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Aaron55

Career A Tonbridge too far?

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The year was 2017. The club was Concord Rangers. The task was simple. To take a club with the Essex Senior Cup as their most recent honour and guide them from the Vanarama National League South to Premier League and European glory. Without spending a penny on transfer fees. Okay, the task was not simple. But, the task was completed. Concord Rangers: Premier League Champions. Concord Rangers: Europa League Winners. The Concord 2025 stadium, named in honour of the year the club won these trophies. All part of the legacy of the management career of a certain Aaron McClean.

The year is 2019. And now... It’s time to do it all over again. We might need a miracle. We might need some divine assistance. So let’s go, Tonbridge Angels. Our time is now.

———

Welcome to my first FMM20 career! 

Some of you may remember my FMM18 career with Concord Rangers 

Well, I really enjoyed playing and writing about that career, and some of you seemed to enjoy following it, so I’m trying it again!

As you can tell from the intro, the club I will be managing this time is Tonbridge Angels, who were promoted to the National League South through the play-offs in the 2018-19 season. It is now my job to take the two-time Kent Floodlit Cup winners from non-league obscurity to the very top of English and European football, all without spending a penny on transfer fees.

Will our aims end up being a Tonbridge too far? Let’s see how high our Angels can fly!

All updates will normally be full seasons, but I couldn’t resist starting my write up while playing the first season, so have decided to post what’s happened so far in season one, with the rest of the season update coming in the next couple of days. So, without further ado...

———

Season One - Part One

Pre-season: There wasn’t a great deal of preparation ahead of our upcoming campaign, with only one friendly scheduled. League One side Southend United were our opponents and a narrow 1-0 loss thanks to a successfully converted penalty was not really a bad result.

As for attempting to prepare a squad of players capable of sustaining a promotion challenge, we made quite a few changes. Seven players left, while thirteen players joined the club including centre back Teden Mengi, who signed on loan from Manchester United for the season, and Niall Keown, son of former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.

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August: The start of the season had arrived and the first competitive game of my career would be against Chippenham Town. A debut brace from new signing Jamie Thomas helped us to record a 3-0 win, though we were bought back down to earth in the next fixture, suffering a 2-0 defeat away to Braintree Town. A run of four consecutive wins followed, before we ended the month with our first draw of the season, leaving us sitting second in the table and on course for promotion.

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Our good form benefitted two of our players on the international scene as Kyle McClean (Northern Ireland u21’s) and Maziar Kouhyar (Afghanistan) were called up to represent their countries. 

In further good news, Jamie Thomas was also recognised for his strong performances, winning the Vanarama National League South Player of the Month award thanks to his six goals and two assists. 

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September: Our first draw of the season was followed by three more in our first three September fixtures. This run of results surely spawning a few posts from Football Twitter accounts along the lines of “Tonbridge? More like Drawbridge lol”.  

Our first, and only three points of the month came via a 2-1 away victory at Dorking. The happiness from this result did not last long due to news of a month long lay-off for injured top scorer Jamie Thomas, before the month drew to a close with a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Slough. We had now dropped to 5th in the league, four points off the top, but five points clear of dropping out the play-off places. 

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October: If we were wanting to keep pace at the top end of the table, we would need to do a lot better than last month’s total of one win. October started off the perfect way with a comfortable 2-0 league win over Hungerford, which was followed by our first Cup action of the season, in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round. A goalless draw away to Concord Rangers followed by a replay that we managed to win 2-0 set up a Fourth Qualifying Round tie against Dagenham and Redbridge. 

Before that though there were two league games to play, which resulted in two wins. A place in the FA Cup proper was up for grabs next, and thanks to a dramatic 90+2’ winner, we booked a 1st Round tie against League One opposition Doncaster Rovers. 

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We finished the month by collecting 4 more league points, meaning we had moved up the table to sit in second place, just one point behind Chelmsford City.

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So, so far so good! A slightly underwhelming set of results in September, but aside from that, it looks like our guardian angel is guiding us well in our journey!

Edited by Aaron55

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6 hours ago, kylieboi88 said:

Following this!!!

Great choice of team and decent going getting Mengi in in loan 😉

It’ll be a shame to see him leave at the end of the season!

5 hours ago, fmhaberdeenfan said:

Good luck, good choice of team and a very solid start!

Thanks!

2 hours ago, CamelXCVII said:

Good luck. Must've felt like a passing of the guard beating Concord after last year!

Thanks! Yeah, it does still feel slightly wrong for me to be playing against them haha
 

51 minutes ago, Kanegan said:

Good start mate.

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Lord Danish said:

Interesting career this is I’m following

 

16 minutes ago, KyleJNichol said:

This is very interesting! Good luck bud!

Thanks!

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Season One: Part Two

 

November: There was a nice bit of personal good news at the start of the month, as I was awarded the Manager of the Month award for October, and young winger Maziar Kouhyar was also recognised as Player of the Month. 8F9515DE-AF37-481E-952C-4134A9BA681C.thumb.png.2d92dbfb0430a23de09d6a847003d661.png23BE3600-D1C5-4E35-B1F9-9C82C4801C2D.thumb.jpeg.dcc6a2ecbd24d8f4cc95bf8fbfb99dd5.jpeg

 

That was almost as good as it got for November, as a goalless draw vs Maidstone was followed by a FA Cup 1st Round exit, although we did not play badly in that game, aside from a lack of quality finishing. 940E2267-7EBD-4E9C-BF6F-E7587FC34869.thumb.jpeg.a5477862af13944004ca9f78f569a3ed.jpeg

There were two further draws to follow in the league, with a FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round game vs East Grinstead sandwiched inbetween them, which gave us our only win of a disappointing month.

We did still end the month in second place, now two points off the top. AB410566-1CD1-440F-B5AE-7D266A2680A4.thumb.jpeg.bc475d28bf8ee0b307ef008daf245213.jpeg83306818-4769-4962-A9BD-B829C50FE22A.thumb.jpeg.ee1aa77ac2ac0656af4abd7bf22def83.jpeg

December: Two league draws, two league wins, and a FA Trophy defeat against Torquay were our results in this month, and meant we had closed the gap at the top to just one point.

However, the biggest news to come from December was that of an injury to our on loan Manchester United defender, Teden Mengi, who had been developing into a first pick for us in the back four. His Tonbridge career was now over though, with a damaged spine ruling him out for ten months. A new centre back was needed, and so we brought in free agent Bondz N’Gala to replace him in the squad.

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January: The new year got off to the best possible start with a 100% winning record from our five league games in January, including three games where we scored four or more. This form resulted in the Manager of the Month and Player of the Month awards heading to Tonbridge, as we stormed clear at the top of the league, taking an 8 point lead from our closest challenger, who we would be playing next.

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Also this month we rejected multiple £28k bids for in form winger Davis Keillor-Dunn, who was worth a lot more to us!

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February: It was first v second at the start of February, and a 2-0 scoreline meant we further extended our lead at the top. The rest of the month saw Hemel Hempstead, Dorking, Slough and Hungerford all come away with no points from their games against us, as we went 12 points clear and confirmed at least a play-off place, which was the pre-season target. We were obviously aiming higher now! These results again saw the Manager of the Month heading our way.98FF23D9-6FEA-4A84-B4D3-43A00F7AC5F1.thumb.png.2c423d3a40126a3de8baad0a06914b96.png


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March: We carried on our great form throughout March, although Dulwich Hamlet came close to taking a point, having recovered from 3-0 down. 0D0F60DA-C6C4-4488-8E5E-68799C65FD95.thumb.png.d0e98bc0f69beb1ea00a2114e90ca858.png

That 89th minute winning goal not only gave us the win, it also confirmed something else...

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Yes, we had won the league! What an achievement for Tonbridge!

We finished the month with another win, to further cement our position as the best team in the division.

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April: We still had four games left to play before we could start thinking about attempting to reach the Football League next season. Our first game of the month was also our first defeat since December 28, as we lost 1-0 to Maidstone. We did manage to win the last three games though, and fittingly Jamie Thomas and Davis Keillor-Dunn both scored doubles in the last league game, to finish their seasons on a high, and strengthen their claims even more for best signings of the season. 

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🔥🔥🔥
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This set of results meant we finished the season 13 points clear at the top of the table, as well as leading the top scorer and assist tables.

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So our first season was definitely a success! It’d have been nice to do a bit better in the Cups though.

Season Summary

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We’ve crossed one bridge, and reached the National League. Will our angels continue to soar?

 

 

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7 minutes ago, CamelXCVII said:

Great start, be interesting to see if anyone else comes in for Keillor-Dunn

There was a couple of £50k bids later on in the season. His release clause was £55k! Gave him a new contract and a higher release clause now (£270k I’m sure)

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Great start!

That winger is drawing attention - release clause on that guy? 

Ive found the release clause a blessing and a curse in previous saves especially if the fee is too low.

Cracking stuff!

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Good luck. Another challenge without spending a penny. Is there an official challenge name for this (and leaderboard for who does it fastest?). I’m following another. 

Might dip my toes in too. 

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6 hours ago, MikeF said:

Good luck. Another challenge without spending a penny. Is there an official challenge name for this (and leaderboard for who does it fastest?). I’m following another. 

Might dip my toes in too. 

Not sure. Good luck if you give it a go!

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Can you post the player's ability chart? By the way, we recommend a visa free player with Philippe nationality in Brazil. As long as the salary is 100 weeks, the PA is not too high, which belongs to plug and play type.

Edited by kaka8330

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40 minutes ago, kaka8330 said:

Can you post the player's ability chart? By the way, we recommend a visa free player with Philippe nationality in Brazil. As long as the salary is 100 weeks, the PA is not too high, which belongs to plug and play type.

Which player do you want to see?

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2 minutes ago, Aaron55 said:

Which player do you want to see?

Look at your most capable front and middle and back players, not on loan. Free signing players, thank you

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