Unfinished business - October 2003: what a rollercoaster...QoS in 5th place!

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Kingsley
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Post by Kingsley »

Looks like you are well on route to promotion. A lead of 13 points should make it yours to lose.

Be prepared for a heafty bill to take the ground upto SPL standard !
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Post by Here2Win79 »

Kingsley wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:40 pm
Be prepared for a heafty bill to take the ground upto SPL standard !
Wow is that still a thing? I remember poor Falkirk IRL years ago being refused promotion twice in a row because their stadium wasn't up to scratch, now it seems you just need to lay a plastic carpet and you're in.

Nice cup win georged, hopefully an away tie with a big crowd coming up to jazz up the finances.
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Post by Kingsley »

Here2Win79 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:54 pm
Kingsley wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:40 pm
Be prepared for a heafty bill to take the ground upto SPL standard !
Wow is that still a thing? I remember poor Falkirk IRL years ago being refused promotion twice in a row because their stadium wasn't up to scratch, now it seems you just need to lay a plastic carpet and you're in.

Nice cup win georged, hopefully an away tie with a big crowd coming up to jazz up the finances.
A sore point.
Upto 2003/04 there was a restriction of having a 10,000 all seat stadium for entry to SPL. As you say, Falkirk and others were denied entry as a result. After the season was completed, the rule was retrospectively changed, by a second vote when they didn’t get the result they wanted the first time, and this allowed Inverness to ground share with Aberdeen while they upgraded the stadium to 6,000. As a result Partick Thistle were relegated by a dodgy vote for the first time. See 2020 for a second dodgy vote relegating Thistle.

In game, I think it is still 10,000 all seat, which is usually a big Bill that takes years to pay off.
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Post by georged »

Kingsley wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:18 pm
Here2Win79 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:54 pm
Kingsley wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:40 pm
Be prepared for a heafty bill to take the ground upto SPL standard !
Wow is that still a thing? I remember poor Falkirk IRL years ago being refused promotion twice in a row because their stadium wasn't up to scratch, now it seems you just need to lay a plastic carpet and you're in.

Nice cup win georged, hopefully an away tie with a big crowd coming up to jazz up the finances.
A sore point.
Upto 2003/04 there was a restriction of having a 10,000 all seat stadium for entry to SPL. As you say, Falkirk and others were denied entry as a result. After the season was completed, the rule was retrospectively changed, by a second vote when they didn’t get the result they wanted the first time, and this allowed Inverness to ground share with Aberdeen while they upgraded the stadium to 6,000. As a result Partick Thistle were relegated by a dodgy vote for the first time. See 2020 for a second dodgy vote relegating Thistle.

In game, I think it is still 10,000 all seat, which is usually a big Bill that takes years to pay off.
I remember this from an earlier save some time ago, although I did not know anything of that background information. Interesting. Will probably have to sell a couple of players I will get on a free transfer this summer.
Last edited by georged on Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by georged »

February 2002: only home games

We prepare ourselves for two important upcoming matches: Alloa and Hearts at home. Alloa is still hanging on, although on quite some distance nowadays. Still, it is a team we have to be aware of despite the obvious lack of quality of their players.

Not to my surprise I start the month, yet again, with players leaving the club: First of all, Sean McLoughlin, although injured, is signed by Hearts for £110,000. His loan would end begin March, so now he will be gone a month earlier although I am not that happy he signs for a rival. He had 13 games with us in center, with an average of 6.92 proving he was not unquestionable but serviceable nevertheless. Then Ryan Sears, my right back, signs with Livingston for a transfer fee of £16,000. He had 9 games in and I could have signed him at the end of the season, but he had too many disappointing defensive performances that prevented me from making him an offer. Now I have to look for a new right back immediately, because George Buchanan is not cutting it.
Another one to leave, although scheduled, is Jamie Hanson who becomes the second player to complete his loan period, although he played only 6 games without making much of an impact.

Because of the upcoming important schedule I take in some new players on loan:
  • Adam King, Scottish, 25 years, MC - from Dundee United, on loan until 26/05/02, 500£ wage. It was tough to get him on loan from Dundee United, who were not willing to collaborate like most of the teams and send him for free to Palmerston Park. I need a quality impulse in center so I decide to pull out some money to get him for 3 and a half months. Once he arrives he immediately gets hurt on training and is out for almost 3 weeks.
  • Steve Lawson, international for Togo, 26 years, D/DMRC - from Livingston, on loan until 26/05/02, 0£ wage. Let's see if he can play right back, he looks much better than Buchanan.
  • Zander Clark, Scottish, 28 years, GK - from St. Johnstone, on loan until 26/05/02, 0£ wage. My current goalkeeper Macey will be gone in April, when his loan finishes, so Clark could be a possible replacement.
  • Aaron Chapman, English, 30 years, GK - from Motherwell, on loan until 26/05/02, 0£ wage. It will be either him or Clark in the goal once Macey has left.
  • Nathan McGinley, English, 24 years, DLC - from Motherwell, on loan until 26/05/02, 0£ wage. Kitching doesn't inspire me with much trust and Davenport is a bit untrustworthy as well, so I decide to take in McGinley who is not much of a worker but has defensive skills that might play well in the center.
► Show Spoiler
3-1W (1-1HT) Alloa (League M25) (Watters 2, McCabe) I liked what I saw from Watters against Annan so I decide to give him the starting job as my sole striker in a 4-1-4-1 formation that I think will destroy Alloa. At half time we are on our way to a draw though, since one of the spare attacks from Alloa got in. I get a bit nervous and after an hour I decide to sub in McCabe who somehow always is able to ignite something. He replaces Thomas, who got another start at right. McCabe immediately nets in a cross from Wighton, which is always wonderful to see. Watters ends the match in the 73rd, giving us some tranquility, although with a 19-4 shots on goal ratio Alloa was never close to get something more than 0 points. Lawson gets his debut at right back, but fails to make much of a positive contribution. McGinley's debut is good. Wighton plays superb and gets the MotM.

After acquiring two new goalkeepers on loan I put Rohan Ferguson on the transfer list to see if anyone bites and Livingston is prepared to take him away from me for £14,000. I do the same with George Buchanan and although Peterhead makes me an offer, he goes on to sign with Kilmarnock that offers him a contract starting in June, so I will be stuck with my former captain until the end of the season.

2-1W (1-0HT) Hearts (League M26) (Watters, Upson) I start again with a 4-1-4-1 to take on Hearts' 4-5-1 and just like in Edinburgh it works out pretty well. I am the better team and only Burt has a somewhat underwhelming performance. After a 2-0 lead Hearts starts pumping the ball and they get a deserved 2-1 but do not get further than that. Their goalkeeper gets the man of the match award, although mine had a good performance as well. It was a good game although Dumfries certainly was not as excited as we were proven by the 3,428 attendance. We now have a 16 point lead over Hearts, what can possibly go wrong?

Steve Lawson is not the defensive force I want him to be at right back, so I look around for a possible reinforcement. The pool of quality players available for loan is pretty much dried up now so I decide to pull the trigger on Jamie Brandon.
  • Jamie Brandon, Scottish, 23 years, DRL - from Hearts, contract until 11/06/04, 400£ wage, £40,000 transfer fee. He becomes my second player to acquire (of the bench) from a rival. He made 3 appearances for Hearts this season, and 15 more for Premier Division side St. Johnstone, on loan. I think he will make for a great addition as right back. He can be deployed at left as well, but I will use that only as an emergency option.
► Show Spoiler
3-1W (1-1HT) Airdrie (Scottish Cup 4R) (Burt, Ennis 2) Airdrieonians get an early goal and provides some good opposition, but still is not able to keep us away from a ticket in the quarter final. Brandon has a good debut at right. Watters disappoints as striker and Ennis gets in his 12th and 13th goal of the season in 15 matches. I will probably have to fall back on him again. Thomas has a disappointing performance as right winger and with King becoming available I can choose from luxury again for the following match.

1-1 (1-0HT) Morton (League M27) (Ennis) I was expecting an all win month in February with 5 home matches, but we fail to make the most of it against a Greenock Morton side that has dropped into the relegation zone. It isn't particularly bad, but it is not enough and 4 minutes before the end of the match Kerr allows Morton to score the equalizer. We are back at a 14 points lead over Hearts. Should still be enough for the title and promotion as we will head into our last 9 games of the season and our final encounters with each opponent.

Brentford takes away Paris Maghoma with a shock £600,000 transfer. I said the kid seems to have some potential, but he had one miserable showing for us. Can't say I will miss him. Rhys McCabe is offered a contract by Aberdeen once the season finishes. He has proven his worth with us this season, but I am preparing for the Premier Division and he does not have sufficient quality in my opinion. He will get another shot at it in Aberdeen next season.

I decide to take one final look for new reinforcements and find loan players #45, #46 and #47:
  • Tristan Nydam, English/Zimbabwean, 20 years, D/DMLC - from Sunderland, on loan until 21/05/02, 0£ wage. He is back, although this time from Sunderland. Got 3 games in for us, maybe a couple more now although he'll have to compete with Davenport now.
  • Lee Grace, Irish, 28 years, DC - from Shamrock Rover, on loan until 27/05/02, 0£ wage. I am not too happy with Jason Kerr's performance so I will give it one more try with another right-footed defender before I decide to start with two left-footed ones. Marking, tackling, positioning, heading and jumping are all decent and the rest looks good as well. Let's hope he delivers.
  • Shaun Want, Scottish, 24 years, D/DMC - from Hamilton, on loan until 27/05/02, 0£ wage. Similar player to Kerr although a bit more defence minded. Don't think it'll work in defence, but it probably would as defensive midfielder, but noone will be able to take that spot from Barjonas. We'll see.
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I get another manager of the month award for February. Bit surprised, but it's true that everyone else suffered at least one loss this month.
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Post by Kingsley »

How many of the original squad remain ?
How many are in the current starting 11 ?
You do like a loan transfer
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Post by georged »

Kingsley wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:36 pm How many of the original squad remain ?
How many are in the current starting 11 ?
You do like a loan transfer
Of the original squad there are still 5 left, but only Rhys McCabe is getting regular games in if he is not injured. He is however not a regular anymore. At the beginning of the season all players on the squad had a contract until the end of the season, that was quite remarkable. The ones that remain already have a transfer arranged to a new team at the beginning of the new season, so when the new season starts all original squad players will have left. They really were not good either.

I think I have set a new record for myself with this many loans. I have, however, purchased those 3 players that will be here next year, and somewhere around 20 coming in at the beginning of the new season on free transfers, so I will (hopefully) not have to be that stressed next season in finding new players. Although almost all of them only have a 1 year contract. :lol:
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March 2002: Marching on in March to a league title and promotion!

5-1W (1-1HT) Inverness (League M28) (Ennis, Upson, Kanu 2, Wighton) I know Inverness' game so I counter their 4-4-2 with a 4-3-3, starting with new acquisition Grace as my right footed central defender. Inverness takes the lead with one of their handful of shots they will deliver this afternoon. Ennis draws soon thereafter, but we get into half time with an underwhelming 1-1. I do something unconventional with taking off Barjonas and dropping Burt to the midfield. Wighton is deployed as right winger while I put Kanu on the field. Kanu, until then, has played just two games as a sub, without making much of an impression. That is all to change. He ignites not only our play on the field, but also connects superbly with the fans who chant his name with both goals. Did I miss something the past few weeks? How has he become this popular. I will have to keep him close to the squad then.
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1-1 (0-1HT) @ Hearts (Scottish cup QF) (Burt) I return to my 4-1-4-1 for the cup match against Hearts that gets over 17,000 fans in and will bring some extra £ to the bank. But I am not just here for the financial success: I want to get to the semi-finals and bank against a Celtic or Rangers now that I am facing a division companion. We don't play well and Grace has a poor match defensively. King has a poor showing as well. We are lucky to be down with only 1-0 at half time, so we still have the opportunity to set things straight. I take the same approach that was so successful against Inverness and switch to a 4-3-3 at half time, subbing in Kanu again for Barjonas. Kanu certainly has a positive contribution but it is Burt who nets in the equalizar after 50 minutes. We continue to dominate the rest of the second half but have to settle for a just draw and prepare for a rematch.

4-1W (2-0HT) Hearts (Scottish cup QF-R) (Kanu, Upson, Burt, Ennis) For the rematch I start with a 4-3-3 formation and give Kanu a starting job after two previous good outings. It means Barjonas is left out of the squad this time. Not everyone is at 100% after an intensive match a couple of days earlier but the win is deserved, although a bit exaggerated. 2,393 fans was not what I had expected, but better something than nothing, I guess.

In the semifinals we are blessed with an away game against Rangers! The other match will be between Celtic and Ayr United, that took care of Dundee United at home.

2-0W (2-0HT) @ Ayr (League M29) (Kanu 2) I absolutely loathe playing against Ayr United since they are a tough opponent to beat. Never change a winning team and so the same players that beat Hearts get the start against Ayr except for Grace who has to give way to Want. Kanu is on fire and scores two to ensure 3 points against an Ayr United squad that did not play bad but was not able to hit a shot between the poles. Hearts surprisingly draws at Inverness, so our lead is back to 16 points now.

3-0W (0-0HT) Dundee (League M30) (Ennis 2, Wighton) For a tough matchup with Dundee we start with a 4-1-4-1. Kanu gets another start as left winger and King is left out of the starting eleven this time. Nydam starts at left back since the morale of Davenport is too low after some uneventful matches. A bit more than 4,000 see, just like in the previous games, two sides that are equal. I decide to switch to a 4-3-3 and take out McGinley for Kitching because he is not making tackles. Wighton and Ennis connect several times and make sure we get an exaggerated although deserved win. Upson has a great match in the midfield defensively.
► Show Spoiler
3-1W (1-1HT) @ Raith Rovers (League M31) (Wighton, Nydam, Burt) With a 16 point lead all of a sudden we can win the title and promotion in this final game of the month against an opponent that is number last and will surely relegate. I leave the 4-1-4-1 intact because that has proven to be successful against Raith in previous games. McGinley is left out after a poor showing in the previous match and a low morale. Davenport gets another start instead in center with Nydam at left back again. We are indeed the better team, but Raith takes the lead anyhow. After 35 minutes I change tactics to a 4-3-3 and take a weak Davenport out for Kitching. The change works smoothly and we score 3 goals in 20 minutes. Raith can be lucky it weren't more. We clinch the division in style and fans scant my name. What a wonderful feeling!
► Show Spoiler
I get the manager of the month award again and Ennis his second player of the month award.
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Post by Here2Win79 »

It's frightening the number of players you have signed from Scottish premier League clubs who I have never heard of. Need to brush up on my knowledge of my home league. From the latest batches I only know Zander Clark, and that only because I've watched him pick the ball out of the net so often v rangers and celtic. Am interested to see your perm transfers.
Your home attendance in big games doesn't seem right but you should get a good payday out of the semi final (which should be at a neutral ground).
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Here2Win79 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:40 pm It's frightening the number of players you have signed from Scottish premier League clubs who I have never heard of. Need to brush up on my knowledge of my home league. From the latest batches I only know Zander Clark, and that only because I've watched him pick the ball out of the net so often v rangers and celtic. Am interested to see your perm transfers.
Your home attendance in big games doesn't seem right but you should get a good payday out of the semi final (which should be at a neutral ground).
Yeah, I have wrapped up my season and will post the rest of it. I got a big payday out of the semifinals, twice actually. Will make the entry fee for Scottish Premier a bit less harsh. I have signed quite a few from the Premier Division although almost all of them bench players but will have to believe they were overlooked at their club. Four from Ross County, a couple from relegated Saint Mirren...probably not a good sign but who knows! :lol:
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Unfinished business - Queen of the South heads to the Prem!

Post by georged »

April & May 2002: wrapping up the season and two semifinals with Rangers to bring in some extra cash


0-0 (0-0HT) N Rangers (Scottish cup SF) Rangers start with a 4-5-1 and so will I. McGinley is back in the lineup and Davenport starts on the bench. We play some good football but defensively we are overtaken by Rangers. Macey is the only reason why we are able to achieve a goalless draw in front of almost 35,000 fans. A draw is perhaps the best result possible for us, because it means we get to play yet another game against Rangers at Celtic Park.

4-1L (2-1HT) N Rangers (Scottish cup SF-R) I start with the same players as in the previous match, but this time the floodgates are open. After half time I switch to a 4-3-3 for death or glory and it turns into an inglorious death. The counter stops at 4 thanks to, again, Macey and more than 32,000 people make sure we bank big time.

Matt Macey's loan finishes with us and he returns to Hibs. He was another great goalkeeper we had on loan this season with an average rating of 7.61 in 18 games, conceding just 16 goals. He received 3 well deserved man of match awards. He deserves a shot at Easter Road because their current goalkeeper isn't much better, if he is better at all.
► Show Spoiler
1-1 (0-0HT) @ Hearts (League M32) (Wighton) Hearts plays a good game and deserves more. Motherwell loanee Chapman has a good debut in the goal and saves a point for us, just like former Hearts players Brandon and Wighton who connect on the right flank for the equalizer. Shaun Want has another poor performance in the defence so he will be out for the next match.

3-2W (2-1HT) Arbroath (League M33) (Kanu, Brandon, Wighton) I choose a 4-3-3 formation and Grace gets another start instead of Want but has another poor showing in defence. McGinley isn't much better and despite a good performance from Chapman again, Arbroath scores two goals. Offensively I create a lot of opportunities so the victory is never in danger.

2-1W (2-1HT) @ Alloa (League M34) (Kanu, Burt) Another 4-3-3 formation and almost a perfect game in both defence as in offence, but the team is not able to translate it into a big win despite the 20 shots on goal.

4-1W (2-0HT) Dunfermline (League M35)
(Ennis, Kanu, Wighton, Brandon) Against Dunfermline we are much more efficient but we also give away way too much chances to Dunfermline who deserve much more than this big loss. Chapman has yet another great performance to prevent much worse.

2-0L (1-0HT) @ Morton (League M36) The final match of the season against a Greenock Morton that is in a relegation and is fighting for their last chance to save themselves from relegation. They need to win and Arbroath has to lose. I perform as can be expected from my team, but unlike in the previous match against Dunfermline, we cannot take advantage of the opportunities presented. Morton nets in 2 of their 5 shots against a weaker Chapman today. Watters is sent off after ten minutes in the game as a substitute which certainly doesn't help either. The Morton goalkeeper has the game of his life and is rewarded with a 10 which boosts his average rating to 6.60. He saves Morton from relegation and condemns Arbroath to the Second Division, just like Raith Rovers a couple of weeks earlier.
► Show Spoiler
Rangers, by the way, win the Scottish Premier Division and St. Mirren takes my place in the Scottish First. Celtic wins the Scottish Cup after beating Rangers 3-2 in the final.

Player review:
Because of the enormous amount of players in and out during the season, it does not make much sense to review them all. I think my three acquisitions all paid their transfer value back in positive contributions. Wighton played most games from either left or right wing, so I believe he had a pretty good offensive season despite his position on the field.
► Show Spoiler
Of the 47 loan deals we had this season, honourable mentions go out to:
  • Tristan Nydam - a stable left back who joined us on two occasions. I would not mind getting him back next season in the Premier Division, because I think his quality will hold. He played a total of 13 games for us with a goal and an assist, with an average rating of 7.32.
  • Flynn Downes - had a great 10 games for us that earned him a transfer to Aberdeen. Has been a regular for them all season although he has lost a bit of skills with them.
  • Liam Burt - was a steady factor for us all season and the one who got most games in for Queen of the South. He had 10 goals and 7 assists in 34 games with an average rating of 7.41.
  • Joe Newell - his average rating of 7.18 does not do justice to his decisive goals and assists, 4 of them both in 17 games.
  • Niall Ennis - 19 goals in 29 appearances and an average rating of 7.59. He was our best rated player in the First Division.
  • Jamie Barjonas - a steady factor with 27 matches and an average rating of 7.19. I don't think he has the qualities to succeed at Rangers, but he will become a regular for a Scottish premier division side if he does not move to the English First or Second division instead.
  • Zdenek Zlamal, Matt Macey, Christy Pym and Aaron Chapman - the four goalkeepers this season and each one of them with good performances. Remarkable.
Special thanks to Rhys McCabe, who was the only player from the initial squad that made a positive contribution to the team during the entire season. He was a bit injury prone and it cost him quite some games and a starter spot at the end of the season. He will prove his worth next season in Aberdeen.
► Show Spoiler
I end the season on a high note with a personal award as well: I get the First Division Manager of the Year award.
► Show Spoiler
The club's current finances are healthy and prepared for the "entrance fee" to the Scottish Premier Division.
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Last edited by georged on Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unfinished business - Queen of the South heads to the Prem!

Post by Here2Win79 »

Sounds like the Dev team captured barjonas perfectly as that summation sounds like exactly the career he will have. No chance of you getting Matt macey on a perm, sounds like he was a good one?
Very good season, congratulations, I think you had the league sown up early but a semi-final (with replay) is an ideal start. Be interesting to see what your more settled side does in the prem. You should leave some squad slots free, the promotion of the R players for the big sides leads to some good frees.
Is Gerrard at rangers set up to plays 4-5-1 in the upcoming release? It should be 4-3-3, he never plays any other way
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Post by Here2Win79 »

If St Mirren have gone down shaughnessy might be worth looking at, he was top ten average rating for two seasons in my Scottish game.
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Post by georged »

Here2Win79 wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:53 am Sounds like the Dev team captured barjonas perfectly as that summation sounds like exactly the career he will have. No chance of you getting Matt macey on a perm, sounds like he was a good one?
He was, but he still had a contract so he couldn't be had on a free transfer. I think there are better ones out there, although I will still keep an eye on him.
Here2Win79 wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:53 am Very good season, congratulations, I think you had the league sown up early but a semi-final (with replay) is an ideal start. Be interesting to see what your more settled side does in the prem. You should leave some squad slots free, the promotion of the R players for the big sides leads to some good frees.
Is Gerrard at rangers set up to plays 4-5-1 in the upcoming release? It should be 4-3-3, he never plays any other way
I´ll keep an eye on that! Squad size is 28 at the moment so still lot of spots open.
Gerrard was signed by West Brom in December and Rangers hired Chris Coleman as his replacement, who has been playing with a 4-5-1. Gerrard's been preferring a 4-5-1 as well, rather leave a message in the Scotland scouting thread to change it then.
Here2Win79 wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:26 am If St Mirren have gone down shaughnessy might be worth looking at, he was top ten average rating for two seasons in my Scottish game.
He didn't have a great season with an average below 7.00 but his skills look okay. The contract will finish at the end of the 02/03 season so I'll add him to shortlist and cross my fingers Hearts doesn't sign him before that.
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Post by Kingsley »

Here2Win79 wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:53 am Sounds like the Dev team captured barjonas perfectly as that summation sounds like exactly the career he will have. No chance of you getting Matt macey on a perm, sounds like he was a good one?
Very good season, congratulations, I think you had the league sown up early but a semi-final (with replay) is an ideal start. Be interesting to see what your more settled side does in the prem. You should leave some squad slots free, the promotion of the R players for the big sides leads to some good frees.
Is Gerrard at rangers set up to plays 4-5-1 in the upcoming release? It should be 4-3-3, he never plays any other way
Barjonas couldn't cut it in a bad Championship team. He looked completely out of his depth. I don't see him having any sort of career.
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Unfinished business - Queen of the South heads to the Prem!

Post by georged »

Season 2002/03

July 2002: Welcoming new players (part 1: GK and D)

It is July 2002 and I look back at the previous season in First Division. It was a very stressful one with each of my loanees getting a transfer to a different team, which forced to seek for replacements continuously. In the back of my mind I say: we are out of the First Division and it all ended well, but I don't want to do that ever again.

Back in December 2001 and January 2002 I realised the majority of my free transfer signings for the following season. These lads were prepared to take the risk to play a season in the First Division, so you have to give them credit. But I think they are all Premier Division worthy players, despite the lack of opportunities most of them had at their previous club.

This season in the Premier Division will show who gets to stay and who will have to leave. For most of my new players that is no problem: they have a contract until the end of the season, can't take the risk of having players in the reserves while getting payed (a modest) £500, which is what almost every one of them gets.

The same can be said about my staff. Lee Cattermole, Steve Dickinson, Jonathan Gould, Alan Fettis, Andy Kalininis and Rob Kelly all kept the players healthy and performing, but I am not sure whether they made anyone better. But they will keep their job in this new season as well while I will have a lookout for any new possible additions.

Staff kept their job as well because of the financial situation. Yes, we are in a lovely Palmerston Park with a capacity of 10,000, like the Premier Division obliged us to, but it came with a hefty price for such a small club like Queen of the South: somewhere around £2,500,000. Thank heaven we had two games against Rangers last season in the cup that rewarded us with somewhere around £500,000 or the outlook would be much worse. A bigger football stadium and more spectators will certainly give us more income, but I expect us to start the league with numbers written in red ink anyhow, so apart from the free transfers and a couple of loan deals, don't expect us to be able to sign anyone else unless someone else is sold. The board is realistic and just wants us to stay in the Premier Division after such a hefty investment.
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I scouted the British and Dutch fields to get some Premier Division worthy signings and I am confident we are able to achieve the board's expectations this year.

When training starts, I welcome each player in my office:

Ryan Fulton, Scottish/English, 25 years, GK. - from Hamilton Academicals. Contract until 06/2004, £300 wage. I tell him: "Ryan, I know you were agitated by losing your spot to a 19 year old kid last season, who, I think, is not better than you. You will have the chance to prove yourself here with us. We know you have it in you, we saw that with Scotland U21. The position is yours to take and make the most of it, but don't be complacent because those other boys are competitive and have the same goal as you: to be Queen of the South's number 1. Stay focused from day 1 and perform to your capabilities. This is your now or never chance." He only got 5 games last season and I think he has the skills to make it, he is more complete but his handling and jumping is worse than the goalkeepers I had last year, so I am not too confident.
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Logan Ross, Scottish, 17 years, GK. - from St. Mirren. Contract until 06/2004, £300 wage. Logan made 9 appearances for Ross County last season, so he has seen some real action. He is still very young and I don't expect him to become our goalkeeper this season, but if he develops well in training and he performs to his best in cup matches he might get a bit more. "Logan, the future is yours and it is you who decides when that future begins: today or tomorrow. However it will be, you will get your chance. You already experienced the Premier Division so you know how it is and you will become a great goalkeeper. I want you to become that great goalkeeper right here at Palmerston Park." Had he been with us last year, I would have certainly used him as our first goalkeeper, because he has some real promising skills, but I think putting him in every week right now would only detriment us and perhaps his development as well.
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Andries Noppert, Dutch, 27 years, GK. - from Go Ahead Eagles. Contract until 06/2003, £500 wage. Andries looks a bit similar in skills to Macey, the goalkeeper we had on loan from Hibs last season, so that is why I decided to take him in. He did not have a good year in the Dutch First Division, so I can't guarantee him a spot in the lineup, that's why we came together on a 1 year deal. "Andries, welcome, happy to have you here. I know you are traveler (he had a stint with Foggia in Italy) and hungry to become first goalkeeper. You have two good lads ahead of you but I want you to get ahead of them. Give the most of you each day and when that moment comes, and it will come, take it and don't give it away again."
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Jamie Brandon, Scottish, 23 years, DRL - second season with us. Contract until 06/2004, £400 wage. "Jamie, good to see you again. How was your summer in Edinburgh? Did you tell your friends and former teammates how good it feels to be in the Premier Division?" Brandon is a bit of a shy kid and laughs awkwardly, his team is Hearts and it probably hurt a bit to promote at the expense of them. "I'd feel better if we would play Hearts again in the Premier Division, sir, but I will admit I am excited to be here in Dumfries again." "Okay, Jamie, now we are all with the big boys. Last season you had no competition, but this year there will be others vying for your spot at right back. You know what you have to do: the same as last year, but you can't make any errors, you can't play any weak games. You will play at least 6 times against Celtic and Rangers this season. They will make you pay. You have been with Scotland U21. Well, this is your chance to get into the Scotland squad. You perform well this season, and some big club from England or one of the Glasgow teams will surely try to take you in." I am being realistic, right now for every young Scottish lad his motivation will be to play for either Celtic or Rangers or some big English team. Maybe in a decade from now Queen of the South could be another destination young boys can dream of.
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Declan Gallagher, 7 caps for Scotland, 30 years, DRC - from Motherwell. Contract until 06/2003, £375 wage. "I don't know what happened at Motherwell last season, Declan, nor do I wish to know what happened. All I want is to see the Gallagher that fought for his country 7 times. On the field." I add those words just to make sure he doesn't misinterpret me. "I am not saying that you will get called up if you play well here, maybe that station has passed already, but give it all you got and show Motherwell and every other team you belong in the Scottish Premier Division." Gallagher only played 5 games last season and had two loan deals to Ayr United and Dunfermline, adding 8 more games to his total. He is a strong lad but I think he will fail to have an impact and is probably up for an average below 7. As long as he defends well, I don't mind. Hope he doesn't bust my head if I leave him out of the squad.
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Ollie Turton, English, 28 years, D/DMRLC - from Blackpool. Contract until 06/2003, £275 wage. Has been a regular for Crewe and Blackpool until last season, when he got 14 games in for them. His strength is his versatility, but other than that a fringe first team player. He will probably make a lot of appearances from the bench. "Ollie, I'll be honest, you know you are here because you can play anywhere in defence and midfield. That is your strength and that is what'll give you playing time. Don't disappoint us and show why you've been a regular for years. This is your contract of redemption. Do well and you can stay with us or return to a team in England. Perform bad and you're only going towards the English Third division or the Scottish First and, believe me, you don't want that to happen. Good luck!"
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Jason Naismith, Scottish, 27 years, DR - from Ross County. Contract until 06/2003, £500 wage. I think the line between his competitor at Ross County and him was very thin. He made 22 appearances for Ross County but certainly did not make the most of it with a 6.45 average rating. "Well, Jason, with Brandon you have yet another strong competitor for that right back position and don't count out the young lad we have hired from Leeds. I think it'll do you good. You have the skills but last year you didn't make the most of the opportunities you got. You are one of few on this squad that had regular appearances in the Premier Division last season. That should be to your advantage, mate." Overall, I think he stands out more than Brandon, but defensively they have the same weaknesses and Brandon has the better passing skill. It'll be interesting to see who comes out on top.
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Jamie Shackleton, U21 international for England, 21 years, D/MRC - from Leeds United, on loan until 06/2003, £0 wage. "I can beat out any of the current players you have on your squad, sir. With all due respect." Those are the words of young Shackleton, who agrees to come over on a year loan despite having played a staggering 19 games for Leeds United last season. He has a terrific skill set and happy to receive him. He could be placed anywhere in defence or midfield, although I will try and start him at right back. "You have tough competition, but I like the competitiveness in you. Don't think that after having played 19 games for Leeds we have laid out the red carpet for you here. But you certainly are gifted. But we had a couple of youngsters last year as well with fine skills, but not with the mental set to leave anyone impressed here. Will you be different?" "I won't take anything for granted, but at the end of the season you'll see you can't go on without me." Having acquired a loanee from a Premiership side, I am confident he'll be with us until the end of the season.
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David Bates, 9 caps for Scotland, 24 years, DC - from HSV. Contract until 06/2004, £1,000 wage. He had a bit of bad luck in the past and really did not get an opportunity at Cercle Brugge either with 12 matches (11 as a sub), surprisingly. Still played 5 caps for Scotland and it is an absolute stunt I am able to contract a Scottish international. "Just make sure you stay healthy", is all I can say to him. Of course he has the skills, he should be a no-brainer for each game.
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Shane Flynn, U21 international for Ireland, 19 years, D/ML - from Leicester City, on loan until 06/2003, £0 wage. "You know the left back option is wide open at Queen of the South, do you?" is what I ask the lad. "Yes, sir". You will have competition from a team mate of yours and a couple of experienced players, you think you are up for the task?" "Yes, sir", he answers again. Not much a man of words, but he is an U21 international for Ireland, so he should know what I am talking about. Did not play any game for Leicester and instead of sitting in the reserves he'd rather try it here with us. "This isn't Leicester U23 nor Ireland U21, you hear me? Here you'll face players that are on duty for their home countries. They'll eat you alive. This is Scotland." "Yes, sir", he answers again. Hope it entered his brain.
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Luke Thomas, English, 20 years, DL - from Leicester City, on loan until 06/2003, £0 wage. "So, who is it going to be?", I ask him. "Beg your pardon, sir?", he answers. "Well, are we going to send you home or Shane?" "Ah, I see", he says, "you know I am better than him. Put me out there and you won't be disappointed. In 10 years you will say you had me in your squad." Ah, how I like the cleverness. Thomas is very talented, looks like an all complete left back and should have no problem in securing that position.
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Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Scottish, 30 years, DL - from Livingston. Contract until 06/2003, £500 wage. His direct competitor at Livingston, a French player, is not there anymore so he could have stayed and claim his spot, but he liked what he heard from us. "What, you thought you'd come here to Dumfries and get a guaranteed spot?", I tell him as he sits down. He was one of the first to sign with us last year. "No, I knew it would be tough and I do not mind the competition. Take it or leave it, right?" That's the spirit, son. A positive attitude will be necessary, left back competition will be tough and, in all honesty, the kids look better than him.
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Jon Guthrie, English, 28 years, DLC - from Livingston. Contract until 06/2003, £350 wage. Guthrie did not play a single game for Livingston last season so I am taking a gamble here. I do not expect him to claim a spot in the starting eleven and I tell him that. "I do not think you'll be a regular starter for us this season, Jon, but you will have your chance. Play your games when you are called upon and make sure you deliver." He can play in both positions at centre back so that is a great strength, he'll get his chances.
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Alex Iacovitti, Scottish/Italian, 23 years, DLC - from Ross County. Contract until 06/2005, £300 wage. We tried to get Alex a couple of times on loan last season from Ross County but he was not prepared to join us for a short period of time. He played 15 games for them last season so he'll be another face somewhat familiar with the Premier Division. His days as a top prospect are long gone, now it is time to deliver, that is what I tell him. "We've put quite some trust in you, boy, you're the only one on this squad with a contract till 2005." "I know you have shown me trust and I remember you trying to get me on loan last season. I am a Premier Division player, sir, you have to understand that, that is why I wanted to stay last season at Ross County and I will show you and them I am perfectly capable on holding my own at this level." He will not have that much competition so it is his job to lose.
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Luca Connell, Irish/English, 20 years, D/DMLC - from Celtic, on loan until 06/2003, £0 wage. Technically we got him on loan while we were still in the First Division, so we were lucky there, because players cannot be loaned between Premier Division sides. The potential is certainly there and he could play at left back but lacks the defensive power to claim a spot at centre back. I tell him that he will get his games in, but he can't expect a spot in the starting eleven each week. "When you need me, sir, I will be prepared."
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Unfinished business - Queen of the South heads to the Prem!

Post by Here2Win79 »

Always depends on hidden stats with GK,but Fulton looks excellent. I look for bravery ahead of jumping, I don't think think jumping matters as my best ever keeper had 1 eventually rising to 4 whilst low bravery is a bad sign in my experience.
Laughing at your comments on Gallagher, you seem to know more about this piece of human detritus than most of the tartan army who blindly support his inclusion in our national team despite his awful character failings. I'm a bit worried about who else you might have in store for us if you're signing him though...
Looks like a top 6 defence to me, although your Leicester left backs aren't the bravest - intriguing to see if that manifests in any weakness.
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Unfinished business - Queen of the South heads to the Prem!

Post by Kingsley »

Another ex Thistle player in ATS. I thought he was the real deal,but didn’t cut it when he moved south. Bit of a journeyman since.

Looks like you have a better core this time so let’s hope for not so much chopping and changing
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Post by georged »

July 2002: Welcoming new players (part 2: M and F)

Glen Rea, Irish/English, 26 years, D/DMC - from Luton Town. Contract until 06/2003, £450 wage. I think he is heavily overlooked. He did not play a single game last season! Think he has lots of potential for the Scottish Premier Division, which is what I tell him. "Noone knows you, that will be your opportunity. Make sure that by the end of the season everybody knows who you are." I hope he performs well, because with his name football fans might easily change it to some nasty disease.
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Jordan Tillson, English, 28 years, D/DMC - from Ross County. Contract until 06/2003, £450 wage. "You still have a lot to proof to Scotland or will you leave it at those 8 games you have played for Ross County in two seasons so far?" He was never much of a force in his career until now and he is basically a depth option for us, a backup for Rea. Might get a spot start at centre back if all goes terribly wrong.
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Max Power, English, 28 years, MC - from Sunderland. Contract until 06/2004, £775 wage. A bit of a wage overpay for a player who got just 1 game in for Sunderland last season, but sometimes you have to take a risk if there is scarcity. With such a name, what could go wrong? He is complete ball player but lacks a real impact skill. "Give it everything you got, you don't have that much wonderful years ahead of you", I tell him. A grin on his face. "You want max power, eh, boss?"
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Conor McGrandles, Scottish, 25 years, MC - from Lincoln City. Contract until 06/2003, £475 wage. Played a full season for Lincoln, in the English Second Division. Not the best performance, but he is a Scottish lad and apparently had seen enough of England. Took the best opportunity that was presented to him to return to Scotland. "You won't see much of Falkirk this year." "Not this year, sir, but maybe next year, when they promote to the Premier Division, right?" Well said, my friend, well said.
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Ed Upson, English, 31 years, MC - second season with us. Contract until 06/2003, £550 wage. "Ed, you were by far the best player we had on the squad last season, but now I am not so sure anymore. What do you say?" He give me a quick look. "I've been a regular my entire career, are you telling me I won't be able to make it to the first team this season? That's what so many have said to me before but at the end of the season you'll be sorry when I sign for Rangers or Celtic." Ha, didn't see that one coming. Not much of a difference between Power, McGrandles and Upson and it´ll probably come down to the mental skills and consistency.
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Mitchel Paulissen, Dutch, 28 years, AMRLC - from Cambuur (NED). Contract until 06/2003, £625 wage. He got a good 17 games in the Dutch second division and will be a regular if we go on and play a 4-3-3 like I want to. He has some good football skills and should be able to claim a spot in the first eleven, because, although right footed, he can play at any position in the midfield. "Mitchel, I think you will make a name for yourself here this season. What do you think?" "I definitely hope so, if you give me the opportunity I will show you what I am made of." "With that speed of yours you should be terrorising the opposition and we will play a system invented by your compatriots this season, can't go wrong then, right?" "I am a hard worker and will give you 90 minutes or more of aggressive and paced football. I hope the rest is able to keep up, make sure you have everyone at 100% each match day, coach."
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Albie Morgan, English, 21 years, AMRC - on loan from Leeds United, contract until 06/2003, £0 wage. Had somewhat of an interesting start with Charlton Athletic and was bought by Leeds United, but is definitely not Premier League material yet. He is SPL material, but I think at the moment we have better options. He can get minutes as a back-up though. Albie, you're a fine lad and you might have a bright future ahead. When you get the minutes you need on the pitch here, give it all, because those are the moments where you have to let your star shine, son. Improve yourself here so next year you get extra minutes in for Leeds. Good luck!"
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Greg Stewart, Scottish, 31 years, AM/FRLC - from Rangers. Contract until 06/2004, £775 wage. I literally jumped in the air when he agreed to terms with us. He is left footed and will bring in some real quality as left winger for us. He only played 3 games with Rangers and with his age, he just wants to play. I think he is a real quality player. "Thank you, for those kind words, sir." "Greg, you'll be our leader in the field. Not with words, but by speaking with your feet. You'll be that constant menace at the left and you have some scoring qualities as well. You will make sure we end amongst the first 6 in this league."
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David Turnbull, Scottish, 22 years, AMC - on loan from Celtic, contract until 06/2003, £0 wage. Another player we got on loan "with the trick", but what a beast! He would be a real asset for Celtic right now, can't believe they let him leave on loan. Played 6 games for them last season, but it's true Celtic does not play a tactic that favours him a lot. Maybe if we can get out of the red ink... "David, I will be honest with you, I think you are one of the best players in this squad and I want you to show off each weekend. I won't be complacent with you just because you are still young. You have a good attitude, strong fellow, and with great football skills. I will give you an important role and make sure you deliver."
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Ewan Henderson, U21 international for Scotland, AM/FC - on loan from Celtic, contract until 06/2003, £0 wage. Just like Turnbull, he entered the team while we were technically still in the First Division. He isn't as gifted as Turnbull, but could make an impact. The boy is a star player for Scotland U21. "You will get enough opportunities here that will help you establish yourself for the Scotland U21. It's up to you to show you are the best of our countries talents."
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Joe Hardy, English, 22 years, FRC - from Liverpool, contract until 06/2004, £1,100 wage. It's not like I fell in love with him, but he has an interesting finishing and off the ball skill that could work. And he has pace. He was released on a free transfer, so that is why I decided to get him as another alternative for the right wing position or even striker. Didn't play a single game for Liverpool last season. I had to battle with some lower league teams for his signature, so he should be happy to be with us. "Well, Joe, if you think you have the skills to make it at the highest level, I don't think you'll get much more opportunities than this one. We are a good squad in a good league to make a name for yourself. Your first battle is to get into the squad. Your second battle is to stay in it."
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Craig Wighton, Scottish, 24 years, FRLC - second season with us, contract until 06/2004, £500 wage. "You did well with us last year, Craig, can you repeat that performance as well one level higher?" "That is my intention, sir, I hope I can play a bit more often up front or at the right, but I will be prepared for duty whenever you call me and wherever you want me to be."
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Jamie Proctor, English, 29 years, SC - from Wigan Athletic, contract until 06/2003, £350 wage. I think he is more of a back-up for the striker position, but he should give a good battle to our main striker. He has never been much of a top scorer, but I like his overall skill, physics and header. I think he could succeed and be an alternative. "This is all or nothing for you this season. You didn't do it in Wigan, if you don't do it here...you'll be back in the Second Division or lower soon enough." "I will fight for you, boss, you know I give it all and am motivated to go anywhere and battle for a spot in the lineup. That's what I will do here as well."
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Jonathan Obika, English/Nigerian, 30 years, SC - from St. Mirren, contract until 06/2003, £550 wage. He lost the battle for the forward position to a good player, but it is still strange he only got in 2 games for St. Mirren. I think he is slightly better than Proctor and he will be my first option up front. "You don't get that many second chances to make it in the Premier Division...and especially not at your age. I bet you are grateful for that." "Oh, I am, sir, and you'll see that it was just some bad luck that kept me out of the squad last season. I haven't lost my scoring instincts. You give me the minutes, and I give you the goals."
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We will also have some young prospects in the reserves:
Cammy Docherty, Scottish, 18 years, DLC. Youth system.
Pascal Galm, German, 17 years, DC. Free transfer.
Guillaume Doucouré, French, 16 years, DMC. Free transfer.
Thomas Shaw, English, 16 years, MC. Youth system.
Craig Stewart, Scottish, 17 years, MC. Youth system.
Richard Stewart, English, 17 years, AMRLC. Free transfer.
Kyle Docherty, Scottish, 16 years, AMRLC. Youth system.
Marcus Woodford, English, 17 years, SC. Free transfer.

With all players ready to go, I set my tactics and team for the upcoming season. Obika gets injured almost immediately so I will start with Wighton:
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Unfinished business - Queen of the South heads to the Prem!

Post by leovii »

How strong are Celtic and Rangers at this point in the save?

You have a good squad assembled might surprise a few in the prem

Turnbull looks really good to have in the squad on loan think he will hit some decent numbers for you
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Unfinished business - Queen of the South ready for the Premier Division!

Post by Here2Win79 »

Joe hardy is da bomb. A goal a game average. A little inconsistent but he is only going to get better.
Well I say that but then upson seems to have gone backwards at a n alarming rate since you signed him - new coaches a priority?
I'm struggling to understand how you managed to get other prem players on loan, when did you put these through? Turnbull should be excellent though and Henderson was good on his rare appearances in my Scottish save.
Couple of good powerhouse strikers, maybe not the sharpest finishers but should bring the forwards/ wingers into play with good hold up work. Not so sure wighton can do that job.
Greg Stewart underperforms in the game much as he does in real life. Maybe he'll come alive for you, Steve Clarke at Kilmarnock about three years ago was the last to get anything decent from him.
Glen Rea sounds and looks like a country and western singer, get an album out for some extra merchandising dollars. 😀
I think you should get European football with this squad although an out and out goalscorer might be the Achilles heel.
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Post by georged »

leovii wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:59 pm How strong are Celtic and Rangers at this point in the save?

You have a good squad assembled might surprise a few in the prem

Turnbull looks really good to have in the squad on loan think he will hit some decent numbers for you
Celtic and Rangers are quite balanced. I'd say Celtic has the better team, but just a bit, but they play some weird 3-5-2 system that I think is easier to win against than Rangers' 4-5-1. Yes, I am pretty happy with my squad, think we should have no problem in ending top 6.
Here2Win79 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:00 pm Joe hardy is da bomb. A goal a game average. A little inconsistent but he is only going to get better.
I agree. I have had him in previous games and it has been somewhat of a love & hate but I hope he will put in some decent numbers.
Here2Win79 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:00 pm Well I say that but then upson seems to have gone backwards at a n alarming rate since you signed him - new coaches a priority?
I definitely think that my coaches are not really improving any players as I believe that the training ground requires improvement, but I am still in red numbers and can't sign any coaches at all except on free transfers and there is no better quality available at the moment. There are a couple I'd like to get, but maybe I'd have to wait.
Here2Win79 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:00 pm I'm struggling to understand how you managed to get other prem players on loan, when did you put these through? Turnbull should be excellent though and Henderson was good on his rare appearances in my Scottish save.
Well, at the end of the 2001/02 season I was getting my new players in and took a look at Celtic's and Rangers' squads. I saw my roster and wanted to add a couple of midfielders I could not get on free transfers. I saw these kids available on Celtic and made the loan offers that were accepted. Technically we were still in First Division at that moment.
Then the game updated and I was in Premier Division. I wanted to get a striker from Rangers on loan and it was denied, saying "players cannot be loaned between club in the Scottish Premier Division". I did not know that. So I was "lucky" I acquired these players before the update because according to the game I was still in First Division although I had already achieved promotion.
Here2Win79 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:00 pm Couple of good powerhouse strikers, maybe not the sharpest finishers but should bring the forwards/ wingers into play with good hold up work. Not so sure wighton can do that job.
Greg Stewart underperforms in the game much as he does in real life. Maybe he'll come alive for you, Steve Clarke at Kilmarnock about three years ago was the last to get anything decent from him.
Glen Rea sounds and looks like a country and western singer, get an album out for some extra merchandising dollars. 😀
I think you should get European football with this squad although an out and out goalscorer might be the Achilles heel.
Yep, it'll be interesting. I have advanced in the game. Next chapter I will write and you will see what has happened in the first 3 months of the league. But I am living up to everyone's expectations in here and it seems I am close to getting out of the red numbers, which allows me to get some better coaches in, which will be first priority now.
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Post by Kingsley »

Definitely a lot more balance and I'm not expecting to see 40+ loan signings this time round.
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Post by georged »

After reigning the South, the Queen now battles to take Scotland. (July, August, September, October 2002)

With Rangers back in the Scottish Premier Division, the traditional battle of the two clubs in Glasgow for reigning Scotland has returned. But all of a sudden a dark horse has appeared: just promoted Queen of the South is making a name for herself in only 3 months. Can QoS surprise us even more? We talk to manager Rowan Alexander.

Q: First of all, Rowan, congratulations to winning the Manager of the Month Award for October. Finally getting some credit for all the hard work?
A: It is always nice to get some recognition for the work you have done until now, but my success is the team's success and the other way around. I don't see it as an individual award. On the other hand, it is just an award over October, a photo of this moment, our work goes way beyond that, we are just beginning and we cannot get complacent just because of the good results over a short period of time.

Q: You are just beginning?
A: Yes. Last year we had a very stressful year, lots of player transfers and a continuous back and forth of fielding a team while keeping up with the performance. But we are always focused on what is next. Just like we assembled this year's team last December/January, we are now already focused as well on the team next year. We have been working with a lot of yearly contracts, but now our job is to stabilize the team and club and working long term for success.

Q: Then what is next? The Scottish title?
A: No. Next is maintaining this year's performance for years to come. We don't want to become that team of which in ten year's time people will think: "ah, yes, back then QoS had their moment of glory". We want this season to be the year in which we establish ourselves as a Scottish Premier League team and build everything up from there. Right now we are in third position. I want us to end in the top 6 this year and every season after that.

Q: Well, you sure are on your way to that. What is stopping you from wanting more?
A: It would be foolish to be thinking we are on the same level as Celtic and Rangers. We are not. We are not financially, we are not in facilities and we are not on the pitch. We have given them quite a battle this season, that is true, and were perhaps a bit unlucky at Ibrox and at home against Celtic. But in the long run their quality of players and financial strength will make the balance tilt their way, so we should not try and focus on them. We have to focus on our own and our own games.

Q: Let's focus on you then. Queen of the South has been a joy to watch this season. What has been key?
A: Our intention is to play attractive football and you can only achieve that if every player in every position is able to contribute to that. Our game starts at the back and ends up front. I think we have quite a balanced squad, good overall and strong players, motivated players with each their own personal motivation and everyone has made a positive contribution so far, with a couple of players standing out. The players feel remarkably well in our current formation and the results are there. I don't think we have had any game in which we were inferior to our opponent and with a bit more luck the losses against Dundee United and Hibernian and the draw against Kilmarnock end up in three more victories.

Q: Are there any players you can single out as key to your success?
A: Everyone has been key. You have young kids on loan as Jamie Shackleton and Luke Thomas, who both won Scottish Premier League Young Player of the Month awards, who have been able to fight themselves into the squad, displaying their qualities and potential, showing we have room for young talent. Greg Stewart has been able to make an impact as well from the left side, a position we really missed last season. Max Power has been an important factor in the midfield from the very first game we started. And then you have Jonathan Obika who has been of great importance to us with his play, assists and goals after a season to forget in St. Mirren. So you see that in every line so far players have been important.

Q: You mention Obika. A lot of the players at Queen of the South had a year to forget last season, just like him. How can you be certain that their success will last longer than just a year.
A: Sure, there can be players who might not repeat this year's success in the future, but our work goes way beyond that. We scout players to their abilities and their capabilities. It doesn't matter if you are on the bench or a first team regular. A lot of players might not get a chance for reasons like a change in formation, a new signing or just a bad season. We try to look through that and if we think a player fits our needs and can fulfill his potential, we will not steer away of signing him for Queen of the South.

Q: You talk about signings. Is the club going to make any moves during the season to address specific needs?
A: We are tied to our financial situation. As you know the club had to look for financial aid to be able to enter the Scottish Premier League and we are still paying off our debts. The club is making money however and we are positive that by the end of the season we will be a healthy organisation again. However, this means that during the season we will probably not be involved in the transfer market unless we can pick up a player on a free transfer like Allan McGregor. But our goal is and will be the free transfer market in the summer. That is where Queen of the South has to focus on for the time being. We are already preparing ourselves for next year's free agent market, just like we did last year, which will be of vital importance since we have a lot of players on a 1 year deal and we need to improve the quality of the squad.
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  • 20/07 (H-Friendly) QoS vs Celtic 1-0 (17' Stewart 1-0) Att: 5,670. A tight game decided by ex-Rangers player Greg Stewart who unexpectedly gets the winner in with a long shot.
  • 27/07 (A-League M1) Dundee United vs QoS 3-1 (20' Stewart 0-1). A terrific start is undone by GK Ryan Fulton who could have done more about 2 goals. Relatively weak defensive performance but a point could have been had. An injury to Obika gives Wighton the start.
  • 03/08 (H-League M2) QoS vs Motherwell 2-0 (27' Turnbull 1-0, 50' Power 2-0) Att: 6,248. A great game and only the Motherwell goalie prevented much, much worse. We had 24 shots on goal, 15 on target. Jamie Proctor started instead of Wighton and had a good game. Henderson lost his spot to Rea to build in some more defensive security.
  • 10/08 (A-League M3) Rangers vs QoS 4-1 (79' Turnbull 3-1). Another poor performance from GK Fulton and a terrible defensive performance in general. Rangers wasn't that much better although they deserved the exaggerated victory.
  • 17/08 (H- League M3) QoS vs Kilmarnock 1-1 (86' Turnbull 1-1) Att: 6,298. We can't get past an early Kilmarnock goal and have to wait till late to achieve at least one point, but we definitely deserved much more. Obika returns from an injury and Brandon loses his spot at right back to Gallagher.
  • 20/08 (H-League Cup R2) QoS vs Partick Thistle 2-1 (17' Proctor 1-0, 96' Proctor 2-0) Att: 1,314. I change the entire team for a cup match against second division side Partick Thistle. We are much better but need overtime to knock the opponent out. Terrific match from Proctor and Upson. Brandon surprisingly gets the MotM.
  • 24/08 (A-League M4) Livingston vs QoS 1-4 (26' Power 0-1, 33' Stewart 0-2, 41' Obika 0-3, 48' Power 0-4). Joe Hardy gets the start as right winger instead of Paulissen, Shackleton at right back. We are the better team and deserve the 3 points although were a bit helped by a poor Livingston keeper.
  • 07/09 (A-League M5) Hamilton vs QoS 1-4 (5' Obika 0-1, 17' Stewart 0-2, 38' Paulissen 0-3, 50' Paulissen 0-4). Can't say the victory is exaggerated. I try Paulissen out as the false forward and he performs great. Connell gets the start at left back instead of Thomas.
  • 14/09 (H-League M6) QoS vs Hibernian 0-1 Att: 6,096. Slightly better than Hibernian, but they get one in and we don't.
  • 21/09 (H-League M7) QoS vs Ross County 4-2 (3' Power 1-0, 60' Proctor 2-1, 66' Proctor 3-1, 88' Paulissen 4-1) Att: 5,795. Another convincing victory. Obika is injured so Proctor gets yet another start. Power is sent off two minutes before the end of the game. Thomas returns to the lineup again instead of Connell.
  • 25/09 (A-League Cup R3) Dundee United vs QoS 0-1 (23' Hardy 0-1). I feel confident and give everyone off again except for Hardy who needs to make a statement. Scores the winning goal in a close game.
  • 29/09 (H-League M8) QoS vs Celtic 1-3 (38' Turnbull 1-2) Att: 6,799. Celtic is better and probably deserves the win. Obika returns from injury and I start with Wighton at right wing instead of Hardy. He performs badly. Power is suspended and I start with an invisible McGrandles. Obika and Turnbull connect for our only goal.
  • 12/10 (H-League M9) QoS vs Dundee United 2-1 (66' Obika 1-1, 84' Obika 2-1) Att: 6,253. A late Obika goal gives us a deserved win. Power returns but has a disappointing game. Wighton gets another start but fails to leave an impact.
  • 15/10 (H-League M10) QoS vs St. Johnstone 5-2 (2' Wighton 1-0, 25' Obika 2-1, 28' Obika 3-1, 47' Obika 4-2, 54' Wighton 5-2) Att: 5,930. Wighton and Obika take care of St. Johnstone. We have a great offensive and defensive performance although St. Johnstone is able to knock in two.
  • 19/10 (A-League M11) Aberdeen vs QoS 0-2 (22' Paulissen 0-1, 31' Turnbull 0-2). Simple victory over Aberdeen. Stewart can't play more than one game a week at left wing and gets a rest so I move Paulissen to his position and Rea gets a start on the midfield.
  • 26/10 (A-League M12) Kilmarnock vs QoS 0-3 (36' Stewart 0-1, 40' Bates 0-2, 71' McGrandles 0-3) This time I give Paulissen a rest and let Tillson make his debut in the starting eleven. Easy victory over Kilmarnock that could have been even bigger. Wighton gets injured.
  • 03/11 (H-League M13) QoS vs Rangers 2-3 (19' Power 1-1, 35' Obika 2-3) Att: 6,790. Poor performance from Fulton again who seems to have wobbly knees every time a big club stops by. Makes me wonder about how to go forward with him. Rea makes a start to build in some defensive security but gets injured after 16 minutes and is replaced by Tillson who plays a good game. Power has a poor performance but in general the keeper costs us 3 or 2 points against Rangers. What a pity, we definitely deserved at least a draw. Hardy started instead of the injured Wighton. Stewart gets injured before the game as well, so Paulissen started as left winger.
Ranking after the game against Rangers:
Image
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Transfers:
IN:
  • 25/08, Allan McGregor, 42 caps for Scotland, 39 years, GK. - from Free transfer, contract until 06/2003, £650 wage. He was released during the month of August after wrapping up his contract with Blackburn Rovers. Thought it to be a useful addition to the squad because of the experience.
OUT:
  • 01/10, Jon Guthrie, to Montrose, £35,000 transfer fee. Decided to transfer list Guthrie after making two appearances non-spectacular appearances in the League Cup.
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riise
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Unfinished business - End of October 2002: QoS in 3rd position!

Post by riise »

Nice idea putting a headline in the thread subject, I might 'borrow' that :P
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