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Aberystwyth Town - European Giant

Aug 16, 2010
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Aberystwyth Town - European Giant

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Aberystwyth Town have appointed former England international Scott Houghton as manager for the 2012/2013 campaign. Houghton has been quoted in his first press conference as saying he believes he can turn Aberystwyth Town into a European force, although he has admitted any potential European success will be years away and the immediate focus will be to dominate the Welsh League.

Note: I am actually 6 seasons into this save, so to start I will post updates for each season I have completed and then I will go into more detail with regards to signings, a squad report and possibly any European ties.


 
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2012/2013 - A decent start

2012 - 2013
Welsh Premier League


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First season as manager of Aberystwyth Town was very successful as we scooped up the Welsh Premier League title with 22 wins, 5 draws and 5 losses from our 32 League games. The standard of the other teams in the league is very poor, I was surprised to see how low the standard of players I was able to sign was. The most important thing however was the fact our League win means that we will enter the Champions League next season at the second qualifying round.

The Welsh Cups

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The main disappointment of our first season was our inability to add to our silverware count. We embarrassingly lost to lower league side Chirk AAA in the Welsh cup 3rd round and were able to get to the final of the Welsh Premier League Cup, only to lose 3-1 to The New Saints. In other news, If I remember correctly the league actually dropped a few places in the competition rankings and in the European coefficients, however that is to be expected with the poor showings of the Welsh teams in Europe last year.


Season 2 to be updated soon.............


 

calcal

Member
Apr 13, 2011
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Im currently playing in the welsh league as the new saints,Brilliant save trying to crack europe..nearing the end of my 4th season Now..so will be following this story :)

Good Luck...
 
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Im currently playing in the welsh league as the new saints,Brilliant save trying to crack europe..nearing the end of my 4th season Now..so will be following this story :)

Good Luck...
Thanks! TNS are my main domestic rivals during this save, not sure if he starts there but Greg Draper always plays well against me, doesn't matter what I do he always seems to pop up with a goal.
 
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Season 2 (2013-2014)

Champions League Qualifier (Champions Second Qualifying round)

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The moment everybody at Aberystwyth had been waiting all summer for, European football staged at The Recreation Ground as I am assuming that our stadium does not meet Champions League Regulations. We were drawn against Finnish side HJK Helsinki with ourselves at home in the first leg. We employed a rigid, counter attacking 5-4-1 during both legs in an attempt to narrow the gulf in quality and restrict the amount of chances they could create. It worked very well in the first leg as we were able to scrape a 0-0 draw and I knew if we were able to steal an away goal in the second leg we would be in with a shout. Unfortunately it was not to be as Helsinki were able to ****** a goal just after half time and that was our European adventure for the season cut short. This result further emphasized the need to improve if we are to progress in Europe in the seasons ahead!

Welsh Premier League

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Heading into season 2 our target for the league was simple, we must retain it at all costs. We did not make many improvements to the squad whereas The New Saints where the main team to strengthen over the summer and they were able to push us much closer but ultimately we ran out as winners of the league by a small 4 point margin. It was a slight disappointment to not improve on our points tally from the season before however we done what was necessary and we now get another crack at the champions league qualifying next season.

The Welsh Cups

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The second season at Aberystwyth did, however, bring us our first ever league and cup double as we were able to bring home the Premier League Cup with a 3-1 victory over Llanelli with 2 goals from veteran right midfielder Bari Morgan and 1 from youth academy graduate Stuart Jackson. The Welsh Cup eluded us again as we crashed out at the quarter final stage with a defeat to Llanelli, as they avenged the Premier League Cup final loss.


General News

The Welsh Premier League once again took a drop in the competitions rankings, dropping from 162nd to 168th. Obviously this is not a major drop however it is not helping my quest to bring a better quality of player to Park Avenue. Our former Welsh under 21's striker David Goldsmith was able to win the league's top goalscorer award with 23 goals, this is nothing however compared to one of my strikers in the season I have just finished
:p Also have found screenshots of three players from my youth academy I took at the start of the third season (2 came through during the 1st season, 1 during the second),two of whom (the left back and the center midfielder) are still first choice and the other (attacking midfielder) is a squad player.

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Season 3 update to come....... could we improve our fortune in Europe???
 
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Season 3 - 2014/2015

Season 3 (2014-2015)

Transfers

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These signings were mainly squad players/back up however the one name to take not of here is Lewis Doyle, a young 16 year old striker signed on a free from fellow Welsh club Afan Lido and although he does not focus much for me in this season or the next, he is very much a key player for us at the current time.



Champions League Qualifiers

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What an improvement this was from last season! We were drew against FC Sheriff Tirapsol of Moldova is the second qualifying round and I honestly didn't expect to get past them but we stole a 1-0 win away from home in the 1st leg and shut up shop in the second leg to progress into the 3rd round with a 1-0 aggregate win. In the 3rd round FC Andorra awaited us, not sure exactly how they were there because they play in the Spanish lower leagues and I thought the Andorran European place would have went to an Andorran club. Anyway.... they were very poor and we eased into the playoff round with a 3-0 aggregate win which could have actually been a few more. This was a brilliant victory as it ensured group stage European football but would it be the Champions League or the Europa League. Unfortunately we went down 1-0 on aggregate to FC Flora Tallinn of Estonia so we didn't make the Champions League, however we did gain around £2,000,000 in prize money which allowed us to turn professional at the end of the season and on top of that a few glamour ties in the Europa League group stages.

Europa League


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Group J

Liverpool
AS Roma
Trabzonspor
Aberystwth Town

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Very pleased with how this went. We opened our campaign with two 0-0 draws, one against Liverpool and on against AS Roma. Two points and a goal difference of only -7 goes down as a success in my book. Also got some good attendances for the Liverpool and Roma games which is a nice change from the 400 attendances we get in the league. Does anyone know of how I can improve League attendances or is it just a case of improving League Reputation????

Domestic Treble

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This was also the season in which we really started to dominate domestically, taking home all the silverware. In the league we actually took less points than we did in the previous two season, however I will put this down to our European exploits. We won our second Welsh League cup with a 3-0 victory over Afan Lido and finally got our first Welsh cup, although The New Saints pushed us all the way as we won 5-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Season 4 will be the next update..... could we repeat our European journey of this season or even go one step better and qualify for the Champions League?


 
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Season 4 (2015-2016)

Transfers

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Our European exploits from last season combined with the fact we had turned professional allowed us to make a few good signings for the season ahead. Lewis Price is still 1st choice keeper, as is Mc'Stravick right back and Danny O'Brian right wing. Ian Morris, David Atkinson and Charlie Wyke are still very much an important part of the squad aswell.

Champions League Qualifiers

Could our European exploits of last season be repeated...

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In short, yes they were. We were extremely lucky to take a 1-1 draw away at Dinamo Zagreb before drawing 0-0 at home to send us through in the 1st leg. Funnily enough, we always seem to get an easier draw in the 3d qualifying round as we were drawn against Northern Irish champions Portadown and comfortably beat them 3-0 on aggregate. We were then drew against our conquerors of two seasons ago in the playoff round HJK Helsinki. Unfortunately we couldn't get our revenge as a 3-1 way defeat was too much to overcome as we could only manage a 1-0 home victory. Disappointing but at least we still get the Europa League Group stages and the financial benefits which come with it.

Europa League

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CSKA Moscow
Feyenoord

BATE Borisov
Aberystwyth Town

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Really happy with the way this went! Finished the group with 4 points and to get a victory over CSKA was the stuff dreams are made of. Also took a point off Dutch giants Feyenoord so this resulted in a nice rise in the club and league rankings. I will post the league rankings, club rankings and coefficients after I post the next two seasons and catch myself up.

Domestic Treble


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Not too much to say here as it is pretty much the same as last season and the domestic side of this save quickly is becoming quite monotonous. We got our best league points total so far with 80 points and I think this shows an improvement in the depth of the squad.

Season 5 to be updated next..... will it be the year we finally get to the Champions League Group stages???

 
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Season 5 - Disappointment

Season 5 (2016-2017)

Transfers

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All three permanent signings here immediately became 1st choice players at the club, especially center half Pierce Sweeney and Northern Irish striker Kevin Conn.

European Qualifiers

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Unfortunately we could not repeat the successes of the two previous season this year. We drew Valletta in the second qualifying round and easily dispatched of them with 3-0 wins in both legs. We then drew SK Rapid Wien in the 3rd qualifying round and after a 0-0 draw we lost the away leg 4-3 in an unusually open Aberystwyth Town European game. This meant we dropped out into the Europa League playoff round to attempt to earn a place in the group stages. However, we were drawn against Athletic Bilbao and never really stood a chance as they hammered us 5-0 on aggregate. Obviously this was disappointing after the last couple of seasons but it shows how crucial the draws that you get are and shows us we still need to improve in order to get group stage European football every season.

Domestic Double



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The lack of European football certainly had a positive effect on our league form as we were able to rack up 29 wins and 2 draws from our 32 league games. The negative was our 1-0 loss to Barry Town in the Welsh Premier League Cup Final. However we more than made up for it with a thumping 5-0 victory over our major rivals TNS in the Welsh Cup final. The main positive from this season was our league rose to 130th in the competition rankings and moved up to a 1 and a half star rating while I think we also got a team to start in the 2nd round of Europa League qualifiying instead of all 3 starting in the 1st round.

Season 6 to be updated next..... Could we be able to make it back into Europe?



 

Cai1234

Member
Mar 6, 2012
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Even though I'm a Carmarthen fan I still enjoy watching welsh teams do well. Can't wait to see how you keep going.
 
Aug 16, 2010
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Even though I'm a Carmarthen fan I still enjoy watching welsh teams do well. Can't wait to see how you keep going.
Thanks! Not sure if he plays for yous in real life but I actually poached their best striker in the game Casey Thomas during the third or fourth season, scored loads for them but hardly any when he joined us :p
 

Cai1234

Member
Mar 6, 2012
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He's amazing. Came from Swansea last year. One of my favourite Carmarthen players. You thief ;)
 

Woodstok1987

Member
Dec 12, 2009
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Cracking story mate, you gonna be doing month by month from now or sticking to year by year? How's your finances improved over the years after your european exploits?
 
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Cracking story mate, you gonna be doing month by month from now or sticking to year by year? How's your finances improved over the years after your european exploits?
Thanks pal, I'm thinking of doing 2 or 3 updates per season and going into more detail in terms of our European games, just got season 6 to post and then I'm half way through season 7 so I may post a European Update for season 7 (My best season yet ;)). Finances have massively improved this season, I'll put up a screenshot when I catch up. My main gripe with this save is the fact that the League attendences just don't seem to improve so I never get any good gate receipts for domestic games.
 
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Season 6 - Improvement...

Season 6 (2017-2018)

Transfers

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Not much to mention here really, Kevin Dindone is a Australian center midfielder who has Italian dual nationality which meant he didn't need a work permit. He has quite a few under 21 caps for Australia and I'm hoping he'll get himself a senior call up soon enough. Damien Fowler once again comes in as right wing cover.

Champions League Qualifiers

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Well, a story of two totally different ties here. Firstly, we drew the Slovakian champions in the 2nd qualifying round and amazingly hammered them 9-0 in their own back yard, with Northern Irish international striker Kevin Conn notching 5! Our 2nd 11 then beat them 2-1 in the second leg to give us an 11-1 aggregate win. However, we drew Celtic in the 3rd qualifying round and ultimately they were too strong for us. We thought we had a chance after a 1-1 draw at home but they cruised to a 3-0 win at Celtic Park and in reality it could have been more. The Europa League Playoff round and Dutch giants PSV awaited.......

Europa League Play
off Round

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What a great result! Heading to the Philips Stadion we had 2 targets; score and don't get beat. Luckily we managed both of these as Kevin Conn put us 1-0 up only for Memphis Depay to equalize with 10 minutes to go. Not to worry though as Kevin Conn was able to add yet another another European goal in the second leg where we beat PSV 1-0 to take a 2-1 win on aggregate and qualify to the Europa League.

Europa League Group E

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Olympique Marseille
Malaga Fc
VFL Wolfsburg
Aberystwyth Town



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Well we can add Wolfsburg to the list of big European sides we have turned over! It was that man again Kevin Conn who notched a 66th minute winner at the Volkswagen Stadium. After that we dreamed to think we could get through the group but we could only mange 2 draws and three losses from our other 5 games. Still very happy with this European run.

The Invincibles


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What a season! 30 wins and 2 draws from our 32 league games and both Welsh Cups in the bag meant that we went undefeated for the entire domestic season. We also had one of our strikers smash the record for league goals a season and it wasn't Kevin Conn
:OIt was actually the player I told you all to look out for a couple of posts ago, the now Welsh international striker Lewis Doyle. He scored a whooping 36 league goals in 31 games and 45 goals from 40 starts in all competitions!


Current Rankings

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Now I have pretty much caught myself up I thought I would show you were we and the Welsh League currently stands in World football. We have jumped up to 107th in the competition rankings and are close to becoming a 2 star competition. We're also up to 32nd in the qualification rankings and the club is 141st in the European coefficient rankings so everything is coming along nicely, although I do really want another Welsh club to start performing in Eurrope although TNS are the only other side who are professional so I can't see it happening.

Season 7 European Update and Transfers to come........ and it's certainly a good one
;)



 

MrStu01

Member
Feb 17, 2013
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This thread is awesome. I'm starting a new FM game in smaller rep leagues and this inspired me to stick at it. I will be working in the Irish league so would appreciate any help. Also if anybody would be interested to see my progress, please tell me and i will post updates.
 
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Season 7 - Champions League Qualifiers

Champions League Qualifiers (2018 - 2019)



2nd Qualifying Round


Aberystwyth vs Portadown


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We managed to make this a little more difficult than it should have been. A 1-1 draw at home in the 1st leg with left back Simon O'Brian scoring a 20 yard screamer needed us leaving a win in the away leg to go through. The away leg was a scrappy affair and there was not much in it but we were able to come away with a 1-0 victory thanks to right winger Danny O'Brian.

3rd Qualifying Round



Aberystwyth vs FC Kobenhavn

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For our win against Portadown we we awarded a tough tie against Danish champions FC Kobenhaven. A 2-0 win in the first leg at home proved pivotal as we knew any goal in the away leg that we could score would mean they needed 4. They did take an early lead after two minutes but Danny O'Brian got his 3rd champions league goal of the season in the 8th minute to end any worries on our case and we went through 3-2 on aggregate. Swiss Champions FC Basel awaited in the playoff round.

Champions League Playoff Round
Aberystwyth Town vs FC Basel

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Yesss, we have finally done it. Champions League football is coming to Aberystwyth! With a 1-0 victory in the 1st leg we dared to dream it could be possible. However, when Basel took a 73rd minute lead in the second leg and took the tie to extra time we feared the worst. Then in extra time Paraguayan striker Francisco Mora added a second and as it stood we were heading out....... for all of 1 minute. Straight from kickoff we headed down to the other end and our main man Kevin Conn scored the pivotal away goal! The last 15 minutes was true back to the walls stuff but we managed to hold out for the win and the £7,000,000 prize money for qualifying for the group stage. How were we rewarded in the Group draw........

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Next update will include how we went in the champions league group stage, could we manage to avoid being the whipping boys of the group or were we totally embarrassed by our opponents superior quality??
 
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This thread is awesome. I'm starting a new FM game in smaller rep leagues and this inspired me to stick at it. I will be working in the Irish league so would appreciate any help. Also if anybody would be interested to see my progress, please tell me and i will post updates.
Thanks :D Yeah, I would follow if you started a story. Do you mean the Northern Irish league or The Republic of Ireland one? The thing what put me off the league of Ireland was the fact the season ran from March to November and it just didn't feel right haha, only advice I would give is to make sure you spend the money you get from Europe wisely and try too keep an eye on the transfer market all the time as you have to snap up any quality players when they become available as it can be hard to attract decent players. Good Luck!
 

Stokiescott

Member
Mar 17, 2012
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See you were given a nice easy group for your Champions League debut, nice easy 6 points V Liverpool and get 4 points of both Bayern and Porto and should top the group :p lol
 
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