Plight of the Concords
#1
25-02-2018, 07:12 PM
Okay so as we all know the vast majority of my careers turn out to be unmitigated disasters. And this one is no different.

Concord Rangers - National League South, 2017/18

My first mistake was signing a load of youngsters. Most of them were really good quality for this level, but the squad severely lacked experience - and the experience we did have was shite, and was largely (I'll come to this later) fucked off out the door early on. We were only expected to finish midtable.

We got off to a good start and we were up in the promotion race for much of the first three months of the season before we started to tail off a little, never really dropping away from the chasing pack though and towards December we started picking up some very good results. We also took some massive hammerings which brought us back down to earth, but we were always either on the coat tails of or actually in the last playoff spot.

Then it happened. I tried to get rid of the final experienced player I considered to be shite, but he refused to terminate his contract. And half the dressing room turned on me. Shunted a few bad apples into the ressies, brought in (more) kids on loan from higher up. This was around January, and this was where our slide down the league began. We were in a position at one point where we were a point off 7th (which is the last playoff place in this division) and two games in hand. A month on, two dressing room revolts in between, and we were 14th, 5 points off. Never recovered, and a very promising campaign went to shite. Didn't help that my first choice keeper broke his finger and was out of action for three weeks, like.

I did manage to get rid of the lad I wanted shut of, but it was now March and the damage had been done both in the dressing room and in the league... or so it seemed. We rallied throughout April and we went into the final day of the season with a chance of snatching the final playoff place. We went a goal down early, and with results elsewhere going against us we'd have fallen short by a point anyway.

Lost in the cups in 3rd qualifying round in the Cup to Oxford City (beat us all three times this season) and in FA Trophy Round 1 to Maidenhead United, finished 13th in the end. Bit gutting after flirting with the playoffs all season even up to the final day.

TL;DR - cups sucked arse, team hates me, full of bottle jobs but met expectations. Hope to Christ I'm elsewhere next year.

Billericay Town - National League South, 2018/19

So I decided to resign having realised I could go no further with this club if the dressing room had anything to say about it. I rejected the advances of St Albans on the basis that they were expecting a relegation battle and I am much more ambitious.

Along came Billericay with a bit of a mental chairman and into the lion painted dressing room I go... oh and they basically had monopoly money for me to play with at this level as well as some players that are far too good. I also managed to bring in a former Newcastle stalwart in goal from Peterborough who was waaaaaay too good for this league, but as I say, monopoly money... And this money also allowed me to bring in a utility midfielder, striker, AM and CB from Concord who didn't hate me, along with a host of players who would be enough to help us fulfil our billing as favourite. However my best two signings were a young loan striker from Blackpool and another from Burton.

Long story short, we pissed it. Once we opened up a gap at the top, the closest the teams behind us got was 6 points. Won the league with 5 games to spare despite a 6-1 thumping away to... St Albans, and finished with a 12 point gap to 2nd. We didn't lose until game 17 in the league. Blackpool loanee hit over 50 goals in all competitions. An awful lot of deadwood (some of which I signed) to get rid of though for next year. There were a few dressing room revolts as you'd expect if you know anything about my history with this game, but I promptly showed the door to several players who hated me and made a few pennies off the players I sold.

Cups - made it to the 1st Round proper of the FA Cup where we lost 3-1 away to Wigan, lost in the 3rd qualifying round (which was the first round we enter) to Welling United.

My budget has been doubled, and is bigger than some midtable National League clubs based on a few interviews I was invited to late in the season, so I'm guessing I'll be expected to really kick on. I'm going to have a massive turnover of players this summer (including having to find a new keeper - got one with great potential but nowhere near ready for the first team at National League level) so it may not be as good a year as the chairman is wanting, but we'll see what I can find. Hopefully a few good Football League has beens floating about for nowt...

Major development of the year has to be a new stadium in the making (though several years away) - not sure why we're doing that as we made massive losses that may or may not have been down to me...

Oh and Concord made the playoffs.

Over the summer, I put together a squad I felt could compete, but then the preview came out and we were expected to win the division again... wasn't going to happen. The board also said they wanted a playoff push. Fair enough, I had a fair chunk of cash to spend. But the final straw was when they sold a young star I'd build my team around for next year for pennies, despite my protests. I walked. 

Eastleigh FC  - National League, 2019/20

It took me until November to get this job, picking up the reigns with the Spitfires in 23rd on a contract to the end of the season. We lost our first 5 games on the bounce, trying to play a system I liked but we didn't seem suited to. Switched formation and brought in a few players to pad the squad out in terms of number and quality (including a former England and City right back) and we won 8 in a row to lift us up to midtable, with wins over Hartlepool in 1st and a few other top sides along the way. We just muddled along from then on really, though a massive dressing room revolt when I refused to play a player who was shite but was well liked threw the season off the rails a bit. We were never in danger of being dragged back into the dogfight.

Despite all this, the dressing room atmosphere was absolutely toxic and I think the board were looking to get rid of me at the first opportunity, so I announced I would be leaving the club in the summer. To quote Rodderas, "Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know." They hated me at this point anyway and I'd lost interest in trying to achieve anything at the club. I was getting inviting glances from across the Irish Sea anyway at this point, and I'd had a few interviews, so that could well be the direction I head in next, I thought.

I was basically forced to resign with 8 games to go. I was 5 points above Billericay at the time, so my decision to jump ship was evidently not a poor one. As for my players here. Bastards, all of them.

Out of the Cup before I came, lost in the 2nd round of the Trophy to Tranmere.
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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#2
25-02-2018, 07:23 PM
Sounds about right. Keep up the good pissing-everyone-off!
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#3
25-02-2018, 08:40 PM
Lovely start, JD Mrgreen Annoying, emotional players. Mutha'uckas 'uckin with your shi'!
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
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#4
26-02-2018, 11:19 AM
Good old JD! Keep up with the shite *need more popcorn*...
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#5
26-02-2018, 04:32 PM
Smashing! Players that like you are over rated imo! Slightly disappointed you left Billericay as I'd like to see a long term save with them doing well.

Anyways, best of luck making friends with your players...

kutgw

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#6
28-02-2018, 01:42 AM
Leyton Orient - National League, 2020/21

Plenty of interviews, some of which took me interest, others were out of desperation. I almost ended up back with Billericay as well, funnily enough.

I waited until November again for a job, this time landing in London. Good squad, underperforming just about. They were 8th (13th when I applied) and the board wanted to challenge for a playoff place. Easy job, I thought. I thought.

Of course, it was never that simple. We were consistent, very much so - we ended up setting the divisional record for draws. That's what killed us really. We did hit a good run of form around the January/February point of the season but most of my signings turned out to be shite and I pissed money up the wall basically. I signed misfiring strikers and defenders that wouldn't look out of place in the French army such was their ineptitude at actually putting up a fight defensively. We did trouble the top 7 for much of the season but come March it all fell apart and things turned nasty when it was supposedly entirely my fault. I even had one game to save my job at one bit.

However we did hit a late run of form that set up a make or break clash with 6th placed Dagenham & Redbridge (who incidentally had interviewed me over the summer) in the penultimate week, with the Orient lying 4 points outside the top 7. As it happened, we went 1-0 down inside 5 minutes and never recovered. Didn't matter anyway as Morecambe in 7th were winning which put the playoffs out of our reach. We actually finished 9th in the end due to how tight the league was (which was very frustrating as a win would catapult you from midtable into the playoff hunt but even a draw would drop you down several places).


We did have a good run in the FA Trophy, making it to the 4th round. We took Barrow to a replay, leading 3-0 at half time before capitulating to a 5-4 defeat. Lost in the FA Cup 2nd round to Goole, who appear to have been bought out by a tycoon and have spent heavily.



I think some of the problems were caused by a real lack of leadership in the squad this season, with much of the team being has beens or kids, so that's something I'll have to look to address, should I be kept on - or should I choose to stay... I did manage to sell one of my hot prospects for £350k with sell ons on top, so that came in handy. Though I wasted it all...
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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#7
01-03-2018, 03:54 PM
Not a bad season... Money is for spending... Keep at it Thup

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#8
03-03-2018, 11:59 AM
Bohemians - Irish Premier Division, 2021

I decided not to renew my contract in East London (a decision I would come to regret) and headed across the Irish Sea to take on the Bohs job. First up, Shamrock Rovers, hated rivals. We won that, and our first four games in a row. This put us up into third, which was a European place. We were also going deep in two cups, which gave us a few games in hand, and the way things panned out for Shamrock in 2nd meant if we won them all we'd be a point behind them and 3 off top spot.

We then lost all but 5 games for the rest of the season, so it was a fucking disaster really, finishing 3rd bottom and 3 points above the relegation playout.

However, we did make it to the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League. We actually beat PSV Eindhoven 3-2 in Ireland before we were dismantled to the tune of seven goals without reply at the Philips Stadion. We made it to the final of the League Cup where Waterford beat us 3-0 in a truly abysmal performance. Lost the Senior Challenge Cup in the semi final to University College Dublin (really?). We were out of the regional cup to Shamrock before I arrived.

And as of now I'm struggling to negotiate a contract extension for our star player so I'm not sure whether I really want to be here anymore. Lol

Especially as there's more National League interest...
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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#9
03-03-2018, 03:34 PM
Remember, P45's are not trophies Mrgreen
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

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#10
09-03-2018, 11:48 PM
A brilliant read! KUTGWoefulW Mrgreen
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#11
10-03-2018, 07:42 PM
That sounded like an interesting season/club. I'm intrigued to know what would tempt you away.... Surely not just some stressful contract negotiations? Mrgreen

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#12
11-03-2018, 04:34 AM
You know you're allowed to stay with a club for more than one season under LLM rules, right? Mrgreen
Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division II
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#13
11-03-2018, 10:51 AM
Now you tell him!
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#14
12-03-2018, 07:53 AM
Mrgreen
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#15
17-03-2018, 12:07 AM
Wrexham AFC - National League, 2022/23

So I ended up crossing the Irish Sea again, back into English non-league. I jumped at the chance, though I very nearly ended up back at Orient...

Anyway, I kept much of the squad together from last season (who made the playoffs as it happened), including all the loan stars. And my god did we have a lot of loanees. There were a few who came in during the season to bolster my options in midfield and up front but we struggled for depth - or rather, quality in depth - in the defence. 

We got off to a great start, and we managed to keep this up for most of the first half of the season, pulling away with a group of 7 that would end up making the top 7 for the entire season. We swapped places with all of them moving up and down through the season, going top of the league in December for a week or two. We were never far away from top spot until February where we hit a poor run of form, losing to relegation threatened sides which all but killed our title challenge, though because we'd pulled away we were never in danger of not finishing in the top 7. The gap between us and the rest was emphasised further when we had another collapse in form towards the end of the season meaning we'd slipped away from the top 3 (and with it escaping a bye in the first round of the playoffs). 

I ended up coming up against old club Billericay in said first round, and the less said, the better. 4-0 down at half time, 2-0 down within 10 minutes. We did pull a goal back early in the second half and another on the hour mark but that's as far as we went. They did go on to lose in the final to Boston United, nice to see them back in the League if you know their story...

A few of the clubs around the bottom of the League were looking at me as we neared the top of the table so it'll be interesting to see what happens in that respect, but I'm happy to go again with Wrexham I think. I just have to hope I can keep hold of my loan players... one of my stars in particular, a striker who's in on loan from Wensdeh and won POTY. The squad did randomly turn on me when we slumped to 7th claiming we were underachieving though we only ever set out to make the playoffs so I'm not sure what that's all about. 


Cups didn't quite suck arse, we took Blackpool to a replay (lost 2-1 at home) in FACR1, and we actually managed to win the Trophy in a comfortable 1-0 win over Dulwich Hamlet, so that was fun.
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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#16
17-03-2018, 12:12 AM
Oh and we've just bought the ground.
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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#17
17-03-2018, 08:23 AM
Ah that's better! Looks like a solid season, and plenty of room to build. Just try not to upset anyone (easier said than done I know!)

kutgw

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#18
18-03-2018, 04:55 PM (This post was last modified: 18-03-2018, 05:30 PM by JD95 aka Fidsy Jr..)
Wrexham AFC - National League, 2023/24

I decided to stay as nothing better came up. Turned out to be a good call. Most of the loanees were actually signed up permanently as their contracts were expiring, though this took up a big chunk of the wage budget. I managed to add a second choice keeper on a free from Birmingham that never played but we managed to flog for £160k to Bournemouth for no apparent reason with add ons too. We also, as I didn't realise, had the Wednesday striker, Owl on loan for another season as we'd agreed a two year loan.

Okay, so as for the season. We raced ahead of everyone else with Cheltenham hot on our heels. Top spot was ours right up until they came to North Wales, and they put two past us dropping us into 2nd. We were never more than a win behind them however, and we managed to capitalise when they did eventually drop points with a good Christmas putting us back on top. From here until around March we traded blows with Cheltenham, occasionally falling back, occasionally opening a small gap, but never really pulling away. 

What turned out to be a pivotal game came in mid February against Billericay. We were 2-1 down at half time after taking an early lead and were 3-2 down going into 80 minutes. Owl popped up with an equaliser five minutes from time then scored his fourth of the game to win it on 90+3. Scenes. Cheltenham lost that day and while that wasn't the week we put our foot on the gas, they never recovered to reclaim 1st.

In the end we did hit the accelerator hard and won the league ending on 100 points. Would've been a lot more (Cheltenham managed 99 points, which must be heartbreaking to do so well and not be promoted automatically) but we had a bit of a collapse after the league was won, losing 4/5, so they ran us a lot closer than it ever should've been, but we couldn't be caught by the time they got their shit together. Though we did have a 13 game unbeaten run in among this season which no doubt won us the title.

Some of the loanees I won't be able to get back and may prove difficult to replace. One of the ones I signed up I managed to sell for £170k plus add ons, though I fear this was a mistake as he would've progressed to a League One level in time and we didn't really replace him. Meh. Buying the stadium has put us in a fucking horrific financial situation, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to do next season. I've also been linked with a couple of jobs that are of great interest to me, one of which is very close to home... Smile

Cups - lost in the Cross Border Derby against hated rivals Chester in the FA Trophy 1st round so we were nowhere near defending the trophy, though we did manage to get to FACR3 so not all bad.

As well as winning the league, we set a divisional and team points record, divisional scoring record for Owl with 47 goals (53 in all competitions), divisional scoring record as a team, divisional wins record and a team clean sheets record for my keeper, also, you guessed it, on loan. Lol  I won MOTY and Owl got POTY.

So yeah, fuck knows what next.
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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#19
18-03-2018, 04:55 PM
I always try and do these short and to the point and it ends up being absolutely massive. Lol
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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#20
18-03-2018, 05:26 PM
Oh and just to add to Cheltenham's misery they lost in extra time at Wembley. Lol
(15-02-2018, 10:50 PM)Rodderas Wrote: Maybe this upset the team? Fucked if I know.



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