The Tykes - Beta save


Jul 9, 2022
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I’m here in FM24, after my last save across the British Isle’s in FM22.

Link to that here:

In order to get used to the step from FM22 to FM24, I’m doing a quick beta save before starting my main save. For this I’m managing my home town of Barnsley, also know as the reds or tykes. We will be playing at Oakwell, built in 1887 having a capacity of 23,287. The club that has the most seasons spent in the second tier of English football with 75 since the club was founded 136 years ago.


With a long history like every club there is highs a lows. FA Cup winners in 1912, shunned for Arsenal for the final top flight position in the 1919 – 20 season, seeing players such as Danny Blanchflower and Sir Matt Busby play for the team in the post war period. Earning promotion to the Premier League in the 96 – 97 season, to the mixed fortunes of the 21st​ century with relegations, cup runs upsetting Liverpool and Chelsea and Football League Trophy victory.

In recent years the club has developed the status of a yo-yo club, going from the Championship to League One. However, in all of this the club managed to get to the Championship play-offs in the 20 – 21 season, only to be relegated next year in a disastrous season. The following season they would almost make an immediate return to the championship, falling at the last step against Sheffield Wednesday with a last kick goal.


We take over the club following the heartbreak of last season being so close yet so far, looking to return the club to the second tier. First things first, this will be my world as the game puts it, something I have wanted in FM for a while.


We hope to take the club back to the championship in quick fashion, with this being the first aim of this save.​

The current squad is good, but still some areas were work needs to be done. We are loaded for midfield players 7 in total, however I have other plans for Callum Styles. Wing backs might be a good choice to use and we need to work on the striker position.


A few plans have been made for the squad, I’ll update this when the final squad is together. An initial budget of 500K is what we have to work with, which is quickly raised to 2 million with the selling of some clauses from previous players. However, the first job is to sort out the staffing at the club.


As we head into the first game of the season we have a squad that is almost ready. We have made two signings so far with 4 players going out, 3 on loan and one permanent. Local lad Aidan Marsh is off to Swindon where he will hopefully develop well. Leya Iseka also leaves on loan with a monthly fee of 15k and 4.2k of his wages being paid. Robbie Cundy the backup left back is out to Lincoln on a permanent.


As for the new players we have made two free transfers. Firstly a 33 year old Danny Rose, not exactly the signing expected of a team with a youth core but on a year contract his experience should be invaluable to the younger heads. Secondly Matty Longstaff, joining a now stacked midfield, for a free transfer I couldn’t say no really. We are still in the market for a striker but for now we play Port Vale at home.


The match would play out like I wanted it to, we dominated possession, passed cleanly around when needed and stopped any real attacking threat from the opposition. Our attack was blunt however, the strikers not really doing a lot with the chances created. Lopata, the 6’1’’ polish centre back would get his head on a perfect corner to the near post to get the winning goal just as extra time started.


We move on to the first derby of the save against Rotherham in the Carabao Cup. They are a lower end Championship side so this could go either way.

We also start with a record setting appearance with the youngest ever League One player.



Before the match we have confirmation of the striker signing. Dylan Stephenson coming in to help prop up the attack.


Welcoming Rotherham a close game was predicted and is exactly what we got. Set up for the game was a single striker and two out on the wing with everyone behind on the defensive. Cole would provide the opener 22 minutes in. Rotherham would answer back with a great free kick. In the second half Styles came on and combined with Stephenson to get a second at 72 minutes, which we would sit on and see out the game.


The second round will see us face Derby.

Jumping ahead to the game against Derby, we have played 5 games in the league and currently sit second. 3 wins and 2 draws, with a 2 – 1 comeback against Wigan just happening. Above us sit Derby so this is an excellent chance to test ourselves. Deadline day is approaching, we are looking for a new keeper as the team is unhappy with depth there and Sunderland seem to be wanting to get a deal done for Connell.


The first half of the game would see 4 goals in total, we would take it to 2 – 0 inside 30 minutes with some excellent plays down the right-hand side. Derby would answer back with a single goal just after, but we ended the half 3 – 1 up. Two goals for Derby were ruled out due to offside as we looked to see out the game. At the final whistle we would do just that, ending at a 3 – 2 score line.


Up next is deadline day.​
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With the transfer window closing we see 3 deals be done. Matty Wolfe and Jamie Searle both leave the club, permanent and loan respectively. To address the goalkeeper depth issue we face, we have signed Harvey Cartwright from Hull, at 21 he is almost ready to start for the club and will be an excellent backup should Collins become unavailable. We also brought back Leya Iseka due to our wing play being so successful.


With a 6th​ game played comes another win, as we come back from a goal down against Cheltenham. This sees us take first the in the league by a single point, still early days however. A few players are standing out from the rest currently, one of those is Herbie Kane, 5 appearances 5 wins the current good luck charm.


However, shortly after this we have a potential issue. The goal depth still seems to be an issue to despite having the supposed best keeper in the league starting and then someone who would be one of the best in league two in reserve is not enough for the team.

The first loss of the season comes from Portsmouth. 3 – 1, it looked like we were fighting back as we made it 2 – 1 but another goal for Portsmouth late on sealed the deal for us. Looking at the next games we have some great chances to get back to winning ways quickly.


Fan day at Oakwell sees us take on Burton and it was Leya Isaka to have the everything work for him, an attacking formation was how we lined up, he would make the most of this with the first hat trick of the save. End score was 4 – 2 to see out a successful day.


An emergency backup keeper being signed for free has fixed the issue that has been dominating the squad. Happiness returns.


After a close defeat to Northampton, we head to the Den for the Third Round of the Carabao Cup.

Adopting the defensive formation we headed into the game. Where all the action would come in 5 minutes. Cotter and Cole were the dynamic due of this game both setting up a goal for the other. Sitting on this till full time to take a comfortable 2 – 0 victory.


West Brom will be the next hurdle.

Heading into October we have a goalless draw against Blackpool which sees us fall to 5th​ in the table. No need to worry yet, we are only 10 games into the season.

A point at Cambridge and all 3 at Exeter rounded off the start of the month. Excellent away results against some top table sides. The Exeter game has been overshadowed by an injury to Collins, those worries about goalkeeper depth make sense now. Cartwright will take over what could be just over a month.


Cartwright wouldn’t take long to prove he is a great backup with a man of the match performance against Bolton.


Final for this update, we will be facing Bristol Rovers and additional time this season in the FA Cup. As for the league the Bolton game put us back up into 2nd​ place in the table.​
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We are set to complete October without losing a game in the league after another 2 wins against Layton Orient and Shrewsbury. The last game comes against Fleetwood. We would start quietly, Fleetwood did grab the opening goal but just before the half a penalty would bring us back to level. Then the second half would be similar, we took the lead with an own goal but failed to hold on seeing the game finish 2 – 2.


Following next is almost a cup triple, starting with the Carabao Cup, then to the FA cup and then the EFL Trophy. The game separating the FA and EFL cups is an important game against Derby. We would take West Brom to penalties. A poor start would be all that was needed for the road in the Carabao Cup to end.


The FA cup is next.

In a great month Cartwright would also take the young player of the month award.

Bristol Rovers would prove to be the better team on the day, seeing us out of the FA cup in the first game. Not that a successful competition was on the cards anyway. The main game is next where we play Derby.


With the Derby game being a top table clash, a close game is to be expected. A loss would need to be avoided as the gap would increase to 9 points. The opener came from an error by Liam Kitchen in the 25th​ minute. However, we would then answer back with a goal just a minute later. This is how the game would end and we take a draw for game 17 in the league.


We complete a flawless group stage in the EFL trophy group stage with a 1 – 0 win over Carlisle, that sees us and Port Vale progress onwards.


We finish off a quite November with a 3 – 1 win against Wycombe, were Cole could have a great game scoring a hat-trick with some great balls coming in from Jalo. A 5 point gap now is between us and Derby as we have a game in hand to close the gap and add pressure.


With the months performance we pickup the first manager of the month award.

Another great performance by Cole comes in the EFL Trophy, another 2 goals added to his tally for the season in a 3 - 0 win over Lincoln. However, in all the celebrations of a great result we have some bad news, Conor McCarthy is out for the next 4 to 5 months with a broken leg.

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The next task for us in the league was that of red hot Reading, coming from a -4 points start they find themselves in the play-off positions with 35 points. So a draw would be nice.

The game come and it was Reading to strike first blood, a mistake from Collins as he came out for a ball but didn’t get to it first took us a goal down. I’d love this to be the usual case of coming back from a goal down that we have done many times this season already, but no. it would stay 1 – 0, we registered a single shot that was off target. Overall a terrible attacking performance.


We also get a familiar face in the EFL Trophy, setting up 4 meetings with Derby for this season.


Another top table clash saw Jonny Evans make his debut. Signed as defensive options due to the injured McCarthy, he would make his mark taking us level with Charlton. A real up and down game that saw us take the lead 3 – 2 in the 88th​ minute. Only to be scored against on the kick off, second time this season if I remember correctly. 2 points lost.


The next 4 games I see as must wins, lower table sides were we need the points to say in the run at the top which is very close.


We start with a 5 – 1 win over Carlisle, Nicky Cadden being the main man, assisting and scoring 2 each and being the main reason for the last goal that was scored.

We end December taking 7 points from the 4 games where I wanted double figures. Penalties however, have cost us 3 points in the last 3 games, being on the opposite end of 4 in that run of games. Stevenage was able to get an injury time winner because of one and Peterborough were able to draw because of theirs.


The transfer window opens and I have a few plans.

The game with Derby is here, overall, the game was fairly equal with a slight advantage going to Derby, we had less shots but ours were more accurate. Goalless all the way through the first half and most of the second half. A tactic shift gave us the needed opener. However, Derby responded later on taking us to penalties.

With a total of 20 spot kicks it was Derby that would fail to score first and we would capitalise from this, taking us to the next round of the competition.


We face Blackpool in the quarter final.

The first signing of the transfer period has been done. We sent out Lopata on loan to get consistent starts and in his place we bring in Sam Barnes. A very physical player that will be a great option and depth for the centre back position.


After finishing a few games and now being on equal with everyone around us we can have a quick look at how things are going. We sit 4th​ with 54 points, 4 points is the gap from first which is possible with the right results. Its going to be a good race.


To finish off the league games for the month is a 4 – 1 result against Exeter. 3 straight wins is how we stand currently rising to 3rd​ now level with Reading at 60 points. We face Blackpool in the quarter final next.


Have to highlight Cartwright again, filling in for Collins again due to another injury, he has 13 starts and has collected 3 POM awards over these starts. I would recommend him for anyone starting a game at this level.


Travelling away to Blackpool we field a rotated side. At this point I’m happy to have got this far and don’t mind going out. The first half was level with some half chances for both sides. This continued for the rest of the game. The changes made were keeping life into the game, Connell would deliver a free-kick into the box which would be headed down for Jalo who found a gap to grab a goal just before full time.

Our semi final opposition has been confirmed as Exeter.

Starting the month with a poor showing against Bolton. We went 3 – 0 down after 55 minutes. An attacking change resulted in a single goal back but it wasn’t enough to salvage anything from the match. Only good news from the match day was two excellent loan performances.


The month continues with more poor performances, a single point from 3 games cannot carry on if we want to keep the promotion challenge going. Meetings with underperforming players and a team meeting have all been done in an attempt to turn this around before it gets worse, especially with Derby at the end of the month.


Games against Fleetwood and Carlisle have recovered the form again, 6 points were collected with 6 goals scored while only conceding a single goal in return. Setting us up for the Derby game where we are looking for a win.

The first half of the game was very uneventful. We had the most of the ball and a few chances but nothing really meaning full. The second half started well with Stephenson getting a ball across the front of the goal that was slotted in by Leya to open the scoring of the match. Multiple chances occur for us as we continued to dominate the game, until the last 15 minutes, Kane earned a straight red and left us with 10 men. Coming to extra time we were struggling but holding strong, Derby were taking any shots that they could take, this wasn’t to work for them and we win 1 – 0.


We stand second in the league and have 10 games left, Reading and Derby both have games in hand over us at this stage as 4 points is what separates first from second.


We take another 2 wins before the EFL Trophy match against Exeter. 2 – 0 against Wycombe and 2 – 1 for the Lincoln game. These results see us take first due to Derby drawing, still with their game in hand however but thank you Bristol who came up clutch it was looks to be one **** of a game.


At home against Exeter, we would see the opening goal come in from another great ball across the goal, something we have seen a lot this season. Late into the half it was to be cancelled out with a long range effort that just hit the post to go in. The game would then calm down and be taken to penalties.

The home crowd could have assisted with the result but we are happy never the less 4 – 3 is how the shoot-out ended.


Leyton Orient will be the opposition at Wembley.

A narrow win against Portsmouth is the 40th​ game in the league. 3 – 2 with a Cole hat-trick takes us to 82 points sending us to the top until we know the result of the Derby game.


Next update will be a run down of all 7 games we have left to play. A cup final and a close race to see if we finish with a league title, or as runners up.​
We start with Cambridge. Goalless last time out, hopefully the home crowd can make all the difference.

Starting out Cambridge were quicker to get started, having 2 chances in the first 20 minutes, poorly executed but still chances. After 20 minutes we found are groove, Williams would get the opener with a well struck hit from the edge of the box. That would be that for the scoring, Jalo would have some chances but that was that.

We booked a play-off spot with this result as well.


Burton next, this will be seen as one of the easier games we have remaining as they sit just outside the relegation positions. But I’m not expecting a win, not that this stage.

An early penalty would open the scoring with Cadden placing it in the bottom corner, the first half would end quietly as we had an explosive second half. Jalo coming on cause heaps of issues with his pace, being able to double the score as he runs past the defence. Cadden would grab a second in the last minutes to take a 3 – 0 win.


A win like this could be essential, Portsmouth got a draw against Derby which sees a 2 point gap now present, still with the game advantage however.


Charlton were next, just before the final against Leyton. In just 6 minutes the opener would be earned by Charlton, putting us into a difficult position. Thankful Styles would be able to equalise through a missed cross, volleying the ball into the net. Jalo would then set up his second assist for Cole to take the lead at the end of the half. We would see the game out and take another 3 points.


EFL Trophy time.

Leyton Orient are appearing in their first ever final, while we are attending our second.

Another round of games is played in the league just before our final. The two news points from this round, we are confirmed to be promoted to the Championship confirming a first or second place finish and Derby were to draw another game. The ball has been placed in our park now, we need to keep up the performances.

On to the game itself. Leyton would get off to a great start scoring just after 7 minutes. Leya would bring the game level at 22 minutes putting us right back into the competition. An equal running would continue for the rest of the first half. On to the second half we started to get on top of the game. Having a few chances quickly, an error in the box helped and allowed Stephenson to score. Late on Cotter would score to bring the game to a 3 – 1, with it ending this way, seeing us left the trophy.


With a 1 – 1 result against Reading we take a hit and fall back down to 2nd​ in the table as Derby win against Leyton Orient. A quick start gave reading the lead, a theme seems to be starting that we go down a goal in the first 10 minutes. A penalty gave us a goal back and that’s how things ended.


The only chance that we come away with the title is now in the next round of games, we face Blackpool, while Derby face Cambridge. Relegation sides are what both teams face in the last round so an upset is unlikely there.

Heading to Blackpool we had a game of two halves. Attacks were brilliant in the first giving us a great and healthy 2 – 0 lead, until the second half were we just seemed to think that the game was over, starting well but then allowing 2 goals to be scored in 2 minutes. The end result being a 2 – 2 draw.


The good news is that Derby lost at Cambridge. Goal difference puts us on top meaning we just have to match what they do at least and we have won the league. The final hurdle is Northampton.

Last time out they took a single goal win, hopefully its a different story at home.

On to the game, we ended half time with 14 shots, 5 on target and nothing to come from these attempts. No matter we have another half, however, panic did set in, Derby were 3 – 0 up at this point, meaning they were first. But the 3 – 0 put them on level goal difference, we need a couple of goals now.

At 55 minutes we would grab the first of the game. Cole grabbing his 27 of the season, its a shame he is considering his options at the end of the year. Like clock work, Carlisle would get a goal of their own easing some of the pressure.

In the end we finished with a 1 – 0 result, while the Derby game would end 4 – 2. Crowning us champions on 96 points due to goal difference.



The Play-offs would finish with Blackpool getting promotion over Reading after a 2 – 1 result.​
Preparation for next season gets underway. This starts with Cole committing to the club after there was no interest in his services from anywhere else. A 4 year extension has been agreed. Numerous other contracts have been signed as well extending some key players stays at the club.

The first outing of the season is that of Brad Collins, a year left on his contract and not wanting to stay at the club he leaves, to Sheffield United of all places for 3.8M


We have agreed the signing of two more players after the end of their contract. Moon also exits the club, 400k to Derby.

Before the arrival of any new signings we can have a look at the season preview. As expected all promoted sides are predicted to be struggling to stay up. However we have the better odds currently. It looks like it will be a close scrap at the bottom.


With the confirmation of 3 arrivals for the grand total of £0 we bring in a defender, Andy Smith from Hull. Left Wing-Back, Shane Flynn and highlight of them all Tyreece John-Jules at striker.


The remaining transfers we need to make will all be adding depth to the defence now, with potentially a midfield player.

Still in the market for another defender but we make yet another great free singing. Maldini Kacurri, the 18 year old Albanian joins on a 4 year deal where he act as a backup option currently.


We are now in the market for some more experienced players to help all the youngsters we have brought in and already have.

An experienced player is brought in Kane Vincent-Young, simply to be a last resort backup if needed and lead a mentoring group

I don’t want to be doing just free transfers but when you have the opportunity to get a player such as this without a transfer fee, you really can’t say no. Welcome to the club Taylor Harwood-Bellis. 22 with 3 seasons of Championship football already under his belt.


With this signing, Maldini Kacurri is sent out on loan to give him guaranteed game time.

We start the season with an away trip to Swansea.

At the start of the season we are adopting a defensive approach to all us to see how the table will organise itself, after about 10 or so games we will change it up depending on the opponent we face. That is unless an obvious weakness in a team shows itself.

The first half of the game would not see a single effort being taken against either goals.


A couple of chances for both teams would follow in the first half but the game would end goalless, seeing us take our first point back in the Championship.​
We come again to the Carabao and we welcome a familiar face in West Brom.

The game was a close one, West Brom had a series of chances in a minute, Cartwright with a great save, followed by a hero block by Harwood-Bellis then again Cartwright getting his fingers to a shot to make it hit the bar keeping us goalless. Not much would follow and we would look to be going to penalties, if it wasn’t for an injury time penalty for us that was scored by Phillips.


Grimsby will be the next opposition

And we have a player complaining about game time, 2 games into the season in addition to him being a midfield player, the most stacked position in this club.


It wouldn’t take long for us to take the first victory of the season, Bristol City with Ole at the wheel. In my FM22 save he was at Coventry while I was managing Cambridge, after a 3 – 1 win I went on to slate him in press conferences, because I could.

Anyway, a goal from Liam Kitching a minute before 90 was enough to grab 3 points, I’ll gloss over the fact Bristol had a goal disallowed about 3 minutes before as that’s not too important really.


A defeat against Blackpool and a draw from Cardiff follow as we head into the second round of the Carabao Cup. We made a new signing due to goal keeper depth concerns again, with Arthur Okonkwo. The former Arsenal man would quickly made his debut due to Cartwright getting an injury.


We then do bring in another GK on loan until January, Karl Jakob Hein. We then confirm that the man that will replace him in January has signed to the club. Yes 3 Goalkeepers signed in week. We will get to those in January.

An easy 2 – 0 win against Grimsby sees us go to the third round. Where we will face Tottenham.


The transfer window comes shut and we don’t have any more players coming in to the squad. One thing that is guaranteed however is that Jonny Evens will be leaving the club in January. The 36 year old is set to join Al-Gharafa for 575k. Not bad business for someone so late into his career.

At home against Luton we start quickly, with a potential look at why Luton seen to be struggling. A horrible pass from a defender is intercepted just on the edge of the box. Stephenson is given loads of space and makes no mistake in getting his first of the season. Luton would equalise with a long range effort at 30 minutes in.

The second half contained 4 goals, we would go from winning 3 – 1 to taking a point in the space of 5 minutes. Missed chance for 2 extra points


So we have reached the full release of the game, so this save is no longer a beta one. I will be seeing out the rest of this season with updates every now and then but, I will be starting the main save for this years game. Once this season has been completed I will start with that save. I may come back to this one every now and then so depending on that I may have the odd season update now and then.​
Travelling to Middlesbrough the hopes of the board and fans were high.


Conceding inside two minutes it looked set to be the case. Seeing out the first half, we were a goal down and seemingly on top and controlling the game, making that clear to the team we went out for the second half to do what they did to us and score in the first 2 minutes. Connell would then score from outside the box to give us the lead and an injury time corner would secure a 1 – 3 victory.


The Carabao Cup clash against Tottenham went as you would expect it. 4 – 1 loss was to be the final result.

We move on to the first derby of the season, Sheffield United. Made even more of a clash with Brad Collins now on the books for United, who has gone from a starter to a backup keeper.


The game would end goalless, we did have some break chances, hitting the post twice and having some just go over but when a goal isn’t to be you have to take the draw. Which I will against a top table team currently.

We end the month with a respectable 5 points from 4 games and 14th​ in the league two months in.


The end of the month sees both Stephenson and Marsh take younger player of the month in their respective leagues. While Marsh also took player of the month in addition.



A game against Everton would be the hardest one of the month in my opinion. With many players that are certainly prem quality a draw would be the best outcome. In the first half we would intercept a ball that would lead to a deflected shot from Williams going in and giving us the lead. However, in the second half we would fail to hold on and lose the game 2 – 1.


Bottom of the table Millwall is next.

It was to be a game dominated by the midfield. Benson grabbing a brace and Russell getting on from off the bench. End result was a 3 – 1 victory. Some great goals were seen from Benson, with both being runs from midfield to around 25 metres out and just sending it past the keeper as the defenders stayed with the striker.

After 13 games we sit 12th​ with 17 points. I wanted a quick start to the season and a mid table finish would be amazing, but we shall see.


Another rivalry within the lead as we head to Huddersfield. At full time the game was shown to be equal as it finished 2 – 2 with shared possession. We could say 2 points lost as we were 2 – 0 up, but really for the level we are a point is better than none for ensuring survival at the end of the season.


Ending this update with a game against a team we have already beaten this season, West Brom. They sit top of the league currently.

It started looking like one of those games were everyone is offside, 3 disallowed before Fernandez scored a rocket goal before the break, which was his first of the season as you would expect. In the second half corners worked wonderfully with McCarthy being able to get two giving us the lead. Then incomes Cotter of the bench to give away a penalty just before full time.