Lifting Wales #4: Stick or twist?

So, after a little excursion into tactics in Lifting Wales #3: Analysing to stop losing it’s been a while since the last update for the save proper. That said, let’s crack on and let me show you how my concerted assault to lift Wales’ Euro coefficient from the gutter is progressing.

A 5 year ramble in the valleys

Yep, believe it or not since the last proper update from the first season I have now finished 5 seasons at my beloved Cefn Druids and have firmly established us as the wonderfully banal “Best of the rest” which was actually a 5th year target from the board but which we achieved by the 3rd year.

So what does this mean? Well, precisely this, that we are dominating the whole league APART from TNS, finishing a full 25 pts ahead of Bala in 3rd and with many of our players holding the league records:

The question is though do I stick and try to topple TNS (who haven’t lost a single game IN 3 YEARS apart from a fluke away win we got over them this year) or twist to go and improve yet another club to the point where they also can get through a couple of more precious Euro Conference 2 games to raise that Euro score? Hmmmmm I’m still not sure so we’ll come back to this a bit later.

For now though, let’s have a look at some of the highlights of how we got to this point, firstly with our talisman Centre Half Trystan Jones, whom as we speak is stood on his tiptoes on a bunch of pallets in a sculptor’s studio in Colwyn Bay pretending he’s leaping like a poor man’s CR7, recreating one of his near post goals to be cast forever in bronze for outside our stadium, The Rock. A (literally, 6′ 3″) massive 5 star player for this level with a bunch of PoMs, solid at the back with 17.23 headers a game and constantly driving us forward with his 92% pass rate. What a hero.

Of course this isn’t the full story as he has been just one part of what is now a pretty decent team, but I have also spent a hell of a lot of time in these 5 years on youth development prospects to send out in order to seed the league and improve it as a whole with good, cheap players. The results of this have been really promising, with a big bunch of 5* PAs given away on frees and also decent loanees who are all higher 6s or above and contributing well to our competitors’ growth:

In addition, our U19s (18 of whom have 5* PA) have just won a league and cup double so rock n bloody roll 🙂

Better than a Pontin’s Donkey Derby

So let’s get to the nitty gritty, what has all of this done for our target of increasing the Euro coefficient?

Well as you can see from the tweet above, after an initial dip to 53rd place in the world (thanks TNS for being shite in Europe in that first season) we managed to raise it back up again and we are now standing 47th, with the league getting 1 UCL and 3 Euro 2 qualifier places with our 3rd round exit to FK Budućnost Podgorica this season being our best ever Euro finish.

When it comes to the actual football though, I can’t leave without showing you this absolute thunderblaster from my DM George Hughes which was the best goal we scored all season by a country mile (and most probably the best of the competition).

So, stick or twist?

So there you go, that’s where we are since last time so you may have a better opinion now on that opening poser of whether I should leave or stay. On the one hand it’s tempting to stay to try to topple the ridiculously way-ahead TNS but on the other I really fancy moving on and get on with developing yet another club to the same level. Then again though, how can I leave Trystan Jones and his impending statue? Decisions, decisions!

Whatever I decide, watch this space to find out and enjoy your own FM till then.

Best wishes,

Daz aka @fmheathen everywhere

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