Pride of the Capital: Edinburgh City FC Reborn

WILKOFM

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After a refreshing break from Football Manager, I’m excited to dive back in and embrace a new challenge as summer begins!

This time, I’m going for something a bit more niche but undeniably challenging—let me introduce you to Edinburgh City FC!

You might recall Edinburgh City from recent headlines when they went through a tumultuous rebranding process, only to revert back to their original identity. The club has faced its share of struggles, competing in the lower tiers of Scottish football and most recently starting the season with a -6 point penalty and suffering relegation in real life, finishing with just 8 points and 3 wins.

The situation has been tough, with the club battling to improve their standing and performances on the pitch. So, how much worse can it get?

It’s time to turn their fortunes around, rebuild the club, and climb up the Scottish football pyramid!

My Goals for This Save:
  • Become the best team in Edinburgh
  • Achieve financial stability and profitability
  • Win the Scottish Premiership
  • Secure a European trophy
Stay tuned for an in-depth introduction to the club and the journey ahead!
 
Edinburgh City FC – Welcome to the Club…

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Welcome to Edinburgh City FC, where the opening press conference says you already have your work cut out with a 6 point deduction! Woooooo!

Club Vision and Backroom Team

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I’m already looking forward to this challenge as I know this really is going to be a trick task! The board are just hoping to avoid relegation so we should be up for the challenge. The cups are basically a free hit this year too so we’ll see how we go with the very basic and limited squad we currently have!

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It doesn’t look much better in the staff department too, we only have 9 slots for staff in the first team all across the board, so that’ll be a long term challenge to build that support team up for sure!

Meet the Team!

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Well im not too sure where to start here… Loanees dominate the top rated players in our squad, and even so they really are only just good enough for this level of football. The rise of Edinburgh (and now their downfall) seems to be the lack of decent recruitment that’s taken place. I know money is a little tight but there is going to be a whole lot of wheeling and dealing taking place.

One point to note is that in the league we have no loan restrictions, so hypothetically we could have an entire squad of players on loan… certainly an idea to look into more in terms of saving a bit of money too!

I’m going to be heavily relying on this squad to start with and slowly try and work my way into a position financially to be able to bring in a few star players to help us kick on in this league. A lot of the people here have only recently signed too, so they wont be moving on till at least January!

Sadly this is probably the highest amount of homegrown talent you’ll be seeing for a while too! Similar to England the values are just too much for Scottish players, so ill be hitting the foreign market for the first few years for sure.

An Overview Of The Club

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And finally the screen to look back on in 10 years’ time (I hope…)

Our small semi-professional club really does feel like were starting fresh here, and hopefully we can secure our safety this year to at least give us a half decent base to work from in the future!

I’m super excited for this save, with a playoff final shirt already bought ill have something to wear proudly on the touchline too...

Now it’s time to kick on with the summer window and first half of the season!
 
Season 1 – End of the Summer Window

Incomings…

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Well there may have been a little more movement than expected this summer, but ive got to say I’m reasonably happy that we’ve been able to delve into the market to build out this squad a little!

9 players join the club on a free deal with an additional 5 loans coming in too.

With such little depth in the first place and barely any quality for League one we’ve really had to overhaul to even give us a chance to win a few games at this level.

I’m most pleased with the new core of the squad we’ve managed to build.

We already had Adams in goal who’s decent for this level. We’ve now added Heffernan alongside Flatman at the back as the new CB pairing. Hampson and McCabe now work alongside Marshall in the middle to make that a steady middle 3 and leading the line is Aron Sasu, someone who is very young but may be able to score us them vital goals we need to stay up.

Alongside the new core we have plenty of 18-21 year olds to help plug the holes and back up the core 11. Although we don’t have many games this year so hopefully we won’t need to rotate too much.

A special mention goes to Caprani as he seems to be a standout signing for us so far, so he may be one that lasts a little longer than the others if things go to plan!

Outgoings…

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Of course with 14 incomings we have also had to move a few people on to free up the wage budget. I was able to move on the 6 players who we’re happy too… (I did actually try and offer everyone out at one point but that didn’t really help the situation). I’m pleased we managed to move on a good amount so that I was able to offer the free transfers reasonable deals aswell as scoop us some free loans too!

I wasnt planning on doing an update here but with so many changes it was worth a quick post just before we really get stuck into the season!
 
Season 1 – Mid Season Update

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Well it’s been one **** of a start to the season, and probably one that’s slightly better than expected!

After kicking off the season playing pretty well in the Scottish League Cup we went into the league campaign with high hopes. 7 points from the first 12 available was a real positive and cleared out the -6 deduction that was hanging over us!

Sadly things seemed to drop off a cliff after this though, with a horrendous September and October leading to just 4 points out of 24... and this left us rooted to the bottom of the table.

As you can see we had been trying a few different formations, pretty much throwing every possible team at the wall and hoping one would eventually fit. Sadly with the lack of real quality in the squad nothing seemed to be working so the move was eventually made back to the 4-3-3 to try and help push forward a little more and have the ‘score one more than them’ approach.

Things did start to look up a little towards the end of the year, and this has meant we have improved a little on our position as we enter the much needed January transfer window.

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So we may still be in the thick of a relegation battle but the realization that we can start to bring in some quality players on loans means we hopefully should have more chance of looking up than down now! And don’t forget even with the -6 deduction we would have only been one place up in the league, so it’s not like we’re blowing anyone away right now!

Crazy Winter Window…

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Let's address the big topic: 12 loan signings!

I've tapped into Premier League youth teams more than I ever imagined, managing to secure these players with minimal wage costs. I might have gone overboard, offering opportunities to nearly every top club's youth players on loan, but it's paid off. We've built a stronger squad and even cancelled a few original loans to save money.

A standout addition is the Australian wonderkid Kameron Austin, who joined us despite being on international duty throughout January. With 5-star potential, he's already considered the best player in the league. Though he's our only permanent signing, I'm excited about building a core around him to help us stay up this year.

I'm hoping Austin, along with other new additions like Benjamin, will add the much-needed goal-scoring prowess. We need to start picking up results to steer clear of relegation!

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Financially, we have £16K left in the bank, which is an improvement from where we started. However, with the loan moves we've made, we're taking a big gamble. If we don't stay up, we'll be left with minimal players and little money.

Wish me luck!
 
Season 1 - End of Season Review…. Phew!

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So after the manic Winter window we seemed to be able to finally put together a run of form that not only secured our spot in the division again, but also had a little cup run to boost that bank balance (thankfully) so we’re secure going forwards!

As you can see January started off slow as we welcomed the variety of new signings into the club. But once we settled down and found our best 11 we eventually shot up the league. In the final 14 league games we only dropped 4 points, and genuinely never really looked troubled at all.

Benjamin and Austin came in clutch for us, firing in goals pretty much each game, as well as having our new midfield duo of Heaps and Rosiak chipping in with goals too. Yes, we are a team of loanees but they all came in and did a great job.

Let’s not forget about the cup run we had too! Albeit a very generous draw up to that point, it did mean we made it all the way to a 22,000 crowd vs Celtic. We never had a sniff in the game but the bank balance shot up and all of our financial worries seemed to disappear.

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So with all that being said, we actually finished 5th!! And up to the final 2 games we looked like we may have even had a shot at the playoffs… although in a way im pretty pleased we didn't. We would have been so far out of our depth if we had been promoted so this is probably best all around.

I think with the way the club looked at the start of the year and the overhaul mid-season i think we can all be extremely happy with how this has all turned out! (Just think if we didn't have that 6 point deduction too…)

The squad who made it all possible…

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So we made it through the season with Leo Duru in the starting XI, and that was about it. As you can see by appearances pretty much all of the summer signings took a back seat at christmas as the new players came in. When I look at it, players like Austin and Caprani actually played very big roles and it’s good to know that we can rely on them next season too. Especially if Austin can play both on the wing and as the leading man.

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You can see by the average rating that pretty much all of the loans who played 10+ games made an impact and that really is great to see, especially since it saved us a whole lot of money whilst it happened too.

If we’re lucky enough I'm hoping to bring a lot of these loans back in again next season as they have done such a good job, but I have a sneaky feeling that we may not be seeing many of them again. I was most impressed by the fact that pretty much all of these loanees are 18 and under yet they all stuck it out with us to drag us to safety and beyond!

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Now just to point out the fact that we really were punching above our weight, check out our salary gap! Spending nearly 9x less than the top paid team in the league. I’d call that good business!

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Now let’s not forget about the plan here, and how it may all unravel in the near future. Here’s our ‘squad’ we have going into next year! Just the 3 players…. With Masson probably on his way out the door too so this could be very interesting in the summer!

Overall I'm super happy with the way this season ended and it’s only fuelled the fire even more to push on and get promotion next season. All this relies on a very heavy summer of transfers, so let’s get down to business!
 
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