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Thread: Football Manager 2017: Rising to the Top - Current Club: St. Albans City

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    Football Manager 2017: Rising to the Top - Current Club: St. Albans City


    ST ALBANS CITY
    2016/17 PRE-SEASON

    St. Albans City have hired unknown manager Luke Gardener to lead their challenge for the Vanarama National League South title in the 2016/17 season. Gardener has never held a managerial position but impressed in an interview with the club and has been charged with reaching the playoffs in his first season in charge. Here's everything you need to know about St. Albans City.



    It would be a busy first few weeks in charge for Gardener who would add no less than seven players to his squad as he looked to revamp things and implement a 4-1-2-3 system which would see the team play attractive attacking football. The hottest prospect added was 19-year-old Abdi Noor who was said to have huge potential to achieve great things in his career.





    St Albans would play four matches in pre-season and didn't suffer a defeat in what was an important time for Gardener to get his tactics across to his players. Goalscoring was a bit of an issue but the main thing was to get players fit and match sharp by getting them involved as much as possible. There were no injuries in the squad and everyone couldn't wait for the new season to get underway after what was deemed a successful pre-season. Speaking of which St Albans had a chance of promotion, according to the bookies.





    So how would St Albans get on as the new season got underway with seven games in August to kickstart the new campaign?
    Last edited by Order; 03-13-2017 at 02:19 PM.
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    Re: Football Manager 2017: Rising to the Top - Current Club: St. Albans City

    Nice, I had thought you were going to start lower, but this works as well.

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    Re: Football Manager 2017: Rising to the Top - Current Club: St. Albans City

    Quote Originally Posted by Suntan Superman View Post
    Nice, I had thought you were going to start lower, but this works as well.
    I wanted to put Spanish, Italian and German leagues in so I didn't go lower. Still some challenge though. First month done so an update might come later today or on Wednesday depending on how motivated I am.
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    August 2016


    ST ALBANS CITY
    2016/17 - AUGUST

    August would see St Albans get off to a slow start, picking up just two points in their opening three league fixtures. Concord were the first opponents and went ahead thanks to a penalty but Jamie Cureton - who would prove himself throughout the month - would score an equaliser and ensure new boss Luke Gardener secured a point in his first game. But two days later things didn't get any better against Wealdstone as his side were on the losing side. A 0-0 draw with Bath would follow until things took a big turn for the newest Vanarama South manager.

    Gardener would mastermind a four match winning streak without conceding a goal. Cureton would net against Chelmsford and score the winner in the 90th minute against Welling. Confidence was high at the club and captain David Noble secured another three points versus Whitehawk before young centre back Curtis Langton would net a brace to give St Albans a good start to the new season and leave them in third place in the league overall. Just Bishop's Stortford and Wealdstone would be above after five wins, one draw and one loss to their name in August.





    Gardener would also be recognised by the league and came third in the Manager of the Month competition. And let's also take a look at the form of Jamie Cureton who looks like he could be the key man for St Albans in the coming season if they are to earn promotion in Gardener's first season at the club.





    September sees another busy month for St Albans as they look to solidify their place near the top of the table. They have five Vanarama South matches with three of them being at home and they will also find out their opponents in the FA Cup second qualifying round scheduled for Saturday, September 17, a day before Gardener's birthday. Can St Albans keep their good form going?
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    Re: Football Manager 2017: Rising to the Top - Current Club: St. Albans City

    Pesky Bath stealing a point. Solid start to the season, but the games will come thick and fast so hopefully the squad stays fit for you.
    I have a plan so cunning......

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    September 2016


    ST ALBANS CITY
    2016/17 - SEPTEMBER

    After a good end to August St Albans City looked to continue their fine form and increase their push to be among the leaders early in the campaign. Things would continue to go very well for Luke Gardener with a 2-0 win over Hampton & Richmond at Clarence Park. Second choice striker Louie Theophanous and Abdi Noor were on target. St Albans would go on to make it six straight victories without conceding a goal in recording their biggest win of the month - the 3-0 victory against Poole. Jamie Cureton, Charles Banya and Ben Herd all found the net proving the side were sharing around the goals.



    The good form would continue as St Albans picked up a 1-0 victory away at Maidenhead thanks to a fortunate own goal in the 19th minute. That left the Saints top of the table as they turned their attention to a derby with Hemel Hempstead. The match would not be the most inspiring and would finish 0-0 with neither side able to break the deadlock. Vanarama South action would be put on hold as Luke Gardener made his intentions clear, putting out a much-changed side against Dartford in the FA Cup second qualifying round. St Albans played well but were on the receiving end of somewhat of a shock result and were dumped out of the competition thanks to a 1-0 loss.



    The final match in September was a ding-dong battle between Ebbsfleet who took the lead twice in the match but goals from left winger Charles Banya and defender Curtis Langton rescued a point and ensured the Saints finished the month top of the Vanarama South table on goal difference.





    There was one piece of bad news for St Albans as second choice striker Louie Theophanous decided he had had enough of playing second fiddle to Jamie Cureton in attack. Manager Luke Gardener handled the situation well and told him he would have to be patient because of the form of Cureton and the side but that led to the striker demanding to be sold. Gardener reluctantly put him on the transfer list due to having four strikers in total. Nonetheless it proved a moral victory that the rest of the squad backed him over his handling of the 24-year-old.



    But there was to be terrible news for St Albans as leading striker Jamie Cureton would strain knee ligaments in a routine training session and would be on the sidelines for the next 2-3 months. Could this give Theophanous the chance he wants? Cureton will likely be missed massively by the Saints after netting five goals in the Vanarama South already.



    The board were pleased with Gardener's start to life at St Albans and here's a summary of the September results and league positions with four fixtures to come in October. Would the injury to Jamie Cureton have a big impact for the Saints and harm their early promotion push?
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    Re: Football Manager 2017: Rising to the Top - Current Club: St. Albans City

    Gutting for Cuerton to be out injured as he's been on fire, and that cup game was a bit feisty wasn't it? Question is, who'll bang the goals in now?
    I have a plan so cunning......

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    October & November 2016


    ST ALBANS CITY
    2016/17 - OCTOBER & NOVEMBER

    So October and November were certainly more of a challenge without the injured Jamie Cureton up front and scoring goals would prove a major issue. Having said that St Albans still managed quite a fine run and maintained their position at the top of the Vanarama South without losing a league match and keeping several clean sheets. Teams were quickly becoming aware just how tough it would be to break down the Saints' defence and even have a chance of victory. St Albans went into December two points clear of Wealdstone in second and five points clear of East Thurroch in third. It had been a superb start by Luke Gardener in his first ever managerial job.





    The most comfortable win of the month came away at bottom of the table Margate. St Albans created countless chances with Louie Theophanous - who no longer wanted to leave Clarence Park - opening the scoring in the 21st minute. The ever impressive Ryan Meadows netted just eight minutes later and from then on there was only going to be one team that would go on and win. St Albans had 18 shots in the game and would have hoped for an even bigger margin of victory.



    Cup competitions were not proving to be Gardener's strong point and his St Albans side which saw several key players rested were shocked by lowly Frome in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy. Gardener couldn't really criticise his players though as they had 15 shots to their opponents two and dominated the entire match. It was just an off day for the Saints which means they now only have the Vanarama South to focus on. Maybe that could be a positive as they search for automatic promotion though.



    One piece of hugely positive news for St Albans was the return to fitness of Jamie Cureton. If they can get him up to speed and match fit again there is no doubt he will come straight into the side and provide Gardener's side with the extra cutting edge they have been lacking. Louie Theophanous has done well in his absence but is nowhere near as clinical as Cureton proved at the start of the season. The striker position remains the biggest headache for Gardener.



    December 1st came and St Albans were credited with being the best side in November in the Vanarama South. Ryan Meadows in midfield had stolen the show scoring twice in his three performances and has been instrumental in getting St Albans to the top of the league. He was rewarded with the Player of the Month award for November thanks to a huge average rating of 7.97 ahead of Eastbourne's Elliott Romain and Sam Deering of Ebbsfleet.



    And Meadows wasn't the only one to scoop an award as Luke Gardener won his first ever Manager of the Month award in his short career. Gardener will no doubt be pleased with the accolade but he knows there is a long season ahead if he is to achieve his ultimate goal in getting St Albans promoted from the Vanarama South. The 26-year-old was starting to prove his critics wrong that said he was far too young to be given a job so far up the football pyramid.



    So December and January would be busy for St Albans with eight games across the two months. Eastbourne as well as Hampton & Richmond are in the top six before the Saints face back-to-back games against relegation threatened Oxford City. The remaining four fixtures are against sides that currently sit between 10th and 14th in the division but all that could change with things being so tight. Can St Albans maintain their title challenge?


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    December 2016 & January 2017


    ST ALBANS CITY
    2016/17 - DECEMBER & JANUARY

    After a fine first third of the season which saw St Albans looking like real contenders to get promoted Luke Gardener would face his first real tough test as a manager as the wheels well and truly fell off and his side were unable to record a win in December and January which saw the Saints slide down the Vanarama South table. Somehow St Albans were still in fifth and in touch with the leaders but the board were more than a little concerned with the results and a team meeting was even held in which Gardener managed to get his players motivated to turn things around.





    The hardest result to take was the defeat to Oxford City in which St Albans were leading 2-1 right until 70th minute when Curtis Langton gave away a penalty. Oxford would go on to win the match thanks to the electric Victor Adeboyejo in the 79th minute. There was a little bit of good news with Jamie Cureton on the scoresheet after his return from injury.



    St Albans were desperate to end their slump against promotion rivals Concord but it wasn't to be as the Saints found themselves 2-0 down with poor defending causing a problem. Jamie Cureton was once again on target late on but they were unable to get the equaliser. St Albans after an unsuccessful December and January had now gone 11 matches without experiencing a win. Something needed to change and fast for Luke Gardener's side if they were to get back in the promotion hunt.



    St Albans had a crucial two month period coming up with nine Vanarama South matches to play but could they do it? Wealdstone and Chelmsford would provide tough tests but Bath and Truro were real opportunities to get three points from both matches. Gardener would hope the pressure on his job was elliviated as soon as possible.



    So with January over here's a look at the big deals done in the Premier League during the transfer window. Man United who were struggling out of the Champions League places signed striker Fred while Chelsea signed Juan Bernat from Bayern Munich in a £21.5m deal. Arsenal received a big sum as they let Gabriel Paulista leave for the Chinese Super League.



    So the final blow coming at the end of January for St Albans was the loss of star defender Jack Saville who was facing two months out with a lower back stress fracture. It would be interesting to see how Saints cope without him in the next couple of months. Would Luke Gardener turn the club around or would he be facing the sack before he knew it?


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