Unemployment to Champions League Winner


Jan 14, 2013
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Unemployed to Champions League Winner



Matt Bullard

This is my profile and I will be the protagonist for this journey. I have a pretty average profile, I have chosen to take the role of an ex-professional football, but only with a national reputation.

I have no particular plan for this story, just start on the unemployment list and look to work my way up, hopefully picking up a trophy or two on the way. Obviously winning a Champions League and/or an international trophy is the ideal goal.

Current Vacancies


Bradford and Fulham are the only jobs available for now. I can't imagine I will be getting a call from either club, so I might need to wait it out.
I will chuck an application over to both and see what happens.
I don't really want to jump at the first opportunity that is offered to me, but I would be happy if either club gave me a chance.

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Well that didn't take long...


I didn't even need to apply for any positions before Bradford approached me. I figured this would be a good place to start my career

So the journey begins...


I accepted the role as Bradford manager straight away.

There isn't to much expected of me;

Top half finish in League One
Third Round FA Cup
Second Round Carabao Cup

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Friendly Results


We managed to get through our friendly fixtures without experiencing a defeat which was positive, including a good result against against Werder. I was happy some the majority of the individual performances and I have settled on my preferred formation, a flat back 4-4-2.

First Signing


Only transfer of any note was the incoming signing of Trevor Clarke from Shamrock Rovers.
He already has the talent to fit straight in to the first team and with high determination, has the ability to improve in the future.
It was an expensive outlay and blew our budget, £600k including add-ons, but he could be key to my formation, with the LM and RM playing an important roles.

The only outgoing transfer was Shay McCarten to San Jose for £400k. He was out on loan and could have been a key player, but we needed the funds after the signing of Clarke, and we are already overloaded with forwards.

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Help needed please..

I haven't been on here for a few years, but I never used to have the issues with attached thumbnails being displayed at the bottom. How can I stop this?

Help needed please..

I haven't been on here for a few years, but I never used to have the issues with attached thumbnails being displayed at the bottom. How can I stop this?


Yeah started happening a couple of months back. Only way to stop it is to use an image hosting site like Imgur and then posting the link
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August Results

Nothing more than a solid start to our league campaign, however I was very pleased with displays in the Caraboa Cup.
The highlight of the month was definitely our 2-1 win against Stoke, after going in at half time 1-0 down, we fought back, deservedly reserving our place in the third round.
Low point wasn't the 1-0 loss to Burton, but actually the stalemate against Wycombe. They were sitting dead bottom, with no points and no goals. We created plenty of chances, we just failed to take them.

League Table

So far, so good. Primary target is meeting the boards expectations, although my personal goal is play-offs.

Other News

New signing Trevor Clarke has settled very well, which obviously takes a load off, with him being such a large outlay. His good performances in August meant he picked up the League One POM Award.

September Result
(plus one game in October)

We continued our moderate to good form in the league throughout September. Including the game in October, our record is 3-1-2, not great, but we are keeping up the pressure on the top sides.
Our best performances come in the cup games, mainly the Carabao Cup, as we once again beat a team from a higher league, this time Prem side Huddersfield. You wouldn't have know they we were two leagues below, in fact we seemed to have a much tougher time against Oldham in the Checkatrade.
The game against Wimbledon nearly gave me a f*cking heart attack, nothing but end to end for the last 20 mins, could have easily been 10-10.

League Table

I am very pleased with our progress so far. We will need to gain some consistency if we want to cement a play off spot. It is always the way in league football, whilst progression is key, I would take 6th spot come the final whistle.

Other News

I didn't realise how many transfers in/out Bradford had made in the previous summer, I am dealing with virtually an entire new squad, with quite a few youngsters, some of which are on loan and not quite ready for regular competitive matches.
We needed some more experience in the midfield and Karl Henry fit the bill. Definitely coming to the end of his career, but he will be good for rotation.


So the good news is that our fine form in the Caraboa Cup means we are in to the fourth round, the bad news is that we have Liverpool.. at Anfield. We are probably going to be ripped apart, but at least we might make some money in the process.

October Results

We managed some excellent results in the league in October, besides the minor blip against Sunderland. All in all I am really happy with how we are doing right now and the momentum we are starting to build.
Whilst the Liverpool result was expected, it still effected the squads morale. We really didn't put up much of a fight and they fully deserve the 4-0 scoreline. I just hope this doesn't have too much of an effect on our good league form.

League Table

Despite our terrific position, I am still not going to get carried away, two consecutive losses and we could be out of the play off spots. The signs have been really good for us, we are getting better with each game and confidence is growing.

Other News

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November Results

The good league form continued, as we now find ourselves 9 games unbeaten in the league and flying high.
The game against Portsmouth was the best result, but the performances against Peterborough and Luton we more impressive. We found ourselves behind in the first half, turning it around and securing the three points late on in both games, showing great spirit and determination.
Then there was our shambolic display in our FA Cup 1st​ round replay against Shrewsbury. Not only was it embarrassing, as we suffered our biggest defeat to date, but we missed a major opportunity to reach the 3rd​ round, as the 2nd​ round draw would have pitted us up against non-league opposition.

League Table

We are top of the league… albeit by goal difference.. having played an extra game.. but still.. we are top of the league!!
We continue to take the ‘score more than your opponent' approach and this is reflected with our goals for stats. This was always my plan, as I have looked to replicate the Class of ’99 approach.

Other news

I am happy to sign my first 'long term' deal. Things are going well at the moment and I am willing to see out this contract. Bradford are however still only a stepping stone for me, I do not want a long term project here.

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December Results

And the wheels come tumbling off (almost)..
Not the end of the world, but two losses on the bounce and three matches without a win, certainly not the best way to finish the year.
Accrington and Walsall results were top draw, utter domination and free flowing. The losses to Sunderland and Scunthorpe were disappointing but I can accept them, however the draw to Rochdale was so frustrating. After losing the previous two games, I was obviously feeling very relieved at 2-0 up with 14 minutes to go.. but my squad had other ideas. We have suffered a bit of a blip, at least I hope it is only a blip.

League Table

Our poor finish to the year means we go in to 2019 just outside the automatic promotion places, potentially 4th if Charlton win their game in hand. Not the end of the world, but we need to make sure we start the New Year with a win against Accrington. Given we've just beat them 6-2 at their own ground, I hope we pick up the 3 points at home.

January Results

We started 2019 with an unbeaten month in the league which was welcome, so was the exit from the Checkatrade to be honest. That is one competition I have never had any interest in whatsoever.
As you can probably see from the results, I have toned down our attacking intent a tad, it did seem like teams were starting to find us out, counter attacking sides in particular.

League Table

I think this is going to be one of those seasons where we battle it out to the bitter end. I just hope we finish in the top two, I really do hate the play-offs.

Other News

I needed to inject some fresh blood in to the team, especially as we have had a bit of a **** time with injuries recently. At one point I had to play 3 players out of position because I had 3 x CB and 3 x CM out. Luckily Fulham have their entire reserve team on the loan list and they ask for zero contribution.
February Result

Every match was as equally frustrating as the other in February. The game against Wycombe we lost a 1-0 lead, we were 2-0 and 3-0 up against Fleetwood and Wallsall respectively, but we only just hung on to 3 points in both. Then there was the game against Plymouth, 11 shots on target to their zero, luckily for them, their 'keeper had his Weetabix that morning.

League Table


I would like to think we will at least make the play-offs now, it will take a big down turn in form to drop that far down, especially with oir goal difference being the best in the league as well.

March Results

Some key results, although the loss to Portsmouth and the draw with Charlton, who are direct rivals, could come back to haunt us. I think the intensity of my tactics are starting to take its toll on the team. This really showed against Charlton, as we started the game really well, then it went a bit flat before they scored their equalizer late on. If we could have just held of those 3 points, may make all the difference.

League Table


With 7 games to go and a game in hand against a few of our rivals, including Sunderland, I fancy our chances to secure automatic promotion. Things have really started to go our way and the prospect of promotion is very real now..

Other News

Boy do we need promotion. Hopefully it will bring in some extra income, as the finances are not looking good at the moment. Our transfer revenue has been decreased to just 15% as a result of our poor bank balance.

April Results

Starting with the only real negative in the month, the loss to Coventry was deserved to be honest, but I expect a performance like this once in a while. Other than that we pretty much breezed through the month with ease. With 13 points taken from a possible 18, that put is in a really good position coming in to the final game..

League Table

Automatic promotion is secured and in emphatic fashion!! We are also in pole position to be crowned champions.. just!
I am chuffed with how things have gone this season, I really wasn't expecting much at the beginning season, so I feel like this is quite an achievement. On a personal level I really want to win the league, so I can add the winners medal to my CV.

Other News


Well next season is definitely going to be a struggle, we must surely have the worst budget in the Championship next year. I am going to need to perform some very shrewd business to get us ready for survival.

Final Match

We are due to play Wimbledon in the final game of the season, they are rock bottom, but they have just beaten Wycombe 3-0.
They haven't won back to back games all season, including friendlies, so losing would be extremely disappointing. 3 points and the league title is ours.

Final Game

Well that was a lot simpler than I imagined it would be. It says a lot that I was a bit annoyed that we conceded from their only shot on target, but I guess I will let that slide. We do not usually dominate teams, but this was a demolition job, we could have easily won by a much larger margin. It was the perfect way to finish the season and guarantee our 1st place finish.

League Table

It never felt like this was inevitable, but when you look at the final standings, we actually deserve to win.
We were top scorers by far, we lost the least games and won the joint most. Given our pre-season targets, the squad and the budget, all in all I think this has to go down as an extremely impressive campaign.

EOS Awards


Suprised to see Joe Riley winning this award, but to be fair I wouldn't be able to single out just one player.


Frirst and second place go to our two forwards. It looked for a long time like Ball would win the race, but Doyle clawed it back during the last 6-7 games.


Despite only winning one Manager of the Month award (I think.. possibly not even one) I still managed to pick up Manager of the Year.

Board Review


The board are happy, the fans are happy and I am pretty happy.
Now we need to instantly start preparing for next season. It is going to be extremely difficult and to be honest I am expecting a long, hard season ahead.

Season 2019-2020



Well if the media and indeed our own board were to put their money on where we will finish this year, I think it is safe to say it would be 24th.
Our chances of survival appear to be bleak at best, however at least there is no expectation. With that in mind, I am going to continue with my attacking mindset. If we are going down, I want to do it swinging!

I should mention that the budget mentioned above is taken from August, after transfer activity was completed.
I like to get my business done early and I think I have done a pretty good job on a shoestring.

Transfer Dealings

I have brought in 8 young loan players in total, 7 of which are new to the squad, with Sessegnon returning after a decent spell with us last year.
The pick of the bunch has to be Josh Tymon, who is already ready for the Premier League in my opinion.
I think Stuparevic is another one to look out for, he is a young forward with a keen eye for goal and I think he could play a big part in our survival.

Friendly Results

No complaints about the results or performances, with all of the new lads fitting in very well, especially Stuparevic and Verlinden.
The draw against Lyon was a superb result against their full first side, I am felling quietly confident going in to this campaign.

Congrats on the promotion mate! Will be interesting to see how Elias get on for you. Hope he performs!