Welcome back to the Hometown Hero save as we attempt to find glory with my hometown club of Maidenhead United.
If you want to start this save from the beginning of the journey, you can do so here.
Save Rules & Aims
To become a professional football team for the first time in the club's history - COMPLETED
Become a League Club - COMPLETED
Win some major silverware.
Only Sign English Players
This may sound like an easier save rule, however I like the idea of limiting the scope of our signings.
Promote 3 Players a season from the youth intake into the first team squad.
This will focus the save upon developing the local lads to become the future of the club.
Fill the backroom staff with former players and legends along the way.
This will add a different twist when trying to improve the clubs standing. Developing staff as well as players.
Season Build Up
We thought that we were in unchartered waters when we were promoted to League 2, but two seasons later we find ourselves even further up the football pyramid.
This is obviously an incredible achievement, but we are definitely punching well above our weight and a instant return to League 2 is a significant possibility.
A prime example of the gap in clubs is the yearly salary of our squad which is the lowest in the league at £977,000. Ten times lower than the club that has the highest wage budget, Derby.
Luckily the board share our realistic views of where we are as a club. They have set the below expectations.
As you can expect we made a huge overhaul of the playing squad as we make the leap to League 1.
However, we have to balance this within the budget so once again we will be wheeling and dealing in the free market and loan market.
So, let's see who has joined us.
9 new signings. Some are going straight into the first team, and some will offer strength in depth. Let's look at some of the best signings.
Massimo Traini - On Loan from QPR. Will walk into the LW position but can also do a job up top. Key for this loan is he joins from an affiliate, so it has not cost the club a penny.
Possesses all the qualities of a game changer and I am delighted we have managed to get him.
Cain Corne -Signed on a free transfer from Chelsea. Another attacking midfielder who can play Left, right or through the middle. Possibly one for the future but will definitely have an impact off of the bench.
Will Dickson - An out and out striker signed for free from Man City. He looks to be our starting striker with great passing and technical attributes can easily be the link up style striker we deployed last season.
Thomas Bloxham - Signed after his contract at Spurs was terminated, is an all-action CM who will offer some serious competition for the starting places.
Ryan Clampin - Slightly more experience in the next signing as we pick Ryan Clampin up after his release from Colchester. He will be our first choice LB after the departure of Linton last season. Good all-round attributes and will offer some solidity on that side.
Ian Lang - On Loan from Aston Villa, will more than likely be our starting GK. We needed an improvement in that position and although clearly one for the future Lang can definitely offer something now.
No huge departures in terms of financial gains, but one sentimental one.
We said goodbye to Josh Kelly, who for the first two seasons of this journey lead the line brilliantly and scored plenty of goals and some very important ones too.
Our preseason preparations were distracted slightly as we were made aware of some possible changes further up the club.
This is the second time in 2 years we have been involved in takeover rumours during preseason. This time nothing came of it. An unwanted distraction for sure.
Tactics & Starting XI
I want to keep the same formation that got us out of league 2. Mainly because it suits the squad, but I also feel that if we play into the underdog tag that we undoubtably will have I i feel we will become easy pickings.
Let's take the game to our opponents and see how we get on. We of course are going to lose some games, but we may win more than expected this was too.
Season Preview & Pre Season
Pre Season was its usual money-making exercise. With some big games against Premiership opposition.
The season preview may be a difficult read this season.
No surprise here. We are STRONG favourites to drop back down into League 2. Its going to be a long old season.
Well, that's us ready for the new season. We will cover the first half of our debut season in League 1 in the next episode.
Thanks for reading and I hope you've enjoyed this episode of the Hometown Hero.
If you want to check out our other FM22 Save The Darmstadt Dream why not start from the beginning right here?
Or our most recent series, Growing up in Guernsey which you can start from the beginning here