Welcome back to my latest post on my current FM15 save where after completing the Pentagon Challenge I am now in charge of Scottish side Stranraer who are owned by a Brazilian Tycoon. Have to say I’m loving this new challenge, so much so that I’ve played it solidly for the past 36 hours (less 5 hours sleep), hence the quick update!
Last season we were amazing, dominating League 2 winning the title by more than 20 points. I expected the next season to be a lot more difficult, the squad needed major improvement and it was made harder when the board expectations came out!
We were expected to win League 1, I knew it was possible with the budgets we were given, with serious improvement I felt we could dominate this league like we did in League 2. If you didn’t see my last post then my budgets are £88k wage budget and £5.5m transfer budget.
So we headed into pre-season and I needed new signings. I didn’t want to make as many as last season (16) but I knew I needed: A GK, RB, LB, CB, CM, and 2 Strikers. It sounds a lot but a large part of the squad is incredibly poor. We have maybe 11 players who are good enough so need around 8 players to give myself a decent sized squad
I ended up making 7 new signings and 2 loan signings and here they are:
Signing 1 – Ryan Kean, will provide competition at LB and can also fill in at RB. Signed on a free transfer
Signing 2 – Lee Freeman, signed from Exeter for £500k, a strong, hard working CM
Signing 3 – Joel Whittingham, a tall, strong CB who cost me £325k from Fleetwood
Signing 4 – Liam Walker, a £33k capture from Hearts. a decent pacey RB
Signing 5 – Jason Greer, signed on a free transfer, a decent looking CB who will provide good competition
Signing 6 – Liam Booth, signed from Sheffield United for £250k, he will be my 1st choice Goalkeeper
Signing 7 – John Harvey, signed on a pre-contract deal from Bradford, a young decent looking Striker
Loan 1 – Garry Hay, this was my best signing as you will see later on. Signed on a season long loan from Celtic
Loan 2 – Scott McArthur, signed on a season long loan from Aberdeen, he will provide some more competition in Midfield
So signings complete and the squad now look superb for a crack at League One. Here is the squad below and also the team comparison report which shows how good we look
Before I go through the domestic season some news first! I have been offered the Wales job! Currently ranked 23rd in the World Wales are mid-European Championship Qualification, they have won 4 out of 4 games so far and for some reason Chris Coleman (yes he is still there) has retired! He has been in charge for 23 years! I have been given the chance to take over and I immediately accepted. We look in prime position to qualify for Euro 2036 in Germany But I’ll go through how we did in the Qualification campaign at the end of the post.
Now back to Stranraer!
The Domestic Season – Cups
The board expectation was to get through to the 3rd round but I wasn’t too bothered about this competition, I treated these games as pre-season games to bolster fitness, we did play well in the first game where we beat fellow League 1 side Livingston 3-1. We then played Championship side Motherwell in the 2nd round and lost the game in Extra Time, the final score 5-3
Scottish League Cup
The board expectation was to get through to the 2nd round, we had a great start beating League 1 side Airdrie 4-0 in the 1st Round, we then played Premiership side St Mirren in the 2nd Round and although we played well we were defeated 3-1
Scottish FA Cup
Board Expectation – 4th Round
My expectation – As far as possible!
We had a really good campaign in this competition, a nice 2-0 win against Championship side Raith in the 3rd Round was followed by a tougher game against Premiership side St Mirren, we drew them 2-2 at Home and somehow managed to thrash them 5-1 in the replay! This put us through to the Quarter Final where we would face Premiership side Hearts
We managed to draw the game 1-1 at Home, it was a pleasing result. Hearts are currently 2nd in the Premiership and I expected to get beat easily but we held our own and took them back to their place
In the replay we found ourselves 3-0 down in 32 mins, we did really well to get ourselves back into the game but in the end it wasn’t enough and we went out 4-3. I was really pleased with how we played and shows how far we have come in just over 12 months
The Domestic Season – Scottish League One
So the board expected us to win the title, the odds backed this up as we were put at 4-6 to win the League. With the squad I have I fully expect this as well.
We had an amazing start to the season, we won our first 8 games and after 17 games we were still unbeaten with 15 wins and 2 draws. In the 18th game we eventually lost to Airdrie 1-0 but we continued our good form and with 11 games left we secured ourselves a play-off spot, at this point we were 20 points clear and only a few games from securing the title. We did lose another 2 games but we wrapped up the title with 6 games to go. An amazing achievement! Once again we broke all kinds of records. Most Points (95), Most goals (111), Record League Goalscorer Garry Hay (48 in 35!)
And here is the final table
What a season! 2 straight promotions! I’m dreading the expectations for next season, I’m fully expecting the board to want us to win the Championship and once again they have put their faith in me with some sizeable budgets
End of Season Awards
For some reason there is no League One team of the Year, don’t ask me why!
The only end of season award there was for League One was Player of the Year and this unsurprisingly was given to on-loan Striker Garry Hay, what a season this guy had!
After the season finished I immediately made an offer to sign Hay for another season long loan and he accepted, hopefully he will do as well in the Championship!
What a season its been, we dominated from start to finish and played some great football in the process, I don’t really feel I need to make many changes for next season. We do have 3 or 4 players leaving as they are out of contract and not good enough so I will look to replace them, other than that I feel the squad is good enough for a crack at the Championship. My aim for next season is to stabilise and try to end in or around the play-off positions (2nd-4th).
Once again the board decided to upgrade my facilities at a cost of £2.7m, this should push our facilities up to good or very good standards
Now to Wales, as mentioned earlier I took over after 4 games of the Euro 2036 qualification campaign, Wales sat top with a 100% record. My first game was away to Belgium and what a start it was, we beat them 3-0! We continued on from there and qualified with ease with 10 wins out of 10, this propelled us to a record high position of 10th in the World Rankings
Then came the Euro 2036 Group Stage draw and we were given a rather tough group as you will see below
3 teams all ranked quite high, but I fully expect us to Qualify for the last 16 more than likely in 2nd place behind Spain.
So a great season overall. Another promotion and a good season with Wales too. Hopefully next season will be just as good and we can secure our 3rd straight promotion!
Thanks for reading