The Wonderkids – Part 1: The Minus Touch

Every release of Championship Manager / Football Manager brings with it the challenge of finding the next Nii Lamptey of the day. Upon exploring the CM9798 database there are a number of young players who have unlimited potential to grow (-1). Most of you will associate this in CM9798 with John Curtis and will timelessly have seen him go on to lift the World Cup as England’s captain, very differently to his real-life career. Then there are many unheard of such as Duarte Constantino and Remco van der Schaaf.

The question that’s been bugging me for so long, and inspired by the journey of ‘The-Academy’, how would a team with the ‘minus touch’ progress through time if they were kept together? Could they go on to be the world beaters you never saw but the researchers always knew they could be? Well ladies and gentlepersons, let me introduce to you…The Wonderkids.

To ensure the band doesn’t break up, we’ve got a maxed-out reputation and 10-year contracts to tie everyone down. This also means there will be heavy expectations on these young players to hit the ground running. We’re starting in Division Three at the expense of newly promoted Macclesfield.

JUST SHOW US THE SQUAD!!! Okay, okay, here goes:

Tom Van Mol is the oldest and will turn 24 in September so there is little hope to improve him. For some reason, four players wouldn’t load into the squad and I am now scrambling to sign them against a tide of sides in higher divisions with more money. We’ve also got a B-Team just in case I feel like signing any other of the databases wonderkids in future.

Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that. Here is at least one they got right, Michael Ballack. Just a shame his stats are driven by poor research.

A pre-season test against Division One and Two sides seems appropriate. We won’t be running away with the league on the basis of these results.

We arrive at the opening day of the season against Torquay United. What a treat. With only three subs allowed it is going to be tough to keep everyone happy and the Brazilians with work permits. It is a tale of two halves at the Sliced Bread Stadium as we roll into a 5-0 lead then collapse in the second half. Having young defenders with 1 for strength is perhaps going to be a challenge!

We follow up with a tight fought victory against Rotherham. We are made to sweat in the last 10 minutes. Thomas Sorenson is not proving to be so great.

We already fall foul of the pitfalls of the setup. Juan little mistake see’s Hull pull it back and they go through on away goals despite our best efforts with ten boys. The board are very disappointed.

With squad rotation the name of the game to give these kids minutes, some poor results continue to flow as we draw with Chester and are blown away by Swansea. It’s not looking great.

Darlington are the next team to visit the slicer and despite the score line suggesting a close game we should have buried Darlo.

We close out August in the mix, but the signs are that we will have our hands full to try and keep the pace.

We’re off to the home of the oven chip. Breath it in kids, but don’t eat anything! Bak-Jensen has a blinder; ROCK & RØLL! Finally, a convincing performance from back to front.

We follow up with a late collapse back at the Warburton’s Arena. A distinct lack of consistency, not being helped by the planned rotation policy. Rock and roll at it again.

Bak-Jensen is having an absolute dream start to the season.

The B-Team, despite having no money in the bank have managed to make two illustrious purchases that I cannot play or promote due to them not being of the minus touch. Weird. Infuriatingly, in two years’ time that money will come off my balance in ‘other costs’ when I have to bail them out.

A trip to Field Mill sees us canter past Mansfield 3-0 with Yuri Rose and Alex Martin scoring their first goals for the club. We are soon put back in our place by a superior Heidenstrom led Leyton Orient.

We remain in the playoff spots. No less than promotion is required due to some non-promotion release clauses I’ve now noticed are kicking about.

Talk about profligate and lucky. We scrape past Barnet. OH NO! Someone has roughed him up to get their chance no doubt.

Next up are the league’s top scorers to date, Rochdale who have two goalkeepers as star players. I need not have worried. Curtolo scores on his debut, and, despite rally from the dale, we hang on.

We round off September with a much more impressive win against Notts County with Drummond now off the mark for the season.

Big shout out to a man who the previous year had scored 6 in 9 for CSKA Moscow but CM9798 didn’t recognise that feat in his player history, Leonidas Ferreira de Paulo Junior.

I’ve also found a right back better than Agboh despite his stats he’s contributing an assist every other game. The stats are a joke, but he has time on his side.

And with that we close out September in 2nd place despite heavy rotation and ‘keepers in Nicoletti and Sorenson who have gloves made of butter. I will be reliant on getting goals when they play until Manninger gets his go!

That brings us to the end of part one. I hope you stay with us for the journey and see how the wonderkids progress. Next time out we’ll take a look at how some of our shortlisted wonderkids are doing around the globe. See you next time!

6 thoughts on “The Wonderkids – Part 1: The Minus Touch

  1. Pingback: The Wonderkids – Part 2: Butterfingers and Broken Bones | CM 97/98

  2. Pingback: The Wonderkids – Part 3: Stuck in 5th Gear | CM 97/98

  3. Pingback: The Wonderkids – Part 5: Nobody likes Worthington’s Anyway | CM 97/98

  4. Pingback: The Wonderkids – Part 9: Record Breakers | CM 97/98

  5. Pingback: The Wonderkids – Part 13: Break a leg | CM 97/98

  6. Pingback: The Wonderkids – Part 17: Looking Back in Anger | CM 97/98

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