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Discussion
I have decided to do one more career before the new game comes out. To be honest, I have been struggling to find motivation for FM recently so I hope this one can re-kindle my love for the game. I support Macclesfield in real life and love lower league football. For that reason I have decided to take over a side in the Conference and have chosen Braintree as the team to start my lower league career. In real life they had a great season and lost in the Play Off Semis to Grimsby.

They are predicted to finish 12th and to be honest, I would be happy with mid-table.

http://i.imgur.com/YGDV52T.png

I have not made too many signings this pre-season as I am quite happy with the squad that I have at my disposal. We have some good players who I will screenshot later but these three definitely add some depth to the squad.

Liam Marrs
http://i.imgur.com/ZdfTisL.png

Joins as our starting right back on a free transfer from Conference North side Boston United. He spent some of his youth career at Sunderland and hopefully can be a good player for us.

Fabian Spiess

http://i.imgur.com/OO4Tk3g.png

Also joins from Boston and will become our starting goalkeeper. Still a young lad but I feel he will be a good asset for us at this level.

Harry Crawford
http://i.imgur.com/j7ALhlm.png

Signed on a free transfer from fellow Conference side Dover Athletic. Can either play up top or just behind the front man. Good player for this level. The season is about to start but I will post my key players soon.
These are the three players that I am most excited about. Obviously when the season starts, I will post more screenies of any players who impress.

Matt Paine
http://i.imgur.com/V2Yfioz.png

My starting centre back and a player who is an absolute beast at this level. He hasn't got enough pace to progress any higher but should be a good asset for us in both boxes. Expecting a big season from this lad.

Daniel Sparkes
http://i.imgur.com/yJS0aA4.png

Can play on either wing and he's the highest valued player in the squad. A good age and can only improve with the more football he gets. Hopefully can chip in with a few goals for me, cutting in from the left wing.

Simeon Akinola
http://i.imgur.com/y8VhLKK.png

The key man for me up top and a player who I am setting a 20 goal target for. His pace will hurt players in this league and I am sure despite his finishing not being geat, that he can be a star for me. He will be my main striker this season.
Always follow your careers @Fola and this'll be no different. Would love you do a Macclesfield career though when FM17 comes out.
8th August 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 1.
http://i.imgur.com/D2l1N9e.png

Starting XI: Spiess; Marrs, Paine, Miller*, Habergham; Edgar, Davis ©**, Woodyard, Sparkes; Cheek***, Akinola.
Subs: Phillips*, Isaac, Brundle**, Crawford***, Marks.

My first game as Braintree manager ended with a fantastic away win against Chester. Admittedly we looked shaky at the back but we were brilliant up top. Akinola's pace caused havoc up top and he managed to come away with a brace. Sparkes and Edgar were brilliant for me on the wings and all in all, it was a great win. We just need to sort the defence out and we'll be sorted.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Daniel Sparkes (9.0)
League Position: 2nd
Next Opponent: Lincoln City (H)
11th August 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 2.
http://i.imgur.com/VwGknW8.png

Starting XI: Spiess; Marrs, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Edgar, Davis ©, Woodyard*, Sparkes; Cheek***, Akinola***.
Subs: Phillips, Isaac*, Brundle, Crawford**, Marks***.

Really poor performance added by a poor defeat in our first home game of the season. We failed to muster any real chances in front of goal which was disappointing. Also to add insult to injury SImeon Akinola was forced off with a bruised thigh and has ben ruled out for 2 weeks. His replacement Harry Crawford also was injured and is ruled out for 2 months with a sprained ankle. We face a strong Tranmere side next, think I may go for 5 in midfield and try and scrape a draw.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Matt Paine (7.1)
League Position: 10th
Next Opponent: Tranmere Rovers (H)
12th August 2015
http://i.imgur.com/vhuhH7Z.png

This wasn't really expecting. Sparkes came to me stating that he wants to play League Two football and that he didn't believe he could get it here. Tried to talk him round but no luck. He will be gone if we get an acceptable bid on the table.
15th August 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 3.
http://i.imgur.com/Ms78E7e.png

Starting XI: Spiess; Marrs, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Edgar, Davis ©, Woodyard*, Isaac**, Sparkes; Marks***.
Subs: Banner, Phillips, Brundle*, Gardner**, Cheek***.

Frustrating result but Tranmere are a good side. I went for five in midfield to try and overload them but it didn't really work. Sean Marks found the scoresheet but was then ruled off through injury and has been ruled out for 2 weeks. We only have one fit striker now for our next match against Bromley and that is Michael Cheek who isn't the best. Need to stop these run of defeats.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Sean Marks (6.9)
League Position: 19th
Next Opponent: Bromley (A)
18th August 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 4.
http://i.imgur.com/vmKzdWb.png

Starting XI: Spiess; Marrs, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Isaac, Davis ©, Woodyard, Edgar*; Sparkes; Cheek.
Subs: Banner, Phillips, Brundle, Gardner*, Cole.

On paper a draw away from home and a clean sheet is a good result. But to be honest, we should of definitely won this one. With Akinola, Marks and Crawford ruled out we had to go for Cheek up top alongside Sparkes who is naturally a left winger. We had a three or four clear cut chances which we should of definitely put away. I will look at bringing in a new striker on loan if possible.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Alex Woodyard (7.8)
League Position: 16th
Next Opponent: Southport (H)
21st August 2015
http://i.imgur.com/sb2EPfo.png

Decided to spend my whole transfer budget on a new goalkeeper. Mitch Walker joins us from fellow Conference side Dover. He cost an initial fee of £20k and after fifty league appearances the fee can rise to just over £80k. Fabien Speiss looked a bit shaky for me and I am hoping Walker can be a key man for me for many years. He's only 23 so should have a good future ahead of him.

http://i.imgur.com/dnWlJYO.png
22nd August 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 5.
http://i.imgur.com/lG1DX2w.png

Starting XI: Walker; Marrs, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Edgar*, Isaac**, Davis ©, Woodyard, Sparkes; Cheek***.
Subs: Spiess, Phillips, Brundle*, Gardner**, Cole***.

Clean sheet and a win, that will do. I changed the formation in this match due to all of the injuries we have had to our front men. Isaac, Davis and Woodyard were my three men in the centre of midfield and they dominated for me. Youngster George Cole came off the bench to make his professional debut and grabbed us the win. Fantastic win and onto the next one. Nice to see new signing Mitch Walker keep a clean sheet on his debut too.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Sam Habergham (7.6)
League Position: 12th
Next Opponent: Welling (A)
Thanks for the comment @Shedender, glad to know that you will be reading. I will see about the Macclesfield save when FM17 comes out. It's strange but I can never get into it when I manage Macc for some reason, Braintree will have to do for now .
Best of luck with this lad.
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



29th August 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 6.
http://i.imgur.com/Immk1VZ.png

Starting XI: Walker; Marrs, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Edgar, Davis ©, Woodyard*, Sparkes**; Cheek***, Akinola.
Subs: Spiess, Phillips, Isaac*, Gardner**, Cole***.

Another clean sheet and another win, this time thanks to Michael Cheek's first goal of the season. Cheek is a brilliant target man at this level, he's 6ft 7' and is an absolute beast in the air. SImeon Akinola came back from injury and started alongside Cheek. It was Akinola's pace that hurt the Welling defence and he crossed in for Cheek to head home. Really happy to see Walker grab another clean sheet also.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Remy Clerima (7.6)
League Position: 9th
Next Opponent: Aldershot (H)
31st August 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 7.
http://i.imgur.com/lEr7LZe.png

Starting XI: Walker; Marrs, Paine, Clerima*, Habergham; Edgar, Davis ©**, Woodyard, Sparkes; Cheek***, Akinola.
Subs: Spiess, Phillips*, Isaac**, Cole, Marks***.

Four matches in a row now without conceding a goal which is absolutely brilliant. We should of probably grabbed a win here but happy to come away with a point. Akinola and Cheek seem to be linking well up top which is pleasing, lets se how this works out. The transfer window is just about to close and I can't see myself bringing in any new players; quite happy with the squad.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Alex Woodyard (7.2)
League Position: 9th
Next Opponent: Kidderminster (A)
5th September 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 8.
http://i.imgur.com/rc7PCfI.png

Starting XI: Walker; Marrs, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Edgar, Davis ©, Woodyard, Sparkes; Cheek*, Akinola.
Subs: Spiess, Miller, Isaac*, Cole, Marks.

Terrible performance topped by a terrible result. It's a real shame as we had been on a really good run recently but we well and truly deserved to lose this one. We didn't have many chances and were outclassed all over. Bring on the next one.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Liam Marrs (6.8)
League Position: 12th
Next Opponent: Barrow (H)
12th September 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 9.
http://i.imgur.com/BLwCxTX.png

Starting XI: Walker; Marrs, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Edgar*, Davis ©**, Woodyard, Sparkes; Marks***, Akinola.
Subs: Spiess, Miller, Isaac*, Strutton**, Cheek***.

Second consecutive two nil loss, this time against a strong Barrow side. We actually played much better this match and probably deserved to come away with a point. It was also pleasing to see Charlie Strutton make his first appearance of the season. He has been injured recently and gives us more options up top. Strutton had a chance to gain us a draw but his header hit the post before Barrow scored late on.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Alex Woodyard (7.5)
League Position: 15th
Next Opponent: Dover (A)
13th September 2015
http://i.imgur.com/RI7yl8N.png

Real shame as he's been really consistent for us at right back this season.
15th September 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 10.
http://i.imgur.com/ZhtbxM9.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Paine, Clerima, Habergham; Isaac, Davis ©*, Woodyard, Sparkes; Strutton**, Akinola***.
Subs: Spiess, Miller, Edgar*, Marks**, Cheek***.

Now that's more like it. Solid win away with against Dover which saw us stop the run of defeats. I decided to drop right winger Anthony Edgar and replace him with wide midfielder Chez Isaac and it paid off as he put us ahead. Simeon Akinola scored his third goal of the season before Stefan Payne grabbed a goal back for Dover. The second half was quite uneventful while Dover rarely threatened.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Daniel Sparkes (8.1)
League Position: 13th
Next Opponent: Altrincham (A)
15th September 2015 - Vanarama Conference - League Table
http://i.imgur.com/9QL4bOZ.png

Five points off Play Offs and six points off relegation after ten games gone. Quite happy with how it's going so far.
19th September 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 11.
http://i.imgur.com/O6FFFGd.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Paine, Miller, Habergham; Edgar, Davis ©, Woodyard*, Isaac, Sparkes**; Akinola***.
Subs: Spiess, Clerima, Strutton, Marks, Cheek.

Really good win against an in-form Altrincham side. We also went down to ten men and had to play the majority of the second half a man down after Chez Isaac was sent off for two bookable offences. Went for the five in midfield and it worked fantastically. Anthony Edgar's goal came of some great work from left back Sam Habergham who is on top form at the moment. We face a strong Woking side next.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Sam Habergham (7.9)
League Position: 12th
Next Opponent: Woking (H)
22nd September 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 12.
http://i.imgur.com/ATyiWkG.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Clerima, Miller, Habergham; Sparkes, Davis ©*, Paine, Woodyard, Edgar; Akinola**.
Subs: Spiess, Brundle*, Strutton**, Marks, Cheek.

Three wins on the bounce after a great win against a tough Woking side. Made a few tactical changes for this one and pushed Matt Paine forward from centre back to be an anchor man in front on the back four and it worked well. Sparkes and Edgar played as inside forward, with Sparkes on the right, cutting onto his left and vice-versa with Edgar. Both managed to get on the scoresheet and played really well. Lets hope this form can continue.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Daniel Sparkes (9.0)
League Position: 9th
Next Opponent: Guiseley (H)
26th September 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 13.
http://i.imgur.com/rJktyMq.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips ©, Clerima, Miller*, Habergham; Sparkes, Isaac, Paine**, Woodyard, Edgar; Akinola***.
Subs: Spiess, Brundle*, Strutton**, Marks, Cheek***.

Wow. I was not expecting that. I changed the tactic round after our win against Woking as I thought we could take the game to Guiseley but it completely back fired and we were battered. The score line makes it sound like we were in the game and we weren't. Chez Isaac scored a screamer and Charlie Strutton scored his first goal of the season but they were the only positives.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Chez Isaac (8.3)
League Position: 11th
Next Opponent: Eastleigh (A)
28th September 2015

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

Kurtis Guthrie has joined us on a three month loan from fellow Vanarama Conference side Forest Green Rovers. He has yet to feature this season and is currently out injured for 2 weeks with a strained stomach muscle. We don't have to pay any of his wages and he offers us good cover on either wing or up top. Simeon Akinola has been out of form of late so Guthrie could be a good back up. He can finish, good in the air and he's quite pacey so should be an asset for us.

http://i.imgur.com/oqlu70E.png
3rd October 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 14.
http://i.imgur.com/JmqjV2U.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Clerima*, Paine, Habergham; Sparkes, Isaac, Davis ©, Woodyard, Edgar**; Akinola.
Subs: Miller*, Brundle, Strutton**, Crawford, Cheek.

Another battering and another game where I got the tactics all wrong. I looked again to take the game to Eastleigh where we should of set up defensive and maybe we could of grabbed a goal from somewhere. We weren't really in this game at any point and deserved to lose. We face Cheltenham next which will be another tough match for us.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Kenny Davis (7.6)
League Position: 13th
Next Opponent: Cheltenham (A)
6th October 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 15.
http://i.imgur.com/a0gmQJc.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Miller, Paine, Habergham; Edgar, Isaac*, Davis ©, Woodyard, Sparkes**; Akinola***.
Subs: Clerima, Guthrie*, Strutton, Crawford**, Cheek***.

Stopped the rot of heavy defeats with a good draw away at Cheltenham. We actually played really well and Micheal Cheek could of won it for us near the end but his header hit the car. We set up defensively with Kenny Davis playing behind Akinola in the forward positions. We face second placed Grimsby next so that will be a tough one

Braintree Man Of The Match: Matt Paine (7.6)
League Position: 12th
Next Opponent: Grimsby (H)
10th October 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 16.
http://i.imgur.com/ZGCF4de.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Miller, Paine, Habergham; Edgar*, Isaac**, Davis ©, Woodyard, Sparkes; Akinola***.
Subs: Clerima, Guthrie*, Strutton, Crawford**, Cheek***.

Brilliant result as we came away with a draw against high flying Grimsby. We more than held our own in this match and had our own chances to win this one. We haven't scored for three matches now so obviously that needs to change but overall, really happy with how we're defending at the moment.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Alex Woodyard (7.6)
League Position: 13th
Next Opponent: Dover (H)
13th October 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 17.
http://i.imgur.com/UFLoaQu.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Clerima, Paine, Habergham; Isaac, Davis ©, Woodyard, Sparkes*; Akinola**, Cheek***.
Subs: Fry*, Guthrie**, Strutton, Crawford, Edgar***.

For the second time this season we have managed to beat Dover by two goals to one. Kurtis Guthrie was the star for me as he came off the bench to win us the game and get Man Of The Match. Fully deserved win and hopefully we can take this form to the next game. We are currently sitting comfortably in mid table which is pleasing, just hope we can keep up this form.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Kurtis Guthrie (8.2)
League Position: 12th
Next Opponent: Lincoln (A)
17th October 2015 - Vanarama Conference - Matchday 18.
http://i.imgur.com/0bw3I55.png

Starting XI: Walker; Phillips, Fry, Paine, Habergham; Isaac, Davis ©, Woodyard, Sparkes; Guthrie, Cheek*.
Subs: Clerima, Akinola*, Strutton, Crawford, Edgar.

Didn't deserve anything out of this one. We looked lacklustre all over the pitch and rarely threatened the Lincoln goal. Our inconsistency in the league is very frustrating. We have the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup next against Conference South side Bath. I would love a Cup run so hopefully we can turn up for that one.

Braintree Man Of The Match: Alex Woodyard (6.9)
League Position: 13th
Next Opponent: Bath (H)
Thanks for the comment @Shedender, glad to know that you will be reading. I will see about the Macclesfield save when FM17 comes out. It's strange but I can never get into it when I manage Macc for some reason, Braintree will have to do for now .


I know the feeling. I have always find it hard to manage my team (AIK in Sweden), at least the first couple of season due to the commitment and feelings towards to the players.

Will be following this of course! Good luck with Braintree!
Nice and simple updates which make this a fun story to read! Good luck and keep it up.
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