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Rick87 Comments
I had Watford, Bournemouth and Sunderland to go down in my pre-season prediction. Like most people I've been surprised how well Watford are doing, whether they can maintain it remains to be seen.
Kevin McDonald was quoted as saying that Gabby Agbonlahor can be the catalyst to our revival.

If we're pinning our hopes on Gabby we may as well start sewing the Championship patches on our sleeves now. We should of got rid of such an abysmal striker years back when he still had any value, he's only got ten goals in the last two and a half seasons dispute being a regular starter.

Hopefully Remi Garde will see through the clubs sentiment towards him in January and send him on his way to a mid-table Championship club where he belongs.
Good result for us really, hopefully Southampton beat Bournemouth this afternoon and we capitalise against Spurs tomorrow. I shan't hold my breath though.
Sunderlands comeback went a bit tits up didn't it?

Been checking BBC's text updates, I saw they had just made it 2-2, checked five minutes later and they are 5-2 down.
In keeping with the theme of general pessimism that seems to be running through this thread I'm not looking forward to our game with Southampton tonight, I can easily see it being a hammering given our current form. Kevin Macdonald is a fine youth team manager but last time he was in caretaker charge we got beaten 6-0 by Newcastle before Houllier was appointed.
Oh dear Arsenal.

The club was founded in 1920 under the name Loughborough College. They joined Division Two of the Leicestershire Senior League in 1966, where they remained until 1972. The club then left Senior football, and did not return until 2007 when they were promoted to the Premier Division of the Midland Combination. In 2008–09 they won the league's Premier Division, and were promoted to the Midland Alliance. The Scholars ground shared at fellow local side Loughborough Dynamo until moving into the new Holywell Park, Loughborough University Stadium.

The squad as you might expect is made up of Loughborough students, strictly speaking there are no restrictions on players I can sign but in the interest of realism I will only be taking on players under 25 years of age. The club is amateur which means I cannot protect any of my players contracts and other sides can sign them without compensation, this will make building a squad difficult, however the idea of club is that our players graduate to bigger things so the challenge is not to think of seeing a player move on as a bad thing and instead something tat should be celebrated as we have done our job in preparing them.

As you can see almost everyone in the squad is wanted by one club or another so I'm likely going to have to build an entirely new team which I'm quite looking forward to.

My first order of business however will be to hire a reliable assistant and a capable scout to help me assemble a team capable of living up expectations this season;

We will be taking part in the Midland Football League which is a newly formed system at step nine of the league system, replacing the old Midland Alliance league. We will also be taking part in both the FA Cup and FA Vase.

In terms of targets I just want to do as well as possible with the scholars for a couple of seasons before moving on, I have no illusions of taking an amateur team to the Champions League or anything like that.

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Career History

July 2014 - Present http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/29061047_zpsbktp4a25.png Loughborough University FC http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/36042432_zpsdnktbbzl.png Midland Premier League


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My Football Story
A journey from youth football, to Sunday League and (hopefully) beyond

And so the day of my graduation has arrived, but unlike most of the students around me, my time has not been spent typing essays into my laptop or spending hours sweating over revision for my next exam. My tale is one less of academic achievement and more of sheer luck.

Once a decent prospect at various non-league clubs in the Birmingham area, a recurrent knee injury put paid to my dreams of making it in football, on the field at least. After several years of working crap jobs for peanuts I was given the chance to get back into the sport. My wife, then girlfriend, had just moved to a small village in rural Leicestershire when I happened across an advert in the local newsletter which was distributed to every household in the parish; ‘Coach wanted for under 10’s, no experience necessary’ I had never really entertained the idea of coaching before but something in the back of my mind told me to go for it so I e-mailed Dave Wagstaff, the treasurer of Three Views FC to register my interest. Several weeks later I had almost forgotten about the job, assuming I had been unsuccessful when I received the call that set me on my current career path; ‘Hello mate it’s Dave Wagstaff from Three Views, I’ve just taken a look at your application you sent me for the job of under-10’s coach, after some consideration I'm happy to give you the job if you still want it?’ I later found out from Dave that I got the job by virtue of being the only applicant!

I took to coaching like a duck to water as my kids stormed to the division title, I put that success down to my philosophy establishing a strong work ethic and not standing for show boating or ball hogging players who are adverse to passing who are all too common amongst the youth ranks, one or two kids with inflated egos trying to win every game on their own.
My success at under-10 level was rewarded as club chairman Barry Gordy promoted me to the under-15’s, the highest youth rank that the club operated, again I found myself immediately successful, finishing as runners up in the Burton-upon-Trent district league as well as reaching the under-15’s county cup final against Leicester City, In the end we were comfortably outclassed by the Foxes 5-1, but reaching the final was a major achievement in itself which earned me the job of first team manager the following season.
Silverware would again follow, however unlike my switch from under 10’s to under 15’s the transition to the senior team was not seamless, still just 24 years old myself I found it very difficult to get the respect of my small squad, almost all of whom were older than myself, some by almost twenty years Several individual’s chose to peruse their footballing interests elsewhere, those leaving were replaced by some of the under-15’s who had by now turned sixteen and thus become ineligible for that rank, causing me to have the youngest squad in the division. This inexperienced almost cost us dearly as we went into the final game of the season with relegation a real possibility, thankfully a win against The Cricketts Inn, a pub side from a neighbouring village kept us up but many of the older players who had chosen to stay made no secret of their opinion of me and my management after a disappointing season. I thought long and hard about quitting, however I chose to stick it out and was rewarded when we won the County Sunday cup at considerable odds and finished third in the division, It was then that I began to think seriously about football management as a proper career.

Up until now I had only coached in my part time, meeting with my players once a week for training and taking charge of matches every Sunday, however now I could see I had a talent for coaching I decided to get some formal training to enable me to start treading a path in the professional game. I enrolled at nearby Loughborough university, a national sports academy which runs courses accredited by both the FA and UEFA. After two years of studies I was given my national C licence, an opportunity to coach another Sunday League outfit Loughborough & Shepshed casuals followed, whilst I made no waves with L&S my record did convince the University to offer me the job of head coach of their prestigious University team whilst I finished my studies. A team which has a long and decorated famous alumni roster, several of whom have gone on to become full international players.

And this is where my back story catches up with us…
BBC reckons Remi Garde is in advanced talks with Villa. Be happy with him.
Maybe. He was going to get sacked if he didn't win today, got an impressive 4-0 win though.

Brendan maybe, or Pearson.

I doubt he would be a popular appointment at first but Nigel Pearson would be a good manager for us I think. He'd steady the ship at least.
I think Timmy's time is up, I said last season that he wasn't the answer long term. He could make a successful career in going into troubled clubs and giving them a shot of adrenalin with his enthusiasm but he hasn't got a clue when it comes to a long term plan.

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Nah thats just your imagination, it was all Van Gaal's fault Falcao was shit. He's great now he's at Chelsea, just ask verse.

Fell over comically whilst taking a free kick, missed several clear chances and was in the pocket of League one defenders for long periods of the game.
Quite a good game between Walsall and Chelsea, Chelsea 3-1 up but Walsall are still piling pressure on and gone close a few times.

Also how shit Falcao is nowadays is just hilarious.
A sprinkler came on during the game between Walsall and Chelsea, soaked the Chelsea fans.
If you load up the .fmf file and then go to manage tactics, you can export it and then save as .tac.

Hope that helps.
The new football league highlights show on Channel 5 fucking sucks.

Watching it on catchup now and I have to agree it's bloody awful. Only Channel five could make a footy highlights show so bad.

Looks exactly the same as the season before last just a new sponsor. Cringeworthy advertising campaign to boot.
Benniewijs: Thank you mate.


Ok, now you know the back history of the club I can now focus on the squad and our current situation. First of all before the season get's under-way I should impress upon you the odds of us surviving in the Bundesliga are absolutely astronomical;

As I mentioned in the previous post, Darmstadt were expected to struggle against relegation in 2.Bundesliga last season after promotion from 3.Liga but shocked everyone with a surprise second promotion. Unfortunately the quality of the players in the squad doesn't seem to have caught up with their new improved position.

There are one or two decent players such as target man Dominick Stohl-Engel;

But the squad as a whole is frightfully weak and against opposition such as Bayern and Dortmund we could be obliterated. There is also a lack of cover in key areas with five positions lacking at least two players to fill them.
To make matters worse there is not money to bring in new blood, although our balance should improve vastly over the course of the season given the increased revenues in the top flight so if we can avoid being cut adrift by the time the January transfer window opens I may be able to splash a bit more cash.

Turning Darmstadt into Bundesliga will take years of hard work and may very well never happen at all, but to stand any chance at all we will need top quality training and youth facilities, something we do not have currently. Getting them improved will be a top priority as we look to establish ourselves within the Bundesliga.

I have a feeling 2014/15 is going to be a very long and hard season for our supporters and may well ultimately result in an abrupt return to the second tier. However I can promise that my team will give it their all and fight tooth and nail to avoid finishing in the bottom two. My first competitive game is away to 3.Liga side Magdburg in the cup. We kick off our Bundesliga campaign at home to Hoffenheim before a trip to Hamburg the following week. Fans will be foaming at the mouth for our November clash with neighbours Frankfurt which is immediately followed by a trip to Bayern Munich.

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Full name: SV Darmstadt 98
Nickname: Die Lilien (The Lilies)
Founded: 22 May 1898
Ground: Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor
Capacity: 17,000
Chairman: Klaus Rüdiger Fritsch
League: Bundesliga

Yes, I am starting out in my native Germany, I should mention at this point that I am using Pro's excellent update which has all of 2014/15's promotions and relegations. Predicted to finish bottom of Bundesliga are SV Darmstadt who were promoted to Germany's top tier by finishing second in Budesliga 2

I know virtually nothing of this club or it's players so it will be a new experience and a learning curve. After a quick Wiki search I have been able to gather that Darmstadt is a city of 430,000 and is located just a short drive from the major city of Frankfurt. One of it's major claims to fame is the castle in which Mary Shelley wrote her classic novel Frankenstein in 1818.

The football club was formed in 1898 but until now have only managed two seasons in the top flight (1978–79 and 1981–82) but were relegated both times. In 2008 Darmstadt, finding themselves in the fourth tier, entered insolvency proceedings with debts of around €1.1 million making the future of the club uncertain. SV took various measures to avert bankcruptcy, for example a friendly benefit match against Bayern Munich, donations and in addition the former management of the club (e.g. former president, former tax advisor) made vital financial contributions which secured the club's future.

After winning the 2010–11 Regionalliga Süd in dramatic fashion, Darmstadt were promoted to the 3. Liga. In the 2012-13 season the club was initially relegated but their fiercest rivals Kickers Offenbach were refused a 3. Liga licence due to going into administration and were relegated to the Regionalliga instead. SV Darmstadt 98 took Offenbach's place.
In 2013-14 having finished third in league and thus gaining entry into the promotion-relegation play-off's, Darmstadt defeated Arminia Bielefeld in the second leg through away goals after losing 1-3 in the first leg at home to secure promotion to 2. Bundesliga for the first time in 21 years in dramatic circumstances.
In the following 2. Bundesliga season Darmstadt surprised everyone by winning back-to-back promotions, securing the 2nd spot in the league and securing promotion to the Bundesliga again after 33 years in their final league game against St. Pauli by winning 1-0 at home through a 70th minute free-kick by Tobias Kempe.
The players and management celebrate winning a shock promotion to Bundesliga

The 17,000 capacity Stadion am böllenfalltor

Welcome all to my personal big five challenge thread, Normally I prefer the anonymity of lower league management, working on a shoestring budget with players who can barely kick a ball straight in competitions most people have never heard of. However right now I fancy something all together more glamorous and lucrative and thus have set myself this challenge;
  • Win the English Premiership, French Ligue 1, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A in one career. Easy enough right?
  • The Catch is I must do it whilst starting with the club predicted to finish bottom of each league for that season and turn them into conquerors over time.
  • Should I take over a club mid-way through a season I will take the side who is bottom at the time.

As per normal for one of my saves I am playing as an ex-professional;

Thomas Hitzlsperger


1989-2000 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/915_zpscnarlqf0.pngBayern Munich - 0 (0)
2000-05 -http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/603_zpsoacbnt7x.pngAston Villa - 109 (13)
2001-02 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/634_zpsf2j9knim.pngChesterfield - 5 (0) [loan]
2005-10 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/960_zpswo300wvf.pngVFB Stuttgart - 160 (28)
2009-10 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/1140_zpszwqlqlgg.pngLazio - 6 (1)
2010-11 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/735_zpstipgdcua.png West Ham United - 13 (3)
2011-12 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/961_zpsuuqqx0zz.pngVFL Wolfsburg - 6 (0)
2012-13 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/650_zpsfiz7ufpr.pngEverton - 9 (0)

2004-10 - http://i1319.photobucket.com/albums/t675/rick871/ger_zpsswr8lmmm.png Germany - 52 (6)

I have decided to take up this challenge as one of my former Villa favourites Thomas Hitzlsperger, Der Hammer lived on the next road down from me in the early 00's and I bumped into him on occasion, he seemed a very nice guy, a quality footballer and his German/Brummie accent was hilarious.

Hitzlsperger started his career at Bayern Munich but never made the first team, he was then signed up by John Gregory at Villa where he spent five years, scoring eight goals in 99 league appearances in Birmingham before falling out of favour under David O'Leary. Hitzlsperger left Aston Villa as a fan favourite, and stated that he might return to the club when the opportunity comes. He gained the nickname Der Hammer during his time at Villa Park, due to his powerful left-foot shot from long-range.

He returned to Germany in order to further his cause for inclusion in Germany's 2006 World cup squad, joining Stuttgart where he became a regular, particularly in his second season in which the team won the Bundesliga title. Hitzlsperger made a large contribution to their success, playing in 30 of the team's 34 league matches and scoring seven times. He scored a crucial equaliser in the 27th minute of Stuttgart's final match of the season against Cottbus, had Stuttgart lost that match, Schalke would have won the title. In the end, a 63rd minute goal by Sami Khadera secured the title for Stuttgart.

Short spells with Lazio, Wolfsberg as well as a return to England with West Ham and Everton followed but injury plagued the midfielder, eventually forcing him to retire at the relatively young age of 31 in order to peruse a coaching career.

At this point we leave reality behind and delve into the world of FM, I have used the in game editor to set all my attributes the same as the real life Hitzlsperger in the default database who I have now overwritten with a fake name and all his attributes set to one.
Apparently Marc Albrighton's mother-in-law was amongst those murdered in Tunisia the other day.
Bournemouth away on the opening day. Always tricky going to a newly promoted side in the first few games.




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Melisandre will resurrect him probably.
Albania beating France was a bigger shock.
Apparently we have signed Micah Richards. Decent signing if true, though the club has yet to confirm it.
Fuck, just seen a spoiler on my FB feed that is going to make tonight's episode hard to watch.