Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tactical Consultants Meet Blades Manager as Relegation Looms

The Blades are playing well below itself at the moment - with 10 points from the opening 15 games the side are firmly rooted to the bottom of the Premiership.

That in mind, the Blades have decided to take on some advice from other managers. Some of the Blades youth players are exceedingly promising, but not quite ready for top level football; other players are woefully under-performing. Striker Gary Glen is a prime example - a clearly gifted footballer doing nothing to show his talent.

For the youthful £105K wage Blades relegation wouldn't be too much of a disaster; it may even be the opposite - a chance to give the youth time to flourish and come back strong. To go down without a fight, however, is unthinkable.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Dorsin shores up leaky defence

It had come to my attention lately that the replacement I had signed for former star left back Manuel Pasqual was absolutely shocking. Slavko Maric is duly on the auction list for £1, and I moved to snap up 31-year old Mikael Dorsin on a short term deal for £95K from Jay Derriman's side.

Dorsin has settled in very well, but it looks like a long battle against relegation regardless - we just can't score. While other clubs are moving forwards, my self-imposed ban on big deals is seeing the team get left behind... for now...

I must stick to my plan, however painful in the short term...

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Supporters in Uproar as Lane Legend is Sold

Yesterday evening could go down as a dark day in the StJohn chapter of Frecheville Blades' history, when record scorer Nikola Zigic was sold for £850K to Bishop Ultras, plus 75% of any future fee.

The Blades manager tried to calm supporters, by pointing out that 92-goal legend Zigic was 32 years old and not getting any younger.

The move also means that the Blades financial worries are over for good, with a now healthy balance. Zigic's £24K wages are also off the books, so the Blades are now paying out a miserly £105K per day - future big-name signings appear guaranteed, though striker Gary Glen will have to fill Zigic's massive boots for the time being.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Cautious opening for Blades

I don't know what to make of my start to my third Premiership season - two games played so far, both ending in stalemate.

A 0-0 draw with Ben Talbott's Last Minute Wanderers was followed by a 2-2 draw with Craig Legend's top-flight newcomers, DR Dazzlers - Zigic and Glen getting a goal each. The team are playing quite well, and both opponents are ranked significantly higher than me - so all in all, I should be happy. I'd sure like to see some wins on the board soon though - have I done the right thing gambling on the youth coming good?

I'm really torn on skills as well - should I be focussing on scouting or coaching? With my youth side flying just now and plenty of green arrows, it's tempting to concentrate there... but I need to sign at least half a dozen players for my U17s...

In other news, the Blade have released a significant number of 18 and 19 year olds from the academy, after they failed to show the appropriate improvements.

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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Season begins...

It's been a quiet season thus far for the mighty Blades in StJohn - I've yet to play any senior FA matches, though I did make a decent start in the AEFA U21 league.

It was a quiet close-season for me as well, with finances being tight. I made a big decision to build a block of Exclusif corporate seating last season, at great expense... and to pay it off within a season. That pretty much limited spending in the off-season window, with the only real note-worthy signing being experienced keeper Kamil Contofalsky.

Some of the youths need to start proving themselves - right-back Daeselaire, and forwards Alvaro and Gary Glen in particular. There's no questioning their potential, but it's time for them to start delivering.

If I can survive another season in the Premiership, I'll be more than satisfied. With the Exclusif in place, and Commercial Level 4 under my belt, I'm making a healthy profit. The plan is well in hand, oh yes.

In other big news, I've setup a new blog for all the StJohnians to keep track of the latest news and gossip in the gameworld. "The Fiery Baptist" is still in dire need of beautification, but the content is coming thick and fast...

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Another season of survival...

I've not had any time to blog recently, so apologies for that - I was teaching at a training course last week, so all my spare time was taken up preparing for that, or being on it... It was very good though!

That also meant probably my highest ever AI% in an FML season - I forget the exact final figure, but it was certainly right around the 40% mark, the limit for the AEFA. Funnily, it was all largely down to a now-resolved bug - I came back from all that course business on the Friday night, with the season ending on the following Wednesday... I played a few games and logged off still on 0% AI! Oh, what could've been...

It was a decent season anyway - I'd expected a struggle, which never really materialised. I came in solidly in 15th place. OK, that's only two places above the relegation zone you might say - but I was 8 points clear of 16th spot... and 9 points off the team in 14th! In a league of my own, you might say... Very strange, especially after last season's thrilling finale.

Preparations for Season 4 have been quite muted - my only signing has been experienced keeper Kamil Contofalsky. Hopefully that will do some good; I've bid for a few others in end-of-contract auctions, but really I need to focus on maximising my skills...

This season has also seen me learn Finance 5 and get up to Level 4 Commercial - so I'm making a lot of money... My plan has always been long-term, and with these skills in place, I've been able to fit my stadium with a block of Exclusif corporate seating, which will be paid off within 4 weeks. That will earn me a cool £15k extra a day, which along with the skills will see me financially secure - so long as I keep my wage bill down and my reputation doesn't drop too low. It's all about Season 6...