Ernie Allan: An FM19 Journeyman Story!

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Ernie Allan: An FM19 Journeyman Story!

It's finally here....Football Manager 2019 has landed and the past few weeks of misery counting down the days whilst trying to drum up the tiniest amount of motivation to play FM18 are over!


And I'm back with my first FM19 story, which sees the return of my fictional character, Ernie Allan! Ernie comes with absolutely no coaching badges and his only playing experience being at a semi professional level in England, for the likes of Bromley and Dulwich Hamlet. This story will follow Ernie on his quest to make a name for himself as a manager in the footballing world, embarking on my favourite type of save....that of a journeyman!

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Starting unemployed, we begin the game with the following European leagues loaded, in which I'll attempt to convince a club, any club, to give us our first shot and our first step on a very tall ladder!

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Immediately, I turn to the job market to see what's available! The likes of Brentford, Ludogrets and Partick Thistle will certainly be out of my reach at this stage, but there's plenty of other clubs here for me to reach out to in the lower leagues of English, Scottish and Danish football.

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Applications are drawn up and sent off to the likes of HIK and TPI in Denmark, whilst FC United, Gloucester City and Hemel Hempstead all offered me an option closer to home. Up in Scotland, I also chanced my arm with Sterling, Queen's Park and Berwick.....any takers out there?



It was the two Danish clubs that came back first, both offering me quick interviews via Skype....which was lucky as I had ****** all money to spend flying over there! I'm unemployed after all! TPI only took a day to come back and offer me a job....

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Am I reading that right, weekly wage = £0!! Thanks, but no thanks!! But the fact I'd been offered a job seemed to raise my stock, and all of a sudden the interviews came thick and fast! FC United, Berwick, Queen's Park, Stirling Albion and Hemel Hempstead all invited me in for a chat! It's Queen's Park that are the quickest to react with a job offer...

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What the f*ck is this about...another offer to work for free?! Not a chance that's happening....Reject! Another job offer quickly followed from another of the Scottish League Two sides, Stirling Albion...

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That's more like it, £275 a week ain't going to buy me that Aston Martin I've been eyeing up, but it's a start and get's me in the game! Ernie Allan, welcome to Scotland!



 
Welcome to Stirling

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Welcome To Stirling

After a meeting with chairman, Stuart Brown, he sends me a background on the club. Stirling are a semi professional outfit and boast a trophy cabinet with 8 league titles in it, from both the Championship and League 1. They're most recent trophy was the League 1 title back in 2010. As expected, the clubs training and youth facilities are at the lower end of the scale but could be worse!

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Despite pretty recent success with the League 1 title back in 2010, Stirling have yo-yo'd between League 1 and League 2 since.

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The club play their games at the Forthbank Stadium and this will be my first home in football management.

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The club's finances are decent, with over a quarter of a million in the bank and £20k available to spend on new players.

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Taking a look at my squad, there's two things that spring to mind immediately. The squad is small, lacking depth in a few positions, but we have some players here that my assistant manager clearly rates! Oh there is a third thing, Calum Ferrie is clearly getting bullied being the only Englishman in the team!

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So (on paper), let's have a look at the best 3 players at my disposal. First up is 29 year old striker, Mark Stewart! A tall, lanky, striker who is slow, but has a keen eye for goal, good off the ball movement and a high work rate! 57 goals in 260 games for a striker is pretty **** poor though and I'm worried about my assistant manager's judgement on this one if I'm honest as he rates Stewart as our best player!

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Darren Smith, another striker with a **** poor overall record of 67 goals in 258 games, is apparently also one of our best players. These lads are going to have to prove me wrong and get me on side as I'm not convinced at this stage!

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Now this one I do agree with....Lee Hamilton looks like a pretty solid centre back for this level and is sure to be an important figure in the defence this season. His tackling, marking and heading stats all stand out and I'll be expecting some good performances from the lad this year!

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The board send me their expectations for the upcoming campaign. All looks achievable to me! Let's do this!

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The pre season offers me 5 fixtures to have a look at tactics and my players before the competitive stuff begins and that will be my next update once pre season is over!

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Pre Season Part One

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Pre Season Part One
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During my first press conference at the club, I was keen to ensure I said all the right things to give the fans the best first impression of their unknown manager.

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The draw for the Betfred Cup took place, pitting us against the likes of St Johnstone and Dundee Utd. Luckily, we have no real target from the board and these games will act almost as friendlies, especially as two of my scheduled friendlies have now been cancelled and the new 'pre season' schedule takes on a whole new view.

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Scott Ferries will go down in my own piece of Football Manager 2019 history as he becomes the first player I ever signed on the game...let's hope he's a success and not one to forget! After joining us on a free transfer, the 22 year old winger offers us great pace and good crossing ability down the right wing and is sure to fit straight into my starting lineup!

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Three more signings very quickly followed Ferries into the club, well the very next day in fact! Ryan Stott joins from Formartine for £500, Craig McGovern signs for £1,500 from Forres Mechanics and Nicky Riley comes in on a free from Peterhead. Is it obvious I'm looking to utilize wingers in my formation this year?!

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Did the press really expect me to say I was ****** about my new signings coming in?!

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Shaun Rutherford was the next player to come in. He joined us on a free and will act as decent cover for the left back role (despite being described as a centre back). Shaun also offers us a much more attacking full back option if we are chasing a goal late on in games as he is faster and a much better crosser of the ball than Jordan Allan, our first team starter in that role.

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As I took to the touchline for the first time, it was victory I tasted as we defeated League One side, Airdrie with a solid 2-1 win. A 4-4-1-1 formation had worked well with my new wingers turning in particular good performances. We followed that up with another victory over League 1 opposition, this time in the form of Dumbarton! Yea, they may have played most of the game with 10 men after Ross Perry was sent off in the 16th minute, but we'd already scored our winning goal then so I won't have Dumbarton fans using that excuse. After the sending off, their team only mustered up one feable effort on goal and we were unlucky not to win by a bigger scoreline.

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The Dumbarton game did have one drawback for us though as new winger, Ryan Stott picked up an injury that would see him miss the rest of pre season.

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I asked the board to go find me a senior affiliate and they returned with two suggestions, Inverness CT and St.Johnstone. Neither presented us with fantastic loan prospects, but I opted for the latter based on the simple fact we'd bag £26k per annum from them, as opposed to the £14k on offer from Inverness.

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The draw for the IRN-BRU Cup 1st Round pits us against Hearts Reserves.

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With the Betfred Cup Group stage about to become a part of my busy pre season schedule, we'll leave this update here and pick up on the rest of pre season next time.


 
I live in stirling so would be nice to see them do well. Good luck and hopefully you can take them a long way up
 
Pre Season Part Two

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Pre Season Part Two (& Betfred Cup)



The upcoming game in the Betfred Cup was to be my first competitive match in charge....and the anticipation was building!

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Saturday 14th July 2018
Betfred Cup Group Stage
Stirling vs Dundee Utd
Formation: 4-4-1-1

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Going into this one I wasn't expecting anything other than to be on the end of a relatively big defeat, but ****** me, the lads only went out there and got a draw against our Championship opponents! We take a more than credible point from the game, although Dundee bagged the bonus point for winning the shootout! Despite that, it'll be our fans that go home happier on the day without a shadow of a doubt!


Wednesday 18th July 2018
Betfred Cup Group Stage
St.Johnstone vs Stirling
Formation: 4-4-1-1

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St.Johnstone offered up a much more daunting challenge for us and we didn't do ourselves any favours either. First we give away a soft penalty (which they failed to capitalise on) and then by half time, we were down to ten men when winger, Craig McGovern, was dismissed for his second yellow! The top flight side completely dominated from start to finish as we struggled to get out of our own half for the entire 90 minutes!


Wednesday 25th July 2018
Betfred Cup Group Stage
Brechin vs Stirling
Formation: 4-4-1-1

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Another game against higher league opposition and the Betfred Cup is quickly becoming a competition I am not fond of at all! It seems like a really bad competition for the lower league clubs....just an opportunity for the teams higher up the ranks to spank some of the smaller teams and it can't possibly have any kind of positive effect on morale for the teams down at our level.


The bookies release their promotion odds for the upcoming League 2 campaign and it seems that they're not giving punters any kind of decent odds at all, with 6 teams priced up at 2-1 or less! Peterhead are, however, expected to run away with it at odds of 1-5 on!

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Saturday 28th July 2018
Betfred Cup Group Stage
Stirling vs Annan
Formation: 4-4-1-1

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Finally I had an opportunity to pit my team against a team at the same level as us. However, it didn't go as planned as we suffered another defeat here. I'm not entirely sure how much I can read into the result though as I rotated the squad to bring in 7 players that wouldn't be in my first choice starting 11.


Despite the Betfred Cup kicking off with a proud performance against Dundee, it was all downhill from there and we finished bottom of the group with that single point to our name. This seems like a competition that is clearly geared towards the top teams in the country and I have to be honest, I don't see the benefit of a group stage competition here as the lower league sides are literally left no chance!

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With the league campaign just around the corner, we take a look at the season preview and I'm disappointed to see that not one of our players makes the dream 11 despite us being predicted a 4th place finish in the league.

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July comes to an end and we look ahead to August. One more friendly to get out of the way before the league kicks off with an away game at Berwick.

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Looking good!

Been looking for a cheeky journeyman story, and this one is looking very nice so far! Lets hope the league goes a bit better than the cup ;)
 
Been looking for a cheeky journeyman story, and this one is looking very nice so far! Lets hope the league goes a bit better than the cup ;)

Thanks mate....I ****** hope so...it can't get any worse lol!
 
August 2018

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August 2018

The first order of business in August was to get our final pre season friendly out of the way. I was keen to get a win under our belts to boost confidence amongst the team, but it didn't look like that was going to happen when we found ourselves 2-0 down inside half an hour! But with a firm kick up the ****, the lads bucked up their ideas and we went on to win the game easily in the end! The defence still looks shaky, but the win should give the lads the much needed boost I was looking for!

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Now anyone that had read any of my previous stories, you'll know that I always create my own tactics from start to finish and never use a downloaded version. I have nothing against people that use downloaded tactics, but for me personally I love the sense of achievement I get from knowing my own tactics have done the job....also I tinker a lot (generally game by game depending on opponent) so plug and play wouldn't work for me either. Over the pre season and Betfred Cup campaign, I've played around with a 4-4-1-1 and 4-4-2 formation and have settled on this to kick off our first game of the season and see how we go. It's a flat 4-4-2 and with a severe lack of quality in the side, the aim is to keep it simple! Exploit the wings, get crosses in the box and have our two 6ft+ strikers get on the end of them! We'll play a passing game, be more disciplined and focus our play down both flanks. We'll look for the overlapping runs and play an extremely wide game going forward. There are certain aspects of our game that will vary depending on our opponent....the first will be our mentality and although we'll probably start most games with a balanced outlook, we will play more cautiously against stronger opposition and more positive when playing the weaker sides that we expect to beat at home. I'm playing a lower defensive line as I have a very slow back 4, but I'm likely to change the line of engagement for the attacking players depending on our opponents formation...if they're sitting deep then we'll engage higher up, but when we are playing more attacking formations like a 4-1-2-3 or 4-2-3-1, we'll engage later (in our own half) on to ensure the attacking players work hard to get back into position and regroup rather than our defenders being overloaded by counter attacks and finding themselves outnumbered at the back. All I will say so far is that this is a HUGE improvement in this years game and I personally love the changes to the tactics page!

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Saturday 11th August 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Berwick vs Stirling
Formation: 4-4-2

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We kicked off our league campaign in perfect style with a solid 2-0 away at Berwick. Darren Smith stole the show with two goals...I set the striker a challenge to prove to me that he isn't **** and this wasn't a bad start, although it will take more than 1 good game to prove me wrong.


Season ticket sales are announced and we'll have a whopping 250 regulars in for home games this year.

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We're still lacking some depth in the central midfield roles so I turned to our senior affiliate, St.Johnstone, and brought in 17 year old Igor Spuryk on a season long loan. He's unlikely to be a first team starter, but offers more of an attacking threat through the middle than we currently have and could be a decent player to bring off the bench when we are chasing a game.

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That central midfield role was then further strengthened with permanent signing of Pat Slattery, who joined us from East Fife for a fee of £1,000. Slattery is immediately one of our stronger players in that position and offers us plenty of experience having played 107 games in Scotland all at a higher level than where we are at!

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Saturday 18th August 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Elgin City
Formation: 4-4-2

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First home game of the season....first home win! Well done lads! The scoreline flattered Elgin to be fair, who were never in this game and we could have easily won by 2 or 3!


Probably my final signing of this Summer is Ceiran MacLean who joins from Buckie Thistle for £1,000. I've brought him in simply as a squad player who can provide cover in both central midfield and more importantly at right back (as we only had 1 recognised right back in the side before his arrival). I don't expect any fireworks, but I'm sure he'll get a few games this year covering injuries/suspensions etc.

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Tuesday 21st August 2018
IRN-BRU Cup 1st Round
Stirling vs Hearts Reserves
Formation: 4-4-2

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Well that was slightly embarassing after we'd been made 1-10 favourites to win this one. I made a few changes but nothing that should of upset the balance of the squad that badly...no excuses...we were just **** and crash out in the 1st round.


Saturday 25th August 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Clyde vs Stirling
Formation: 4-4-2 (Changed to 4-4-1-1 on 30 minutes, changed to 4-5-1 on 67 minutes)

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We were handed our first defeat of the season here, but I'm a little disappointed with the 2 goals they scored. The first was a needless penalty and the second was a defensive error. When you present one of the best strikers in the league with two clean cut opportunities like that, he's going to take them, and Goodwillie fully ensured we were punished today!


Winger, Ryan Stott, has made a decent start for us this year since signing in the Summer, but will now face up to 4 weeks on the sidelines through injury.

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A mixed start to the season has seen us kick off with a couple of wins before crashing out of the IRN-BRU cup and then losing our first league game to Clyde. I'm hoping the 2 straight defeats isn't the start of a bad run. We finish August in 4th place, a solid if unspectacular start.

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Player of the Month
Danny Jardine

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The box to box midfielder made a good start with 2 solid performances in the league and his work rate through the middle of the pitch did not go unnoticed as he helped us on our way to two early victories. His performance against Clyde left a lot to be desired, but he was still the most consistent player across the month.


September will be a relatively quiet month with only 3 games scheduled. Edinburgh City will be a tough game, but the other two matches pit us against sides expected to finish in the bottom 3, so we'll definitely be looking to pick up points in both of those!

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September 2018

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[FONT=&quot]September 2018
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As the transfer window came to a close, we dominated all the headlines. Nicky Riley, Pat Slattery and Craig McGovern all rated as the most noteworthy transfers as we are the most active club in the market, who spent the most money!

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Saturday 1st September 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Edinburgh City
Formation: 4-4-2

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Defensively we were poor, up front we were poor. The midfield passed the ball around nicely at times but the defence and attack transition stages just didn't work for us in this game and we struggled to create any chances at all! Edinburgh were good value for the win and we must do better!


The fans were apparently unhappy with my approach to the Edinburgh game! They weren't complaining when we took the same approach against Berwick and Elgin at the start of the season and won though!

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Saturday 15th September 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Annan vs Stirling
Formation: 4-4-2

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After back to back defeats, this had become a must win really, so I'm disappointed to have recorded another loss. We are an absolute shambles at the back at the moment and a change of formation could be on the cards for our next game.


Saturday 22nd September 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Albion Rovers
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide

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**** it! Albion Rovers nick their first point of the season off us with the last kick of the game! We looked a lot better with the new formation and we should really have put the game to bed before their last minute equalizer. Hopefully with another couple of games using the 4-1-2-3 Wide, we might be able to pick up some points as the players become more familiar with it.


Ryan Stott returned in the game against Albion Rovers after a few weeks out, only to pick up another injury. This time, it's a lot worse though and will keep him out for a few months!

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A really poor month sees us pick up a single point and drop to 7th in the table! We'll need to turn this round quickly, otherwise I'm going to come under some increased pressure from the fans and board early into my Stirling career.

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Player of the Month
Ross McGeachie

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Our right back, McGeachie, takes player of the month despite a poor first half performance against Edinburgh. He followed that up with two good games, bagging an assist against Albion Rovers as well.


October offers up only 3 matches again, as we take on league favourites Peterhead before our Scottish Cup 2nd round fixture (opponent still to be decided).

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October 2018

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October 2018

It's lower league Cove Rangers that we'll take on at the end of the month in the Scottish Cup 2nd Round.

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Saturday 6th October 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Queen's Park
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide

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Our first league win in 5 games and it was a big one. The stats reflect a pretty even game and our much more clinical finishing was the difference on the day. Queen's Park managed 4 clean cut chances of their own but only managed to tuck one away, so we are not going to get too carried away at this stage as this could have been a different result on the day. But that's not to say we won't enjoy it!


Saturday 20th October 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Peterhead vs Stirling
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide

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After a big win against Queen's Park, we followed it up with a big defeat to league favourites Peterhead. This was always going to be one of our most difficult games on paper, but its disappointing that we didn't really offer up much of a fight at all!


September's player of the month, Ross McGeachie will now miss 3-4 weeks through injury.

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Saturday 27th October 2018
Scottish Cup 2nd Round
Stirling vs Cove Rangers
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide

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It's official....I'm **** at FM19 as we're knocked out of the Scottish Cup by lower league, Cove Rangers.


3 points from an available 6 this month sees us rise one place in the table to 6th. However, we're still underachieving and we really need to string a few good results together to climb into the top 3/4. Crashing out of the Scottish Cup to lower league opposition was bitterly disappointing!

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Player of the Month
Danny Jardine

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Jardine was the best of a bad bunch I'm afraid and nobody really shone during October.


In November, we'll play 4 league games and we really need a minimum of 7 points from these games although we should really be aiming for 9! Three games at home gives us an opportunity to pick up some results so let's hope we can push on!

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Not the best run of form but hopefully you can turn it around soon.
 
November 2018

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[FONT=&quot]November 2018
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Saturday 3rd November 2018

Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Cowdenbeath
Formation: 5-4-1

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November begins with another **** poor result. Cowdenbeath are bottom of the league with only 1 win to their name and this should have been a comfortable victory for us. Instead we struggled to get any kid of foothold on the game and labour to a disappointing draw!


Saturday 10th November 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Berwick
Formation: 5-4-1

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A game of few chances for either side but we made ours count and record another win over Berwick after already beating them 2-0 earlier in the season! Our 2nd goal from Craig McGovern was the best solo goal I've seen since I've been here - cutting in from the left wing, beating 3 players and then slotting home into the bottom corner from just outside the box! Great goal!


Saturday 24th November 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Elgin City vs Stirling
Formation: 5-4-1

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Just as I thought we might be starting a bit of an unbeaten run, Elgin bring us back down to earth with a bump! This was a close fought game that could have gone either way, but Elgin made better use of their chances than we did. We squandered a couple of really good opportunities to level the scores up when only 1-0 down and if we'd taken one, it definitely could of swung things our way on the day.


I called it at the start of the season...Mark Stewart was rated as one of our best players at this club and I said he looked ****! I've been proven right (although I take no joy in it) as he has failed to score a single goal this season in ten games.

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With Brexit due to kick in at the end of the season, new rules are announced.

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Tuesday 27th November 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Clyde
Formation: 5-4-1

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A game of two halves. They were all over us in the first half and with them down to ten men, we dominated them in the 2nd. However, no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't find the equalizer and suffer defeat again!


With it already looking unlikely that I'll be winning anything in my first season as Stirling manager, I am determined to walk away from the club with at least something to my name if it doesn't work out. So I'm pleased that the board have agreed to fund a coaching badge for me! No matter what happens now, my time at Stirling will not have been wasted!

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Well we missed my target of 7 points this month as we only picked up 4 from our 4 games! Pretty poor really and we drop to 7th in the table and well off the pace of the top 4 now! There's still a long way to go, but we're up against it already and I wonder when the pressure will start to come from the fans and board about my underachievement?!

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Player of the Month
Craig McGovern

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Again, the whole team was pretty ***** this month, but McGovern takes the player of the month award mainly because of his excellent game against Berwick. In his other matches he was also one of the best players, despite still scoring below 7.0.


Five games coming up in December and we MUST finish the year strong. No excuses!!

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WTF - How dare they offer Ernie Allan £0 p/w he has the potential to be the GOAT!!!
 
After my annoyance at the shocking offers you received, i've calmed down and read the full update. No doubt still finding your feet in "bonny Scotland" and i'm sure once you find a striker who can hit a barn door with a banjo you'll be flying. At least if nothing else it proves you uncanny ability to judge players ;)
 
After my annoyance at the shocking offers you received, i've calmed down and read the full update. No doubt still finding your feet in "bonny Scotland" and i'm sure once you find a striker who can hit a barn door with a banjo you'll be flying. At least if nothing else it proves you uncanny ability to judge players ;)

I always look forward to your comments as you have an uncanny ability to find the best in every situation :)
 
December 2018

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[FONT=&quot]December 2018
[/FONT]

Rangers lift the Betfred Cup after beating Hearts in the final. Celtic will be disappointed to have only made the quarters where they were knocked out by finalists, Hearts.

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Mark Stewart will miss most of December through injury. Not really that bothered....he's **** anyway!

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Saturday 8th December 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Edinburgh City vs Stirling
Formation: 4-4-2

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Despite being completely dominated for 90 minutes, we somehow managed to walk away from this one with a point!


Saturday 15th December 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Annan
Formation: 4-4-2 Narrow Diamond

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Another decent point earned against the side sitting 2nd in the table, so I guess it has to be seen as a good one. What have I learned from the 4-4-2 diamond formation though, we struggle to create any sort of chances at all, but we don't concede goals! But 3 chances in 2 matches is definitely not good enough.


The media suggest that the writing is on the wall for me after 20 games in charge! There's no doubt about it, I've massively underachieved so far and it's hard to see where I go from here with Stirling after only 20 games.

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Saturday 22nd December 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Albion Rovers vs Stirling
Formation: 4-2-4 Wide

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The wingers come back in as I try a 4-2-4 wide formation for the first time, but it doesnt help us create a load of chances and again we are outplayed for large parts of the game. Just as it looked like we were gonna nick a smash and grab win, Rovers equalized with one of the final kicks of the game and we walk away deflated! This is one tough job!


Wednesday 26th December 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Queen's Park vs Stirling
Formation: 4-2-4 Wide

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Queen's Park came into this one bottom of the table so this was a huge opportunity to pick up a win! An opportunity that was missed!! We were very poor again here, failing to create one clear cut chance in the entire game, and end up with our 4th straight draw.


Saturday 29th December 2018
Ladbrokes League 2
Cowdenbeath vs Stirling
Formation: 5-2-2-1 Wing Backs

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Another new formation and this has first season has now become more about tinkering and playing around to learn as much as I can as we look destined for a year of disappointment. This was another poor result, although we did dominate the possession for the first time this season! We should have won the game too, but striker Kevin Fell missed a clean cut one on one with the keeper in the final minute of the match!


I'm not going to shy away from it...my first season in professional management is so far proving to be a shambles, an underachieving team full of players I just don't deem good enough for even this level! I've tinkered a lot which hasn't helped I guess, but I am finding my feet and learning as I go....this is a risk Stirling knew they were taking when they took me on. To be fair to them, they haven't given me a hard time as yet, despite us being out of all 3 cups early and well behind in the league....for that I am thankful! However, I've got to think about number 1 and this club at the moment seems like a dead end for me! Call me ungrateful, call me selfish but I'm starting the think it's time to close the door on this early chapter of my career and move on for the good of my reputation....so with the New Year approaching, I decided to get my name out there in the hope of bagging a new job in early 2019, take what I've learnt here and apply it at a new club where hopefully my ideas will come together a bit more. It seems it's a good time to be looking as there are plenty of jobs available and my applications go in accordingly!

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Just call us the draw specialists! That's five in a row this month, but on the plus side I guess it's an unbeaten December! Five points sees us finish 2018 in 6th place and still well off the pace of the targeted top 4!

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Player of the Month
Calum Ferrie

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My goalkeeper has been largely to thank for our decent defensive record this month, having only conceded 3 goals in 5 games and duly wins the December Player of the Month award.


We kick off January with a tough game against the best team in the league. We'll be looking to beat Berwick for the third time this season, before finishing the month with another tough one away at 2nd placed Clyde.

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January 2019

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January 2019

Spennymoor Town invite me to interview for their vacant managerial role following my recent application. It's a New Year's Day interview and I'm still completely smashed from the night before, but I roll with it anyway! With the stink of alcohol and sick surrounding me, I gave it my best shot, but I won't hold my breath!

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Tuesday 1st January 2019
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Peterhead
Formation: 5-2-2-1 Wing Backs

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Fresh from my morning interview at Spennymoor, I rock up to the game with Peterhead just in time to give my pre match team talk! Again, we turn in a decent performance with the 5-2-2-1 formation and again we are unlucky not to beat the table toppers! Could we be starting to turn it around just as I'm looking to leave?!


I thought my application for the Macclesfield job might be a bit ambitious, with the English League Two probably above my current ability level at the moment! And sure enough, they politely reply to let me know I won't be considered.

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Saturday 5th January 2019
Ladbrokes League 2
Berwick vs Stirling
Formation: 5-2-2-1 Wing Backs

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Our 7th straight league draw!! Not really much else I can say about this very uneventful game!


I'm so pleased the media decide to portray our current run as an 'unbeaten' one! It could so easily be described as a winless one!

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The fans in Stirling seem really easily pleased as well....I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing the right thing in looking to leave, I've got it ****** easy here!

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I might not need to worry about making any difficult decisions just yet though as Spennymoor inform me of their decision to go in another direction. I wonder if Chris Moyses turned up to his interview half cut or not?!

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Saturday 12th January 2019
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Elgin City
Formation: 5-2-2-1 Wing Backs

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I really wish my strikers could score!! We have started to play some decent football and are proving to be the better side in most games now, but we just can't put the ball in the back of the net!


Saturday 19th January 2019
Ladbrokes League 2
Stirling vs Edinburgh City
Formation: 5-2-2-1 Wing Backs

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Wow, what a result that was! Just when it looked like we were going to lose for the first time in 9 games, we pulled the most amazing final 12 minutes out of the bag! Darren Smith's goal is the first any of my strikers have scored from open play in 15 games!!


Saturday 26th January 2019
Ladbrokes League 2
Clyde vs Stirling
Formation: 5-2-2-1 Wing Backs

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We didn't deserve to lose this game 4-0, but Clyde are absolutely devastating in front of goal and David Goodwillie is a fantastic striker at this level! We just couldn't cope with their attacking force!


David Goodwillie leads the goalscoring charts in the league averaging a goal every 94 minutes! In comparison, my top goalscorer is Darren Smith with 5!

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Taking 6 points this month from our 4 games has seen us move back up to 5th in the table. We have 14 games to try to close the 12 point gap and move into the top 4. Not impossible, but a stiff task and if we're gonna do it, we really need to be turning some of these draws into wins!

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Player of the Month
Danny Jardine

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Danny has had a good month and certainly seems to have taken to the shadow striker role, bagging a couple of goals in his last 3 games. Hopefully he can continue to fill the void left by my miserable set of strikers!


February will see us play every Saturday with another possible 12 league points on offer! Annan and Peterhead both sit above us in the table, so we need to try hard to take points off both!

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