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Career Dai's "It's a long way to the top" attempt [COMPLETE]


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I want to start my Triple Crown attempts as soon as possible but don't want to risk getting the all important message during those challenges so need to get this one out of the way. 

I'm not one to make career posts as I just want to rattle through the challenges without 'wasting time' typing stuff out. Plus, don't want to start one and fail miserably. 🤣


Anywho.... started off with an unknown reputation.


... and with no coaching badge.



It took a while for any jobs to become available and even when they did they were Championship teams. Of course, I applied, with no luck. 🤣

Finally, at the end of November, somebodies Chairman was willing to take a chance. 👍


Indeed, I accepted so here we go!



No major signings. Just freebies to cover positions that had very little depth and add as much quality as I could.



The team was sitting in 20th place. Really struggling so first job was to steady the ship and stop conceding goals. (I forgot to take a screenshot. Rookie mistake 🙈)


Managed to fly through the season though with great success.


Final table:



Also added another trophy, which was quite surprising as we're still a Conference North side.



Only just noticing as I'm posting this that I managed to go unbeaten too. 



Plans for next season are to improve the squad and coaching staff. Only worked with one bronze, poor aptitude coach since I took over due to having no budget to add to it. 


Thanks if you took the time to read this. 🙂 I'll update soon with season 2.

Edited by Dai_
Completed the challenge
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Season 2:


Wasn't able to upgrade facilities or hire any staff at all during the whole second season. Only managed to sign a handful of players too. One made a big difference to the team though. He didn't really fit into the system I was using so I tweaked it slightly as I couldn't not use him.


He started off on fire. Same goals scored as games played by January. Then goals became slow as injuries hit my creative players. Still, a good return.



One other player to mention, who has been amazing for both seasons so far;



The season started slow with a few draws. Was starting to worry until we went on a good run. Finally lost a game in early October, ironically to the team I completed this challenge with on last years game, Solihull Moors. 🤦‍♂️🤣


Overall, the season went very well. Considering the board expected us to stay clear of relegation we achieved promotion mid-March. Eventually winning the League in April.



Final League Table:



Also, successfully defending our FA Trophy too.



Manager profile:



To summarise. I was disappointed at the amount of draws and defeats really but Mid-february to the start of April was disastrous for injuries. Conceded way too many goals. Saying that the amount of times we came back to win from losing positions was crazy. I'll be looking to strengthen the team everywhere as the step up to the Football League from non-League is a big one.

Hopefully I'll get a fair bit of it done today.

Thanks for reading. 👍


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You done brilliant mate, that’s another great season, even with injuries, you still finished top, I’m finding I’m getting a lot of injuries lower leagues as well this year, maybe facilities has more of an effect this year.

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56 minutes ago, RichD said:

You done brilliant mate, that’s another great season, even with injuries, you still finished top, I’m finding I’m getting a lot of injuries lower leagues as well this year, maybe facilities has more of an effect this year.

Thinking that myself. I've not been able to upgrade anything. I have one physio who is rehab. I managed to add Lionel Messi as an assistant. It seems that I could only offer jobs as staff to players near retirement and noticed Messi on the free agents list. 🤣 He has poor aptitude but still. 

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Season 3


I'm not going to lie. I was worried going into this season as signing players proved very difficult. Well, what I consider good players anyway. I did add a bit of depth to the squad. Especially in key areas. Then... 😡


The only way I could sign him was with a release clause. It was inevitable that a team would come in for him. I'm just glad I signed a player or two as cover in his position. Not as good, but cover.



Carabao Cup



FA Cup


Papa John's Trophy (so close)


Wasn't really bothered about the cups as progression up the League's is the most important thing. As a League two team, that Papa Johns run was great. Beating numerous League one teams along the way.




The board didn't have any faith. 🤣



Had a fantastic start and that went on and on.... and on until February. 


Then, March.


And, final table;


Shocked to finish the season unbeaten. Especially with the issues signing players. There wasn't any stand out individuals. The whole squad was brilliant!

Obviously, the manager of the year award would follow.



Manager profile:



I'm going to attempt to strengthen the squad again. Hopefully I'll be able to add quality this time.

Managed to add a few staff members at the end of this season so players should develop nicely from here on.


Really enjoying this save. I'm enjoying the tactic I've created, whilst its not perfect it's not far off.


Cheers for reading. 👍

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Awesome season again, you smashed that out of the park, undefeated is great. I’m sure league 1 will get more of the same 😁

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Season 4


League One went the same as the previous three seasons. A breeze. Have been expecting a challenge ahead of every season but its been plain sailing so far.

Managed to sign a quality replacement for Sterling. Another Spurs reject in Shayon Harrison. Tried signing him as soon as I lost Sterling but he wasn't interested. Obviously, League One appealed to him more.

As with adding decent staff, my players improved massively. Thus meaning they're value increased. As January 1st came along, I lost both of my first choice CM's as their buyout clauses were less than their actual values. 😡 I tried offering both new contracts numerous times but couldn't offer them what they wanted. Wasn't all bad as I dipped into the loan market and got two good replacements. Main aim next season is sorting that area.


Stand out players:





Olley has been with me from day one and always delivers. Hopefully he can do it again in the Championship. He's recently come out and said he wants to move on to bigger and better things. Have to keep an eye on that. He's immense from dead ball situations which always helps. 😁


The Cups;

Again  not bothered about these yet. Was nice to push Wolves all the way in the FA Cup and also great to win the brilliantly named, Papa John's Trophy.






Won promotion and sealed the League title in March, again. A few more defeats this season, all coming after cup games.





Picked up the League One manager of the year award;



Manager Profile:



This is all going to plan so far. Surely the Championship is where the real challenge starts? Hopefully I'll make a few decent signings (free agents mainly 😁) and have a good go at getting into the Premiership at the first attempt.

Look out for the mighty Gateshead!


Thanks for reading. 👍

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Not going well in the Championship 😪

Won't get much time to play over the next couple of days as I'm back to work (😕) but I'll play when I can.

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Season 5


It's done. After a very average start. Conceding way to many goals i changed my formation for the first time since I started. Still conceded more than I would like but that is probably down to not adding quality to my defence, which I hope to address next season. To many draws in the opening weeks of the season. Granted, we were picking up points but I was starting to worry.


With the change of formation came the improvement and by Christmas we were right in the mix. I love the Championship (not just because its Newcastle's only 2 trophies in decades 🤣) because its so competitive. 



The lads;

Nothing spectacular from my attacking players. Just an all around decent season.





And a special mention to the absolute legend, who's goals were mainly last minute winners or equalisers.....




The Cups:

No interest in playing my strongest team in these matches, although my kids done very well against a full strength Arsenal in the FA Cup.




The League:

Kept up the good form after Christmas and guaranteed a play-off place in March.



With Fulham and Stoke dropping points it was done. Gateshead were heading to the big time! 😁


Final Table;



Manager of the year, obviously. 😜



The only thing left to say is that I'll need to be good in the transfer market for next season. Players are getting on and the massive step up in difficulty that awaits, I don't think the current squad will survive. I'll hopefully get the next season done by the weekend anyway.


Thanks for reading. 👍


Manager Profile:



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1 minute ago, RichD said:

Brilliant again mate! Great season and I love that you have Joelinton and he scored 7 goals ❤️


His stats were awful and he hardly played for the Toon for 2 seasons before being released. He has improved quite a bit but can't see me using him too often in the Prem. 

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Only just noticed this career. Amazing read!


Looking forward to seeing the 'heed in the premier league!
I'd personally love to see teams like Man Utd, Liverpool etc rocking up to the Gateshead International Stadium. Have you been able to get any ground improvements? Or is is still only 1 covered stand?

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Season 6


As suggested in the last update. Pre-season was all about strengthening the defence. I also intended on adding some attackers to the ranks, if I had spare cash or found a good enough free agent. It ended up being a struggle. I had a crazy low bid accepted for Zaniolo (playing for Wolves in my save), but he refused to come to me. 😪 A few other good players also. I ended up going through every team and looking for out of favour players.

The board wanted me to stay clear of relegation, obviously. That saw me offered £32m to play with. Not great, but manageable. The difference between that and telling them I would win the league was only around £8m so it was pointless making an already tough job harder.


So, i managed to sign Aaron Ramsdale as my first choice keeper, replacing Caoimhin Kelleher. He cost just 950k (Bargain!)

I signed Rob Holding on a free. Still only 29 and still had quality stats.

Dominic Revan from Villa. Not brilliant but better than what I had. He cost me £1.2m.

Dominic Thompson from Arsenal, who signed him from Brentford 2 seasons earlier but hadn't kicked a ball. A bit steeper at £6.25m

A young RB/RWB regen from Spurs on loan.

Dennis Cirkin on a free from Spurs. 

Isaac Hayden on a free. Still had good stats too.

Matt O'Reilly for £5.25m.

Lucas Paqueta from Huddersfield for £10.25m. He'd been there for 3 seasons, playing the last 2 of those in the Championship. Only knew he was there because he scored against me in both games against them last season. 😂

Rhian Brewster for £6.75m. As I said. I wanted to add some firepower and I've used him in previous versions of the game so for that price, he was worth a punt.


The Cups:

I wasn't really bothered again this season. The main aim was to finish as high as possible in the League.




The League: 

Started off great! Even though I was going into every game expecting to lose, tbh. I didn't think my squad was good enough, even with the recruitment. 


Stumbled a bit after that. Can't really put my finger on why. Might have been because I was sticking with Shayon Harrison and he scored me 1 goal in 20 matches or something silly like that. 🤮

The draws against City, Leeds, Chelsea and Spurs were OK though. Wasn't expecting to beat them.


Things went smoothly again after that.


and again....


That concludes the season. A bloody fantastic season.


Final table:



All I can say is, wow! Beyond anything I could have imagined. Looking at it though. The other "top" teams really underperformed. I think that's what its come down too. Liverpool have won this league every season since I started so I'm not sure what happened to them. Ultimately, my drawn games helped me to this position.





^ The young regen on loan from Spurs ^


I think Brewster had a bang average season too. He kept picking up little injuries (3 times a collision with a teammate in training 😕) and didn't do anything outstanding. Very curious.



Manager of the year;



Manager profile:



I'm more than shocked at this season. Its been bonkers. Whilst I was winning games I was always waiting for every opposition attack to end in a goal, but it didn't more ofter than not. The tactic I'm using is proving pretty deadly. At the same time its not setting the world on fire with goals or anything. 

I've done this sort of thing. Taken a lower league club, usually Hereford, Wrexham, Newport or Merthyr when they appear and take them on this journey. Not as a vibe challenge but just for fun and the best I've done in the first season in the Premiership is 6th. 

Anywho, I'm off work this weekend so I'll hopefully get a season or two done (if I need to 😳🤣).


Again, thanks for reading and all the comments thus far. 👍

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Brilliant season again there Dai, amazing to finish second in your first season up, I think you’ll wrap the prem up pretty soon!

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Absolutely storming season! With the results I was expecting mid table, but I looks like all the other "big" clubs struggled.

Gateshead in Champions League is something I'd never ever thought about hearing someone say...

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Season 7


I went on the hunt for quality players, seeing as we were now a Champions League side. That failed miserably. 🤣 Obviously, little 'ol Gateshead still didn't have that x-factor to attract star players. Saying that, I only had £40m in the kitty after the board expected me to at least qualify for the Europa League.

So, same as last season. I went hunting for scraps from other teams. It worked out great though.

Signed Gabriel and Bukayo Saka from Arsenal for a combined £15m. 

Neco Williams from Leeds (they signed him on a free the season before. I tried getting him then but he wasn't interested) for £10m.

Signed two regens to start in CM. One released from Spurs. I had him on loan during the season in the Championship. The other released by Chelsea and is a solid CM. He's now getting called up to the England squad regularly so he's done great for me.

Reinier from Real Madrid for just under £11m.

Also snapped up a Danish kid who i think is Christian Eriksen's regen for just £3.9m from Atl. Madrid. 



I signed a young Welsh lad at 15, three seasons ago. Played him a little bit and his potential seemed great but Spurs came in with a £25m offer and I already had cover for his position so I let him go thinking I could use the money to strengthen elsewhere. After so many players still refused to sign I just used the cash to boost squad depth ahead of a busy season. A few jobbers just to cover injuries really.

The Cups:

Had my first significant cup run of this save due to a fairly favourable draw for the most part. Ended up winning the Carabao Cup. 😁


Couldn't repeat it in the FA Cup, however as Championship side Brighton chinned us on penalties. Only excuse I have is that i played a weak team. Not even the second string as I needed them for bigger things (you'll see what that means further down 😉).



The League:

Liverpool were steam-rollering everyone for the first few months. I had an amazing run. Not losing from mid September to March. A lot of draws involved in that mind. But I still couldn't catch that Liverpool team. That was until we played them in the second of our League meetings. I noticed they had 11 players injured. I looked closer and they were all at least 3 month long injuries too. To key players. Their form dropped and they lost back to back games 4-0. They were still in Europe at this stage too so the strain on their squad ended up being too much and we snuck in and pipped them to the League title! 😁😁


Again, I think all the other "big" teams had awful seasons. That's what I'm saying gifted me the title anyway. 🤣 Not complaining though.






Manager of the year, again;



Champions Cup:

Was hoping for an easier group to be honest. Ended up with Zebre, Borussia Monchengladbach and Shaktar. Would of happily taken 3rd spot in that group and given the Europa League a good go but ended up getting through it and even winning the group. 



Our reward was being drawn against Borussia Dortmund.

Came from 1-0 down to win the first leg, 2-1 away from home and won a tight home leg, 1-0.



A tough Quarter Final awaited against Barcelona. 😕

Snatched a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp in the first leg thanks to an 85th minute penalty.

Went on to win the home leg 3-1, after Barca scored after 5 mins then had a man sent off after 17 mins. Looks more comfortable than it was. Even with 10 men, they battered us.



The team inwas battling with in the League awaited in the Semi's. Liverpool.

We played the first leg at Anfield. This is where their injuries were piling up, as I mentioned earlier. Only 4 players at this point but they were important players. We managed to eke out a 0-0 draw. They picked up another injury during the game and also two more in the match in between this one and the second leg.

At home, we thumped them, 6-1. I'm putting it down to all their injuries as our matches have always been tight.

Their pain is my gain though. Gateshead; Champions Cup finalists!



Saville await us in the final. They came through ties with Napoli, Bayern Munich and Zenit to get here but I'm pretty confident I can do the unthinkable. 

The buggers took me all the way, but, we did it!




Not long after this I got that all important message that completes this challenge. 🙂🙂


Manager Profile upon completion;



All in all, this challenge has been amazing. I've enjoyed every minute of it. Its given me a proven tactic to use in the future. Not for a goal challenge but definitely if I want results.


Thanks for reading, guys. This is Dai, signing out! 👍


Screenshot_20201205-233927_FM21 Mobile.jpg

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4 minutes ago, broodje kip said:

Congrats! You should do more career 

Cheers dude. As I've said before, I'm always fearful of failing them. Granted, I've never actually failed any that I've attempted. 🤣 Plus, for the marathon careers I just like to blast through them. I'll start doing more and put them on here. 👍

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