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 every other major club in the world.
But 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 somewhat-regular 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 looking at the final piece of your team, the goalkeeper.
Name: Henri Timmer
Henri can be found at some no name club in the Netherlands, and will come on free transfer to pretty much anyone.
At 27 years of age, he’s just entering his prime as a goalkeeper and will be ready for many years to come. His communication skill should help in organizing your defensive line, especially during set piece situations.
His aerial ability, jumping and command of area means that he’ll happily snuff out crosses, corners and free kicks all day long, even if you have poor defenders.
His weak point is his slow reflexes, which make it difficult for him to block close range shots. If his communication skills are paired with some good defenders, few opposition players will be able to test him at close range.
Name: David Wilkinson
The only Englishman on our list (hmmm…), David is young at the start of the game at 21 years old, and already he’s a decent stopper.
He’s got good stats all around, especially his handling, which should ensure that he doesn’t drop the ball right into an opposing players feet in the final match of the league cup.
While he’s a good all rounder, he doesn’t stand out in any particular ability, but if you have a decent goalkeeping coach and get him early, you be able to train him to be a true lower league legend.
Name: Luis Mejia
The youngest player on the list this week. In fact, he’s too young to transfer to your team at the start of the game (he needs to be 18), so you need to wait a season before he will transfer (though you can negotiate a contract straight away, but it will only take effect when he becomes 18).
He has great technical abilities as a goalkeeper and only needs experience to truly morph into a legend.
Just so you know how good he is, in that screenshot he’s the sub keeper of Excelsior, a top division dutch club, and he is also the Panama national team goalkeeper, with 16 caps at the age of 19!
Name: Roger Juffing
Roger is the requisite old veteran player on our list. At 33 years old, Roger is at the tail end of his prime. Usually, you’d overlook a player well into his thirties, but goalkeepers last quite well into their late thirties, and some even go up to the early forties.
He has decent skills in the places that matter, but he’s not really eye popping. He does a good job in the lower leagues where strikers pretty much barely understand the concept of placing a ball in the back of the net.
All in all, he’s better used as a stopgap for nurturing younger keepers like Luis and David mentioned earlier and, after that, as a sub keeper, as he’s still reliable as a deputy between the sticks.
That’s all the positions now filled with quality players. The final week will discuss basic tips and tricks for new Lower League managers.