Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


0 "What we've got here is a failure to communicate"

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Gainsborough Trinity - L1 So, this season was a pretty demoralising slog. We broke a few records – number of games without a win and worst discipline for the Championship… ever! I think my players considered nearly every game a “big” game which meant many red and yellow cards. In all, at the start of the season we went 12 matches without a win, picking up 5 points and were rock bottom of the table. The league form was terrible but probably the lowest point was an absolute humiliation in the Cabarao Cup against premiership Wolves. We were thumped 5-0 but it could have been nearly double that. We really were terrible. The morale was terrible and I couldn’t see a way out. Thankfully there was an extended international break so I arranged two friendlies against some local non-league sides. The victories were a foregone conclusion but they still had a great effect on morale. We started playing slightly better. Our first win came against Luton in mid-October. This did not really kick-start the season though and by the opening of the transfer window we were still bottom of the table. The problem was we did not strengthen nearly enough over the summer. I did not quite realise the gulf in quality between League One and the Championship as up to now we had found things kind of easy. I was too worried about breaking my wage budget. I changed this mindset over the Christmas transfer window. Still no players wanted to join as a transfer but there were some potential loan signings. I had my scouts give a team report of all of the Premier and Serie A sides and managed to lure a decent central defender, striker, right back and left winger to my team. Their wages were huge compared to the rest but I figured they were only loans and if we didn’t make it, I wouldn’t have their wages on the books. Slowly we started to pick up a few wins and draws. We were lucky in that the teams around us were also pretty terrible. Eventually we managed to haul ourselves out of the relegation zone and with four games to go we were about eight points clear of the relegation zone and only Middlesbrough could catch us. Unfortunately we then suffered a devastating loss of form and got a big fat zero points from the last four games. It seemed the team were really trying to throw away all the hard work. Thankfully, although they fared better than us, Middlesbrough were unable to make up the deficit and we were safe with one match to spare. Honestly this was a complete slog and not something I want to repeat! If it wasn’t for those loan signings, who were Championship quality, we would be down for sure.
  2. A quick spoiler from this season. I was not able to recruit nearly enough quality. I am guessing my reputation has not been able to keep up with my rise through the divisions. After 12 matches I have 5 points (all draws) and am rock bottom of the table. Looks like I will get another chance at the coveted Leasing.com trophy next season.
  3. Gainsborough Trinity - L1 So, I'm back with the challenge that refuses to die! I hit the ground running in League 1 with 9 straight wins but then life took over and I had a huge break from the game.. When I got back, I forgot how to play and the wheels fell off the campaign a bit. Since then I picked up a few wins and with 3 games to go I was in second, 3 points ahead of 3rd placed Gillingham. All I had to do was get 2 wins as my goal difference was the best in the league by some margin and I would be promoted. As usual my team completely bottled those last 3 games and gained... zero points! Seriously I am not sure if there is something wrong with them but they (or maybe me) can't stand the pressure. Thankfully Peterborough also bottled their run in with just 2 points from the last 3 games so we limped over the line in second. No heroics in the cups that mattered as we were dumped out of the FA cup by Cheltenham. We did get to the final of the Leasing.com trophy however but were beaten soundly by the Crystal Palace reserves. That does not bode well for the Championship next season.
  4. Gainsborough Trinity - L2 After the successful season in the Vanarama National I was keen to keep the momentum going into League 2. I am of the opinion that the difference in quality of both leagues is not that great so I was very confident of a top half finish at the very least. Unfortunately when I told the players this in the team meeting they all got upset! I added a bit of depth to the squad but the best players were still the players I had in the Vanarama leagues. For the second season in a row Joe Grayson picked up the most assists, highest average rating, most player of the match awards and fans player of the year. Incredible to think that my best signing all save has been a free transfer who approached me in the Vanarama North to say he was without a club! Shows how good my scouting abilities are :-/ One thing I did notice is that Grayson’s performances were a bit more erratic this season. I made him vice-captain and it seems that he does not play as well in some of the games when he was captain. Is this is a thing? Perhaps he is not very good under pressure maybe? Have you experienced this? Incidentally my top goal scorer this year is a player who has been with me on my journey up the leagues. He has never been my best player but does stand out in the fact that his attributes have been improving through that time. He keeps improving despite our terrible training facilities presumably as he has decent potential and a fairly professional personality. We hit the ground running in the league with four straight wins but were dumped out of the Cabarao cup in the first round to Barnsley and failed to make it out of the group stage in the Leasing.com Trophy. Never mind, this meant we could focus on what really mattered. Is there a competition any more pointless than the Leasing.com trophy? We enjoyed our lowest ever home attendance when a grand total of 226 people came to watch us lose 3-4 to the Leicester U23 team. It was actually a pretty good game, but that was less people than when we were getting spanked week in week out in the Vanarama North! Unfortunately after losing in the cups our league form also took a bit of a dive, losing 3 league games in September. Although strong up front and in midfield we really struggled in defence after the board accepted a bit for my best centre back. I got a few potential replacement on trial before signing three potential replacements! None of them were as good.. Nevertheless, form picked up and we went on another mini FA cup run… Once again making it into the FA Cup third round. Could we get lucky again and get a big team? Boom! That will do! And way too! We also did not disgrace ourselves at all, and were even ahead at half time! Unfortunately the Premier League quality showed through and we lost out to a free kick from Mason Mount on the 83rd minute. Still, I can’t complain about that, and the fact that over 20,000 people came to watch the match 😊 A bit of a hangover from the cup meant we lost the next league match against Aldershot but then went on an 8 game unbeaten run to go top of the league. Sadly we then got 1 point from the next four matches and found ourselves back in the pack. With 8 games to go I thought we might be bottling it. I read somewhere that if you change formation for one game and then go back to the old one it can kind of put the AI off so I did that. It might be confirmation bias but it actually seemed to work, form improved and we raced to the top of the table, level with AFC Wimbledon but ahead on goal difference. There was one game left in the season. Against… AFC Wimbledon! It could not have been scripted better. All we needed was a point. Then this happened ☹ In truth they were the better team but we only needed to hold out for a draw and they score the winner in the 91st minute. So, we completely bottle the title. Although we were promoted and it should have been a celebration, I can’t help feeling deflated by the fact that Wimbledon pipped us to the title. Anyway, five seasons in and we are in League 1 so I have to be very happy with that. Another positive is that we have been promoted into the same league as our parent club, MK Dons, so I am hopeful I can get a Premier league parent for the new season to actually loan us some decent players for once!
  5. Congrats on making the playoff final, I am yet to enjoy a visit to Wembley, but gutting to lose it. Looks like like you are making real progress in the Championship, though, one more year to consolidate and let the club reputation catch up with your progress is probably not a bad thing. I assume at this point you are filling out your stadium most matches? Are you able to expand or have the board indicated that a new one is on the cards? I have now completed another season, write up to follow
  6. Thanks, yeah I'm very relieved to have gone up. I was sure that the draw in the third to last game had cost us the League. I think we were quite fortunate in that there was no run away team. With three games to go there were still three teams with a chance to win it. Interestingly none of them did well in the playoff. The finances are ok-ish but not great. we have about 20k of debt. Our stadium is tiny sadly so of course the game was a sell out but it could have been very different if it was away. Shame we couldn't request a change of venue. Your latest season sounds good, looking forward to hearing about it
  7. Gainsborough Trinity After our close-run promotion last season it was clear that we needed to strengthen again for the Vanarama National and I have to say I was actually quite pleased with the talent we managed to bring in. I decided to have a look at some youth players that were being released by some Premier League teams and the fact that I was able to get them in on a trial before their contract was up was a bit of a game changer for me! I picked up Chris Knowles from Leicester thinking he would be a decent new striker but realised he actually made a much better central midfielder so I played him there mostly. I also picked up Aleff Diego from Man Utd who seems a decent talent for this level, and also striker Layton Stewart after he was released from Liverpool. The signing of Layton Stewart was actually a bit cheeky. When I offered him a contract, so did about 10 other clubs most of which were in leagues above me. In the end he rejected all the contracts to go on trial with someone else. Having realised this, I just offered him a contract again and because he had just rejected everyone, I guess no-one else offered him one again so we got him kind of by default. This was very pleasing as he finished the season as my top goal scorer with 25 league goals. With losses to Dagenham & Redbridge, Yeovil and Darlington our initial form over the first two months was a little choppy but we soon hit our stride and actually started playing well! This rise eventually led us to top of the table. We did not stay there. The usual collapse came around the turn of the year but we managed to steady the ship and start winning again. We got dumped out of the FA Trophy in the second round which the board were not ecstatic about. I have not managed to do well in this trophy ever at Gainsborough for some reason, but we actually had a decent run in the FA cup. Wins over league 1 opponents Tranmere and Wycombe in the first two rounds meant we were in the third round draw for the first time! Who would we get… Boom! They don’t get much bigger than that! A sell-out crowd saw us capitulate against Man City, not that I was expecting to win it. I do find, however, than in any big game I will have someone sent off… Maybe telling the team to stay on their feet will help? We also had a bit of a transfer saga. Joe Grayson was attracting some attention from teams in higher leagues. Both Ipswich and Millwall bid for him. I rejected the bid from Ipswich but the board accepted a £300,000 bid from Millwall. Not a bad chunk of change for this division but I did not want to lose my best player.. I begged with the board to reconsider by explaining to them that as Joe was an influential member of the dressing room his departure might cause big issues. Incredibly they agreed and no-one else came in for him so I managed to keep him until the next transfer window at least. Phew. Anyway, no more cup runs to distract us meant we could focus on the league. Eventually we managed to make our way back to the top of the table. In a remarkable copy of the Vanarama National in 2023 in real life, in 2023 in-game it was Notts County and Wrexham who we were battling against. Both teams were very strong but with 3 games to go I was top of the table by a single point. Our destiny was in our own hands! All we had to do was win the last three matches and we would be out of this league at the first time of asking. Next match, an easy fixture against Barrow beckoned. We bossed the match but none of our 15 shots on target found the back of the net. The game finished 0-0. Wrexham also faltered but Notts Country won their match to go top with two matches remaining…. Nooooo! I was furious. I wanted to never play FM again and throw by laptop in the bin. Eventually I came back to the game to play out the final two games and try not to lose in the Playoffs. Next match was a home tie against second bottom Woking. We came out of the blocks quickly and went 2-0 up in 20 minutes. Then just before halftime Thelo Aasgard gets himself sent off! Why? We were cruising… Ugh. OK, second half they pull one back but we manage to hold on for a win. God this is stressful. I check the Notts County result.. yep they win too. Last match, a tricky tie against Stockport. It is a tense opening 20 minutes until this time they have a man sent off! Amazing. We capitalise and win easily. We had done all we could. Notts County were playing Maidstone, a team who were already relegated which did not bode well. We check their result and bad news… It looks like we are never going to win the FA Trophy in this save! Somehow Notts County had failed to score and we win the league by one solitary point! Incredible scenes! We have now turned professional, spent a couple of Million adding a few extra seats to the stadium and embark on strengthening the team for the task ahead. Although we were very happy with the new recruits and Layton Stewart got second highest goalscorer in the league, once again it was Joe Grayson who absolutely bossed the league. His average rating of 7.71, 21 assists and 14 player of the match awards were the highest in the whole of the Vanarama National. Considering how close it was in the end, I don’t think I could have been promoted without him. In the end Aleff Diego played his part but didn’t play as well as I hoped. He has now become a natural in the right midfield spot so hopefully next season he can fulfil a bit more of his potential. I’m still buzzing from the promotion. This game really does give some highs and lows!
  8. Yeah, that first promotion definitely did feel good! Thank you for the tips - I had been a bit scared to use very defensive so will probably try that for injury time. Also good tip about the fullbacks. I actually play with wing backs (in the DR/L space if that makes sense). Do you think changing them to full backs to close out a game would be helpful? The Mentality Masterplan is here. Its looks complicated but its not really once you get to know it. I now approach all away games starting cautious and all home games as balanced and then adjust accordingly depending on if we dominate. I have just completed another season too - I'll look forward to reading about your exploits in the Championship!
  9. Gainsborough Trinity 2021/2022 Vanarama North Following the disappointing season last time I added a few new players including unpredictable winger Thelo Aasgaard on a free from Wigan and striker Kyle McFarlane as a free agent. There were a few others but these two really highlight that last season the quality of my team last season was nowhere near good enough for promotion. The pre-season friendlies went well with some very encouraging wins so I was all set and excited for the start of the season only for the team to be brought back down to earth with back-to-back defeats to Chester and Kidderminster in the first two games. Thankfully the next game was against newly promoted minnows Ashton Utd at home so we managed our first, albeit unconvincing 1-0, win. The team then went on a decent run and started climbing the table. This all ended in November with some abysmal form. We were the worst team over two legs against Vanarama South team Truro Town in the first round of the FA Cup and were dumped out of the FA Trophy at the first time of asking against Witton Albion, who are not even playable in my game, much to the ire of the board. There were also several losses in the league and I started to worry that it was all going to come crashing down again. A couple of things then helped us regain form. I started taking a much greater interest in mentality and some other tactical nuances and found a really helpful flow diagram posted by someone on this forum for mentality and how it should change throughout the match. This really changed the way I approached mentality as a much more fluid tool to be changed constantly through the match. If nothing else, it helped me think that I was doing something that helped! I continued to have a problem with closing matches out though with the AI often scoring in the last few minutes of matches despite my attempts at creating a much more defensive tactic for holding on to leads. Any advice here would be very welcome. The other thing that happened in December was that I picked up a few more players including someone who is so much better than anyone else on my team, Joe Grayson. I am not sure if I agree with them but my coaches are now saying he is a “good player for most league one sides”. In any case he completely transformed my team and in just 22 league appearances he produces 25 assists and had an average rating of 7.83. I am very happy to say that inexplicably he has signed a new contract to keep him at Gainsborough for another two years. Anyway, this all meant that we were swapping places with Hereford at the top of the league for the last month or so. With two matches to go we had a two-point lead over Hereford at the top. I was then too scared to touch the game for a week but eventually managed to win the last two games to finish top for the season and get promoted as champions! I suspect the Vanarama National is even harder to get out of but hopefully we can add a bit more quality to go with Grayson. Weirdly out average attendance declined to 660 this season.. I guess our fans revel in misery. On a personal level I am now the proud holder of a National B license so at least some of my attributes have improved.
  10. Congrats on the promotion to the Championship, I hear the step up can be tricky but I have every confidence in the mighty Buxton! I am quite a slow player but have just completed my second season so review incomming...
  11. Fresh from the gruelling Sunday Leagues, Jimbob McAndrews has been given the chance to steer newly promoted Gainsborough Trinity to safety in the Vanarama North. Relegated in the 2017/2018 season, Gainsborough spent just one season in the lower league but felt they needed a new direction in order to stay up, so they turn to McAndrews who has no experience managing whatsoever… The team is in a complete need of an overhaul but the best player is clearly Kinglsey James who is made captain. He is described as having enough quality for the Vanarama North and I decide to build my 4-1-4-1 tactic around him at DM. The rest of the team is pretty much trash apart from 34 year old John Hannah who used to be the player manager. He can’t run anymore but he is still my best striker. Despite an opening day 0-1 defeat to Farsley, the team go on an unexpected 14 game unbeaten run which sees them through to 4th round qualifying round of the FA Cup and second in the league. Unfortunately they are brought back down to earth with a 1-5 thumping at home to Blyth Spartans. This is the start of a far more choppy run of form which sees the club fall back down to mid-table and dumped out of the FA cup and FA trophy. A switch to a more standard 4-4-2 steadies the ship somewhat. During the season the club were also able to attract Liberian International midfielder Mohammed Sangare after he was released by Newcastle, failing to play any games for the club. Their loss, Sangare quickly becomes the key player and finishes the season with an average rating of 6.92 over 32 league games for the club. Other notable additions through the year were central defender Owen Bailey who despite a rocky start, ends up cementing his place in the team. Bailey is also an ex-Newcastle player and finished the season with a 6.72 rating. Up front, Harry Cardwell was added after being released by Grimsby but the biggest surprise package was Harry Molyneaux who arrived after being released by Chester and put in some good performances to finish the season with a 7.12. In the end the team finish the season comfortably mid-table in 12th. The board seem broadly pleased that we avoided relegation and set their sights for another mid-table finish the next year. YEAR LEAGUE POSITION FA CUP K/O FA TROPHY K/O REP CORP TRAINING DATA YOUTH YOUTH LEV JUNIOR RECRUITMENT AVE ATTEND HIGH ATTEND Vs CAPACITY BADGES TOP SCORER MOST ASSISTS AV RATING CLEAN SHEETS MAY BALANCE TOTAL WAGES Gainsborough Trinity 2021 Van North 12th Q4 Fylde (VNat) 1st Round Brackley (Van North) Local - 1 Basic Poor Poor Poor 0 Fairly Basic Basic 694 2,111 Boston (League) 4,304 None Ross Hannah - 13 Jack Birch - 6 Mohammed Sangare - 7.05 Billy Johnson - 11 -£105,340 £8,366
  12. It's great to see you resurrect this thread. Your progress is very impressive and I have enjoyed reading about your rise up the footballing ladder. I have just got back into FM20 myself and after playing around with a few teams in the lower leagues I decided to try this challenge myself after reading so much about it. I had planned to just do it privately as a bit of fun but since you have updated this thread I guess I will add my progress too! I have already finished the first season so the screenshots will be one year in.. Meet Jimbob McAndrews
  • Create New...