We’re back for episode 2 and to begin our journey with Llanelli Town all the way down in the JD Cymru South league. However to me it doesn’t matter what level you’re at, the most important thing to sort out when you arrive at any club is your backroom staff. With the club almost £40k in debt at this point (quite a lot for this level as the only revenue stream is from fundraising), the option to pay off and release existing staff was not there. So I just wanted to see if there were any gaps that we could fill in, and low and behold there was:
We had space for a Head of Youth Development, Director of Football and 2 Scouts. Now it’s fair to say we didn’t have the crème de la crème of backroom staff to pick from, in fact there was only 1 scout in the whole game who would consider joining us! But we did manage to get in a Head of Youth Development, Director of Football and that 1 Scout. We will sort the rest out when their contracts expire at the end of the season.
The squad itself was not in a good state at all, the best goalkeeper, centre backs and left back were all rated between 1 and 2 star. We would certainly make it into the “better going forward than they are at defending” category. However there were some shining lights in terms of existing players:
Former Swansea youngster Daniel Alfei at RB, Canadian midfielder Noa Eisenberg and Star Striker Nathan Logan offered some hope for reaching that all important 4th place finish. However there was no time for pre-season planning, we were straight into a run of games and needed to set up our formation and tactics.
DP FM Tip – If you join a team mid season and don’t have time to properly implement your ideas, take a look at the schedule to see previous results where your team did well and see what formations and players were used in those games. Equally take a look at where your team didn’t do well and see if there were any different tactics that were used so you can try to avoid making the same mistakes.
Now when creating the tactic the one with the best match for our players was “wing play” according to our assistant. I know this tactic can work great for some people, but it’s not my kind of tactic at all. However I looked at the previous results where we did well and the team were playing a 4-4-2 wing play system, therefore I decided to try it out for a bit.
All looked well after the first game against Buckley, a 3-0 win in the JD Welsh Cup. However I was soon brought crashing down to earth with a 0-0 draw at home against second bottom Undy and then an embarrassing 1-0 loss at home to bottom of the league Risca, who hadn’t won a league game yet that season. With a trip to top of the league Camarthen on the horizon, I decided what did I have to lose in trying to implement my own system? I went with a “get your best players on the pitch” approach and lined up with a 4-4-2 diamond with a second striker making it more of a 4-1-2-1-2 in reality. Would you believe it… I probably watched best game on Footballer Manager I have seen in years:
An 8-4 win away at top of the league?! Don’t mind if I do! It was an unbelievable game as there were a combined 47 shots and 12 goals. My 3 star rated second striker Jordan Follows scored an incredible double hat-trick! I thought I had found the magic formula, it was only up from here, who knows, maybe a late title challenge and promotion push? Not quite…
November was not a good month. We didn’t win a game and lost 4 out of 5 including a 1-0 loss at home against Ammanford, where 44 year old former Llanelli Town legend Lee Trundle scored a 93rd minute 25 yard free kick to put us down to 11th in the league. With a 2 week break before a must win game against 12th place Cwmbran Celtic pressure was building…
In that 2 week break I managed to sign a 17 year old regen keeper (Lucas Lacey) as well as an 18 year old centre back (Harry Jolley), both as free agents, and began to work on a new tactic to implement to try to turn results around and save my job. However on the eve of the game against Cwmbran Celtic I had a change of heart and decided to stick to the tactic that had done us so well against top of the league only 6 games previously. This was it, 12th December 2020, 14:30 kick off, make or break…
And we did it! Another incredible game where we came from behind to win 5-3. The result put us up to 10th and kept the axe away for another week at least. Up next are a run of fixtures against sides that are all above us in the table, which will either be a great way to close the gap or could have us back down the job centre by new years day!
Merry Christmas everyone! Make sure you check back in to see how we get on in Episode 3 which I will post on the 28th December 2020. You can subscribe below to have updates sent directly to your email and again if you have any thoughts, tips or feedback leave them in the comments below or get in touch with us through our contact page or social media. If you’re enjoying then make sure you like and share with other FM enthusiasts!
While you’re here if you want to follow more challenges go over to Scott (the co-author of this site) challenge where he is on a journey to rebuild Bolton Wanderers and take them on a Europa League run! Link: https://dpfmblog.com/2020/12/21/bolton-back-to-europa-s1e1/
Thank you for reading and see you again soon!