In addition to restoring AFC Bournemouth to the Premier League, I have taken on the role of England U21s manager. So now I have the inside track on all of the best young English players, who I am lining up in my preferred tactical systems and seeing who works well and who doesn't. My aim is to sign at least one player from the U21s - or a former member up to the age of 24 - every summer for my Bournemouth squad, as well as trying to produce one or two gems of our own (I only have one decent player in the Bournemouth U18s at the moment, but I'm working on that).
Sounds good! I've never managed an international youth team before. Might give it a go in my save if the opportunity arrives.
Sounds good! I've never managed an international youth team before. Might give it a go in my save if the opportunity arrives.

I had to apply for the job after the previous guy was sacked but my application was successful.
Stockport from lower league to Premier League glory.

titles on the way
2016 Vanarama National League North
2018 Skybet league 2
2019 Skybet league 1
2023 Euro Cup
2023 European Super Cup
2024 English Premier League
Started my own logo pack

Took over Dynamo Dresden. 3. Bundesliga was easy. Second season in 2. Bundesliga, i finished 7th, bad form in January as always. 3rd season i finish 2nd on goal difference to Augsburg (nemesis club). 4th year i finish 13th in the Bundesliga and Augsburg go back down. I sign their 2 best players. Great success.
guess this counts as a success. My backup striker just broke the club's single season scoring record. Playing as Lokomotiv Moscow in the first season. Ezekiel Henty has scored 19 goals in 8 starts and 15 sub appearances.
Started a LLM save to keep me going til FM17, won the Northern Division 2 and Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup with South shields first season, won that cup again as well as the FA vase in second season and finished tenth in the league.
2nd season with Lokomotiv Moscow. Romped to the title in the first season. Drew a Champions League group stage with Steaua, Sporting CP, and Real Madrid. Did well to get wins against Steaua and Sporting CP. Then its Madrid at home. I mulled going defensive rather than my standard approach, a Very Fluid 4-1-4-1 with Standard mentality. Go with a standard lineup. Decide to hit Instant Result and hope it doesn't get ugly. 3-0 win. WTF?

Wasn't even a smash n grab win where they pinned up back and we hit the counter. Shots were almost equal and the possessions was barely in their favor (51%). Watched the Key highlights and it was three nice goals that we scored and a couple more close chances, and they barely had anything of significance. It wasn't even a reduced Madrid squad in terms of strength. I need to go back and watch the Comprehensive highlights now. Pretty chuffed.
And got smacked back down 3-1 in the return match in Madrid. In a knockout round, that would be enough to see me through. Side didn't even play that poorly, just outclassed like I expected us to be in the first leg.
And for kicks, since I decided to save the one goal on YouTube.... Here is Andrei Ivan scoring the second goal on what I think is a really nice passing sequence.



Back to back promotions with Wigan, beat Villa in the Championship playoff final 1-0.
First year back in the big time and signed Lucas Moura, Michy Batshuiai and Marco Asensio
My high promising young goalkeeper that came thru the youth academy at Lokomotiv Moscow has been dubbed the new Lev Yashin. **** yes.
Not really a success.... yet. But still quite happy. So about to start the third season in my Lokomotiv Moscow save. The club doesn't start with a lot of great prospects - there are really only two who aren't in the first team who could potentially develop. The foreign player rules in Russia make developing Russian youngsters pretty vital. The two are both 18 to start and nowhere near starting caliber. They have the same potential, which is decent (for Russia) but nothing special. I intended to develop them in previous saves but kinda faltered. In watcher games, the AI has utterly failed to develop other - loaning them out to low level clubs and they usually just end up released and retiring.

I developed one of them as a DM, retraining the other as a CM. The DM appeared 16 times for the main team through the first two seasons, plus some cup matches. He was often the weak link but he never performed horribly. He was tutored repeatedly. The contract of my 30 year old primary DM was coming up at the end of season 2 and I decided to take a risk and not resign him. Good player but not outstanding. I'm going to give the young player a chance. He's 20 now and he's developed quite well - his CA has gone up 30 points. I'm hoping by playing quite frequently, he'll continue that development. I've been tempted to buy another DM, as there is 40m in the transfer fund (now 70m) but I've held off. It could end up hurting me in the Champions League but if you're gonna commit to youth....

Similarly, I let my 30 year old starting GK leave for a relatively pittance to give the reigns to my 19 year old regen. The kid I mentioned is "the new Lev Yashin". He was already starting every second match, so.... He's listed as a Wonderkid now. So is an Algerian CM, so I had 3 Wonderkids until Atletico came in with a massive offer for Andrei Ivan.
Not posting this as a true success, as it was definitely tainted on several levels. More of a "well, this was fun" thing. But won the Champions League in the second season. With Vitesse Arnhem. Not really, but sorta.

It was a "for fun" game since I knew it wouldn't last long, with FM17 coming out. Its with pr0's transfer update, which gives them a potential wonderkid player, plus I had to create the Japanese international leftback they signed in the winter which SI somehow missed (and he's likely a bit overpowered). Added a couple of players and walked the league in the first season - not so hard in the Eredivisie with a decent tactic. Did the same thing in the second season. Heavily reliant on young players - the primary right winger was just 15 at the start, turned 16 early in the first season, and has been a constant starter. The rightback is just a year older. Despite the success in Holland, I didn't have much for expectations in the Champions League. Like with Lokomotiv Moscow, I figured I would do well to finish third and get a reasonable run in the Europa League. But with the Loko saves, I also saw what a solid tactic and a settled side with high morale can do.

Group Stage was Arsenal, PSG, and Dynamo Kiev. Ended up topping it. Kiev wasn't that strong (active league, though). PSG was a home draw and an away win. Arsenal was the decider. Pretty sure I replayed the one match with Arsenal - part of why this is tainted, not legit. I think it only would have made the difference between finishing 1st or 2nd in the group, and I don't recall why I replayed it. Wasn't just cuz of a loss, because not really any shame in losing to Arsenal when you are a Dutch club, let alone a smaller one. Finishing first in the group theoretically made the first knockout round easier but I got one of the harder sides, considering a few of the clubs who made it through the Group Stages. I drew Wolfsburg. I replayed the first leg against them, but not intentionally - game was accidentally closed. And the first result was better - think it was 2-0 or 3-0 away, but the second time was 2-1. Home draw and through. Then Man City, defending champions. Same thing, away first leg with a narrow win, draw in the return leg. Through. War of words with Guardiola won, too. Juventus in the semi final. Basically the same thing - though I think it was 2-2 away, 1-1 at home, and through on away goals. Barcelona beat Real Madrid in the other semi final. So my little squad of kids is playing Barcelona. I use the same approach as I have been - which is just dropping the Mentality of the tactic from Standard to Counter. Instant Result... 3-0 loss. Could have been worse. For fun, I replay it.... and win on penalties after 0-0 through extra time. So like I said, tainted and not legit. But unlikely and amusing at the same time.
Last edited:

I have just completed season 2026/27. Last summer, I took over the newly-relegated Aston Villa. As happened earlier in my save when I was at Everton, the majority of the squad that had taken the club down wanted to leave and I decided to let them all go, rake in as much money as possible and re-build while also attempting to win promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt. I did more business in January then I have ever done before, so the outgoings and incomings were split between the close season and the mid-season transfer window, but I have ended the season with only five players who were already here when I arrived - and one of them only made two substitute appearances.

We won the Championship title with 6 matches to spare, and ended the season with 106 points. I have a large squad with a relatively low average age and plenty of money in the transfer and wage budgets to consolidate our position in the Premier League next season. My only issue is that I will now have to concentrate on bringing in homegrown players to suit Premier League rules, which will be difficult given how important those players are to their existing clubs and the interest being shown in some of them by bigger clubs.
View attachment 125840 View attachment 125839

View attachment 125838 View attachment 125832

View attachment 125837 View attachment 125836
The good thing about rebuilding a big club at Championship level, ready to take them back up to the top flight, is that you get to build the team in your own image. By that, I mean that I know I prefer the 4-3-3 with Wingers, 4-4-2 with False-9 and 4-4-1-1 with Shadow Striker formations so I can sell all of the existing players and replace them with players who will operate in the roles that suit those set-ups. None of my formations require an Enganche or an Advanced Playmaker in the No.10 position; I just sign players who fit my way of playing. In this journeyman save which began at Southampton and has taken me to the US, France (twice), Italy and four different clubs in the Championship, as well as a short stint in charge of the England U21s, there are a whole group of players that I have signed for two or even three different clubs, including four or five in this Villa squad.

Improvements to our Youth Facilities are already underway and my aim is to establish Aston Villa in the Premier League and to go on and win it and challenge for the European Champions' Cup.​

Last edited: