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Having got to grips with FM20, it now feels time to start an unemployed, rags to riches career. No badges, no experience, no money...

Discussion
Congratulations on pulling this off. It is really interesting to read your thoughts on team cohesion. I may have to reconsider my approach to signing players like I have been in light of this revelation. So are you going to stay now that you have gotten them to the Premier?

Really enjoying your success


Thanks buddy. Yes, I think team cohesion can improve form no end. I try to tick with the same starting 11, keep a small squad and only buy 3-5 players per window so as not to upset the balance.
Funny you should ask that...

https://i.imgur.com/mLATyfF.png

https://i.imgur.com/DDy2wBW.png
https://i.imgur.com/bilY5v5.png

August 2023


And so begins Forfar Athletic's first ever season in the SPL and it very nearly started without it's manager...

https://i.imgur.com/HX7ZslN.png
https://i.imgur.com/VGuA6BP.png

I've said from the beginning that the Forfar job was for the long term and only the Old Firm could sway me. When Celtic come knocking, you don't turn your nose up. I've always preferred Rangers, more so because they can't win the league, but Celtic was too good an opportunity. I thought I had the job in the bag, the media has been saying all the right things...

https://i.imgur.com/pfojJwS.png

It was a shame. I managed to piss off the Forfar board and I really got my hopes up but it was not to be. Never mind. Time to get Forfar established!

The very first thing I noticed when I was given my £500k "war chest" was that £500k in the SPL is sod all. Once again, I will need to rely on loans, free transfers or very low transfers. I just can't attract the quality I need for this level, so will in reality have a squad that consists of League 1 / Championship players. I'm in for a tough season.

https://i.imgur.com/37GDZfc.png

In terms of outgoings (and not the contracts that came to an end) just the pre-agreed Ghasemi to Hearts from the Winter. I had agreed £50k fee for Saydou Bangura to leave for Excelsior, but after struggling to find a decent replacement, I cancelled the deal and gave him a new contract instead.

As for incoming, I had to bring in as much quality as possible which meant abusing the loan market. Simon Lambert, on loan from PSG (yes he is French) was the pick of the bunch. Predominantly a right winger but I'll be deploying him up top. I'm hoping he and Bangura can keep me in the league with goals. I'm also expecting some assists from LB/LM Oscar Tarensi, on loan from Man City.
https://i.imgur.com/mVHvfv6.png
I obliterated Forfar's transfer record with the £64k purchase of Yeray from Las Palmas, whose been brought in mainly to sit behind the strikers but can play anywhere in the middle of the park.
https://i.imgur.com/adlukjY.png

As i've said many a season before, cohesion is everything. So a lot of the team from last season will play again in this season, with only 4/5 loan signings coming in and out of the side.

https://i.imgur.com/0kWUQEu.png

Not the overwhelming favourites to go down (hi Falkirk) but at 550-1 it's going to be a long season.

https://i.imgur.com/LUnvf3Y.png

Some good results so far. Flying through the group stage of the Betfred Cup, setting up a second round clash with Livingstone. My first game of the season was a 2-0 win over Motherwell. I will take every point I can get.

https://i.imgur.com/RVfwUVU.png
How dare them not hire you??? I would have given you an awesome recommendation, I mean, just look at what you have done here!

I am sure that finishing 8th will be nerve wracking, but here is to hoping that you do better than that. Getting that win against Motherwell is not a bad way to start though. Good luck moving forward!
https://i.imgur.com/bilY5v5.png

January 2024


https://i.imgur.com/VcKHFBW.png

First half season in the SPL and honestly, it's going great. Super inconsistent form combined with an amazing cup run has given the fans (and me) a lot to cheer for. League wise, I either win or I lose, with one daw in between. As ever, Celtic and Rangers have pulled away so its all in for an unexpected 3rd place trophy and maybe entry into the Europa League. Aberdeen and Hibs are my nearest rivals, with Aberdeen actually showing some interest in me to take over. Speaking of which...

https://i.imgur.com/Kg3m3WD.png
https://i.imgur.com/Itv2rgl.png
https://i.imgur.com/9dmjpJH.png

Three top-tier English Championship teams all came in for me, including top of the league Leeds. These were really difficult to ignore to be honest, but I need this SPL trophy before I move on.

https://i.imgur.com/KcJwYxI.png

As ever, a consistent line up with very little change week in week out has seen some standout players. Notably, left-winger Matt West has 16 assists already and is well on course to break the SPL record. Up top, Bangura is continuing his goal from the championship but once again the Dutch are hovering with Heerenveen are sniffing. But leading the scoring charts, my on-loan French wonder Simon Lambert has 22 in 29.

https://i.imgur.com/8CC7ElP.png

So, keep your eyes peeled for the final run in. I don't plan any Winter transfers so this team are going to get me into Europe!
https://i.imgur.com/bilY5v5.png

Season Review
May 2024
Forfar Athletic


https://i.imgur.com/Sc25qOm.png
A great first season in the SPL, finishing third behind the old firm. Rangers knocked Celtic off their perch for the first time in a decade and I spent most of the season fighting off Hibs and Aberdeen to keep their place. But third place was cemented and Forfar will begin 2024/25 with their first adventure in Europe.
Celtic didn't just lose out on the league, they were pipped in penalties to a plucky Forfar team winning their first ever Scottish Cup!

https://i.imgur.com/XweC3GK.png

A review of the team; Simon Lambert finishes the year as top scorer with 34 goals before heading back to the PSG reserve team. He'll leave a massive hole in the squad that I hope I can fill pretty sharpish. Saydou Bangura continued his from from last season with 23 goals and once again teams are sniffing around him, notably from the Bundesliga. Matt West heads back to Man City with with an astonishing 25 assists in his locker. I look forward to seeing him waste away at MK Dons in 2 years time... Record signing Yeray stepped into the hole and pretty much played every game along with winter signing Andri Fannar Baldursson in the middle of the park. It's also time to say goodbye to some club stalwarts who can't cut the mustard anymore, notably, Jamie Thomas who was my first ever signing. Very sad.

https://i.imgur.com/ky1ghKE.png
https://i.imgur.com/K1icofx.png
https://i.imgur.com/eDmaD2u.png

Shopping for next season will include replacements for all the loan players, needed now more than ever with Forfar's entrance into Europe. And not just normal entrance, an early qualifying round!

To self lick the lollipop...
https://i.imgur.com/tDTT4uB.png
https://i.imgur.com/CK2ZCLH.png

The future; I turned down EPL team Fulham to concentrate on my Scottish adventure, but I'm not sure how much longer I can stick it out at Forfar. Blitzed away from everyone to stick third but nowhere close enough to the top two. Maybe worth holding out for the Old Firm, or maybe leaving altogether.

https://i.imgur.com/LZvCf0U.png
https://i.imgur.com/bilY5v5.png

August 2024


Year 2 in the SPL and our first year in Europe.

https://i.imgur.com/lGvEpu8.png

Premier League Stoke chanced their arm with me, but I'm desperate to win a Scottish title before moving on. After Celtic finished runners-up in the league and lost out to us in the FA Cup, Antonio Conte's job was on the line so I started fluttering my eyes at them by declaring interest. The fans wanted me, but the board stuck with their man, so Forfar are stuck with me for another year at least

Last seasons cup run, strong league finish and qualification into Europe boosted the coffers and has allowed for a £2m transfer budget. Finally we can start operating in the transfer market with real sums of cash.
I also managed to persuade the board to invest in the training infrastructure, following a failed attempt at getting the stadium expanded. Exciting times at Station Park.

https://i.imgur.com/4vjvQbr.png

Let's talk about outgoings and there's nobody that left that I would shed a tear over. Antonio Veigas was a first choice CB and Celtic exploited his £300k release clause. The best money made was Lars Gulliksen, the young Norwegian I signed on a free for the youth team. I wasn't turning down that sort of cash for a youth player!
Another regrettable large influx of players to prepare for the longer season and with the increased finances, allowing us to dine from a different table.
Our record has been smashed for LWB Koni Di Winter from Juventus, bought to play mainly on the left but can play anywhere on either side of the pitch. Easily one of my best players.
https://i.imgur.com/z62kHuF.png
I've changed systems slightly for the coming season, looking to play one up top instead of two. As much as Bangura has done the business, I wanted an upgrade to lead the charge. Chris Manning has been brought in on loan from Southampton.
https://i.imgur.com/5kFE92m.png
To replace my #1 CB, I've brought in Joao Resende from Madeira for £245k who I hope to can shut the door all season.
https://i.imgur.com/7euqllR.png

https://i.imgur.com/mrVty8j.png

The bookies now have us as a mid-table, established SPL club. I actually think this may be one of the proudest things I've achieved. i hope that when I do eventually leave, the foundations have been laid for Forfar to continue keeping their place in the league.

https://i.imgur.com/ZhtXw37.png

The season has very much continued how we left it. Rangers and Celtic taking the top two with us trailing just behind. Quite embarrassingly, we've been knocked out of the Europa league qualifying by Prague. Gutted to be honest.

https://i.imgur.com/NEcLu0T.png
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