Recently started my first game on FM14. Started unemployed with all leagues in England, France and Germany, Italy and Spain loaded on a large database. There were three jobs available, one in Spain with Puerto Bonita, one in France with Red Star FC and one in England with Stockport County. I applied for all and attended interviews for all, ended up taking the Stockport job which was the first I was offered. The expectations are to finish midtable which should be easy enough to achieve.
Basically, they have no money to buy players and no wage budget. I have had to pay around £80,000 just to release a few rejects who nobody else would touch with a barge pole. The good thing is everyone in my squad and on the staff are on one year contracts so I can shift everyone after a season. I was able to shift around a few staff members and bring in a little slightly less terrible standard than was already here, although it is never enough at this level. I also managed to persuade the board to invest in better youth facilities and scouting, which is going to cost £140,000 in all, and the facilities won't be ready until the beginning of my second season.
I have not made any major signings. The only players I have signed have been on a non-contract basis. This isn't bad because if they're shit I can release them and sign a replacement without having to pay any release fees or sign on fees. My first signing was the left back Stuart Giddings on a non-contract, but he turned out to be shit and injury prone so I got rid of him for a younger, promising left back. I also signed a young Spanish attacking midfielder named Jan Llado who was playing very well until he tore a calf muscle and got put out of action for 6 months. I ended up releasing him. Other than that, I've signed mostly squad players with my focus being on trying to sign youngsters who have the potential to reach a decent level of League One or Two football.
The rest of my signings include: a 16 year old GK named Andy Cogger. A 21 year old CB named James Taylor, who can also play LB and RB. An 18 year old RB named Elias Moses who can also play LB, RM and LM. An 18 year old LB named Matthew Clarke. Scottish CM Manny Panther. A 19 year old CM named Luke Ifil. A 21 year old LM/LAM named Tommy Taylor who can also play CM and ST. An 18 year old ST named Jamar Dobson.
The majority are rejects from the youth teams of clubs from the Championship down to League Two. As you can see I put an emphasis on bringing in versatile players as I don't have a big squad so if a couple get injured (which is often the case) I end up having to play people out of position. Also, after releasing a few fringe players who were on full time contracts, I was able to create a bit of room to manouevre under the wage limit. I am intending to use it to sign my first full time player, 36 year old, former Aston Villa CM Lee Hendrie. He is getting on a bit but he still has the ability to be a top player in our division and I am always getting injuries in midfield. He can also play RM.
We are in the Skrill North, currently seven games in and sitting at sixth in the table, one spot below the playoffs (on goal difference) and five points off first place. We've played nine, won three and drew six. I have a real problem scoring goals but my defence has been decent enough. The tactics that have brought me success for years on FM don't seem to be working this time around. My first attempt was a 4-1-2-2-1 with a holding midfielder, two centre mids, two wingers and a target man, with the focus on keeping hold of possession and trying to be patient. Playing this way I drew three and won one of the first four games. Since then I've tried a 4-4-2, a 4-4-1-1 and a 3-5-2, each with varying/unconvincing results.