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Time for another crack at this.

@Shedender - When you play on a pitch shaped like this, anything is possible.





The boy dun' good! Ben Woodburn's first month results in the player of the month accolade for February.


Our wingers also gain recognition on top of Woodburn as George Sandford and Ron Lemar make the cut for team of the month.



The rescheduled fixture produced the accustomed result. Done and dusted by half time with the two 'Burn' suffixed players scoring within the same minute, Ron Lemar proved why he featured in TOTM by rallying in a free kick for trois zéro. Fixture congestion allowed room for Daniel Tanti to get the odd start and boy was it regretful; two yellows in seven minutes to be sent off and sent straight into the 'Set For Release' pile. For all of Llangefni's efforts, Wardle had a straightforward game. Zoning in on the prize.


Stuart Lee doesn't start many games, how glad was I to risk him in our biggest game of the season. 24 seconds is all it took to unscrew Bala's watertight game plan, Lee left two defenders in the dust to compose himself and finish past Jimmy Reed with gusto. The second was a stroke of luck, a poor kick out by Reed allowed us to push on again with D'Ath pulling the trigger, cannoning off their defender and left Lee to smash it first time into the roof of the net. Bala put the pressure on in the second half but it didn't culminate to anything, Paddy Gamble hitting the bar was as close as they came. A potential title clincher?


Dishing the punishment once again on Llangefni, despite the Dazzlers giving it a good tug of war. Levi Duckett is always the highlighted danger man for Llangefni, wouldn't we know it we again failed to pick him up to give the visitors a surprise lead. Ticking towards half time it looked hopeless only for an own goal, a brief respite, then Molyneaux returned from injury to reach the big 3-0th for the season. The injury lay off made him malleable as ever, a second goal ensured victory despite conceding a cheap pen that Einion Kane put away. Announce title?


Good news in seeing Yates back to full traini...


..never mind.


First youth intake was...dire. As much as I appreciate someone with St Vincent & The Grenadines heritage, everyone is pretty garbage in this intake.



Nine points from nine this month and a big step towards glory in Wales. Molyneaux wasn't even missed tbh.



Three games to go, a five point gap but not quite there yet. My calculations are just one more win and a draw will be good enough. Goal difference is a huge plus on top of that if it resorts to it.

NEXT UPDATE: April/May 2033



Third manager of the month award this season, hardly even a contest this March.



Just when we were about to get the heebie jeebies of Bala breathing down our necks, Matt Molyneaux bails us out of jail to put us one step closer. Two former colleagues combined to rewrite the script after just three minutes, Adam Evans crossing for timid striker Zyaac Whitehouse to pounce and succeed to send shivers down at the away end. Wayne Wilson thundered an effort off the bar towards the end of the half, but made amends to uncover an equaliser on the counter, also securing his 50th career goal. Going for the win was the objective, but one step forward takes two steps back - Einion Ingram forcing one in from a corner. Cometh the hour, cometh the man; Matt Molyneaux risks one from the edge of the area and the power was enough to tuck it underneath Matt Crowe to erupt the travelling Saints support. Fortunately for Bala, they won 2-0 at home to Llangefni to close the gap to two.


We are really making it hard for ourselves, resigning ourselves to defeat at Bangor City. Languished heavily in the first half, hardly containing The Citizens and deservedly fell behind through a stupid penalty given away by Adrian Greengrass. Cataclysmic defending was our downfall for the second, no alertness to clear the follow up of a Bangor effort off the crossbar, allowing a simple tap in for Watkins to put us in a real disposition while news reverberated around the ground that Bala were leading Connah's Quay at the break. An inspiring team talk fueled a revival, Molyneaux had an effort parried by the keeper but only to Woodburn who stuffed it in to hand us a fighting chance. Nope. Ken Palmer is a total bane in this save, having the freedom of the 18 yard area to place a shot past Wardle to put the game out of reach. Stuart Lee powered in a second back, but time was against us to rescue it. It goes to the final day of the season.


Pandemonium! Bala have choked at Connah's Quay! All after leading 2-1 at the break, Zyaac Whitehouse and Daniel Todd do the business and cause a huge swing in the race for the Welsh Premier league on the final day.


TNS play Bala on the final day, with the Lakesiders requiring a 22 goal swing to win the league. Still, with our recent form I wouldn't put it past us.


Short one more midfielder, Godbold ruled out of the last game because he can't lift.


Never in doubt. WELSH PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!!...however ending the season with back to back defeats is not the scenario I pictured the celebrations. Shutting them out was our game plan and with a dull first 45 minutes elapsed and Bala needing at least 11 goals, we have clear blue water between us. Wayne Wilson, on what could be his final TNS appearance made it special with help from the post. Of course it sparked Bala into life; Jimmy Gayle the quote unquote hero to reverse the scoreline in Bala's favour. Not that it mattered too much to us, ending the season with a defeat is a bitter pill to swallow. Who cares? The Saints go marching in!




Shocker of a second half leaves us licking our wounds and crashing out of the Welsh Cup. Perhaps our minds were distracted with the league but was no excuse, capitulating after Sandford's opener via Max Neal's cross. Defenders are so needed over the summer, Alan Jones I swear could've walked it in if he had any more space to level the game going into the dressing rooms for half time. Wardle was at fault for the goal which unraveled the ties, air punching while Turley already headed in. It got worse and worse from there on in, two more from Jones ensured a hat-trick and a miserable one way ticket home to Oswestry. No treble this season.


Ha! Bala finish trophyless after being stunned on penalties by Barry for their first cup win in thirty years and play European football for the first time since their reformation. Ben Woodburn caused a storm in the cup (not the figure of speech), top goalscorer and top assist maker after only coming in in January. Would have been nice to go for the treble but delighted for Barry who bubbled under the radar this season.



What an absolute...covfefe. Couldn't come up with a strong enough word to describe how sh*t our last four games of the season turned out to be.




TNS winning the league should be incredibly mundane to a lot of people, but in the recent rise of Bala in the bid to knock them off their throne, this is a glorious title winning season for us. I did joke earlier about the league coming down to goal difference...well it was our safeguard to how the season panned out coming to the climax, far superior to Bala's who did their best to match our points tally. Finished quite a distance ahead of Bangor City in third who didn't even make Europe, instead that went to Airbus UK via EL playoffs and also join Barry in Europe next season. Rhyl were relegated for quite some time, Port Talbot were the second team to fall through that trapdoor.

NEXT UPDATE: Postseason 2032/33



Matt Molyneaux's rampant forward performances earned the fans' vote as player of the season, probably deservedly so too. In fact the top three were members of our front line with Matt Blackburn a close second and Wayne Wilson, despite publicly admitting he wants to leave the club took third place. For all the momentous goals scored, Gardner's top corner strike in the Welsh Cup to Goytre United took precedence amongst our fans. Matt Blackburn secured both young player and signing of the season, the former West Ham trainee notched up 25 goals and 22 assists in 40 games in a blistering debut season. Credit to my predecessor, Karl Mercieca for that signing.



I reiterate the point that Matt Molyneaux has only SEVEN finishing, goal tally of 31 for the season even with a few weeks out is spectacular. Pass completion of 87% too for a striker is solid and shows perhaps that our midfield may need some tweaks. Stuart Lee played often in a rotation system but was another crucial piece to the puzzle and in 32 games averaged almost 7.5 which is no mean feat at all. Blackburn mentioned previously had a hand in 22 goals plus 25 of his own work, but not only that, he also grabbed most man of the match awards with seven to impressively blaze through his first season in a TNS shirt. A big contrast to how discipline works here compared to Malta, barely put a foot wrong with suspensions apart from Gould being a little careless. D'Ath's red came in the Fenerbahce game back in the previous August, to my knowledge we didn't receive a single red card since then.


Not quite the triple whammy, but a league and cup double will do just as well. Pretty bummed that the fans didn't consider the 8-0 thumping of Porthmadog as result of the season but perhaps the 5-0 home atmosphere was more memorable. Our first defeat of the season to Llangefni wasn't ideal and perhaps we'd have gone completely unbeaten this season if it weren't for that.


A player in each position in team of the year. Yates was a surprise in goal, not picking up one spot in any teams of the month and only fifth best clean sheets tally of 11. Julian Shenton featured as centre back, Ron Lemar on the right wing and up top with Matt Blackburn. Media bias against Molyneaux strikes again.


A season to remember it turns out for Matt Blackburn, taking the coveted WPL Player of the Season award.


To conclude, I took Manager of the Season to tick off my first personal award in my career.

NEXT UPDATE: Preseason 2033/34





Lots of personnel didn't make the retained list. Wayne Wilson is the big name to depart after making his feelings clear about leaving for a bigger club. James Godbold is a surprising exit too, but his agent's demands were not cost-efficient. Greg Wardle, Max Neal and Daniel Tanti also released with the remainder being dead wood. No ins as of yet, focusing more about pumping money into the club.


On the subject of maximizing profit, we made a substantial amount over the course of the year to dig us out of a £200k debt-hole and become a lot more solvent.


Just what the banker ordered, fresh sponsorship deals for the 2033/34 season with a new kit sponsor of JD Sports. Kit manufacturer remains with Legea.




Pretty much identical to the previous season, still rather restricted with the budgets.


Back to normality, Bala's time in the limelight perhaps coming to a standstill.




Oh boy...my previous employers.



So lethargic and were almost no match for Valletta, we were desperately lucky to get a result. An influx of Brazilians came to Valletta following my departure and ran rings around us in the first half. Wayne Wilson clocked out of The Saints dressing room with a last hurrah delivering a 25 yard driller into cancel out Camilleri's opener. The Maltese visitors continued the trend of dominating, hitting the bar twice before Marco converted a penalty to hand them two away goals. Coupled with Theuma's red card, we were blessed with a former signing cocking up on the mainstage to restore parity as Zanel got in the wrong position to clear Ron Lemar's cross to divert the ball into his own net. Rubbish performance in front of the home crowd and with two away goals, Valletta are favourites to take the second leg.



All aboard the emotional rollercoaster, Theresa May's campaign was more stable than our defence. Both sides were guilty of mistakes in the first half, statuesque defending on our part while Valletta had communication attenuation with an own goal from Mauritanian international Mohamed Beguily leveling the tie on aggregate. Marco fired in again to hand the Malteasers the lead for a third time with us squirming to try turn the tie around in our favour. Then came the decisive moment, Blackburn fouled just inside the area for a last ditch penalty, Woodburn had ice in his veins to put us ahead on away goals. Molyneaux made absolutely sure as the clock hit 90 minutes to come away with the aggregate win. So very lucky.



Promnesia as we draw Azerbaijani champions Qarabağ again. Will we go one step further?



Wow, talk about ez pz. Were these the same guys we played last season? Looks like they stumbled out of the plane in a daze as we cruise to a first leg victory. Two from Woodburn and a rather fortunate Ron Lemar free kick diverted into the opposite corner with help from the Qarabağ wall. Zero shots from the men in black and now leaves us odds on favourites to progress, but securing an away goal in Azerbaijan may be easier said than done.



Mirror image of the first leg, though Qarabağ did actuallyhave the bottle to manage a shot on goal. We knew one goal would be enough to seize it, Russell Gardner applied it from the edge of the D with the keeper completely helpless to only parry it in faster. Molyneaux actually used his head for a change to guide in the second goal from Lemar's cross before Lemar scored a carbon copy free kick from the first leg to send us flying through. Streets ahead in quality from the Valletta battle.



The Grobari hooligans meet the Welsh minnows in the next round.


In other news (big news too), a takeover looms and places an embargo on transfers just as I were about to delve into the market.



Bala emerge as early favourites for the league at 2-1, ahead of us at only a measly 11-4 which remains the same as last season. Prestatyn and Haverfordwest are the new boys to the division.

NEXT UPDATE: August 2033



So much for that, glad we can finally buy players. Oh, that's right we still don't have a budget.




Made a good stab at it, but the Serbian powerhouses stood stronk. Three at the back were no match for two lightning quick attacking wingers. Opancina's composure aided a comfortable first after Yates sprung quick off his line, but a tad late to no avail. The second oozed confidence, 18 year old centre back Macuzic didn't even need to hit it with his laces from 25 yards out and just placed a low sidefooter home. Molyneaux had our best opportunity for an away goal but the ball came at him awkwardly, hitting it wide from six yards out. The odds are stacked against us going to the Greenhous Meadow.



We've only gone and bloody done it! From looking down and out through Opacina's opening away goal to suddenly showing a proper tussle with two Ben Woodburn strikes in a matter of seconds. The half time team talk needed to be golden, 36 seconds after the restart it produced the optimal reaction. Ron Lemar fantastically shrugged off left back Goran Petrovic, squared to Molyneaux and put two & two together to bring the match back to only a solitary goal with away goals still favouring Partizan. Petrovic getting mugged off certainly rattled his cage, seeing red with just under half an hour left with the momentum firmly with us. Partizan's capitulation was complete in the last ten minutes through a game of head tennis from a corner to where the keeper stupidly came out to punch and missed miserably to watch Ron Lemar's effort trickle in. Contained ourselves to hang on for a famous comeback. One opponent away from the Champions League group stages.


Ron Lemar had a stormer on the right, think we know who's responsible for that.



From one set of hooligans to another, UltrAslan beware.



So near, yet so far away; our valiant efforts fell just short of the target. Yates played a blinder in goal, dramatically saving a penalty but conceding twice in very sticky situations; one at the very near post by Kodjo and a free header for Aykut Pezmezci. George Sandford headed in an unlikely equaliser in between all that, but The Saints bit off more they could chew. Unless we perform Jesus Christ miracles in the second leg we won't be seeing the CL group stages.



Greeted by the intimidating red walls of pyrotechnics at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, Gala roadblock our Champions League journey with a confident performance to put us to sleep. The defensive three left a gaping hole for Yazici to capitalize to put the game far out of reach. Matt Molyneaux had a rather eventful game; belted in the equaliser but perhaps his frustration levels tipped over the edge after Pekmezci returned the lead to Galatasaray to see red in card form from the refs notebook. Left a bitter taste to what was a heroic effort from the Welsh club, but it does mean we slide into the Europa League group stages.


Earning the big bucks. *palm rubbing intensifies*




Considering teams like Dortmund, Chelsea and Benfica were lurking in the first pots this was pretty much a best case scenario. That being said, Lazio, RB Salzburg and Sparta Praha will be tough tests of our abilities.



Back to the dreary 9-5 shift in the domestic leagues, starting with a run of the mill win over Aberystwyth. Molyneaux picked up where he left off last season, banging in his first hat-trick of potentially many this season, Woodburn swept in a fourth for good measure. Rather concerning that 66% of the home side's shots hit the back of the net and begs the question - do I need better defenders? Plenty of time in the transfer window to think about it.


This game exemplifies my point even more as we succumbed to a draw when we really should have rope tied and strung this game by the balls. A Woodburn tap in and a typical instinctive finish by Molyneaux had Bala second guessing themselves before we totally blew our cover. Paddy Gamble is a nuisance to us lately, pulling one back before half time after feeding off a wide cross to give the visitors a grip and moments into the second half Yates made another monumental mistake at coming out for a 50/50 ball, allowing Gamble to caress the ball into an empty net with his head. Counted our lucky stars that we didn't fall behind with the post denying Alan Jones what would have been an unforgivable collapse.




Another 8-4 anybody?



Surely no coincidence that my 500th game in management would result in a five goal win at the Airfield? Matt Blackburn got the nod over a rather worn out Molyneaux in between a cluster of games and is making a compelling case on becoming a constant in the team with a delightful hat-trick. Airbus looked far more laboured than in recent performances and took control with further goals from Woodburn and Sandford dipped his toe in from a tight angle. The first game of our cup defence begins in gleaming fashion.



Of course.



A lot more games than we're used to with the whirlwind of European football but the positivity continues to emanate despite the Galatasaray defeats. Without doubt the Partizan comeback takes a special place in my heart. Spoiled for choice with our strikers being in superb form; Blackburn, Woodburn and Molyneaux scoring 14 goals combined this month.



Very early days, but we would have been top if we didn't choke up in the Bala game. Loooong way to go.


Earning £5mill in a month needs some worthy reinvestment internally. Welsh teams need to get on our level after this completion.


Been a good while since I've had a window of opportunity to fully complete my coaching qualifications. Took nearly five attempts at three other clubs too to finally grant this request.


Committed for another two years in the meantime, at least until a good job comes along.

NEXT UPDATE: September 2033





After becoming so engrossed in European football, transfer business was bottom of the priorities list so inevitably we played a game of deadline day 'supermarket sweep' to grab some signatures. Resorted to the loan market due to transfer funds being cut to the nub, but one player does come in on a permanent deal.


Marat Kalmykov - D(C)/D(L) - free transfer from Airbus UK

One who caught my eye in recent encounters with Airbus, giving us another option in defence. Six foot six with an 88kg build of Soviet muscle, bear hugs attackers and speaks a good bit of Russian as he's half Kazakh. Has a long way to go for his technical development, but at 19 plenty of time for him to become a staple in the TNS defensive system.


Barry Gillan - M(R) - six month loan from Partick Thistle

With Max Neal exiting this summer, nobody was in line to replace Ron Lemar on the right wing. Rummaged through the Scottish market to find this worthy rotation option. Lightning quick with good technique and decent crossing - fits the profile nicely.


James Harvey - D(C) - season long loan from West Ham

Yet another centre back, taking that tally up to six capable starters. East London boy with a lot of 'Green Street' in him judging by his strong bravery, aggression and obviously his strength. Unfortunately he'll be out for a few weeks but won't be long before he'll brew up a storm if someone steps in his way. Wouldn't exactly want to square up to him in a pub in case he's packed a knife.


Andy Hyde - M(C) - season long loan from Hull City

The core of the midfield is screaming out for a playmaker and former TNS loanee Andy Hyde returns to fill in for another spell. Passing, technique, vision, decision making and first touch all exemplary for the Welsh Premier. Physically might lack a bit, nevertheless an exciting recruitment.


Phil Plummer - GK - season long loan from Blackburn Rovers

Rivalling Sam Yates for the number one goalkeeper position and best hair in the squad; more or less the same sort of player to Yates, being far more agile, better mentally sculpted but just that little slower and two inches shorter (in the height department at least). Would not recommend him unclogging your loo despite his surname.


Praise the Lord, senpai noticed Molyneaux for his contributions and takes player of the month for August.


In fact he was the only Saints player listed in team of the month.



Not quite the 8-0 thumping like last season, but convincing nonetheless away to Porthmadog. Ben Woodburn was the cog that kept turning in a well oiled machine, having a hand in each of the four goals. Hat-trick of assists to set up Blackburn and Holmes to lead 2-0 at the break and by the first five minutes of the second half the game was buried, setting up D'Ath for number three before slotting away a penalty for a place on the scoresheet. Loveridge pulled one back to burst the bubble of a potential clean sheet, though meaningless in the context of the final result.


Reports of a forest fire n the vicinity of Oswestry...no, that's just Woodburn blazing up again with a hat-trick of goals this time to take down Haverfordwest, marking the occasion with his 100th career goal in the process. Number of debutants also stepped up; Andy Hyde set up the first for Molyneaux and Phil Plummer between the sticks was rock solid albeit conceding a superbly struck effort by Tom Jones (it's not unusual for him though). Barry Gillan was disappointingly quiet on the right despite a 6.9, however his replacement Ron Lemar came off the bench to make the instant impact by setting up the fourth goal. Routine win.


Wasn't all good news, Sandford misses out for the first and potentially the second Europa League group game later in the month.


Disgusted, this should have been three in the bag but fell flat on our faces to Barry. Conceding an early penalty put us in bother as Aled Murray nudged the visitors in front. Frustration mounted as with only 7 shots on target from 28 our finishing was disastrous. Unluckily we were denied by the woodwork thrice in seven minutes, Blackburn guilty for two of them. I was heavily critical about Gillan in relation to the Haverfordwest game and it seemed to resonate with him, providing a moment of brilliance to dart inside using fantastic off the ball movement and anticipation to place himself at the far post for a tap in via a cross from the left hand side, handing us a deserved equaliser. Fans couldn't be happy with a draw from this.




Bala's intimidation tactics unfazed us as we strolled to a comfortable win, booking a place in the semis of the league cup. 82% (9/11) shots on target ratio for us compared to 22% (4/18) for them was the key statistic as quality finishing defeated quantity of half chances. Louis Wheeler is definitely making a case on the left while Sandford is nursing his injury; performed buoyantly throughout and squared twice for Matt Blackburn on top of a powerful header from Joe Thomas to open the scoring, plus a rare start handed to Stuart Lee didn't disappoint to leave the Lakesiders floundering. Once or twice liable to a potential fightback, but Plummer in goal did a sterling job.



A repeat of last year's final, though in the semi final stages.





Great welcome into our debut European group stage encounter as RB Salzburg went in no rubber to dish out heavy punishment. It's actually comes as no surprise with the Austrian Bundesliga skyrocketing in league reputation, and also the calibre of players spawning and signing for such teams. Despite Yates saving an early penalty, we were no match for them; Pfeifer bagged a brace along with Focht to trail 3-0 at the break while Majstorovic and sub Josic finished the job. Barely threatened the keeper and were completely isolated up front. Not the fairytale start we anticipated.



It was more damage limitation at home to the most likely opponent to achieve a result against. We were stretched too easily for the only goal of the game as Tomas Necas was unmarked to head in from a quick tempo counter attack started by Kikyov on the left hand flank. Sparta weren't great finishers and missed ample opportunities to put the game to bed but either missed the target completely or stopped safely by Yates in net. We played the role of hitting ambitious efforts from long range and see where they go, it did not go very well. Well beaten and our EL dreams look over already.



Funnily enough it's Sparta who top the table, stunning Lazio in the first game. Neck and neck with the others while we unsurprisingly bring up the rear.



Eluding from the European disappointments, domestically we're doing as you'd expect despite the draw with Barry. Ben Woodburn on a mini goal drought but already at 12 goals this season, Molyneaux better watch out.



May seem rather concerning now, but due to a backlog of games due to European duties we've one or two games in hand over other sides. Bala lead the change with Bangor on their tails and perhaps the surprise package of Prestatyn lie in third.

NEXT UPDATE: October 2033

As Maltese researcher, it's always lovely to see my data being put to good use

Good luck on the rest of your career
@mons - The Maltese league was a frustrating one on how competitive it gets, was very lucky to seal the title at the fourth attempt.





The Airfield seems to be a goal farm for us these days, once again trashing up the place in a 7-2 win. Marat Kalmykov returned against his former club for a rude awakening, heading in one of five first half goals on top of a Matt Molyneaux double, Ron Lemar and Alexander D'Ath getting on the scoresheet. Defensive comfort lead to traditional complacency for Airbus to crawl back into the game but Molyneaux completed his hat-trick and Mark Holmes rounded the game off for maximum bruising.


Bad news is we've lost a midfielder for a few games.


Great move by the board, boosting our funds AFTER the summer transfer window. Bit of dosh for January though.


A top team performance and a striking masterclass by the front two ensured a standard, comfortable win over Carmarthen. Kalmykov hit the headlines again with his second consecutive goal, using his height to tower over his marker and headed in the opener from a corner. Molyneaux and Woodburn must have both laced up their finishing boots, bagging a brace each to settle the game well in our favour. An all round superb team performance, midfield and defence lines both rock solid.


In recent times Connah's Quay have become somewhat a bogey side for us, failing to oust them in our last three meetings. So easily could it have been four given the conspicuously timid first half performance, two acrobatic stops from Phil Plummer proved why he's leaving Yates to benchwarm and keeping the game scoreless while at the other end Ben Woodburn struck the postage stamp. Smelled the coffee in the second, Molyneaux received an obligatory birthday goal and the athleticism and positioning of Ben Woodburn who started and finished a move from deep to hand us the game. No banana skins here.


A drizzly, mucky Friday night game ended in us salvaging a scrappy one each draw, an unwarranted result for Bangor in many ways as they should've won. Ken Palmer kept up his good goalscoring record against us, mugging our defenders off and finding space to sidefoot home. Chances our way were few and far to come by, so having a penalty awarded to us was a stroke of luck when we needed it most. Woodburn confidently stepped up to stroke it home and could have been much sweeter, Matt Molyneaux immediately missed a sitter to potentially smash and grab a win. I'll gladly accept a draw given the balance of play.


The Burn suffixes combined to smoke out Llangefni at Park Hall, Blackburn stole the show setting up his fellow striker Woodburn twice on top of the two he already cashed in on. The fourth goal was the best of the bunch, Mark Holmes who is now becoming a hotly tipped prodigy delivered a 60 yard pass into Blackburn's path making no mistake in slotting past the keeper. Largely in control, however Llangefni did miss from four yards to summarise their luck.


Aberystwyth are seen as low hanging fruit to us, two in the opening 10 minutes were enough to see them off. The scoreline would be far great if it weren't for the damned woodwork which we struck an incredible four times over the course of the game. Combination of D'Ath, Holmes and Hyde were commanding the centre of midfield throughout with D'Ath grabbing one of the goals along with top scorer Ben Woodburn. Matt Blackburn added two more assists to his name; both himself and Woodburn are becoming a true sacrosanct strike pairing lately, keeping Molyneaux on the bench.





When in Rome, we got gladiatored at the Stadio Olimpico. Hatrick hero Makis Dionysopoulos ran circles around our back four in an alternative 4-4-2 setup to galvanise us that little bit extra. Lazio were perhaps a little condescending toward us; fielding a 16 year old winger who assisted one of the Greek's goals and not only that Lazio's keeper broke his hand during the game and still faced no trouble courtesy of our disappointing offensive 'prowess'. Adding insult to injury, Andy Hyde's block somehow squeezed past Plummer's near post to condemn us to our third defeat from three in the group stages. Nobody said this would be easy after all.




Books us into the fourth round no doubt.



Six league games and a trip to Rome in an exhausting month, winning five, drawing one and of course a battering to greater opposition.



Shoots us right up in the table as joint leaders with Bala who are matching stride for stride it seems, but ahead on goal difference. Already a gap emerging to third placed Bangor and a further five points clear of fourth.

NEXT UPDATE: November 2033



First manager of the month award this season following a stellar month of five wins and a draw.


Eight players out of a possible eleven in team of the month, yet none of them secures player of the month.



Meanwhile, the takeover speculation is unearthed yet again.


Strange one this, seems one of my coaching staff is now crossing over to manage the Malta national team, however will remain at TNS for day to day running.



Ding ding ding on the fruit machines, securing a fortunate win over title chasers Bala to put a bit of breathing space between us. Matt Molyneaux menaced the Bala defence on numerous occasions in the first half; missing a few gems but was the cause of the first goal coming off Shaheen Owens for an own goal. Bala are a funny side under manager Sam Hodge; usually reluctant to go attacking to force a goal when behind, settling for a strategical game and carefully applying pressure. Their patience nearly paid off with eight minutes left when Joe Thomas' concentration went and missed a defensive header to put Paddy Gamble through on goal, but trying his luck from 20 yards it rebounded off the bar to leave hearts in mouths. Ben Woodburn powered home on the stroke of the 90th minute to hand us the three points and a big leap towards back to back titles.


An early scare turned into positive reinforcement to chisel away at Porthmadog. A fourteen minute hat-trick by in form Matt Blackburn, taking his tally to double figures cancelled out Kristian Evans' opener in an action packed first half. If Blackburn wasn't good enough already, assisted substitute Stuart Lee to put the game beyond doubt and to cap off a man of the match performance. Port showed resilience throughout despite fading away on the scoreline, pulling one back from a set piece. Thirteen unbeaten in the league.


Far from convincing at times away to bottom side Haverfordwest, at least we ended up on the right side of the scoreline. Stuart Lee rotated in for Matt Molyneaux as part of our three pronged attack force and flourished with the opener from an acute angle and hung a cross from the left to meet the head of Blackburn for a 2-0 lead. Second half belonged to the men in blue, Sam Yates at full stretch to deny efforts from Jon Jones on two occasions before a well struck free kick by Craig Gill for some late panic.


Our 'Angstgegner' of Connah's Quay returned to almost puncture our unbeaten league form. Danny Todd was highlighted in the pre-match preps, but did we handle him? Absolutely not. Completely outstretched position-wise to leave him unmarked for an easy tap in before a bumbling conceded penalty allowed him to double our predicaments. Fresh heads after the restart, we started to press more thoroughly and broke the seal with George Sandford who also squared in for the second, setting up Molyneaux. Of course in typical FM fashion, the following highlight played out for CQ's restoration of the match highground with Todd unsurprisingly taking a hat-trick. Sweat began to pour from our pores in fear of being the end of our domestically unbeaten season until Molyneaux played a casual 1-2 before piledriving the equaliser right into the top corner with six minutes left. Stunning goal, helping us to make it 15 league games without defeat. Disappointed how the game panned out overall but hey ho.





Prestatyn were just no match, safely booking consecutive league cup finals. It was helped by some very irresolute Prestatyn defending, misplacing some easy passes and lacking standard communication setup. Using that to our advantage, Blackburn passed his first goal into the back of the net for the solitary first half goal. We had them in the palm of our hand as we restarted, turning the screw to the max in the second half with Blackburn completing a hat-trick with some cheeky finishes, Woodburn also plus part timer Stuart Lee. Total dominance.



A competitive rivalry final, almost cliché scripting from SI.





Damn, I'd 'eight' to be an Aberystwyth fan right now. Should feel a degree of remorse but with an early red card for them, they kind of brought it on themselves. I won't dicker too much over the details as we'd be here all day - to sum up: we obliterated them. Ben Woodburn notched up only his third career hat-trick, two from Molyneaux, two long range screamers from Andy Hyde and an unfortunate own goal. Tony Peters denied us a clean sheet, but in the context of the scoreline, we'll shake that one off. ez pz.



Non league Buckley await us on the road ahead.





Cruel defeat, Phil Plummer was both the hero and the villain of the Greenhaus opera. A fourth minute penalty save from Lazio captain Fornaro allocated a few early brownie points, followed by them hitting the post and keeping Dionysopoulos from shooting at long range. We almost barricaded our goal with some flawless defending leading into the last twenty minutes where it all got ugly. Not putting a foot wrong the entire game, Plummer made a schoolboy error of coming off his line to catch a ball that wasn't there, allowing a tap in for 16 year old Bisogno to break the deadlock. The floodgates soon burst open when Cumbria born Mark Walton finished the game off and to send us crashing out of the Europa League.



A little bit more competitive from our lot, scoring our first goal(s) of the group, yet still falling short. Going two behind after six minutes didn't help matters, getting so bad that I had to switch out Woodburn after 24 minutes due to foul attitude. His replacement Matt Molyneaux was just what the doctor ordered, fortunate to pull one back just five minutes of coming on thanks to Hans Schnöll's horrendous backpass and clipping the post on the way in. A potential way back in ended up being a novelty, conceding an early second half pen which Hofer dispatched with ease. The home fans (those who were left) were however going home with a smile on their face when Molyneaux closed the game with a nice consolation.




Easy come, easy go - we were just here for the ride. No points yet, but may as well go out in a blaze of glory in Prague who'll be feeling the pressure depending what happens between Lazio and Salzburg.



Congestion of fixtures just isn't slowing us down, helping us to five consecutive wins but towards the end it's been rather fluctuating. Great month for both Blackburn and Molyneaux with Woodburn fizzling out towards the end of the month. Seems rather apprehensive upon starting games.



Just can't seem to shake off Bala despite the six pointer, dropping points to CQ means it's a one point gap. A rift opens to third so it looks like a two horse race already before 2033 is done.

NEXT UPDATE: December 2033



Back to back manager of the month awards for the first time I believe.


On the verge of takeover completion after weeks of negotiations.


...never mind. Back to square one.



Barry are a tough nut to crack sometimes, but avoided dropping more points to them thanks to Holmes and Molyneaux. It was a game of few clear cut efforts but more dogged midfield battles. First goal resulted in a rebound from Blackburn's initial saved effort but Molyneaux kept it alive to square in Mark Holmes to finish the job. Barry's use of wingers caused us some concerns, especially the origination for their equaliser, Greengrass mugged off down the left channel, surfacing a floated cross to David Cassidy who from close range could hardly miss. Holmes returned the favour from earlier to send Molyneaux clean through on goal for the winner with twenty minutes left and tighten our grip on the Welsh Premier lead and our unbeaten record. The boy is something special.


This was no ordinary defeat, this was a traincrash of a defeat condemning us to our first defeat in seventeen. To summarise and avoiding any expletives, nobody played to an ounce of their ability; back three barely reached over 6, Phil Plummer in net at fault for at least three goals carrying a 4.6, our midfield were easily outmuscled and Woodburn was stuck in their back pocket. Sure we woke up to grab two in the final eight minutes but we were already 5-0 behind at this stage. Utterly disgraceful.


An improvement, if even. Carmarthen are no great shakes and swept them aside by half time. Molyneaux getting the nod ahead of under fire Woodburn and did what any great poacher does - scoring goals. Wide playmaker Sandford got his head up at the back stick to breathe easy at half time. Perhaps it led to us lifting our foot off the pedal, handing two cheap goals to them despite Blackburn tucking away a fourth in the middle of it. The important thing is we didn't jar ourselves from the Airbus defeat.


Speaking of jarring, our best midfielder ruled out until after the new year.


Prestatyn were the curtain closer to the year 2033, and it seems the turkey dinner hadn't affected us albeit only winning by the odd goal. Lions share of goalscoring chances but missing an abundance of them to only register the two, both coming from the trusty left boot of Matty Blackburn. Victory should have been isolated by HT, Molyneaux hit the post and mousily hit an effort wide while Joe Thomas missed a gaping free header from just four yards out. From that point onward, we were set up to fail and the visitors began applying pressure thus resulting in a goal back from Collier. Defensive stance kept them out until the end but things are in need of changing as the new year beckons.





Low and behold, we earned a credible draw in scenic Prague to conclude our European adventure. Safe to assume it wasn't a golden archive game but sentimental value to the Welsh fans who travelled. Sparta were rubbish when it came to applying finishes, spurning three bankers off the crossbar or post, letting the cold sweat dry. We gambled late on to end with a flourish and Mark Holmes forced a save from Kgosi Sithole but ending in a draw is no mean feat on our part.



Despite the draw, Sparta progress along with Lazio and leaving Salzburg behind while we pre-undoubtedly finish on the bottom rung. Proud of our efforts despite heavy away defeats and look forward to breaking into a group stage again very soon.



A good month, not a great one with that farcical performance against Airbus UK. Woodburn's goals are drying up like an African summer, but as long as Molyneaux and Blackburn are stepping up to the plate very nicely indeed.



Bala are hanging onto us for dear life, staying only just two points behind us as we continue to lead the way. Bangor look pretty much out of the running already in third. Surprised to see Llangefni struggle after nearly 14-15 concrete seasons in the Welsh top flight.


At long last we're taken over and my job is safe (not that it was under threat anyways). Nearly 5 million squid coming in too! Perhaps TNS will make it to the next level after all.


January funds, luvly jubbly!

NEXT UPDATE: January 2034



Three in a row baby!


Matt Blackburn is the only one to squeeze into team of the month for December.




First bit of cash to actually spend on a player. Amazing right? Someone I've had my eye on for the last two or three windows.


Brett Archer - M(C) - £59k from Yeovil Town

Well established in Sky Bet League One and Two with the Glovers, swapping for another side in green and white. Thrifty deep lying playmaker with plenty to gain, already established technicals but would prefer to get his dribbling up to scratch. With over 100 games in the English football league pyramid, Welsh Premier should be water off a duck's back despite his price tag. Needs to shake off a slight niggle before being called into action.



Picked up from where we left off against the side we played last, but it wasn't without hazard. Fell behind undeservedly, but defensively we were to blame and allowing Mike Connolly tucking home following an initial Sam Yates save from the first effort. Somehow made it to half time in front, Molyneaux potting home and Blackburn profiting on hesitant goalkeeper movement. Were we on course for victory? Not with questionable defending and goalkeeping to allow Connolly his second to fire home at Yates' near post. Seem to have a habit of scoring late in matches, no matter what half and Blackburn made sure of the three points by completing a hat-trick. Joshua Jones scored straight after our fourth but who cares?


Hahahaha, look who pipes up after being dropped due to substandard recent performances. We conceded three and had every right to be unhappy yet Woodburn claims I'm being too harsh. Man up you sop.


Absolutely dicked our rivals with a rather violent twelve minutes for Bangor to endure. The hard tackling instructions took our kryptonite Ken Palmer out of the equation after only twenty minutes, allowing us to breathe easy. The 32nd minute penalty converted by Blackburn was the spark to light the magnesium strip. Blackburn doubled, Hyde rocketed the third, Molyneaux glided in the fourth and a Ron Lemar curler heaped the embarrassment on the Gwynedd club. Bangor didn't get out of the traps, not even for some second half pride, strolling to a homely win.


Ben Woodburn finally made himself useful with his first goal in eleven games to scrape past Llangefni. The Dazzlers were struggling to fend off relegation and needed a win to ease their fears, bollocking us with chance after chance but failing to break down the door with Yates making six saves. Our strikers were shocking; both Blackburn and Molyneaux failing to register one shot on goal, with Woodburn failing to deliver anything of quality thereafter. We're lucky we had the defensive backbone to compensate for a flimsy Saints performance.


Couldn't repeat our 5-0 thrashing, slouching to a rather disappointing draw. Allowed Daniel Willams in too easily, falling behind early in the second half. Again, our strikers were not at the races, relying on midfield to hit the target. Thankfully Molyneaux turned up in the final twenty, countering a Bangor free kick to let fly from the D with the shot too hot to handle for goalkeeper Rob Hayes to only push it in. Could have got our tails up for a winner but James Harvey got a little bit too involved to receive a second booking eight minutes from time.


A more professional job done at home to Prestatyn following recent contentious striking antics. Molyneaux's crossfield balls to Lemar on the right were devastating and were the focal points of our opening two goals, setting up a header for Sandford and Woodburn fired in from close range. Took an alternate route to the centre for the third, Mark Holmes smashed one in from 22 yards before Molyneaux ended the game in the second half, through a faulty Prestatyn backpass. Less clean sheets than a toddler recently, Jones in space to leave Plummer in no man's land. Gradually back to our best.



Another year, another league cup! Both sets of defences were impenetrable after the opening ninety, cancelling each other out when getting to the final third. Both teams had the one pivotal opportunity spurned in the extra half hour; Molyneaux dragged a shot agonisingly wide with the ball shaving the outer lick of paint of the post, while James Harvey was almost to blame for a defeat as he gave the ball away to Daniel Williams but Plummer came to the rescue. Speaking of coming to the rescue, Plummer was the penalty saviour; saving the final two to erase Harvey's miss and take a 4-3 penalty win. Should call him Super Mario.


Breaking the thousand barrier for the first time in league cup history. Supposedly. Glory hunters no doubt.




I'd gnaw off my right arm if we ballsed this up, but thankfully it went smoothly against minnows Buckley Town. The odd change here and there gave starts to Stuart Lee and Adrian Greengrass, making cases to be regulars with goals in the opening half hour. Yet again no clean sheet, Yates knew he should have done better to keep out Carl Thomas' low effort, a potential way back for the stags. Alas, it was mere brevity and comfortably regained a two goal advantage through Matt Blackburn in what was one way traffic for the most part, their keeper bringing off seven saves prior to the goals.



Another non league side in Cefn Druids, but have had Premier League pedigree in the past.


Wheeler may have been keeping Sandford out of the side in recent times but he sure can't lift.



An almost faultless month, claiming six wins from a possible seven but coming up short in the second league encounter with rivals Bangor. It's good to have a number of scorers in the ranks and not relying on just the one. Molyneaux and Blackburn passing the baton between each other while Woodburn is slowly getting back to form after a stern face to face with him earlier in the month.



Bala tripped up to Llangefni just before the league split took effect, extending the gap to a cushy five points with eight games remaining. No hope of Bangor crashing the party, lying 17 points behind us.


Last bit of big news, Mark Holmes penned a new two year deal. A real breath of fresh air to our midfield, covering almost every blade of grass this season with such strong stamina for an 18 year old. He's also been under surveillance by teams like QPR in recent months.

NEXT UPDATE: February 2034



Is this even a contest anymore? Fourth month running.


Joe Thomas and Andy Hyde were both stupendous during January, streets ahead of our strikers who were a far cry away from making it.



The January weather got the better of Molyneaux who'll now spend the guts of two weeks bed ridden, flicking through Netflix boxsets. Seriously?


No matter, we bullied Airbus following that forgettable meeting in December. The fiery Burns scalded the wingmakers' backline; Blackburn popped two home in the space of nine minutes while Woodburn slammed home a third to hold the cards in the first half. Joe Zanotti will cringe at his comical attempt to clear a ball which ended up in the back of his own net just moments after the interval. The game didn't pass without peril, Airbus bombarded Plummer who made 11 (yes, ELEVEN) saves to keep the score in our favour but failed to get near Griffiths' free header for their lone goal. Blackburn banked his deserved hat-trick from 12 yards when their goalscorer bundled over Shenton. One win closer to back-to-back success.


Of course he does as he recovers his best form. Luckily Molyneaux is returning to fitness.


Wow, okay. Second defeat of the season, a devastating one at that. Didn't deserve to lose by this magnitude, but Bala were clinically superior. Paddy Gamble headed in off the bar to give the monochrome jerseys an early advantage. Molyneaux had 'one of those days', unable to bulge the net as he thundered the white beam and scuppered a clear cut effort straight at Reed in goal. Alan Jones was a pest in the second half, cutting all our lines to bag three and shovel more rubble on top of us. James Harvey doesn't score many but netted via Shenton's flicked header to hear a slight ripple of applause. Puts Bala right back in it.


Holy smokes did we leave it late in a garbage game of football at Carmarthen. The Bala defeat sapped their confidence clearly with only a frugal tally of five shots on goal. The one chance that mattered came with seconds remaining as Molyneaux struck low from 15 yards, evading the hands of Jákup Samuelsen who really should have saved it. Both Woodburn and Blackburn suffered superficial injuries during the game which offers a wafer-thin excuse on why it took so long to close the game. How important could that result mean though?


Injuries becoming more and more frequent coming to the climax, Plummer missing a sizeable portion of the remaining season.




Avoiding another banana skin to book our place in the semis. Rotated largely again, but kept Woodburn up front to make the striking impact and graciously adhered to the task. Russell Gardner's accuracy in this game was ridiculous, only misplacing six passes from 78 and passed one into the back of the net also to start up the motor. Woodburn could not be more open for number two and three, finishing from close range on both occasions from crosses on the left hand side to fast-track into the next round. The Druids I've got to hand it to them came up with a sublime set piece play to fight back, Christian Williams on the volley from an in swinging free-kick. Alas, it made not a speck of difference as Joe Thomas shepherded home a comfortable fourth midway through the second half. Into the hat for no doubt a gruelling semi final.



Connah's Quay - on paper it looks doable, but on the pitch we'll need to be on guard for a close game.



Despite the big defeat to Bala, a rather good month. Numerous goalscorers, with that Molyneaux goal against Carmarthen being the most key.



Bala trying to usurp our throne following that fortunate win, cutting the margin to two once more. Five games left, we need to match them right to the punctuation. Decent battle at the bottom of the league too, 8th to 12th all in a scrap to go down.

NEXT UPDATE: March/April 2034



No manager of the month award for February, but two players made team of the month - marksman Blackburn and diligent midfielder Mark Holmes.


Losing skipper Joe Thomas for over a month was the first bit of bad news.


F*ck. Massive blow to our side as Blackburn is ruled out for the season with a damaging injury.



Dime a dozen sort of intake, except for one propitious striker.


Mike Gwynne - ST(C) - youth intake

For a 15 year old, not too shabby. Passing, first touch and dribbling leave a lot to be desired to become an accomplished striker but already carries good finishing and composure to fill in as a poacher, especially with impressive off the ball. Low determination could hinder his development but I'm hopeful to get him under the right guidance to take him to the next level when I'm gone.



With Bala dropping points on the Friday, we sealed an important three points on the Saturday with three goals to accomplish them. No pressure on Woodburn to stand in for the sidelined Blackburn, and sure enough made magic happen again. Wasn't much in the penalty Bangor conceded which broke the silence during a quiet opening 45 minutes, Woodburn belting the top right corner for a rather controversial slender half time lead. No deliberation regarding the second as there was no stopping Sandford's sweetly struck effort (and boy was it a beauty) to take the weight off our shoulders. Woodburn latched on to a defence splitting pass by Gardner to send the keeper falling onto his arse on the wet turf to finish it all off. A big step forward.



The taste of champagne almost touches our tongues, gaining a routine, yet valuable win at Prestatyn. Woodburn back to his best, rallying his first hat-trick since November and racking his tally up to 34 goals this season. Sure David John scored for Prestatyn, but that's almost a given these days with three at the back. Matt Molyneaux applied the glossy varnish on what was a title winning performance. The best part? Bala choked at home to Carmarthen and putting seven points between us with only three games left! Surely, SURELY we can't falter from here.


Woodburn absolutely killing it this season, even more so than Molyneaux last season.


A real curveball here, Sandford ruled out for the remainder of the season it seems during a training session.


Fifth manager of the month award in six months. Managerial masterclass.


Yates, Kalmykov, Holmes, Sandford AND Woodburn all making it into team of the month (yeah, yeah it was only two games).


A well deserved player of the month for Woodburn, recapturing his goalscoring form in a mixed year for the veteran.


Oh my. Carmarthen's win over Bala should have heeded the warning to the camp but we didn't take it seriously enough. With Louis Wheeler's goal after 50 seconds, , I felt it was finito - how wrong was I? Hit hard on the counter, the old gold rewrote the script with a driving hit by Gavin Smith and helped in by the post to equalise. Even a point would have been good enough to dot the Is and cross the Ts but no; an error from Shenton paved way for Tom Davies to rain on the parade before Corey Owen's effort slipped through 'buttergloves' Yates to stun the home faithful. The proverbial icing on the cake was made from a penalty awarded to us to perhaps fight back with three minutes remaining - Holmes choked it, straight at Samuelsen. Bala won too to add the pressure.


To show how little of a sh*t I gave about the Carmarthen game, took the liberty of fielding our youth prospect Mike Gwynne at only 15 years old. Almost as if I set him up to fail.


Terrific, we're without a left winger for our next league match.


This is becoming a morbid nightmare. Had to switch to a 4-3-3 but none of our acclaimed strikers had any effect on what was a pisstake of a performance. Julian Shenton at centre back was a laughing stock, lost four tackles, not winning a single one, 5.9 rating and was also the stem of the only goal, oblivious to the direct aerial approach and allowing Luke Collins the freedom to fire a shot in, despite Adrian Greengrass' best efforts to be awarded an own goal. In fact Sam Yates in goal was the only reason for the low scoreline, standing tall to unluckily be on the wrong side of said scoreline. Airbus defending magnificently with a well structured shape and leaving us with nothing. Pressure beginning to mount more and more.



The cup final awaits! Man in form Woodburn delivers us vindication following a rather early setback. Suspect defending allowed Dean Rodon (shock! his first ever goal for the club) a backstage pass to our six yard area to poke home. Rapid response from the Saints, Benny boy heading home from a belter of a cross by Louis Wheeler just seconds after to wipe the smiles off the Nomads in the away end. Phil Plummer dropped the ball, quite literally but thankfully CQ only hit the post to spare blushes before the break. Connah's Quay had a handful of chances, but failed to hit the target apart from their goal, leaving us to seal the deal thanks to a fortunate slide tackle that allowed Woodburn to pounce for the inevitable winner. The potential treble still lies in the wake.



Barry will do battle for the glistening Welsh Cup.


The horror, inexcusable back to back league defeats for the first time this season and what a time to do it. The major plus is that Ben Woodburn is firing on all cylinders, scoring seven in five these past two months.



This is not happening, slender one point lead going into the final game against...BALA. Avoiding defeat will see us through but defeat will confirm an almighty bottle job. Should have wrapped this up a lot sooner.

Next Update: May 2034




IT'S THERE! Back to back titles! Think I inherited PTSD after watching this game, my suit turned into a sauna during a pulsating second half to just about hang on by the skin of our teeth. First twenty minutes we were dominant, attacking plays through the centre by Andy Hyde were devastating setting up Matt Molyneaux with two golden goals in two minutes and leaving Bala with it all to do. This is where the tide swiftly changed direction. Mistake after mistake, it was no surprise we were on the edge of our seats and James Harvey's aimless pass allowed Newcastle loanee Andy Stone to waltz in with a simple goal to make it a tense second half. Bala were all guns blazing in the second period and fought back to two each, a free kick pinged in several directions before Drew O'Hanlon blasted home. It was backs against the wall for the remaining half hour with bodies piling up to create a human shield but the final whistle blows at Maes Tigid as a distraught Bala watch the Saints punch the air in delight to be crowned 2033/34 Welsh Premier champions for the 18th time.




Sadly, the treble was hijacked by a familiar face in the Barry teamsheet. Greg Wardle. Second choice keeper for TNS last season, cup hero for Barry this season in a penalty shootout disaster. Our defensive triad helped set up the opener; flicked header from Kalmykov, kept in by Harvey and pulled back for Joe Thomas to pull the trigger. Barry operated in a confident manner despite being one down, keeping Yates busy between the sticks but could do nothing about Sean Banks' equaliser after lazy defending allowed him a tap in from a cross. The game was evenly poised and neither side gave in right until the final whistle, Wardle saving Barry's skin and vice versa with Yates. Then came the penalties; Woodburn - straight at Wardle. Holmes - straight at Wardle. SANDFORD - STRAIGHT AT WARDLE. Harvey - scores (only just). Lee - slightly to the left but Wardle claws it away and Barry lift consecutive Welsh Cups. A disappointing end to my Welsh adventure.



It was a major plunge in form towards the end, only winning one of our last five. At least the result that mattered came away to Bala. Still would have been nice to finished with a treble.



It was always a two horse race this year, swatting off Bala to take it by one point. Almost identical season compared to last with one less defeat and one point extra. Bala, Barry and Carmarthen were the third side to gain Europa League football. Haverfordwest and Porthmadog fell through the trapdoor with Aberystwyth and Llangefni surviving.

NEXT UPDATE: Postseason 2033/34

Shame you couldn't secure a treble @DNZY. You planning on remaining at TNS or looking to move on?
As Shedender has asked, how long you planning on staying in Wales?
Football Manager 2018 - From A Failed Footballer To A Traveling Manager - Story coming soon...
@Shedender @Dan - Aye, it's a shame I couldn't end with a treble. And I've probably given you both a hint.



The -burn duo were delightful this season for me, between them accumulating 64 goals and 31 assists but it was Matt Blackburn who won the fans' hearts before his harsh injury towards the end of the season. Woodburn finished second best while exciting talent Mark Holmes came third. George Sandford's belter against Bangor City undoubtedly deserved goal of the season. Absolute corker so it was. Brett Archer had a handful of games upon arrival to TNS but didn't exactly make much of an impact to deserve signing of the season (unless they exclude loan deals). Blackburn also won young player of the season....at 24?! Come on. 18 year old Mark Holmes had to have won that!


The stats say it all, despite the minor blip in form on the crossover between December and January, Ben Woodburn was the key figure. Top goalscorer, top assist maker, top average rating AND joint highest man of the match awards with Blackburn. Stuart Lee was our best passer, even if he did only start 10 games. Discipline was a little shady, Gould, Kalmykov and even Archer all gather five yellows each. Harvey was the only one technically to get sent off as Molyneaux's came during the second leg of the Galatasaray game - surprised Harvey didn't get sent off more often with his temperament!


Almost a carbon copy of how we finished up last year - taking the Welsh league, the Welsh league cup and falling short of the Welsh cup. Indubitably the Europa League group stages were the highlight of the season, even if we did get gaped a lot. The Partizan match will always be a highlight, not that standard win over Aberystwyth.


Back to back manager of the year awards, nobody was on my level. Not even Sam Hodge.

The question remains....should I stay or should I go?


Go. Although I had a whale of a time in Wales, new challenges await me.


Social media is blowing up, creating a void in many Saints fans' hearts.

NEXT UPDATE: An announcement.


So yeah, from now on I won't give you the monthly updates. Too time consuming and my time is now becoming more and more scarce with a new job in line (IRL). However, it will mean better news for fans of this storyline. I'll return to a 'game by game' format with more of a summarised approach (except for when I announce new jobs).

Watch this space.

I'm quite surprised you didn't get "@DNZY was quite overrated anyway and won't be missed".

Good luck with your potential new job in real life pal and I'm looking forward to see were you're going to head next.
@Shedender - Because I'm a living legend. Thank you by the way!



So two jobs landed into my inbox.


Nation: Lithuania
Media Prediction (Odds): 5th/8 (9-1)
Expectations: Mid table
Pros: No pressure to succeed.
Cons: £75k in debt. Poor budgets. Pales in comparison with other sides in the division.



Dodged a bullet in many ways. Utenis weren't my first job priority given the serious lack of good teams on offer.


Nation: Iraq
World Ranking: 46th
Expectations: AFC Asian Cup Quarter Finals
Pros: No pressure to succeed.
Cons: Never managed an international side. Very poor knowledge of the team at hand.



No need to scratch your eyes, Iraq want me to go to war...in the Asian Cup. What an opportunity!



This save just got a whole lot more interesting as I've decided to undertake international management for the first time in a long time, appointed as Iraq's national team head coach to guide them through the 2035 AFC Asian Cup campaign hosted in India. The troubled nation in recent history has come a long way in footballing terms and are known to be one of the better nations within the Asian continent.


Iraq is home to more than 38 million people, with the largest city of Baghdad holding just over a fifth of that. Other major cities include those of Mosul, Erbil and Samarra where the spiral minaret of the great mosque lies.


Their national stadium is hosted in the city of Basra, with the massive Basra sports complex opening as recent as October 2013, however it wasn't until June 2017 before the Iraqi team hosted the first international here to Jordan in a 1-0 friendly. The ground has a capacitance of 65,000 people.


The national team drank in their first major success with the 2007 Asian Cup, Younis Mahmoud the only scorer in a 1-0 triumph over hotly tipped Saudi Arabia. They have made appearances in both the FIFA World Cup in 1986 and Confederations Cup in 2009, but failed to progress past the group stages on both occasions. Their highest modern world rank stands at 39th which they achieved in 2004, but since then have barely broke into the top 40. The national kits are white with a green trim.



It'll be a hard time remembering all these names and differentiating between them all, but I feel we've a fairly decent national pool at our fingertips. Iraqi champions and AFC Cup winners Al-Zawra'a seem to be spawning most of them, 11 players in the current 25 man squad - but only 23 will make the final cut. Not a great quantity of wide players, may have to resort to a more central approach.

KEY PLAYER: Ali Faez Kasim - GK


A little concerning when your best player is a goalkeeper, however he does look pretty standard. 6'4", beefy, somewhat athletic despite his appalling speed. As long as he can pull off a save and not be a Claudio Bravo style keeper, he should do just fine.



Outlined in the job spec, the board expect around quarter finals for this event.



Relatively easy group - taking on Thailand, Oman and North Korea. With all sides regen-ized, I've no idea what to expect. Let the games begin!




Steady opening, not overly brilliant to watch but once the deadlock broke for us we maintained control. Devastating from set pieces as both our goals, plus one disallowed goal stemmed from corners.




Well that was easy(ish). Snail's pace game once again with very little clear cut goalmouth action. Oman kept us at bay until injury time loomed, yet another set piece to thank for it as centre back Borhani headed in from a free kick towards the near post. Can only assume we'll take top spot in the group with just a point against North Korea.




Welp! Guess who's getting nuked tomorrow? Cruising to the last 16 without even conceding. North Korea were trash, the nicest possible way to describe it. Their goalkeeper was flimsy when making saves, their defence were muddled and we completely played them off the Park (no, not that park).


No sweat, but Thailand and Oman still qualify with us and leave North Korea in the dust.


I guess you can call it the Nealon effect. First cap, first goal for Radhi Swadi Al-Zirjawi (the chants would be amazing with that name).


Already breaking records as Iraq break into the top 40 for the first time in over 30 years (2035 if you're confused).




We draw 'Nam in the last sixteen, only squeezing their way in through best third placed sides.




A game so dramatic that not all of it fits on the right hand sidebar. Ridiculous game with both sides finishing with nine men; two reds for Vietnam and a red plus a forced injury for us. I hate to be all patriotic but more than half of their side were not Vietnamese by birth but instead a lot of Brazilian and Nigerian born, hence why it was bloody difficult to break them down. 1-1 after 90 minutes, we fell behind in the 109th thanks to 'Miro' (totally Vietnamese) and were on the verge of crashing out. Right back Ahmad Abdul Zahrah begged to differ, hoisting an aerial bombshell to bamboozle the keeper with 30 seconds of regular time left.
On to the penalties and relied on our second choice keeper to keep them out as I forgot to switch them pre-selection from the North Korea game. It mattered not as Kingsley Udeh's spot kick was clawed out to end an emotional rollercoaster as we march to the quarter finals. Never have I jumped out of my seat so fast.




Drawn to the highest ranked nation in Asia. This could be problematic.




Flabbergasted how far China have come as a team, World Cup quarter finalists in 2034 beating England on the way, and made mincemeat of us in a one sided affair. Got fortunate with an own goal to equalise but after the red before before half time, we booked a one way ticket to Chinatown...and not in a good way. Battered senseless until we were out cold, crashing out with a 5-1 scoreline.


Fun little vacation away from club football, but all vacations must end prematurely.

Where to go next?

Wasn't expecting the move to the Iranian national side or your retirement so quickly, understandable though!

I can't wait to get a save like this going in fm18
Football Manager 2018 - From A Failed Footballer To A Traveling Manager - Story coming soon...
@Dan - I'm far from retirement, just nothing available currently. Also it's Iraq, not Iran - could easily lead to a war.




Nation: Northern Ireland
Media Prediction (Odds): 6th/12 (20-1)
Current Position: 7th
Expectations: None
Pros: Highly unlikely to finish below 7th place. Solid attacking players.
Cons: No competent right backs in the side. £200k in the red. 7 points from the top half with three games left before the league split takes effect. Out of all cup competitions.



Dungannon are willing to go along with my application. Barely any jobs worthy of my time currently, do I take the swifts on?

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