19. A-Z of Football – Darlington (02/03) – Triumphant Beginnings

Liam turned Darlington around in the previous update so he starts a new season hoping to take them towards promotion. It’s another season of the A-Z challenge!

Right. Start of the season and I will be making bids and replacing some of the deadwood in the team that I inherited. Obviously i have made a lot of changes to the team already, and I think that after I finish my time here, they will be very well set for the future. The transfers do come thick and fast!

Stimac will be pushing for a starter role, the others maybe some point in the future. Another one comes through

The first game comes way too quickly. I wasn’t expecting it!

Decent result and a good start the the league season. This is my season, nobody will stand in my way! Kidderminster will be next to suffer the slaughter in the league cup. Young Nathan Lee gets his debut in for Legg.

What is it with my young players having fantastic debuts. 2 goals away at Division 2 Kidderminster puts us into the next round. Great result. Joe Baird joins to play left wing back, for £375k.

He makes his debut away at Leyton Orient, Nathan Lee keeps his place after his exploits at Kidderminster,

He scores again and wins us the match again. The lad is special. Second leg against Kidderminster and Legg will get his chance with Lee. I also want to play Jacques a bit more, so in a predicament!

Lee will not be dropped, that is for sure. It is the other slot going between 3 strikers. Fernando Morientes joins Juventus from…Barcelona?

Bit of European strength come into the club. Popescu and Lopes to sure up the defensive side.

Southend visit the Feethams next, let us see if Nathan Lee can continue his form!

Wow. Of course he can, but then so can everybody else! 7-0 to get our best result to date, and if this is an indication on how the season will go, I am more than happy about it! Unfortunately a couple of injuries in the week changes our hand, as Agiadis and Carlsey pull out to be replaced by Petrescu and Popescu, the Romanian dream team. We visit the Memorial Ground in Bristol.

An unconvincing win, but a win none-the-less. Nathan Lee doesn’t score, he is LISTED, HOW DARE YOU. In comes this legend of the sport.

Not sure how we picked him up, but that is a great signing. Mark Draper leaves however for Boston Utd. Stefanovic makes his debut against Grimsby.

Not a great start for Stefanovic as he picks up an injury, but a well fought result, with Lee getting another goal. Removed from the list!

Manager of the month is ours after winning all of our games

RIP Dejan

Next game straight up. I still can’t believe York have Henrik Larsson, and why he even moved these in the first place. I have enquired obviously, but he isn’t for sale. We play away at Bootham Crescent.

Nathan Lee with a rare 6, and Jason Legg pulls his leg out and gets a couple 100% record still intact! Pick up a schoolboy goalkeeper due to the EU limits, Looks alright!

Boston United up next, hoping to keep the 100% run going

The league table is looking pretty tasty right now!

Again, it being the start of the season, there aren’t many managerial changes or big transfers going on. Hoping that will pick up so it isn’t just my story being match after match. However for now, Swansea City away. Lets keep this 100% record going at Vetch Field.

The dream is over. But, the championship isn’t. We will continue to push on forward and I am sure we will pick up the W’s. Finally, a move that I don’t think you’ll ever see. A manager leaving Northampton for Pescara, yes….Cesare Maldini

Straight back to business against Bournemouth.

The goals have dried up for Nathan Lee, but as long as somebody is scoring, I don’t really mind. It is another great win and we are pushing further ahead. Wimbledon have a new manager

But, bad news for my replacement at Chelsea! This is what happens when you don’t play Knutsen, idiot. Shame though, Roy holds a place in my heart, will be interesting to see where he goes and where Chelsea go!

I still have 4 spaces in my team, barring me selling anybody, that I think I will leave unless a great opportunity comes forward. A few players are listed though so we will see how that plays out. League Cup 2nd round now however, and our first leg is away at WBA.

Tough match, but again we get through it. Nathan Lee’s early goalscoring form has ended, but he is still a hero to me. Man Utd plump for a goalscoring superstar!

While Trevor Francis is again on the move;

Frank Lampard Snr has left Preston aswell, what are the odds of him turning up at Colchester?

Next game is home to Stockport. I want to give Cullen a chance up front as Nathan Lee deserves a break. There are goals in this team, and maybe a fresh change will bring more out

Nope. 0-0, bore draw and we were up against it most of the game. Thank god for Anthony Betterton! I stick in a bid for a rather versatile CM 97/98 icon, it will be whether they want to drop leagues. We are still top of the league, but only on goal difference. A quick reminder of what I am running with, the starting line up of the season so far

Offers are coming in thick and fast for my players, even when not transfer/loan listed. Understandable, they are great. However, £5mil for Jason Legg I can’t refuse, like literally. It is from Everton and there is a big club release clause. To be honest, he is worth £3.3mil on automatically. We will see how that pans out. Preston are next to visit the Feethams Ground, in a competition that if I win could also see me move on, the Windscreen Shield.

Nathan Lee is back, the break has obviously rejuvenated him. Excellent. It would be who we can use to replace Jason Legg when he leaves. Obviously, the money that comes in would be very helpful to find a replacement, or I can use Jacques/Cullen and see how they get on. Chelsea go for Ray Harford from Wolves, and the managerial merry-go-round continues.

Roy Makaay is on the move, and who does he go to? Hercules…Oh ok

Right, back to the business at hand and Burnley are next to visit the Feethams.

A dominant result against Burnley, however, we can’t shake off Grimsby who are sticking to us like glue. We do have a game in hand over them however, so a chance to move 3 points clear.

Jason Legg refuses to move to Everton & Wolves! What a lad. Thank you Jason for choosing us to continue to journey with. Our paths will cross in future due to your loyalty to me.

It is a second consecutive manager of the month for us

However, the FA Cup 1st round draw is not good for us. It might be nice to just get out of that early however so, no complaints.

Actually, looking at it, it looks better for us. Southampton are actually in Division 2 and 21st in the league at that, with a small poor team. So yeah, it could actually be worse.

That is what happens when Graham Taylor is your gaffer.

And that is where we end this update. A very successful start to the season and I am confident this will be my last season at Darlington. I have a great group of players that I will probably look to take with me, We will have to see.

Please follow me on twitter @Liavinco and twitch https://twitch.tv/liavinco I would really appreciate it. Until next time, adios!

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