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[FM23] The night after The Stag Do - Part 4 - Coventry


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Mansfield Town Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. The team competes in EFL League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed 'The Stags', they play in a blue and yellow kit. Since 1919, Mansfield have played at Field Mill, which is now an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 9,186.


Why Mansfield? well,I'm there twice a month seeing my partner, and go to games sometimes. So I would say I have a bit of a 'thing' for the club now. I never really stick to long term saves, but after lurking on this site for the last few months, and seeing some of the great work that some of the writers put in here, It's inspired me to want to give it a go myself. 

My aims for this save:
Turn Mansfield into a sustainable club that is making profits year on year
Give youth a chance (I've never been good with youth development, so hoping to change that this save too)
Be the biggest club in the East Midlands
Get to the Premier League
Win the Premier League
Win the Champions League

My ways of Recruiting:
Until I reach the higher end of the championship/the premier league. I'll be looking for bargain buys. 
One way is a method that has been used on FM for years. I'll be looking to see who the higher up clubs release and will look to poach and sell for a profit. 
The other way is through average ratings. I'll go more in depth to that towards the end of the season when I will be shortlisting players. 

Looking forward to this - I hope you all enjoy the ride. 

Up the stags.

Edited by Emozil
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Bit of a weird start. 

we don't have any scouts, at all. Can't hire any, and can't request the board to hire more. I'm hoping this fixes its self. 


I'm not looking to bring anyone in this season, as I can't see us improving the starting 11 with what little budget we have. I've offered a few trials though. So watch this space. 

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Remember my comment on how I wasn't looking to bring anyone in? well after the start to the season we had, I panicked and brought in 7 players.


I had a lot of hope after the Salford and Tranmere games. Anyway, lets meet the new recruits. 

John Bostock:

On a free. Played 20 times in league 1. A good option off the bench. 


Jude Soonsup-Bell:

Loan. No wages or fee. Scored 2 on his debut in a loss to sutton united. 


Ciaran Gilligan:

Another bench option. Pretty versatile across the middle. Good mentals for his age. 


Kyron Gordon:

Can cover at RB or CB. Expecting him to break into the starting 11 by the end of the season.


Jerome Sinclair:

0 Clue how we managed to bring him in. Very very happy with this. Should hopefully get me out of this rut. 


Kelvin Abrefa:

Another Loan. Backup RB. 


Jamal Baptiste:

New starting CB. Leaking too many goals so we needed this. Expecting him to play a big part. 


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How we haven't been sacked yet, I don't know. 0 Clue what to do if I get sacked. I'll probably end up turning into a journeyman. This was supposed to be my long term save, so being sacked 1 day after starting it wasn't in the plan. :) 


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  • Emozil changed the title to [FM23] The Stag Do - A Mansfield Story.

Our unbeaten run extends to 10 games. Annoyed about the draw vs Hartlepool as we should have won. Glad to finally see us in some good form. Onto January. Unsure if we will do any business, however, remember what happened last time I said that. :lol:


Our recent form sees us in the play offs and up to 7th. AFC Wimbledon seem to be running away with the league title.


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A so/so January and a terrible February means we're back in the firing line. 


We've been given a points target by the Board of 10 points from 5 games. (Salford, and all of the March fixtures) - We need 7 points from March vs AFC Wimbledon (1st), Leyton Orient (2nd), Stockport (6th) and Sutton United (9th)

For those of you that have been reading - if I do get the sack. What should I do with this save?

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So after a loss at AFC Wimbledon and a loss at home to Orient our time as Mansfield manager is up. Pretty gutted as this was supposed to be a long term plan. 


I'll probably turn this into a journeyman now. Will holiday to end of season and see where season 2 takes us. 

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  • Emozil changed the title to [FM23] The night after The Stag Do - Part 2 - Dungannon Swifts

So after getting rejected for the Woking, Harrogate and Ebbsfleet jobs we are moving to Northern Ireland to take over Dungannon Swifts. 


I quite like the look of this squad, not a single player over 30. Still some room for improvement. I have 6k in the transfer budget and 2k in the wage budget. The squad is a tad small. So will have to bring a few bodies in as we have 3 cups and a league to perform in.


I'll also be using @BJT's hoofball tactic, as I feel it suits my squad well, and as Mansfield showed. I'm not that good at making my own tactics. :) 



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Just stumbled on this, and my word what a rollercoaster ride already.  Here's hoping you can swiftly get your career back on track.  With a change in jobs so quickly, how have your aims for the save changed?

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Had a chance to catch up - best of luck Emozil, hopefully I don't cause you a second sacking! :) If you need a few tips for in game management do give me a buzz - hopefully your new club doesn't mind boring football, as the tactic does cause unrest to supporters by way of playing non-entertaining football, so you have been warned!

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27 minutes ago, GIMN said:

Just stumbled on this, and my word what a rollercoaster ride already.  Here's hoping you can swiftly get your career back on track.  With a change in jobs so quickly, how have your aims for the save changed?

Nice pun! Honestly my aim was to reach European competition, but I'd still be happy with reaching the Prem at this rate. Hoping I can rebuild my reputation over the next few seasons. If i'm getting rejected for jobs in the National League south I have a lot of work to do!

11 minutes ago, BJT said:

Had a chance to catch up - best of luck Emozil, hopefully I don't cause you a second sacking! :) If you need a few tips for in game management do give me a buzz - hopefully your new club doesn't mind boring football, as the tactic does cause unrest to supporters by way of playing non-entertaining football, so you have been warned!

Thank you! If we get results then I'm sure they won't mind eventually. That's what I'm hoping for anyway. :) 

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Time to introduce the recruits. All loans. Only a fee for Buabo, who is levels above anyone else I have. So more than happy to pay it. 

Britton - a solid option as a PF for the level I'm playing at. 


Wightman - I somewhat regret this one, no financial loss but he's not as good as I thought. 


Buabo - this guy has saved my skin a bucket load already. So pleased with him. Expecting a recall in January from Ipswich. 


Negru - he's ok. Better than what I have but give away 2 penalties already, one of those being 2 minutes into his debut. :) 


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After a difficult start against 3 of the better teams in the league, we start to pick up points. 


We're doing as well as expected. Annoyed about the Coleraine result as we took the lead twice. I'm hoping for a good November/December to see us in the top half of the table. 


We currently sit in 9th. The Board and Supporters are happy. So I have nothing to worry about for now. As long as I'm a few points clear of the relegation play off i think my job is safe. 

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I've played a few months over last night/today (the benefits of not being able to sleep) :) 

We've really started to turn a corner. Currently sitting in 6th place and we have won our first trophy of the series. 


We also have a job interview with Newport County, which I will attend. But I do want to see my season out in Northern Ireland before moving on. 

Edited by Emozil
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Great turnaround of fortunes, and it seems Glenavon have borne the brunt of it - 11 goals in your last 2 games against them.  Have there been any tactical changes with the new players coming in?

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5 hours ago, GIMN said:

Great turnaround of fortunes, and it seems Glenavon have borne the brunt of it - 11 goals in your last 2 games against them.  Have there been any tactical changes with the new players coming in?

No. I've just got players in to suit the tactic rather than change anything at all tactically. Buabo has been immense. Just finished the season on my lunch break (update to come after work) and he ended up with 30 goals. Doubt I'll get him back next season though which is gutting. 

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So I've played until the end of the season and...well... we've only gone and got European qualification!


2 lucky wins vs Coleraine and Ballymena mean that we have qualified for the play offs of the UEFA Conference League. With a semi pro team. Buzzing. 

I'm still gutted about the Dergview loss. A very winnable game and it would have been great to make the Irish Cup final in my first season here. I was planning on moving on after 1 season, but I have to stay here another season and experience European football. 


If the league had normal rules, we would finish 6th. However it doesn't - so it's still a bottom half finish in our first season. 

Now onto some recruitment ahead of our European adventure. See you all soon. :)

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We got MUCH further than I expected in the UEFA Conference league. Made 400k from it and i couldn't be happier with my team.  We went out to a 122nd minute goal. And played all of extra time with 10 men due to me running out of subs and a player getting injured.  As for the league, before the Glentoran game, we was unbeaten in 17 league games. 


Much better in the league compared to last season. Hoping to keep this up over the course of the season. Now onto the first team recruits. 

Hegarty - Starting CB at this level. on a free as we had under 1k in the transfer budget. 


Redman - A rotation LB/LM that will get a fair amount of starts. Has impressed me so far.


Farmer - on a loan from Wolves. Yes I know he's 5 ft 4 and I'm playing hoofball. I didn't check his height until I signed him. He's still scored 7 in 12. My plan is if the defenders hoof it too high for the opposition CB to get to, the low center of gravity on Farmer will mean he can turn quicker and get to the ball faster. Lets go with that. I'm a genius. :) 


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October-December was a mixed back after such a positive start, sadly we failed to retain the mid-ulster cup. And got pounded 7-2 by Glentoran.


 January-March wasn't much better. With only 10 points in 3 months. Somehow the Board was still happy with this. As long as I wasn't going near the relegation zone, they didn't care how many points I threw away. 


However, the end of Dungannon Swifts' season will have someone else in charge, as we have moved back to a familiar country, and a familiar league... 

Edited by Emozil
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As we are off to Fratton Park! 

Unsure how I managed to get the job, I honestly felt I had no chance and was shocked I even had an interview (Wonder if this is how Liz Truss felt :)


We have 6 games left, and still have a chance at the play offs. Look who we have final day. 


Here's how the table looks. We need a bit of luck to get play offs, but its possible. Annoying to see Mansfield doing well, yes I'm still bitter. 


And here's the squad. Surprised to see former Villa man Scott Hogan drop this low. 


Time to get the last 6 games played. Then I will FINALLY be able to go through my average rating recruitment system. Hopefully it's worth the wait. :) 

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So after a stellar start. (Shout out to @BJT and his hoofball tactic for making me a good manager on this save) we are unbeaten since I joined. 0 goals conceded. 


Mansfield on the final day. My old club. Funnily enough.. they're one of the teams occupying a play off spot. 


Beat my old club, and we get play offs. You couldn't write it. 

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...And thats exactly what we have done!! What a team this is. What a save this is. 


Genuinely a huge thank you to everyone that's read this, or those of you that have commented. On previous FM's I would have just give up after being sacked from Mansfield and would have started something new. 

Leyton Orient in the play offs. Hopefully a trip to Wembley to follow. 

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  • Emozil changed the title to [FM23] The night after The Stag Do - Part 3 - Portsmouth

After a 0-0 draw at Home, and a 1-0 win away. To Wembley we go. 

Did we do it?


Of course we did. In the most anxiety inducing of circumstances. 

We have a very hefty budget for League 1 standards. So this summer should be fun. Onto tomorrow for some recruitment using average ratings. See you all then. :)


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34 minutes ago, BJT said:

Grats mate, takes bottle getting the team over the line! Historically a Prem club - do you envision staying with Pompey for a while?

I see no reason why I would want to leave any time soon. However I do think that if we're languishing in L1 and we get a Champ team offer us a job I would take it. Depends on the club.

5 minutes ago, Herr Müller said:

P(l)ay up Pompey! Well done!

Thank you. :) 

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I recruited this way for a fair amount of FM22, and had great success in finding players with it. 


I'll be looking for players playing at a similar level to me, and seeing who can consistently perform to a rating of 6.8 & above. If they're playing in a smaller division such as the VNL or the Danske Bank Premiership, I'll want them to be younger than 22 and have a great room for growth. 

I'll also be looking for players with a good physical profile, and will want them to have certain skill levels to fit my tactic. Majority of players I sign will be above 6 ft 2 (I am playing hoofball after all) 

GK - Good kicking. Nothing else matters. Just pump it forward. 

RB/LB - Good defending. Ideally a decent cross. 
CB - Good passing and composure, and good heading as I assume we will face a similar playing style from some teams
RM/LM - Good crossing and make sure their stronger foot is the same as the side they're playing on. Ideally good physicals too. 
CM - BBM - Good stamina and natural fitness. Ideally good tackling to intercept the 2nd ball well if our striker loses the ball from the GK. 
CM - DLP - Good passing, vision, composure. I want him launching the ball forward on the counter. 
ST - Physical boys. Good strength and pace. Finshing doesn't matter to me. Composure and having them round the keeper will do just fine. 

See you all later with the new recruits. 

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13 out of the 14 players signed have all come from my average rating filters. So i know they can perform at this level/a similar level. 

Lloyd Jones - Fits the physical profile and technical profile I'm looking for. A bargain at 250k.


David Parkhouse - Always gave me trouble at NI level. Already complaining about the depth we have so he's loan listed already. I still feel that if he stops moaning, he will play a big part in our season


Lasse Sorensen -  We need depth in midfield. He will add to this. Small cost of 300k.


Very happy with this one. On a free too. Luke will add so much to this team and with an average rating of 7.14 in L1 over 40 appearances last season he's more than capable.


Josh was supposed to be a replacement for Gavin Whyte, but Gavin rejected the contract. Either way, another solid option to have.


Anthony is another solid option on a free. Can play anywhere in midfield and is good with both feet.


Marschall is a great pick up on a free. Great attributes for what I'm looking for.


Mitch Clark - can cover at RB. Great attributes for this level.


Kion - the only person we didn't find through our filters. Great profile to him. Did okay at championship level but should handle the drop down well.


Hands down the best LB in the league. Shocked he wanted to come to us. 


Transfer listed by WBA for a small fee of 600k. Didn't want any more CB's but couldn't say no at that price.


Sam will be our starting RB. Picked up for 750k


Planning on retraining Shaun as a Pressing forward. 


I just had to bring him back!! Not expecting the same level of performance as the dungannon era though,


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After picking up another 4 wins in December we have been sacked. Very confused and annoyed by it. The board saying the team have lost confidence in me. 

Weirdly enough. A few months after my sacking. Coventry (mid table in a league above) - offered us a interview, and offered us the job. I've accepted it, but it's somewhat killed the save for me and now I'm unsure if I want to continue. 

Mansfield firing me, and the only team that would touch me was a semi pro team in northern ireland. That's realistic. Me leaving for Portsmouth whilst I had high stock (a cup win and a record high finish in the clubs history) - although its a bit of a stretch, I could still somewhat see that happening.

I can't see why on earth a comfortable mid table championship club would hire someone that had a mid table/play offs challenging team without a win in 17 games. Had the biggest budget in the league and failed to spend it wisely. I can't wrap my head around what part of that is realistic. Maybe I'm just overthinking it and I'll carry on playing. Who knows. 

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I've decided that I'll give this one more season with Coventry, and move onto something else on the full game release. 

I couldn't sign a single player due to a takeover, so not the best start :) 


Here's how the first few months went. Quite happy with it. Would be nice to have a postive season using a tactic I made to end this blog off nicely. 

also - if anyone is interested. I'll be blogging my new save on the SI Forums. I've put it to a poll to let people decide what team I end up managing to a mid table finish. :)


Edited by Emozil
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  • Emozil changed the title to [FM23] The night after The Stag Do - Part 4 - Coventry

So I've played through the rest of the season - here is your update. 



As you can see. We didn't really finish the season well. Finishing in 18th place. 

I was going to call this quits here, however - Seeing how rich our new owners actually are has made me change my mind - I had no budget in the summer due to the takeover not going through in time, and in January I was only given 4 million.


I will be taking a break from this save and moving to something else on full release using moneyball recruitment, but I will be back with further updates on this in a few weeks/a month. (I'm away all weekend and Monday I'll be prepping for the Moneyball save) - I want to get Coventry promoted next season (with that budget surely i cant fail? unless this will be like Portsmouth all over again), hopefully keep them up and secure another premier league job with it. 

If you want to pick what team I manage on full release in my moneyball save - the link is here: https://strawpoll.com/polls/e6Z2eXNdwgN 

Sorry to leave you all on a bit of a cliffhanger, but remember, this isn't a goodbye - it's just a ''see you later'' 

PUSB. :) 

Edited by Emozil
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So the voting in the poll for the new save has finished tied at 27 votes each between Metalist and Trabzonspor. 


I've tossed a coin and Trabzonspor won (best of 5, 4-1 to Trabzonspor) so they will be the team I manage first on full release. Once I get sacked (considering my track record I'd say 2 days :)) I will start a save with Metalist Kharkiv. As that only seems fair since they're just as popular. 

Moneyball in Turkey. This should be interesting. First post to go up tomorrow. Would absolutely love to see you all over there!

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