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Career chewkaiwen Attempts: A Long Way to the Top Challenge


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Foreword: Normally I do not start with a challenge but I normally would have done a "Rise from the Bottom" career to kick start a new FMM game so why not give this a shot! Will be trying to find ways to make this career as entertaining for myself and for all who read it, but I do apologise in advance should there be long gaps between the posts, it is plausible but for once, I do hope that I can finish a challenge completely. So without further ado...let's jump into the story! :D

This challenge and its rules can be found in the link below, kudos to @Scratch for coming up with such a challenge!


The Story..... (Note: Its all fictional 😉

Its been an exhausting few years of learning, but finally, I am finally certified fit to manage a club! It is a far cry from what I was hoping my life to turn out, but several horrible events in your unlucky life has only served to make me rethink your life plans. A long time ago, at the age of 16, I was stated to be one of the rising stars in the world. Hailing from Singapore, a country not known for footballing prowess, only made it even more exciting for me. The whole world was looking at me.....when disaster struck. A horrific challenge in a league match saw me suffer a torn ACL and knocking me out of the squad for 9 months. That was followed up by multiple ACL injuries in the next 3 years, and at the age of 19, it was clear that I was never going to make it with these injuries, thus leading to an early retirement. 

Fast forward another 11 years. The world has forgotten about me now. After having tried multiple jobs and having not much success in these areas either, I decided to give football yet another shot, but this time as a manager. Now, at a young 30 years of age, I am ready to take on my first job. 



However, with the limited career opportunities in Singapore, it was pointless for me to try and work my way up here, and thus I packed my bags and moved to the land where some of the best clubs in the world resides....England. It will be a long way up, no one knows me anymore, but the dreams of past to one day be a superstar of the world, it still exists? Will I succeed in my quest for personal glory? Or will I become one of the many others who have tried, and failed? Only time will tell...

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The Beginning of a Journey

After searching around for a job on the job market (there wasn't many to begin with), 2 clubs offered me a job. One would be Hemel Hempstead, a Vanarama League South club. The other would be Braintree, a Vanarama National League club. After some careful consideration, I decided on...




News Report


Breaking news in your local Braintree newspaper! Braintree Town Football Club, also known as the Iron, has appointed an unknown name to take the hot seat! The manager, Kai Wen Chew, is an unheard of name in the local community and abroad, and no one really knows how he managed to get the job. Our reporter managed to get hold of the Singaporean manager and managed to get him to answer a few questions for the Braintree community!

Reporter (R): Good morning Mr Chew, I must admit that no one here has heard of you virtually before! Why Braintree?

Kai Wen (KW): Good morning, well they say that all managers have to start from somewhere, and for me I guess it would be Braintree! I had a look at the squad and I must say that I see a huge potential in the squad, the board has a willingness to give me a shot even with my lack of experience so I am very thankful for this opportunity and I will definitely make the most of it!

R: Braintree obviously just got promoted back into the Vanarama National League last season, what will your goals for this season be?

KW: Well, obviously it is still early days but I will be hoping for minimally a safe mid table position this season! It is an ambitious goal, and both the players and me will have to fight the very hardest to reach this goal but I think it is possible. But for now, I will be looking at each member of the squad and deciding how best to use them and to fit my own playing style.

R: You mentioned playing style. What sort of playing style will you be looking at?

KW: Good question. I have always been one to fancy a short passing, quick movement and a beautiful style of attacking football. It will not be easy to achieve this, but I do hope to drill into the players how I want them to play and to avoid drilling long balls if possible. Given time, I do think that it is certainly possible, and the faster we can play to this style, the better for everyone of course.

R: Just one last question, obviously it is early days and all, but will you be looking into making many transfers?

KW: Well, you are right that it is early days. I am quite satisfied with the quality of the squad, and might observe them for a while first before coming to a final decision on whether new players are needed, and which areas of the squad needs strengthening. Every player has a chance to be in the first team, let me make that clear, but eventually, I can only select 11 players to play each game and it would be up to the players to impress me and show me that they deserve to make it into the team.

R: Well, that would be all for today. Thank you for your time. We wish you all the best for your time here with the Irons. 

KW: My pleasure. Thank you for your well wishes and I do hope I won't disappoint at all!



And that is how it starts! Stay tuned to find out how I did in the first season, am halfway through it so hopefully should be out over the weekend or early next week! :D

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Great, I love that you're doing this! Loved the back story too. Gotta say I applied to all five of the open positions and was pretty surprised with which one I got! Will post it tomorrow or so. Gotta get some screenshots. 

I still haven't played a game yet - have spent a LONG time looking through the squad and all the players I can get on loan and all the free agents. Just started approaching some of them, but started moving now. 

Anyway, good luck mate, will watch this with interest. :) 


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1 hour ago, Scratch said:

Great, I love that you're doing this! Loved the back story too. Gotta say I applied to all five of the open positions and was pretty surprised with which one I got! Will post it tomorrow or so. Gotta get some screenshots. 

I still haven't played a game yet - have spent a LONG time looking through the squad and all the players I can get on loan and all the free agents. Just started approaching some of them, but started moving now. 

Anyway, good luck mate, will watch this with interest. :) 


I’ll be honest, didn’t really have to look much because I was in debt to begin the challenge! And there wasn’t too many players interested in a semi-pro team...quite shocking to see Jay Emmanuel Thomas as a free agent, refused to join me because I was a nobody though :( 

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I had a few who told me they didn't want to play for a nobody too! But also got a few who were willing to sign. Some young players, a couple more experienced (like Remi Streete who is still a free agent like last year!). 

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Season 1: A Distant Reality

First Match: Braintree vs Plymouth (Friendly)


Braintree has been strangely quiet in the opening few days of the transfer window ever since manager Kai Wen came into the club, it is clear that he wants to test the capabilities of this squad before deciding who to bring in, true to his word. The task for his team does not come any easier, with a friendly against League 1 team Plymouth. It will really come down to who wants the first team spot more!


And my word, what a match it was! Braintree got their fans on the edge of their seats when Verde shot a screamer from outside the box to open the scoring in the 4th minute. Thompson thought he had doubled the score in the 12th minute, but he was ruled outside by the flag. Some sloppy defending however saw Taylor capitalise to level the scores at 1-1, Kai Wen was seen scribbling notes after this, could this be a cause of concern? Braintree however were not fazed, and pushed on to try and win. Having had a goal disallowed earlier, Thompson used his strength to win crucial challenges and headers, and was rewarded as he managed to score twice before half time. Half time score: BRAINTREE 3-1 PLYMOUTH.

A much changed second half lineup saw Kai Wen make 9 changes to the team which started after the break. Clearly he wanted to see how the others would perform. Sadly, the second half was nothing like the dream first half which Braintree had. A lapse of concentration saw Ladapo and Edwards score 3 goals in a space of 6 minutes, as Plymouth turned around their deficit to win 4-3. Kai Wen was clearly not pleased by that defensive display, continuously gesturing at his defenders where to run. He surely would have lots to think about after watching his side give up a 2 goal lead at half time. But none the less, a brilliant performance from Braintree, and it was nearly a shock by the minnows today under the charge of their new manager. Final Score: BRAINTREE 3-4 PLYMOUTH.







Clearly defence was something that needed to be improved in the club. And Seb Hines was my answer, getting the former Middlesbrough and Orlando City man on a free transfer. He was 1 of 2 players that I got into the club in the summer. The attributes he has are in the right place, and he clearly has the experience that would be needed to shore up my defence! 


The second of my signings came in the attacking department. A couple of good strikers were up for offer free including Jay-Emmanuel Thomas, but young Jordan Brown was the only one who would be willing to sign for the club with me inside and with a reasonable wage as well. A former Arsenal youth player and West Ham player, he is young, speedy and strong, giving me the freedom to move him around as a target man and as a poacher when I needed to. 


By January, it was starting to be clear that my defence was not as good as I needed it to be. It was pointless scoring 3-4 goals every match if I concede 5-6 in that same match. Having managed to finally move back into the green for my wages, I finally could scour the market for some bargains. Liam Doyle was my answer. He was based in US team Nashville, but was available on nothing, so who am I to run from such an offer? Nice all round attributes, he has extremely strong aerial attributes which I hope would help me out defensively and bring some spine to my backbone. 


Braintree had a GK on loan from Sheffield Utd to begin with, but with my club paying all his wages and him commanding 1.3k a week, it was a big ask for a keeper who was substitute at best in my club. Him conceding 18 goals from 7 games does not help 1 bit at all, so we sent him back to where he came from. My replacement came in the form of this lad from Wealdstone. He has pretty nice all round attributes and more importantly, he was free! :D 


Had to get rid of certain players to free up my wage budget and sadly these were the players that had to go. Quite a number were on way higher wages than how they performed and how their attributes looked, while some just totally didn't fit into my system and were wasting squad space in my team.






Definitely a season of ups and downs, we were 2nd at one point of time in the league but a bad run of form pushed us down to fighting for the 6th place to the 10th place. We were definitely close to qualifying for the playoffs, but a final day 1-2 loss to Leyton Orient saw us fail to capitalise on Ebbsfleet's loss to Aldershot and saw us missing out on the playoffs narrowly on goal difference to a rather happy Ebbsfleet side. We just let in too many goals really, and that proved to be our undoing this season.


FA Cup




We had to earn our way into the FA Cup 1st Round, having come from outside the top 4 divisions in England. Against a Spennymoor side one level below us, we showed them no mercy as we blitzed passed them 6-0 at their home ground, giving us entry to the 1st round of the FA Cup, where we were drawn at home against League 1 team Southend! What a draw! :D 


Sadly, Southend proved too good for us. We went in with an attacking mentality and dominated most of the match. However, Southend did just enough on their counters and the pace of their players were just too much for my full backs to handle, thus handing us defeat and knocking us out of the club. No shame in being defeated by Southend, and my players put in a good effort today!


FA Trophy




The FA Trophy was supposed to be the easier of the trophies to claim for us, but we definitely didn't make things easy for us! Against Vanarama League North team Hereford, we were surprisingly held 2-2 at half time, with them looking the better tea7rhm. However, Grant and Thompson scored deciding goals to give us a narrow 4-3 win and qualification to the next round!


Bromley was a much sterner test for us, but it was a strange match in totality. Having dominated the match from start to finish, it was rather surprising that it was 2-2 at the final whistle, a Seb Hines own goal having denied us the opportunity to take the win in normal time. Grant scored a header from a corner int he 94th minute, sparking celebrations on my end, only for Meekums to level the score once again 3 minutes later! However, in the 107th minute, substitute Barrington managed to find the net to the delight of the away fans who were cheering late into the night...

Qualification saw us drawn against yet another lower division team in Dartford, a much needed relief as it provides some opportunity for squad rotation.


However, it was a laborious 3rd round as Dartford seemed to be the better team for the majority of the match. However, having fresher legs on the pitch on my end due to the massive amounts of rotations I made worked in the end, Thompson managing to hit the net twice in the second half to secure our win and allowing us to enter the next round, where Vanarama National side Gateshead awaited us.


Once again, we didn't make things easy for ourselves one bit! After having done so well to go 1-0 up in the 30th minute, we needlessly tripped a Gateshead player in our box to concede a penalty just before the half time whistle! We pushed once more in the second half, but failed to hit the net at all, thus bringing us yet again to extra time. Brown, on a substitute appearance, and Thompson scored 2 crucial goals deep into extra time which Gateshead had no reply to, thus sending us through to the Semi Finals! Darlington awaited us over 2 legs...


Complacency definitely got the better of us in the first leg. It was a shocking result given that Darlington came from the division below us, but we struggled to find a reply to their early strike by O'Hanlon, and when Pike scored in the dying moments of the game, everyone knew it was coming. It remains to see how we can respond back at home for the second leg!


It was clear from the starting whistle. Braintree came here to attack all the way, while Darlington came here to defend all the way! Having done so fantastically, the only thing lacking was a goal, and it took us 68 minutes to break the deadlock through Rrapaj's wonder strike from outside the box. However, despite committing everything forward, we still could not find the vital second goal by full time, sending us into extra time. When it seemed like it was just not our day today, Grant scored to give us the lead on aggregate, before Brown confirmed it with a strike in the final moments of the game! We were going to the final!


The final was a much more duller affair than one would ha e probably liked. Both teams tried but none could really fashion a shot that was needed. Finney was sent off was a second yellow for Maidstone in the 86th minute and that gave us the signal to push. Just as everyone was preparing for extra time, Brown scored a stunning free kick to give Braintree the 1-0 lead! All joys and cheers on the Braintree camp as somehow, Braintree wins their first trophy under their new manager, the unknown, Kai Wen Chew!

News Report


Crazy scenes tonight at Wembley as Braintree celebrate their first ever FA Trophy! It was a nail biting match, with nothing separating them apart from a late late Jordan Brown goal in injury time, which only served to heap even more misery on Maidstone after defender Finney was sent off in the 86th minute for a rash challenge! We at Braintree Sports managed to catch the manager for a few words:

R: Congratulations on your win tonight. It must be a really special day for you?

KW: Yea, indeed it is! Before this match started, I told the lads that the only enemy they have is themselves, we have gone so far so we might as well go all the way and they did it, in some style too! We were probably helped by Maidstone not doing themselves many favours with the red card and all, but a superb performance by my lads and I'm chuffed to be able to win a trophy for this club!

R: Is this the first of many? 

KW: I hope so! Listen, the fans have been awesome, we haven't always had the best of times this season, but they have stuck with us through thick and thin. I do hope that this isn't the last of trophies which we will win, they deserve so much more for their support to the club and the players know that very well.

R: I know this is rather early, but given how you have surpassed all expectations this season, what are your thoughts on next season?

KW: Well, it will definitely be difficult to replicate what we have done this season but I am sure the boys and I are ready to go one better from last season! We have a whole pre-season, so we will have time to sit down and think about what we have done, and how we can improve from last season. We are far from a complete team, but they have done so well to mould into my philosophy and I sure hope for the best next season. New faces? I dunno to be honest, we will see who we have and what is available, and from there decide the best course of action.

R: Brilliant, thank you for your time. Enjoy your celebrations tonight!

KW: Thank you. 















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Great job mate, especially on the trophy! How is your profile looking? Still Unknown or work you're way up to Local yet? I'm interested to see how even minor trophies help build your reputation.

I'm only about 10 games in to my season (I'm a slow player) and still as Unknown as anything.. :D 

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4 hours ago, Scratch said:

Great job mate, especially on the trophy! How is your profile looking? Still Unknown or work you're way up to Local yet? I'm interested to see how even minor trophies help build your reputation.

I'm only about 10 games in to my season (I'm a slow player) and still as Unknown as anything.. :D 

As of the end of last season I was up from Unknown to Obscure, not any much better but its improving!

Not sure if the FA Trophy would have done anything, but making it into the 1st Round of the FA Cup did help to push me out of Unknown zone!

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Thanks to all those who congratulated me on the FA Trophy, was a real rollercoaster of emotions getting to the final. I've not been so excited to win a match with a last minute winner for so long!

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Season 2: Pushing against the Odds

Season 1 saw us perform well enough to secure an unlikely FA Trophy win under Braintree, but sadly, we were not able to get promoted to the upper echelons of League 2. We once again try this season, but will everything go to plan? Will I even be at Braintree come end of the season? Do continue looking on to find out!





No money to spend this season once again meant we had to use our wages wisely in the free agent market!


A promising young striker that comes from the Everton youth team, he was sadly deemed not good enough to make the cut there. However, Braintree and me decided to give him a shot, seeing that he has the physical attributes which can possibly allow him to succeed. A real out and out target man.


Clearly youths was the thing on manager Kai Wen's mind as Aaron O'Driscoll was bought in from Southampton having been released on a free. While not the best defender around, his young age means he has the potential to improve while at the same time demanding a much smaller wage than most people. He has the key attributes in the vital stats which makes him an asset to the team.


RB was a position which I struggled to find quality players last season and I was definitely determined to try and make sure that I prevent goals leaking in from the right this season. Tyler Reid was my answer, a youth player released from Swansea on a free. Strong, physical with plenty of pace to help him when he moves forward, he clearly caught my eye and I signed him up.


What a player. Thats will be my opinion on this lad. He was released from Cardiff on a free and was willing to sign for me, which was a pleasant surprise. He has a rather decent crossing and dribbling skill for this division I'm more than happy to field him as a winger which would hopefully get the most out of his abilities...looks a real gem already!


Well, we needed a new keeper, and has nice all round stats for a keeper. He was from Tottenham but was released, and I took the opportunity to snap him up just before the start of the January transfer window! Hopefully he helps shore up my already very leaky defence!


Of course you always have to make room for you new players by selling your deadweights and that was what I did, getting a rather decent profit in the process considering these players were ever going to make it







It was a rather decent season for us, as we basically did it through outscoring teams in our division while being a lot more tighter in defence. Our only regret could only come in the form of having dropped too many points in draws which we should have won, but despite all this, we will be playing in the playoffs this season!


We had to face off against Macclesfield in our first round, and we came out easy winners. Jordan Brown showed know mercy as his clinical finishing helped us take a 3-0 win and progression to the next round!


We then faced off Hartlepool who was always gonna be a tough test due to the fact that Hartlepool was 2nd in the league this season. Grant gave us the lead early on, but Reece Cole pegged us back 15 mins from full time. However, lady luck shined on us as Jack Cooper was sent off in the 80th minute. With that in mind, the Braintree lads pushed forward to try and score a winner, and we were eventually rewarded as Grant and Waite scored deep in extra time to give us the win and keep the dream alive!


The task did not get any easier as we had to face off Leyton Orient, who finished 3rd in the league this season. It wasn't really helped by the fact that my boys was heavily fatigued from having played so many matches prior to this. And things did not look good for us at half time, having gone 2-1 down despite Evans giving us an early lead. But the second half was an entirely different story altogether, with Della Verde to the rescue once more again to equalise the score. And just when everyone was preparing for extra time, Evans scored a screamer out of nowhere which got the Braintree fans screaming and cheering with excitement! And just like that...



Cheers and smiles all around for Braintree as they have done it! A real fairytale story for this small club whom have never played in the top leagues before! And what a day it has been for the manager Kai Wen Chew, whose reputation continues to grow with each passing day! He will definitely remember this day!


FA Cup




A fixture against lower league opposition gave us the opportunity to field a group of reserve players, but Halesowen nearly gave us a scare as they managed to repel attack after attack from us. Eventually, Grant found the net, and that was enough for us to advance to the 1st round proper!


We had a much more tougher opponent in Morecambe for the 1st Round, but it was still a highly rotated squad which came onto the pitch. And that act of complacency nearly cost us as we went 2-0 down shockingly in the first half! The response was to bring on Jordan Brown, top striker for Braintree, and the effect was apparent, as we managed to turn around a 2-0 deficit to win 4-3 and make it into the next round!


League 1 team Tranmere was up next, and without any pressure, we came to this match just hoping for the best. And boy did we give the fans something to cheer about. Tranmere were matched by us equally and while they led for most of the 1st half, a penalty dispatched by Jordan Brown in the 61st minute levelled the scores and with Tranmere unable to find a response, we managed to hang onto the lead and earn a replay away!


And what a way to show who you are to the world! We came to Tranmere not expecting much, but we started the day with a dream start, Jordan Brown scoring a 4th minute goal! Evans followed that up with another goal, and if not for a late Buxton goal just before half time, we would have been 2-0 up! And things only got even better for us as Evans headed a ball into the net at the 72nd minute to stun the Tranmere fans. While Agbonlahor managed to pull back one to make it 2-3, we managed to shut up shop successfully and hang on till the final whistle for a stunning victory that will live long in the minds of the Braintree fans!



The draw pitted us against Championship side Wigan for the next round of the FA Cup, but unfortunately that was as far as we would go, as Wigan was a class above us and we could not muster a decent chance at goal despite having dominated possession in that game. 


FA Trophy



Being defending champions in this trophy, the pressure was always going to be on us to take the victory, and it remains to see if you can pull off yet another victory again!


And Braintree had to fight extremely hard in the very first round! Sloppy defending in the last 15 minutes saw Harrogate score 2 goals by Mansell to level the score at 3-3! But once again a Braintree cup match had to have drama! After having failed in so many attempts to get a shot into the net, Pattison scores in the very last minute of extra time to give Braintree a 4-3 win and avoiding penalties!


It was an easy match next against Bamber Bridge, which you easily went 3-0 winners at home. 


The third round was also a breeze, as we defeated yet another lower league opposition in Torquay 3-0 in a rather convincing fashion. The fact that an almost all-reserve squad could be fielded and still able to get this victory only made it even sweeter for us!


That was followed up by probably one of the craziest cup matches of all time! Seeing that we were facing a lower league opposition, we fielded a team of almost all-reserves, to nearly horrible effect! While we did well to go 2-0 up within the first 10 minutes, the tides quickly turned and we ended up being 4-2 down at half time! That was quickly followed up with a flurry of goals in the second half, however, we were still 5-4 down at the 75th minute. Grant however managed to equalise with a headed goal in the 78th minute, before in the final minutes of the match, Jordan Brown raced forward in a last ditch counter attack and scored an all important goal for us so as to allow us to win the match 6-5!


It did not get any easier in the semi finals as we had to face off against a rather strong Maccelsfield team. While we did well to score goals early in the game to go 2-0 up, the failure to retain our lead saw us only manage to take a slender 3-2 lead into the return leg courtesy to a late Chris Evans goal!


The second leg however was a very different affair, as we have to thank our keeper for keeping us literally in the game. It ended up a comfortable 2-0 win, and a 5-2 win on aggregate to bring us to a second successive FA Trophy Final!

So yet another FA Cup Final, and this time, Braintree is the favourite, against non-league opposition Billericay Town who have had a dream run to the final! 



Massive changes for this Braintree side, as they have obviously fielded players with an eye to rest players for the upcoming Varanama National League Playoff Final against Leyton Orient! Not a single first team player starts this match for Braintree...


And they have done it! it was a scrappy match, but Braintree have done it! Billericay was just not good enough to match Braintree, and despite their valiant effort to try and level the scores, it was just not enough!


The fans are cheering Kai Wen's name, and it is obvious why! He has transformed this team to become world beaters, and they will remember his name for years to come...














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5 hours ago, BatiGoal said:

Great season. Promotion + a trophy. What else can a manager ask from his players. Congrats! 

I demand winning the league but they are too mentally weak to do so :D 

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Congrats on the the promotion and another FA Trophy Cup! That's fantastic. Are you still Obscure or have you worked your way up to Regional (or something else)? 

Yeah, I've found that bringing in youngster and letting them develop is the best approach. They'll be better than the older players after 6 months...

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Season 3: Something New?

Well, last season, we got Braintree promoted into League 2! However, how would we fair in this upcoming season, given the financial difficulties that we face and the overwhelming task that is trying to match up to the standards of the League 2 teams? And will I finally find a new team to manage? Stay tuned to find out!

Pre-Season Breaking News




So before the season even started, a League 1 job became available in the form of Tranmere Rovers, who if you remember, I had beaten 3-2 last year in a shock victory in the 2nd Round Replay of the FA Cup! I decided "Why not?" and went ahead and applied for it, and...


News Report

R: Good morning Kai Wen. How do you feel coming into a club like Tranmere Rovers, having never managed a match in the top 4 divisions in England before?

KW: Good morning. Definitely I am excited to begin this journey, yes as you pointed out, I might not have the experience in this level of football before, but I am confident that I have the tactical knowledge and prowess to be able to get this squad to perform to the level that I desire in the future.

R: Well, you might not have much experience, but you certainly are no stranger to the Tranmere fans! Many probably still remembers you running empathically down the touchline here in Tranmere at the final whistle. Any thoughts to that?

KW: Well...(laughs)...glad to know that I am known here. Yes certainly that was as the manager of a rival team, but I fondly recall during my time there, the fans were great, and I mean not only the Braintree fans but the Tranmere fans as well. They were behind their team the entire way and that was so nice to see, and it definitely played a part in making such a quick decision to come here! I do hope that I will be celebrating down at the touchline many more times in the upcoming seasons, this time celebrating with them!

R: Well, I certainly do hope so! Have you seen the squad yet, and what are your expectations for this coming season?

KW: Yes I have indeed. Its early days, and I have yet to know each of the members in this squad personally, so its hard to really say. But given that we have just gotten promoted from League 2 last season, I think our main priority is to avoid the relegation zone, and should we see that we are performing better than we initially expected int the league, we can then aim higher!

R: Are you planning to bring in any new faces? Or do the players currently fit into your philosophy?

KW: I don't know, I don't know...its really early days and I might bring in a couple of younger players to help inject this team with youths. At the same time though, I am not entirely wanting to break the chemistry of the current team so I'll watch them over a couple of games and then we'll see...

R: Well, thank you for talking to us today. I wish you all the best as manager of Tranmere Rovers FC!

KW: My pleasure. Thank you for your time today!

And there you go. Manager of Tranmere Rovers. My time in Braintree has sadly ended, apologies to those who were hoping I would go all the way!

Trophy Cabinet from Braintree:

- FA Trophy x2 (2018/19, 2019/20)





Well, I had a lot more resources to work with in Tranmere so that was an advantage. Had plenty of depth as well, unfortunately, a large number of them were retiring next season and were just not good enough to be starting/playing matches. Hence, I had to go to work to find players that would suit my style.


The first was GK Jack Bonham, who came in on a free from Brentford. This Irish GK easily slots in as my best keeper and would be the first team keeper for the upcoming season. Had the key stats in the relevant places, it only boils down to how good he would actually be in goal!


A much older player, this player came from League 2 side Southend on a free. While he might not be the best midfielder around on the market, he had the vital stats in tackling as well as strong aerial ability which would make him the ideal BWM for me in my 4-2-2-2 formation. 


Well, this lad was recommended by my youth scout as a 5* potential, and he was available for only 3k from St Pat's Athletic, so why not give him a shot? Not the best players in terms of current attributes, but he does have the potential (apparently), and hopefully with the right sort of training, we will be able to see him improve. As of now, he plays the role as a bit-part reserve player who gets the occasional substitute appearance in the team.


Another young star recommended by my youth scout as a 5* potential. Managed to get him in on 26k from Paris FC which appears to be a bargain IMO, and the fact that he has a French 2nd nationality only meant that I did not have to worry about work permits for him! Already looks like a rather good player with room for development, and slots into the squad as a substitute this season!


Surprise surprise! Well, those following my story would know that this player was an individual which I signed at Braintree for free! Well, he had made so much impact for me back in Braintree, and with a lack of a strong winger who can cross in this side, it only made sense for me to pay for him! At 100k, he will be a decent starter for me until I can actually get in a much better player to play in his position!


The last of the signings for this season. Well...this is technically next season's signing, but he came in before the June update so I'll just post him here. Basically I was still in need for a decent goalkeeper who could perform in this level, and I eventually decided to try and place my trust in Glover, fresh after being released from Tottenham!






Well, the season went way better than I expected, and the only thing preventing me from getting the automatic promotion spots this season was goal difference, as we ended the season level on points with 2nd placed Sunderland! We were definitely free scoring this season, 112 goals being an insane amount to score for any team, but a very leaky defence definitely did not help either! And with that, we entered into the League 1 Playoffs...


The first leg went way better than expected, as we destroyed Coventry at their own home turf. Ferrier was particularly in form as he put 4 past Coventry as it gave us a much needed breathing space and opportunity to rest a couple of players before the next match.


The return leg was almost as dominant as the first, despite the fact that my extremely leaky defence let in a cheap 2 goals for no reason. Tranmere youth player Mark Walsh got a round of applause as the 16 year old notched a stunning goal in the 16th minute, as we went 4-0 up before conceding 2 goals. And with that, we headed to Wembley, hopeful to be able to clinch a promotion...


And my word, what a match it was! Charlton took an early lead, however, a stunning Ferrier strike brought us back to level terms on half time. Charlton then started the second half brightly, Cisse scoring a penalty after poor play by Yarney in defence. Things got worser for us as Williams, sent in at half time as a substitute, gets sent off for 2 bookable offences 7 minutes into the second half, before Taylor put Charlton 3-1 up in the 65th minute. But just as it seems like we would be playing League 1 football next season, Ferrier managed to score a goal in the 84th minutes to bring us closer to equalising, before a Santos header in the 88th minute level the scores to the delight of the crowd and especially the manager Kai Wen, see jumping and running down the touchline. With nothing to separate the sides after extra time, we went to penalties. And Bonham, criticised all season for his inability to save shots, became superhero overnight as he saves all 3 shots from Charlton to deny them the win and get Tranmere promoted!




FA Cup




We started our FA Cup journey against fellow League 1 sides Sheffield United, and while we did well to gain a 3-0 lead at half time, we nearly threw away the win! Reece Mitchell scores a vital penalty in the 78th minute, and while Sheffield United did manage to score one goal afterwards, we were able to successfully repel wave after wave of attack and advance to the next round of the FA Cup!


We then had a much easier game against Vanarama National League team Dover, thus giving me the opportunity to field a couple of reserve players on the pitch! Dover never really threatened as we got a comfortable victory and entry into Round 3 of the FA Cup!


We then had League 1 side Coventry in the 3rd Round, one of the best picks in the draw given there wasn't many lower league teams left. We easily get a 3-0 victory, Coventry unable to to much to threaten our goalkeeper in any sense. And as such, we enter the 4th Round of the FA Cup with a rare clean sheet as well!


Once again, the luck of the draw was with us, as we faced off against Sky Bet League 2 side Barnet, who were in all honesty the lowest ranked side left in the tournament! And we won them convincingly 2-0 as well, with a clean sheet to take home and be happy about as well! 


But that was where our luck ended. We were drawn against Aston Villa, who were in the Premier League. While we did fight valiantly, and did manage to lead 2-1 at one point in the first half, the lack of quality was clear for all to see as we were made to rue missed chances and Aston Villa takes a 4-2 victory over us!


Carabao Cup




Being in the top 4 leagues does have its own advantage, in that you get to play in yet another cup tournament known as the Carabao Cup! We started off the cup in easy fashion, against League 2 minnows Morecambe. And we did not give them any chance at all, as it gave rise to one of the most one-sided matches ever in my career. However, despite dominating the game, we found it difficult to break through the Morecambe defence until Mullin scored in the 80th minute, and Fonte made the lead comfortable with another goal in the 87th minute!


We then got Lincoln for the next round. In yet another match where my players dominated the game and restricted the Lincoln team to not a single shot, it was once more a game where goals were hard to come by. A Walsh strike in the early moments of the game however was sufficient to secure our place in the next round!


We then faced off League 2 side Bristol Rovers, thankful that we have once more avoided the bigger guns of this tournament. And we did not give them much mercy, as Reece Mitchell made up for his earlier miss from a penalty with a brace in this match. Norwood also managed a brace and Williams did manage to score a goal just after the half time break to give us a stunning 5-0 victory and our place in the 4th Round!


However, drawn against Premier League side Huddersfield, our good run in the cup comes to an end. Huddersfield were just too good for us and despite us dominating possession, we failed to really turn the possession into shots and ultimately goals.


Checkatrade Trophy



Group Stages:


Things got off to a good start with us destroying Salford 5-2 at our own home. A hat trick by Fonte together with goals from Yarney and Mitchell gave us the important 3 points to start the campaign right. Subsequently, a loss by Salford to Doncaster, the other team in the group, meant that we had secured qualification irregardless of the result against Doncaster for us!


Well, sometimes, things don't always go to plan. Bradford City was a League 1 side but performing poorly in the league then, and I took the gamble to field a whole lot of reserve players. And it nearly backfired, as we went 3-0 down in the 55th minute. However, a stunning comeback ensued and a late late goal by Fonte equalises the scoreline in the 90th minute! The penalty shootout was just as thrilling, with both sides scoring continuously until a stunning safe by Bonham gave us an 8-7 win on penalties!


We then had League 1 side Rochdale to face, and once again, while it was a much more comfortable win this time round, some sloppy defending nearly cost us as we had to struggle to get a goal in the second half!


With that, we made it to the 1/4 finals where we faced off League 2 side Notts County! They gave us a run for our money when Hemmings scored in the first half to make it 1-0 in their favour! But Mullin and Fonte managed to rally my boys in the second half and hit back with goals to give us a 2-1 win and entry into the semi finals of the Checkatrade Trophy!


And we had a much tougher opponent in Sunderland this time round! And while we started brightly, Sunderland managed to turn around the situation to lead 3-2 with 15 mins left to spare. Just when all hope seemed lost, Norwood managed a stunning header from a corner to equalise the score and bring this game to penalties! And reserve keeper Bramall turned hero today as he manages to save a couple of shots from the spot, thus giving us the win and entry to the Checkatrade Final in my first season!


Unlike the previous rounds, the Final was a much more one-sided affair, with League 2 side Wycombe who has done so well to reach this stage unable to do anything more than to stare and watch as a rampant Tranmere team ripped them apart. Platt did manage to score a goal back for them in the 63rd minute, but that was as much as they could muster and Tranmere would lift the Checkatrade Trophy, in Kai Wen's first season in this club!


















Surpassing every expectation that was expected of me saw me being awarded the Manager of the Year for Sky Bet League 1! It was a perfect way to start my management of Tranmere, and pushed me even higher in the footballing world. I am now 'Local' (Became that as soon as I moved to this club) and am one step closer to hitting the heights that I am aiming for!



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Thanks! Yeah the leaky defence really got onto my nerve, couldn’t figure out how on earth I was supposed to stop it! I just assumed that every match that I would concede 1-2 goals

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Great stuff mate! Getting a League 1 job like that is great and really takes you closer to the top (wish I had more luck getting jobs!). Then some great signings there and to go on and win promotion is fantastic. Up to the Championship next year! Will you stay or swap clubs next season?

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Season 4: Championship Awaits!

A new job last season, and a promotion immediately into the Championship! However, with the genuine lack of quality of this Tranmere side as compared to others in the Championship, will we be able to survive? Or will we sink under the pressure that this new season will bring? 






As usual, a whole lot of transfer activity occured this season, mainly because there was a need for us to improve greatly in all areas of our squad.


Youngster Croft came into the squad in the January transfer window from Burton for a small fee of just 160k. Young, physically strong, and also having plenty of pace, he would make a perfect player to train and prepare for the future in our squad, especially with his versatility as both a target man and a poacher.


This deal nearly did not go through due to work permit issues, but thankfully the appeal was accepted and he moved over to our squad! At just 110k and at such a young age, he seems to have the stats in the right place needed for a strong central defender! He slots in immediately in CD for my first team!


A much stronger strike force was needed for this new season, and Caleb Ekuban was the man tasked with that responsibility. He has had prior Championship experience having hailed from Leeds, which makes him a real asset to the squad. Having paid nothing for him, he does look like a real bargain indeed. Slots in as a target man for my team with his strength and decent aerial ability!


One of the many youngsters that I have brought into the squad this year, Widdowson comes on a free transfer from the Leeds United youth academy. He has a nice spread of attributes to start off with, and looks set to be a key player in my squad in the winger role in the future


This lad came in on a free from St. Johnstone. Once again, he is a youth slated to have plenty of potential in the future. Has amazing technique, and would be hoping to develop him on the right wing area where he hopefully can become a strong inside forward for me!


While my preference on players are clearly the youths, I do recognise the importance of having experienced players in the squad, and hence Nelson was brought in from Brentford during the January window to shore up a leaky defence. Strong mental skills coupled with the required skills for a defender strong in the air as well as on the ground makes him a good buy. Considering that he cost me nothing, it was a pleasant steal for me. 






Well...this is embarrassing...but I forgot to take screenshots of the league table in the rush to play the next season... :(

But here is a screenshot of my manager history of this season...have covered up the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup portion so that there are no spoilers 😛 


10th place, nothing spectacular and nothing really too bad either. We scored tons which was good, but as usual, the team can't seem to get out of the "Sunday-league Team" mindset which is kinda annoying...


FA Cup



After the heroics of last season, all eyes were looking at Tranmere if they can do even better this season, but with them being in a new league with survival being the main goal, would the manager even prioritise this cup at all?


The FA Cup started with a match against Sheffield United, a division below us. And it was clear from the onset that I wasn't prioritising the cup at all, having started with an almost full team of reserves. Sheffield United did manage to score the opening goal, but was quickly pegged back by Brady and Widdowson as we advance to the next round.


The next round was an utter disaster. We faced off Liverpool and managed to do rather well to only be 1-0 down at half time. And things seemed to be going our way as Reece Mitchell scored a stunning goal in the 47th minute to draw us level and silence the Anfield crowd. However, that was when things went wrong as Liverpool went riot, with the final result of 7-2 being a rather harsh result given how the first half went for us.


Carabao Cup




Sheffield Utd in the first round of the Carabao Cup meant we had a slightly easier opposition to face. And we duly dispatched them, second half goals from Fonte and Shodipo sufficient to seal a 2-0 win and entry to the next round


We then had Cardiff in the next match, and despite fielding almost an entire team of reserves, performed well. Cardiff could not muster anything at their home ground as braces from the 2 strikers Fonte and Norwood gave us a resounding 4-0 win!


We then faced our first real test in fellow Championship side Swansea. However, to the shock of most fans and neutrals, we showed no mercy and no signs that we were the underdog as we scored 5 and prevented Swansea from doing any form of damage at all.



The 4th Round then saw us pitted against another Championship team in Middlesbrough, and despite once again being underdogs, we continued to send strong messages to others not to underestimate us. A resolute Tranmere side managed to come away with a 2-0 win courtesy of 2 first half Norwood goals. 


And then the draw for the quarter finals came about, and guess who we got...


The game was on! And so we set out for the Man City match in high spirits and with nothing at stake for us. Man City showed us their class as Foden and Arzani scored goals for them early on in the first half, but we did manage to keep our hopes alive with a Norwood goal. At half-time, the boys rallied, and we performed much better in the second half, managing to keep Man City at bay and preventing them from scoring yet another goal. To the delight of everyone, Fonte scores a goal to level the scores in the 66th minute! We then dug deep and defended to our very best, and managed to hold them to a 2-2 draw, and bringing the game to penalties! Glover then produced 2 fantastic saves to deny Silva and Laporte from scoring, and we won the penalty kicks 3-2, sparking joy among the delighted home fans in Tranmere!



We then got Chelsea over 2 legs in the semi finals of the Carabao Cup!


The first leg was a disaster as we struggled to cope with the Chelsea attack and just like that, we go into the second leg at home playing almost solely for pride with little chance of making a comeback.


With nothing but pride to play for in the second leg, we merely tried our best to please the home fans. And the lads performed well indeed, managing to go 2-1 up at one point (albeit only for 1 min) and could have won if Mullin's goal was not ruled out for offside. However, Chelsea was just 1 class too much for us as we went crashing out of the Carabao Cup despite our valiant attempt at it this season.
















Well, it was definitely a pleasant surprise to have gotten the Manager of the Year for the Sky Bet Championship, but how does it affect my reputation?


Apparently nothing much, as I was still stuck with a local reputation...hopefully it would improve soon!



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Great work! You're doing well mate. But...

You probably didn't see my career, but it turns out that you need to stay at the one club for 5 years to unlock the Superstar manager event. Here's the definition:


I spent my whole career trying to move and not being able to and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I know you got the move, so that means you need to stat at Tranmere for 5 years to qualify.

I'm really sorry I didn't know about this when I created the challenge. I've updated the post to warn people about this...

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Ouch, didn’t notice that at all! Oh wells, lets aim to try and do as well as possible with this Tranmere side!

Means that you definitely have to go with a League 1 side or League 2 side to start with to even get a remote chance of reaching this stage in 5 years...or somehow get into Europe by winning the FA Cup/Carabao Cup as a lower league team

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