A Mini Journeyman Series - UK & Ireland

FM_TNSSO

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A Mini Journeyman Series - UK & Ireland

Welcome to my new story! This should provide me with a good 3 and a bit months of play before the release of FM19 in November! As most of you know by now, I love a good journeyman save, but after my most recent exploits in Greece, Germany and Belarus went to absolute ****, I have decided to keep this save a little closer to home!

Yes I'll still be moving around like a normal journeyman but in the UK & Ireland only (much to the Mrs relief)! And yes I'll be playing with my created character, Ernie Allan, who has ****** all experience and not a coaching badge or qualification to his name! By rights, no team should ever consider giving this maverick a job....but I'm sure someone out there will (otherwise this is going to be the shortest **** story ever)!

So here we are, sitting on the laptop at the kitchen table, in my two bedroom flat, with my kids running around going f*cking mental, looking for jobs! Let's have a look and see what's available...

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I loaded up and will be running all the leagues in the UK & Ireland throughout the duration of this entire save. Looking at the list above, I draw up the CV, which is flakey as **** as I try to bolster up any kind of footballing experience I have (which is a bit of Sunday league and a bit of coaching at the local primary school). My application goes off to Drogheda Utd, Limerick FC, Guiseley, Hartlepool, Carmarthen, Bognor Regis and Tamworth, in the hope that one of these clubs is prepared to take a punt on me!

Guiseley, Limerick and Hartlepool immediately reply with emails politely asking me if I'm having a laugh! However, two interview requests sit at the top of my inbox.....both Carmarthen Town and Drogheda Utd are willing to meet!

And Carmarthen show they're keen by taking only 1 day to come back to me with an offer! My ego is given a boost and I delay my decision to see if there is anyone else out there who wants me!

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It seems I was right to wait it out as Tamworth and Bognor Regis also offer me interviews. Now it could just come down to the fact of who's willing to stump up the most money to secure my services! In the meantime, Drogheda come back to me saying I was unsuccessful for their job!

Bognor Regis have offered me the job and it ****** all over the £140 per week I was offered at Carmarten. A massive £400 per week is on offer and now all that remains is to see if Tamworth can better that!

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Tamworth come in with an offer of only £325 per week! I ask them to match Bognor's £400 and they do! That shows some great commitment as far as I'm concerned and I accept the job!


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Tamworth

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Tamworth

Day one in my new job as Tamworth manager and the chairman wants to have a sit down. He welcomes me to the club and tells me he’ll send over a history of the football club as he feels it’s important I’m aware of their background. There’s four trophies in the cabinet, including a Vanarama National North and FA Vase….two competitions we’re playing in this season!

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The club have spent majority of their time over the past 20 years at this level and one tier higher in the Vanarama National League. The chairman has made it clear that his long term ambitions are to see the club back into the football league and he is entrusting me with this goal!

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My new club are valued at around £250k. We have a fierce rivalry with Nuneaton Town who I’ll come up against this season in the Vanarama National North, and the chairman has made it clear that anything other than victory in these games is unacceptable!

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So this is home….The Lamb Ground with a capacity of 4,065 with only 518 of that seated!

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The squad isn’t massive but it does have players that cover most areas on the pitch. Only Ghanian striker Akwasi Asante is not of UK origin. Our weakest area looking at this definitely looks to be between the sticks.

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Speaking of Asante, he is definitely one of my best players…

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Aman Verma and Luke Jones also stand out as strong players in the team.

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Right, normally when it comes to tactics I look at my players and work around them to find something that fits! However, I’m trying a completely different approach (for me) this time and have something in mind that I want to work with and I’ll make the players fit, or put together a team that will play my way in time. I’m working on the basis of a 4-1-4-1 on paper. However, the idea being it is more a 4-5-1 when we are not in possession of the ball, with the team high pressing and closing down to win the ball back. When we have the ball, it becomes more of a 3-3-3-1…..this is because the DM drops back with the 2 CBs. The two wing backs push on with the deeper of the two CMs. And the two inverted wingers and the attacking CM all push forward to support the lone striker. There are not many team instructions as each player has been given their own individual instructions instead to make this work!

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This is the pre season schedule I have ahead of me to test out this new tactic and get to know my squad. The date on my game is currently 17th​ June and my next update will be at the end of July once pre season is completed.

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Good luck with Tamworth, also if the Lamb Ground isn't sponsored by a local butcher then that is a missed oppurtunity
 
Hoping this save goes better than the last one, I'm desperate for Ernie to do well!
 
July 2017

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July 2017

The 2022 World Cup has been moved to Australia.

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Is it just me or does my new U18’s Manager look like a ******* nutcase! Don’t think any of the youngsters will be giving him **** in training!

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After asking the board to go out and find me a senior affiliate, they came back with several options which included Peterborough, Fleetwood Town and Southend. But after careful consideration, it’s Portsmouth that I decided to go with!

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s little brother, Christian, will join us on loan for the upcoming season from our senior affiliate, Portsmouth. He isn’t fantastic but will serve as a decent backup player who can cover right back and central midfield positions if needed.

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The bookies have thrown out this year’s predictions and have listed us at 35-1 to win the title. It doesn’t sound like huge odds, but we are predicted still to finish in the bottom half, with 15th being the official prediction. We’re 7-1 to get promoted and 5-2 to go down, so obviously much more fancied to be relegated than go up this season! York City and Salford City are the favourites to be battling it out for the title, whilst North Ferriby and Curzon Ashton are most fancied to finish bottom.

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We were pretty weak in the right back position, so I was keen to add another player to the squad in this area. I’m pleased to have captured the signature of 20 year old Yvan Wassi on a free transfer. Wassi is a product of the Manchester City youth system, who then moved to Bolton a couple of seasons ago. Failing to break through into their first team, they released him at the end of last season and I wasted no time in snapping up the youngster! He’ll slot straight into the starting lineup!

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Left winger, Callum Powell, will miss the first 1 or 2 games of the season though injury.

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Pre season went pretty well in all fairness. We recorded big wins over Billericay Town who are the favourites for the Conference National South and minnows Enfield Town, looking really good in both those games. Although we were dominated (as expected) by League Two and League One opposition in Chesterfield and Blackpool, we still managed to record respectable draws against both. The loss to Chelmsford doesn’t worry me too much as I played a complete second string with the first game of the season being only 5 days later.

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Player of Pre Season
Darryl Knights

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The right sided player was in sensational form during the pre season campaign, with 4 goals and 4 assists to his name! I hope he can carry this sort of form into the competitive games next month!


Looking ahead to next month, the season kicks off and the games come thick and fast with 6 fixtures scheduled. We have a tough opener away at Kidderminster and later in the month we’ll also take on league favourites, York City, away from home as well. In between though, we have some favourable fixtures against the likes of Brackley and Blyth where we can pick up some points.

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August 2017

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August 2017

Ernie Allan’s managerial debut is just around the corner!

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The board send me their expectations for the upcoming season. They want me to exceed the bookies expectations and get a top half finish in the league. We’re looking to get through the qualifiers in the FA Cup to the first round proper, and the 3rd​ round of the FA Trophy is deemed acceptable.

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Saturday 5th​ August 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Kidderminster vs Tamworth
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Dyche, Wassi, Jones, Lane, Sharpe, Upton, Knights (Taylor 58), Shaw (C.Oxlade-Chamberlain 58), Verma, Kotwica, Reid

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We start the season in the worst way possible with a heavy defeat! We struggled to really get into this game at all! I wonder if it had been any different had Danny Knights put away his 5th​ minute penalty!


It’s likely to take some time for this team to gel together! No less than 8 players made their debuts against Kidderminster!

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When I took over here, I inherited two goalkeepers that were not rated at all and both now sit at only 1 and a half stars by my assistant. So I’m happy to announce the signing of 22 year old Callum Preston who joins on a free. With a 3 star rating from my assistant, he is a massive step up on what we previously had available and at the age of 21, he can still improve a lot!

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The club have sold 300 season tickets for this season!

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I only had one player in the squad who could play the defensive midfield role, so I was keen to add cover for this position. I’ve managed to snap up 29 year old Al Bangura on a free who is perfect for this position. Bangura started out his career with Watford, playing Championship football, but over the past few seasons, has been playing in the lower leagues for the likes of Forest Green and St Albans. He also bagged 3 appearances for our arch rivals, Nuneaton Town last year, so I’m not sure how that will go down with the fans, but I’m confident he can win them over!

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Tuesday 8th​ August 2017 (19:45)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs Brackley
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Preston, Wassi, Jones, Lane, Sharpe, Upton (Bangura 69), Knights (Taylor 62), Shaw, Verma, Kotwica (Fox 84), Reid

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For the 2nd​ game in a row, we missed a penalty to take the lead and had we scored it, it would have been enough to win the game as we played out a bore draw with Brackley! We were much better on the pitch today though, dominating possession and chances created, so a little gutted we didn’t get the 3 points which would have been well deserved.


Darryl Knights will miss the next 3 weeks after coming off injured in the game against Brackley.

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Saturday 12th​ August 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Blyth vs Tamworth
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Preston, Wassi (Burns 59), Jones, Lane, Sharpe, Upton, Taylor, Shaw, Verma, Kotwica (Powell 59), Reid (Fox 90)

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An entertaining game for the fans….this was end to end stuff from start to finish and the supporters were treated to 5 goals in the process, with us coming out on top on the day! We played some good attacking football in this game, but our defence looked a little suspect at times as well, so good and bad points to reflect on for me in this game.


Although only a minor injury for Kotwica that will keep him out for 11 days, he’s still going to miss 2-3 games due to our condensed schedule this month.

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Saturday 19th​ August 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs FC United
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Preston, Wassi (Sent off 64), Jones, Lane (Ricketts 59), Sharpe, Upton (Bangura 59), Taylor, Shaw, Verma, Fox (Powell 59), Reid

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FC United came into this game with 2 wins and a draw from their opening 3 matches, but it was us that made the lightning fast start when Connor Taylor put us in front within 40 seconds! However, that was about as good as it got for us and for the remaining 89 minutes, we were simply outclassed by a rampant FC United who smashed 6 past us! Everything went wrong today….we struggled going forward, we were awful at the back and had a man sent off!


Tuesday 22nd​ August 2017 (19:45)
Vanarama National North
York City vs Tamworth
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Preston, Burns, Jones, Lane (Bangura 68), Sharpe (Strong 68), Upton, Taylor, Shaw, Verma, Powell, Reid

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When you’ve just been smashed 6-1, you don’t really want to be going away to the league favourites in your next game. Now to give credit to my boys, they dealt with the situation well and gave a much better performance here and to be fair to them, we were unlucky to lose the game! York capitalised on a late set piece to seal the victory, but this performance from my team gives me some hope.


Saturday 26th​ August 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs Darlington
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Dyche, Burns, Jones, Upton, Sharpe, Bangura, Taylor (Knights 63), Shaw, Verma, Powell (Fox 63), Reid

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Get in there! A much needed win at home against one of the weaker sides in the division! We really needed this! Bradley Reid was the star of the show with his hat trick!


August has been a mixed month! Three losses, but against 3 of the best teams in the league and it’s nice to have these games out of the way! The win against Blyth was a good one as they’re a team expected to challenge for the playoffs this year! And we finished the month with a solid home win against one of the weaker teams in Darlington! Hopefully, we can build on that next month!

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Player of the Month
Bradley Reid

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The striker’s goals were important this month in getting us the two big wins! Three against Darlington and two against Blyth is enough on its own to bag him the player of the month for August!


September will offer up another 5 games in the league and the biggest one is without a doubt the first one against our fierce rivals, Nuneaton! Win that and I’ll have the fans right on side!

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September 2017

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September 2017

Saturday 2nd​ September 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Nuneaton vs Tamworth
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Preston, Burns, Jones, Lane, Strong, Upton, Taylor, Shaw, Verma, Powell (Knights 70), Reid

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Not a good result against our biggest rivals who take the bragging rights today! I’m not sure what happened in the final 15 minutes to be fair….we were well on top until that point and 2-1 up looking like we were on our way to a comfortable win! Then all of a sudden, we went to sleep and in the final 12 minutes, they had 9 shots on goal, scoring two and nicked the result from under our noses!


Right, I’ve decided that the formation I went with just isn’t working! I’d have expected the football to become more fluent by now and it just isn’t! So I’ve had a look at the players I have available and have decided that the way forward is to set up 3 different formations to play with in different games/scenarios, rather than going with one setup in every game. I’m going with the 3 formations below….

[FONT=&quot]5-3-2 Inve[/FONT][FONT=&quot]rted Wing Backs

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I’ve noticed that a lot of people are having success with 3 CBs and we have been leaking goals left, right and centre this season already! So I thought I’d give it a go and see if we can tighten things up at the back a little. I’m not playing ball playing defenders as my current players don’t have the ability to play that role or pick out decent passes. At the same time, I don’t want to play the limited defender position and have them lumping the ball up the field! Most of the play in this formation will be focused through the middle of the park and to save my wing backs getting stranded out wide on their own, I have set them to come inside and support the midfield players, keeping everyone tight together and offering up plenty of options for a pass when any player gets the ball.


[FONT=&quot]3-5-2 Wider

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Quite similar to the above formation but with some minor changes. With this formation, we can exploit the wider areas. We can switch to this formation if we’re not having much joy through the middle, or we can start with this formation if the opposition has weak full backs we think we can exploit. Again, we have 3 centre backs and two strikers. I have brought the attacking midfielder back into the centre to make a flat 3….this is to make a wider 3 in the middle to keep them closer to and offer support to the wing backs who will forge on ahead of the midfield to get the crosses into the box for the strikers. This formation may also be more beneficial when the opposition is playing a DM role who might man mark our AM out of the game in the first formation.


[FONT=&quot]4-4-2 DM

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I don’t know why but I just hate a flat 4-4-2. This is about as close as I’m going to get I think! Inside wing backs will keep things tight in defensive with everyone keeping a narrow back line and when these players go forward, they can pack out the central midfield area to ensure we keep possession. The wide midfielders add some width to the formation, but won’t get stranded out on the wings by themselves as they might with the ‘winger’ role. This is focused more on the team moving forward together as a unit, through the middle or out wide, but with no real focus on crosses, or through balls, but instead offering a mix of everything to keep the opposition guessing. The DM is really just to offer extra cover as the advanced playmaker will have freedom through his individual instructions to do pretty much whatever he wants!


We’ll have an extra game to play this month as we draw Welling away in the 2nd​ qualifying round of the FA Cup.

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Saturday 9th​ September 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Southport vs Tamworth
Formation: 4-4-2 DM (Changed to 3-5-2 Wider at half time)
Lineup: Preston, Burns, Jones, Upton, Strong (Sharpe 45), Bangura, Knights (Shaw 45), Verma, Powell (Lane 45), Fox, Reid

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Southport came into this game top of the league with 6 wins and a draw from their opening 7 games! Probably not the best team to be trying out new formations against, but I thought we’d roll with it anyway! Now this was a game of 2 very different halfs….the first we played the 4-4-2 DM and it didn’t work at all, with us only have 4 shots on goal and losing 2-0 at half time. Three subs were made at the break as we switched to the 3-5-2 Wider formation and it worked an absolute treat and sparked a massive comeback for us in the second half! In fact, we were all over the league leaders in the second 45 minutes and got ourselves level for a well earned draw (in the end). We could have even won the match as it was all us throwing men forward with increased pressure in the final 15 minutes but just couldn’t find the winner.


Saturday 16th​ September 2017 (15:00)
FA Cup 2nd​ Qualifying Round
Welling vs Tamworth
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Preston, Jones, Lane, Upton, Burns, Sharpe (Wassi 53), Bangura (Shaw 64), Verma, Knights, Reid (Taylor 68), Fox

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Welling were doing OK in the National League South, sitting 7th​. They lined up with a 4-4-1-1 with no DM, so I took the opportunity to try my 5-3-2 formation with the AM role to see if we could exploit that gap between their defence and midfield. We played some nice stuff at times and my theory worked to a certain extent as Knights (playing as the AM role) was our best player! However, in a tight game that could of gone either way, Welling nicked it with the cleaner finishing on the day as they took their chances better than we did!


Tuesday 19th​ September 2017 (19:45)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs Leamington
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs (Changed to 3-5-2 Wider at half time)
Lineup: Preston, Jones, Lane, Upton, Burns, Wassi, Shaw, Verma, Knights (Bangura 45), Reid, Fox (Taylor 64)

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A late goal from top goalscorer Bradley Reid rescues a point for us!


Saturday 23rd​ September 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs Alfreton
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Preston, Jones, Ricketts (Lane 58), Upton, Burns, Wassi, Shaw, Verma (Bangura 58), Knights, Reid, Fox (Taylor 58)

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This was a really tough result to take and a very frustrating game to watch. We played some really neat football and the players seem to be getting to grips with this formation very quickly. However, a lack of ability in front of goal and failure to take our chances cost us dear as Alfreton scored with their best two chances of the game and it’s enough to send us to another loss.


Some of the players approach me to discuss the poor dressing room atmosphere! I understand the players concerns but tell them all we need is a little winning run and things will sort themselves out.

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Most of the lads accept my reasoning and agree. However, centre back Jack Lane won’t let it go…..little ******.

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A winless September sees us down the table in 18th​ position after the opening 10 games. We’ll need to turn this form around pretty sharpish if we’re to avoid being drawn into a relegation battle this season! The pre season favourites York and Salford lead the way, proving the bookies right at this stage!

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Player of the Month
Bradley Reid

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It’s been a pretty poor month all round, but another 4 goals from striker, Bradley Reid, is enough for him to bag his 2nd​ straight player of the month award from me.


Five more league games coming up in October and we need to pick up some points….badly! The game against Salford will be our toughest by far, but I’m certainly looking at the Curzon Ashton and North Ferriby games as must wins for us!

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October 2017

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October 2017

Tuesday 3rd​ October 2017 (19:45)
Vanarama National North
Gainsborough vs Tamworth
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Preston, Jones, Ricketts (Sent off 82), Upton (Sinclair 76), Burns, Wassi, Shaw, Verma (Bangura 64), Knights, Reid, Fox

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Finally everything comes together with one of the new formations and we kick start October with a win! Well, when I say everything came together, I mean everything apart from the sending off…that wasn’t in the script, but we had the game won by then thankfully.


One of the brightest prospects at the club is centre back Nyeko Sinclair. At 18 years old, he already has some decent defensive stats and I hope he can continue to develop here. I brought the youngster on for his debut against Gainsborough and plan to utilise him a little more as the season goes on….especially with Jack Lane being such a ****!

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Just one win and fickle Jack Lane changes his mind about how he feels apparently! Really Jack? Think you’re walking straight back into my team do ya son? I don’t think so mate!

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Saturday 7th​ October 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs Salford
Formation: 3-5-2 Wider
Lineup: Preston, Wassi, Sinclair, Upton, Burns, Sharpe (Strong 62), Shaw, Verma, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Reid, Fox (Knights 62)

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I was elated when we got that equalizer, because **** me, we deserved it! We outplayed the league leaders for large parts of this game and if we’d lost I’d have been gutted for the lads! Instead both teams take a point and it’s Salford who should be going away from this feeling like the lucky ones!


Saturday 14th​ October 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Curzon Ashton vs Tamworth
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Preston, Jones, Ricketts, Upton, Burns, Sharpe (Wassi 58), Shaw, Verma, Knights, Reid, Fox (Asante 73)

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Our defending left a lot to be desired at times in this game, but luckily we were slick going forward and when you concede 3 goals, I guess it doesn’t really matter if you score 5 at the other end! Bradley Reid and Darryl Knights really stood out as our best players on the day, but it was Ashton striker, Jordan Wright who took the match ball with his hat trick.


Up until this point, I’ve been without arguably one of our best players in Akwasi Asante as he’s been out injured! However, he’s back and made his debut against Curzon Ashton after being introduced for the final 17 minutes.

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Left back, Rhys Sharpe will miss around 6 weeks of action through injury.

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Saturday 21st​ October 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs Boston Utd
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Preston, Jones, Ricketts, Upton, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wassi, Shaw, Verma, Knights (Taylor 63), Reid, Fox (Asante 63)

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On the balance of play, we should have ****** this game! However, our shoddy defending has cost us again! As a unit, we are playing very well and teams are currently struggling to break us down and create chances….the only problem is that with our poor defending, they only need a handful of chances to score a couple of goals at the moment and it’s cost us dear here today!


At the start of the season, I didn’t see an urgent need to add anymore strikers to the side as I started the campaign with only 1 man up top! However, now that my formations have changed and all the new ones involve playing with 2 up front, I felt the need to bring another forward into the team. I have signed up 21 year old, Hussein Mohammed on a free transfer. Mohammed came through the Crystal Palace youth system in 2012 and has been with the club ever since. However, he has failed to make a single appearance for them and doesn’t seem to have been out on loan anywhere either. So it’s a bit of a risk from our point of view with him being a completely unknown quantity, but I’m hoping he can spring a surprise and turn out to be a good little striker for us!

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The Boston game got me thinking about tactics again! I really wasn’t comfortable with the 4-4-2 DM tactic that I created and after using it for only 45 minutes and conceding 2 goals and scoring 0 (against Southport last month)! So I decided to ditch it and create something new! Now the Boston game got me thinking as I felt I could of done with an ultra attacking formation to switch to in the final 10 minutes when we needed to push forward and get a goal! So that’s what I’ve created! This 4-2-1-3 will be all about getting the ball from the back 4 up to the front men as fast as possible to pile on the pressure and hopefully create lots of chances with plenty of people floating in and around the box to put them away when we desperately need a goal!

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Saturday 28th​ October 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
North Ferriby vs Tamworth
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs (Changed to 4-2-1-3 at half time)
Lineup: Preston, Ricketts (Sinclair 26), Jones (Mohammed 45), Upton, Burns, Wassi (Strong 62), Shaw, Verma, Knights, Asante, Reid

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What a dog **** result that was! North Ferriby are predicted to finish in the relegation places this year and had only won 1 game prior to this result! We were dreadful, nothing else I can say!


Centre back, Drew Ricketts is out for 5 weeks!

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With the fact that the board were expecting me to achieve a top half finish this season, I guess it was only a matter of time before some of the players became disgruntled at our current underachievement. Luckily, it was only 3 of them and after sitting down with them, Luke Jones and Andrew Burns are back on board with me. Connor Taylor still kicking up a fuss, but I’m not too worried about him as he has very little influence over the rest of the squad and is only a backup player anyway.

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We’ll play minnows, Herne Bay, in the 2nd​ qualifying round of the FA Trophy next month.

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Tuesday 31st​ October 2017 (19:45)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth vs Chorley
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Preston, Sinclair, Jones, Upton, Burns, Wassi, Shaw (Bangura 60), Verma, Knights, Asante (Mohammed 25), Reid

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Another game that we really didn’t deserve to lose! Again, we played some really nice stuff, but struggled to take our chances. Again, we were poor in defence and Chorley capitalised on that to score a couple of goals to take the win!


We began this month in decent form, stringing together 3 games without loss and getting a couple of wins in the process. That had lifted us up to 13th​ in the table, but finishing the month with 3 losses saw us drop down towards the bottom again. It’s obvious from the league table where our weaknesses lie….we have the worst defence in the entire league (along with North Ferriby).

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Player of the Month
Bradley Reid

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That man Reid again as he bangs in another 5 goals this month!


Only 3 games in November, only 2 in the league. We really need wins against both Spennymoor and Bradford PA or my job could be in real jeopardy!

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November 2017

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November 2017

In a bid to improve our terrible defence, I’ve brought another centre back into the club. 21 year old Egyptian, Jassem Sukar, joins the club on a free transfer! He looks a pretty decent player for this level and I’m really hoping he can stabilise things a little at the back for us!

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Guess who’s got the ump with the new signing……Jack ******* Lane!

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Oh dear….pressure’s on!

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Saturday 11th November 2017 (15:00)
FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round
Herne Bay
vs Tamworth
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Dyche, Upton, Jones, Sukar, Burns, Wassi, Shaw (Bangura 59), Verma, Knights, Asante, Reid (Mohammed 59)

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With my job potentially on the line, I wasn’t taking any chances in this game against our weaker opposition and played a strong team! It paid off as we recorded a big win that will hopefully boost the confidence of the players! Bradley Reid bagged his 2nd hat trick of the season, although he should have had 4 as he missed a penalty as well.


Bradley Reid's opener against Herne Bay sets a new record for our fastest goal. It's also an FA Trophy record!

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We'll play Weston-super-Mare from the National League South in the next round.

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Saturday 18th November 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Spennymoor vs
Tamworth
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide (Changed to 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs on 29 minutes)
Lineup: Preston, Burns, Jones, Sukar, Sharpe, Bangura (Upton 29), Shaw (Oxlade-Chamberlain 76), Verma, Knights, Powell (Asante 29), Reid

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These are the sort of games we must be winning if we're going to dig ourselves out of the rut we find ourselves in! But instead we lost in what was a terrible and boring game with both sides struggling to create any kind of decent chance! Akwasi Asante let the frustration get to him when he lost his head in the 90th minute, getting sent off for an awful 2 footed challenge.


Now the pressure is truly on! The board call me in to a meeting to discuss my performance as manager. They demand 9 points from our next 5 games for me to keep my job! Initially, they wanted 11 points, to which they got the response "You want 4 wins or a 5 game unbeaten run....are you ******* kidding me?"

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Saturday 25th November 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth
vs Bradford PA
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Dyche, Jones, Upton, Sukar, Burns, Wassi, Shaw (Bangura 71), Verma, Knights, Reid, Mohammed (Fox 71)

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1-0 down at half time and I was beginning to seriously worry about my job! However, an almighty bollocking for the lads at half time seemed to be the kick up the **** they needed and we were a **** of a lot better in the 2nd half, coming back to win the game by a comfortable scoreline! I'm not done just yet, 2 more wins from my next 4 games required!


20 games into life as Tamworth manager and I'm pleased the media headlines focus on my 'bargain hunting' skills rather than my shocking underperformance as manager so far!

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1 win and 1 loss this month sees us rise one place in the table to 17th! Pre season favourites, York City, have completely fallen away from the top and find themselves down in 9th as they underperform even more than us....yes I am going to pinpoint other teams failures to take the attention off of me.

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Player of the Month
Bradley Reid

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The rest of the squad is going to start thinking I've got a thing for Reid soon!


Without a doubt, the biggest month of my short career ahead of us! As I look at the scheduled fixtures, I can't help but wonder if I'll be in charge for all of them?!

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That's a demanding board you have 11 points in 5 games is pretty challenging, at least you got off to a good start.
 
December 2017

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December 2017

Saturday 2nd December 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth
vs Harrogate
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Dyche, Jones, Upton (Lane 74), Sukar, Burns, Wassi (Sharpe 74), Shaw, Verma, Knights, Reid, Mohammed (Fox 74)

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We are beaten at home by Harrogate, who are a decent side in this division, so there's no shame in it! But it doesn't help with our current predicament of needing points fast!


New signing, Jassem Sukar will miss the remainder of 2017 with injury!

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Tuesday 12th December 2017 (19:45)
Vanarama National North
Stockport
vs Tamworth
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs (Changed to 5-2-3 at half time)
Lineup: Preston, Jones, Upton, Lane, Burns, Wassi (Sharpe 45), Shaw (Bangura 68), Verma, Knights (Mohammed 45), Reid, Fox

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As much as it pained me, I had to give Jack Lane a start here, due to my lack of centre backs available....as I did it, I wondered if this little ****** might actually be able to save my job! Not based on this performance he won't....we lose again and I'm now in a position where I must win my next two league games to keep my job!


Saturday 16th December 2017 (15:00)
FA Trophy 1st Round
Weston-super-Mare vs
Tamworth
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Dyche, Jones, Upton, Lane, Burns, Sharpe (Wassi 59), Shaw, Verma, Knights, Asante, Reid (Mohammed 59)

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I don't even think some amazing cup run was going to save my job now, which is pretty lucky as we're not going to have one!


Saturday 23rd December 2017 (15:00)
Vanarama National North
Tamworth
vs AFC Telford
Formation: 5-3-2 Inverted Wing Backs
Lineup: Dyche, Jones, Upton, Lane, Burns, Wassi, Bangura, Verma, Knights, Asante, Reid

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Despite a spirited fight back with 10 men from 3-1 down to level things up, Telford went on to win this game and we all know what that means....As I walk off the pitch, the Telford fans sing at me 'you're getting sacked in the morning'....but **** 'em cos they're wrong....I won't even last til the morning!


It's been coming for a while...well, pretty much since the start of the season! Back to the job centre for me....

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My managerial record at Tamworth leaves a lot to be desired as I won only 6 of my 24 games in charge!

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As I check the available jobs, there's a few that 'might' be up **** creek enough to give me a shot! Applications go off to Oxford City, Dartford, Stirling, Clyde and Albion Rovers!

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Albion Rovers are quick to come back to me and invite me in for an interview.

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Jobs at Wealdstone and Tobermore Utd come up, so I promptly get my CV in for both positions.

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Job Hunting

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It seems there is no shortage of clubs who might just be interested in the services of a failed manager still trying to make his name in the football world, as Stirling and Dartford offer me interviews!

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Two more jobs come up that are of interest, Salford and Eastbourne...

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Another 3 interview attended at Oxford City, Tobermore Utd and Wealdstone. Surely it won't be long before Ernie Allan is back in the game!

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And another interview comes in at Eastbourne.

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The first club to give me any interview feedback is Scottish side, Stirling, who both reckon I'm not the right person for them.

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And Salford City reject my application before it even gets to the interview stage.

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Albion Rovers offer me a job on £300 per week! I've got a lot of irons in the fire at the moment though and ask to delay for a week to see what else materialises first. They accept!

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Tobermore United are the next club to offer me a job, but the initial offer was only £250 per week and they weren't willing to budge on that, so I rejected their offer.

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Wealdstone offer me a job at £275 per week. Probably one of the most appealing jobs I've applied for, but again I delay for a week, just to weigh up all available options.

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Oxford City decide I'm not the man for them! But I also receive another job offer from Eastbourne Boro!

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Dartford also offer me a job!

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While this is all going on, Tamworth appoint my replacement! The man they've gone with is ex Stalybridge Celtic manager Liam Watson.

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Now I have a decision to make and I really didn't expect to have so many opportunities come my way after my dismal performance at Tamworth. So what's on the table for Ernie Allan...

Albion Rovers - Ladbrokes League 1 (Scotland) - Currently 10th - Expect to avoid relegation
Wealdstone - Vanarama National South - Currently 9th - Expect top half finish
Dartford - Vanarama National South - Currently 11th - Expect top half finish
Eastbourne Boro - Vanarama National South - 19th - Expect to avoid relegation


Decisions, decisions, decisions!!

 
Go down south and take charge of Wealdstone!
 
New Job

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The decision really came down to one of two clubs for me, Wealdstone or Dartford! And it was the latter that I opted for. After looking at both clubs closely, Dartford seemed like the better option with a larger squad and a slightly bigger stadium. Plus they offered me £425 per week, against Wealdstone's £275 per week. Yes, that's right people...I got myself a £25 pay rise despite being a complete flop at Tamworth...I guess clubs in the South just pay better?

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I was out of work for all of 21 days!

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After a sit down with Dave Skinner, my new boss, he sends over some history on the club for me to look over! They've definitely got a richer history than Tamworth had, with more trophies in the cabinet, albeit all from the lower regional leagues of English football.

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My new club are of a similar size to Tamworth with a club value around the quarter of a mil mark! They're in their 130th year and have better facilities than what I had at Tamworth too. The club enjoy a fierce rivalry with local clubs, Maidstone and Ebbsfleet, although I'll be playing neither this year!

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The club's home stadium is Princes Park, a nice little stadium fully enclosed in all four corners. The capacity is just over 4,000.


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The current squad is big with players able to cover virtually every role on the pitch! However, looking over their average player ratings this season, it's clear the previous regime were not getting the best out of the players!

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My best players are Scottish centre back Tom Bonner, and loanees Danny Mills (striker from Ebbsfleet) and Tariq Issa (striker/winger from Colchester).

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So how are the club doing this season...well, they started off OK and put together a 4 match winning streak early on! However, it's all been pretty much downhill from there with the club only winning 2 of their last 17 games in all competitions!

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That leaves the club sitting in 10th position, a good 10 points off the playoff places! However, they are above Wealdstone...

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On my very first day in the job, I have a game to manage! I don't even know any of the players by name yet and I'm expected to pick a team!? January will see my Dartford side taking on Truro, Poole and St Albans....3 sides that would have been expected to finish below us at the start of the season!

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As far as tactics go, I come in with no ideas of how to play! Instead of doing what I did at Tamworth and trying to get the players to fit into my tactic (which clearly didn't work), I'm going to work a tactic around the players available to me instead. After looking at what I've got to work with, this will be our setup to start, a 4-1-2-3 Wide...

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