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Growing a club is like getting out of bed - Long, exhausting, and you often wish you hadn't bothered to try - An FM19 Career


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Finally, I have gotten my hands on the full game, and half season demo saves with Shamrock Rovers and Liverpool have come to an end in favour of my main save for this year. I have gone for a save that I have long wanted to do properly, which is to manage my absolute closest managable local team. Woking are it for the base game, but with Claasen's ace databases, I can plump for the side a few minutes down the road Knaphill, and hopefully, lead them to glory. Or at least not get sacked!

The Club


Knaphill FC is my local football club, being located about 5 minutes away from the house in which I spent most of my childhood years. In real life, manager Keith Hills had just left the club, meaning it was the perfect time for a new man to realistically step up to the plate. I've been wanting to do a proper Knaphill save for a long time, taking them from the Combined Counties League to as high as I possibly can (though I'll be the first to admit I've never started at this level and made it to the Vanarama before).

Club in Game



The Ground

Redding Way is a fairly new addition to the club, having been built in 2005 to comply with the Combined Counties League rules, with a 100 person capacity seated stand being completed as recently as 2015. From personal experience, it's well maintained and a good starting base for the club. I'm not sure what the database says is true, but as far as I can tell there is plenty of room around the ground for additions etc. Council allowing, so staying here for the considerable future could be feasible. 



The Man

Me! Or at least as close to me as the game can get. I vae some coaching badges because as far as I can tell that's a requirement in real life.


I pretty much used the in game settings for a 'youth development' coach, the idea that I would be developing the club from the ground up, meaning that producing good youth talent would be important for the club's long term success.

The Squad (Transfer Window the First)

I clicked 'add players to teams' in set ups, so that there was at least a squad in place when I took up the role. Unfortunately, it was a little bit shocking, so besides hiring the bare bones of a staff (Assistant, Head physio, Head Scout), my first job was to overhaul the playing squad.

Which I did!

Key Players:

Thomas Parsons

Parsons started the game at the club as one of it's generated youth players, and what a ridiculous player to start with. I've already played two months and is scoring regularly from the left wing. With my assistant saying he'll develop into a Vanarama level talent, I'm desperate to hang on to him. Almost definitely won't, he's too good for us.

Trey Williams

Williams is a recent signing well into the season, as it became clear that our only loan signing wasn't going to cut it for us. He's made a promising start, so here's hoping he pushes on now.

James Fitchett

Joined us due to an injury crisis not several games in. Never have I been so glad for a long term injury to a starting centre back. God damn rock solid.

The rest of the team has filled out quite nicely. I'm playing a 433 with deep midfielders, two wingers on support and a poacher up front - adventurous for this level - and my biggest problem has been finding decent midfielders to play in DM. If this turns into a major problem for us, it may require a tactical change, but I'm really hoping we can stick with the system, as I'e enjoyed some of the football it produced in my Shamrock Rovers save.


With the squad built and predicted to finish comfortably in mid table, it's time to see how the first season of this save pans out - hopefully we can exceed expectations and at least make a push for the top spot, as that is the only way we're making it out of this division.

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Two months in, and we are at least in touching distance of the top.


Initially, we had a goals problem, and a disappointing first month led us to sitting just off of the top half of the table as well as knocked out of the FA cup, albeit by a Sevenoaks side better than us. Injuries plagued us, and long term injuries to our best centre mid, two of our attackers and a full back, meant extra players were drafted in even after the season began. The good looking Trey Williams, and Jack Oldham - a really very good full-back were among them. This coincided with our tactic beginning to gel with the squad, and our match cohesion making it out of 'abysmal', allowing us to start to string together results in September. We went top a few times, but games in hand meant the spot never really belonged to us, and we finished the month with the league standing looking like this:


Second place feels pretty good at this point, and if we can continue our good form, we're in with a decent shot. Of note is Parker-Trott. Not our best centre mid - fourth choice actually, but seems to have a habit of knocking one in from 25 yards - all five of his goals have come from outside the box. I don't have the heart to drop him.


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On 31/12/2018 at 13:30, abulezz said:

That's a great start to your season and your save.  Gonna follow this. 


S1 - October

Fixtures  - Table

October saw us start with a defeat to end our unbeaten run, but otherwise it was another pretty good month for us. We progressed in the FA Vase and kept pace with Walton and Hersham who have been nigh on unbeatable, meaning top spot is still within our sights with only four points separating us. Early doors to be talking about us as contenders though, plenty of football to play yet, but it's a bright start.

In less positive news, our finances are beginning to show signs of becoming a worry; and the lack of leaders in the squad has me slightly paranoid that we'll crumble when the pressure starts to build. I did attempt to send Parker-Trott of all people on a leadership course and the board accepted, which was great until I realised that cost roughly half of the club's entire bank balance.

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15 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Going well Kopite.

Cheers, it's been a decent start to the save so far!

S1 - November


That said, November was a sticky month for us. Forced into a replay and then beaten by a not great Hamworth Villa side, before getting beaten again in the league meant catching up to top spot was a difficult prospect going into December and the Christmas period. We did however finish the month with a win, and I could only hope that this would stop this becoming a dreadful run of form for us.

S1 - December/ January


The worry it seems, was entirely unncecessary and now we had into the final three months of the season as genuine contenders with Walton and Hersham dropping points. Crucially, as I posted earlier, we managed to beat them in injury time, meaning we are now only to points adrift.


Ladies and gentlemen, it's on.

It would seem that other teams have begun to notice we're decent as well, because now, more than three quarters of my first eleven are the subject of regular contract offers from other clubs. Fortunately, the lads in question are opting to stay.... For now.

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Youth Intake 1


The main word that comes to mind is underwhelming. Adie Lawson is probably the best prospect to come through. I've offered contracts to everyone my assistants rated as 4 stars and over, as well as those with a 12 or more for determination. My reasoning being that if I can foster a young squad with a high average determination, then that will rub off on the others, leading to an overall better progression for our youth prospects and eventually, better profits and players. Sadly, there is no-one even close to first team ready, which is a big shame - I was most excited for the idea that I might be able to start playing one or two of them now.


Probably the closest to getting a game. 9 passing is decent for a kid at this level. Will be retraining as a playmaking DM to fit the system we play and hoping we get to see some of him fairly soon. I suspect we will have advanced too quickly for him to take part, however.


Mad physicals, but 2 finishing is likely to be insurmountable - especially since we play with a single poacher. 


Technically our best prospect, but I doubt we will ever see him turn out for the first team.

February Update


What a month we had, without feeling like we were ever really in control. Three narrow wins meant for insane nerves, and some frustration with Trey Williams as his finishing of late has been appalling but we got over the line in each of them. This resulted in a table that looks like this: 


Since I took that screenshot Walton and Hersham have won their game in hand, but with a two point gap and two months to go, a season 1 promotion is entirely in our hands.

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On 07/01/2019 at 22:39, Nobby_McDonald said:

This will sort the men from the boys.

It really did!

Final Day


We went into the final day of the season second place - deservedly after a diabolical run in which saw us win one and draw one in six games, thanks in part to around half of the first XI moving to other clubs and being unable to secure anybody to replace them. We played Banstead - a team we should be beating, a bit like the four sides we had just lost to were. To go up, we had to win and hope Walton and Hersham didn't. They win and our result was meaningless.

The game itself was dross - we were dreadful. Just as I was fearing the worst, club captain and centre back Quinn - who had been rejecting contract offers by the dozen - knocked home the winner to ensure we did our part.


....And it was enough to secure a first season promotion!



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