Welcome to the first post at Club 2 of my FM20 journeyman.
The biggest club in Ireland.
Over £5M in the bank, £5.8M in prize money last year alone, including £3.8M from the Europa League!!!
2 Wins (Legia & Dinamo Zagreb) means we’re not done yet!! Conference League 1st Knockout Round to come in February versus Steaua Buchrest!!! Last 16, £130k for turning up 🙂
Firstly let’s find somewhere to live.
Dundalk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dundalk) is the County Town of Louth, and is just 5 miles from the Northern Ireland border (And all that entails with BrexShit rearing its increasingly ugly head)
So we’re moving about 215 miles by road North-East from Cobh.
Via the AIB Mortgage Calculator, using €2,000/wk (Contract is £1,800/wk) I could get a Mortgage up to €450k.
€400K – 5 bed, 3 bathrooms, lots of mod-cons, set in 1.3 acres… and only a 15 minutes commute 🙂
Living arrangements sorted 🙂
So I obviously start with a fairly decent squad – let’s have a look at the team report and some of our key players.
When looking at 2*CA and up we can see the holes in the squad – No great Strikers, 1 great Winger (Michael Duffy), 1 Great Midfielder (Glen Rea), 1 Great Left Back (Ryan Corrigan), 1 Great Keeper (Conor O’Malley).
I would like at least 1 great central defender, at least 1 more good right back, another really good winger and a great striker. And we have the money to do this. First up let’s look at our stars.
- 28yo Winger (Right Footed, prefers left side)
- 5ft 11in
- 8 caps for Northern Ireland
- Last 4 season averages 7.39, 7.74, 7.35, 7.54
- Premier Division player of the year 19/20, runner up 21/22
- Started with Derry City, had time in Scotland before moving to Dundalk in 2017.
- IRL still a Dundalk stalwart
Very solid and great physicals for this level. I’ll be striving to get Brian Connolly (20yo St. Pats, Player of the Year 2022) for the other wing 🙂 And a Resolute personality 🙂
- 28yo GK
- 6ft 3in
- Started at Mervue, before moving to St. Pat’s, and then Peterborough for £88k in 2017. Came in on a free to Dundalk in 2020
- IRL he’s without a club after leaving Posh.
Nothing to worry about on the Goalkeeper front – Conor is very solid for this level. Will get a good 5 years or so out of him I think. Model Citizen personality as well!!!
- 28yo DM/MC
- 6ft 1in
- U21 Caps for Ireland
- Started at Brighton, moved to Luton in 16/17, joining Dundalk for £300k in 2022 in game.
- IRL he’s still at Luton in the championship.
Solid if unremarkable. Good mentals though.
- 22yo DL
- U21 Caps for RoI
- Started at Everton, snapped up by Man City before going to Stoke in 18/19. Joined Dundalk in game in 2022.
- IRL he’s in Stoke’s U23’s
The youngest of the top talents, Ryan is very good physically.
Of the 3* CA Players we have 4 players 21 or under, 5 players 29 or older and a 23 year old – lacking players in their prime (23-28) and of the 2.5* CA players 6 are 31 or older… Going to be sending a lot of grandad’s to the old people’s home at the end of the season!!
I’ve also gone out to get a ton of staff – we are massively lacking in the Recruitment team and have spaces for more coaches and medical staff. I need to kick this club on.
My aim is to get Dundalk regularly into the Champions League Group stages – We have the money to do so and by getting there we are going to get a ton more. 5 seasons or so to get out of a Champions League group? Sounds doable 🙂
Our first Staff Member has signed – Patrick Muller (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_M%C3%BCller_(footballer) – 46yo Coach – 17 Def, 15 Men & Tac, played for a multitude of French, Swiss & Spanish teams as a player and got 82 caps for Switzerland) – A first step towards a really good staff team.
Robbie Williams ( 🙂 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbie_Williams_(footballer,_born_1984)) joins as an U19 Coach. 38yo, He played throughout England (2nd & 3rd tier) over his career, with his last 7 seasons in Ireland. 19 Working with Youngsters and some strong attributes as well.
Sam Thacker – (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sam-thacker-1bb06bb0/?originalSubdomain=uk) 29yo Data Analyst – 13 Judging Player Data, 15 Judging Team Data, 14 Presenting Data) joins.
John Weatherup (50yo Physio) joins – 17 Physiotherapy, been a physio across Northern Ireland since 2002.
Michael Vernon (37yo Scout) joins – Worked as a data analyst for Burnley, Shrewsbury & Tranmere, 14’s for Judging Ability & Potential.
Ben Holmes – 26yo Newgen Sports Scientist (13) joins.
Ryan Needs (34yo Chief Data Analyst – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-needs-2a5a2071/?originalSubdomain=uk – 13/15/14 Judging Player Data/Team Data/Presenting Data) joins after time at Swansea, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Birmingham & Sheff Wed,
We are rapidly getting the best staff team in the League 🙂
Ciaran Bizzell (18yo U19 GK Coach – 11/11/12 Distribution/Handling/Shot Stopping) joins after time at Shelbourne & Athlone.
Paul Molesworth (64yo Scout – https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-molesworth-b7404810/?originalSubdomain=uk – 14’s Judging Player Ability & Potential) joins after time in England and Scotland.
Aaron McLean (39yo Coach – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_McLean – 15 Att, 12 Tac) joins as a coach. He played all over England in his career, plus Managed Yeovil in game in 2021 in a short stint.
And with that we have a full staff team 🙂
Just looking at the Comparisons across the league (Comparison screen on the Team report) and we are best technically and mentally in all but 8 attributes (Out of 31) so I think the style of play will be Attacking – Maybe Barcelona Tiki Taka?
Friendly – Finn Harps 0 Dundalk 2 (Benson pen 4, Rea 34) Att 436 (96 Away)
My first game in charge is a Drizzly night in Donegal versus a Finn Harps side that finished 4th in the First Division last season. A straightforward win playing a Tiki Taka style that needs good cohesion.
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Paddy Keane (20yo DL, 1.5* CA) goes to Finn Harps on a season long loan.
We get St. Pat’s Brian Connolly for £300k for a couple of seasons. The Premier Division Player of the Year last season.
Quick and good at crossing – I’m hoping our training facilities will help Brian to develop really well.
We also go and get the best striker in the league, Colin McGarvey, from Derry City for £250k. Another 20 year old to develop.
Very quick for this level, with great Mentals he will be an ideal Pressing Forward for us. He comes in as our 3rd best rated player at the club (By CA)
Friendly – Dundalk 3 (Duffy 39, McGarvey 50, Tormey 75) Banbridge Rangers 0 Att 1,046 (4 Away)
Another cobweb-remover. Plus first starts for Connolly & McGarvey as we try a more wing-play tactic. Connolly got the first half hour, McGarvey looked ready, a goal and assist (lovely link-up with Michael Duffy) in his 60 minutes. Only 2 shots given up in 2 games.
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Mazeed Ogungbo (20yo DC) goes to Waterford for the season. In game he came in on a free from Arsenal – IRL he’s still there.
Our U19’s beat Cabinteely U19’s 4-0, goals from Paddy Barrett (29yo DC joining San Antonio (USA) in a week’s time), Pierce Andrews (17yo MC), Brian Stapleton (18yo AMC) and Harry Durham (18yo STC)
One set up before I arrived, Paddy Barrett is off to Texas.
And with that we arrive at the first game of the season – February 2023 will be the next post.
Runners-up from last season St. Pat’s first up, without star player Brian Connolly as I bought him 🙂 A tough(ish) end to the month with Derry & Shamrock, and a 1-leg European tie in the middle there – Some little Romanian team called Steaua… See you then.