see why the club hasn't turned professional. Its seriously hampering the club's progress and if we stay semi-professional then there is little hope of being competitive in the First Division. To be honest if it doesn't happen soon I might consider applying for jobs elsewhere.

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2016/17 Season - Part 1

The season started diappointingly with a 3-2 extra time defeat in the First Round of the Challenge Cup to Second Division Albion Rovers, which naturally the board were less than pleased with. Fortunately I managed to follow it up with a 3-0 victory in the First Round of the League Cup.

I completed negotiations for midfielder Richard Gray from Clyde, signing him for £28k between the two cup games and despite initially expecting him to start on the bench, injuries forced me to put him in the first eleven, where he turned out to be a revelation.

The first game of the season went well, a 2-1 win against newly promoted Dumbarton. This was followed by a narrow defeat to Dunfirmline and then a well-fought victory over Queen of the South. Things then took a turn for the worse as we went on a five game winless streak including a 3-2 extra time defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Second Round of the League Cup.

A confident 4-1 victory against Hamilton signalled that maybe we'd turned the corner but this was quickly followed by a 2-1 defeat against Inverness featuring a heatbreaking last gasp winner from Inverness.

All-in-all the season has started quite poorly and we sit in 7th place: only two points above the relegation playoff position. The squad has suffered from a lot of injuries which has hampered us somewhat. I think this may be linked to my new training regimes that I implemented this season so I may have to go back and tweak those. As usual we are scoring for fun but the defence still looks week, having kept just one clean sheet so far. I have tried to improve the tactics defensively but it doesn't seem to be working right now.

On the positive side, the injuries have given some of the younger players a chance to shine, and some have certainly done that and have given themsleves a good chance of keeping their place in the first eleven.

As well as signing Gray, I have signed young winger Kris Reynolds on a free; Daniel McAvoy, a talented young striker; Barry Black, a great central defender prospect from Motherwell for £18k; and more recently Henry Solomon, an excellent winger on loan for the season from parent club Hearts.

I am hoping we can produce some better results in the near future and start keeping things tighter in our own box.

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i jsut did a little search and i THINK to get professional in scotland you have to have a rep of about 3400, in my save in 2012-13 season berwick rangers have 2050...

Looks like I'll just have to bide my time then, which is a shame, because I really want to take the club into the Premier League fairly quickly.

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2016/17 Season - Part 2

We didn’t get off to the best start to the second quarter of the season, suffering a 4-0 defeat to Dumbarton. A 2-0 win against promotion hopefuls Dunfermline steadied the ship however.

As in the first part of the season though, things took a turn for the worse and we went four games without registering a victory.

Midway through the run, I made a decision to overhaul the team’s regular tactics. We have used mostly a 4-4-2 system since I took charge. With my ailing defence causing most of my problems I chose to implement a new 5-3-2 formation. My thinking behind this was that the extra centre back would help stop the opposition getting a free man in the box: the cause of most of the goals I concede. I was happy to play without wingers as most of our goals come from passing moves through the middle of the pitch.

Although initial results were not great, after settling into the tactic the team managed to pull off a good 0-0 draw against 2nd place Ross Country followed by a deserved 3-1 victory over Raith.

Results from there were mixed but on the positive side we managed to cruise through the Scottish Cup Third Round with a 5-0 victory over amateur team Crichton. We then got a favourable Fourth Round draw: away at another amateur team, Huntly

I was approached by Dunfermline to fill the vacant manager’s position in this period. I was briefly tempted to take the job as I feel Berwick are stalling at the minute, but I chose to reject there offer I as still feel there is some work I can do at Berwick.

Halfway through the season we sit in 7th, just one point clear of the relegation playoff position and three points above the automatic relegation slot.

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2016/17 Season - Part 3

We got revenge on Dumbarton for our 4-0 defeat earlier in the season by beating them 6-2 at home. This began a run of five games unbeaten, our longest stretch this season, including a 4-1 win over Huntly in the Scottish Cup Fourth Round. In the Fifth Round we drew Premier League side St Mirren at home.

After the Forth Round tie we suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat against underperforming Dundee but this proved to be a minor blip as we went on to win our next game against 2nd placed Ross County. We followed this up with a 1-1 draw against Raith Rovers.

Up next was our Fifth Round tie against St Mirren. The game started as I expected with us defending against a strong St Mirren attack but we kept them out and at half time it was 0-0. Somehow we were clinging on and I felt we could sneak a reply. What followed was somewhat unexpected. No sooner had we kicked off the second half, Jamie Mole had the ball in the back of the net. Six minutes later he did it again and St Mirren were staring at defeat. I expected St Mirren to come back fighting but we kept on top and in the 69th minute Paul Dickson managed to sneak a third! St Mirren did grab a goal but it was too late and the game finished 3-1. We won a memorable victory, one I was extremely proud of. Better was yet to come, as we drew the only club lower placed than us in the Sixth Round: Second Division Airdrie United.

After that fantasic victory we went on to record a 2-0 victory over Hamilton and earned a commendable 0-0 draw against runaway league leaders Inverness.

We have lost just once in our last eleven games and the new 5-3-2 formation seems to be getting results. With nine games to go we sit 7th in the league, a comfortable eight points above the relegation playoff and 15 above automatic relegation. The league for us is all but over but the exciting part is the prospect of a Scottish Cup Semi Final appearance!

The only negative notes are the loss of both Dan Jackson and Gary Irons who were out of contract at the end of the season. Despite offering them new deals they have both decided to move to pastures new. To be fair they have not played well this season and their departure will give some new blood the opportunity to win a place in the squad.

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Quick update.......

We made it through our Scottish Cup Sixth Round tie against Airdrie with a nervy but in the end comfortable 3-0 win.

We were guarenteed Premier League opposition in the Semi Final. First out of the hat, we drew Hibernian.

I'm not especially confident of a result but a trip to Hampden Park is definitely worth looking forward to and who knows what could happen on the day.

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2016/17 Season - Part 4

We managed to keep six clean sheets in our last nine league games which for a team that has leaked goals all season was impressive. The goals dried up a little though but none-the-less we recorded five wins and finished the season with a 2-0 victory over already champions Inverness.

The main occasion though was our Scottish Cup Semi Final against Hibernian. We started well, creating the best chances of the opening 15 minutes. However it was Hibernian who drew first blood with Eero Nyberg scoring a header from a corner. Four minutes later up popped Nyberg again, latching on to another inswinging corner. We went into half time 2-0 down and staring defeat in the face. The tide started to turn though when two minutes into the second half Hibs had a man sent off. Kevin McLean then got us a goal back from a corner of our own and we were back in it. Before long though Hibs had it wrapped up as Nyberg completed his hat trick. It remained 3-1 and our gallant run in the cup came to an end, but we had by no means embarrassed ourselves.

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2016/17 Season Summary

It has certainly been a season of two halves. We were poor to start, with the defence costing us a lot of points despite our strikeforce bagging goals for fun. The season turned when I changed our formation from a classic 4-4-2 to a more defensive 5-3-2. It took a while for the tactic to take effect but we managed to grind out some results and we finished the season with some excellent results and climbed our way out of the relegation battle.

In the end we finished in the same position as last year: 5th, and with the same number of points: 52 and comfortably above relegation.

The highlight of the year was without doubt our trip to Hampden Park for our Scottish Cup Semi Final against Hibernian. Despite suffering defeat, it certainly made up for our disappointing early exits in the other two cup competitions.

Once again I am hoping we turn professional over the summer but I have my doubts. Three players are still out of contract over the summer, all of which will be offered new deals in the near future. All staff will also be offered new one-year contracts.

I expect to spend the summer searching for defenders again and also a new striker, probably a youngster to act as cover for Dickson and Mole.

Summary

First Division: 5th

Scottish Cup: Semi Final (3-1 Hibernian (N))

Scottish League Cup: Second Round (2-1e Inverness CT (H))

Scottish League Challenge Cup: (3-2e Albion Rovers (A))

Final League Table

Final League Positions Graph

First Division Team of the Year

First Team

Transfers

Key Player Profiles

David Shaw

Kevin McLean

Lewis Turner

Victor Palsson

Paul Dickson

Jamie Mole

Career Summary

            
Season      League             Position      Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009/10     Third Division     2nd           Lost in playoff semi-final
2010/11     Third Division     4th           Lost in playoff semi-final
2011/12     Third Division     2nd           Lost in playoff semi-final
2012/13     Third Division     1st           Champions
2013/14     Second Division    3rd           Lost in playoff semi-final
2014/15     Second Division    1st           Champions
2015/16     First Division     5th
2016/17     First Division     5th

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2017/18 Season Preview

The board chose again to leave the club semi-professional but for a change this didn't hamper us in the transfer market over the summer. They provided me with a handsome £125k transfer kitty, which I duly went out and spent with six new signings:

Keith Watson, experienced centre-back: £14k from Dumbarton

David Stirling, young right-back: £12k from Dunfirmline

Chris McGuire, striker that played for the club as a youngster: £45k (a new club record) from Stirling

John Gerrard, young defensive midfielder: free agent (released from Queen of the South)

Chris Higgins, experienced player that can play anywhere across the defence: £8k from Airdrie United

Justin Haber, Malta captain and new first choice 'keeper: free agent (released from St Johnstone)

I let Sean Murdoch, our previous 'keeper, leave on a free transfer to Premier League St. Mirren.

The board expect the team to avoid relegation again, which with the squad additions should be easily achievable. We are expected to progress to the Second Round of both the League Cup and Challenge Cup and the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup.

Preseason friendlies record: W4 D1 L1 F12 A5

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2017/18 Season - Mid-season Update

In a complete reversal of recent seasons we have conceded the least goals of any team in the First Division so far. Unfortunately at the same time we are struggling for goals. Dickson has managed just one goal and record signing Chris Maguire, although contributing some goals, is missing chance after chance. Jamie Mole is our only regular goalscorer at the minute and without him we would be struggling.

Despite a lack of goals, we have had some very positive results and the season is going well. In fact on more than one occasion we have been top of the league. With half of our league games played we sit in 3rd, three points off the top but still only nine points off the relegation playoff place. Anyone seems to be able to beat anyone this season and the title is very much up for grabs. For us to get there though we will need to start taking more of our chances.

We made it to the Third Round of the Challenge Cup, getting knocked out by Queen of the South, and the Quarter Finals of the League Cup, beating Rangers on our way and eventually being beaten by Celtic. We are still in the Scottish Cup and have a Fourth Round tie against Premier League Dundee United.

Two players have been added to the squad since the start of the season:

Lee Martin, young defensive midfielder: season-long loan from Hearts

Stuart Connor, 24 year old attacking midfielder/striker: free agent (released from Morton)

I am considering a change of formation once again to bring my wingers back into the first team, who mostly lost our when I changed to a 5-3-2. A 5-4-1 will probably be my choice as I am happy to drop one of my ailing strikers.

Current First Division record: P18 W8 D5 L5 F22 A13 Pts 29

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