Berwick Rangers: An English Club in Scotland

Oct 4, 2017
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Berwick Rangers: An English Club in Scotland

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Welcome to my first football manager story. On FM16 I led Conference North side Hednesford Town to three Champions League titles and so I thought achieving something similar on FM18 would be an interesting read.

However, instead of repeating this feat with another team in the English leagues, I have decided to try and do something similar with Berwick Rangers in the Scottish League 2.

Uniquely, Berwick Rangers Football Club is not actually based in Scotland. The club is physically located in England in the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, on the border with Scotland.

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So, having no knowledge of the Scottish system, it is my aim to get Berwick from League 2 to the SPL as quickly as possible with aspirations to then get them into Europe whilst simultaneously boosting the reputation of Scottish football.

What could possibly go wrong?
Looking forward to this. If David Dangana from Aberdeen, ever comes available on loan (or his contract expires at the end of the season) I strongly recommend, smashed it when I was Albion Rovers
Looking forward to this. If David Dangana from Aberdeen, ever comes available on loan (or his contract expires at the end of the season) I strongly recommend, smashed it when I was Albion Rovers

Cheers mate, I can't make any more loans as there were 5 players here on loan already but I'll definitely look to pick him up at the end of the season if he's available.
Signings, Pre-season, League Cup and Challenge Cup

We started the season with a £315 wage budget which is actually a useful amount especially when all players are on part time contracts. However with an almost non-existent scouting system, tens and hundreds of players came on trial. I decided to trust the star ratings from my assistant and sign just three players…

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Kesi Omolokun - The centre of defence desperately needed improving and we’ve brought in young centre back Kesi Omolokun who is only on £25 week.

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Lionel Stone - Another centre back signing Lionel Stone. By far my best central defender and at £65 a week could prove to be a real astute buy.

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Scott Scott - Our final signing is 16-year-old Scott Scott. He came up on my scout reports as unattached and not only has the best name of any regen I’ve ever come across, but also looks decent for this level. Inverness in the Championship were also interested in him. (The original screenshot of him would not load, so here's one of him in October, his season stats are cropped out for a reason...)

Here is a look at the better players in my squad. The best of whom are loanees from SPL teams along with a few trialists chucked in there who I more than likely will not have enough money to give a contract to.

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I've already played games in the League Cup and Challenge Cup, both of which I did not expect to get far in. It’s not looking terrible considering we only lost by one goal to teams in the Championship and Premier League, I’m hoping I get off to a decent start in the first few league games or else the pressure could really be on.

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We are predicted to finish 7th​ this season. I'd prefer to finish higher but realistically am aiming to find my feet this season and get promotion next year.

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First league game at home against Clyde next, this is where the season really starts!
First League Game- A Promising Start

A nice, dare I say, comfortable win in the first league game of the season against a team containing former Premier League striker David Goodwillie (what is he doing at Clyde?)

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A clean sheet and only one shot against is what is most pleasing, the defensive signings making a good first impression.

It will be interesting to see if we are as commanding as we were against Clyde in our upcoming games.​
It All Seemed So Easy

Three wins in a row, three clean sheets and an announcement of Aberdeen as our senior affiliate. It was beginning to seem like the season would be a breeze.

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Then the football manager gods gave my star defender a season ending injury and I immediately lost my first game without him.

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On the positive side, Scott Scott is my joint top scorer. If he carries on with the good form I don’t think he’ll be at Berwick for long. He came third in Young Player of the Month for August with another new signing Omolokun winning the award.

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The fixture list is not congested at all so hopefully I will be able to get through this season quite quickly, it’s a game a week until the end of the season unless we have a run in the cup which we enter at the end of October.
What an epic! A striker whose name is Scott Scott which is a Scottish.

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Promotion Push?

After 16 games things are looking very promising. It seems to be whichever team makes the fewer mistakes during the game ends up the winner. Nevertheless Berwick currently sit 2nd​ in the table.

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Despite this we were knocked out of the cup in the third round to BSC Glasgow, a team in the division below us. It’s annoying but not too concerning, as the board did not expect us to get past the third round anyway.

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Our last game was an amazing comeback win against unbeaten Peterhead, who have a wage spend 4 times the size of ours. A playoff place could well be a possibility but a run of bad results could see us easily slip down the table.

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Also Scott Scott is still the man. 11 league goals in 16 games.
I agree man. Its actually fun. I know the leagues well. both my friends played for Elgin & one captained East Fife so ive always had an interest.

Cheers mate! I could spend ages talking about tactics and club history etc. but I think the story of getting Berwick up the leagues is far more interesting.
I agree man. Its actually fun. I know the leagues well. both my friends played for Elgin & one captained East Fife so ive always had an interest.

Haha that’s class. This is the first save I’ve ever done in Scotland, but again I think that makes the journey/story more interesting… certainly for me playing it anyway!
The Long Ball Over The Top

We’re very leaky at the back (in fact I’ve just checked and realised we only have 1 clean sheet in the last 17 games) but the long ball over the top, coupled with the pace of Scott Scott and strike partner Aaron Murrell, have put us in a position we really shouldn’t be in.​

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Murrell has been in incredible form recently and now has 14 league goals, with 9 of those coming in the last 5 games, whereas Scott has 18 league goals and is unsurprisingly attracting interest from Inverness again.

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Peterhead pretty much have the league wrapped up but we’re in with a serious shout of finishing in second and Lionel Stone, our best centre back, will soon be back from his broken ankle sustained in the first weeks of the season.
Goodbye Scott Scott

It was always going to happen, but it is still sad to announce that Scott Scott will be joining Inverness (who are 3rd​ in the Championship) at the end of the season. He wanted £240 a week and I could only offer a maximum of £140 but I wouldn’t have thought he would have accepted a part-time contract anyway.

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Also some wage budget was freed up when my backup left back signed for a team in the division below. I used the money to sign experienced ball winning midfielder Nicki Paterson on a contract until May. It’s a low risk signing for a decent player at this level, which will strengthen the midfield as we approach the business end of the season.

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Lastly, form in January has earned me my first Manager of the Month Award. Aaron Murrell and Scott Scott were unsurprisingly the two best players in January.

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Time to get the most I can out of Scott Scott, and hopefully I'll able to get him back on loan next season.​
Enjoying this so far, very easy to read! A shame Scottish Scott Scott is leaving an English club in Scotland for a Scottish club in Scotland though
Enjoying this so far, very easy to read! A shame Scottish Scott Scott is leaving an English club in Scotland for a Scottish club in Scotland though

Haha thanks mate! Excellent summary of Scott Scott the Scot, I'm sure he'll be back at Berwick at some point in the save.
Incredible Form

January form has continued into February and it looks like we should secure second place, which would be an amazing achievement.

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The pace of Aaron Murrell and Scott Scott has been too much for every defence in the league. I can’t count how many times my goalkeeper has played it short to my defenders who’ve then launched the ball over the top for them to latch on to.

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A special mention has to go to 3 other key players, Michael McKenna, Andy Irving and Robby McCrorie who have all been brilliant. I think keeping them, as well as the two strikers, fit all season has been key in getting us into the position we are in, as we have no real quality in the squad beyond them.

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The next update will more than likely contain the youth intake.. I hope Scott Scott has a younger brother.​
What a name Scott Scott has, gutted he's gone purely for that name! You're doing well for yourself at the moment, hopefully we'll find someone just as good as Scott and with an equally good name ;).