Working My Way Up

FMSaddler96

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To those of you who were reading Just Give Me A Chance, I lost the save and I apologise. I was looking forward to the save but my computer crashed and the save was lost so I am bouncing back with this...

Again, like Just Give Me A Chance I will be playing on FM16. I don't have the money to buy 17 at the moment and this is my way of keeping my interest high in FM until I can afford it. I hope you all enjoy and please leave feedback so I know people are interested.

Working My Way Up

View attachment 121214There I am. F.M. Saddler. Now nobody will have heard of me.

I am a normal person chasing the dream and I have no experience in football. My aim is to work my way up the managerial rankings and become the greatest manager in history. Now I know that doesn't sound realistic but it's my aim and it is what I have wanted to do since I was a child.

I have always loved football but never had the skill to play it. I did try playing for a Sunday team but to be truly honest, I was dreadful. My record you ask? Played 2 games, got 1 red card and got injured in the other game. Impressive?

Now I chase my dream. Management. If I get offered any job I will take it, as long as it is a better job. No downgrading just me trying to work my way up to the top divisions and obviously the main aim, to one day win the champions league.

Now I know where I am willing to manage; England, Ireland, N.Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain and France. Quite a long list but I feel it gives me a good range to apply for.

I applied for 8 jobs as soon as I set down ranging from the lower divisions of England and Italy to the Irish and Scottish divisions. I don't care where I start I just want to be given the chance to prove myself.

 

FMSaddler96

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View attachment 121202
Two weeks into the job search I received my first contract. Cabinteely in Ireland saw me as the perfect man to see out what looked like a done season despite only being half way through. Out of 2 of the 3 cups and with just 12 games left to play they saw me as more of a caretaker than manager to guide them through the final months.

View attachment 121201So this is how they'd done so far. 18 points off the top 3 and with no relegation threat it just seemed to be a case of me working my way as close as I could to that top 3 but there was a clear division in class between that top 6 and us bottom 2.

View attachment 121200We had 3 wins on the season against Limerick, Waterford and Cobh Ramblers. 3 good victories, especially against Cobh who currently sit 2nd and are battling for the top spot. The worry for me is the lack of goals but also two losses to bottom side Athlone, their only 2 wins of the season.

View attachment 121199And this is the team that will hopefully give me my first step up the managerial ladder. Fagan in net has the quality but has been poor in his 2 games. Ekanem is a rock at the back and should be at a much higher level than this. We have an abundance of wingers but struggle in the middle of the park so Brown and Slater, or whoever occupies those spots, will be key to our game. Especially on the break where I expect them to create for us on the counter.

It's a very young squad with only 5 players who aren't teenagers in a squad of 22 and those 5 players are 20, 20, 23, 23 and 26. I'm looking forward to hopefully developing the young talent and seeing them become a strong side.

 

FMSaddler96

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View attachment 121194
After taking control of my first game I was sat with 1 loss from 1 game to my name and it wasn't easy to take. Athlone made it 3 wins from 3 against us as 2 defensive mistakes cost us the game in vital moments.

Going forward we were superb creating 4 clear cut chances and 3 half cut chances but it was at the back where the problems lay.

McDonagh made the first mistake as he played the ball across the backline but missed everybody leaving O'Neill to tap home. With no pressure on him he should have done better but he managed to play the ball behind everybody and it cost us big time.

We then pulled it back through Hanley who received the ball on the edge of the area, turned and smashed home into the corner to level things up.

However a late mistake from Brilly cost us the game as he took too much time to clear the ball and was dispossessed leaving Molloy alone in the box to hammer home the winner.

We deserved a point looking at the stats but you cannot gift opponents those sort of chances and get away with it. It was a promising but massively frustrating start for my managerial career...



 

FMSaddler96

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So after losing my first game in charge I needed to continue to push forward on this season and try and showcase my skills. We weren't bad in the first game but it was against a weak opposition and we still lost. So let's see how things have gone...

View attachment 120948A better performance but we were robbed of 3 points. Greene gave them the lead before Hamzat and Hanley provided us with a lead going into the final minutes. We sat back and defended but Kenny snook through the line and slotted home but the replays showed he was offside so the wrong decision costs us.

View attachment 120947The defensive mistakes return. The own goal really shows our struggles at the back as we failed to clear our lines from a corner forcing Brennan to panic and hit it into his own net. Again, not that bad going forward but woeful defensively.

View attachment 120946An interesting game for me as I have always had a soft spot for UCD. Hanley once again saves us from the loss but there wasn't enough to sneak a win. UCD tore us apart and we didn't deserve the point but I'll take it. We also lose Hanley for up to 5 weeks which could hurt us massively.

View attachment 120945The back line needs some massive improvements as shown in this game. McCaffrey single handedly destroyed us as Quinlivan and co struggled to deal with the front man. For the first time in my reign I can truly say we were also poor going forward...

View attachment 120941We were in the game until Lehane came off the bench and much like McCaffrey for Drogheda he single handedly tore us apart. The confidence is gone in a young squad and I'm not sure I can do anything to save it.

View attachment 120940A brief lapse in concentration costs us any points as Shannon and Doyle cancelled out Brilly's first half strike. We deserved the points but once again the consistent theme is a leaky back line.

View attachment 120939We were on top for 80 minutes but Athlone made their early dominance count as they made it 4 wins from 4 against us on the season to rise above us in the league standings.

View attachment 120938One of two teams I've managed to not lose against and we lose. I don't know whether I am cut out for this but the board have allowed me to bring in some extra coaching staff to help me out meaning it isn't just me and my AM.

View attachment 120936Similarly to the Athlone game we dominate for 80 minutes but our opponents make the early minutes count in another tough to take 1-0 loss. We don't look as poor at the back and we are still good going forward but we just lack the confidence to execute.

View attachment 120933As was the case last time UCD provide a masterclass and destroy us. They pass and move so quickly that they effectively take our midfield out of the game. We need to improve but honestly after just 2 draws in 11 and 7 losses on the bounce I expect to be sacked after our final game.
 

FMSaddler96

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So with 11 games gone in my managerial career I sit with 2 draws and without a win. A dreadful record and I fully expect the sack or for the board to let my contract run down. Defensively we have been woeful and it's making it hard for what has been a good attacking threat to hurt teams like we should.

But anyway, just as I see an email come through from the board I expect to read something along the lines of "board meeting" or "Cabinteely sack F.M.Saddler", but what I do see is this...

View attachment 120931
A new contract!

Apparently the board have liked what they have seen and were willing to even give me a £40 increase in wage. Despite being winless they feel I am doing the right things and that with some reinforcements I can be more successful in the future.

They also mentioned that they believe for the players, especially such a young squad, to be behind me they have to show that they are backing me for the future. So I'm not too sure if this is an experiment to see if certainty can bring a lift to the squad or whether they actually have some trust in me.

All I know is that with 2 points from a possible 33 I couldn't turn it down.
 

FMSaddler96

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So on the back of a shock new deal I was hoping for a performance to prove I deserved it. The final game of the season was here against a Drogheda side who have beaten us convincingly before.

View attachment 120926In the first half we were superb. The backline stood strong and denied Drogheda of any real chances other than long distance hit and hope shots and we created 3 or 4 decent chances going forward.

The second half was a similar performance but it turned out Drogheda have 3 players capable of scoring goals which can only be described as screamers. Nangle was the first, hitting from 40 yards out before McCaffrey decided to take a chance from outside the box and smashed home into the top corner.

Finally, and most annoying, was Hyland scoring a goal that can only be described as world class. From around 30 yards out and closer to the sideline than the box he curled a shot over Fagan which dropped perfectly in to the far corner.

Now I am not saying we haven't been poor under my reign but every time we have pulled out a decent performance teams either get lucky refereeing decisions or score unbelievable goals which you expect to see in the premier league, not the Irish first division.

All I can say is I hope we can do better next season, as my career seems to be resting on it...
 

FMSaddler96

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So here I am 12 games into my career, winless but somehow rewarded with a new contract. I know the strengths and weaknesses of this team and I will look to improve it heading into the new season as we look for the spark we need to become one of the leading pack.

It's obvious that Hanley is alone up top, no matter who is played all the pressure is put on him. Whilst he was injured we managed just 2 goals in 6 games, in the 6 games he featured for me we managed 6 in 6 with him grabbing 4. So there is a need for extra quality up front.

We also need a little bit more quality in the middle of the park. The young trio of Brennan, Boyle and Brilly did well but we need someone more creative to give us the extra threat going forward.

I'd argue the only other real need is to improve the left side of the pitch. We currently have Knight and Brown operating on the right side and whilst they are both strong options we need the extra depth and a bit of extra quality.

Overall I feel with have the quality to push forward but we need the extra quality to be able to build on a poor start to my career.
 

FMSaddler96

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So looking ahead to adding the quality I previously talked about to the squad as well as my first pre-season I had one other thing I wanted to do.

Get my first coaching qualification. Getting the first job is a big step but I now have to look to constantly improve and here at Cabinteely I seem to be in a set up where the board trust me and it is a stable job baring complete disaster so I made the request.

View attachment 120301And they accepted!

They continue to put their money and trust into me despite my poor record and lack of experience and hopefully I can make it worth it for them. The course will develop my skills a lot as a manager and it's what I need at the moment.

I seem to be reliant on the backroom I have built around me and that isn't something I want if I am to work my way up the managerial pyramid as I hope to. The backroom have been superb but I feel if I add something to my own skill set that this team can do a lot better than what we did last season.

There was one other piece of news in the "off-season" which didn't come to anything but I was linked with the TNS job in Wales, apparently I was a favourite for their board once they'd sacked their previous manager but I squashed any rumours in the conference stating that I am happy here in Ireland.

It would have been a step up with the Welsh division being ranked 117th in the rankings whilst the Irish First Division sits in 138th. However with the board putting this much faith in me and there being no formal approach from the Welsh side I never made the move.

It seems there will be another year in Ireland.
 

FMSaddler96

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So my first pre-season had arrived and it was a big one. I need to get my first wins under the belt and gel a team together which were lacking confidence and in some areas the quality to compete. Having a cohesive team will be key to the season and getting that first competitive win in the league which I failed to get in 12 attempts last time round.

View attachment 120245

And there it is; 7 games, 4 wins and 3 losses.

Cabinteely 1-3 Warrenpoint
A big first game and a tough loss. Warrenpoint took a break from their season to play the game against us as the reside top of their decision and it was a tough game. They dominated play but as usual it was defensive mistakes which cost us.

Cabinteely 1-2 U19's
Another tough loss. I experimented with tactics and it didn't pay off. We played well but just couldn't find the net. I wasn't too bothered by the result as it showed some of the quality we have available beyond our first team.

Glebe North 2-3 Cabinteely
A fantastic result. We were 2-0 up thanks to goals from Hamzat at the half and an early Hurley goal in after the break settled it. Glebe's goals were very late and just consolation goals so I am not too bothered about them.

Bluebell United 1-3 Cabinteely
A good showing ahead of what will be our first competitive tie of the season, even if it is unimportant to the board. We got 3 goals early in the game and never looked back, we had plenty of other chances but failed to take them before the hosts got a late consolation.

Killester United 0-1 Cabinteely
3 away games, 3 wins. The 4th minute goal was one of what could have been many. Killester didn't have a shot on target till the 87th minute whilst we finished the dominant performance with 57% possession, 12 shots and 8 on target.

Cabinteely 0-0 Bluebell United (3-4 on Penalties)
After a frustrating 120 minutes against a Bluebell side we had already beaten we went to penalties and after missing our first 2 we were playing from behind and reliant on another missed spot kick from the visitors.

Cabinteely 2-0 Cleary Celtic
FINALLY! A HOME WIN! The 3 away wins were superb but we needed to prove we could do the same in what we may need to make our fortress. Hanley stepped up on his return from injury and buried two goals whilst many other players had, but failed to take, chances.

Round-Up
So it was a good pre-season in my eyes. We signed strong (which I will go over soon) whilst I grabbed my first wins, 4 of them to be exact. We showed the attacking threat was still there from last season whilst also showing an improved back line compared to the last campaign.

4 different scorers recorded goals; Hanley (3), Hamzat (4), Kiely (3), Hurley (1); which worries me a tad as I wanted the goals to come from everywhere but at least the reliance isn't entirely sat on Hanleys shoulders as was the case in my previous 12 games.

Defensively we got 3 clean sheets and conceded only 3 goals in our 4 wins. It shows that our backline has the potential to be stubborn but it will be tested against a higher quality of opposition in the league campaign. Hopefully we can pull off some more of these performances when it matters though and make up for the miserable start to my managerial career.



 

FMSaddler96

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So with pre-season done it's probably time to walk you through the new faces at the club. There were 2 signings after the end of last season who came in before the transfer window opened.

View attachment 120244Walsh is a player I had to bring in as he offers us a lot more quality in the middle of the park. The 24 year old is an all round quality player who will add some physicality and technicality to the middle of the park.

Hurley was signed as we didn't really have a left winger at the club last season. Physically he is probably one of the best players at the club and he isn't too bad technically but at 20 years old he has a large chance of improving.

View attachment 120243Then there was the rest....

Willie John Kiely is a player I originally looked at for the name, yes I am that immature. The 27 year old will offer some clinical finishing along with some decent attributes across the board. He will be key for us this season up top and proved so with his 3 goals in pre-season.

Relihan is a similar signing to Walsh. He is a well rounded player and at 24 will partner him in the middle. He will likely be just a key but my coaches see him as having a lot more potential than Walsh.

O'Donnell is the oldest player at the club at 33. He adds some experience to the front line and could potentially bang in a few goals as our backup striker. He will likely only come in when injuries occur but he is an experienced head we didn't have.

Harney is the signing of the window for me. The former Premier Division man will add experience to the backline at just 25 years old and captain our side from the right back position.

Kaguako is something we needed at full back. He could potentially steal the starting RB spot from Harney and push the captain into the heart of defence but he can also serve as a backup left back.

Doherty was signed as a "backup" to Hurley and will likely serve that role despite being a higher rated player. Technically he is better however with our counter style of football I will stick to using Hurley due to his pace and physicality on the break.

Finally was a signing I didn't plan on making. Hand will come in and start at left back. Offering a superb option on the left hand side it allows Knight to slot in at CB and provide more quality there.

Round Up
I didn't expect it but we actually have a superb squad in our hands. Our starting 11 is good enough to battle most teams but what worries me is our backup players. Mostly youngsters with a lot of potential there is a lack of current ability in our depth.

The main improvement was to the backline. Harney, Kaguako and Hand all could potentially start in the back 4 this season and they all have a lot more quality than last seasons options. The players we previously had weren't bad but they need some time to develop to be ready where as we now have a lot more current quality to challenge whilst the kids develop.

Overall I think we have improved all over. Our starting 2 central midfielders offer more quality than the previous duo of Brilly and Brennan. On the left hand side we have added to wingers who will fight for the starting role. The up top we have brought in 2 strikers in Kiely and O'Donnell who will bring a lot more threat to the side whether off the bench or starting the game.

I am confident we should do better than last time round. My first target is to finish above Athlone and get a win against the side who got all 4 of their wins against us last season. I then want to draw closer to that leading pack of 6 who have a clear quality difference to us bottom 2.
 

FMSaddler96

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So the league campaign was under way and whilst the performances had improved massively the results hadn't. Both results so far were unfair based on the performances of both sides but the fitness of the squad does take it's toll on results.

View attachment 119874This was a really tough result to take. We had been superb throughout having challenged throughout. Our performance throughout the game was exactly what I expected as we countered quickly and created a lot of chances. We played well but it just came down to fitness as we go on to lose 4-2.

View attachment 119872We hit twice as many chances as our visitors on the day but it's two losses from two as we fall to a 2-0 defeat. McCaffrey tore us apart last year but was largely ineffective today with his only two shots being tap in rebounds. Their first was just unlucky, a corner was cleared and one of their midfielders hit it from the edge of the area and a wicked deflection saw it roll to McCaffrey who tapped home. The second came in the deadly final half an hour where we just failed to get to the ball quick enough leaving him with a second tap in.

So there it is; 2 league games, 2 losses and we are the only team after 2 games pointless.

Results have been unfair and I don't think we have been poor in either game. For the first 60 minutes against Limerick we were the better side but just failed to take some chances to put the game to bed. Then Drogheda got a bit lucky before taking control in the final 30 minutes again. We created 4 half chances and 2 clear cut chances; Drogheda had 0 of either.

I am working on the fitness of a young squad to try give us a better chance in that final half an hour. That seems to be the only issue we have had so far as we have turned in 2 good performances. Going forward we are deadlier than ever but defensively as we tire we seem to revert to our previous seasons struggles.
 

FMSaddler96

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Enjoying the story so far, keep it up.
Enjoying playing it so far mate, glad people are following!

___________________________________________________________________________________
So we are now 4 games into the season and although performances have been mixed we have improved on last season, let's see how we have done.

View attachment 119351Again we weren't bad but we were hurt in the final third of the game. English and Grimes provided the goals for Shelbourne but once again we performed well but just lacked the final finishes to make the most of our chances.

View attachment 119350Another game another loss and we now sit bottom of the league 4 points off of Athlone. My worry after today's game was the lack of play out wide. We aimed to hit down the flanks in the first half but we changed it up a bit in the 2nd half and we came close to rescuing our first point.

View attachment 119349So this is the new system. The 4-4-2 just wasn't working, we weren't moving the ball quickly enough on the counter and we weren't exploiting the flanks as I hoped we would have so I switch to this.

Harney moves into the centre of a back 5 with Kaguako returning from injury and also as his performances have been poor on the right side. I am hoping the introduction of a back 5 makes us more stubborn at the back as we seem to be conceding too easily at the wrong times. We also see a new keeper introduced as Fagan just hasn't been good enough so Kelly comes in and has his chance to prove himself.

The main changes then come in midfield. We switch to a 3 as we drop the wingers and have a third central midfielder. Having looked at the stats we seem to be getting a lot of the goals through the middle of the field with through balls especially being deadly. I will look to Walsh and Brennan to provide the key threat on the counter whilst Relihan acts as the cover to the back 5.

The width will hopefully be provided by Hand and Kaguako on the overlap. Hand has been doing that throughout but with the wide player there I don't think he has pushed forward as much as he maybe could have done and I hope that giving him the space to move down the flank with ease.

Up top we will aim to do the same as normal. Hanley will act as the runner and hopefully provide the assists to Kiely as the advanced forward.

 

FMSaddler96

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So it hasn't been the start I had hoped for and it hasn't really got any better. We continue to keep competitive in games but whilst our opponents continue to make the most of their chances we are failing to convert the chances we create.

View attachment 119342Athlone continue their good start as they exploit a tired back 5 to get the win. We were completely in the game and deserved a point but once again we lose to a late goal.

View attachment 119341AGAIN! LATE GOALS EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Once again we deserve at least a point but Waterford scored from their only shot of the game as we created 7 chances which we failed to convert. We need to work on our fitness and finishing but this is just frustrating.

View attachment 119340For once the result was fair as Wexford just dominate the game and we fail to impress anywhere on the pitch until late on. We created chances in the final 20 minutes but our front 2 failed to take any of them.

I know all the results have been poor but I honestly think the bulk have been unfair as teams continue to get late goals or convert one of their few chances. We need to improve finishing but we also need to focus on fitness to stay in the game for 90 minutes, not just 60.

 

Shedender

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Have you actually picked up a single win yet as Cabinteely boss? Brutal form. Confidence must be shot. Good luck in getting out of this rut before you end up unemployed.
 

FMSaddler96

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So here is the issue. I have built a squad with a ton of quality compared to the one that was available last year but nothing is happening. Now I think the reasoning behind this is because I am failing to bring confidence to a team who have 0.

Now Cabinteely are a team who gave me everything. My first chance, my first contract renewal and my first run at a Coaching Qualification. And that is why after considering it for a long time I decided to do this...

View attachment 119332It comes after a 2-0 loss to table toppers Limerick but what made my decision earlier was the fact that we dominated the game but due to the lack of confidence the players never executed to their ability.

I know somebody will go there with a strong squad to work with and the chance to make the most of what I have put in place. The issue is I couldn't sit and watch a young squad get depressed about losing every game to late goals and not be able to pick them up.

Youngsters need a manager who can pick them up when they are down and bring the confidence back in to get them performing. If they sit and over think they lose confidence in their abilities and it isn't something I could let happen to a squad with a ton of potential.

View attachment 119331So there it is. A dreadful start with 21 games played and 19 losses. It is dreadful and I am surprised I wasn't sacked. I am still working towards my coaching licence and I do feel I have developed as a manager but I now just need to hope there is somebody else who will be willing to give me that shot at building my career.

I can see it taking a while as lets face it I have been dreadful but I feel if given the chance I can have success still.

Here is hoping I can continue to work my way up...
 

FMSaddler96

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Have you actually picked up a single win yet as Cabinteely boss? Brutal form. Confidence must be shot. Good luck in getting out of this rut before you end up unemployed.

Thought I would upload the next post before replying. I didn't pick up a competitive win. The quality in the division in terms of the resources available for training seems to have been just a lot better than what we had.
 

FMSaddler96

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So after winless 288 days in charge of Cabinteely I looked ahead to my next move but also started to think about what went wrong in my time in charge of the Irish side.

Tactically I was too "panicky". I installed many tactics during my time to try and get the most out of a side which had the quality but not the confidence and the basis of these changes were always to get the most out of our backline. Just in the first 7 games of the season I had used 4 different tactics in an attempt to find that first win. In the future I need to put more faith into the tactics I develop and let the team find their stride in the systems I implement.

Another one of the issues was my transfer business. Now don't get me wrong the players I signed were very good but when you look at where the players were brought into play it shows a few issues. I signed 3 full backs, 2 strikers, 2 left wingers and 2 central midfielders. Not all of these players can play and it caused further confidence issues in that when they weren't playing they were getting frustrated.

I think my final issue was monitoring the morale of the squad. I knew results were affecting the teams happiness but when I looked into it before resigning I found a squad that were depressed being here and didn't want to play. That was a big issue for an inexperienced side.

A squad with more experience would maybe have been able to get over that hump by themselves but I didn't know how to resolve the issue and just had to make the decision of leaving somebody else to try their best to bring happiness and success to a strong squad.
 
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