Feb 10, 2016
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Hi everyone, I am starting a new story on here but it won't be using FM17. I can't afford the game right now but want to continue writing and I know within the next couple of weeks the FM16 forum will get no response. I hope people don't mind me doing this but I did it last year (on a different account) and got a good response so hopefully this goes well.

View attachment 123939So there I am, FM Saddler is the name. I'm not going to lie, I have no experience in football. Never played and never managed so it will be tough but I love the game and have always watched it. I'm just a regular guy with a dream of fighting his way up to the top of football management.

This isn't going to be easy and all I am hoping is that somebody will take a punt on me and give me the chance I want. All I've ever wanted to do is be in the management game but with no real talent and always fighting my way through education I never got my chance in the footballing world.

I hope that my passion for the game and my drive to improve is enough to see me rise through. Like I said all I need is for somebody to give me that chance and I will make the most of it.

So the message to all teams out there...

Just Give Me A Chance
So here I was looking to start a football career with no idea how to move forward with it. I started by creating a list of all the potential jobs I could apply for to start with.

View attachment 123927So quite a bit available but not much realistic.

The first two jobs I applied for were Kidderminster and Chelmsford. Kidderminster is unrealistic but a club I've always liked and would love to take over if given that chance. Chelmsford seems more realistic and is a good level to start out from should they be willing to give me that all important chance.

I also had a couple of hit and hope jobs which I applied for. FC Emmen and GA Eagles in the 2nd tier of Dutch football. They are, again, unlikely but if I were to get one of them I would be given a real chance to prove myself at a decent level.

I don't see myself getting any of the 4 I applied for. The Jupiler league is too high a standard for somebody with no footballing experience and Chelmsford and Kidderminster are both looking at managers who should without question be ahead of me in the race to the job.
Two weeks have passed since I'd applied for any jobs and that's when I received and accepted an offer without question.

View attachment 123923Chelmsford were willing to put their trust in me before they head into what is expected to be a tough season including a relegation battle. There was no way I could turn down the 1 year contract but why they offered me it I don't know, I must've impressed in the interview.

View attachment 123919
I was quite surprised by what I had to work with. There were a few players who were lacking in the quality but had a lot of potential but there are also 7 players with obvious quality who should be playing above this level and they are the ones who will be key in my first managerial season.

The backroom needs a huge change with nobody but me and my assistant here but it shouldn't be too tough to bring in the quality of coaches I expect to need and the board have already put a budget in place to bring in a better backroom.

The facilities are poor but I am hoping that the quality in the squad will override that and give us that chance at surviving the year. With a young squad, a few good players and an improved backroom I see no reason why I should struggle to survive this year.

Oh and thanks for the chance Chelmsford!

I'll give you a chance

Looking forward to reading your story!
I'll be reading this, good start and a fellow lower league management save! :p
So with a short time to prepare for the season and a short pre-season I was going to need to jump head first into

View attachment 123732[FONT=&quot][/FONT]It was a good pre-season in all. It was assistant manager Steve Smith and physio Matt Brinkley who took charge of the first fixture and got the 2-1 win. Billy Bricknell and Rory McAuley got the goals in the first half with the hosts making it a nervy 20 minutes to finish.

Then was my first game in charge. Tonbridge at home and with only 3 days to prepare for the fixture I didn't expect much but young striker Hugo Skepelhorn scored a beautiful goal after a ball was played over the top from one of our defenders. We were defensively strong and controlled the game but rarely found that killer chance.

My first away game then arrived and it was something very different. We were 3-0 up at the half with one of our signings, James Walker, getting 2 and Lee Sawyer adding another. Seconds into the second half Bricknell got his 2nd of pre-season before an own goal by Wingate & Finchley ended the tie.

Then a final warm up came as we travelled to Witham. Defensively we were solid and they had very few chances. Going forward we seemed to lose the confidence early on after Bricknell was injured after a poor challenge, players weren't going for the second balls or going on the darting runs I wanted as they didn't want to receive the same treatment from one of the Witham players.

Bricknell is set to be out for up to 2 months with a damaged knee cap after the injury in the final game but we have drafted in some talent who should be able to stand in for him whilst he is absent.

Overall I was happy with pre-season. The players seemed to like me, the incoming players settled in quickly and we didn't lose a game. The tactics are taking some time to settle in but I am confident we can avoid the drop if we can play as we did in my 3 games.
So as I said we have drafted in some talent. It was obvious that the squad was lacking in some areas and this needed fixing as well as adding some depth across the squad. I'm happy with the transfer business so far and they all looked good in pre-season games so it's all looking hopeful.

View attachment 123725The 8 players come in and I think they are all players that add something to the squad. First Tony Capaldi is a huge addition as we had nobody who could play at left back in the squad, when we use a LB he is the go to guy and he can also step into midfield and help out too if required.

Ben Sampayo is somebody more signed for his versatility and potential. Right now he is probably a backup across the back line but it's his ability to play all 3 defensive positions which made me sign him. He identifies himself as a right back but should we need him anywhere across the line it'll be him who steps up.

James Walker is a name I mentioned in the pre-season talk. Having got 2 goals and an assist in that 5-0 victory he is already looking good and I can see him being key for us this season, especially in the absence of Bricknell. He is an all round striker but his ability to chase the ball and steal goals is what made me bring him in.

Shawniki Clement-Peter is a central midfielder who offers something we didn't really have with existing players. We needed somebody in the middle who added a bit of pace and flair and that's what SCP brings to the side. Technically he needs some work doing but with 11 passing he could be the creative spark we require in the middle.

Nicky Nicolau is somebody brought in for the left side. He can play LWB or LM so hopefully he should see a bit of game time. He isn't anything special but he is a solid option to have in the squad and this will be his 7th season in the Vanarama South so he adds some experience in the division I may not have been able to.

Shpat Ismajli is somebody I brought in on the basis of him playing a position we may need in the future. The 19 year old CAM will need a lot of work before he is able to step in and perform consistently but he is a player who if needed can be brought in to play for us and contribute something, similar to SCP.

Jamaal Raage is an exciting player. He can play anywhere across the midfield, attacking midfield and can even step in up front if needed. But it is his pace, dribbling and finishing which could bring a lot of excitement to his performances. Ideally a left winger he will be used similarly to Sampayo in that he will step in wherever he is needed when he is needed.

Finally is Neil Barrett. He is similar to what we already had in midfield but with the quality he has he was a must sign to add the depth. He is a leader on the pitch who is going to provide the defensive cover we need to the back line. Physically he is declining but he still has the fitness and stamina to see out 90 minutes.
So we have gone over transfers and pre-season so the final thing to discuss is my tactics. The tactics I will be playing aren't necessarily what I want to play but with us expected to be in a relegation battle and with the board asking for defensive and direct football I have had to change things up a little.

View attachment 123723So this is the tactic I feel I will use most as it's what our players best fit. Basically we want to sit back and hit teams on the break quickly. The middle 3 of midfield are there to act as a second line of defenders when we are defending to provide the help for the back 3 which is a risk I've had to take at this stage.

The wingers will be expected to provide the spark on the break. Getting forward quickly I want them to get the ball into the box and let our quality strikers, which would normally be a partnership of Walker and Bricknell, get the goals. The wingers do however have the quality to be able to play as defensive wingers and provide that extra support at the back which may need to be done if a team is hurting us on the flanks.

View attachment 123722This is a variation of our main formation. With the two defensive midfielders it allows us to have a more creative 3rd midfielder in Ben Marlow who will look to sit in the middle and control the play linking up with the back 5 and front 2.

I opted for the CAM rather than a 2nd striker in this as it gives us more control in midfield and better link up play so that when we are controlling possession it is more likely to come to something. The two defensive midfielders don't look to fit this role from this image but having looked at their attributes they fit the roles perfectly.

View attachment 123721Finally is what in a perfect world I would like to play. This is the only tactic where we look to attack and focus on our threat going forward than just sitting back and defending our own goal. The 3-2-3-1-1 tactic above is similar but the aim there is still to see the back 5 stay back and defend where as this when we attack will provide us with 7 or 8 players going forward.

The key for this tactic in my opinion is the 3 men behind the striker. The wingers both have the pace to hurt teams down the flank and then Ismajli in the middle has the quality to both create and hopefully get a few goals should we use this tactic. The only worry is leaving the back four exposed but with 2 high quality CBs and a top GK for this level I'm hopeful that we shouldn't be at too much risk.
So two games have passed in the season and we sit 19th in the league. The worry is we are one of four teams to be pointless at this stage.

View attachment 123696The first game I feel we deserved a point at least. Oxford City got both goals from corners whilst we controlled the game and were denied a goal for an unknown reason. After going 1-0 down Walker broke free and proved he was capable of being the replacement for Bricknell. They then added a 2nd from another corner.

In the final minutes Walker hit the post only to then follow up and bury the rebound however the referee disallowed the goal for a foul. Having watched the replays I can easily say nothing warranted the goal being disallowed with Walker being alone and the rest of the players being stood still.

We then had a day to rest leaving us tired for a Monday night home tie against Hemel. In our first tie we failed to create anything other than Walker having a couple of chances from balls over the top so I opted to go for our 3-2-3-1-1 tactic to try give us more going forward.

We were dreadful.

We had 1 shot in 70 minutes which was off target and when Marlow had and scored our 2nd shot of the game, from a penalty, we were already 2-0 down. We had a bit more threat in the final 20 minutes but Hemel held on comfortably and we finished the game with just 4 shots, 2 on target.