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Career #2 - Yeovil

Aug 20, 2015
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I'm back! Welcome to my second FM career story. You can check out my first story by following the link below.

http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/football-manager-2015-manager-stories/336193-career-1-eastbourne-boro.html

After tackling Eastbourne Boro, we randomised our second career as well. The results? Yeovil! Now, if you've read my first thread, you'll know that the way I'm doing this series of stories is by using just one team. I randomise the team to give us a bit of a surprise, and do what I can with it. If I get fired, that's it. Story over! So, a bit about Yeovil. After staying in League 1 (tier 3) for a number of years, they got promoted to the Championship via the playoffs in 2012/2013. This was a massive surprise, given that they were never expected to get near the playoffs! Sadly, they came 24th in the Championship the following season, placing them instantly back down in League 1. This is where I'll be taking over. Just as a note, they actually came bottom (24th) again in the 2014/2015 season, so in the new season they're currently playing in League 2! Hopefully that won't happen in this career though, but it might give you an idea of how tough this job is on FM15. I'll do what I can though! Our league expectation is to hit the top half, and our media prediction is 10th. Yeovil play in a small stadium called Huish Park, which seats about 9,500. We've been given a transfer budget of £0 (great!), and a wage budget of £37,000 per week. Of this, £33,000 is currently being used, leaving us with around £4,000 to work with. This isn't too bad and will allow me to bring in a couple of players, but I want to save some of it to renew contracts and use in Janurary. Below is a brief summary of our club.

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In terms of our squad, we have 23 players in the first team, which is pretty decent. Our star player is a young CM called Joe Edwards, who has been with Yeovil for a few years now. Our reports indicate that he would be a good championship midfielder, so to have him playing in League 1 is really going to be big help. In attack, we have a young striker called Kieffer Moore, who's hopefully going to play well this season. Aaron Martin is our best defender. Both players are of good League 1 quality. I'll be dipping into the market as well, and have a 5-man shortlist set up. I'll update on this thread at the first of every month. I'll see you all on 1st August, after I've got some of pre-season done!

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Aug 20, 2015
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July 2014

Our first month is complete as manager of Yeovil, and it's been quite action-packed. 4 pre-season friendlies and a number of signings as well as a large level of change in the staff. I'm pretty happy with how things are going so far. First I'll run through the signings we made.


Stephen Pearson

Our first signing is a name some of you may recognise if you've been following Championship football for the last few years. Pearson has been a key part of the Derby team for a long time, going right back to their disastrous premier league season a few years ago. After Derby, he spent the last few years at Bristol City. He's very experienced and has good dribbling and passing. We're a bit short on central midfielders, hence this signing. Very happy to have acquired him. At just £1,300 a week, he hasn't put a big dent in our wage budget either.


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Bobby Hassell

I imagine you can start to see a theme emerging here. I'm bringing in a number of more experienced and older players. This is because we have a young squad, and I feel older players with experience in the Championship will really help us, should we be pushing for promotion. Hassell is 34 years old, and will be used primarily as a DR. In an 18 year career, he's only every played for 2 clubs, which is incredible! He initially spent 8 seasons in League 2 and League 1 with Mansfield, as a younger player, before switching to Barnsley. He stayed there for a decade, helping them get promoted to the second tier and then staying there for a number of years. Again, he'll bring a lot of experience to our defence, and is a bargain at just £1,300 a week. His marking, heading and tackling are great!

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Terry Dunfield

Our final signing in July is Canadian international Terry Dunfield. With 14 caps and 1 goal for Canada, as well as a long career in the lower professional leagues of England, he's a very experienced central midfielder. He also spent the last few years in the MLS, playing for Toronto as they've risen up the ranks. His strengths are penalties, crossing, marking and tackling. He's been brought in to ensure we have a good number of options in the MC positions. He's on £1,500 a week.

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Yeovil v Yeovil U21s

Our first game of pre-season was an intra-squad friendly against our U21s side. We start off our career facing a lengthy injury list, with Liam Davis (ML) out for 2-3 months, Kevin Dawson (MR) out for 4-7 weeks, James Berrett (MC) out for 2-4 weeks and Joel Grant (AML) out for 6 weeks to 2 months. I'll give you the team sheet for this first game, and for subsequent matches I'll just list the changes to the team. Team: Chris Weale (GK), Brendan Moloney (DR), Jakub Sokolik (DC), Ben Nugent (DC), Nathan Smith (DL), Sam Hoskins (MR), Simon Gillet (MC), Joe Edwards (MC), Sam Foley (ML), AJ Leitch-Smith (STC), Kieffer Moore (STC). I'll be using a 4-4-2 this season. This game was the perfect start. It doesn't really mean all that much, but it's a good result to get into the career. A 3-0 win, spearheaded by an awesome performance by Kieffer Moore, who scored 1 goal and set up another. He also completed the most passes on the team, with 48 out of 61 successful. In addition, he won an incredible 21 out of 31 aerial challenges. To put that into context, the next best aerial statistic was 7 out of 9. He also hit 3 out of 4 shots on target. Everyone played well though.

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In between this and the next game, a lot happened. We signed Damian Roden as a Fitness Coach and Matt Alexander as a Scout. We also signed Dave Philpotts as a Scout. We were deep in negotiations with Stephen Pearson during this time and eventually managed to agree a deal and officially make our first signing. After talks with the board, they allowed me to increase the wage budget from £37,000 a week to £40,700 a week, a large increase which will allow us to make more signings. We also signed two more Scouts, as our current ones had been snapped up by other clubs. Chris Kilby and Pat Willett joined the new-look back room staff.

Yeovil v Bournemouth

We still had injury problems to deal with coming into this match. Liam Davis (ML) is out for 6 weeks to 3 months. Kevin Dawson (MR) is out for 2-5 weeks. Jamie Berrett is injured for 8 days to 2 weeks and Joel Grant (AML) will be back in 4 weeks to 2 months. The positions after the players names when I list the team changes refer to the position they are being played in, not their best position necessarily.We made 3 changes for this game, giving a couple of younger players a runout. Calvin Brooks (DC) came in for Ben Nugent (DC). Nathan Ralph (DL) switched in for Nathan Smith (DL). Finally, Stephen Pearson (MC) came in to the team for Sam Hoskins (MR). It was a poor performance, but a difficult fixture. I feel we should have been more competitive though, a 4-1 loss isn't good. Kieffer Moore had another great game though, and scored a good goal. Same Foley was poor today.

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After the Bournemouth match we made more transfer progress, signing both Bobby Hassell and Terry Dunfield with our extra wage allowance that the board kindly gave me.

Forest Green v Yeovil

James Berrett (MC) is nearl back by this game, he'll be fully fit in another 9 days. Liam Davis (ML), however, will still be injured for 5 weeks to 3 months and Kevin Dawson (MR) will be out for 8 days to 4 weeks. Finally, Joel Grant (AML)won't be back for another 3 weeks to 2 months. We made 7 changes for this game, experimenting a little. Artur Krysiak (GK) came in for Chris Weale (GK). Bobby Hassell (DR) came in for Brendan Moloney (DR), Aaron Martin (DC) for Jakub Sokolik (DC), Ben Nugent (DC) for Calvin Brooks (DC) and Nathan Smith (DL) for Nathan Ralph (DL). Terry Dunfield (MC) came in for Stephen Pearson (MC). James Hayter (STC) came in for AJ Leitch-Smith (STC). We played with a 'control' strategy and got a good win. James Hayter was good, and scored a nice goal. AJ Leitch-Smith was poor however. Still, I'm very happy with the 2-1 victory.

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Sherborne v Yeovil

Next up was a game against our affiliate club, Sherborne. James Berrett (MC) would be fully fit in 6 days, Liam Davis (ML) would be injured for 5 weeks to 2 months, Kevin Dawson (MR) would be back in 12 days to 3 weeks and Joel Grant (AML) was out for 3-7 weeks. We made another 5 changes for this match. Chris Weale (GK) came back in for Artur Krysiak (GK). Brendan Moloney (DR) was rotated in for Bobby Hassell (DR) and Jakub Sokolik (DC) came in for Aaron Martin (DC). Stephen Pearson (MC) came back in for Terry Dunfield (MC) and Sam Hoskins (STC) came in for James Hayter (STC). We got another good win, and a good performance. James Hayter was the best player, coming off the bench to score a lovely goal. It was an all-round good performance and I was very happy with the 3-0 victory.

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After this game, James Hayter was injured while playing for the U18s. He would have been out for 4-5 months! I decided to spend £3,900 on sending him to a specialist, where he would be treated and back within 2-3 months. I also tried to talk to Joe Edwards about renewing his contract, but he wasn't happy to do that at the moment.

It's been a good first month overall, and I'm looking forward to starting our league campaign in August! I'll see you then.


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Aug 20, 2015
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August 2014

So, our league and cup campaigns started this month, and we're about to see how they went. With our transfer activity complete, I set about renewing a few contracts initially, such as that of James Hayter and Kevin Dawson.


Salisbury v Yeovil

Before we get to the competitive matches, there was the matter of completing our preseason schedule with a match against Salisbury. Our injury list was still quite heavy with Liam Davis (ML) out for 3 weeks to 2 months, Joel Grant (AML) out for 3-6 weeks, James Hayter (STC) out for 2-3 months and Kevin Dawson fully fit in 10 days time. We made 1 change with AJ Leitch-Smith (MR) coming in for Stephen Pearson (MC). We played with an 'attacking' strategy and the result was average. A 1-0 victory was nice, but the performance wasn't great. Kieffer Moore (STC) starred again though, getting an assist and completing 48 out of 61 passes and 13 out of 22 aerial challenges. Simon Gillet (MC) wasn't great however.

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Crewe v Yeovil

So, the opening match of our league campaign was away to Crewe. They're predicted to finish 24th, compared to our 10th, so I was definitely hoping to start off with a win, despite the lack of home advantage. From this point on I'll just update the injury list every month to save it becoming repetitive. We made 1 change, with Stephen Pearson (MC) coming in for Sam Hoskins (STC). We played on 'attacking' and got a great 3-2 win. Kieffer Moore (STC) was fantastic, scoring a wonderful goal and completing an incredible 40 out of 43 passes. Brendan Moloney (DR) didn't have a good game, but everyone else played well. There were a lot of milestones from this match, including my first game in management. Brendan Moloney (DR), Jakub Sokolik (DC), Ben Nugent (DC), Stephen Pearson (MC), AJ Leitch-Smith (STC), James Berrett (MC) and Bobby Hassell (DR) all made their first league appearances for Yeovil. Kieffer Moore (STC) scored his 25th career league goal and my new signing Bobby Hassell (DR) scored his first league goal for Yeovil.

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After this match, Chris Weale (GK) was selected in the team of the week for 5th August - 11th August. This was slightly surprising, seeing as he did concede 2 goals against Crewe, but he did play well to deny them more.

Yeovil v Cambridge

Into action in the Capital One Cup now. We had to reach the 2nd Round in order to achieve the target set by the board, which meant getting past League 2 side Cambridge at home. We made 2 changes, with Aaron Martin (DC) coming in for Jakub Sokolik (DC) and Sam Hoskins (MR) for Stephen Pearson (MC). I knew this was a game we should win and decided to go for a 'control' strategy. Despite a 1-0 win, our performance wasn't good enough. Aaron Martin (DC) played well, getting 13 interceptions but AJ Leitch-Smith wasn't good, not getting any of his 4 shots on target.

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Fortunately, despite a below average performance, we still won and qualified for the 2nd Round of the Capital One Cup, meaning we'd hit our board expectation in one competition. This might mean that they'll give me a little more time if I'm under-performing in the league. The draw for the 2nd Round wasn't kind to us, putting us against Championship team Norwich at home.


Yeovil v Gillingham

Back to the league, we have one of the easier fixtures of the season at home to Gilligham, predicted a 22nd place finish. With our mind on winning this game, we made 3 changes, with Jakub Sokolik (DC) in for Aaron Martin (DC), Kevin Dawson (MR) for Sam Hoskins (MR) and Stephen Pearson (ML) for Sam Foley (ML). Using an attacking strategy we played very well and won 3-0. AJ Leitch-Smith was really impressive, scoring 2 goals, one of them a long-range screamer. Nugent and Pearson also played very well, with my first signing (Pearson) getting on the scoresheet. No one played badly today. Chris Weale (GK) made his 175th league appearance for Yeovil, while Ben Nugent (DC) made his 25th total league appearance. Stephen Pearson (ML) scored his first goal for Yeovil, while AJ Leitch-Smith (STC) scored his first and second goal for Yeovil.

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Ben Bugent (DC) and Stephen Pearson (ML) were both selected in the team of the week for 12th August - 18th August after the Gilligham game, both thoroughly deserved a place.


Notts Co v Yeovil

Notts Co are predicted a 16th place finish, but the game was away from home, so I decided I'd be happy with a point, but would try and get by controlling the game. We made 5 changes, because we have such a packed schedule (8 games) in this month that rotation is becoming a necessity. Bobby Hassell (DR) came in for Brendan Moloney (DR), Aaron Martin (DC) for Jakub Sokolik (DC), James Berrett (MC) for Kevin Dawson (MR), Sam Foley (ML) for Stephen Pearson (ML) and Sam Hoskins (STC) for AJ Leitch-Smith (STC). We didn't play that well, but we did get a 0-0 draw. Sam Foley (ML) was below average but Aaron Martib (DC) had another good game, making 19 interceptions. This clean sheet means that Chris Weale (GK) has gone 281 minutes without conceding. Aaron Martin (DC) made his first league appearance for Yeovil and Sam Foley (ML) made his 50th league appearance for Yeovil.

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Yeovil v MK Dons

Looking at the media prediction, this was a battle between 10th and 6th, two firmly top half sides. This would be our toughest league game of the month for sure, and I was hoping to take a point from it. We made 4 changes with Jakub Sokolik (DC) coming in for Aaron Martin (DC), Kevin Dawson (MR) for James Berrett (MC), Stephen Pearson (ML) in for Sam Foley (ML) and AJ Leitch-Smith (STC) in for Sam Hoskins (STC). We played a balanced strategy and narrowly lost 1-0, with another poor performance. Stephen Pearson (ML) had a good game though, although Bobby Hassell (DR) and James Berrett (MC) were poor. Chris Weale (GK) had his streak of 281 minutes without conceding broken today, and Stephen Pearson (ML) made his 325th total league appearance. Terry Dunfield (MC), our third signing, made his first Yeovil appearance today.

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Yeovil v Norwich

The game against Norwich in the 2nd Round of the Capital One Cup was up next. With few expectations and no pressure, we decided to try a couple of new players, making 4 changes. Seth Nana Twumasi (DR) came in for Bobby Hassell (DR), Aaron Martin (DC) for Jakub Sokolik (DC), Sam Hoskins (MR) for Kevin Dawson (MR) and Sam Foley (ML) for Stephen Pearson (ML). We played on standard and got the result we expected. It as a poor show of discipline though, and it was more a case of us losing the game than Norwich winning it. We gave away 2 penalties and a free kick caused their third goal. Sam Hoskins (ML), Simon Gillet (MC), Sam Foley (ML) and James Berrett (MC) all played fairly well while Seth Nana Twumasi (DR) played awfully.

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Colchester v Yeovil

Our final league game of the month, and our 8th total match, was away to Colchester, predicted 11th. I decided I'd be happy with a point from this fixture and went into it with a 'standard' strategy. We made 3 changes with Bobby Hassell (DR) in for Seth Nana Twumasi (DR), Kevin Dawson (MR) for Sam Hoskins (MR) and Stephen Pearson (ML) for Sam Foley (ML). We got a point, but the performance wasn't up to scratch once again. Maybe I'm expecting too much from my players? We can't seem to score a goal from open play at the minute, with our goal here coming from a penalty. Ben Nugent (DC) was awful, but Nathan Smith (DL) was pretty good, scoring the penalty. Kieffer Moore (STC) made his 25th league appearance for Yeovil.

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So, after a very action-packed month, we're doing pretty well. We hit our target in the Capital One Cup, and are 7th in the Sky Bet League 1, which is above my prediction of 10th. However, I did have a goal of getting 9 points from August in the league, because we did have a number of winnable fixtures, and we only got 8. I don't think this will harm us too much though. We have got a very difficult month in September, having to play Doncaster, Bristol City and Leyton Orient, 3 of the best teams in the league. Hopefully we can get 6 points from next month and remain in the top 10. We also kick off our Johnstone's Paint Trophy campaign against Exeter in September.

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Below are my player's statistics so far this season. As you can see, Nathan Smith has done really well so far, scoring a couple of goals and boasting a impressive tackling statistic. Especially pleasing for me is Stephen Pearson's performance. It's always nice when a player you sign starts off well and his 79% pass rate has really helped the team. Both my main strikers have done well, but AJ Leitch-Smith has been the best with 2 goals and 2 assists already.

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That's it until next month. Let me know if there's anything else you want to see in this thread, and let me know what you think so far! I'll do another update a month from now, when we'll hopefully still be doing well in the league and cup competitions.

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Aug 20, 2015
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September 2014

Back for another update and we're getting into the season now. First up this month sees the closure of the transfer window. Just to remind you all, here's a summary of the deals.

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I'm pretty happy with my transfer activity, bringing in such experienced players should really help when the pressure's on. We also made a number of additions to our back room staff in early September. Walter Smith came in as our Director of Football, and Chris Sulley was signed as the Head of Youth Development. Jordan Richardson came in as our latest addition to our new-look scouting team. We got some pleasing news as Nathan Smith (DL) was selected in the team of the week for 26th August - 1st September. We also got an injury update. Joel Grant (AML) will be out for 1-2 days, Brendan Moloney (DR) will be out for 1-3 days, Liam Davis (ML) will be injured for 10 days to 3 weeks and James Hayter (STC) will be gone for 3-5 weeks.


Yeovil v Exeter

First up this month was the beginning of our Johnstone's Paint Trophy campaign. We're in the 1st Round against Exeter in the South Section. We made 2 changes, with James Berrett (MC) coming in for Nathan Smith (DL), away on international duty, and Sam Foley (ML) for Stephen Pearson (ML). We went for a 'control' strategy, as we really should be beating Exeter, who are a Sky Bet League 2 team, at home. Unfortunately, an uncharacteristically awful performance in defence saw us get routed 4-1. I was shocked at the full-time whistle. Bobby Hassell (DR) was very poor, but Simon Gillett (MC) did his best and played fairly well. The misery was compounded by a poor decision by the referee when he gave them the fourth goal through a controversial penalty. Fortunately, the board didn't give me a target in this competition, so my confidence won't suffer too much as a result. Today also saw a record low attendance at Huish Park, just 1,035.

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Doncaster v Yeovil

After that demoralising loss to Exeter, the last thing we needed was a brutally tough fixture in the league. Doncaster, predicted 5th, were on good form, securing 9 points in their last 5 league games, to our 8 points. It was going to be especially difficult to come out with a result away from home, so I resigned myself to losing this game. We made 3 changes, with Brendan Moloney (DR) back for Bobby Hassell (DR), Jakub Sokolik (DC) in for Aaron Martin (DC) and Nathan Smith (DL) returning for James Berrett (MC). Using a 'counter' strategy, we got a fantastic result. To get a 1-1 draw in such a tough fixture felt like a victory. Simon Gillett (MC) played great once again, scoring a lovely free kick. Kieffer Moore was very poor unfortunately, missing lots of scoring chances. It was a very good day for Simon Gillett (MC) who scored his first league goal for Yeovil.

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Naturally, after such a good performance, Simon Gillett (MC) was included in the team of the week for 9th September to 15th September. We also got another injury update. Liam Davis (ML) is out for 1-3 days and James Hayter (STC) is out for 6 days to 3 weeks.

Yeovil v Leyton Orient

Unfortunately, the kind fixture list of August is well and truly gone, with our next match seeing us return to Huish Park to face the best team in the league, Leyton Orient. Predicted to finish 1st, they were on decent from with 8 points from 5 games, against our inferior 6 points. We made 3 changes for this fixture due to the list still being very congested, with Aaron Martin (DC) in for Jakub Sokolik (DC), Stephen Pearson (ML) in for Sam Foley (ML) and Sam Hoskins (STC) in for AJ Leitch-Smith (STC). We played with a balanced strategy and got a solid win. I was very happy with the 1-0 win, but the board didn't seem to think it was that impressive. I feel as though they have unrealistically high expectations of me! Ben Nugent (DC) was very good today, but AJ Leitch-Smith (STC) is on a poor run of form. Chris Weale (GK) made his 350th total league appearance, while Kevin Dawson (MR) made his 125th. Sam Hoskins (STC) also scored his first every league goal for Yeovil.

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Port Vale v Yeovil

Having already taken 4 of the 6 points I was aiming for this month, I was feeling confident. I knew September was going to be a particularly difficult month, so to be doing this well is great. Next up was Port Vale away. Predicted at 14th, this was going to be a difficult game, and I felt a point would be a good result. Fortunately, we caught them on terrible form, with just 3 points out of their last 5 games, compared to our 6. We made 3 changes once again, with Jakub Sokolik (DC) coming in for Aaron Martin (DC), Sam Foley (ML) returning to the line up at the expense of Stephen Pearson (ML) and AJ Leitch-Smith (STC) coming in for the injured Kieffer Moore (STC). Playing with a 'standard' strategy, we managed to scrape a good 1-0 victory. I was very happy with the defensive performance today. Sam Hoskins (STC) got a good assist and put in a nice performance, completing 34 out of 37 passes. AJ Letich-Smith (STC) was poor once again, having 5 shots, none of which hit the target. Sam Hoskins (STC) also made his 25th appearance for Yeovil.

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Yeovil v Bristol City

This is the big game. Probably the most important match of the season. I always love playing rival matches on FM, and Bristol City are fierce rivals with Yeovil. I knew only a win would please the fans here, and I talked the talk in my press conferences leading up to this fixture. This was as close as you get, with us on slightly worse form, 8 points from 5 games against their 10 points. But, we had home advantage and were sitting just above them in the league, 7th v 8th. Prediction wise, they had the edge, with the media placing them 3rd against our 10th. 3 changes once again, getting into a regular rotation. Aaron Martin (DC) came back for Jakub Sokolik (DC), James Berrett (MC) came in for the injured Simon Gillett (MC) and Stephen Pearson (ML) returned for Sam Foley (ML). We went for a 'standard' strategy. What a dramatic match it was. They took a lead midway through the first half, but we equalised almost immediately. Then, the unthinkable. With around 10 minutes left, they broke our defence with a desperate ball into the area, and Burns put away his second of the game. I begged my players to equalise, and in the 91st minute, they did. Kevin Dawson (MR) was the saviour and that goal was my favourite goal of this career so far, purely because of the circumstances. A point isn't a bad result, but the fans were unhappy we didn't win. Chris Weale (GK) was awesome, despot conceding 2 goals. He made a few superhuman saves in this game. Brendan Moloney was pretty poor however. Chris Weale (GK) was on another streak before this match, having gone 257 minutes without conceding. AJ Leitch-Smith (STC) ended an incredible 671 minute goal drought. We also had a huge attendance for this game, conceding we usually don't even get 4,000. The official figure today was 7,348.

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Yeovil v Rochdale

Our final game of the month was another important one. This game was scheduled as a fan day, with any child coming with an adult to the game being let in for half price. This would mean a bigger attendance than usual, and an opportunity to bring some more fans in for the long run with a good performance. It was also a scheduled TV match, meaning we could showcase our football to a wider audience. I was confident, with us on 9 points from 5 games against their 4 points. Our predicted position was better as well, 10th v 21st. And we were at home. I went all out for the 'attacking' strategy which served us well in a similar game against Gillingham. 2 changes were made, with Jakub Sokolik (DC) coming in for Aaron Martin (DC) and Sam Foley (ML) for Stephen Pearson (ML). I was expecting to win, but was shocked by an awful performance and result. This one really hurt as we went down 2-0 without a fight. Poor performances from Joe Edwards (MC) and Sam Foley (ML). Chris Weale (GK) and Ben Nugent (DC) had decent games, but it wasn't enough to help us. Nathan Smith (DL) made his 125th appearance for Yeovil. The fan day was a failure, with data showing that it wouldn't bring more fans for the long run due to our poor performance. The attendance today was 4,803.

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Chris Weale (GK) was selected in the team of the week for 23rd September to the 29th September, fully deserved for his performance against Bristol City. James Hayter (STC) will be returning in a day, while Simon Gillett (MC) will be out for 1-4 days. Kieffer Moore (STC) will be missing for 5-6 weeks unfortunately.

With all the matches complete, we took stock of the situation. The table was so tight in the top half, so the fact that we finish the month in 6th place does' mean all that much. With one loss, 6th could turn into 16th. Still, I'm happy to be on target for 10th place, and hopefully with that tough month over we can kick on. I really wish I'd been able to beat Rochdale though.

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As you can see below, Chris Weale (GK) is now our best player, having put in some wonderful performances so far. Nathan Smith (DL) is our best defender, scoring 3 goals (penalties) and making a good 5.34 tackles per game. My summer signing Stephen Pearson (MC) is our best midfield player, getting a goal and an assist in his 6 starts and generally playing very well. AJ Leitch-Smith is our star striker still, despite his poor form for most of last month. He still has 3 goals and 2 assists in 8 games, as well as a great 83% pass completion statistic.

That's it for September, hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. I'll have another update for you in a month's time.

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November 2014

So, into October now, and things are going well. A fairly tough month with a bunch of teams who are in good form.

Peterborough v Yeovil

First up are Peterborough, currently residing in a playoff place and expected to finish 8th. They're on good form, with 9 points from 5 games, against our 8. We made no changes and played with a stander strategy. We got a magnificent 3-0 victory, away from home. Sam Hoskins (STC) was awesome, scoring two goals. Nathan Smith (DL), James Berrett (MC), Kevin Dawson (MR) and Sam Foley (ML) were all brilliant as well, and no one had a bad game. Sam Hoskins (STC) also made his 50th league appearance in total.

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Nathan Ralph (DL) signed a new contract with the club, he's currently performing excellently on loan at Gateshead. We then got some astounding news, we had 7 players in the team of the week for 30th September - 6th October! Is that some kind of record? Chris Weale (GK), Jakub Sokolik (DC), Nathan Smith (DL), Kevin Dawson (MR), James Berrett (MC), Sam Foley (ML) and Sam Hoskins (STC) were all included, perhaps showing just how well we played against Peterborough.

Yeovil v Scunthorpe

Next up was Scunthorpe at home, who are predicted to finish 18th. They're on decent form, with 8 points from 5 games against our 10. We played on attacking and made 3 changes. Aaron Martin (DC) came in for Jakub Sokolik (DC), Liam Davis (DL) came in for Nathan Smith (DL) and Simon Gillett (MC) returned from injury, replacing James Berrett (MC). We won 3-1 and Sam Hoskins (STC) was wonderful again, scoring 2 more goals. Scunthorpe had a man sent off midway through the second half, and went down to 9 men for the last 15 minutes with an injury. Everyone played well today and AJ Leitch-Smith (STC) made his 150th total career league appearance.

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An argument broke out with Sam Foley (ML) after this game when he sent his agent to request a new contract. I said that we can talk about it at the end of the season, but he wasn't happy! We also got an injury update. Joel Grant (AML) will be out for 6-10 days, Kieffer Moore (STC) will be gone for 10 days to 3 weeks and Bobby Hassell (DR) will be out for 7 weeks to 2 months.

Walsall v Yeovil

Walsall, predicted to finish 17th, had 0 points from 5 games against our 10 points. It was away from home, but we should be getting a result here. We opted for a 'control' strategy, and Jakub Sokolik (DC) came in for Aaron Martin (DC) as well as Nathan Smith (DL) for Liam Davis (DL). A 1-0 loss was a poor result, and Simon Gillett (MC) and Jakub Sokolik (DC) were poor. The one positive thing was the good performance of Joe Edwards (MC).

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Yeovil v Bradford

Trying to recover from that last result, we were pitched against in form Bradford. They were flying with 11 points from 5 games, against our 7 points. They're also predicted to finish 9th. We played on 'standard' and made 2 changes, with Aaron Martin (DC) coming in for the injured Ben Nugent (DC) and Stephen Pearson (ML) in for Sam Foley (ML). The result was disastrous as we lost 2-0. Nathan Smith (DL) was poor. Sam Hoskins (STC) and Simon Gillett (MC) were decent, but most players under performed.

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Preston v Yeovil

Our final game of the month was a very tough one which I didn't expect to get anything from. Preston are predicted to finish 4th, and have 10 points from their last 5 games, compared to our 6. We tried to counter-attack, and switched Sam Foley (ML) in for Stephen Pearson (ML). We narrowly lost 1-0, to a penalty, given by Joe Edwards (MC) who played poorly. Nathan Smith (DL) was good today. Joe Edwards (MC) made his 125th career league appearance, and his 100th for Yeovil.

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We got another injury update after this game. Kieffer Moore (STC) is out for 1-4 days, Ben Nugent (DC) is out for 2-3 weeks and Bobby Hassell (DR) is out for 5-7 weeks. We then got some more exciting news. Sam Hoskins (STC) was 2nd in the Player of the Month for October, which was well deserved. Then, he won the Young Player of the Month for October award! Adding to the award collection, Sam Foley (LM) won goal of the month for a fabulous strike against Peterborough. We also had our FA Cup 1st Round draw, which placed us in a home tie against Sky Best League 2 team Southend.

As you can see, we're just inside the top half of the table after 15 games. I'd like to move up a bit, because even though the board only expect me to finish in the top 12, the media prediction is for 10th, so I'd feel like I'm under-performing if we don't hit that. That's why my personal target is for top 10. It's still very tight in the top half, and we're only 2 points off the playoffs, so I'd say we're in a decent position.

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In terms of player performance, Nathan Smith is still our best defender, with 5.26 tackles per game. Kevin Dawson (MR) has been fantastic in his 13 games from midfield. The star player though is obviously Sam Hoskins (STC) who has scored 5 goals, and got 3 player of the match awards in his 10 appearances, as well as an assist.

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Anyway, that's it for October. We have plenty more league action as well as the start of our FA Cup campaign coming up in November. We were targeting 6 points from this month, and that's exactly what we got, although the poor form in the second half of the month leaves a lot to be desired.


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November 2014

After our recent poor form, I was really hoping for a good run in November to propel us back into the top 10. We have 4 league games and an FA Cup match, and I was hoping to take 6 points in the league.


Yeovil v Sheff Utd

Our first game was against Sheff Utd, predicted to get promoted with a 2nd place finish. However, they've been under performing and are in relegation trouble, with just 3 points from their last 5 games compared to our 6. Still, they have a very good squad, so we went into it hoping to get a draw or better, playing with a standard strategy. We made no changes and it paid off, as we came out with a good 1-0 win. Simon Gillett (MC) was very good, completing 52 out of 67 passes and 18 out of 20 tackles.

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Yeovil v Southend

Next, we're in FA Cup 1st Round action. We need to get to at least the 3rd Round in order to please the board, so we'll have to beat Southend, a Sky Bet League 2 side, at home today. We expect to win, and operated a 'control' strategy, making 1 change as Liam Davis (DL) came on for Nathan Smith (DL). We got a solid 3-0 win, in which AJ Leitch-Smith (STC) was awesome, scoring 2 goals and making 25 out of 29 passes. Kevin Dawson (MR) was also very good, grabbing an assist. The penalty decision was controversial, but we played well enough to deserve the result.

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We drew Wrexham, a Vanrama Conference team, in the 2nd Round. This was great news because the pool of teams was considerably tougher than last time, with most of the non-league teams being knocked out by this point. We'll still have to respect Wrexham, but it's certainly a good tie for us to get. We're at home as well, meaning we should be able to win.


Swindon v Yeovil

A tricky league visit to Swindon next, predicted 13th but on poor form, with just 4 points against our 6 points from their last 5 matches. I expected a draw and played a balanced game. We made 3 changes to rotate the squad a bit, with Seth Nana Twumasi (DR) in for Brendan Moloney (DR), Ben Nugent (DC) returning from injury in place of Jakub Sokolik (DC) and James Berrett (MC) coming in for Liam Davis (DL), as Joe Edwards (MC) moved to DL. We lost 1-0 in a poor performance, with James Berett (MC) and Aaron Martin (DC) playing especially badly. Seth Nana Twumasi (DR) played well though, completing 43 out of 53 passes. Chris Weale (GK) had gone 188 minutes without conceding before this match, and Calvin Brooks (DC) made his first league appearance for Yeovil, coming off the bench for the second half.

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Yeovil v Chesterfield

Next up was an encounter with Chesterfield at Huish Park. Predicted 23rd against our 10th, this should be an easy enough win. However, they were on fire at the minute, with 10 points from 5 games, compared to our measly 3 points. Still, I expected a win and went out with an attacking strategy. We made 3 changes, with Brendan Moloney (DR) coming back in for Seth Nana Twumasi (DR), Jakub Sokolik (DC) replacing Aaron Martin (DC) and Liam Davis (DL) back in for James Berrett (MC). After a shaky start where we went behind, we pulled it together thanks to a controversial penalty and won 3-1. Sam Hoskins (STC) was great, scoring 2 goals and completing 35 out of 37 passes. Simon Gillett (MC) was also excellent, getting an assist and completing 12 out of 14 tackles. Jakub Sokolik (DC) made his 25th career league appearance, whilst Simon Gillett (MC) made his 200th. Aaron Martin (DC) celebrated his first Yeovil league goal.


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We got an injury update after this match and were informed that Bobby Hassell (DR) will still be injured for another 5-10 days.


Coventry v Yeovil

Another tough fixture to end the month, facing in form Coventry away. They have 10 points from 5 games against our 6 points, and are predicted to finish 12th, so I knew this would be tough and was just hoping we could use a balanced strategy to nick a draw. 2 changes were made with Aaron Martin (DC) in for Jakub Sokolik (DC) and Nathan Smith (DL) returning for Liam Davis (DL). We lost 3-1, but I wasn't too unhappy as the players gave it a good go and it was a tough game. Kevin Dawson (MR) was good, getting an assist, but Ben Nugent (DC) was poor.


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This was the last game of the month and we'll continue both our league and FA cup campaigns in December. Sam Hoskins (STC) who won the young player of the month award for October, couldn't quite match it, but did get 2nd place this month.

As you can see by the league table below, we're 10th after 19 games, with 28 points. This is pretty much where I want to be, but the table is still quite congested in this area so we're going to try and use December to break away from the mob a little.

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As you can see, our best defender is still Nathan Smith (DL), who's managed 4 goals in 16 appearances this season in the league, as well as an assist. He's also got a high tackling rate, with 5.1 tackles a game. Simon Gillett (MC) has become our star midfielder through this month, with a goal and 5 assists in his 16 games in this league campaign. He also boasts an 81% pass completion rate and is one of only two players to have an average rating of over 7. The other, of course, is star striker Sam Hoskins (STC) who has scored 7 times in 14 league starts, getting 4 player of the match awards in the process. In addition, he also has an incredible 85% pass completion rate.

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We really should be taking a lot of points from December as we have a number of home games against teams in the bottom half of the league. We also have our FA Cup 2nd Round tie against Wrexham, so hopefully you'll be seeing some good news in the next update. After that, it gets exciting as we have our January transfer window. Until next time then!

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