Mega Project – The End?

Welcome back to Mega Project – and today is the end! Mason has some big news, which you will find out below. Today we hear from the local newspaper and a letter from Mason himself.

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The Man from Loch Ness -or- The Ballad of St Mirren


I’d like for you, the reader, to take a chair and sit a spell while I regale you with the story about a man from Loch Ness, and a small football club in the town of Paisley in the Renfrewshire of the Scottish lowlands.

The 2014/2015 Scottish Football season had just ended, and the aging first team of St Mirren have been relegated to the Championship. Sensing that a new face was needed, club chairman Stewart Gilmour reached out to the depths of murky waters to bring forth a monster of a personality in John Oglesby – The Man from Loch Ness.

A somewhat risque hire for a managerial role, as he was the same age – if not younger – than a few of the players contracted to St Mirren. At the age of 35, Mr Oglesby was a few years removed from an International Career where he bagged 25 goals in 83 caps for the National Team, where he played as an attacking left winger. A career long history with a faulty knee forced him to end his career at the age of 30. Whereas most athletes would rest on their laurels and join the commentator’s booth – John Oglesby still had that fire for competition and completed his coaching licenses all the way to the the Continental Pro (it does help when you’ve had a successful playing career to afford the fees for such a license).

St Mirren as a squad in 2015 was one that was aging up top, but had some incredible youth coming up through the ranks – albeit they were seen as not ready for prime time – the new Manager thought right quick to get the young boys up to speed on how to reach their potential. Immediately, Mr Oglesby was faced with the adversity of playing a minnow in a pool with a Great White – as Celtic had set their sights on 2 of the young talents that he had pegged as the future for St Mirren. The giants of Glasgow had swooped in and forced the hand of the inexperienced manager into selling Stephen Mallan and Sean Kelly, two players he had pegged to be cornerstones for the team. Mallan, a rising name in Scottish football had what looked to have an amazing future at St Mirren Park, manning the center of the midfield for a decade to come. Sean Kelly flying in as a Left Back would have been a glorious piece to the puzzle – but that was sadly not to be.

With the added revenue from the sale of two such promising players – The brain trust at St Mirren huddled together and along with their somewhat limited scouting department was able to come across a true gem to replace the departed Stephen Mallan. From Cowdenbeath came a shooting star of ability in Lewis Milne. A young 20 year old attacking center midfielder who was every bit the player that the departed Mallan was. To replace Sean Kelly at left back, Mr Oglesby looked to the Academy, where he found a very game Jordan Stewart to keep the opposing wingers honest. In goal, St Mirren went with experience and kept Jamie Langfield between the posts. Up top they stuck with Steven Thompson while giving the young Callum Gallagher time to get his ears dry.

The first season with a rookie manager was a struggle, languishing towards the bottom half of the mid table – John Oglesby kept looking for signs of life on offense as Steven Thompson came off injured in the first few games of the season – and effectively ended his career. Cameron Howieson, the promising young CAM from New Zealand was still too inexperienced to man the #10 role. On direct orders from Mr Oglesby, the scouting team scoured the youth squads from England, looking for talent to bring in on loans to help stay above the relegation zone. Their search were bountiful, but to find a team that would allow their young starlings to compete in the lower tier of Scottish football turned to be a problematic proposition. Fortunately, St Mirren had found 2 takers on their offer for playing time. From Southampton came a fantastic young Advanced Playmaker in Jake Hesketh, and on the Right Wing stepped in Daniel Barlaser from Newcastle United.

The struggles began to give way to success following the January transfer window. John Oglesby finally found a combination of a Starting XI and formation that would get the most out of the talented – yet largely inexperienced squad. A 4-4-1-1 began the nom d’raison at St Mirren Park, and The Buddies soon adopted a menancing, counter attacking personality. Under this new direction, the team became a very fluid squad, working on both ends of the pitch and closing down with the ferocity of a pack of wolves on a wounded prey.

The results were showing, and St Mirren had began their ascent up the table. With one game to go to end the season they managed to topple the fallen giants – Rangers, who were in the pole position in the Championship, to jump ahead of Hibernarian and squeak into 4th place just in time for the Scottish Championship League Playoff. The Buddies fared well in the playoff – especially considering the youthful demeanor and inexperience of the core of the squad – and were able to open some eyes of the followers of Scottish League Football to what is happening in the town of Paisley.


Mega Project #14 – Mason’s Off-Season Adventures

Welcome back to Mega Project – we all know how much managers and players enjoy their time off after a hard and long season – and Mason Bradshaw is no different – we hear from a news report regarding travelling back to London – then Mason himself.

Bradshaw, Swapping Belfast for Brighton

Mason Bradshaw heads for England.

Mason Bradshaw was spotted at Belfast Airport travelling back to London, where we suspect he will be staying with his immediate family. Our sources confirm the reason for the trip isn’t transfer related, however Mason looks set for a busy pre-season when he finally returns to Ireland.

Mason Bradshaw is a football manager who has had spells at Stirling and most recently Ards, in Ireland. Many pundits have wrote Mason off after his spell at Stirling, but he has completely turned his career down. He has took himself over to Northern Ireland to try and rebuild his short career. Mason’s reputation took a heavy beating after the media was massively behind him in a successful first management attempt and he ultimately failed, the blame has to be on his first couple of months where he couldn’t find the right 11 and attempted to play youth players who were showing “more spirit.”

It is rumoured that Mason will also be going to America before pre-season starts, for what reason, we don’t know, however it’s unlikely a management job. We hope to see Mason back in Ards for the coming season and to really make a push for it.

Now, let’s hear from Mason himself about his off season.

18th May 2017

The season is over, I really have enjoyed my first season as a manager but I am now looking forward to a rest, and better still, a holiday. The off-season started a few days, after which I took a flight back to England where I was spending the start of the off-season I have gone back to Brighton to catch up with my friends and family around the area, which has been great fun. But the real event is hapening in July, the long-awaited trip to New York City!


It was my first trip to The Big Apple in over 10 years, and I couldn’t wait. My whole immediate family (My mum, dad and brother) were coming, and we were going to catch up with our Uncle Andy, Aunt Sandra and our cousins Meg and James. I can’t wait!


The house in New Jersey, where my family live.

I fly out at 5am on the 31st May, from Heathrow Airport. I am really excited, I have a lot of plans, including obviously catching up with my family there. I also plan on going to watch some American football and some MLS over there. I am also looking forward to visiting some landmarks, such as the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, Times Square and taking a stroll through Central Park. I also have a friend who lives in New York, and we are planning to try to do a bit of Route 66, but we shall see. We are going for a fortnight, so I have a lot to fit in!


The countdown is on!

16th June 2017

The off-season is nearly over, as I return to Ireland on the 21st June. I have had a great post season though, including my awesome trip to New York.

I left my parents’ house with the rest of the family at roughly 1am in the morning to drive down to London where we were catching the Tube to Heathrow. I remember getting onto the bustling train where crowd had started to fill to get to their daily job. As the train moved underground, and the lights flickered on and off, and then the squeeze of the breaks as the Tube rolled in Heathrow Airport – Terminal 4, it was time.


Around 10 hours later – and seven hours on a plane – I arrived in the Big Apple. At 7:15am local time in fact, as the plane landed at JFK Airport, as we walked out, heading to border control, I was ready to have my best experience in life so far.


JFK Airport from the plane. What a view!

After around an hour getting through border control and collecting our bags, we walked out looking for the family, when we saw them, we realised that Uncle Andy was holding a sign with ‘BRADSHAWS’ then in really small writing ‘Mason Bradshaw – Pro Manager’. I never felt so proud in my life.

As we drove back to New Jersey, I saw the Manhattan skyline, and I was taken back, it was amazing during the day, but I could only imagine what it would look like at the night so I knew I had to come back to see the skyline at night.


I had two weeks to go and do everything that I wanted to do – and I needed to make the most of this experience as not many get to stay in New York for two weeks.

I had a great catch up with my family over there – including a lovely burger at Wendy’s – a few beers at Anticipation as well as some great chats about their footballing experiences.


If you ever go to America, make sure you go to Wendy’s!!!

Next on my agenda was to finally watch some NFL – I was desperate to see the New York Jets at the MetLife and I got to watch two games against the Giants and New England Patriots, and the moment that the commentator shouted ‘TOUCHDOWN!!!!’ will stick with me forever.

NFL: New York Jets at New York Giants

I got up early on the 4th June, at around 9am local time in fact, to catch the PATH train from Harrison to the World Trade Center – I had decided that today was the day to get started on looking at some of the world-famous landmarks that the City of New York had to offer, and where better to start than the Empire State Building? I can’t even do it justice, it was amazing to see in person.

Empire State.png

The Empire State Building

Then I took the short walk to Times Square, and even though, you see it in photos, it is much better when you see it in better, as I walked through the hustle and bustle of the crowd who were all in awe of wonderful spectacle we were all enjoying, seeing all the advertisements flash on and off the screens, it is a moment I shall never forgot – that is for sure.


It had been a very long day, but before I caught the PATH train back to Harrison, there was one thing I defintley wanted to do, go and see the Skyline at night and try to get some good photos of it, and you can see the photo I took below – but boy, what a view. If you get the chance to see it, go and see it!


The wonderful skyline!

I had to be back by the 14th June to watch a MLS game, therefore I knew I needed to start on completing at least a good distance of Route 66, so I sent a text to my mate, Ryan, and we got started on Route 66 on the 5th June, travelling about half way before heading home, it was an amazing experience though, and I’d definitely recommend it for people looking to go travelling.


A cool picture I took on Route 66 whilst we were having a break.

Then it was time to watch a MLS game, I decided to go and see a game at Red Bull Arena. I am so glad I did. The atmosphere was magic. The South Ward was electric all night long and especially when Daniel Royer scored the winner over the their rivals, NYCFC. I’m going to put it out there right now, the Red Bulls are a club I’d like to manage in the future.


I only had a few days left until it was time to head back to Ireland, but I made sure I made the most of it, as I went to see more amazing landmarks including the marvelous Central Park, which is a dream, but it did take a long time to walk to the other side! I took a boat tour to see the Statue of Liberty which was amazing to. I also went to Ground Zero to pay my respects.


New York was an amazing experience, and something that I’ll never forgot – I really enjoyed the New York lifestyle, hopefully one day, I might be managing out in America, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Mega Project is a unique Football Manager experience. Mega Project features Mason Bradshaw, a rookie manager who never played professionally, who attempts to climb the football leader from the first job to becoming a world class manager. Mega Project is something that’s never been done before as we look from all angles, from Mason himself, the clubs, his family and friends, colleagues, the world of football and more. Mega Project is released weekly here at

Incase you have missed any previous Mega Projects, you can read them all here:

Want to keep up to date on every movement of Mason Bradshaw? Mason has a Twitter account where he tweets about jobs, training, his personal life and more. You can follow Mason on Twitter – @MasonBradshawFM

From Ireland to Liverpool – an FM Journey

So, a quick overview of my career before joining up with Liverpool. Started off by taking over Ireland from Martin O’Neill with the aim of turning Ireland into a quality side. We’ve had a poor generation and had to make of what we have. We had some good results and a couple bad but we end up into the playoffs behind Austria. We end up beating Romania 3-1 on aggregate and advance to the World Cup. We have some more up and down results in the warm up friendlies so we get into the World Cup with a favourable draw. DR Congo, South Korea and Belguim. Looks like we have a chance.

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The Return to the Glory Days #6 – Ipswich Town FM

Glory Days

28th April 1962 – Port man Road – Ipswich Town win the First Division at the first attempt under Sir Alf Ramsey, with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa

6th May 1978 – Old Wembley Stadium – Roger Osborne wins the FA Cup for Ipswich Town, their first trophy since winning the league title in 1962, and to this date, this achievement is said to the towns “proudest moment”, and when the town felt most proud of itself.

20th May 1981 – Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam – Ipswich Town lift the UEFA Cup, with a 5-4 win on aggregate over AZ. Dutch player, Frans Thijssen, scored two over the two legs.

2nd May 1992 – Portman Road – Ipswich Town win promotion to the newly formed Premier League after winning the league title under the leadership of John Lyall.

29th May 2000 – Old Wembley Stadium – Ipswich Town win promotion to the Premier League, under George Burley. Ipswich win 4-2 over Barnsley.

19 May 2001 – Pride Park – Ipswich Town finish fifth in their first season in the Premier League, with a 1-1 draw against Derby, allowing them to play in next seasons’ UEFA Cup.

Can I add to the above list of achievements during my career? Keep reading to find out!

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