Friday, 27 June 2008

The Ladder...

My brainwave (with helpful discussions from other users, particularly James Aspey in GW4 if I remember correctly) finally got going last night...

I'd had an idea that there is a gap in FML for fast-paced, mobile gameplay. The FA seasons are lovely, and kind of model real-life, but I wondered about something at the opposite end of the scale - and came up with the ladder.

Basically, this is a series of 6 team divisions, where teams play each other home and away, with all 10 games done in a week. From the six, two get promoted and two get relegated - so the next week, you're playing four completely different teams, and we go on again.

At the end of the week I declare two champions:
  • The Ladder Champion - whoever wins the top rung of the ladder, and
  • The Ladder 'It' - this is a much more mobile title, and is won by whoever wins the very first ladder match, at any level. This title then transfers to the next team to beat them, and so on - FML kiss-chase, as Phil Sinkins dubbed it. It's a title that anyone can win at some stage!
With matches getting under way last night, the first 'It' is Leon Creighton's Certa United, of Ladder Level 6. The pressure is on Leon now to retain the title...

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

3-6-1 and apologies

The 3-6-1 tactics is working pretty well - with new signing Jack Rodwell shoring up the defence pretty well, it's proving hard for teams to break down, while still allowing me to get enough bodies forward to join in in attack. I still need more tweaks, and I'm undecided as to whether I should play Bigalke or Hofs in right central midfield, but I'm now unbeaten in 11 days.

Unfortunately, I've only played 13 games in that time - with so many guys inviting friends/family/themselves into the beta, there's been a lot of moderating to do.

It's been nice to see all the new guys and get to know them - some are doing very well indeed. One guy managed to get to 44th in the rankings in two days - I managed to squeak a 2-1 win over him, but it wasn't easy by any means.

It's been nice getting the helpful mod shoes back on as well, doing what the job is all about. Unfortunately, a lot of new guys haven't read the rules, and have been a wee bit naughty in the transfer market. Some of these I'm sure are multiple accounts held by the same person, but the majority are just people who want to help out their friend/brother/housemate/dad/cat by selling them a spare player on the cheap.

Part of me thinks that isn't so bad, but again - it's against the rules, as it undermines the transfer market. And where do we draw the line? It's a toughie, but in the end we have to clamp down. It proves that the new transfer system Ov has been discussing on the beta forum can't come soon enough. If we put an end to sub-acquisition fee private transfers at code level, I wouldn't have to have spent all of the past two days online chasing these deals. And that's why we've not had more blog updates ;)

Friday, 20 June 2008

New Theme Team!

Well, having achieved my goal of fielding a side consisting only of Blades, past and present, I had to move on to a new challenge for the new season.

My Blades side have made a couple of big signings in the pre-season, Mauro Zarate for one, and are trialling a new tactic that should prove defensively solid. I'm unbeaten in 12, and have won 7 of those...

Anyway, this season's theme team can now be revealed...

Free Image Hosting at

Yes - fear the Blades Reserves, also known as "I'm Ronaldo!". A team full of players called Ronaldo. Unfortunately some of them have it as their first name, which ruins the aesthetic a little, but I can work on that!

I don't have any more places

A lot of you are still asking for places - save your breath, my places have already been won and I have no more to give out!

I repeat, I had 5 places to give, now I have none left. ;)

Thursday, 19 June 2008

David Hamill's DFA Review!

Season 5 in the DFA has came to a close. The winners are shining their new trophies whilst the runners up wonder what could have been. Those relegated sides are still hurting whilst those clinching the UFFA spots are still celebrating. A very exciting season it must be said, from the worlds number one league.

Here is the round up of the memorable season in the DFA Premiership -

1st Place - Ash Wonderers FC managed by Steve Williams

2nd Place - Hotspur Football Club managed by Stuart Woods

3rd Place - Liverpool managed by Mark Percox's AI

Ash Wonderers have managed to achieve their pre season goal of being the first side to lift the DFA Premiership trophy twice since its creation. Despite a woeful start to the season losing their first 3 games, Steve Williams managed to bring things together and go on an amazing run culminating in only 2 other defeats in their next 39 games in what can be described as the world's greatest league.

Samuel Eto'o led the way for Steve’s side by banging in 35 goals in his 40 appearances finishing top of the goalscoring charts and amazingly the only Ash Wonderers player in the top 32 goalscorers.

This may not have been achieved however without the excellent supply from Sergio Mota who laid on 16 goals for his team mates finishing 3rd in the Assist Rankings.

Special mention also goes to Juan Ojeda - Steve’s number one GK who managed to secure 14 clean sheets and concede a mere 40 goals - the second best in the division.

Two of Steve’s players have also made it into the DFA Team of the Year (up tomorrow!).

Manager Steve Williams was delighted with his sides achievements stating "After the poor start I had to change things. I’m delighted that things have worked out and I am very proud of the effort and style which my team have produced to allow us to secure the title. Our plan is to continue this progress and retain our title next season"

Several sides have secured spots in next seasons UFFA competitions.

Stuart Woods' Hotspur Football Club following their second place achievement will be one of these clubs. Hotspur finished eight points behind winners Ash Wonderers however were the team to concede the least goals in the Premiership - secured by their excellent defence all of whom are under 23 years old. A solid foundation for Stuart to build upon into next season.

Koh Chi Wah's Kampung will be joining him after they finished 5th in the league - taking the vacant spots left by Liverpool and Kaswell due to their AI %'s. Koh's side won 20, drew 11 and lost 11 of their games, with Ranford Osei leading the way in the clubs scoring charts with 15 goals, and Toni Kroos supplying and scoring 12 goals.

FC Bemar and their manager Melih Kahramanher had an outstanding season securing the DFA Trophy, DFA League Cup and DFA Youth Cup accompanied by a 6th place finish in the league following their promotion from the DFA Championship. This success is simply outstanding which is why Melih has also been given the MANAGER OF THE YEAR award for the DFA.

UFFA Cup spots have went to Brian Reynolds' Leeds Utd, Luca Fusco's Mr Corleone, Steve Smith's West End FC and David Hamill's Athletico Pathetico (also cup runners up), the latter two of whom were taking part in their first season in the DFA Premiership. Good achievement lads.


1st place - Samuel Eto'o - Ash Wonderers - 35 goals/40 apps

2nd place - Asamoah Gyan - Kaswell - 34 goals/42apps

3rd place - Nicolaj Agger- Beitar Katamonim - 22 goals/39 apps


1st place - Silva- Kaswell - 30 assists/40 apps

2nd place - Yoon Bit Garam - AFC Stella Artois - 19 assists/42 apps

3rd place - Sergio Mota - Ash Wonderers-16 assists/40 apps


1st place - Wilson - Hotspur Football Club - 17 clean/42 apps

2nd place - Dwayne Miller - Athletico Pathetico - 16 clean/42 apps

3rd place - Johan van Beek - Leeds Utd - 15 clean/42 apps

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

And the winners are...

Well, I had a lot of interest in the 5 beta places, no surprises there and after very carefully copying down all the names and email addresses, each entrant was assigned a number - 1 for the first person to enter, 2 for the second and so on. I then headed over to and got it to draw out 5 random numbers - these were 1, 3, 6, 14 and 20...

Which doesn't help you lot I guess. So without further ado, the winners are:

Zarko Joveljic
Jonathan Daws
Markku Piitulainen
Chris Jones, and
Emma Burken

Well done to you five, I will see you in the game. For the rest, my commiserations. I will see if I'm allowed to pass the names of all the entrants in the FML Moderators Forum, and then any mods with spare places can offer them to the losers here. Not that I'm calling you losers, of course, well - not until you've felt the wrath of my Blades one day on the field of battle. Oh yes, FML is coming to all soon enough.

To the five winners, I am about to confirm to you by email now - if you haven't heard from me soon then get in touch...

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

5 Beta Places in GW4 up for grabs! - ALL GONE, SORRY!


Hi all,

Well - good news today. SI are likely to be topping up the FML gameworlds soon through a refer-a-friend scheme, and as all my off-line friends have wives who would kill me if I got their husbands addicted to FML, I've asked for and been given permission to make my 5 places available here, on this very blog.

Be aware that if for any reason SI decide not to go ahead with the scheme, or that they don't want me doing this, then I won't have any places to give away after all. Also, you can only have 1 beta place, so if you already have a place, then please don't be applying for one. I will vet all the winning entries, and verify them with SI...

Friday, 13 June 2008

Fruitloops win GW4 UFFA Champions League Final!

The GW4 UFFA Champions League Final saw DFA Steve Williams' Ash Wonders (Daytime FA) take on Phil Sinkins' Frootloops FC (Primetime FA). Phil threw down the challenge within the DFA playtime, so the game drew quite a partisan crowd! Both sides lined up with some sort of 4-5-1 variant, with Samuel Eto'o leading the line for Steve and Romain Bonnet up top for the Loops.

The game burst into life straight away, with Frootloops surging ahead in the 7th min, when the Ash defense disintegrated and allowed Bonnet to power home a header from a corner. The lead was to last only seconds, however; in the 9th minute a weak pass from Djourou gifted the ball to Sergio Mota, who smashed home the equaliser.

What could have been the defining moment of the game came when Nkoulou was sent off in the 14th minute for a late two-footed challenge. Frootloops had to reshuffle, switching to a 4-4-1, with a wide diamond in midfield, bravely keeping Santiago Lucio in his favoured attacking midfield role. Eto'o ran much of the rest of the first half, holding up play well but with Ash failing to capitalise on possession.

The tension continued to mount, with Ash dominating possession and territory, but the Fruitloops always looking dangerous on the counter and at set-pieces. Indeed, it was from a free kick in the 59th minute that Bonnet snatched his second, converting at the near post from a Pavan free-kick near the corner flag. The Loops looked ready to snatch a victory against the odds, but the referee was determined to enjoy his day out and continued to influenced play. The anxious Wonders' boss Williams watched his side nervously defending some excellent set-pieces. As the end drew closer, the Wonders sought to get level and pressure mounted, with Eto'o forcing a terrific safe in the 82nd from point blank range.

It was the referee that was to deliver the blow to the Loops though, awarding an 83rd minute penalty to the Wonders after a tug on Belluschi's shirt by Ramirez. Eto'o stepped up to coolly convert, and the game was tied at 2-2. We went into extra time with the game delivering more of the same, with the Loops actually managing to get back on top somewhat, despite the tired legs of the 10 men and the DFA-centric crowd urging on their golden Wonders.

Eventually it became apparent that the game was drifting on to penalties, and the managers exchanged pleasantries as quiet fell across the watching crowd. Loops went first, with Bonnet smashing home before Eto'o proved he could finish just as well. It would be Thapelo Mtshali who would be the fall guy for the Wonders, hitting the woodwork with their 3rd penalty, and the result never looked in doubt when Vincent Kompany, cool as a cucumber, eventually stepped up to smash home the winning penalty for Frootloops FC.

Final score: Ash Wonders 2 Frootloops FC 2 AET (Frootloops win 5-3 on penalties)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

More updates soon!

Apologies for the lack of update lately, I've had to have an operation on my noggin, which makes blogging less important/more difficult to find time for!

It has been more of the same for the Blades this season, mid-table obscurity again, but I'm sure I can get back on top next season... If I can find a second striker! I've never managed to get two great strikers working together and scoring regularly, which is annoying.

The Blades experiment has also been enjoyable, though one I probably won't extend for next season. I'm planning a big off-season clearout and a new theme team for next year - maybe a team of Ronaldos... That would surely terrify opponents!

More soon - I've got UFFA finals and lots of others to cover!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Proud moment?

Well, I had a proud moment this afternoon, when one of the guys (Steve Williams, of Ash Wonders) pointed out that I've won the most throw-ins, by some distance, of any DFA Premiership side.

It's the only accolade I'm likely to win in the tough DFA, so I will take any glory I can get!

It's been another tough season so far, with the AI costing me once more. My tactic often depends on setting opposition instructions, and since my AI can't do that - it doesn't get done. Definitely something to think about for the future.

Also, the Blades experiment is going fairly well - I'm currently sitting top of the DFA Reserve League, though only 2 points clear of Steve Smith's West End FC, who have two games in hand.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Mod Day Feedback

Well, clearly I can't comment on anything from Mod Day that you would actually all want to hear about, as to do so is strictly forbidden.

I can say, however, that it was extremely enjoyable and useful, and that the rest of the mods I met are all great people. We had some really useful discussions, and it was great to see that we got on even better in real life than we do in game.

The one question I can comment on was Zarko's - support will be provided 24/7, come retail. But as a general comment - it was all very positive, I really don't think anyone will be disappointed (unless you sign up thinking there are orcs and elves, then you may be a bit gutted).

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Frecheville Blades 3
Erdington Villans 0
(Agg 3:1)

The burly Frecheville Blades have won the sixteen-club The Benchwarmers Challenge Cup after their 3-1 aggregate win over English manager Richard "Richie Villa" Birchall's high flying Erdington Villans in the Final.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, in which the superb Villans had dominated and won through a goal by Menez converting former Bladesman Carles Coto's cross, the Blades had come out all guns blazing. Facing off the dangerous 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation applied by the Villans with an attacking 2-3-2-3 formation (2 DCs, wing backs and a DM, 2 attacking-minded MCs, and three forwards), the Blades almost got off to a dream start when Amauri fired home in the 10th minute, only to be ruled offside.

The first goal wasn't long in coming, however. Micah Richards charged down Amauri's shot, only for the ball to fall nicely for LEONARDO PISCULICHI to blast home left-footed. Play continued with the Blades in ascendancy until half-time but no more goals came.

The lead was doubled in the 54th minute, when AMAURI's shot was deflected by David Luiz past the helpless Erdington keeper to give the Blades an aggregate 2-1 lead. Nerves were jangling, and Villans boss Birchall sought to make the changes to get his side back in the game.

The killer blow came in the 75th when Blades pressure led to a fine double save from Villans keeper Marco Amelia, only for the loose ball to fall to former real-life Blade and recent signing COLIN KAZIM-RICHARDS to power home from 6 yards.

A truly delightful game for me, and a terrific win over a great manager and deservedly highly ranked side - all great, but the £423,334 prize made it even sweeter!

Even nicer was that with the late sub appearances of Nicky Law and Michael Tonge, the side that won this game featured no less than SEVEN former or present Sheffield United players.

Mod Day 2...

Well, on Thursday I (and many of the other FML mods) get to travel to London to meet up with the SI and Sega guys for a day of eating pizza and talking shop - if anyone has any questions they want answered, post here and I will see what I can do, if they are sensible questions. I'm a relatively boring guy, so I'm unlikely to ask daft questions!

What will be a highlight this time is that I'm not alone - last time I was the only GW4 mod to make the trek, though Rich Hainsworth came to the pub after. This time there are at least 5 mods going from GW4, with Henrik jetting in from Sweden even - is he as scary in real life? We'll find out more on Thursday... ;)

Monday, 2 June 2008

Blades in Cup Triumph (sort of)

The powerful Frecheville Blades have won the Off-Season Keep-Fit Tournament Winners - Losers - For Fun after their 4-1 win over English manager Chris "The Darkcloud" Haggan's powerful Just Lost My Court Case in the Final.

Woo for the Blades! Admittedly it is the final of a cup for people that had been knocked out of the main Off-Season Keep-Fit Tournament cup, so I guess I effectively came 9th actually, but hey - a cup win is a cup win!

And good practice for the other cup final that I'm in too surely - though a tough draw saw me crash out of this season's DFA Trophy in the 1st round, after making the final last season! It was a proper blood-and-thunder cup tie though, I was all out 2-5-3 for much of it, before losing 2-1; my AI had already lost the first leg 3-1, so goals were needed, and the guy's narrow formation lent itself to me having a good go. I had most of the chances, but didn't make them count... Well done Atila!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Hero Howard Sends Blades Through

Mr. Corleone 0
Frecheville Blades 1

(Agg 1-1, Pens 4-5)

Tim Howard produced a wonderful save from Spinelli's penalty to send the Blades marching on to the Final of The Benchwarmers Challenge Cup.

Tim Borowski had scored in the 30th minute of normal time to level the tie after Luca Fusco's side had won the first leg 1-0.

Presumably I'll bottle this final like I bottle all the others, though having overcome the world 22nd rank I go into the final against Richard "Richie Villa" Birchall's exceptional Erdington Villans with a little more confidence... Richie's only 26th, after all... Eek!

On another note...
My penalty shootout victory against Italian manager Luca Fusco's exceptional Mr. Corleone was my first ever penalty shootout win and so has unlocked the 'Nerves of Steel' achievement!