Season 1, Irish First Division, Kildare County
Media Prediction: 12th (of 12)
Board Expectations: Consolidate/Enjoy the experience.
A mixed preseason gave me the chance to work out who would be contenders for the starting line-up. 3 free transfers at the start of the season and one more in the mid-season summer window.
A great start saw me climb rapidly to the top of the pile. A couple of losses and a few draws saw me slip down slightly and a long way off the top points wise. Sat in 4th with 11 to play, only 3 points behind Wexford and a playoff spot in 3rd.
I’ve had a great run in the League Cup, not facing higher division opposition until the semi-final where I would meet Bohemians away. Wasn’t expecting to get anything out of the game but managed to secure a 2-0 win! Sligo Rovers are waiting in the final.
Form has dropped slightly in the latter part of the season. The league cup final was a poor match in truth, Sligo won the match 1-0. I never really created any chances and never looked like scoring, let alone winning. 6 games remaining to secure a top 3 finish and a playoff place, although at the start of the season I would’ve been happy to finish above the relegation spot.
I managed to reach the quarter final of the Irish Challenge Cup where I met Cork City. They proved far too much for me and completely dominated the match. Cork was 4-0 up at half time leaving me with little hope of getting a result. I did manage to score 2 goals in the second half, but they were a mere consolation as the game finished up 4-2.
The playoff spots went to the wire, I needed to win my game against 2nd place Monaghan Utd and needed Wexford to lose to lowly Waterford. Wexford won and I only managed a draw, meaning I had to settle for 4th place. Still a bloody good finish for a team predicted to finish bottom of the league.
Still I’m seeing it as a good thing that I didn’t gain promotion as I really don’t think I could survive at a higher level. We would be the whipping boys of the league. Gives me another season to build on this and try and assemble a team capable of surviving in the premier league.
On the plus side I did have the best defence in the league.
4th P33 W13 D11 L9 F44 A29 Pts 50
Final v Sligo L1-0
Irish Challenge Cup:
Qtr Final v Cork City L4-2
4 for £0
9 for £0
1 coach for £0
1 Physio for £0
1 coach for £0
1 physio for £0
1 scout for £0
Season 2, Irish First Division, Kildare County
Media Prediction: 10th (of 12)
Board Expectations: Top half finish
At the end of last season Cefn Druids decided to part company with their manager and decided they wanted my assistant to take charge. He duly accepted and left me looking for a new assistant manager. As my assistant was doubling up as a scout last season, it would seem I would need to sign both a scout and a new assistant. Not an easy task considering last season every time I approached a scout my board would block it due to wage constraints.
Finally managed to offload a few players to enable me to bring in some fresh talent, but more importantly a new assistant!
Had a dreadful start to the season, knocked out of the league cup at the first hurdle and struggled to win a game. The win finally came after 10 league games, followed by a draw and another win. My next game would be against higher league opposition in the cup and just to put pressure on me the media were spouting that it could be my final game in charge should I lose. I managed to win the game, keeping my job safe for now.
It would seem the media are going to keep touting each game as my last in charge until they are either finally correct or I manage to string together a good set of results.
Something was needed to turn results around. As it stands I have tinkered with the tactics but I just cannot seem to get it right at the moment. After watching my team lose 2-0 to Wexford it would appear we have no idea how to defend, something I need to try and put right ASAP. After creating a much more defensive minded tactic my defenders still seemed clueless and unfortunately I don’t have the wage budget or transfer budget to bring any new faces in at the moment. It is looking very bleak for Kildare County.
I have now managed to go on a 3 game unbeaten run – 2 draws and a win, to pull me away from relegation – for now! That run was short lived however as I followed it up with 3 defeats on the bounce, the last one being in the FAI cup. I’m beginning to run out of options here and I’m seriously thinking about walking from the club although I kinda want to wait until the end of the season and try and secure safety first.
I have just played my first game in the Setanta Cup, whatever that is. I was at home to Glentoran and managed to lose 2-0 putting my job further at risk. Not sure I’ll make it to the end of the season now. The defeat to Glentoran was followed by a goalless draw against UCD and a defeat at Limerick. During the Limerick game I decided I would walk, but the board never gave me the chance and I was promptly sacked.
Off to the job centre then!
11th P28 W5 D11 L12 F28 A41 Pts26
1st Round v Dundalk L3-0
Irish FAI Cup:
3rd Round v Wexford L3-0
In group stage when sacked.
7 for 30
8 for £500
2 scouts for £0
1 AssMan for £0
1 AssMan for £1k
Now the season is in full flow for countries with ‘normal’ operating times a whole host of jobs are becoming available. The downside to this is that they are all far too big for me to even contemplate applying for. Stuttgart Kickers did sack their manager and I did apply for the job, but I was rejected.
League 1 Leyton Orient have sacked their manager and I have been linked with the job. Nice to know I haven’t completely screwed up my reputation!
Welshpool have sacked their manager sitting in 16th in the Welsh premier league. I applied for the job and got it straight away! Lets see what Wales holds for me then.
Season 3, Welsh Premier League, Welshpool
Media Prediction: 8th (of18)
Board Expectations: Respectable league position
First job was to assess the current squad and see where they needed improving. It was obvious the team was seriously lacking in defence, so out my scout went to try and find some quality defenders. They didn’t disappoint and found me a couple of quality right backs and a central defender. All I need to do now is agree personal terms. Still need to find another centre back and a left back. Thankfully the scouts have found another couple of centre backs and a couple of left backs too.
After the first game in charge I can see why the team are where they are, absolutely awful defending. We got an absolute stuffing from Neath, 6-0 and the first 2 goals were own goals! I was absolutely livid. We recovered well after that only losing 2 games from the next 7.0
That was followed by 2 defeats and a win. The transfer window opened in this period and I managed to sign a promising defender from NI. The team seem to be playing like a mid-table side now, win a couple, draw a couple, lose a couple. Not relegation candidates but not challenging near the top either.
A fantastic 5-2 win against Connahs Quay from being 2-1 behind was followed up with 2 disastrous defeats 4-1 and 5-0 away to Carmarthen and Llanelli respectively. One game to go now and I’m safe for now but will need to build on this for next season. I have a feeling the board are going to want me to be challenging near the top end of the table. I managed to finish the season on a high, a 2-0 win at home to Bangor City.
Need to strengthen slightly for next season, should only need a couple of signings in key areas. The hard thing though is going to be keeping the wage bill under budget. Currently over budget but will be getting rid of some deadwood in the close season due to contract expirations so hopefully that will be enough to bring the budget under control.
12th P34 W11 D7 L16 F27 A44 Pts40
Out of all cups when I joined.
13 for £200
4 for £200
! scout for £0
1 Coach for £0