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FM13: Forest Green Rovers - We're currently green and lean, aiming to be mean


CityAndColour

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Welcome to the Forest Green Rovers team thread, possibly for the first time ever...

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A (very) brief history...

Founded in 1890, Forest Green Rovers are currently the longest serving members of the Blue Square Premier, having been in the division since the 1998/99 season. They were relegated at the end of the 2009/10 season, however re-instated after Salisbury City were demoted due to financial irregularities. To date their highest ever finish is 8th in 2007/08, under current Stalybridge manager Jim Harvey.

After battling financial problems for years, Rovers were thrown a lifeline in August of 2010, when environmental entrepreneur Dale Vince took ownership of the club. While this has not only stablised Rovers financially, and indeed turned them into a professional outfit, it has also earned them the moniker of the greenest club in Britain. Sponsored by Vince's company Ecotricity, the team now plays in electric green (a change from the traditional black and white vertical stripes), does not sell red meat at the ground, powers the ground facilities (and "robot mower") partly by solar panels, and boasts the world's first organic football pitch.

While not a club with a lot of success, with two losing FA Trophy finals and some non-league divisional titles the highlights, under Vince's ownership the club is proving to be quite ambitious on the pitch, while blazing its own environmental trail off it.

The man himself - Mr Dale Vince

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Dale Vince, OBE is a "Green Energy" tycoon, former New Age traveller, and British industrialist who has become noteworthy as the outspoken owner of the Green electricity company Ecotricity. He is a vegan.

Vince received an OBE from the Queen for services to the environment in 2004.

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The Club and its facilities...

The New Lawn

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Rovers moved into their new home in 2006, after spending the previous 116 years at the Lawn Ground. As detailed above, The New Lawn aims to be the greenest stadium in world football, with a fully organic pitch, no red meat sold in the stadium, and all electronic devices in the stadium, including the ground lights and a computer-operated mower, powered in part by solar energy.

The pitch itself has won several awards for its quality, and groundsman Stewart Ward has already been recognised for his work.

The New Lawn is also renowned for its safe environment, with Rovers one of only a few clubs to not have any fan (home or away) arrested at its ground in 2011/12, while the club also has no long-term banning orders on any individuals attending games.

Facilities, club info and rivals

With only basic youth and training facilities, it is a club that will need to be built up over a longer period of time, as the funds are simply not there to dive into any redevelopments in the first few seasons. The stadium also holds only 5147 people, meaning you will need to expand and eventually relocate should you wish to take the club up the leagues. No under-soil heating may result in postponed games come winter, but in the warmer months you'll be able to play crisp passing football on a lovely surface.

The club's only fierce rival is Gloucester Town, and its likely you won't ever see them apart from the odd cup tie. Hereford are your best bet for a league rivalry, while Cheltenham and Yeovil await should you get promoted into the Football League.

Nation: England

Year Founded: 1890

Operating Status: Professional

Legends: Paul Hunt, Trevor Horsley

Icons: Paul Wanless, Colin Peake, Stuart Fleetwood, Alex Sykes, Steve Perrin, Kayode Odejayi, Martin Foster, Frank Gregan, Nail Grayson, Tony Daley

Favoured Personnel: Darren Jones, Jonathan Smith, Reece Styche, Simon Clist, Andy Mangan, Charlie Griffin, Kevin Nicholson, Colin Addison, Jim Harvey

Fierce Rivals: Gloucester City (local)

Other Rivals: Shortwood, Cirencester (local), Cheltenham, Hereford, Yeovil, Bath City (Competitive)

Media Prediction: 11th

Squad Personality: Fairly Determined

Captain: Jared Hodgkiss

Vice-Captiain: Eddie Oshodi

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You'll find yourself playing a lot of away matches in the all red third kit, as the home shirt comes up as a very pale green on the 3D, as opposed to its real life vividness.

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The Playing Squad...

All in all, thanks to Mr Vince's funds, the club boasts one of the deeper squads in the conference, with quality across every line and attacking players in abundance. Few changes will be needed to challenge for a playoff spot, and a number of the squad will be good enough to play at the next level too.

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Goalkeepers

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In Sam Russell you have one of the better 'keepers in the division, after he joined the club from Darlington halfway through last season after they went into administration. He is probably at his level in the Conference (although could maybe do a job in League Two), and will be fine for your first season. At 29 he should just be coming into his prime too.

Matt Bulman is his primary back-up, and again, is more than adequate to step in if need be. He can also take penalties, however don't expect him to dominate aerially. Teenager Rob Brown has some okay attributes, but in reality is probably never going to develop past non-league football.

Possible signings:

Realistically, unless you look at a loan move, you're probably not going to find better. My recommendation would be to stick with the 'keepers already at the club and look to upgrade once promoted.

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Full backs

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Chris Stokes is your key man here, as his lung-busting forward runs from left-back have made him a fan favourite in real life. While his technical stats are slightly lacking, if you stick with him he develops into a very good player in 2-3 seasons and easily good enough for league football.

Former West Brom youth product and current club captain Jared Hodgkiss is probably the best right back at the club, and can deputise on the left if need be. New signing Ed Asafu-Adjaye is also a decent right back, and can fill in centrally if required. The versatile Paul Green is another option at right back, if you choose not to use him in midfield.

Possible signings:

A back-up for Stokes is your priority here. Fleetwood's Alan Goodall can be bought for £5K, although he'll expect regular football, while Leeds youngster Charlie Taylor offers a similar attacking threat on a loan basis. Canadian international Takura Mtandari is also available on a free and will provide an upgrade at right back.

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Centre-halves

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Eddie Oshodi is the club's star asset in real life, and you'll find yourself with one of the best centre-halves in the division, with the potential to play at a much higher level. Formerly of Watford, Oshodi can also play at left-back but is more valuable in the centre, where his physical presence and class will ensure he is the first picked.

Next to him should be Jamie Turley, to create the classic 'right foot/left foot' combination in the centre of defence. Chris Todd lacks pace but brings plenty of experience to the table, however he will request a transfer quite early on without regular games. Aaron Raccine is far better in real life than in the game, and should be set for release.

Possible signings:

Young Rangers centre-half Chris Hegarty can be picked up for around £5-10K, and is someone who will develop nicely, and Wycombe's Anthony Stewart is also available on loan and will do a job for you in the conference.

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Central/holding midfielders

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Former Premiership player Al Bangura now runs the show here, after a raft of injuries forced him to drop down the pyramid. Still just 24, if you can keep him fit then you have someone who can play as a traditional defensive midfielder, or in a ball-winning role in central midfield.

Jamie Collins provides a left-sided option in the middle of the park, while the versatile Green can also put in a shift. James Rowe should be sent out on loan to develop.

Possible signings:

Olivier N'Siabamfumu is a classy central midfielder available on a free, but you'll have to tempt him with decent wages. If you can wait until January, Crystal Palace youngster Alex Marrow will finish his loan at Fleetwood, and is a very good prospect who may give you a boost if you're gunning for the playoffs. Barrow's Richie Baker is another you can pick up cheaply, and will perform better than your scouts tell you he will.

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Attacking midfielders/wingers

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Yan Klukowski, last seasons player of the year, is the most versaile attacker in the squad. He can play centrally, on either flank or even up front, and combines great dead ball technique with a valuable ability to make late runs into the box. Set him on free kicks, corners and penalties and he'll give you 10-15 goals, and a lot of assists.

Kieron Forbes will run all day and is best employed on the right, and new signing Steve Brogan should be first choice on the left if you play with wingers. James Norwood provides back-up here.

Possible signings:

Bournemouth's Wes Hogden and Southend's Ryan Leonard are good loan options down the right, but really you shouldn't need too many re-inforcements forward of centre. Bolton youngster Joe McKee will join on loan, and his set piece ability is legendary.

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Strikers

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While he has struggled in real life, Magno Vieira is a proven performer at this level and will get you 20+ goals with regular football. With pace to burn and the ability to finish, he is best used as a poacher or an advanced forward.

Elsewhere, you have an embarrassment of riches. Reece Styche will make a nuisance of himself, Ben Wright can deliver an accurate set piece, and Gambian international Omar Koroma is a bit of a lower league legend in FMs gone by. Phil Marsh and Matty Taylor can also do a job, but are probably best served going on loan.

Possible signings:

Should you want to upgrade, there are a few options here. Waterford teenager Sean Maguire can be bought for £15K and has the potential to develop into a good Championship player, while Blackpool's Craig Sutherland is available for £10K and his raw pace will get him into plenty of good scoring positions. Tottenham prospect Jonathan Obika is an excellent target too, and can be loaned initially and then bought for around £30K in January.

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Tactical set-ups...

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One of the great frustrations among Rovers fans is how the team has set up this season. Manager Dave Hockaday has insisted on playing a 4-3-3, which has pigeon-holed strikers in wide positions and really not brought out the best in the squad. However, the beauty of the squad is it boasts so many versatile players, and as such you can comfortably play most formations with the players available.

The squad also boasts a number of good technical players, and as such you can look to expand and not just be limited by long ball, scrappy football. I personally like to play with a control strategy and a fluid style, but others may prefer to get out of the division by hoofing it forward and being tight at the back, which is perfectly acceptable as well.

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My own team instructions.

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4-4-2

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I find this is the most balanced formation to use, and really suits the players available to you. I would recommend using Stokes as an attacking full-back in a 4-4-2, while employing your left midfielder on support duty. Forbes is also surprisingly proficient as a winger, and may also suit a wide midfield role. You can also push your ML/R to AML/R if you want to utilise Vieira and Koroma in wide areas.

4-5-1

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This is probably the closest to how Rovers play in real life, and will provide you with more stability in the centre of the park. However, I'm not sure a lone striker role suits any of the current crop, so you'll need to ensure you get adequate support from the wide players, and from Stokes.

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Five at the back is also possible, if you want to make the most of Todd's leadership and mental attributes, but there aren't any wingbacks currently at the club, although Stokes and Hodgkiss can be re-trained. Playing a genuine three striker formation is also possible, if you want to bypass wingers and look to attack through the middle.

if you do opt for a 4-5-1, playing three genuine central midfielders instead of a DMC can also be effective, and may allow you to be a bit more experimental with what player roles you assign.

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So, why would I play as Forest Green?

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It's a good question really, as they are probably not really a club many would think of managing. So I've written a few reasons I think might appeal, in the hope of convincing those looking for a lower league English club to play as:

  • The Conference is, to me, the most challenging league to play in. With only one automatic promotion spot and four relegation places, it's a tough league to get out of the right way, and an easy one to the wrong way. A mixture of part time and full time clubs just adds to the challenge, and in real life those who go up very rarely come down again, and those who drop from League Two very rarely bounce straight back up. Can you get promoted early, or are you destined to spend years just outside the Football League?

  • You have a unique chance to create your own history. This is a club that has never been above the Conference, so if you can get them promoted you'll be the first Forest Green manager in the league in 122 years. It also means you can be the first ever Rovers manager to lift the FA Trophy, before you get a shot at the JPT and then the League and FA Cups. Can you bring through the first ever world class youngster? Get all the way into Europe? The possibilities are endless.

  • You may be a vegan. If so, you should already be managing them.

  • You may be the type who doesn't like high expectations, and in this case it's a perfect fit for you. Despite having a strong squad which is easily good enough to challenge for the playoffs, the board only expect a mid-table finish. After a decade of low league finishes, the pressure is not on you to deliver success straight away.

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I'll continue to update my own progress in this thread, and hopefully a few others can join me!

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April 2013

It's been a very successful campaign thus far, as we have just reached April of the first season. The table sits as follows:

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As you can see, we have a massive four games in hand on the rest of the competition. This is due to two epic cup runs:

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While the FA Cup run brought in enough cash to put us back in the black, and the FA Trophy produced my first piece of silverware, it has come at a cost, with four cup replays in total leaving us with the following fixture list to finish the season...

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Our last nine league games take place over a period of 22 days, with the only saving grace being that we don't play a team still in playoff contention. Even with a large squad, automatic promotion seems the only option as if we fall back into the playoffs, fatigue will surely result in a hasty exit.

On a personnel note, it has been the goals of Craig Sutherland and Magno Vieira which have proved the main catalyst, with 49 between them so far. January signing Jonathan Obika has also chipped in with 13 goals in 17 starts, meaning we haven't been short of firepower.

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While our youth intake brought in nothing, my scouts did uncover a 16-year-old striker who was unattached, having never had a club. Presenting Colin Chaffey...

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My coaches feel he has the potential to be a good Premiership striker, and with attributes in all the right areas, it's not hard to see why.

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Meester - do you mind if I ask who?

Will Steadman? I know he played for Gloucester City & Cinderford but I'm sure I read that he played for Forest Green. A Google search doesn't turn up anything so I could be mistaken. Would've been early 2000s?

That is a cracking regen you have there btw. He'll tear things up at your level.

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Great thread, looks like a good game as well. I was debating Cambridge or Mansfield as my BSP to Prem save, but after seeing this I may reconsider!

That regen striker looks like a hell of a player for League Two (presuming you get promoted), so he could even win you games by himself.

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Will Steadman? I know he played for Gloucester City & Cinderford but I'm sure I read that he played for Forest Green. A Google search doesn't turn up anything so I could be mistaken. Would've been early 2000s?

The name doesn't ring a bell - they are both local clubs though, so maybe he played in the youth side or something?

cracking thread lad ..well done :)

Cheers fella. Guessing you're a Glory fan? I'm a Heart man myself (making up approximately 20% of our total support).

Great thread, looks like a good game as well. I was debating Cambridge or Mansfield as my BSP to Prem save, but after seeing this I may reconsider!

That regen striker looks like a hell of a player for League Two (presuming you get promoted), so he could even win you games by himself.

I had a brief Cambridge save on FM09 I think, was great fun but my laptop died about 3-4 seasons in. Mansfield are always very strong in my saves too, and usually only take a season or two to get promoted.

He does look brilliant. I'm not sure if he was in my game for the start and my scouts missed him (unlikely, as surely he would have been snapped up) or he was just generated in March. If a player comes in with a club's intake but is released without being offered a contract, will his history show that club?

Either way he has an ambitious personality, so doubt I'll hang onto him unless I can get up the leagues.

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Very good thread for a great little team and a real challenge. As a regular at Forest Green your comments are very close to reality. will Steadman played for FGR in the early 2000's, I saw him at Gloucester City. He was also a very good cricketer. Is there a way of changing the FGR home green shirts, they look so close to the colour of the grass?

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Nice thread! Finally got some time on my hands (christmas holiday) so I started a game a few hours ago.

I'm deploying a tactic similar to yours, although a bit more attacking. First match against Cambridge was won 4-2.

Transfers in:

Josh Powell, free (Backup)

Geotar Sallauka, free (Starter. I predict he'll be one of my best players)

Steffen Haugland, free (Starter)

Mirko Ranieri, free (Backup)

Craig Sutherland, loan (Starter. Saw you mentioned him, scored on his debut)

Andreas Svensson (Starter)

I've loaned out a couple of players and given some away on free transfer as well.

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Nice work. I had Sutherland train specifically on his finishing attribute, and with his 16/16 for pace and accelaration he has been lethal. Something like 28 goals and 18 assists as an advanced forward from memory. However one of my strikers is going to be sold to make room for Chaffey, and he looks like the most likely candidate. He is valued at around £200K now so hopefully I can get around that.

Ranieri is a great prospect who you can take up the leagues with you. On every version there always seems to be a young 'keeper you can get cheaply from a Prem club.

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Good tip about Sutherland. Can't find Chaffey on my version which is a bit of a pain, tried for Ranieri but missed out to a league club. Very good pre season except losing to Frome 0-1, just about to start with Cambridge away. Got Etheridge on loan from Fulham as competition for Russell

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2012/13 review

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Who says you can't get a simple 4-4-2 to work in this current age of football management?

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What that table doesn't show is we also banged in 119 league goals, smashing the previous league record of 104 set by Barnet (although Luton gave me a good run for the record). After having games in hand all season due to our cup runs, we put together an April that was the stuff of legends. Despite playing a game every 2.5 days on average, we won our last six league games by a score differencial of 23-3, ending up with a ridiculous goal difference of +69. We picked up 22 of a possible 24 points in the final month.

When you look over our squad, it's not hard to see where the firepower came from. Sutherland, Vieira and Styche provided the early goals, notching 28, 27 and 15 goals respectively, while Obika arrived in January to plunder 20 goals of his own. Add in midfielders Brogan and Klukowski getting to double figures as well, and it was a pretty potent mix.

Even though we secured the title with two games to go, we still won 3-0 and 5-2 away from home to finish the season, with youth prodigy Chaffey grabbing a hat-trick and goal of the month at Alfreton on the final day.

Jonathan Obika

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How I was able to snap up this guy for a mere £30K is beyond me, and how no league clubs were interested confuses me more. He is probably good enough to be in a Championship squad, and quickly stamped his class on non-league football.

Eddie Oshodi

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Promoted as skipper at the start of the season, this man was the heart and soul of our back four. Just immense, and duly beat out all of the attackers to claim the fans' player of the season.

Kieron Forbes

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I wasn't sure how he would go in a traditional wing role, given he has made his name in real life as a tireless central midfielder, however he was superb. His 19 assists led the league.

Next season...

I've decided I'm going to stick with mainly the same squad, given how dominant we were in the Conference. I will look to add another 'keeper to the squad, with Bulman expiring, and I will also look to see if I can sell one of Sutherland and Vieira, which would bring in valuable funds for the club, and open up a spot for Chaffey to start (who just got an England u19s cap against Belgium).

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Very impressive stuff, CityAndColour. Congrats on the promotion.

I'm not nearly performing as well as you, but with 25 games played I'm still in the battle for the 1st place (1 point off Grimsby who sits on top). Having a lot of injuries to key players recently and as we are near the 1st of January I will probably bring in a few players, maybe Obika, he looks cracking.

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Very impressive stuff, CityAndColour. Congrats on the promotion.

Thanks, sometimes tactics just seem to click. What surprised me is I didn't have a slump at any point, which I always do (usually Jan/Feb). And we played our best football at the end of the season, despite the fact we really should have been dead on our feet (we played 63 games all up!)

I'm not nearly performing as well as you, but with 25 games played I'm still in the battle for the 1st place (1 point off Grimsby who sits on top). Having a lot of injuries to key players recently and as we are near the 1st of January I will probably bring in a few players, maybe Obika, he looks cracking.

One point off top is a great start still. Can I ask who you got rid of? And who have been your best performers so far?

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AAAARGH BOLLOCKS!!! Just lost the play-off final against Mansfield 1-0..... Bangura gets a red card in the first half, which I think is my team's first this season, and then they score on a direct free-kick 10 minutes before full-time.. Really feel that I should've got promoted :(

Really dissapointed that I didn't win the league as well. Went on an unbeaten run which lasted 16 matches with the match I lost being the second last of the season. This allowed Macclesfield to steal the top spot with the margin of 1 point..

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One point off top is a great start still. Can I ask who you got rid of? And who have been your best performers so far?

My top performers were Vieira, Turley, Oshodi and Sutherland. I got rid of Matt Taylor, Matthew Bulman and Brandon Mundy. Adi Harvey and Aarran Racine went on loan..

I've got a lot of players leaving me now though as their contracts run out as I'm only looking at keeping those who I feel have performed well.

After the dissapointment of not gaining promotion I've really lost some motivation. 46 games is a massive amount of games to play when you feel you should be in League 2. Maybe getting rid of some players and bringing new faces in will help..

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My top performers were Vieira, Turley, Oshodi and Sutherland. I got rid of Matt Taylor, Matthew Bulman and Brandon Mundy. Adi Harvey and Aarran Racine went on loan..

I've got a lot of players leaving me now though as their contracts run out as I'm only looking at keeping those who I feel have performed well.

Yeah there are quite a few expiring. Turley and Oshodi were my priorities, and Brogan (although he does not have any patience in negotiations).

After the dissapointment of not gaining promotion I've really lost some motivation. 46 games is a massive amount of games to play when you feel you should be in League 2. Maybe getting rid of some players and bringing new faces in will help..

It's a harsh way to not go up. Mansfield are always very strong in my saves, Jake Speight usually scores for fun up front.

I can understand losing motivation - the Conference is a hell of a slog so hopefully you have another crack at it.

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Has scored 2 in his first 4 in the new season. Just going to keep pumping starts into him and see where he ends up.

Yeah that's probably the way do to it. Maybe get him a tutor?

I picked up a great looking youngster on a free myself. Not a newgen though (Name is Herman Stengel). He's not a full starter yet as he's not performing very consistently, but he gets his matches.

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I'm half through the second season and things are going well. Think I'll go on holiday for a match now and then as I'm confident my ass. manager will do the job.

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That's a hell of a player - you'd sign an 18-year-old with those stats for a Prem club. What do your scouts rate him as? His mentals are outstanding, as is the passing attribute.

Nothing like winning to get the motivation back. Any other signings of note?

As for Chaffey, I've decided not to tutor him, as he already has a 17 for determination and has an ambitious personality. Plus none of my current strikers are suitable and I don't want to sign another solely for tutoring. I'm just going to give him as much first team football as possible and develop him that way.

Not to mention as soon as he turns 17 his contract will kick in as a key player, which I believe would make him ineligible for tutoring anyway.

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About his CA my scouts say that he'll "be a good player for most League 1 sides", about PA they say he's close to his full potential - hope they're wrong.

Didn't bring in any other players on a permanent basis worth mentioning really. Loaned a couple of really good players the best being Diogo Rosado (Blackburn (not sure he starts there though). Gonna keep an eye on him) and Karl Sheppard (Reading. Used him as an AMR and he delivered 13 goals and 17 assists in 44 games - pretty good but not spectacular)

We got promoted by the way, not really a surprise since we were on the top of the table all season. Sutherland banged in 37 goals in 44 games and Vieira contributed with 26 goals and 23 assists in 35 games (before breaking his foot)

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Just note, in my current Liverpool save, Stengel is being chased by lower Premier League teams. I guess his PA has varied quite a bit between our two saves , but that is still a cracking signing for that level.

Thanks for the input. To be fair my scout could easily be wrong - I hope he is. And yeah, I was surprised that I could get him as he was being monitored be several bigger clubs, I remember one of them being Dundee United. I'll post a screenshot of him some time from now.

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October 2013

Ten games in and, despite the step up in quality, we're well and truly entrenched in a playoff spot.

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Our only loss was away to Northampton, a game where we had the better of the chances.

Transfers...

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The only departure of note was Sutherland, who found himself the odd man out and left for a bargain price of £50K to League One outfit Rotherham. He hasn't scored in ten games however and is currently sitting in their reserves. A harsh fate for a man who bagged 28 goals last season but I needed to make room for Chaffey.

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Of the new signings, former Perth Glory man Adriano Pellegrino has been the star man, with the best average rating in the league from the right wing. I also raided the A-League again for Franjic, while all other signings were just to flesh out the squad and provide depth.

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Very good start there. It would be very impressive if you could get promoted straight away. It looks like you could, if you avoid getting dips in form.

I'm just about to kick off the season myself. Done a lot of wheeling and dealing, and I have snapped up a couple of really good newgens on free transfers (I'll probably upload som screenshots later). Besides that I've loaned a couple of players but the core of the team is the same as last season.

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I've always found the jump from Conference to League Two to be the easiest, and have achieved successive promotions in that fashion quite a few times. Not sure how the latest update will affect my tactics though so we'll see.

Screenshots would be good. There no better way to immerse yourself in a save than to get some young newgens to develop.

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So I finished my 3rd season..

I really feel that my team should be good enough to get promoted, but it didn't go that way. Got a terrible start to the season, the worst I've ever had. At one point I lost 6 games in a row, something I have never been close to before, and I found myself being rock bottom of the table. I nearly dumped the save. All this was after the update, but who knows... Then I made some tactical tweaks: I moved a CM to DM and moved a striker down to the attacking midfield position to try and link up the play. Besides that I tried to play wider. In training I had my players focus only on defending.. After some games we went on an excellent run which said 15 wins, 6 draws and 1 defeat, after that it went up and down. At one point I was only 4 points away from the 3rd place, but I ended up finishing 8th just 2 points away from a play-off spot and 6 points away from 3rd place..

Now again I find myself lacking motivation, but let's see..

Here's a couple of my newgens:

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Half way through the season I picked up Rodolfo Zelaya on a free transfer:

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Have a look around on the u-19, u-20 and u-21 squads of the national teams, that's the way I do it most of the time. Then if someone is without contract try and get them on a trial as you cannot scout outside England (if you don't have the stats masked I guess you could just decide straight away if the player is any good).

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You used to be able to get a lot of very good players from Euro u19s and u21s squads, but it's harder this year as they won't always come on trial.

I also search by attribute and age after the March intake date (ie - finishing 14+, pace 14+ etc) to see if any clubs at my level have gotten a good intake I can poach from.

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oh just reed ya post about being a hearts man ...too bad against victory bro ;)

Yeah, would have been easier to take if we hadn't bossed the game. But we switched off twice and got punished both times. Now I have to put up with all the part time Victory fans who don't say a thing when they lose but start harping on about how many fans they have when they win.

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December 2013

Just coming up to the Christmas fixtures now, and we're sitting a fairly tidy second, with a ten point gap to 8th...

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We have also continued our charmed FA Cup form, knocking out League One sides Portsmouth and Bournemouth on the way to a home third round tie against Rotherham, also of the division above.

Vieira, Obika and Chaffey have provided the goals, scoring 14, 13 and 12 respectively. Chaffey is still two days short of his 17th birthday and is already rated as a good player for most Championship sides.

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Yeah, would have been easier to take if we hadn't bossed the game. But we switched off twice and got punished both times. Now I have to put up with all the part time Victory fans who don't say a thing when they lose but start harping on about how many fans they have when they win.

yeh mate ..damn plastic fans for ya ..im a full member of glory and in the gfu Glory Fans United ....Passion Is Not A Crime

now ill get back on topic

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You're making me look like an amateur, mate! Well done. Put up a screenshot of Chaffey at the end of the season?

This is him three days after his 17th birthday...

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Coming along nicely. It's nice not having to focus any training attention on his physicals as he already looks like he'll become a beast naturally. He's been mainly training on his first touch, though recently put him onto heavy technique training.

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Forest Green always give me my favourite FM saves.

I'm a Swindon fan so more often than not choose them, but just find Forest Green so much more fun.

I'm currently in my third season.

In my first I finished 3rd in my first season and won the playoffs along with the FA trophy, with the team at your disposal in the first season, there isn't much of a need to bring any reinforcements in, my best 11 consisted of all players who were originally at the club and the only recruit I made was Alex MacDonald from Burnley, purely for the fact he becomes a real gem in League 2. In that first season I had about 5 players on 15 or more goals, Styche had 38, Brogan had 24, Klukowski had 20, Viera had 16 and MacDonald had 15, this was using a 4-2-3-1 formation.

In my second season I finished 9th, just 2 points off the playoffs, I released a bit of deadwood like Bangura (He just couldn't get in), Todd, Green, Asafu-Adjaye, and didn't bring many new faces in either, brought in Charlie Sheringham, Rob Atkinson, Jason Taylor, Dom Blizzard, Aaron Downes (as backup), Tom Pope and Gary Rogers.

A few of these signings were sleeper hits, with Atkinson going from a mediocre BSP centre back to my first choice, Taylor was the ball winning bulldog I hoped for and Sheringham bagged a few, but Pope who manged to get over 20 in the prior season played second fiddle to Styche who continued his rich form of the prior season and bagged 27. My rich goalscorers of the year before quietend down and the only other plus 10 goal scorer I had was Klukowski who is a real gem. I had to alter from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-1-2-2-1 as I conceded alot of goals, so shielding the back four stopped the rot which led to a late surge, just missing out on the playoffs.

Season 3 started well with a few cracking signings that should lead to a promotion campaign, first and most important signing was that of Aden Flint from the Mighty Swindon Town, when I've been Swindon on here he always is a leading league 1 CB, so to get him for 75k in league two is a steal. Second crucial signing was that of the french keeper Lucas Veronese, who signed on a free, 2k a week wages yet is a good championship goal keeper! Other key additions were Ben Pringle, Gary Deegan and Kal Naismith. Cleared about 15 players worth of pap and I'm now left with a squad that looks capable of a promotion charge.

My strongest 11 this season so far has been:

GK: Veronese

LB:Stokes

CB:Atkinson

CB:Flint

RB: Oshodi (For a left footer, it seems odd to play him at RB but hes been better there than anywhere else this season)

DM:Taylor

CM:Klukowski

CM:Pringle

LW:Brogan

RW:MacDonald

ST:Styche

Currently 5th after 14 games and only 4 points from the top.

Make sure you do a FGR game as its the most fun on FM I have had in a while

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