Welcome back to our experiment. If you’re not sure what this is all about, the post from last week is here. In short, we’ve made an Academy which only signs free transfers under 23. We’ve got a squad together and made a reasonable start, but can we kick on?
The problem is of course that our players will be poached if we do well. But on we go. Look busy, Colchester are coming.
A late winner from Morrison, who is interesting Oxford, but we’ll worry about that later. A home game with Notts County goes badly as Betterton is away with England Under 21s and he’s the best of an awful bunch.
The CM9798 academy has had a huge impact on the world, so much so that I had a Twitter conversation with Nicky Byrne of Westlife.
Am i on it as a winger?? Send me a screengrab of my stats 👍🏻😂
— Nicky Byrne (@NickyByrne) 2 August 2018
On that basis, he’s in. I mean he fits the criteria and Ike Mashley senses a business opportunity.
An easy 3-0 win at Macclesfield continues out good start. I feel like nothing can ever go wrong.
Swansea at home, they’ve done alright since 1997 and the filthy Swans give away 3 penalties. Pearson converts them all and adds two more in a 6-1 win. What is going on here?
It is a great footballing irony therefore that a few days later we lose 3-0 and have two men sent off…inside 6 minutes. Southend are a division higher so we were up against it anyway but that more or less ends our stay in the League Cup.
That seems to trigger something that leads to a lot of problems. First, Lincoln defeat us 3-2.
Then Cardiff win late on. No shame…
Some form is rediscovered against Mark Hateley’s Hull. Pearson is really motoring now
Another 2-2 draw, this time in the return leg, is barely cause for celebration but it’s nice to compete at a 2nd Division club. Cassin, the young Irishman, is starting to be useful.
We even manage to beat Mansfield, what was I even worried about?
Then the wheels start to come off. Two defeats in 3 days including a harrowing loss at home to Torquay
McVeigh was available for free. I should have got him. Our fury is taken out on Shrewsbury in the Windscreen Shield. They are 3rd in our division so this is a good result, but I would rather it was a league game.
Let’s concede 6 goals in 4 days…and somehow win one of them. What is really remarkable is that Betterton managed to get sent off twice in 2 games.
FIVE MATCH BAN. Christ.
So yes, I’m a little bit tense. Then the first offer comes in.
We’ll miss Danny Gee. £400k banked for Ike Mashley, a whole in our already leaky defence has appeared.
It seems a bit unfair that we have to face Cambridge of all teams without him
This team man. One minute you’re conceding to Trevor Benjamin, then you’re pulling it back to 4-4. To lose 5-4. Who wants to buy these idiots anyway?
I may as well get another one in. This chap will do.
He doesn’t have a big club release, which as I mentioned last time immediately makes me think he’s rubbish.
Another goalfest, this time Freeman (in for the banned Betterton) concedes 3 in 5 minutes. Why have nearly 10,000 turned up for this?
We’ll play Burnley in round 2 of the Shield. Chris Waddle is older than at least 2 of my players added together.
Freeman gets injured so I’ve moved for another keeper, a Twitter recommendation. He’s got…1 for technique. Send help.
He makes his debut at Colwyn Bay in the FA Cup. He’s not exactly great but a win is a win. Watford in Round 2.
He does however get man of the match at Millmoor. This win means a lot, I feel like we haven’t won a league game in ages.
We’ve kept two clean sheets in the league in TWENTY ONE MATCHES MAN. Maybe I should change the formation to something that protects our goalkeeper, isn’t it amazing that I have four goalies and not one of them can catch? Anyway, off we go to Hartlepool for more of the same.
Back to the free transfer list I go. First though, Burnley away. They are 2nd in Division 2 so I’m more than a little surprised when we’re 2-0 up at half time, but less surprised when they coming roaring back to force extra time. We lose, obviously. Heritage gets a 9, which gives me a dilemma about whether to bring Betterton back or not.
Reinforcements have arrived
That injury proneness means I’m really not expecting much but he only wants £300 a week.
He can actually have the armband, this team has no leadership, probably because they are all children. Watford in the cup, Sir Elton takes his seat in the CM9798.co.uk Arena, Heritage keeps his spot in goal and…
What a time to get a clean sheet. Simpson immediately earns hero status by marshalling a defence to a cleansheet against opposition a division higher. They are 8th in Division 2. Incredible.
Last game of the update and we host Peterborough. I’ve got a good feeling now with Simmo at the back. Obviously, he lasts 10 minutes, we blow a 2-0 lead and my other centre half also goes off injured. I don’t know why I bother.
All of that leaves us in a worrying 11th, 6 points off the playoffs. We’re the top scorers but our defence is abysmal.
Speaking of which, Simpson is out for a month. McCaffrey for 3 months. In the words of Kel, WHHHYYY?
I’ll be back next week to try and put this back together. I’ll end every episode with a look at those who have graduated the academy. So far, it’s just Danny Gee. And look what he’s aspired to…