So, lets start of with the best XI in the game! Worth noting that the data lock (last date to edit player data) was in early October, so the signing of Curtis Round will be omitted for now, and the game doesn’t take into account short term loans. Injuries as well to the likes of Macca, Bud’s and co will be missing.
Star man is Midfield maestro JJ O’Donnell who’s Blyth’s highest rated player, with an overall rating of 64 out 200 (for reference that puts him amongst the top 20 midfielders in the league) and can be equally utilised as a number 10 or centre midfielder. Depending on whatever tactics you use, he’s best of being used as an advanced playmaker in some form of fast paced possession based tactic.
Up top we have Mr Quiff himself Lewi McNall. His stats have been shifted about this year to truly reflect the sort of player he is, a deadly finisher. Because of his age he’ll likely get a bit better if you keep him around for a few seasons, for now his rating is set at 60. He should be able to fit just any tactic you like but he’ll be best off being used in the ‘Advanced Forward’ role where he’s just left to get into position and put the ball in the back of the net.
One of the more versatile players in the team is Defender Alex Nicholson. He’s best used in the right back position, but will be comfortable playing anywhere across the back and probably even do a decent job as a holding midfielder if you chose to use one. Just realised he’s actually rated at 64/200 as well.
Both Toby Lees (63/200) and Nathan Buddle (62/200) are very solid Centre Back’s in game. Both have high heading, tackling, marking and strength stats and low stats when it comes anything attacking. Mind as Bud’s half fancies himself as a striker, I’m sure he’ll disagree with that.
Centre Midfielder Jordan Hickey has been one of the best performers since I started testing the game about a month ago. Due to his aggression and work rate stats, he’s been superb when used in a box to box role. In fact he’s probably a bit underrated in some parts and will be due an upgrade soon along with Matty Elsdon and Matty Cornish.
This year the game includes a number of the under 18/19’s. Sadly I’ve only been able to catch one game, that being the 2-1 victory over Notts County where I saw a number of stand out performances from the likes of Evan Fogarty, Matty Dopson, Alfie Livermore, Jay Errington and Josh Walker who are all included in the game and will need developing in order to reach their potential.
Naturally Rio Joisce is the highest rated youngster amongst the lads, and has the highest potential ability rating at 90, meaning with the right development he’s good enough to reach the Football League.
Btw if any of you Under 18/19 lads are reading this and I’ve got your date of birth wrong I apologise. Had to take a stab in the dark at some of them, and it’s a bit weird me messaging a load of random young lads asking for personal info.
Now for the fun stuff! With £400 a week in the wage budget to spend and 2.5K in the transfer budget, just like in real life brining in new faces will be hard work! I’ll list a link to a shortlist of North East born/based players you can use that would keep the game a bit more realistic as you play through a few seasons, but right of the bat the likes of Brandon Taylor (Right Back/Centre Back) Rees Greenwood (Right Winger) and Alex Kempster (all round midfielder) are all good free agent pick ups that you should be able to sign.
In terms of backroom staff, you’ll need to hire a Manager for the under 18’s as Carl Nash is set as the North Shields manager in game. You’ll also need to bring in a scout. Mind from experience they’re a bit useless when you’re a part time team.
For adding extra graphics etc, you’ll find the best logo packs here – https://www.tcmlogos.com/tcm23-logos-fm23/ They’ve been going for years and add over 69,000 logo’s into the game.
For face packs Sortitoutsi are usually the best around. This year’s edition can be found here – https://sortitoutsi.net/graphics/style/1/cut-out-player-faces
North East player shortlist – https://www.dropbox.com/s/wu4ozm328rcb3qb/NE%20Players.fmf?dl=0
When it comes to any extra graphic packs, FM Scout is the place to go – https://www.fmscout.com/c-fm23-graphics.html
All of the above websites will have instructions as to how to install these if you’ve never done it before. When the game is released fully and the editor can be fully used, we’ll post a link to a database that opens up the down to the Northern League and might even include the Northumberland Senior Cup! Exciting stuff eh.