Harry Taylor managed to escape the grasp of his thuggish cousins and luckily for him the police raided their herbal heaven too. Harry managed to avoid being caught in the dragnet and ended up being shortlisted as one of the candidates for the new look Kingstonian team managed by Sunday League Footballer -Daljit Singh.
Within 3 weeks, well over 400 players had gone through trials at Kingsmeadow. The Kingstonians’ were newly promoted to Conference South and were rank outsiders for the title (150-1) at the start of the season. No one gave them a chance, and even some of the better trialists were more keen on pursuing their careers with other clubs.
The newly promoted side had done good work in pre-season recruiting 12 players after successful trials at the club. They included: Emmet O’Connor, Rory Williams and Harry Taylor. Along with 9 others they form a pretty large roster for a conference side. In total there are 21 players in the first team squad with 14 of them on part-time contracts and only 4 are above the age of 25.
One of the biggest challenges of getting consecutive promotions in the game of Football Manager has always been squad depths. It’s a big challenge. The Dafuge Challenge is one of the most entertaining challenges I’ve played in years. The last time I did play it was way back in FM12, with Stafford Rangers, a club that eventually rose to the pinnacle of being one of the richest clubs in the world. This time I am trying to repeat the feat with a club from Surbiton called Kingstonian. A requirement of the challenge is that the club be a newly promoted, that, and the fact that there is a whole cannabis story with this region made it impossible for me to look at other new challenges.
Since I am playing as a Sunday League Footballer, my attributes will be limited. That is significant. One of my first moves was to approach the board and get them to finance a coaching course. Firing my assistant manager and getting in Hart was the next move. Before long I had a Chief Scout, a second physio and 2 more coaches.
While this was happening I made a decision, we were going to bust the wage budget. It was a risk. By operating slightly higher than the wage budget, we would running a negative cash flow. Mitigations included better performance leading to higher gate receipts and player sales. Being the worst in the league doesn’t make you an attractive location of players.
Getting in players proved surprisingly easy. Since FM12, the fog of war extends really well into scouting. You need a player to be in a club for at least 4 weeks if you want to see their attributes. We invited nearly 400 players and from there we narrowed down the list to 12.
Selections were based on a specific set of criteria. We went for pace, acceleration, passing and workrate. There weren’t a lot to choose from, but we managed to get a solid group together for our first league match against Hayes & Yeading (33-1). This club is expected to finish in 6th spot, and our first game of the season saw us pull out a 4411, attacking and narrow. The game was laced with direct passing and hard off the ball running. Rory Williams became the first Kingstonian to record a goal in the league in our 1 nil win.
Our second game was off to Bishop’s Stortford, a match that saw us pull out our 442 counter attacking system in a scintillating 4-2 win that saw Emmet O’Connor record 2 goals. Our next two games were away. Wealdstone were expected to join in the relegation struggle with their 80-1 odds suggesting some light at the end of the tunnel. A narrow 2-1 win was enough to see off their challenge. The Lilywhites managed to keep a clean sheet in their next two games as they collected 6 points over Havant & W and Welling. 5 wins in 5. 4 systems used. In each game, I’ve had to counter what the AI has put out as a formation. Our latest win was against a narrow diamond, so I fielded a wide 4321. Each match has proved more gripping than the last and the trio of kids are certainly make their manager sit up and take notice. Once again, I am tempted with the attraction of multiple tactics in a season. One thing’s for sure, if I am to get promoted, I will need to do some heavy rotation, and that will definitely mean I need more than one tactic. 11 goals in the first 5 games is a pretty average return for goals, defensively 3 clean sheets out of 5 augur well for us.