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Career #1 - Eastbourne Boro

Aug 20, 2015
Here we are. My first attempt at an FM story, and my first attempt at a serious FM career. I decided to randomise the team for a bit of a surprise and ended up with Eastbourne Boro, a team in the Vanarama Conference South (6th tier). I reckon this will be an interesting challenge and hopefully that will come across in the thread. I'll do an update every in-game month and will include match reports, screenshots, transfer news, statistics and the thought processes behind my actions.

Introduction aside, I jumped straight in on the 9th July 2014, being welcomed to the club by the Chairman. He expects us to finish in the top half. It's a 21 team league, and our media prediction (which is all I really have to go on right now) is for 10th. So it looks like it'll be a tough but achievable target. We've been given a transfer budget (which is great because at this level it's unusual to get anything) of £1,000 as well as a weekly wage budget of roughly £4,200. Out of this about £3,700 is taken up which leaves us with a little over £500 to spend. I'm aiming to save £250 of that amount to renew contracts and use in Janurary which means we probably won't be bringing in too many players in the first window. Below is a summary of our club.

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We may need to get involved a little though, as our first team squad currently has just 17 players in it, which could be a little light if we get some injuries. Until I hire an assistant manager (we started without one)I won't know how good my squad is, but we're making progress on that front. My first move at the club was to offer coach, Darren Baker, a promotion to fill the role. Hopefully he'll accept and we can start to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses.

I've also come up with a preliminary shortlist with 42 names on it. It's a mix of free transfers with a couple of potential loan deals thrown in. I might ask the board if they can afford to increase the wage budget but I don't want to push them too hard this early on. I'll give you an update at the end of July after we've got most of pre-season done and hopefully made some moves in the market!
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Aug 20, 2015
July 2014

So, our first month is complete. We've played a few pre-season friendlies, which we'll get to later. First, I want to show you my transfer activity. I decided to go for squad depth over bringing in key players in this window.

Nicholas Bondon
This guy is a decent French defender, who can play in LB and CB. I feel like I have decent options in CB, with Khinda-John, Watts and Simpemba as my main three players, but in LB I only really have Sam Beale. He's an excellent player, but I'm hoping Bondon can provide backup for him by coming off the bench and occasionally starting. He didn't have a massive impact on my wage budget either, seeing as I have him on a match-by-match non-contract.

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Matt Bennett
A second goalkeeper was a priority in this window, as Lewis Carey was the only option we had in that position. I decided to get Matt Bennett, a young lad with a lot of potential. I got him on a contract, but it only cost me £55 per week, meaning I still had over £400 per week left in the wage budget. Hopefully Carey won't have any major injuries, because Bennett isn't really at the required standard to take over for a long time at the moment.

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Matt Pegler

I decided to get another young goalkeeper, although this guy is going to spend his time in the youth squads for the foreseeable future. Better safe than sorry and he's got decent potential. He was also very cheap because I got him on a non-contract.

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Nathan Collier
Finally, I decided to bolster my attacking options via a loan deal for Nathan Collier. Dartford were happy to send him over to me, as long as I pay 20% of his wages (which equates to about £60 a week). He's pretty experienced with good passing. He's mainly going to be used as cover for CM, but he can also play as an attacking midfielder if we're ever short there. I have a good set of players for CM, such as Losasso, Sinclair and Aldred, but a little cover would be quite helpful, hence this signing.

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So, that's all we managed in July, but I'm quite happy with the added squad depth we've managed to secure. I may go in for another player, but I don't want to spend too much of my wage budget. In other good news, we've managed to tie all of our key players down to a new contract. We activated an extension clause with Sam Beale, and negotiated with Carey, Losasso, Sinclair, Watts, Khinda-John, McCallum and a couple of others. We decided not to try and tie Simon Johnson down to a new deal yet, because I'm not convinced he's going to fit into my formation. Darren Baker has also taken up his position as my assistant. We lost our chief scout to another club, but were able to replace him with a new chap. We also decided to hire a Director of Football. Everything is taking shape now in terms of our background setup which is pleasing.

Now, onto the matches! We've played 4 pre-season games so far.

Eastbourne Boro v Eastbourne Boro U21s

Our first match was an intra-squad friendly against our U21 side. It ended in a 1-0 win, which wasn't really what I was looking for. We put in a solid defensive performance, spearheaded by my MOTM Adam Watts, who made 16 interceptions and won 9/9 aerial challenges. Sam Beale also put in a good performance, making lots of passes and tackles. The full starting 11 we went with was: Carey (GK), Khinda-John (DEF), Lok (MID), Watts (DEF), Hamilton (DEF), Beale (DEF), Foot (MID), Sinclair (MID), Losasso (MID), McCallum (MID), Charles (ATT). I will be playing a 4-1-2-3 with a standard back four, a defensive midfielder, two central midfielders, two wide attacking midfielders and a central striker. This was a closed-doors game so no fans were there.

Canvey Island v Eastbourne Boro
Canvey Island are in the league below us, so this should have been a win. Unfortunately, a terrible performance by Lewis Carey in goal allowed them to win. He let in a long-range free kick early on and then failed to save a poor shot for the winner. We made 4 changes to the side for this game, with Simpemba, Aldred, Johnson and Paquette coming in for Watts, Foot, Sinclair and Charles. Lok made a good cross to assist our goal, but apart from that it was a poor performance from most of the players. Canvey Island don't have a massive following, so there were only 92 spectators.

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Eastbourne Boro v Reading U21s
We made another 4 changes for this game, with Watts, Bondon (our new signing), Foot and Charles coming on for Khinda-John, Beale, McCallum and Paquette. Our other new signing, Bennett, was on the bench. We couldn't play Sinclair, one of our top midfielders, because he was injured for another 6-9 days. We expected to lose this match so I wasn't unhappy with our performance. We could have equalised late on when Khinda-John came on and hit the bar from range. Hamilton, our RB, played awfully however, and Reading capitalised on that. Losasso scored a great goal early on, so I was happy with him. We drew a big crowd today, with 960 there.

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Hampton & Richmond v Eastbourne Boro
We made two-changes for this game, with Khinda-John and McCallum coming on for Foot and Lok, who is injured for 11 days - 2 weeks. Sinclair is on the bench and will be returning to full fitness tomorrow after his injury. Our new singing, Pegler, is in the U21 squad for the moment, while Bennett and Collier are on the bench. Against a team who are a league below us, this was a rather disappointing performance as we were outplayed for most of the match, and only rescued a draw due to a late penalty from Sinclair. Aldred played particularly poorly, while Watts had a solid game, successfully winning 8/8 aerial challenges and making 19 interceptions. Attendance was 146.

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So, that concludes this month's update. We're looking forward to a packed August where we'll finish up our transfer business and pre-season before beginning the Vanarama Conference South in our first five games. Let me know if there's anything different you want from the next update!

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Aug 20, 2015
August 2014

Our league campaign finally begins! We're aiming for 10th place, just inside the top half. We obviously can't take too much from this first month, but we're hoping for a good foundation. We got news that we've managed to sell 300 season tickets, which may not sound like a lot, but it is one of the highest figures in the league.

Worthing v Eastbourne Boro

Our final pre-season game, and we face a team two leagues below us. Easy win you might think. Wrong! We made 4 changes from our last game, with Beale, Foot, Collier and Sinclair coming on in place of Bondon, Simpemba, Aldred and Johnson. Bondon is back to full fitness in one day, and Lok in two. Paquette will be out for 2-3 weeks however. We went for a 'control' strategy to try and take the initiative in the game, but it went wrong, as Hamilton and Beale played poorly in the defence. It was a bad day for everyone actually, except McCallum who managed to score a late equaliser. Awful performance unfortunately.

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Concord Rangers v Eastbourne Boro

After a poor pre-season, I wasn't too confident coming into this game. Concord Rangers are a good team, expected to finish 7th by the media (I'm relying on the media because it's the best indication I have of who is good!). To compound this, it's also away from home. I decided to operate a 'counter' strategy and sit back. We made two changes, with Simpemba and Johnson coming in for Foot and Collier. Again, it was a poor performance, especially from Hamilton and Simpemba. Watts and McCallum did alright, but couldn't prevent us losing. Not a great result, but this was my first competitive game of the career! Khinda-John and Beale also played in their first ever league game, while Carey, Sinclair, Losasso, McCallum, Foot and Bondon all made debuts for Eastbourne Boro as well. Charles notched up his 25th appearance for us today, but couldn't celebrate it with a goal. I do believe the referee played a part in the loss as well, as he gave a lot of decisions to Concord Rangers, but it was a poor performance from us as well.

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Eastbourne Boro v Havant & W

After the loss in the first game, I made five changes coming into the second match. Bondon, Foot, Aldred, Collier and Lok all came in due to this game being close to the first one. A lot of my team were tired so I decided to rotate. Paquette is still out for 3-9 more days. This, despite being at home, was a very tough game. Havant & W are expected to finish 3rd this season, so I decided to stick with a 'counter' strategy. Another pretty poor performance led to a 2-1 defeat, but I saw some positives today.

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Basingstoke v Eastbourne Boro

In an effort to find a winning team I made 6 changes today. Lovett, Khinda-John, Sinclair, Losasso, McCallum and Charles came in for Hamilton, Bondon, Foot, Aldred, Collier and Lok. Lok is out for 8-11 days and Paquette will be fully fit in 3 days. Basingstoke ar predicted to finish 17th, but the game is away which makes it a lot harder. I decided to go for a 'standard' strategy. The result? A 5-0 drubbing. This game made me more frustrated than any other I've ever played on Football Manager. The magnitude of the defeat was largely down to the referee who decided to give 3 penalties (all against me), a red card and let two awful fouls on my players (which resulted in both having to go off) unpunished. The red card and one of the penalties was fair enough, but the rest was pure incompetency by the official. Aside from this, the performance was dreadful on all areas of the pitch. Lovett, Khinda-John and Watts had shockers. McCallum managed a decent display, but to no avail.

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Maidenhead v Eastbourne Boro

After the worst start to the season possible, with 0 points from 3 games and a goal difference of -8, we were all pretty demoralised by the time we got to Maidenhead. After the red card, Sinclair is suspended for 3 games, and Lok doesn't regain full fitness until tomorrow. In addition, we're away from home again, and Maidenhead are a decent side, predicted a 12th place finish. I decided to opt for 'standard' again, and made 3 changes. Hamilton, Aldred and Paquette came in for Lovett, Sinclair and Charles. And we put in a solid performance to come away with a 1-0 victory. This match is going to be a special point in my career because it's not only our first win, but a win that came in a difficult fixture, at a time when I was really getting worried. It was so tense, having our backs to the wall for most of the game after we took the lead around half-time. But it was a great feeling to bag the 3 points when the final whistle went. We kept a hard-fought clean sheet, despite heavy pressure on our goal. Paquette did great to score the goal and he made loads of great runs. Aldred played poorly again, and had to be substituted. McCallum also made his 250th league appearance, so it was nice to celebrate that with our first win of the campaign.

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Eastbourne Boro v Ebbsfleet

It was so pleasing to get off the mark against Maidenhead, but we were thrown into a really tricky fixture just a few days later. Ebbsfleet are one of the big teams in this league, predicted to finish 2nd. With Sinclair still suspended for 2 games, I knew this would be tough. I decided to go for a 'counter' strategy and made one change, with Charles coming in for Paquette. Although Paquette played great in the last game, he was quite tired and I felt Charles might be a better fit for this game because of his proficiency as a target man, useful for a counter-attacking strategy. Helped by a red card received by Ebbsfleet, and an early goal by Watts, we never looked in danger of conceding here. It was a great performance and we could easily have scored more, if Charles had been more clinical. He missed from 2 yards out at one point! Losasso, Khinda-John and Foot didn't contribute too much, but they weren't bad either. Watts played fantastically to score the goal and help keep a second consecutive clean sheet. Aldred celebrated his 50th league appearance for Eastbourne Boro as well. So we round off the month on a high note.

View attachment 233295So, with 6 points from August from 5 games, it could be better. I'm pleased that the good results came at the end of the month though, maybe it was just a matter of adjusting to my formation for the first few games. I feel that it was a tough month in terms of our fixtures as well. 3 of the 5 games were away from home, and 3 of them were also against top half teams. 2 of them were against top 3 teams! We've got a good run of home games in September, so hopefully we can push on into the top half by the time we reach October. As you can see, we're only 1 point behind our target now.

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Below are the players statistics, so you can see who's playing well and who isn't. As you can see, I've been trying a lot of different players, as only 5 players have started every league game to date. Carey, Watts, Johnson, Simpemba (captain) and Beale are the backbone of my team. Carey and Watts have been quite impressive so far, whilst Hamilton, Losasso and Beale have been disappointing. Simpemba needs to control his discipline a bit more, as he's already notched up 3 yellow cards in 5 appearances! Not a good statistic for the captain!

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Anyway, that's it for August. Let me know if you're enjoying the story, and anything I can do to make it better! I'll see you on the 1st October, after a hectic month of league games and the start of our F.A. Cup campaign.

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Aug 20, 2015
September 2014

Continuing on from October. The first mentionable event of the month was the inclusion of Watts in the team of the week from 26th August - 1st September. He's developing into a key part of my team already. The transfer window has now closed, and the full summary of my activity is below.

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Eastbourne Boro v Staines

A fairly low-key window, we'll see what changes need to be made in Janurary. Anyway, onto the matches. We had a fairly tough set of fixtures this month, although easier than the bunch we had in August. First up we encountered Staines at home. They're a good team, predicted to finish 9th I believe. Unfortunately we had Sinclair suspended for this game. We made 5 changes from last time out, with Bondon, Foot, Collier, Lok and Paquette coming in for Hamilton, Simpemba, Losasso, Johnson and Charles. This was a match we should have got something out of, since it was at home, but it was a poor defensive display, which was disappointing after the good play we saw at the end of August. McCallum played a decent game but Lok was very poor. We did get a little help from the referee for the penalty that resulted in the second goal, but it was nice to see my first signing in the career, Nicholas Bondon, get on the scoresheet. Before they scored the first goal, Lewis Carey had gone 199 minutes without conceding, which is quite a good run! Bondon and McCallum both scored their first league goals for Eastbourne Boro in this match as well.

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Boreham Wood v Eastbourne Boro

Struggling in the league, we had a very tough game against Boreham Wood, away from home next. Their prediction is 6th, which beats our 10th, and they were on decent form, with 7 points from their last 5 games, compared to our 6. Continuing to rotate my squad in order to keep them fit and try to find my best team, I made 5 changes once again. Hamilton, Simpemba, Sinclair, Johnson and Charles came back in for Bondon, Foot, Collier, Lok and Paquette. I decided to go for a 'counter' strategy, and it worked fairly well. We showed good spirit to rescue the point and I was pleased with the result and performance. McCallum and Lok were both poor today, but Elliot Charles was great, scoring one goal and assisting the other. Good to see Bondon get another as well! You always have a connection with your first signing in Football Manager! We got a bit of help with another controversial penalty though. Still, good point.

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Eastbourne Boro v Wealdstone

Back at Priory Lane, we face a Wealdstone team on good form, with 8 points from their last 5 games, whereas we have 7 from our last 5 games. Their media prediction puts them in 13th place come the end of the season, so I was really hoping for a win. Losasso wasn't able to play, as he's not fully fit for another 2 days. We only made 2 changes, because I was relatively happy with the performance last time out, so Foot and Paquette came in for Simpemba and Charles. I was slightly disappointed with the performance and result unfortunately. Khinda-John was especially poor. Sinclair played very well though, completing 42 out of 49 passes, doing a good job in defending and crossing, and scoring the goal. This was also his first league goal for Eastbourne Boro.

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After this, we had our draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup. We're expected to reach the Fourth Qualifying Round, which could be tough, but we drew Margate at home here. I'm hoping this will be a comfortable victory since they're a league below us, in the Isthmian Premier.

St. Albans v Eastbourne Boro

St. Albans had just come off the back of a 6-1 thumping a couple of days ago, whereas we hadn't been beaten in 2 games, and had a week of recuperation before this fixture. I was pretty confident about this one, hoping to get all 3 points. St. Albans had been on decent form before their last game though, with 8 points from 5 games, the same as us. Their media prediction is 20th, so I took this to mean they had a fairly weak squad. The main concern going into this one was that our main keeper, Lewis Carey, was out for 2-4 days. This meant we gave a start to our young goalkeeper, Matthew Bennett, whom I signed in July. We made 4 changes coming into this, with Bennett, Simpemba, Losasso and Charles coming in for Carey, Foot, Sinclair and Paquette. We opted to go for a 'control' strategy and it turned out to be another great performance. McCallum did have a poor game, but apart from that I was really pleased. Charles did very well, bagging the winner. Matt Bennett also made his first ever appearance for Eastbourne Boro, and actually did really well, contributing to the clean sheet.

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Eastbourne Boro v Margate

So after finishing up our 4 league games this month with 5 points, we moved into cup action. Home against Margate, from the Isthmian Premier, I was really expecting a win. Johnson was out for 2-4 days, and I only made 2 changes because of our good win in the last game. Sinclair and Lok came in for Losasso and Johnson. I decided to keep Bennett in goal because he played really well against St. Albans. We stuck with the 'control' strategy as well. However, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a terrible result as we got outplayed and lost 2-0 in front of a massive crowd at Priory Lane. How embarrassing! Khinda-John had a shocking game. Lossasso and Paquette played well after I brought them on, but it wasn't enough to salvage anything.

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As you can see, we're still only one point behind 10th place, where we're aiming for, and we have a game in hand against a number of teams in the league. With games coming up against both Weston-super-Mare and Chelmsford, I'm hoping next month can push us into the top half. We just need to get a bit more consistency in our performances and we'll be flying.

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Elliot Charles has really started playing well this month, and is probably our best player so far this season in my eyes. Dean Sinclair has been really good from midfield, and although a bit inconsistent, Kiran Khinda-John has been awesome at times in defence. Very disappointed with Sam Beale, who I expected to be our star player, as well as my signing Nathan Collier, on loan from Dartford. Hopefully these players can pick it up a bit over the next month.

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That's it for September. We've got a better run of fixtures in October, so I'm really hoping for a strong month. I feel as though we're very close to where I want the team to be, we just need to pick up the consistency in both attack and defence a notch!

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Aug 20, 2015
October 2014

We're now on the 1st November, and have been at the club for over 3 months. Obviously September ended in disappointing fashion with that loss against Margate in the FA Cup, but we're not too far off the pace in the league. A much more quiet month here, with just 4 league fixtures. It wasn't the easiest start to October however. Where I have the positions of players in brackets is where I'm playing them in that game, not necessarily where their best position is.

Eastbourne Boro v Whitehawk

Whitehawk was going to be difficult, I knew that. The best team in the league (going by the media prediction), they clearly had a good bunch of players. They weren't on good form though, fortunately for us. Just 5 points from 5 games had them languishing far down in the table. We were on a bit of good form with 8 points from 5 games though. I made 3 changes with Carey (GK), Losasso (CM) and Johnson (AMR) for Bennett, Sinclair and Lok. We decided to sit back and try and counter-attack. Unfortunately, they played pretty well and broke us down, taking the 1-0 victory, after a controversial penalty by the referee. The official match report criticised him for the decision, so we were feeling pretty hard done by. It wasn't a great performance though, especially from Charles. He'd been great last month but didn't turn up today. Beale finally showed his worth though, putting in a solid game. Simpemba made his 50th league appearance for Eastbourne Boro, and Losasso made his 50th total league appearance.

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Eastbourne Boro v Weston-super-Mare

A tough start to the month, but now we had a good opportunity to get a win. Weston-super-Mare are predicted to finish 21st (bottom) and were there or thereabouts when the match came. They'd been on an OK run though, getting 6 points from their last 5 games compared to our lowly 5 points. We were at home and decided to put the pressure on by using an 'attacking' strategy. Simpemba was suspended for 1 game after reaching 5 yellow cards this season, and Foot was out for 6-7 weeks. We made just the one change, with Sinclair (DM) coming in for Simpemba. We got a nice win, and Charles regained his form, scoring 2 goals. Johnson (AMR) was poor, and I substituted him at half-time. Watts made his 7th league appearance for Eastbourne Boro today, and Aldred made his 75th total league appearance. Losasso also scored his first league goal for us. He's a really good player, and I'm hoping he can score a few more. Very pleased with the 3-1 victory.

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Chelmsford v Eastbourne Boro

Chelmsford are another team predicted to be in a relegation battle this year, with the media putting them at 19th. They weren't on bad form, with 7 points from their last 5 games, compared to our 8 points. I made 1 change, with Simpemba (DM) coming in for Sinclair. He's traditionally a CB, but I've been using him in DM a lot this season because he's been doing pretty well there. We got a good win, although our concentration waned a bit towards the end, letting them get a couple back, after we were 3-0 up t one point. Still, away from home, I'll take a 3-2 win any day. Paquette was very poor when he came on unfortunately. Losasso was awesome, a continuation of his performance in the last fixture, scoring a goal, setting up 2 more, and putting in a bunch of great crosses. Paquette made his 350th total league appearance.

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Charlie Losasso was deservedly included in the team of the week for 14th-20th October for his stunning performances against Weston-super-Mare and Chelmsford. 3 goals, 2 assists and great all-round play. It was great to see him start to work wonders an hopefully he can play an important role this season.

Farnborough v Eastbourne Boro

Our final fixture was against Farnborough, who are currently sitting high up the table after a great start to the season. They've been lagging a bit in their last few games though, with just 6 points from their last 5 fixtures, compared to our 10 points. They're predicted 16th, so they're really playing well to be so high up. Collier is out for 1-3 days, and Foot is still gone for another 3-5 weeks. We went for a 'standard' strategy, and Charles was poor today. Simpemba did pretty well but I was disappointed with the result.

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So, we took 6 points from October, which is pretty standard. Would have liked to have got another 1 or 2, but it is what it is. We're keeping pace with the top half teams, so hopefully we can push up a little more and sneak inside. We also drew Staines, away from home, in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round, to be played at the end of November, so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully we can win. Anyway here's the league table.

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As you can see by the statistics for the players, which are posted below, Charles has been good this season, scoring 5 goals in 9 starts. Charlie Losasso has been in great form this month, and he's now our best midfielder so far this season with 4 assists in 9 starts. Adam Watts has been solid in defence, with a good rate of tackling, and has also chipped in with a couple of goals.

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That's it for October, next update will be out when I reach the 1st December!

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Aug 20, 2015
November 2014

Back for another update! November has some tough fixtures, seeing us tackle high-flyers Hayes & Yeading and Hemel Hempstead, as well as a tricky visit to Twerton Park to try and take a result from Bath. Also on the schedule are home fixtures against Bromley, who have a squad worthy of a playoff place according to the media, and FA Trophy finalists Gosport. Finally, we visit Staines in the FA Trophy.

Eastbourne Boro v Hayes & Yeading

We start off with a very difficult home fixture against in-form Hayes & Yeading, who have collected 10 points from their last 5 matches. We're on good form as well though, with 9 points from 5 games, so I'm thinking this should be a good match. Their media predictio is 8th, compared to our 10th, so all the factors point to this being a close game. I decided not to make any changes from last time out, giving the players a chance to prove themselves. We went 1-0 down, but managed to comeback to win 2-1 in a fantastic display of perseverance. McCallum (AML), Aldred (CM) and Khinda-John (CB) let us down, but an awesome performance from team captain Ian Simpemba (DM) was crucial in our victory. He made 20/20 tackles he attempted, pretty staggering considering the next best tackling record was 7/7! He also celebrated his 425th league appearance today, and Charles made his 125th league appearance. Lok also hit a milestone, with his 75th.

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Dean Sinclair managed to get into the team of the week for 28th October - 3rd November, which was pleasing.

Eastbourne Boro v Bromley

Next up we're thrown into another difficult game, against Bromley. Fortunately, we hit them as they're on bad form, with a measly 4 points from their last 5 games, compared to our 9 points. They're certainly under performing, as their media prediction places them 5th. Foot will be out for 9-13 days. We made 1 change today, with Lok (ST) coming in for Charles. We managed to get a hard-fought 0-0 draw, but I think we were the better team and I was pleased with our display. Losasso was uncharacteristically poor however. Khinda-John made up for his last performance with a good show today. He's only 18 years old, so I'm sure he'll be a great player for us in the future. He made many crucial aerial challenges and interceptions to help us get that clean sheet.

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Bath v Eastbourne Boro

After that last result, I felt reasonably confident visiting under performing Bath. They're a decent team, predicted a finish of 11th. They'd had a poor start, but were on an upturn in form, with 8 points from 5 games against our 10 points. Johnson is now injured for 3-4 weeks and Foot is still out for 3 days. I made 2 changes, with Sinclair (CM) coming in for Johnson and Charles (ST) in for Lok. I went for a 'standard' strategy. We took a quick 2-0 lead and everything was going great, but a complete collapse ended in a 4-2 defeat. It was a really gutting result and a poor defensive performance. Beale was awful. The one positive was Losasso, who was excellent throughout, scoring one goal and setting up the other.

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Hemel Hempstead v Eastbourne Boro

Hemel Hempstead have been pushing for the top of the league so far this season, despite their lowly prediction of 15th. However, they're on a poor run at the moment, with just 5 points in 5 games, compared to our 7 points. Away from home, I knew this was still going to eb a tough game though. Johnson is still out for 12 days - 3 weeks and Paquette is now injured for 9-12 days. I made 0 changes. Watts was poor, but Losasso put in another good performance. I think we played alright, and the result wasn't a great surprise given their start to the season. Beale scored his first ever league goal for us, and Lok made his 75th appearance for The Sports (that's us by the way).

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Eastbourne Boro v Gosport

We return to Priory Lane for our fifth and final league game of November, against Gosport. They're currently in the top half, despite a predicted finish of 18th. We're on poor form, with just 4 points from 5 games, compared to Gosport's 5 points. We decided to go for an 'attacking' strategy, but we had to deal with a long injury list. Johnson is out for 8 days - 2 weeks, Sinclair is injured for 3-4 weeks and Paquette is out for 5-8 days.The only change we made was putting Lok (AML) in for Sinclair. We were solid, and got a solid result. I was expecting to win, but was very pleased nonetheless. Aldred was the star player today, completing 67 out of 82 passes. To put this into context, Beale had the second best passing with 45 out o 68. Aldred also won 8/12 aerial challenges. Watts had another bad game, he's not playing so well at the minute. Khinda-John got on the scoresheet, the first time he's done so for Eastbourne Boro.

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Staines v Eastbourne Boro

With our league action complete for the month, we move on to the FA Trophy, hoping to fare better than our FA Cup adventure! This was the 3rd Qualifying Round, with the winner advancing to the 1st Round, our target. Johnson was out for 2-8 days, McCallum was out for 3-4 months, Sinclair is injured for 2-3 weeks and Paquette isn't fully fit for another 2 days. We had previous against Staines, losing 3-2 at home in September, making our record against them 0-0-1. We made 1 change, with Lovett (AMR) coming in for McCallum. We played on 'standard' and took a tough loss. We gave as good as we got until a mistake from Simpemba lead to their goal late on. Carey did well, and couldn't do much about the goal. Nevertheless, we're out, so we just have to focus on the league in December.

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So, with all our matches done, we notice a slight improvement in our standings yet again. I'm happy that we're creeping up the table slowly. After August, we were 16th, after September we were 15th, after October we were 12th, and now we reach the lofty heights of 11th. We also have a game in hand against Ebbsfleet, who are directly above us. Separated from our target purely by goal difference, a good December could see us reach the top half. Unfortunately, we have some tough fixtures in December, but we'll see what we can do!

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In terms of player performances, Elliot Charles has put in a few good games this month to keep the title of best attacker of this season in our squad. He's now netted 7 times in the league, in 13 starts, and managed 3 assists as well. Charlie Losasso also had a good month, with 4 goals and 6 assists in 14 starts. Watts has fallen off the pedestal of best defender however, due to some shaky performances, and has been replaced by Ian Simpemba, who put in a great performance against Bromley, to preserve a clean sheet.

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That's it for November. Expect another update on the 1st Janurary, after which we'll get our transfer activity underway. We may need to ask the board for some extra funds, as we don't have a huge amount available at the moment.

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Aug 20, 2015
December 2014

So, feeling pretty good despite that FA Trophy loss, we move into December. We have 4 tough fixtures lined up against Sutton Utd, Bishop's Stortford, Concord Rangers and Havant & W. Before we got to our first fixture though, we got news that Khinda-John and Aldred were to be included in the team of the week for 25th November to 1st December, which was great news.

Sutton Utd v Eastbourne Boro

A near impossible task. With a huge injury list, we had to play many players completely out of position. In addition to this, Sutton Utd are one of the strongest teams in the league, with a predicted finish of 4th. They're also on good form, with 9 points from 5 games, against our 7. It's also away from home, which will make it even harder. I opted to go for a 'defensive' strategy, to try and contain them. We made 2 changes, with Hamilton (AMR) coming in for Lovett, and Collier (CM) in for Charles. We got smashed 4-0, and I can't say I was surprised. Bondon and Beale were especially poor. Carey, Simpemba, Hamilton and Foot were all fairly good however. Foot made his 50th total league appearance and Hamilton made his 50th appearance for The Sports.

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We got news after this game that Ian Simpemba had the highest number of tackles in the league, averaging 9.02 per game, a great statistic!

Eastbourne Boro v Bishop's Stortford

This game was a must-win fixture. They're an OK team, but predicted to finish 14th. In addition, we were at home and both teams were on bad form, with 4 points from 5 games each. Our injury list had decreased slightly, but Lovett was still out for 11 days - 2 weeks and McCallum was gone for 2-3 months. Charles was fully fit in 2 days. We made 2 changes, with Johnson (AMR) coming in for Collier and Paquette (ST) for Bondon. We went for a 'control' strategy, and it backfired. An awful start saw us lose 3-1, which was so disappointing. This was a game we should have won. Johnson scored a good goal but Simpemba and Lok played awfully. The final goal was a bad penalty decision by the referee, but it was inconsequential in the circumstances.

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There were big developments after this game. The players called a meeting to tell me they were unhappy with my management, and I couldn't appease them. After this I had a row with Paquette after he refused my suggestion that he was tired and needed rest. I also had an argument with Simpemba, after I said his form needed to improve. The board also called me in for a meeting, demanding I get a result they were happy with in my next game, against Concord at home. The day before the fixture, I got an e-mail saying it had been postponed due to Concord's FA Trophy obligations. This meant we got some extra rest before our next game against Havant & W. We went into this game in very poor shape. Morale was abysmal, I'd lost the confidence of a lot of key players. We'd only got 3 points out of our last 5 games, whereas they had 8 points. They're also predicted to finish 3rd in the league. Also, we have a bad record against them so far, 0-0-1. We went defensive again, trying to get a draw in this tough away match and hoping that would appease the board. McCallum was out for 2 months more, and Lovett was not quite fully fit. We made 1 change, with Charles (ST) coming in for Paquette. Unfortunately, we didn't really play well, and went down 2-0. It was a poor performance, especially from Hamilton. Beale did do well however. Sadly, the board kept their promise, and we were fired immediately, even before they sent me a match report to screenshot! Below is the league table at the time of my sacking. I think it was a bit harsh, considering we're only 3 points away from the top half, but I suppose the bad results in the cup contributed to it.

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So, everyone who's been following this thread, was this a fair sacking? Should they have given me more time? Either way, it's over now. Below are my final career statistics.

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Thank you for following this thread. I hope you enjoyed it. Despite it being short and unsuccessful, I also enjoyed it. Believe it or not, this is the first FM career I've ever followed through to the end! I prefer managing one club and seeing what I can do with them, so I won't be moving to another club on this save. What I will be doing is starting another save to begin my second (hopefully longer) career, with another entirely random team! I hope you will follow me through to this second career! I will write the first post sometime tomorrow, and will link it here at the end of this thread. Until then, it's been fun Eastbourne Boro, but goodbye!

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May 23, 2015
Bit of a harsh sacking there, you've inspired me to have a go at managing them.
Maybe I should get rid of the players who got you the sack...;)

Good luck in new career
Aug 20, 2015
Bit of a harsh sacking there, you've inspired me to have a go at managing them.
Maybe I should get rid of the players who got you the sack...;)

Good luck in new career
I thought it was a little as well! Glad to have been of service, go for it!

Yeah, that Paquette chap messed me up, make him suffer ;)

Thanks, I'll need it because apparently I'm not very good at the game!