Middlewich Town: managing at level 12 of the English football pyramid

middlewich-town-fc-16aI have always been attracted to extreme Football Manager challenges despite having trouble completing the most straightforward objectives. So when I watched the first YouTube video in a series called ‘Let’s Play FM14: Grass Roots to Greatness’ by FM Underdog where the video producer began at a club at level 12 of the English football pyramid my FM juices began to flow straight away.

FMU downloaded this leagues add-on courtesy of @FMNutters by ‘FMN85’ which allows you to manage amateur clubs, including my local team, Middlewich Town (previously Middlewich Athletic).

Although Middlewich were not the best club I could manage at that level, as soon as I saw their name, there was no other option! I have even trained with the club IRL and live five minutes walk from the Seddon Street ground so I have a strong emotional connection.

Moreover, I had managed at Skrill South level before so I thought I had a good idea how to succeed at such a low level. I was in for a shock though as finding players with attributes in double figures, even 10s, was incredibly difficult. If you are lucky you can sign a winger with 14 acceleration but he probably has less than 8 for crossing. Some central defenders appear okay from their attributes but even with 10 jumping, heading and marking, their mental attributes seem to let them down badly. 2 for concentration will rarely lead to anything good!

Maybe I am a bad manager, but I am in my third season now as Middlewich manager, after finishing sixth and around 14th, and I am still losing to teams full of newgens, most of which were only generated for the game that day! It is really frustrating that teams seems to generate players who appear better than most of the newgens I can persuade to sign for me and it makes me wonder how the hell I am ever going to get promoted and eventually become semi-professional and eventually professional!

I think one thing you could argue is a fault of my philosophy at The Witches is that I am constantly trying to bring in new players to improve the team. This might sound like perfect sense but it means I never achieve full tactical familiarly or even close. I am in a catch 22 situation in this sense.

My first goal is to get out of our league Hellenic Football League Division Two West and then I will aim for semi-pro status. Keep up-to-date with my efforts on Twitter @FMScrapbook

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