I Only Play Here Because It Beats Starving

Everyone knows about World Football’s (that’s Soccer to you Americans) greatest transfers. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo moving to Real Madrid for the ridiculous amount of 132 Million US dollars and Real Madrid President Perez boasting about a transfer budget in the vicinity of 800 million Euros which means they can pretty much buy out buy every other major club in the world.

What about those clubs that are worth less than a pair of Cristiano’s used boots?

I’m talking about clubs like Hyde United, Northwich Victoria and Bognor Regis Town. Clubs with almost zero finances that rely on amateur and part time players to succeed.

In this new somewhat-weekly column, I will be advising Football Manager 2009 players managing the lowest league clubs on where to find excellent footballers on the cheap. I gathered these from my own experiences playing the game as lowly Hyde United as well hanging around the Football Manager fandom. I don’t claim to be the best LLM there is, as stories of conference teams becoming European champions are common in the fandom and that achievement will pretty much melt my face if I ever accomplish it.

This week we’ll be starting with improvements to your strike force.



Name:Hubert Dijk
Nationality:Dutch
Age:30

Hubert Dijk is the man. One of the best possible strikers you can sign in the beginning of the game. He starts out without a team and can be snatched up almost immediately on free transfer for less than 300 Euros a week.

He can play either as a target man, setting up faster strikers with flick ons, or as an out and out Forward. He nabbed the Golden Boot in the Blue Square North with over 20 goals in his first season with me and added on more assists then any of my midfielders.



Name:Terry Dixon
Nationality:Irish
Age:18

This young striker gets released by Tottenham Hotspurs early in the first season and is a perfect fit for either the striker role or as an Attack Midfielder. At only 18 years of age, he is more than good enough for most conference sides and he easily makes it into the Irish U-19 and U-21’s, which means he’ll have plenty of match experience and will improve quickly.



Name:Charles Ademeno
Nationality:English
Age:19

Charles gets released by Southend sometime in the second season of the game and he’s the first truly fast-paced striker on our list. He’ll beat most defenders to the ball and has decent dribbling for the lower leagues so making him a target man with the “run onto ball” tactic he’ll net you quite a few goals.

His problem is that he’s a poor team player, with audacious long dribbles followed by poor shots (though it sometimes works for an amazing goal) when he could have passed the ball. He is also quite moody, alternating between goal scoring phenom to pub team player and back again.

Keep another striker on hand just in case.



Name:Enoch Showunmi
Nationality:Nigerian
Age:26

Enoch Showunmi is like Hubert Dijk. He plays almost exactly the same role as the Dutchman but is not as clinical in front of goal.

His major strength over Dijk is that he’s faster, and speed is at a premium in the lower leagues so that easily elevates his status to “must-buy.” He can easily play as target man as his height of 196cm towers above most defenders and he’ll happily win headers all day long. It’s pretty unusual for such a tall, heavy player to be so fast which makes him a rare beast indeed.



Name:Chris Dickson
Nationality:Ghanaian
Age:23

The second pure pacey striker on our list, next to Charles Ademeno.

Unfortunately for Charles, Chris is better in almost every way. He’s faster, He shoots straighter and doesn’t hog the ball as much.

Fortunately for Charles, Chris knows he is better and will demand a much higher wage. He’s worth every penny but most clubs have to carefully spread out their limited wage budgets. Chris Dickson will drain a huge amount and can bankrupt your club, but if you manage get some promotions then you should have enough cash to sign him. Plays great even in the heady heights of Coca Cola League 2.


That’s it for strikers. This group of players should be able to start increasing your goal difference, but even the best strikers can’t do much without an adequate midfield engine to supply them with crucial assists and that’s what we’re going to look at it next week.

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