Welcome back to my Football Manager 2019 series where I’m playing the self made “Achievement Hunter” challenge. If you haven’t already then please go and check the opening post telling you about the challenge and the team guide of my starting team in this challenge Barry Town United. I also posted a little review of my 41212 tactic which has performed so well for me so far. So enough of the self-promotion let’s get into the post where I will taking you through the up’s an down’s of my first season in charge.
I have to say this has been one hell of a fun season! So let’s firstly take a look at the players I brought into the club.
I mentioned in my team guide post we were incredibly short of players, 17 total first team players and only 5 players in the youth team. So I had to bring some players in, we were short in defence and needed a decent GK, we also needed to add some depth.
There were a lot of in’s so please bear with me.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher – AM/ST – Free Transfer
The big man joins, I needed some experience and also a versatile player, Gary can play upfront or in attacking midfield and will be a good back-up option for the season. I also signed him as a good mentor for some of my younger players.
Charlie Busby – Goalkeeper – Free Transfer
Signed as my No. 1 GK for the season, I really struggled to bring anyone better into the club due to financial constraints, Busby will be decent for this level where all the GK’s average around 8 for each attribute.
James Graham – CB – Free Transfer
A young CB who will be back-up for the season, he has good mental attributes for a young player in this league.
Adam Hesp – CB – Free Transfer from Cefn Druids
Another CB comes in but Hesp will be my first choice alongside Curtis Watkins, this guy looks really good, physically good for this level and also has a good long throw.
Jordan Barrow – DM/CM – Free Transfer
Barrow’s mental attributes drew me to him, he will provide good competition with Patten at DM. Again his mentals drew me to him and his PPM “Tries Long Ranger Passes” which will be great for my direct counter style.
Emlyn Lewis – CB – Free Transfer from Cardiff Met Uni
Another CB comes in, we only had one CB when I joined hence the deluge of new players. Emlyn looks really good and will be back-up to Hesp and Watkins. His leadership will also help a very inexperienced squad.
Hugo Logan – AM – Free Transfer
Signed in January, I had earmarked Cotterill to playas my No. 1 AM but he was dreadful and declined very quickly. Logan came in as I was really struggling to get anyone to play the AM role well. He looks quality with good mentals and some great technicals.
Christoper Jeffries – ST – Free Transfer from Connah’s Quay
I really struggled with Strikers during the first half of the season, Touray and McLaggon were amazing but I had no decent back-up of any nore. Jeffries caught my eye as a free young player, he doesn’t look amazing but hopefully with some mentoring he can start improving.
Will Evans – CM – Free Transfer
Another January signing, I had quite a few midfielders but playing 4 every game we needed a few more back-up players. Evans is on very little wages and looks decent for this division.
Rhys Williams – GK – Free Transfer
My final signing and another January one, Williams was needed as my back-up keeper had a meltdown and I sold him off. Williams looks really good and for free as well. It also gives a bit of competition to Busby.
So that’s all my signing during the season. Quite a lot but all needed due to our thin squad.
So transfer’s down, let’s see how the season went:
Welsh Premier League
What an absolutely incredible season, if you read my tactical post you will know I commented on how well we were doing, 15 games in and we had only lost 1 game. We even managed to beat TNS away in the first game of the season, courtesy of a 93rd minute goal from Adam Hesp.
An amazing start and we continued in great form until a shock 2-0 defeat in game 7 to Cefn Druids. our good run continued all the way up until game 16 where the wheels kind of fell off a little bit, 3 defeats in a row, 2 against TNS (1 in the league, 1 in the cup) which meant TNS overtook us at the top, we were still so far over-exceeding expectations and as we entered the league split after 22 games we sat 2nd in the league.
Not a bad start, only 2 points behind TNS and well over 2 points a game. Now with 10 games to go we just had to do keep pushing, I didn’t expect us to win the league but 2nd would give us a guaranteed Europa League spot without having to play the silly play-off (between 3rd to 7th) to get the final Euro place.
After the split we played 10 games, only lost 2 games (yes both to TNS!), drew 2 and won the other 6, an amazing season is over but did we get anywhere near TNS?
One word – No!
We can however looks at this season as a massive step forward. Only 9 behind TNS and 20 clear of 3rd. We averaged over 2 points per game. And with that we qualify for the Europa League Prelim Round.
And because of our fantastic season Patrick Hodler was named Manager of the Year.
A very quick overview on this competition, we were handed the toughest draw possible in the 3rd Round (where we entered the competition), away to TNS, we played OK but they showed their class beating us 2-0.
Cup Winners: TNS
Nathaniel MG Cup
The second cup in Wales and you don’t really get anything for winning it, except if I won it then it would tick off an achievement!
So we started brilliantly but were lucky in our draws, we missed out on all the bigger teams in Wales playing 3 lower league teams en-route to the final, the semi final however was a little nervy as we only scraped through on penalties.
And then to the final where we faced Caernarfon Town, our toughest game in the run and boy was it a tough game. We scored early but they really did throw everything at us, our tactics worked perfectly as we scored a 2nd catching them on the break. The did get a goal back but it wasn’t enough and we had won, my first trophy in my first season!
And with that cup win it means I get the first achievement in the challenge. More on this later.
The Youth League
Something I wasn’t going to talk about but when I saw it I had to show it. Barry have won the Youth Development South League. This is such good news for the future!
So who were my best performers I hear you ask?
My Player of the Year – By far and away my best player was on-loan Striker Touray, 27 goals in 37 games was amazing, he ended at the 4th top scorer in the league with 21.
Fans Player of the Year – Right Back Southam-Hales was also fantastic this season, he ended 3rd in the assists charts for the league with 11 and ended with the highest average rating of any Barry player with 7.26 from 34 games.
And finally a special mention to Defensive Midfielder Patten, playing as a BWM he shielded the defence fantastically winning 93% of his tackles, 78% of his headers and a pass completion of 73%, not bad seeing as we were playing direct football. He also scored 7 and assisted in 6 goals.
I also want to take a quick look at the Youth Intake because boy it looked incredible when it came through!
FIVE 5* potential players! On the surface it looked amazing and after looking a bit deeper it does look OK but not as good as you would think. I think this shows how poor my first team squad is when the 15 year old’s coming through nearly all have more potential than 90% of my first team!
So after delving a bit more I picked 4 players who look really good and will go straight into the main squad to add some good back-up.
And here they are:
Clearly all of them need a lot of work, but with some good mentoring and training and a bit of match time I’m sure I’ll be able to improve them.
The Achievement Hunter?
Just a little note on the Achievements. I now have 10 other people playing in this challenge now so I have had to tweak a few of the Achievements due to certain circumstances. I don’t think I need to go into too much explanation on this so here are the ones that have changed:
- Win League with New Club is now just Win League (that’s any league)
- Win Cup with New Club is now just Win Cup (that’s any cup)
- Win Domestic Double has to be a Top League and Cup where the top teams enter (i.e FA Cup not Checkatrade Trophy)
I never ever expected one person to join in this challenge with me so I set the achievements solely based on my own save, clearly with so many people joining I’ve had to change a few things.
Now to myself and I only gained the 1 Achievement which was “Win Cup”, 1 down, 45 to go!
Below is the table currently as of this post. Some people have started, some are having to wait but below is everyone in the challenge, what season they are at, who they are and how they are doing.
Please make sure you go and follow all these guys on Twitter and keep an eye out for their blog posts where you will be able to see how they are getting on and the achievements they have gained.
An amazing season, a cup win, a decent run in the league and we were closer to TNS than I expected. We did fall away a bit but our main issue was our results against TNS. As you can see below, apart from our opening win, we lost all the other games against them. Maybe I need to revisit my tactics and change it a little bit against them.
So my aim for next season is to win at least 2 games against TNS. I also want to end 2nd with a view to be getting closer to them.
Other than that I really need to start looking closely at the finances, we are currently £140k in the red. Hopefully a couple of wins in the Europa League will help boost the finances a bit but clearly we have to be lucky with the draws. For next season I’m going to try and cut the wage bill down and hopefully with Europe and us doing well in the league we can boost the attendance figures, this year our average has been just over 400 fans per game which is around 15% of capacity.
Squad wise I will be shipping a few of the poorer players out, give some of the younger players a shot but also bring a few players in, hopefully for next to no wages. We are losing star striker Touray as his loan is up and he doesn’t want to join so I need a new 25+ goal a season man. Other than that 1 or 2 new players, but you know me I may end up signing 10!
Anyway that’s enough from me for now. I hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for reading and speak to you all soon.