Flight Of The Concords: Part 1

I’ve finally gone and purchased Football Manager 18. And it’s all the fault of the great blogs that are around at the moment! Where to start?

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I’m not a fan of the face generation tool…

My original intention was to start unemployed, but my brief test game has given me the jitters (I’m still yet to win a competitive match on FM18…), so I’m jumping in at the beginning of pre-season with Concord Rangers.

Why them? Well, I wanted to start on the bottom rung of the league ladder, they’re geographically the closest club at this level to where I live, and there’s plenty of scope for growth – the facilities are not up to much.

The media predict a 10th placed finish, and the board expect a top half finish, so on current form, there’s every chance of my first sacking since Bolton fired me in Championship Manager 00/01…

A look at the staff for the senior squad doesn’t take long. There’s an assistant manager. That’s it. I’ve put in bids for a coach, a goalkeeping coach, two scouts and two physios. Can we afford them all? I’m not sure. But I’d rather overspend and you know, actually be able to train, find and heal players. I’ve also put in a bid for a better assistant manager.

Also, for the first time in my experience, the board agree to pay for my next coaching badge:

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As you would expect, there aren’t many fantastic players queuing up to join us, but I’ve put out speculative bids for half a dozen players, mostly for depth, and mainly on “pay as you play” contracts.

Speaking of queuing, the fans are well up for it:

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Below is my incoming staff. As you can see, I also nabbed a Head of Youth Development in the vain hope of getting a half decent player in the intake, and an Under 23s Manager.

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Rory Fallon and Jack Collison provide some international experience. They are both far too good for this level, so I don’t know how long we’ll be able to keep them. Our staff ratings are through the roof:

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On the player market, I may have gotten a little carried away…

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As mentioned, it is mostly an accumulation of depth, although hopefully we’re a little improved at full back, with Lee Hills (D/WBL) and Perry Cotton (DR) looking like a step up from what we had.

Max Makaka (MC) and Michael Cregan (ST) are both rated at three and a half stars by the staff, which puts them in a select group of players in my squad who are rated above three stars. There are seven of these players altogether, and four of them are strikers.

Results wise, pre-season went well…

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…but some of those games were really ugly. One clean sheet against such lowly opposition is a worry going in to the season. Our performances concerned me enough that I chucked Plan A (standard 4123) after the Faversham game and am now rolling with a 442, with counter mentality. Keep it simple, goes the theory…

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