Yes I’m back and will be doing a full blown career save blog with Huddersfield Town. Why Huddersfield? Mainly because I wanted to take charge of an English club who have a little bit of history and I have the ability to take them up a level from where they are at now. Secondly because I had one hell of at good save with them on FM12 and I had a kind if love for them from that moment forward.
So what will you get in these updates? Well this one will be an intro to Huddersfield, the club, squad, facilities, etc and also my tactics and aims/objectives for the save.
Hopefully you will enjoy this as much as I am going to and will follow me on the journey to take the Terriers back to the top.
Huddersfield we were founded in 1908 and became the first team in England to win 3 consecutive top division titles between 1926 and 1928. They also won the FA Cup in 1922. After the second world war they started a decline down the leagues and haven’t been in top flight since 1972.
In 1994 they moved to the John Smiths stadium, it was renamed a couple of times but has been was renamed back to the first name since 2012.
It has a capacity of 24,500 but only average around 12,000 per game with around 9,000 season ticket holders. This in my eyes need to improve, Huddersfield is a largish town in West Yorkshire and even though it does have quite a few nearby rivals I feel it could easily attract more fans than it currently does.
There are a few things that stand out straight the way when looking at the clubs facilities, firstly the club pay a ground rent of £100k a year, not much overall but it is a cost we could get away from paying. Maybe at the end of season 1 if the finances are OK I will look at trying to get the board to buy the ground.
Secondly is the facilities overall, we have Impressive training facilities which will be a huge help, we also have Good Youth Facilities and a Youth Rating of 2. With Above Average Youth Recruitment and Average Junior Coaching as well we should be able to get some pretty decent players in when we get our annual Youth Intake, this is something I really want to improve so we can save on paying for players and this will also help with one of the Club Philosophies which the board want me to achieve (promote youth players into the first team).
Balance wise we look very good, we have an overall balance of just over £5.4m, this is projected to deteriorate pretty quickly over the 1st few seasons, the aim will be to try and bring some money in through player sales and also through some good cup runs, I don’t expect promotion in the 1st couple of season so runs in the cup could be helpful to bring in revenue
We also have a rather large debt to pay off, where this has come from I don’t know but it is going to seriously eat into my budgets until it is paid off in 2019. We have to pay just short of £100k a month off of the debt which currently stands at £4.53m.
Even with all these outgoing the board has still given me £3m to spend on players. I’ll go into my squad later but my plan is to not bring anyone in during the 1st season unless I lose anyone.
As you can see we are also well within our wage budget, but in my eyes £150k a week is quite a lot, this equates to over £7.8m a season. I really can’t see us recouping that in ticket sales at the moment. Players will stay this season but as I get used to who is who but as we head towards the end of the season I may look to sell some of the high earners to try and save some costs.
We do look quite good on this front. Coaching staff wise we have people in all areas with regards to training.
I have set myself quite high in the Tracksuit manager side so have some good attributes in attacking, defending and tactics. My GK coach looks solid and I have 2 fitness coaches, 1 looks good, the other not so good. I won’t be looking to remove any staff at the moment but will assess them as their contracts expire.
We have pretty average rating in comparison to the rest of the league which is OK for the time being.
We are very short in the Medical side with only a Head Physio at the club, the board are only allowing me to sign 1 physio which I have immediately put an advert out to see who wants to join.
Finally the scouting department looks OK, the board will allow us another 3 scouts but I’m going to stick with what I have at the moment and assess it at the end of the 1st season. All the Scouts and DOF have decent JPA and JCA and I’ll be sending them out to scour UK and Ireland first and then may stretch our wings later in the season.
For a mid-table team I wasn’t expecting such a decent squad, We have strength in depth in all areas with 2 players per position.
My overview has some attributes that I consider imperative for each player to have, anyone under 10 for any of the 7 attributes will be trained to increase them, if they haven’t reached 10 by the end of the season my plan is to assess their stats for the season and sell them if I don’t feel they have improved enough.
I always set myself some base attributes to check players by, I have a filter set on my search screen so that any player joining the squad much have at least 10 in 5 of the 7 attributes I have set, if you can’t see the picture above the attributes I look for are:
- First Touch
- Natural Fitness
We also have a pretty decent reserve team, Phillip Billing especially looks a star and one who may come into the first team at some point. We have some decent rated youngsters in the reserve team as well which I will try to improve and promote.
My Youth Team also has some decent looking players, most need quite a bit of improvement to challenge for a 1st team spot. I mentioned before that I wanted 10 in the 7 base attributes to enter the 1st team, I will give my youth players a bit of leeway on this, as long as I can see them improving I will maybe let them off with only have 4 of the 7 at 10.
Well you can see the PA and CA ratings of the players above but I have singled out 3 players who I feel can take this club forward.
Jonathan Hogg – Midfielder
Has some amazing physical attributes and will fit the role of DM(d) perfectly. I really feel that he can be one of the lynchpins of this team. We already have Sheffield Weds sniffing around him but I hope he will stay and help take us upwards.
Chris Lowe – Left Back
One of the most highly rated players in my squad and you can see why, his attributes all over look great and I feel with him playing as an attacking Wing Back will suit our style fantastically.
Christopher Schindler – Defender
Versatile and looks fantastic, he will play as my right back (FB(s)) but will be available to cover as CB and DM if we get injuries. His attributes overall look really good.
Tactical Style and Philosophy
This is where I’m really not good, I have to admit most of the time I download my tactics but in this save I really want to try and create my own tactic, I don’t really have a specific style of play but my board want me to play a possession game. After reading a few articles I have set myself a base tactic and some team instructions which I feel will help us keep the ball but also be deadly with it.
Above is what I expect my 1st 11 to be as long as we have a fully fit squad. I’ve tried to balance the roles out but also get the players to play in their most competent role. As I said before I am terrible tactically so I’m sure something will change but the formation won’t, I like a 41221, I feel it gives defensive solidity but also attacking prowess. The DM can sit in front of defence as a shield which allow the FBs to get forward and help out in attack. I may swap the CMs around to be AP(s) and CM(a) dependent on how much they get forward.
As for team instructions I’ve tried to keep it to a minimum but also lay some ground rules for my players to help with the board wanting possession football. Retain Possession, Low Temp, Roam from Position and Play out of Defence should all help with that. I’ve also added “look for overlap” as I feel out FBs can be deadly going forward. “Close Down more” is selected to make sure that when we don’t have the ball we win it back as quick as possible. I have selected our mentality as Control and shape as Fluid, I feel this best suits a possession style of play (but I may be wrong!)
Aims and Objectives
So my aims for this save, I have set some short term and long term goals.
Season 1 – Stay in the division, beat board expectations and try and gain some revenue via a cup run. Try to increase attendances
Season 2 – Push for a top half finish, assess staff members, remove players who haven’t made the grade. Gain some finances via transfers, attempt to improve youth facilities.
Season 3 – Get board to buy the ground if finances are stable. Push for promotion to the Premier League. Hope to start bringing in youth players via the annual intake.
Season 4 – Hope to be in the Premier League, stay up and start making a profit due to TV revenue.
From there on I don’t have any more plans, if we are stable in the Premier League we should start pushing ourselves up the table to be challenging for a Europa League place by season 5 or 6.
Plans for Pre-Season
Well I don’t have any plans to sign anyone or let anyone go so we will just arrange numerous friendlies to increase our tactical familiarity. We have a training camp planned in Switzerland where we will play a few games and then when we get back I plan to arrange a few games against easier teams and then a few bigger games to gain some revenue from gate receipts.
Board and Season Expectations
The board expect us to end mid-table which I feel we could do. This is a very tough league (I have the new database so the likes of Villa, Newcastle and Norwich are in the league). This also is what the media expect with them predicting us to end 18th and 40-1 to win the League.
Here is what I selected as the board expectations, I do fully expect us to over-achieve.
Well I hope you enjoyed the intro, my plan from now on is to release 2 updates per season. 1 transfer special at the end of the August Window and 1 end of season round-up. As I won’t be doing any business in the 1st window I won’t release another update until the end of season 1.
FM Community Shoutout
Continuing on the them from my weekly blog posts I want to do 1 shoutout per blog post to promote someone who has taken my eye in the FM Community
This week it has to be FM Bood, the guy is a legend, I only found him a couple of weeks ago but his presenting style in his videos is second to none, he is a must watch and my favourite content creator at the moment. If you haven’t watched him before you seriously have to go and check him out. He has also been very helpful in the FM Community lately, not only to me but to many others as well.
Here is a link to his YouTube
And here is a link to his Twitter
Thanks for reading and if you have any suggestions on anything to make the posts better or even to help improve my tactic then please comment on here or message me on Twitter @thatfmregen