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Home on the Range - The Great Scot Challenge!

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Season 2014/15 Part 1

So 10 games into the season and we are not quite off to the start we normally would be. Barrie McKay, who is pretty much my go-to striker got sent off in the second game and then got banned for 3 matches and its safe to say we struggled without him. That's ok though, because the table is still relatively close together. None of the competition in the league have proved too much for us, and I still expect us to comfortably win the division. Unfortunately we got knocked out of the Challenge Cup in the 3rd Round, but bounced back with a 5-1 thumping of St. Mirren in the League Cup. I fiddled around with the tactics a bit and we bucked our ideas up and ended up playing some better football towards the end of the first 10 games.




Other than that, not much to report. My loan players are kind of hit-and-miss for Stirling at the moment. Craig Hunter is doing really well and looks to have a fair bit of potential, with plenty of attribute increases, but the other three aren't really showing me much at this point. We will see.
 
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2014/2015 Update Part 2

Well the last 10 games have been nothing short of perfect. Literally.


The small changes I made to my tactics/starting XI are paying dividends. We didn't drop a point, and as you probably could have guessed, we are sitting pretty on top of the table.



A lot of that has to do with this man.


The guy has been a machine. He's banging them in for fun! Unfortunately though, his strike partner Kevin Kyle is leaving on a free at the end of the season. I tried to keep him for another year - but he didnt take it. Same goes for Darren Ramsey. This one ****** me off cause he snubbed me for Inverness. Especially since he is developing pretty well. Hopefully I will get some transfer funds in and can replenish my squad a bit. I'm hoping to let go of Neil Alexander as well as he is getting on a bit in age and Gilks has done a good job so far.

As for the loan prospects, well pretty much the same as the first ten games. Craig Hunter seems to be the only one making any waves. We will see what happens. Next update at end of season!
 
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End of Season Recap #3



Well it was a mixed bag on the run home. Lets start with the positives, we comfortably won the First Division and are back were we belong in the Clydesdale Bank Premier Division.



We made the final of the League Cup, where we would face Celtic - our first match against them with me in charge.



Unfortunately, just before the game in the midweek training, Matthew Gilks went down with a hip injury for 5 months, whilst Kyle Hutton went down for 3 weeks with injury. I also was missing Ross Perry through suspension, and always knew it would be a tough game. This was the result.



Unfortunately, we went down 0-2 early and despite clawing 1 back, we just couldn't pull it off. I was a bit cut up at the time, but got this news shortly after.



Revenge! At least that was the plan. I'd be playing without Matthew Gilks again, but Hutton and Perry were back. Unfortunately for me, Barrie McKay, who coincidentally won the First Division Player of the Year, got injured in the final game of the season! This meant I'd be without him in the cup. And as you can probably guess, when you play without your star striker, you find it difficult to score...



So Celtic have got a 2-0 lead over me in this campaign so far, but I will get my revenge don't worry about that! In fairness, they probably deserved to win this one. We were outclassed. Here are the final fixtures.



Player of the Season? Easily Barrie McKay! The guy was dominant all year, and fell just short of 30 league goals. He is gonna be a stud in the next couple of years, no doubt.



I got my youth intake - and the less said about it the better. I don't think anyone that came through will be successful. Maybe some of them will be bench players at some point? I doubt it though.



The only positive from a youth perspective is the development of Craig Hunter. I've been commenting on it all year, but his attributes have improved out of sight. Still needs some work, but I'm contemplating playing him in the firsts next year - even if its off the bench.



Finally, another disappointing event saw Danny Wilson get snapped up by Arsenal. He was becoming unhappy at Liverpool, but I just didn't have the money to play with at that point and Arsenal managed to snap him up. Oh well - let's see what the transfer window has in store!

 
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Great story mate im about to start this type off challenge with queens park but only using youth players and not signing anyone will be hard but hope to win the spl with them and the champs league
 
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Great story mate im about to start this type off challenge with queens park but only using youth players and not signing anyone will be hard but hope to win the spl with them and the champs league
Thanks buddy! Best of luck man! It will be tough - but if you persevere I'm sure you can make it! At least for you the first couple of season will be entertaining, they were kinda cruisy/boring for me haha
 
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First couple seasons are boring with Rangers mate, it's too easy!

I'm loving my challenge, ust posted it up tonight. The Conference is more challenging but hope to get Rangers to the premiership and European success with only my youth set up.

Good luck again! You are doing wel.
 
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First couple seasons are boring with Rangers mate, it's too easy!

I'm loving my challenge, ust posted it up tonight. The Conference is more challenging but hope to get Rangers to the premiership and European success with only my youth set up.

Good luck again! You are doing wel.
Yeah its just starting to get fun now! I'm kinda annoyed though, I've found a couple of absolute BEAST regens, that are really cheap as well, but they aren't Scottish :( Oh well. Thanks for the support mate!
 
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Pre-Season 2015

So pre-season is all done and dusted - and on the whole I was pretty happy. I lost of a lot of players (mainly deadwood) on free transfers during the break, so set out to replenish my stocks. I'm pretty happy with the result.




I lost both Neil Alexander and Scott Gallacher and so I decided to get me another GK - and Cammy Bell was the most reasonably priced (and also the best available) GK. Brought in from Kilmarnock for 1m, he will be my first choice GK, and Gilks will become my backup.


I lost Darren Ramsay to Inverness and decided I needed a little bit more cover in central midfield, so I brought in Jordon Brown on a free. He is more a defensively minded midfielder and will be cover for Ian Black/Kyle Hutton in my BWM position.



David Templeton had a stomping season in the First Division, but unfortunately we didn't see eye-to-eye on wage rates. He wanted around 12k per week, which would have made him my highest paid player and I couldn't justify that so I let him go. I brought in Danny Swanson from Peterborough for 3m to be a direct replacement. I am still lacking in wingers though as I lost some of my other backups and it is an area I will be looking to strengthen in the future.



I wanted a little bit more depth down back, and Brian Easton is all quality. I've trained him to play in central defence and am currently working on playing as a right back, so he can cover all of the positions and still be first team standard. For 1.2m from Dundee, I thought it was a reasonably fee to pay.



Last and least was a signing I didn't really want to make. I couldn't afford any of the strikers I had on my watchlist but definitely didn't have enough depth or expertise, so I reached a little bit and bought Lee Miller for 1.4m from Carlisle. He will most likely be my number 1 target man, since Craig Hunter went out on loan, however, Cameron Smith will feature there as well. Helps to have some depth.



So I fielded my younger players in the friendlies and didn't really care about the results...



...mainly because we were playing in the EURO Cup qualifying. I really want to do well in the EURO just to get some funds flowing into the club to get some developments happening. Unsurprisingly we cruised through our first couple of games without many hassles.



And the board agreed to upgrade the youth facilities (after a little bit of persuasion I might add). Let's see if they actually go through with it this time!



Next update after 10 games!
 
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2015/2016 Update 1

So 10 games have passed in the season and I'm pretty well were I expected to be. Celtic are currently way out of our league, and we really need a couple of season of Continental cup football to catch up to them. As it stands at the moment, we are currently second on the table.


We have been a little bit unlucky with injuries though. Barrie McKay, my best striker by a considerable margin, went down with injury for about 5 weeks, whilst Lee Miller hasn't played a game yet. Our first game without Barrie and this was the result:


We literally just could not score. It was ridiculous. Once again we played Celtic - and we were nowhere near full strength. Missing McKay and Hutton through injury, and Darren McGregor was out suspended. Unfortunately they had our number....again.



Overall, the results looked like this:


In continental news, we qualified comfortably for the group stages of the EURO and man did we get given a tough group.


Chelsea are pretty much the best team in the Premier League at the moment, and HSV are surprisingly strong. Head and shoulders ahead of us. Besiktas are probably better than us as well, but its significantly closer. I don't like my chances of getting out of this group. So far we played two games - and I think the loss to HSV at home may just about seal our fate.


Chelsea up next in a double header, and if i can get one win out of them I'd be happy. Don't like my chances though.

Next update after 20 games.
 
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2015/2016 Update 2

So 20 games into the season and again, we are pretty much where we should be. Celtic will win the league this year I'm pretty sure, we just can't compete with them....yet. We will though! Here is the current table:




And my league fixtures so far have been pretty solid. Only 1 loss - unfortunately to Celtic. This 10 game stretch we did manage to take a point from Celtic. Still well within reach of continental football again, which is my main hope. Gonna try to get some funds in and build a stronger squad. At the moment we aren't really able to compete in the EURO cup. Speaking of which, here is how the group fixtures panned out.



In the grand scheme of things, I'm not too disappointed. One win over HSV and we made it out. Still, delighted with the point from Chelsea, and 2 comfortable wins over Besiktas should get us a little bit of money in the grand scheme of things. Some promising regens at some point wouldn't go astray.


From a cup perspective, things are pretty well on track. Unfortunately we have Celtic in the League Cup, which in reality I will probably lose. The squad just isn't good enough. Even at full strength the best we seem to be able to manage is a draw. Berwick should be a comfortable win for us though.

Next update coming at the end of the season!
 
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2015/2016 Final Update

Well the season is over. We finished second - a fair way behind Celtic in the end. This is largely due to a disappointing run home. We had 3 straight losses to round out the season, but we will be playing in the EURO again which is a positive. The final table and fixtures:





In a year filled with several disappointing losses at the hands of Celtic, I'm pleased to say....


Get in!! We finally managed to scramble a win against them - and in the cup final too. Fielding a side far from full strength, and going down to 10 men wasn't going to stop us! Glad to finally get the first (of hopefully many) wins against them.


In terms of youth intake, again there isn't anything even remotely impressive. Looks like I'll be shipping in players again in the pre-season with the aim of improving my squad.




Pre-season update to follow soon!
 
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2016/2017 Pre-Season Update

As usual, I didn't really care about my friendlies. The main thing to take from the pre-season is: I SPENT A LOT OF MONEY! Armed with a transfer budget of close to 7m and wages of 190k, I set about rebuilding a squad that clearly wasn't good enough to dethrone Celtic, and even more inadequate in terms of European competition. I lost a lot of my older key players on free transfers - but I wasn't too concerned. Here is the full summary of my activity.



So I spent a fair bit of cash, but as you can tell, I brought in some quality players. My thoughts were that our defence wasn't actually too bad, we just couldn't score when McKay was out or not on song. We were also lacking in depth on both wings.



After losing Ian Black and Gary Harkins on free transfers, I needed a little bit more beef in the centre of the park. Found Armstrong unhappy at reading and snapped him up for 2.6m. Looks class, and at only 24 I will have him around for a while. Will be my starting Deep Lying Playmaker - basically a direct upgrade for an aging (and constantly unfit) Gary Harkins.



I'd been looking out for a while too see if Sutherland or Johnny Russell would become transfer listed. Russell, who was previously at Stoke, got listed in the middle of last season when I did not have any funds and so I missed out on him. Luckily though, I managed to ****** Sutherland for a pricy 5.5m from Sheffield United. He will be my starting Target Man alongside Barrie McKay and hopefully the two will form a solid strike partnership.



I got Ryan Flynn on a free from Sheffield United - and there's not much to say really. He is gonna be a bench player, and was gonna be backup for Danny Swanson, who seemed to get injured way to easily. The way it turned out though, he'd still be backup just not for Swanson...



I wasn't planning on upgrading my defence, and then I found Jordan McGhee unhappy at Crystal Palace. This kid is a monster! At 19, he is already better than all of my defenders, with the exception of Darren McGregor. For just 1.9m, I've got one of my centre-halves for the next 10 years. My plan will be to blood him in through the league and the cup games, and play the reliable combo of McGregor-Perry during the EURO games. Will also train him for RB and LB. Really happy with this one.



Another guy I'd been looking at for a while, Mackay-Steven was unhappy at Southampton, and so I quickly snatched him up for 3.4m. Will be my starting left winger and can also play on the right. Looks quality. Hopefully he turns out to be worth the money!



A younger version of Gary Mackay-Steven basically. I might have overpaid a little bit for him, but I was really desperate to bring in some quality wingers. Can play left and right of midfield and also central. Will play him off the bench or as cover for injuries.



My favorite signing of the window (narrowly edging out Jordan McGhee). I snatched up Charlie Adam on a free from Swansea. He's still only 29, and will be quality in the centre of the park. A straight upgrade/replacement for Ian Black. Will play him as a Ball-Winning Midfielder.



Another free, this time from Middlesbrough, Park will slot in on the right wing. A pacy winger, with solid crossing and dribbling makes me thing that we will be firing on all cylinders this season.



Signed more for potential than anything else. Will be dumping him out on loan for this season, and we will see how he goes.



Snatched up an unhappy Alan Wilson from St. Johnstone for 350k. He is young, has some potential and looks ok as a cover in central midfield. Don't expect him to start in too many important fixtures this season. Maybe down the track though!

The outgoings? My sudden influx of quality left wingers meant I didn't really ahve a place for Craig Forsyth anymore. He has been solid for me up to this point, but he just isn't quite up to a standard befitting a EURO/Champions League team. 2.5m for him to Ipswich was worth it, and it also freed up some wage room. Kyle Hutton went out on loan to Brighton - almost solely to lower the wage costs, which I'm now over the cap of. Likewise I had to let Stuart Urquhart go to Millwall. I kinda regret not playing him earlier in the save, but now he just isn't good enough to merit even a back-up place.

So that wraps up a busy transfer period for me. Next update after 10 games, and let me tell you now....it's juicy!
 
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Looking good mate some great signings the young centre half looks like he will be a beast off a player, check out my story the buffs Scotland's new rangers
 
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Looking good mate some great signings the young centre half looks like he will be a beast off a player, check out my story the buffs Scotland's new rangers
Cheers mate! Yeah he looks like a monster! I'll have a look for sure mate!
 
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