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After waiting a while before starting my first FM16 career I have decided to start a save using my local club, Gresley FC and see what I can achieve with them. I have a full time job as well as a wife and eight month old daughter so I don't know how often I will be able to update, however I shall do my best to post at least every few days.


The club was founded in 1882 as Gresley Rovers FC, They initially played at the wonderfully named Mushroom Lane in nearby Albert Village which served as the base for their first campaign in the Burton-upon-Trent district league. The club enjoyed success in it's formative years and acquired a new ground on Church street in Swadlincote, Rovers eventually moved across the road in 1907 to construct the Moat ground which they still call home today, over a century later.
The Moat Ground, Swadlincote

Rovers's proudest moment came in 1991 when they stepped out beneath the twin towers of Wembley stadium for the FA Vase final against Guiseley in what is still regarded as one of the most exciting games to be played at the home of English football; After 31 minutes the score was Guiseley 3–0 Gresley, but Gresley came back and grabbed a dramatic equaliser in injury time at the end of the ninety minutes. Then in extra time gresley went 4–3 in front but this time it was Guiseley's turn to score a late equaliser as they leveled things in injury time at the end of the second half of extra time. Unfortunately the moatmen went down 3-1 in a replay at Bramall lane but this is still a performance the club can be justly proud of.

The lowest moment in the club's history came in 1997 when the club won the Dr.Martin's Premier League but was denied promotion to the National Conference due to financial restrictions preventing them from upgrading the Moat Ground to the required standard, Derby County kindly offered Gresley use of the Baseball ground which they had just vacated to move to Pride Park, however this move was blocked by the FA. This disappointment proved the beginning of the end for Rovers, a drop in attendances owing to the lack of opportunity to progress followed and just a year after winning the league the club was relegated. For a decade the club battled on through financial difficulties but was eventually liquidated in 2007.

The modern incarnation of the club- Gresley FC reformed in the East Midlands counties league where, under the management of club legend Gary Norton they finished runners up in 2009/10 and won promotion to the Midlands Alliance the following year, where they surprised many by securing back to back promotions on final day of the season. Gresley finished their first season in Evo-Stick Division one with a respectable 11th place finish. Norton decided to step down as joint manager of the first team at the end of the campaign in order to take up a directors position, leaving his assistant Martin Rowe in sole charge of the team, since then the Moatmen have continued to improve, finishing ninth in 2013/14 and making the play-off's in 2014/15 where they were defeated by Leek Town.


Gresley FC
East Midlands Counties League Champions 2010–11
Midland Football Alliance Champions 2011–12
Coalville Charity Cup Champions 2011-12

Gresley Rovers
Bass Charity Vase 1911, 1929, 1931, 1949, 1950, 1967, 1989
Millennium Cup Champions 1999–2000
Southern League Premier Division Champions 1996–97
Southern League Cup Runners Up 1993–94
Southern League Midland Division Runners Up 1992–93
FA Vase Runners Up 1990–91
West Midlands League Champions 1990–91, 1991–92
West Midlands League Runners Up 1985–86, 1988–89
West Midlands League Cup Winners 1988–89
West Midlands League Cup Runners Up 1986–87, 1991–92
Derbyshire Senior Cup Winners 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 2004–05
Derbyshire Senior Cup Runners Up 1956–57, 1969–70, 1999–2000, 2001–02
East Midlands League Champions 1967–68, 1969–70
Central Alliance Champions 1964–65, 1966–67
Central Alliance Cup Winners 1952–53
Leicestershire Senior League Champions 1900–01, 1946–47, 1947–48
Leicestershire Senior Cup Winners 1988–99, 1946–47
Coalville Charity Cup Winners 1946–47

As you can see I have a good foundation laid already for a promotion push, my challenge will be to help the team into the Northern Premier League and keep them there, and gradually build a squad capable of reaching the Conference Leagues to make up for the heartbreak that denied Rovers the same honour back in the 90's. The biggest priority is to save money, cash is hard to come by down in the basement divisions and we will need a nest egg should we ever reach my ambitions of Conference football.

Here is a quick look at my initial squad;


Captain Jamie Barrett is the only player with a written contract which helps with my money saving goals although it does leave us vulnerable to losing players without any compensation throughout the season which could jeopardise our chances on the pitch.
I have plenty of options in midfield, however both the defence and the forward line lack depth so strengthening those areas will be key, to start with I have set the team up in a 4-5-1 formation which should ensure we dominate most games in midfield, creating opportunities for the striker and the two wide men who will operate as inside forwards as well as remaining robust at the back, I hope to eventually be able to set up in my preferred 4-3-3 formation once I have found the right players to make it work at this level, although that could take a couple of seasons.

Gresley play in the Northern Premier League Division One South (a bit of a mouth full I know) which is at the eight tier of English football, here are the other teams in our division and their chances of promotion;

Supporters will be particuarly keen to see us finish above local rivals Coalville Town and Loughborough Dynamo who both play just across the county border in Leicestershire. as well as beating fellow Derbyshire outfit Belper.
The champions gain automatic promoton to the Norther Premier League and the teams between second and fifth play-off to join them. The bottom two are relegated.

My template for success will be that of another local club, Burton Albion, The Brewers are just five miles down the road and have enjoyed a phenomenal rise up the divisions having risen from the Northern Premier League (seventh tier) to League One (third tier) title challengers in just thirteen years.
Good luck mate
Marc Goodfellow should tear that league up!
Good luck with this Rick mate, will be following.
I do Hope this takes off this year! Good luck mate
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
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