CM9798 Academy – Part 10: Last Minute Plans

The CM9798 Academy have had a short but illustrious history. Consecutive promotions after being launched into the murky world of Division 3 were as welcome as they were unexpected and life in Division 1 has been a mixed bag. If you’re new to this, the gist of the Academy is that we can only sign free transfers aged 23 and under and everybody is up for sale. We’re just a cash cow. There’ll be a full graduate review at the end of this episode, but first we have to end the season. Can we get out of Division 1 at the first attempt? The table says: Possibly.

Div 1 top january S3

For the second consecutive update we start with a game against QPR. We’re 3-0 down again too, Kevin Gallen is too good for us. We’re inconsistent at best.

QPR 1-3

We have a fleeting interest in the FA Cup, if we can just beat 2nd Division Bristol Rovers we’ll be off to Elland Road. However that’s just not how we roll and despite Billing’s best efforts, we lose in extra time. Maaaaan

bristol rovers 3-2

A full on crisis is averted with a home win over Bradford. The front two both score and it’s a cleansheet. The ideal day.

2-0 bradford

We’re off to struggling Pompey next and even the most optimistic of fan can’t imagine being 3-0 up after 14 minutes. We go on to win 4-0 and all is right in our world again.

0-4 pompey

A home game with Swindon starts badly and gets worse when Billing misses a pen but Walshy equalises before half time and the floodgates aren’t so much opened as smashed to bits. SEVEN

7-1 swindon

Our good form continues at Portman Road. Billing nets for the 5th consecutive game and Hussin, who is starting to look worthy of his £25k a week pay packet, nets the winner.

ipswich 1-2

Bottom of the table Wigan should be the ideal opportunity to stretch our lead but Billing fails from the spot again and we can only salvage a point. That’s a bad result.

1-1 wigan

The problems continue at Highfield Road. Coventry’s team is ludicrous and Moldovan and Armstrong have too much for us, even though Billing has an equaliser disallowed.

2-1 coventry

If that was unfortunate, we are absolutely rancid at home to Fulham. It could have been ten. I don’t know where these performances come from.

0-4 fulham

You may remember one such performance came at home to Vinny Jones’ Wimbledon. Well, Billing makes sure that doesn’t happen again. Big crowd for the game too.

wimbledon 4-1

We survive deadline day without losing any of the jewels in our crown. One graduate on the move though is Ryan Morrison, who has joined Stonesy at Blackburn. More on that later.

morrison to blackburn

We’re holding it together and after battering West Brom again we look like having to settle for a point but Pearson has other ideas. Mr Reliable has been…less reliable this season but he still knows where the goal is.

2-1 WBA

Sunderland are running away with the league and they smash 5 past us. I don’t want to dwell on that.

5-2 mackems

Two goals in a minute see off Southend. That’s more like it.

2-0 southend

Bury are in the relegation zone but fighting like beavers (see Kamara, Chris) to stay up. It’s an Easter Monday to forget for us as we are comfortably beaten. That’s an onion in the ointment.

bury 2-0

We are a point outside the playoffs, with Port Vale in 6th. Guess who are our next visitors?

It’s a mad game. Billing and Pearson are both banned and we lose two to injury and Gowshall gets sent off with the score at 1-1. We go behind, level straight away thanks to Howard’s first goals for the club before the unlikely figure of Crowe puts us in front. We’re going to do it! We’re going to the playoffs Port Vale equalise in the 89th minute. That’s a significant punch to the groin.

3-3 port vale

It’s a tough ask now especially with fellow rivals Tranmere next up. We lose that too. It’s slipping away.

tranmere 3-1

There’s a scenario on the last day of the season where if we win and lots of team lose, we can take 6th. We win…

hull 1-0 win

Fulham and Tranmere both draw (not with each other) and we’ll finish 8th. That last minute Port Vale goal cost us a great deal. Then again we shouldn’t have lost 5-1 at home to Wimbledon, among other terrible results.

Div 1 table May

Balls. It’s respectable and in fairness we’d have been eaten alive in the Premier League.

S3 ratings

Some fairly average performances, three centre halves did well. Dow is a bit of a false rating as he only played a handful of games.

goals S3

Not enough goals from elsewhere. We really missed Twiss in that regard. Billing though has been a real hero.

Billing stats

There’s going to be an overhaul this summer. A lot of the squad players were signed in division 3 and need moving on, I’ll sign new kids who are able to compete for a first team place.

First out the door is Big Bill. He’s done a great job as a utility man in Divisions 2 and 3 but he wanted out and I can’t refuse bids, so good day to you.

Big Bill leaves

Join me next time to see how the overhaul goes as we try to have another go at Division 1. In the meantime, here’s a graduate update. Toodles!

The Graduates

Michael Twiss – Deemed a star player by Wolves, they stayed up by the skin of their teeth in 17th.

Twiss S3

Jeff Brazier – Played regularly for Bolton and helped them to 6th in the table, which should secure them a UEFA Cup berth next season.

brazier S3

Gary Simpson – Also part of that Bolton team, the centre half has made 27 appearances in the Premier League this season for The Wanderers.

Simpson S3

Stuart McCaffrey – Can’t get a game for Huddersfield having joined from Stoke.

Danny Gee – Our first graduate is now at Grimsby, having left Wimbledon for £325k. He still has a big club release so presumably still has the potential to go higher.

Gee S3

Lee Norfolk – Helped St Johnstone to 6th in the SPL, playing 42 times. Also holds a big club release clause.

Ryan Morrison – Joined Blackburn for £3.2m earlier in this update, has made 5 appearances so far.

James Stones – Played European football and helped Blackburn to 10th in the Premier League. Now reunited with Morrison.

Stones S3

Anthony Betterton – Helped Barnsley get promoted at the first attempt in his first season as Barnsley’s number one.

betterton S3

That’s all for our most prominent graduates, it’ll be interesting to see who is the first to gain an England cap.

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