Globalising Gorleston FC – Introduction

Prior to moving to New Zealand at the tender age of 9, I spent my life in the ‘seaside resort’ known as Great Yarmouth, the gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the North Sea.
I resided in Yarmouth, I went to school in Yarmouth, but in terms of my football, things were different. I played for over-the-river-yare rivals Gorleston FC. Now the reason I played for them up to the U10’s level? My dad was the coach. No other reason.

Now I don’t really remember much from my football career before moving to New Zealand, apart from the fact that I was hopeless and probably wouldn’t have been in the team if it wasn’t for my dad. And like you can see in the upcoming photo, I probably spent most of my playing time sitting on my backside.

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Up and coming Gorleston Sharks wonder-kid, Luke Whiting

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Welcome to #Hawaii

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“When you think of Hawaii, you think of 5-star hotels, you think of Islands & a tropical climate. Not soccer, it’s one of those things that’s not working in the US, I mean look at the state of US Soccer right now. It’s in free-fall, the last thing we need is another money grab from Garber, it’s a repeat of NYCFC. The backing of a Big sports team & boom, instant franchise.”

The Beginning

Not many people know that Hawaii actually has Eight islands, however, only 7 are populated. The biggest is, of course, Oahu which has a population of over 900 thousand followed by Hawai’i which is still a way behind with just over 185 thousand. This story is set on the island of Oahu, central Oahu to be exact.

Now, let me give you some background. LAFC who were meant to be joining in the 2018 season collapsed in early 2017, just as the foundations of the Banc of California were being laid. This sent the MLS into a huge panic, Nashville had no time to make a sudden switch over to the MLS, Detroit & Sacramento were still working hard to win that last expansion bid, so where could they turn to?

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Success with a Cherry on top – AFC Bournemouth’s rise to the top – Part Two

When I watched that first game against Shrewsbury in 1995, the true importance of the match was lost on me. To me, I had just watched a game of football and watched my home town team convincingly beat their opposition. As first games go, based on that alone it was an amazing experience. When I realised how close the club had come to what would have ultimately ended the club and just how important the win was, it hit me just how great my first game was.

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Success with a Cherry on top – AFC Bournemouth’s rise to the top – Part One

Every fan remembers their first game, it’s the one that sets you on your path to following your chosen team. Whether you support your local club or are influenced by a family member, you become invested in them, and follow their every exploit almost religiously. For me, my first game was 2nd May 1995, when AFC Bournemouth took on Shrewsbury Town in the final game of the season. With Bournemouth having had a fairly terrible season, an upturn in form saw them just one win away from securing their Division 2 status going into the final game.

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A Norwegian Adventure – Bjerkreim IL

Bjerkreim are a football club basis in the the village of  Vikeså in the Rogaland County in Norway is the host of a football club named Bjerkreim IL who currently play deep in the Norwegian pyramid at level 6 in Group A, they are currently guided by English man and Youtuber Paul Wandless (@TN_TheNorthman) and thanks to the wonders of Football Manager (and hard work from the creators of the mod!) you can now Manage Bjerkreim.
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Will England win the 2018 FIFA World Cup? – Football Manager 2018 Simulation

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We’re just 50 days out from the 2018 FIFA World Cup! The closer we get, the more exciting it becomes. As always, England fans continue to believe!

The chances of England going all the way are slim to non-existent, but it wont stop the barmy army getting behind the boys!

We’ve simulated the FIFA World Cup on Football Manager 2018 to see if England get anywhere close to going all the way.

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Mason’s Comeback – FM18 #1

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Mason Bradshaw (far right) started his management career at just 24

Mason Bradshaw shocked the world last year when he announced at just the tender age of 24, he was to start managing – and he proved the critics wrong by managing in Scottish Ladbrokes League 2 as Stirling boss (although he did only last 10 games) before finishing his career at Ards, before retiring from management due to personal circumstances, since being revealed due to his fiancee being pregnant with twins… now Mason is back!

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Lets head to South America – Venezuela

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I’m the boss now.

Some players don’t like meeting new faces whether it be players, manager or coaches. That was the welcome I received when I strolled up to training the day after being officially appointed to take charge. The players didn’t take too me, they had a very positive relationship with the previous Head Coach so naturally, when I was appointed things looked very different. I’m unproven, untested and untried, but somehow I’m the new Head Coach.

I’d been tasked with the challenge of taking the team through the playoff system to win the Copa Tracki, not just that competition though, we also had the Copa Venezuela Final to deal with on top of that. The players, although unhappy, gave it everything in the final stretch of training sessions. They knew how important it was to win the league for the first time since 1985 & so did I.

Player stats.

  • Top Goalscorer – Over Garcia (47)
  • Highest Average Rating – Yeferson Velazco (7.72)
  • Most Assists – Yeferson Velazco (23)
  • Best Pass Completion – Richard Ruiz (94%)
  • Most player of the match awards – Over Garcia (15)
  • Most Yellows – Juan Paez (19)
  • Most Reds – Danilo Ferreria (2)
  • Fans player of the season – Yeferson Velazco (42%)
  • Goal of the season – Jose Yeguez
  • Signing of the season – Over Garcia (Free Transfer)
  • Young player of the season – Andris Herrera

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Over Garcia

Over Garcia signed for us at the beginning of the year & he has been simply fantastic, his contract expires at the end of the month & we’re yet to offer him a new deal although his agent has signalled that he isn’t prepared to start negotiations as he chases a big move to Brazil. Yeferson Velazco has been another good signing, his influence off the ball was superb and to top it off with 23 assists is fantastic, Yeferson is a key player for my plan next year as we enter the 2018 Copa Libertadores & test ourselves against some of the biggest clubs in south america.

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Yeferson Velazco

We have 23 players off contract from next month & not many of them are prepared to sign a new deal which worries me. I’ve had some reports from our Under 20’s coach who’s gave me some advice and options to add to the squad by dipping into our youth academy. Several players are ready to make the jump to the first team, but I’ll be making sure they fit into my plans during pre-season.

Pre Season Planning

While we work had during our training session, our Scouting Network are working hard to add quality to our already talented side. Lots of quality is available without a fee, however need atleast 12 new signings to compete in the Copa Libertadores, the biggest competition in South America. The board are expecting us to reach the Group Stage so we have to work incredibly hard to make it through the qualifiers, I believe we can cause some big upsets during this competition.

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Copa Libertadores Group!

The draw for the Libertadores was slightly unkind on us. We’ve been drawn against Millionarios of Colombia, Nacional of Uruguay & lastly, Palmeiras of Brazil so it’s a tough task but I believe in my squad to get the job done. I honestly believe we can beat all of the teams we’ve been drawn against, I know it won’t be easy but we’re assembling quite the squad.

Transfers

In

  • Salomao – Sao Raimundo (RR) – £14.5K
  • Renatinho Silva – America (MG) – £1.7K
  • Ganso – Cliper – £6.75K
  • Andres Arboleda – Jaguares FC – £7K

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Andres Arboleda

  • Francisco Vega – Juan Aurich – £41.5K
  • Claudio Pombo – Free Transfer
  • Samuel Cacares – Free Transfer

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Samuel Cacares

  • Isael – Free Transfer
  • Emanuel Bilbao – Free Transfer

The clubs ambition

  • Copa Tracki – Finish in the top 3
  • Copa Venezuela – Win the Cup
  • Copa Libertadores – Don’t get outclassed in the group

We open our Copa Tracki Open Stage campaign against Atletico El Vigia FC who’re expected to finish 15th, the newly promoted side are currently 1000-1 to finish top & they look more likely to struggle. We’ve been listed as an expected 8th placed finish, although we’ll be looking for a much higher placed finish than that.

We open our campaign in three days time, the squad are ready & they’ve been working very, very hard during pre-season. Over Garcia came to me during pre-season and asked for a move away, I’ve told him to use this Libertadores campaign to put himself in the window & if a suitable offer comes in, then we’ll consider it. The problem with that is in Venezuela, no one scores goals like he does, he’s a player that would be incredibly hard to replace.

As for the Libertadores, the board have asked for us not to be out classed, I’ve told the lads to go on and win in, we’re a small team in comparison to most others in the competition but we have the passion and pride, our fans deserve it more than anything else.

Opening day

Atletico El Vigia – Estudiantes De Merida

Ramon “Gato” Hernandez Stadium

Our stating XI

  1. GK – Emanuel Bilbao
  2. RB – Ismael Paez
  3. CB – Samuel Caceres
  4. CB – Andres Arboleda
  5.  LB – Jose Yeguez
  6.  CM – Yeferson Velazco
  7.  CM – Juan Paez
  8.  AMR – Rodrigo Castro
  9.  AMC – Francisco Vega
  10.  AML – Jesus Vargas
  11.  ST – Over Garcia

Pre Match Build Up

“Merida are looking like favourites to everyone in the stadium, newly promoted Atletico will struggle to keep pace with Over Garcia. We see 5 debutants for Merida & it’ll be interesting to see how they fare. Looking over to Atletico, they struggled for signings during the off season so manager Dario Martinez uses the same line up from the last game that secured them promotion to the top flight. We’ve got hold of Merida manager in the tunnel, lets see what he has to say.”

“Dario, you are looking to carry on where you left off last season, how do you think you’ll do?”

“Obviously I’m confident that we will win, we are using a similar system to last year and you saw how effective that was under the previous manager.”

“What have you said to the guys in the changing rooms?”

“I’ve told them to go out and play our game. We’ve got to start on the front foot, make ourselves known & show Atletico that they are in for a real game here today.”

“Thanks, Dario. Good luck today.”

Before the game, you would never have thought that Atletico would’ve had 70% possession would you? But they did & they still came away with no points. It was a rather strange day game with the 70% of the game being played in the Merida half, however both of Meridas goals came from classic counter attacks, new signing Francisco Vega scoring a classy shot from the edge of the box, looking up and putting it right into the top corner. His second came from a shot from 7 yards which curled past the Atletico keeper.

Final Score

Atletico 1 – 2 Merida