CAUTION, this is a bit of a monster post, so get comfortable, and let me tell you a story…..
Today we have a 170 mile, 3 hour journey to South East Dublin to play Cabinteely at Stradbrook.
Before then we have a few bits to look at, plus what tactics I’ll be using and a friendly v Dungarvan.
Our U19 play in the U19 South Elite Division(!) and played out a 1-1 draw with Cabintelly U19 – 18 yo Midfielder Michael O’Rourke with the goal.
Our primary tactic will be a 4-4-2 Wingenpress – Very strong down the right so we focus our play there, though I’ve a number of triallists that might be coming in, watch this space.
Against the top clubs (There’s a massive disparity in this league between the haves and have-nots – Sherbourne has a wage bill almost 4.5 times more than us) we can try this Counter Attack style – 4-1-4-1 with attacking overlapping wingbacks, direct passing, low lines.
Friendly – Cobh 7 (Owen Wall 7,30, Leonard 8, McSweeney 48, Lyons 68, Ben Hanrahan (76,84)) Dungarvan 0
A pretty comprehensive run-out with the wingplay tactic – Lots of triallists were playing, with strikers Owen Wall & Ben Hanrahan and midfielder Dara Mulgannon standing out.
Our U19 played again in a friendly, losing 3-1 to Avondale, a Munster Premier Division team, Triallist Owen Wall with the goal.
I’ve had a look at the Attribute scores for the lads, plus their season to date Stats, and they make interesting reading (if you love your numbers – if not skip on)
I’ve picked the best scores for natural positions and as you can see we’ve only really got 8 players currently that score in the top 5 in that position/role/duty – Basically we’ve got 8 good-ish players who are the best everywhere, and everybody else is dross.
We should have a relatively strong back 4 – only issue is the 16 yo John Douglas, who scores highly in lots of preferential attributes in lots of positions (17 Bravery, 16 Teamwork, 14 Balance tip the scales a bit) but his key attributes tend to be quite low. We have a couple of good strikers, though as you see at the lower levels all they can really do is poach, where all you are really interested in in finishing & off-the-ball. centre Mid is a bit of a shitshow, so need to strengthen there, but Ian Turner gives good value on the right of midfield (Spoiler – I’ve a ton of triallists in and a lot of them will make us a much better team so keep watching!!)
Season stats to this point…….
- Passing & Crossing – We don’t seem to have passed the ball this season (Attempts at about a third of my Berwick FM19 save), though that will be down to some horrible park the bus tactic that has been played so far, or something like that. Crossing % are superb, but completions/90 are also at about a 3rd of the best I have in the Berwick save in FM19 – same problem re. tactic most probably. The boys up front currently are leprechauns so I’ll be asking crosses to be low.
- Heading – Our centre-backs look good in that respect, winning over 4 in every 5 headers
- Tackling & Interceptions – The tackling stats are OK, both centre-backs over 80%, with Ben O’Riordan a whizz at Interceptions with over 4 a game.
- Shooting, Goals, Assists, Chances, Dribbling – So Cian Leonard finds the target with over half his shots, though I’d like that to be a bit higher. Brian Murphy is more scattergun, but when he hits the target they go in well over half the time… We only have 1 person with better than 1-in-4 games for assists (Ian Turner) – Looking to change this with a bit more positive play.
- Fouls, Mistakes, Offsides – Fouls aren’t to bad, Matt Lamb conceding over 3 a game, but mistakes are very interesting. Paul Hunt is top at 0..86/game – however he’s a goalkeeper. When I compare this to Kyle Allison in my Berwick save (0.25, and he’s superb) therein lies the rub. Adam Mylod will be getting a chance. Offsides are all below 2/game but that me due to lack of attacking play to this point.
So to Cabinteely ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinteely_F.C. ) – They first played in the league of Ireland in 2015 after receiving a licence to do so and have finished mid/lower mid in the table every year. IRL they lost to Drogheda in the promotion playoff final after finishing 4th and beating Longford in the semi final. Drogheda lost to Finn Harps in the promotion/relegation playoff and as such only Dublin-based Shelbourne were promoted – UCD were relegated to the First Division after finishing bottom.
They have a decent squad, but as per our scouts not that much stronger than us, and the league positions show that (Cabinteely in 6th, us in 7th) so I’ll go with the wingplay tactic.
I’m not expecting miracles, it will just be nice to see some endeavour. Doherty starts up top with Leonard, Poacher/DLP partnership being tried out. Youngster Lihoubi starts on the left wing, Turner the right with H&H (Hurley & Henry) in centre mid. Taylor & fleming start as the wingbacks supporting the attacking wingers, McSweeney & O’Riordan start as Stopper/Cover with Adam Mylod in goal. Cabinteely go man-for-man with their own 4-4-2.
HT Cabinteely 0 Cobh Ramblers 0
An OK start, Cabinteely had a good shot saved well by Mylod. Leonard is getting in behind the Cabinteely defence a bit as well. All in our a pretty drab half, but we weren’t that bad all-in-all.
FT Cabinteely 0 Cobh Ramblers 2 (Mihoubi 66,86) Att 627 (25 Away)
A few tweaks, less wide, shorter passing, higher tempo. Again, an OK start to the half, and our harrying of the opposition is giving them issues in midfield. Bri Murphy on for Leonard and Lamb for Henry on 60, Hurley to BWM, Lamb to DLP. And the breakthrough, a Turner cross find Mihoubi who crashes home a header from 15 yards. 1-0 Cobh! 66 Minutes gone. Cabinteely started piling forward, so we went a bit longer pass-wise. Mihoubi had the chance to finish it in the 86th, but missed a 1 on 1, but he made amends seconds later – a Fleming cross creating consternation in the Cabinteely area, Mihoubi being in the right pace to tap home. 2-0 in the 86th. Real backs-to-the-wall stuff but lads stood firm, a 2-0 win, real pleased with the team as a whole, definitely playing better than the sum of their parts. Cabinteely may have deserverd a bit more, but we had more clear-cut chances. A great start to my tenure in the Irish First Division 🙂
Limerick (IRL they are on the brink of liquidation) won the battle of the bottom with a 2-0 against Athlone, and both Shelbourne & Galway dropped points at the top of the table.
A record set in our first game – Lyamine Mihoubi becomes our youngest scorer, 7 days before his 17th birthday 🙂
Our U19 lost 5-3 to Limerick U19 – 17 yo Striker Paul Murphy with a brace, 18 yo Striker Connor Farrelly with the 3rd.
Charlie Fleming at Right-back and Lyamine Mihoubi at left winger get in the Irish 1st Division team of the week.
Ben Hanrahan (in blue)
- 21 years old
- 5ft 9in
- Started at Shamrock Rovers, IRL still at UCD
Ben Hanrahan joins (B-) on a free. He impressed in the 7-0 friendly win v Dungarvan. Good Finishing & First Touch, I’ll try him as a DLF with Cian Leonard up top. £35/wk is a steal, especially as he’ll be with us next season as well.
- 19 years old
- Started at Bohemians, IRL still there
Steven Nolan joins us on a free. He’s rated a B signing by the board, and will be our starting left winger (Lyamine Mihoubi notwithstanding – they’ll both get game time I think). 10 Crossing, a bit of Flair, decent composure and nice acceleration. Looks solid at £60/wk until the end of next season.
There is still a Cup competition that is yet to start – The Irish Senior Challenge Cup, where we’ve drawn Drogheda Utd at home. They are currently 3rd in our league so its a tough one. The Board wants us to ‘be Competitive’ so we will try to be 🙂
Friendly – Cobh Ramblers 2 (Leonard 44,57) Cobh Wanderers 0 Att 515 (110 Away)
A tough 2-0 win, caused in the main by a non-sending-off for Ian Turner in the 15th minute. Cian Leonard did well up top on his own after I went to a narrow diamond, Hanrahan sitting behind Leonard in attacking midfield.
Our U19 played again – a 2-0 win v West Utd – 20 yo triallist DR Cian Collins and Brian Murphy (27 yo Striker, main squad) with the goals.
Eoin Porter (in pink)
- 20 Years old
- 5ft 9in
- With Waterford & Wexford prior, IRL still with Wexford
- GAA/Soccer dual code player
Getting better, a B+ signing 🙂 Eoin Porter joins on a free after time at Wexford & Waterford. A solid midifield, attacking midfield option he can play in a number of roles. Decent passing, determination and nice physicals including good Acc/Pac, and at £80/wk until the end of next season Eoin joins us as our 2nd best player by current ability.
Evan Murphy (in black)
- 20 years old
- Started with Salthill, moved to Galway Utd.
- GAA/Soccer Dual Code player
Evan Murphy comes in on a free as a first-choice centre back. Like Eoin Porter when looking at what they are doing in real life both are Gaelic Footballers as well for their respective counties. Very solid, good heading, marking, tackling, physicals and decent mentals for his age. Evan joins as our 4th best player by CA.
So that’s July 2019 done (phew!!!) – A really good league win, a few new signings and a whole ton of infrastructure (databases, code for xG, xG data mined) done for the first time in FM20.
August 2019 sees us in 3 league games – Limerick (H), Bray (A), Galway (H) and the Senior Challenge Cup 1st Round v Drogheda at Home. We will look at the stats and attribute changes from July, our new signings and where they are ability-wise with respect to the squad and we will continue collating all that sweet, sweet xG data. See you soon