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Taking control of my hometown club, FC Halifax Town, hoping to lead them up through the divisions, eventually looking to become a known force throughout Europe!!

Discussion
As a follower of my local team, FC Halifax Town, it made sense that when I wanted to start a bottom to top career, I would start with them.

THE CLUB


http://i.imgur.com/Rdlms9T.png


The club plays it’s home matches at The Shay Stadium, a facility that is probably too good for the level the club is playing at.

http://i.imgur.com/3EkBrB5.jpg

After reforming in 2008 after the original club entered administration, the new club has risen through the leagues prolifically, rising from the Evostik Northern Division One North back to where the old club was before perishing, the Vanarama Conference, thanks to 3 promotions in 4 seasons. Upon returning to the conference, FC Halifax not only consolidated their position in the Conference, but also reaching the playoffs before succumbing 2-1 on aggregate to Cambridge United who were eventually promoted. The club has also gained recognition recently thanks to the successes of recent players, Lee Gregory now at Millwall, and, most notably, Jamie Vardy at Leicester City

The club is still part-time, highlighting the difficulties facing me as manager, due to the Conference being made up with many full-time, ex league clubs run on larger budgets. I am starting this story part way into the first season as I wanted to ensure I was enjoying the game and that I was going to stick with it. I also don’t get too much time to play FM so the updates will probably be fairly sporadic. This is also my first attempt at a career story so I probably won’t pull up any trees with my writing.
Ah I have some good memories of going to the Shay to watch Northwich Victoria play against them. Some good games but most of the time you were on the winning side.

Good luck with this career, you've got me following!
So, a quick update of where I am.

First, my key players:

Matty Pearson, all action midfielder
http://i.imgur.com/KZHoIWY.png

Lois Maynard, Captain
http://i.imgur.com/k1xacYb.png

Marc Roberts, Vice Captain & Defensive Rock
http://i.imgur.com/zpFth7k.png

The Squad:
http://i.imgur.com/mXXvg1I.png

Main Formation:
http://i.imgur.com/GTDztvB.png

Fixtures so far:
http://i.imgur.com/HxYv9AX.png

And finally, the league table:
http://i.imgur.com/FmymExo.png

So after an inconsistent start the team seems to have gained an understanding of my tactics, leading to a decent run of form recently consolidating a solid position in 9th place, only 2 points from the playoff places.
Ah I have some good memories of going to the Shay to watch Northwich Victoria play against them. Some good games but most of the time you were on the winning side.

Good luck with this career, you've got me following!


Thanks, remember the days where you had Dean Greygoose in goal I think?! Along with the chants of zigger zagger zigger zagger Northwich Vics!!
Dont see many people complete the journey to the european success, hopefully this one does it sounds a good team to take up!
So onto October, and looking to try to keep our momentum going, consolidate our position and hopefully even move up the table.

http://i.imgur.com/L8aKYJK.png

A horrible month. The braintree and Alfreton games were particularly hard to take as both defeats came courtesy of late goals, followed up by two great performances in beating Altrincham and getting a point from Wrexham. The performance against Eastleigh was absolutely dire, but i hoped things were turning round when second half substitute Scott Boden came on and netted a brace to rescue a point against Kidderminster after going 2-0 down.

Luckily though, our league position hasn't been too badly affected

http://i.imgur.com/W0rnfdE.png

Ended the month with a disappointing 4-1 loss at Lincoln in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round. Adam Smith gave us the lead just before the hour mark, however once Lincoln got an equaliser, and then a second via a disputed penalty the team just collapsed, highlighting the lack of morale in the team at the moment.

Lets hope for a better November!!
Not the best month but as you said, your league position wasn't affected too badly through the month!
Onto November and a nice steady month with just 5 games, however it wouldn't be easy, playing teams I feel are of a similar standard to us, but enjoying better form and a better league position than us.

http://i.imgur.com/0llt7il.png

A decent month, and a strong bounce back from previous poor form.

After a disappointing performance against Wrexham to start the month, I decided a tweak of tactics was needed. I was torn between a standard 4-4-2, however with a lack of options on the left side of midfield I settled for a narrow 4-1-3-2 to make the most of my strength in central midfield. The change worked immediately and a good performance against Grimsby saw us rewarded with a deserved 2-1 victory. However, signs we were adjusting to the new formation showed with a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Woking. We finished the month well gaining 4 points against teams from above us in the league, with a late Jamie Jackson equaliser, his first goal for the club, rescuing a 1-1 draw against Welling, before a very complete performance against Alfreton saw us win 2-0 picking up a much deserved 3 points.

http://i.imgur.com/lLHOgzu.png

The league table sees not much change in our league position, however, just one league game short of the halfway stage of the season we sit in the exact position we were predicted to finish, 13th. The table also shows that other than the top 6 and the bottom 6, it is a very tight league meaning we can hopefully string together some wins during the month of December which, when looking ahead, looks a very busy month, featuring 6 league games and our 1st Round tie in the FA Trophy North, against a team that has yet to be decided.
Onto a busy month in December, however the schedule was eased slightly as our away match at Torquay was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and has been rearranged for mid January. The month started decent, however it tailed off towards the end.

http://i.imgur.com/NzqOwZC.png

Any point gained against Forest Green is a good point considering they have by far and away the largest budget in the league. The injury time equaliser from substitute Jamie Jackson went down an absolute treat, sparking great celebration at The Shay.

Although we beat Dartford 1-0 they were on a 5 game losing streak at the time so to only win by the odd goal was disappointing, however the clean sheet was a rare and welcome bonus.

The less said about the FA Trophy the better, a dominant home performance but poor finishing saw us go to a replay where a poor performance saw us crash out 2-1, however Paul Marshall kickstarted a run of hot form in a new central midfield role with a 25 yard screamer late in injury time.

The Nuneaton game brought a pleasing 2-1 victory against the team that sat 1 place above us at the time, all 3 goals in the game came from set pieces, with both our goals coming from centre back Marc Roberts' first 2 goals of the season, both converted at corners.

Next up brought Gateshead and a very frustrating result as we put in a very strong performance away at the promotion contenders but failed to convert our chances:

http://i.imgur.com/cUAELCi.png

Think that picture shows our domination.

We ended the month in disappointing loss at home to lowly Chester, after going 1-0 down early we recovered well to be ahead after 14 minutes, however once again failed to take our chances in a dominating performance, culminating in a frustrating 3-2 defeat. Strikers need shooting practice, possibly even reinforcements during the January transfer window, however, it's all dependent on the quality available at this time of the season.

The end of this inconsistent month sees us still sitting safely in mid table in 11th place, however, a playoff place looks well beyond us now, and in fact we are closer points wise to being in a relegation place than a playoff place. Despite this we should hopefully be safe enough considering we are 11 points clear of the drop zone.

http://i.imgur.com/59oAx4a.png
Made myself a nice new signing in January, lets see how he gets on

http://i.imgur.com/DZbSxdr.png
Whilst there aren't too many green dots your still fairing well in the league mate!
Whilst there aren't too many green dots your still fairing well in the league mate!


Thanks! Just disappointing that although we're putting in good performances, the strikers just can't hit the net, thankfully got my main striker (Ross Dyer), back from injury though so hopefully once he's back to match fitness we can sort it out!
January update soon to come but I had to post this:

http://i.imgur.com/AET5zvS.png

Not a bad debut......Hope he can continue that form!!
Sitting comfortably in mid table. Just need a few more wins and you'll be up their challenging with the rest.

You know who you need back...? Super James Dean.
Sitting comfortably in mid table. Just need a few more wins and you'll be up their challenging with the rest.

You know who you need back...? Super James Dean.
Tongey - A front 3 of Deano, Vardy and Gregory would have Shaymen fans drooling

Time for a January update, and a quiet, but very satisfying month:

http://i.imgur.com/AH0GowO.png

A draw away to Gateshead was extremely satisfying, even if it did only come as a result of a goal deep into injury time.

The 2-0 victory over Southport was lit up by a superb long range strike by Matty Pearson, which eventually finished 2nd in the January goal of the month competition.

We dominated against Telford, however only managed to put the game to bed in the last 10 minutes in a match notable for being Wes York's debut, bagging 2 goals and getting the Man of the Match award.

We ended the season at home to top of the table Barnet, and put in a superb performance to go 3-0 up by half time, we remained in control throughout the match, however it was disappointing that we conceded 2 goals in the 89th and 92nd minute to make the scoreline look a lot less dominant.

January was such a quiet month as there were 2 matches postponed, which will be played in February now.

Quick look at the table:

http://i.imgur.com/zXgtirH.png

That extremely positive month shows us rise to 9th in the table exceeding pre season expectations up to press, lets hope the form continues into February, and throughout the rest of the season
Brilliant month and at a good time! a good run in now and you're right up there!
Thanks Dan!

Let's see if it continued throughout February then...

http://i.imgur.com/X5mTpmO.png

The month started with the twice rearranged away match against Torquay, and a solid 0-0 draw, very even game so a draw was a fair, and also a very solid, result.

Next up were lowly Dover at The Shay and a routine 4-1 victory with a very efficient performance, inlcuding a Matty Pearson scorcher.

The 1-0 loss against Eastleigh was disappointing as although we just about shaded the match, unfortunately a late wonderstrike lit up The Shay in front of the TV cameras to condemn us to defeat.

Braintree arrived at The Shay in the playoff places, and in sparkling form. Therefore a 4-4 draw may not sound the worst result, however, considering we dominated possession, and had more shots, plus we were 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 up, it's a little disappointing we were poor defensively as some of our play going forward was superb.

We finished the month away to Aldershot and put in another strong performance to win 2-0, a result that never looked in doubt once sub Adam Smith scored a 20 yard strike just 90 seconds after coming on.

http://i.imgur.com/EPCSajN.png

The upshot of this strong month sees us move into 7th position, however with just 10 matches to play we are 12 points from the playoff spots, have we left our charge on promotion too late into the season? Or can we continue our momentum and march on up the table.

We also finished the month with some good news as he bagged not one, but 2 awards:

http://i.imgur.com/T5iYpPx.png

http://i.imgur.com/40N01wv.png
Had this years youth intake come through and a few players looking decent potentially:

http://i.imgur.com/AeQ1FGy.png

http://i.imgur.com/mH1uYJL.png

http://i.imgur.com/BbGAekU.png

http://i.imgur.com/pegPRWx.png

Quite excited by a couple of them tbh, hopefully transform into decent lower league players.
March brought with it 5 more matches for us to try and maintain our strong form.

http://i.imgur.com/eDb10bd.png

We managed to go through the month unbeaten, however only I'm a touch disappointed with the 2 draws as we led in both matches, however I can't complain too much as draws away from home are never bad results. The team seems to have really clicked since the turn of the year and lets hope it continues for the rest of the season, giving us good momentum to take into the summer and into next season.

A front 3 of Wes York, Ross Dyer and Adam Smith seems to have really paid dividends and the trio have all chipped in with plenty of key goals, showing a good understanding of each others games.

http://i.imgur.com/Z8zj0Q8.png

A good month has seen us maintain our place in 7th position, now only 9 points from the playoffs, however with just 5 games to play I believe it is now definitely too late for an assault on the playoffs, however a strong finish is still high on the agenda.

One positive piece of news to come at the end of this month sees me signing a new contract which was offered to me as my previous one was up at the end of the current season

http://i.imgur.com/BG6eyvJ.png
Looks like playoffs may just be out of reach but some good form lately!
Looks like playoffs may just be out of reach but some good form lately!
So then, into the last month of the season, could we keep up our good form to finish with a flourish?

http://i.imgur.com/XUkWJc6.png

In a word: NO!

Poor month to end the season, shocking performances against Macclesfield and Lincoln, threw away leads to draw against Barnet and Torquay, however performances much better, just suffered from lapses in concentration. Finished the season with a cracking game at Woking where we won 5-3, Ross Dyer taking his tally past 20 goals for the season, would have been interesting to see how we'd have done had he not missed 7 weeks through injury in the middle of the season.

Final Table:

http://i.imgur.com/s6z1Klg.png

Will let the playoffs be played, then I'll post a review of the season, notable performances and general squad performance.

Time to prepare for a strong 2015-16 season!!


EDIT:- Ross Dyer was recognised for his strong end to the season with the player of the month award for April
Season Review -2014/15

League - A solid 8th place finish was pleasing considering our pre season prediction was 13th, however once the team started to really gel together I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been had the players got going a little bit sooner.

FA Cup – Disappointing loss at the first game we played, the Fourth Qualifying Round, although it was against Lincoln, who finished 3rd in our league.

FA Trophy – Crashed out to lower league opposition, again at the first hurdle.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the season, exceeding expectations in the league, however the cup exits and lack of consistency are slight blemishes, however they are to be expected with the lack of squad depth I had, and also being part-time, did ourselves proud, finishing above teams working full time and possessing much larger budgets than we have.

Squad Performance:

http://i.imgur.com/Gy1xoIu.png

End of Season Awards:


http://i.imgur.com/bVdZOB5.png

http://i.imgur.com/dqC7rCH.png

http://i.imgur.com/NmFD8Ai.png
Nice work man. Love seeing lower league stories.

Do you play the same formation every game?
Nice work man. Love seeing lower league stories.

Do you play the same formation every game?


Tend to for most games, which I know leads to some predictability but found that it's the best way to fit my main players in, plus had limited squad depth in the first season so didn't necessarily have the resources to mix things up too much. Dabbled with a 3-5-2 for a time and got poor results, however as Maynard, Pearson and Marshall are 3 of my strongest players, I tried out a narrow 4-1-3-2 for a while which served me quite well. Bought Wes York in January, switched back to the 4-3-3 to get him in the team on the right hand side and that's coincided with our best run of form.
Tend to for most games, which I know leads to some predictability but found that it's the best way to fit my main players in, plus had limited squad depth in the first season so didn't necessarily have the resources to mix things up too much. Dabbled with a 3-5-2 for a time and got poor results, however as Maynard, Pearson and Marshall are 3 of my strongest players, I tried out a narrow 4-1-3-2 for a while which served me quite well. Bought Wes York in January, switched back to the 4-3-3 to get him in the team on the right hand side and that's coincided with our best run of form.


How did Scott Boden do for you?

I'm a Macclesfield fan see. He was quality for us last season in real life.
Did OK but nothing too special, started off fairly well, then tailed away a bit in the second half of the season, I'm keen to try and get him firing as I love him from what I've seen of us this season in real life (looks top class), but the form Ross Dyer had second half of season made him pretty undroppable!!
2015/16 Season Preview

So after a solid showing last season I was aiming to once again consolidate my position in this league, with one eye on pushing for the playoffs, however, considering we remain a part time club I believe it will be extremely hard to push for promotion as of yet as clubs with bigger squads and budgets, who train on a full time basis will prove to be too strong over the course of a long season.

Media Prediction: 9th

My two main concerns from last season were that I felt we lacked strength in the goalkeeper department, and also just in terms of general squad depth, whilst I was happy with the starting 11, I felt that if any of the team got long term injuries it would be extremely hard to replace them, with that in mind here is my summer transfer activity.

http://i.imgur.com/jdGdypU.png

As I am playing with attribute masking function switched on I found it extremely difficult to find players, meaning throughout the summer I had a huge number of trialists in and out of the club. However, I am more than happy with my signings, and whilst my first team squad remains the same size, it has a lot more strength in depth in terms of the quality of backup players, meaning rotation will be a bit easier this season.

Here are a couple of signings from this summer who I hope will really perform for us in the coming season.

http://i.imgur.com/ls57dBK.png

Goalkeeper signed from Leeds United, who spent last season on loan at Barnet, perfoming strongly to concede just 26 goals in 25 games. Hopefully a major upgrade on last seasons Goalkeepers.

http://i.imgur.com/94yqiAX.png

Young holding midfielder signed from Nottingham Forest, will add competition for captain Lois Maynard, and hopefully be a player who will grow over the coming seasons.

I wanted to really test the team out in pre season so I arranged 9 friendlies, mainly against strong opposition from higher on the league ladder.

http://i.imgur.com/zi5nKeT.png

We performed superbly.

Lost to Burnley by virtue of a 95th minute goal, plus played with 10 men between the 67th and 74th minute, and 9 men from the 75th minute onwards due to injuries after making all my substitutions.

Guiseley was a routine victory against a team from the league below.

Aston Villa sent a strong starting 11, and despite the scoreline looking fairly one-sided to the Premier League side, the match was actually a lot closer than it looks.

A 1-1 draw against Championship side Bradford was again reward for another strong and spirited performance.

Next up were Birmingham and my favourite match of pre-season, we dominated the Championship side throughout and came away with a well deserved 2-1 victory.

However, we then followed it up with a poor performance against Bolton, who totally outclassed us, however we did threaten on occasion but their extra quality proved too much.

Travelled to local side Brighouse Town as a morale booster and duly dispatched them 5-0, could have been a lot more but for the heroics of the Brighouse goalie.

Our parent club, Millwall from League 1, were next at The Shay and a 2-2 draw was another superb result after a strong performance, however disappointing not to win from 2-0 up, conceding the equaliser from a 94th minute corner.

Finished pre season with a tough tie at home to recently promoted Cardiff, although we lost 4-1 against a superb team, I was once again happy with the performance.

Overall feeling very positive going into the new season, after some strong signings, strong pre season performances against quality opposition, which also brought in some good gate receipts, helping to boost the clubs funds.
Like you said it was ok but nothing special, lets hope for some improvements next season!
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