Tales from Wales – Part 1 – Gould-Finger

Now for something completely different – Matt Wills is back with a new save and boyo, he’s got a challenge on his hands here…

‘Helo a chroeso’ to my next blog adventure.

Choosing a CM9798 challenge isn’t easy. After so long playing the game you can easily slip into the habit of signing the same players and constructing the same team save after save after save. So you have to set some rules for yourself. Dave did this brilliantly with The Academy and The Retirement Home and that gave me an idea – Wales.

Take a Welsh team, only sign Welsh players and see how far you can get them. Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know I gave this a go a few months back, but it sort of tailed off so I started again and thought it would make an interesting blog. No fiddling about with the editor this time, well only to bring Kevin Ratcliffe out of retirement…..

I’m going for Cardiff over Wrexham and Swansea simply because I spent 6 years living, studying, working and drinking there in my adolescence and it seemed the logical choice.

Here’s what I’m starting with. 4 Welsh players, 3 of them defenders so a lot will have to be shipped out. I’ve also assumed the role of Bobby Gould to try and get the national team to a major final.

Lee Jarman might be difficult to keep hold of, while Carl Dale is a Cardiff stalwart.

We don’t have much money, so free transfers and loans will be the aim of the game.

6 cap Ceri doesn’t fancy us.

Nor does David Parry, ho hum.

I set up a series of pre-season friendlies to get to know my squad as the transfers rattle in and suddenly we’re into our first game against Torquay. Carl Dale hits a hattrick and young striker Scott Morgan gets off the mark. Martyn Margetson, our new goalie drops a clanger, but its 3pts and off the mark.

Reading tear us apart in the League Cup. New captain Ratcliffe gets his marching orders and our only response is through ex-Man Utd youth Deniol Graham and Nathan Wigg, both recent recruits.

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There’s no hangovers though as we travel to Scarborough and Graham looks like a decent acquisition!

My first outing for Wales under the guise of Mr Gould and it’s a comforting away win. Ok, we’re out of the World Cup, but it’s a positive start.

We fare better in the return against Reading, but it was always an uphill task. Young looks promising at centreback.

Cambridge are always a dangerous side to face, but we really don’t use our man advantage and Tom Youngs makes us pay.

We seem to enjoy our travels and make the advantage count this time around. Whitney is So Emotional.

And then a draw at home with another man advantage. Rob Tait losing his head there.

Our early away form is outstanding, not sure why we can’t replicate it at home.

Well, I feared as much, but his contract only had a year to go, he wouldn’t sign another one, so time to cash in – plus if he’s in the Prem he’ll be available for International Friendlies

Talking of which, 5-2 is respectable given the opposition and lack of selection options

Home, man advantage, 1-1 draw. This time we leave it late and winger Steven Pugh dampens Kiwomya’s joy.

Another draw, but a good haul from Graham.

So, we have the Lee Jarman money and I splash out on this Welsh Striker from Orient.

Off the bench in his first game and puts the icing on the cake – a rare win at home!

That’s Gary out for the next couple of friendlies then.

Our first derby and it sucks. Griffiths carries on scoring but this one hurts against local rivals. Red card man O’Leary is a Welsh centreback and I have my eye on him.

Leyton Orient keep all their men on the pitch and it’s in our favour.

Carl G seems to be on fire at the moment

There’s not much to say about this. I pity the fans who travelled to Scunny for this drab affair.

Welsh derby in the 1st round. At least we won’t be facing any Mickey Thomas free-kicks.

Attacking midfielder Steven Davey saves a point at Field Mill.

If one Carl doesn’t score, the other one does and Sean Lock is disappointed with that.

Belgium have too much for us in the final qualifying match.

If we’d lost by less we might have come 3rd, we’ll have to try again in 2 years time, but at least Bobby still has his job.

Ravey Davey saves a point at the other St James Park but Deniol takes a knock. Exeter are top, so actually not too bad a result.

With all that excitement, we’re doing ok for 16 Welshmen. Barry Fry is obviously paying Miguel De Souza the goal bonus he promised him.

I hope this has set the scene for what we’re all about here. Early season form means we’re looking set for a promotion push this season. I hope I’ve not offended any of our Welsh readers and you’ll join us next week for more Tales from Wales.

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