Where is Bolnore? Well, I just looked it up, and it’s part of Haywards Heath, down south of London, and a place I’m completely unfamiliar with.
As you will recall if you read this blog, I just saw a save that I called The Journey come to a premature end because the database I used to get the Combined Counties Leagues wouldn’t generate new fixtures for the second season. That’s really disappointing, because I was getting into the save and enjoying it, but it has opened the way for another challenge I have been wanting to do – I’ve been wanting to try for a couple of months to take a team from the very bottom of the English pyramid to the Premier League, and I’ve decided that now is as good of a time as any!
For this save, yes it’s on FM15 still, because I didn’t really like FM16 and I don’t own FM17 yet, I’ll be taking charge of AFC Bolmore in the Mid-Sussex Division 11, the 24th level of the English pyramid and the very bottom. There is no going down any further than we are.
The goal of To The Top! is to go, well… To the top! It’s going to be a really long haul and a long-term save. As I said, level 24. That means it will take 24 seasons to make it to the Premier League, operating on the unlikely assumption that I won automatic promotion every single year without failure.
AFC Bolnore were founded in 2012, though the year isn’t shown here. They’ve also got no history, as they are a new club and even if they did, the information is so bare, I don’t expect much to be shown anyway. This is a young club waiting to be shown glory.
First thing’s first, we need graphics for the team, since I hate when my team doesn’t have kits and a logo. I found a logo online, and these are the two kits I made, based off the colors of their real kits. I kept the design simple, just solid colors.
Chris Darwen, your The Higher Tempo Press and Tales from the Top Flight are the home and away sponsors respectively, giving you advertisement to a whole… handful of people per match, considering we’re on the complete opposite end of the pyramid from the Premier League.
Now, that silly five minutes of break from writing aside, let’s get back on topic.
There are 10 teams in the Mid-Sussex 11th Division, and teams play each other twice for 18 matches in a season, and everyone is fully amateur here. There are also three cups that we will participate in, and the board’s expectation is that we are to be merely competitive in the league and all three cups. Naturally, we want to aim for more than just “be competitive”.
This is a shorter update, but it’s more introductory than anything else. The next update will cover the highlights of the preseason, first six league games, and two cups that I’ve participated in so far, as well as the players that are of note in the current team.
I’ll have that update up on Monday, so do come back if you want to see more about my journey.