Ernie Allan Returns in "The True Journeyman"

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Ernie Allan - True Journeyman!

This will be my final save/story of FM18 and I’m looking for it to carry me through to the release of FM 2019 in November. In 4 months of gameplay, I anticipate I’ll get quite a lot done (mainly because I try to play Football Manager in every spare hour I get when I’m not working or spending time with the sprogs. There’s sure to be many a night when it reaches the early hours of the morning before I decide I better shut down the laptop and go to bed!


So I’ve decided that my final save will be my favourite type of game to play on FM…..a journeyman save. And this year, I’ve seen the emergence of my alter ego manager, Ernie Allan and he will be the man at the forefront of this story once again.


Ernie starts his career with no previous experience, other than that of super winger of the local Rose & Crown A team! He has no coaching badges to his name and virtually nothing about him speaks out to football clubs saying “hire me”. But I’m sure there’s bound to be at least one gullible chairman out there somewhere in Europe who will give him a shot!

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I’m giving the English clubs far too much credit for having savvy chairmen who would never be this foolish and turning my attention to some of the ‘lesser’ leagues of European football to find a job! I begin the save with the following nations, chosen based on the fact that they all start at roughly the same time of year so I won’t be loading any leagues that are half way through their campaign…

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So it was time to start firing out my CV to any club I thought would entertain it. And to my surprise, it didn’t take long to get some interviews lined up! We agreed that the best plan of action would be to have my initial interviews over skype….after all I am unemployed and have no cash to be jetting off around Europe and these clubs were too small to be paying my expenses. I have interviews with Bandirmaspor of the Turkish 2. League, AS Veroia of the Greek National B Division and Carmarthen Town in the JD Welsh Premier League. Personally, I was hoping for the move to Greek with the memories of sun and sand from childhood holidays firmly at the forefront of my mind. However, the Mrs was hoping to move to Wales so we could still remain ‘relatively’ close to family…..I didn’t tell her that the further we could get away from her old dear the better!

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Carmarthen Town are the first to respond and offer me a 1 year deal worth £180 per week. I’m still holding out for that move to sunny Greece, so ask them if I can have a week to think things over. They reluctantly agree.

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And then it comes….the news I’ve been waiting for. AS Veroia want me! A 1 year deal is on offer with nearly £100 per week more on offer than the Welsh club and I can’t sign that contract quick enough. Now, to tell the Mrs! Pack your bags love, we’re moving to Greece!

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AS Veroia

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AS Veroia are a professional football team based in the Greek city of Veroia. Founded in 1960, the club currently play their football in the Greek National B Division, the 2nd​ tier of Greek football.

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The club is valued at around a quarter of a million pounds and have ‘adequate’ training and youth facilities. This could have been a lot worse for my first managerial role.

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The club play their home games at the Municipal Stadium of Veroia, with a capacity of 6,350! How many they actually get at a home game remains to be seen, especially with some two bob Englishman in charge of the club!

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The trophy cabinet has 4 domestic titles in it, all from the lower leagues of Greek football.

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I might have had a result here ya know….this club should be one of the strongest teams in our current division as they’ve spent the last 5 seasons in the top tier and were only relegated last season!

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Time to meet the squad and it’s good to see I have a predominance of Greek players in the team and a number of players that my assistant clearly rates quite highly.

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Can we just take a minute to appreciate the name of one of my best attacking players!

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Alongside Rooney, we have the likes of on loan winger, Giannis Bastianos and full back, Dimitris Oungialidis, who stand out as the best players in the side.

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After my first look over the squad, this tactic seems to be a likely starting point. As with all my saves, my tactics will be subject to change and player roles tend to change game by game depending on who is in the side and what they’re best suited to. But this is where we will start…

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As with the rest of your saves i'll be following, if only for THAT name!
 
July 2017

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July 2017

The board send me their expectations for the upcoming season and I’m surprised to see that they’re only looking for us to fight against relegation. I thought they’d be looking for much more than this, considering we were only relegated from the top flight last year!

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The club’s finances don’t look too healthy but a new sponsorship deal will definitely help!

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Ah, that low expectation of the board is starting to make sense now! The club is put under a ****** transfer embargo for the next year and I’m only allowed to bring in players under 23 years old!

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I asked the board to go find me a senior affiliate and they have returned with Panionios from the Greek Superleague.

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I’ve taken young striker Alex Bimaj on trial for the next 4 weeks and he’ll get a couple of friendlies to show what he can do and see if it’s worth signing him up.

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I immediately take advantage of the affiliation with Panionios and sign up one of their promising young centre backs on loan for the season. Dimitris Stavropoulos has some great defensive stats and is an excellent addition to our back line.

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My 2nd​ loan signing of the Summer quickly follows as 20 year old attacking midfielder, Nikos Lazaridis comes in from Atromitos for the season. With a great first touch and an eye for a pass, I’m expecting the youngster to create plenty of opportunities for our forwards this year.

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One of our best players, Giannis Bastianos, will miss the next 8 weeks through injury. It’s a ******* that he is going to miss the whole of pre season, meaning it will take him a long time to regain match fitness when he recovers from the injury. Realistically, we could have lost him for the next 3-4 months before he is at full match sharpness!

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So it seems the Greek Cup starts off with a group stage and the draw has been made. As I know absolutely nothing about Greek football, I have no idea if this is a good draw or not, so I guess we’ll just play it by here!

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Thibault Morales joins us on a free transfer after he was released last season by Montpellier in the top tier of the French league. He will add some cover to the central midfield role and at only 19 years old, still has plenty of room to improve over the coming years.

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The pre season campaign hasn’t started the best with two losses recorded and only one goal scored. We’ve played Panserraikos from our own league, who are predicted to finish 7th​, and Levadeiakos from the top tier. Both games we were completely dominated from start to finish with our opponents creating more than 20 chances against us! Much work to be done and maybe a tactical rethink.

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August 2017

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[FONT=&quot]August 2017

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Alex Bimaj, who was taken on trial last month, was handed a contract with the club. He didn’t play fantastic in either of the two friendlies so far, but then neither did the rest of the side.

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On loan Giannis Bastianos is amongst the favourites to win the National B Division Top Young Player this season.

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We’ve been the most active team in this transfer window, despite being under a transfer embargo. I’ve managed to bring in 6 players on free transfers and loans before the season begins!

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However, with the transfer embargo meaning I couldn’t sign any players over the age of 23, it leaves me with an incredibly inexperienced squad going into the new season, with the average age of the team being only 21!!

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It’s safe to say I’m a little worried going into the campaign after a **** poor pre season! We’ve only managed one win against fellow National B Division side, Aiginiakos.

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September will see us play our final pre season friendly against Flamurtari before the competitive games get underway. We’ll play our first 3 games of the league campaign and our first group game of the Greek Cup.

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September 2017

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September 2017

Our final pre season friendly goes pretty much the same way as all the rest. A resounding defeat after being completely dominated by the opposition for the entire 90 minutes. I’m really not going into the competitive season with any confidence whatsoever after what I’ve seen so far!

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Any my complete lack of confidence is totally justified with our 1000-1 odds to win the title and the bookies predicting us to finish stone last, with only the slimmest of hopes of avoiding relegation. It’s going to be a tough campaign and if I can somehow lead this club to any kind of reputable position this season, it will have been nothing short of a ******* miracle by the looks of it.

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After tinkering with a number of formations throughout pre season (with nothing actually working), I did see us play a couple of passages of decent football using the 4-1-2-3 Wide formation and this is likely to be my new starting point in our first league game. As always, player roles and mentalities change depending on the team picked. Also, match mentality and team shape is subject to change depending on our opponents and the threats they carry.

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There’s a big day on the horizon for Ernie Allan.

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The fans clearly don’t expect much from us either this season as only 200 of them stump up the cash for a season ticket.

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Sunday 10[th September 2017 (16:00)
National B Division
AO Trikala vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide (Changed to 4-4-2 on 54 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Laskaris (Offei 54), Lazaridis, Bietsas, Bastianos, Rooney, Zygeridis

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Well, where the **** did that come from! We were handed a really tough first game against Trikala who are predicted for a top 3 finish this year, and somehow we come away with all 3 points! They were by far the better side, but we were resolute in defence and managed to nick a couple of second half goals on the counter attack after switching to a 4-4-2 and held on in the final minutes to secure an opening day victory!


No less than 8 players made their debuts for us against Trikala.

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Sunday 17th September 2017 (16:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs AS Anagennisi Karditsas
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos (Souliotis 74), Damianakis, Oungialidis, Laskaris (Doris 74), Lazaridis, Bietsas, Bastianos, Rooney, Zygeridis

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We win our first home game of the season as well. I never would have seen back to back wins coming at the start of the league campaign, but I sure as **** ain’t complaining!


Wednesday 20th September 2017 (20:00)
Greek Cup Group Stage
AO Kassiopi Kerkyras vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-4-2 (Changed to 4-1-4-1 on 82 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Laskaris (Litainas 82), Lazaridis, Bietsas, Bastianos, Rooney (Yamoah 82), Zygeridis (Laskaris 82)

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We kicked off our cup campaign against Superleague opposition in Kerkyra and they’d started their top tier campaign well, with 2 wins, a draw and only one loss from their opening 4 games. I reverted to the 4-4-2 and decided the best plan was to defend for our lives, whilst hoofing the ball up top for the two front men to hopefully grab a goal or two out of nothing. And it ****** worked!! They were on top for majority of the game, but again the counter attacking hoof up the field works for us and a couple of decent goals from our attacking players secures a win. I don’t know if Kerkyra played a weakened team or not, but to be honest, I don’t really care!


So after the first group game, here’s our Greek Cup group table.

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Sunday 24th September 2017 (16:00)
National B Division
AE Spartis vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-4-2
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos (Souliotis 45), Damianakis, Oungialidis, Laskaris, Lazaridis, Bietsas, Bastianos, Rooney, Zygeridis

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An entertaining game for the fans as between us, the two sides have more than 40 shots on goal, of which 6 hit the back of the net! We share the spoils with a 3-3 draw which was probably a fair result for both teams. However, settling for the draw still feels like a kick in the nuts for us after they managed a stoppage time equalizer (especially as it was a shot I felt my keeper should have saved).


What a start to the season it’s been! We open the competitive months with an unbeaten one in both league and cup! I never would have seen it coming after our pre season campaign, but we’ve really stepped up our game this month! Top 5 in the league and with a game in hand over a couple of sides above us too!

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Player of the Month
Giannis Bastianos

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No real surprise that our best player (by far) wins the first player of the month award. Bastianos has made a fantastic start to the season and it’s clear to see that he is the player the rest of the team seek out whenever we go forward with the ball. 2 goals and 2 assists from his opening 4 games.


October’s gonna be a busy month with 6 games coming in 4 weeks. Five in the league and another group game in the cup.

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Looking forward to seeing how you do considering the embargo. Must be a pain having your transfer pool limited?
 
Looking forward to seeing how you do considering the embargo. Must be a pain having your transfer pool limited?

It's frustrating for sure! Especially as the average age of my team is only 21. The oldest player in my squad is 22....literally is a bunch of kids with hardly any experience at all. Choosing a captain was ****** hard!
 
It's frustrating for sure! Especially as the average age of my team is only 21. The oldest player in my squad is 22....literally is a bunch of kids with hardly any experience at all. Choosing a captain was ****** hard!

Must be, can't be easy to find someone with the right leadership level! Hopefully this will be a short stay, with progress to better teams not taking too long.
 
Must be, can't be easy to find someone with the right leadership level! Hopefully this will be a short stay, with progress to better teams not taking too long.

The first club on a journeyman save is always going to be a stepping stone. You just hope you can do enough to impress the slightly bigger clubs as early as possible! If I can be out of here and onto something bigger and better before the season is out, it will be a massive achievement in itself.
 
The first club on a journeyman save is always going to be a stepping stone. You just hope you can do enough to impress the slightly bigger clubs as early as possible! If I can be out of here and onto something bigger and better before the season is out, it will be a massive achievement in itself.

Probably taking up a lot of time on your save, but I've got to ask, how do you keep interested in the long journeyman saves? And what do you think the challenges are at the beginning of the save? I've never been able to get going on one.
 
For me it's the fact that you're playing the game like that of a real life manager starting out. Start with nothing and work your way up. Gaining experience and recognition to improve your salary and career as you go. Plus every time you go to a new club it's almost like starting a new save as you've got to get to know your players and team all over again. Then there's the fact you can take players and staff with you from club to club. And I'm someone who doesn't tend to use just one tactic for 20 years, but instead work with different tactics depending on the players I have at my disposal....so every time you go to a new club you could be experimenting with completely different tactics. It's about the continuous learning for me I guess and then when you do actually win trophies there is a much bigger sense of achievement.
 
October 2017

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October 2017

Sunday 1st​ October 2017 (16:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs MGS Panserraikos
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Laskaris, Lazaridis (Litainas 68), Bletsas, Bastianos, Rooney (Yamoah 62), Zygeridis (Offei 75)

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For the second game in a row, a stoppage time goal goes against us as the inexperience in the team is starting to shine through. Granted, we were outplayed by Panserriakos during the game, but it’s still gutting to lose any match so late on!


Sunday 8th​ October 2017 (16:00)
National B Division
GS Panaigialeios vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Laskaris, Lazaridis (Yamoah 67), Bletsas, Bastianos (Litainas 67), Rooney, Zygeridis

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We came from behind to win here against one of the other sides in the division who are tipped to struggle and finish in the bottom 3. A big win and the perfect way to immediately bounce back from our first defeat of the season in the last game.


Sunday 15th​ October 2017 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs APO Apollon Larisas
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos (Kapsalis 78), Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris, Lazaridis, Bletsas, Litainas, Rooney, Zygeridis

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This was by far our best performance since I took over as manager and although the stats suggest a close game, our chances were much more clear cut where as their’s were hopeful efforts from way out! Once they had a player sent off towards the 1st​ half and with us already 2-0 up, the win never looked in doubt! Special mention for Dimitris Litainas who came into the starting lineup in place of the injured Bastianos, and got himself a goal and two assists! Now if that isn’t staking a claim for a regular spot, I don’t know what is!


Sunday 22nd​ October 2017 (15:00)
National B Division
GAS Aiginiakos vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris, Lazaridis, Bletsas, Litainas, Rooney, Zygeridis (Bastianos 75)

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We beat Aiginiakos in a pre season friendly – in fact they were the only team we beat during pre season. So I’d have been a little disappointed if we didn’t get something out of this game and I’m pleased that in the end it was all 3 points with a nervy 2-0 win. I say nervy, as we took the lead early and then it seemed like we were holding onto it for the next 84 minutes, until we finally put the game to bed in stoppage time.


Striker, Makis Zygeridis, will miss the next couple of weeks through injury. He’ll be sorely missed as he’s scored in 7 of his 8 appearances so far this season….an incredible record for the 18 year old.

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Wednesday 25th​ October 2017 (20:00)
Greek Cup Group Stage
AS Veroia vs APS Atromitos Athens
Formation: 4-1-4-1
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis (Souliotis 72), Oungialidis, Laskaris (Doris 72), Bastianos (Lazopoulos 72), Litainas, Bletsas, Yamoah, Rooney

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Our 2nd​ group game in the Greek Cup pitted us against Superleague side, Atromitos, and although they were heavily on top throughout, I’m pleased that we kept the scoreline respectable and only fell to a 1-0 defeat.


With one game in the group stage remaining, there is still everything to play for and if we can get at least a draw against Panserraikos, then it should be good enough to progress to the next round.

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Sunday 29th​ October 2017 (16:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs MGS Apollon Kalamarias
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide (Changed to 4-2-2-1-1 on 88 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos (Souliotis 74), Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris, Litainas, Bletsas (Laskaris 59), Bastianos (Lazaridis 88), Yamoah, Rooney

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These late goals are really starting to hurt now! We were 2-0 up with 5 minutes remaining and end the game with a 2-2 draw! Our opponents scoring on 94:40, with only 20 seconds remaining! We really need some experienced/older heads in the team to see these games out, but the transfer embargo has robbed me of the opportunity to get those players in!


We have had an incredible opening two months to the season and I’m so proud of my young team! Unbelievably, all the bottom 5 in this league are relegated and although we were heavy favourites to go down, we are steering well clear of that zone for now with a 10 point buffer.

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Player of the Month
Wankewai Rooney

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The man with ‘the name’ was our best player this month. Acting as both a winger and a striker (depending on our formation), he has come up trumps with 2 goals and 4 assists in 6 games this month.


November won’t be quite so busy, with only 4 games scheduled. Three tough games in the league against sides in the top half of the table, plus our final group game in the Greek Cup.

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November 2017

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November 2017

Sunday 5th​ November 2017 (15:00)
National B Division
GS Ergotelis vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-4-2 (Changed to 4-4-1-1 on 67 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Bastianos, Lazaridis, Bletsas, Yamoah, Rooney (Litainas 67), Zygeridis

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Ergotelis have had a mixed start to their season with a record of 3 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses coming into this game. Being away from home, I decided to go back to our 4-4-2 formation with route one football, which I’ve been playing against the better teams to good effect. And again, it got the job done here as we romp to a good away win. Zygeridis returned from his injury to bang in a hat trick….this lad’s got some potential!


Who’d have thought we’d be putting together 5 game unbeaten runs this season?!

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Sunday 12th​ November 2017 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs Panachaiki GE
Formation: 4-4-2 (Changed to 5-4-1 on 74 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Bastianos, Lazaridis, Bletsas (Liskaris 59), Yamoah, Rooney (Souliotis 74), Zygeridis

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Panachaiki were predicted a top 5 finish this season and have made a decent start, so we stuck with the 4-4-2 and same lineup from the previous game. And again, the tactics work perfectly as we record another good win. Zygeridis makes it 5 goals in his last 2 games!


We suffer a big injury setback as Dimitris Stavropoulos will miss the next month after twisting his ankle in training. However, I have been getting some **** lately from Dimitris Souliotis who is after more game time, so this will give me the opportunity to bring him in and give him the minutes he craves (and hopefully get him off my back).

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Saturday 25th​ November 2017 (15:00)
National B Division
AO Chania – Kissamikos vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-4-2
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Souliotis, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Bastianos, Lazaridis, Bletsas (Litainas 65), Yamoah, Rooney, Zygeridis (Offei 65)

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A very back and forth game that could have gone either way to be honest. But it was defeat for us here, only our second of the season in the league. It doesn’t bode well that we concede 4 goals in the first game without Stavropoulos at the back though!


Wednesday 29th​ November 2017 (20:00)
Greek Cup Group Stage
MGS Panserraikos vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-4-2 (Changed to 4-1-2-3 Wide on 55 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Souliotis, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Bastianos, Lazaridis, Doris, Yamoah, Rooney (Laskaris 55), Zygeridis

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A good effort from the lads but we were undone by a stronger team here.


After a good start in the Greek Cup, we fail to qualify from the group stage. To be fair, we were tipped to be the whipping boys in this group and proved ourselves to be much more than that so I can’t complain with my team, as much as it would have been nice to progress to the knockout stages.

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A couple of good wins in the league this month means we finish November in 2nd​ place. Things are very tight around us with a number of teams breathing down our neck, but we are still miles ahead of our target of avoiding relegation, with the gap now 12 points to the bottom 5.

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Player of the Month
Makis Zygeridis

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The young striker returned from injury this month in sensational form, scoring 6 goals in 4 games. On top of that, he chipped in with a couple of assists as well.


December will only see us play 2 matches as there will be a break over the Christmas/New Year period. We’ll be doing everything we can to get something out of the game against Karaiskakis, before we take on top of the league, Aris.

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December 2017

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December 2017

Sunday 3rd​ December 2017 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs AE Karaiskakis Artas
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Souliotis, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Laskaris, Lazaridis, Doris, Bastianos, Yamoah, Zygeridis (Rooney 65)

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Disappointing to draw this game after being 3-1 up! More proof that we need some older, cooler heads in the team to help us hold on to these leads. We’re leaking goals left, right and centre with Stavropoulos missing from the back line too.


Sunday 17th​ December 2017 (18:00)
National B Division
AS Aris Salonika vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-4-2
Lineup: Giagiozis, Mexis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Bastianos, Lazaridis, Laskaris, Yamoah, Rooney, Zygeridis

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Now, at the start of the season, if you’d have told me we’d be involved in a top of the table clash 12 games in, I’d have never believed you! But that’s the situation we found ourselves in here as we took on the mighty Aris Solonika, a club that have spent most of their history in the Greek Superleague and are currently running away with our current division this season. And as expected, that ran rings around us throughout this game and we really struggled to have any influence on proceedings at all. We were lucky to come away with a scoreline of only 2-0.


With only 1 point gained in December, we dropped down to 4th​. I just hope it isn’t the start of a run of bad form and a sharp slide down the table.

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Player of the Month
Alexadros Doris

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When you only play 2 games in a month and don’t win either of them, it’s tough to pick a player of the month. But I’ve given it to Doris, who coincidentally only played 1 game, but he did give a really solid performance in that 90 minutes.


So we’ll get the Christmas break out of the way and then come back to 5 games in 21 days in January. We need to pick up our form again in the New Year as we now find ourselves on a run of 4 games without a win in all competitions.

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January 2018

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January 2018

Sunday 7th​ January 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs GS Kallithea
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris, Lazaridis, Laskaris, Bastianos, Rooney, Zygeridis

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We kicked off the new year with a draw! Every point is obviously valuable, but this feels like a bad result as Kallithea are sitting bottom of the league and I felt this was a winnable game for us.


Wednesday 10th​ January 2018 (20:00)
National B Division
GS Doxa Dramas vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-4-2
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Bastianos, Lazaridis, Laskaris, Yamoah, Rooney, Zygeridis

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A very good win against a side that were 3rd​ in the table at kick off and were tipped to challenge for the title pre season. Our task was made easier by their first half sending off of Pantelis Rizogiannis, but we were already 1-0 up by then and did well to see the game out, adding a second goal late on. We were good value for this here and put an end to our winless run of 5 games in all comps.


Sunday 14th​ January 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs OFI Crete
Formation: 4-4-2 (Changed to 4-1-4-1 on 82 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Bastianos, Lazaridis, Laskaris, Yamoah (Lazopoulos 60), Rooney (Offei 68), Zygeridis (Doris 82)

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Another tough game against 2nd​ placed OFI Crete and another ‘shock’ result as we turned them over and took all 3 points. Our defence was ******* amazing in this game and had to withstand constant pressure from Crete, but they limited them to mostly hopeful long shots from outside the box! And when we counter attacked, we always looked dangerous going forward as well and got the 1 goal that was enough to win the game!


Alex Yamoah will miss a couple of weeks of action after pulling a hamstring against OFI Crete.

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Saturday 20th​ January 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs AO Trikala
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide (Changed to 4-4-2 on 74 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris (Offei 74), Lazaridis, Laskaris, Bastianos, Rooney (Lazopoulos 74), Zygeridis

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After a couple of huge wins, Trikala bring us back down to earth here. They were the better side so I can’t have too many complaints.


20 games into life as a professional football manager and it’s been an amazing achievement so far. Although it does make me laugh that the media focus on my ‘bargain hunting’ techniques…..as if I had much choice under a transfer embargo!

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Sunday 28th​ January 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Anagennisi Karditsas vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris, Lazaridis, Laskaris, Bastianos (Litainas 83), Rooney, Zygeridis (Offei 83)

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It was nice to be playing a side outside of the top 6 after the last 3 games, but we didn’t get the result we wanted, or that I’d come to expect. I guess it’s a sign of how far we’ve come this season that I’m expecting to win these sorts of games now!


A mixed month of results means we retain 4th​ place in the league. At the start of the season, I was told that 35 points is the benchmark in this division to be classed as ‘safe’ and avoid relegation. With just over half the season gone, we are only one win away from hitting that benchmark!

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Player of the Month
Giorgos Giagiozis

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We’ve played some big teams in the league this month and pulled off some cracking results. Our goalkeeper had a huge part to play in that success and has turned in some ultra consistent performances this month, coming up big when we needed him to!


February offers up four league games, of which three are against sides in the bottom half of the table. We have an opportunity to pick up some points next month and all but guarantee our stature in this league next season!

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February 2018

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February 2018

The January transfer window comes to a close and we didn’t add any players to the team. I had a look but there wasn’t anyone available on loan that I thought could improve our side, so opted to stick with my current options. Our next opponents, Sparti, were the most active team in our division, adding 4 players to their squad!

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Sunday 4th​ February 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs AE Spartis
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Stavropoulos, Damianakis, Kapsalis, Doris, Lazaridis, Laskaris, Bastianos, Rooney, Zygeridis

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And there it is, the win which takes us to the magical 35 point mark. Judging the history of the competition, 35 points should be enough to guarantee we won’t be suffering relegation this year, which was the pre season goal. I feel like we can relax a little now and every point from here is a bonus and we’ll see how high up the table we can finish! I still feel like promotion will be beyond us this season, but a top 6 finish looks a realistic possibility and would be a massive achievement!


Centre back, Dimitris Stavropoulos, will miss the next couple of games through injury. He was a big loss when he was injured a couple of months ago and we shipped goals for fun in the games he didn’t play, so he’s sure to be a big loss again!

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Sunday 11th​ February 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
MGS Panserraikos vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Souliotis, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris, Lazaridis, Laskaris (Bietsas 70), Bastianos, Rooney (Offei 78), Zygeridis (Yamoah 64)

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Panserraikos had already beaten us twice this season in league and cup, so this wasn’t one we were looking forward to! But this time round, we managed to earn ourselves a very credible draw! We could have won the game in the dying moments as well, when Bastianos found himself clean through on goal only to hit his shot straight at the Panserraikos keeper!


Sunday 18th​ February 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
AS Veroia vs GS Panaigialeios
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Souliotis, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris, Lazaridis, Bietsas, Bastianos, Rooney, Zygeridis

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A solid home win against one of the bottom sides in the division. We did a professional job here and got the win we wanted with two good first half goals. Bietsas goal was an absolute belter!


Saturday 24th​ February 2018 (15:00)
National B Division
APO Apollon Larisas vs AS Veroia
Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide (Changed to 4-4-2 on 74 minutes)
Lineup: Giagiozis, Kozakis, Souliotis, Damianakis, Oungialidis, Doris (Yamoah 74), Lazaridis, Bietsas, Bastianos (Litainas 74), Rooney, Zygeridis

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We were awful here. Just didn’t turn up and were lucky in the end to get a draw. Larisas will be disappointed they couldn’t beat us here as we were never really in the game.


Another 5 match unbeaten run…

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Two wins and two draws this month sees us move up to 2nd​ and into the promotion spots once again! The top two in this division automatically go up….surely we can’t pull off the impossible!?

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Player of the Month
Nikos Lazaridis

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The central midfielder had some indifferent form this month, but two very good performances were enough to get him over the line to win the award for February.


March will be a quiet month with only 3 games on the schedule. All 3 are winnable games and we will try our best to keep this unbeaten run going for as long as possible (although I’ve probably completely jinxed us by saying that).

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