Flying With The Wings – Welling United

May 10, 2018
Edenbridge, Kent, UK

Flying With The Wings – Welling United

This story will follow my progress with National League South side, Welling United. One thing I have found since returning to the game is that my time is a lot more limited nowadays with my new job role consuming a lot more of my time and with a family/2 kids under the age of 10, opportunities for hours and hours of FM at a time are very rare….in fact, almost non existent. So this story will not be as ‘in depth’ as some of those I have done in the past and instead I will focus on providing maybe 3 updates per season to keep you informed of my progress, rather than an in depth analysis of every single game we play. I hope you still enjoy the read and follow along as you have done so loyally in the past with my other stories!

So, why Welling? Well in all honesty, I drive past their stadium every day to get to work so I thought, why not? Nothing more to it really!

Club Info

Founded: 1963
Professional Status: Semi-Pro
Stadium: Park View Road
Stadium Capacity: 4,500
Training Facilities: Basic
Youth Facilities: Poor
Bank Balance: £35,000


Vanarama National League South: Winners (2013), Third Placed (2012, 2019)
Calor Gas League Premier Division: Winners (1986), Third Placed (1983)


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The board expect playoffs as a minimum this year so I’m up against it in my first season in charge! If I don’t get promoted this year, they want us to win the division within 3 seasons of here!


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Fair to say I’ll be looking to the free transfer and loan markets immediately to bring some players in to a worryingly small squad!

Best Players:

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A solid keeper between the sticks will be very important for us!

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He might have absolutely nothing going for him in attack, but Richard Platt has some very impressive defensive attributes for this level!

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Korrey Henry is a new arrival at the club and with his pace, I’ll be looking to him to offer our main goalscoring threat!
May 10, 2018
Edenbridge, Kent, UK

Saturday 14th September 2019

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2. bailey.jpg

After taking over in my new role, I quickly needed to address the issues in the squad and the main one being my severe lack of central midfielders. Henry Woods joined from Gillingham (as a Gills fan I was delighted to bring him in) on loan, whilst James Bailey joins on a free and immediately became one of our star players on paper!

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The pre season odds showed that the bookies fancy us for a playoff finish (as expected by the board)! Our odds of just 4-1 to win the division, mean that it’s not unrealistic for us to mount a title challenge this year.

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Fair to say that our friendlies went pretty well, with a win over local rivals Charlton being the highlight. We recorded some big wins over lower league clubs and didn’t disgrace ourselves in defeat to Crawley either!

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It’s been a dream start to my management of the club, as we are unbeaten after the opening 10 games of the league campaign! On five occasions, we’ve managed to score 4 or more goals in a game as well and look absolutely ruthless in attack! With three clean sheets to our name as well, we’re not exactly awful at the back, although this is the area of our game that could be improved.

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With our record, you might be expecting us to be leading the way and comfortably in the division. You’d be right about the fact we’re topping the division, but Bath City have matched us every step of the way so far. The two of us have already opened a 6 point gap back to 3rd placed Weymouth.

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Fair to say that most of my team are performing well on an individual basis, 6 of my players in the top 7 on average rating in the league! Winger, Anthony Cook leads the way!

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This is the tactic that has been doing the business for me so far! Our strength is definitely in attack, so I decided to focus completely on that with an ethos of attempting to outscore our opponents in every game. So far, it’s working perfectly! We utilize the wings a lot, stretching the play across the whole pitch, with a short passing game and a high and intense press. The idea is for my players to follow the ball around the pitch as a unit and create triangles to pass the ball around the opposition before an opening occurs for that through ball or cross.
May 10, 2018
Edenbridge, Kent, UK

Saturday 16th November 2019

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Early Sending Off Gifts Welling Victory In Ball’s First Arch Rivals Meeting

Chris Ball continued to build a strong relationship with the Welling faithful as he masterminded a 3-0 victory over their arch rivals, Dartford. Ball’s Welling side were handed an early advantage when Giovanni McGregor was sent off as early as the 4th minute with a straight red card being issued after a reckless challenge on The Wings attacker, Adam Coombes. It was complete domination from that moment as Welling went on to record nearly 30 shots on goal, netting 3 times for a comfortable victory!


Following on from the Dartford result, we maintained our excellent form in the league, with only Slough able to hold us to a draw! We also comfortably dispatched of 3 lower league sides as we cruised through the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup, setting up a 1st round tie with Blyth Spartans of the Vanarama National League North.

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The 2-1 win over Maidstone United was my 20th game in charge and I’m yet to taste defeat as Welling boss in any competition! What an incredible start it has been and to go unbeaten in my opening 20 games is something I don’t think I have ever achieved before on any version of FM.

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My accomplishments in the league are fully noted as I haven’t yet let any other manager have a look in with regards to the Manager of the Month awards.

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After the Maidstone game, our form dipped slightly as we struggled to a win against Hemel Hempstead who actually outplayed us over 90 minutes, before needing a last minute equalizer to force a replay with Blyth in the FA Cup. Then Weymouth inflicted our first defeat of the season on us. We’ll need to pick ourselves up again, with the FA Cup replay against Blyth up next.


With 19 games of the league campaign down, we sit pretty at the top of the table with a 4 point buffer back to 2nd placed Wealdstone. Billericay are the surprise underperformers and look set for a relegation battle, rather than the expected title challenge from the cash rich Essex club.


May 2, 2020
Ha, I have Henry Woods on my Kingstonian save! Released by the Gills after only one appearance last season, and he's featured twice for me in 20/21, one of those off the bench.
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May 10, 2018
Edenbridge, Kent, UK

Saturday 11th January 2020

1. Blyth.jpg

Despite being pretty dominant against Blyth in the FA Cup 1st round replay, our dip in form continued as they managed to hold us off and record a tight 1-0 victory over us. That’s two defeats in a row for us now and I now have the task of lifting the boys spirits and ensuring this doesn’t become anything serious.

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I was offered a new deal by the board and commit to the club for another 2 years.


There’s no denying we find ourselves in a rut. The results have been extremely poor of late and we’re quickly undoing the good start we made during the first few months of the season! Massively disappointed to have crashed out of the FA Trophy at such an early stage as I really fancied us to have a good run in that competition. We must work hard to turn this around, and fast!

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To make things even worse, I’ll now be without one of my best players for the next 6 weeks as well!


Our poor run of form has seen us drop to 4th in the table. However, we’re still in a strong position with 3 games in hand over the rest of the top 9, and only one win from those 3 games will see us back on top of the division.
May 10, 2018
Edenbridge, Kent, UK

Saturday 22nd February 2020

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It was time for a fresh face at the club and again I turned to the club I support for an addition to the squad. 18 year old, Ben Allen, was in high demand with loan offers on the table from Billericay, Brackley Town, Hampton & Richmond and Slough. But he snubbed all of them in favour of a move to us on loan for the remainder of the season…maybe his teammate Henry Woods had something to do with his choice! I’m excited to have the winger here though and look forward to seeing what he can add to the team.

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With James Bailey out injured for a few weeks, I also felt the need to add another centre mid to the squad as cover. I managed to pick up 19 year old Kyle Barker from Peterborough on loan until the end of the season and he looks like a really decent player for this level and definitely makes us stronger going into the final 3rd of the season!


A run of 9 games undefeated saw us get our form well back on track, rounded off with us completing the double over our local rivals Dartford.


Which ensured that we’d be playing in this year’s playoffs at the very least! Happy days!


But with an 8 point lead at the top of the table now, it’s fair to say that only reaching the playoffs would be a disappointment at this stage! We have our sights set firmly on bigger things and a league title in my first season in charge is very much a possibility!