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                              Football Manager 2005
                            Wales League & Cup Guide
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by PIW
philip_ian_ward@yahoo.co.uk

Hello, and welcome to another PIW FAQ, this time with a FM05 FAQ for the Welsh
Leagues. Now I was a researcher (yes!) for FM Wales (look in the credits for
Philip Ward (although they spelt it wrongly with 2 'l's) - I'm not lying :).
Anyway, although I'm not Welsh myself, I really enjoy the Welsh game, and 
like the idea of taking minnows to a high level.

                                    ------
                                     PLEA
                                    ------
Oh and by the way, if you too become a Welsh League player, please send an
email to SIGames asking for them to include Welsh League Division 1 and the
Cymru Alliance leagues, as I, and others, feel it would be a major addition
to the Welsh game!

Anyway, without further ado, PIW's Wales League/Cup Guide.

Playable Leagues: 1
Playable Cups:    3

European Qualification:
1 Champions League (Champions Cup - 1st Qual)
2 UEFA Cup (EURO Cup - 1st Qual)
1 Intertoto Cup (EURO Vase - 1st Round)

The Champions League place ALWAYS goes to the winner of the Welsh Premier.

1 UEFA cup place goes to 2nd place in the Welsh Premier.

1 UEFA Cup place goes to the Welsh Cup winner, unless he finished in the top 2
in which case, it goes to the runner-up. If the runner-up is also in the top 2
then it goes to 3rd place in the Welsh Premier.

The Intertoto Cup place goes to 3rd in the Welsh Premier, unless the winner
and runner-up of the Welsh Cup are in the top 3, in which case it goes to
4th place.


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     Welsh Premier
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The Welsh Premier (aka The League of Wales) is the National League of Welsh
Football, and indeed the only division which encompasses the whole of the
county. It is also the only division included in Football Manager 2005. It 
started in 1992 with 19 teams, sponsored by Konica. Cwmbran Town were the 
first team to ever win the League, beating Inter Cardiff after an exciting
season. Only six teams of the 19 that entered in 1992 are still in the
division: Aberystwyth, Bangor City, Caersws, Connah's Quay, Cwmbran, Newtown.

Teams: 18
Aberystwyth Town
Afan Lido
Airbus UK
Bangor City
Caernarfon Town
Caersws
Camarthen Town
NEWI Cefn Druids
Connah's Quay
Cwmbran Town
Haverfordwest County
Llanelli
Newtown
Port Talbot Town
Porthmadog
Rhyl
Total Network Solutions (TNS)
Welshpool

Format: 2 games against each team (1 home, 1 away)

3 Subs named, 3 used

The Welsh Premier works just like all the English Leagues, with 2 games against
each team. However, there are no promotions or play-offs, but the top three
teams all qualify for Europe.

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     Welsh Cup
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The Welsh Cup (or FAW Cup to give it's proper name) is the oldest knock-out
tournament in history, spanning back to the 19th century. In the game, you
start at Round 2, which is where most Welsh Premier clubs start (although this
year Airbus, Llanelli and Camarthen started in Round 1). Anyway, in this game,
you'll either start in the 2nd Round or the 3rd Round. The Welsh Cup, into 
which you are automatically entered, can be quite a good source of prize money
if you can get quite far, which is always helpful in a league where money is
tight. So don't think about playing your reserves in this one!

Qualification:
Round 2: 14 Welsh Premier Teams, 42 Non-League Teams
Round 3: + remaining 4 Welsh Premier Teams

Notes:
-Games are one-legged, with extra time then penalties
-3 Subs named, 3 used
-Final is played at Millenium Stadium

Losing Prize Money:
Round 2: 1,000
Round 3: 1,000
Round 4: 3,000
Quarter: 5,000 *the x's represent that I don't know the amount yet
Semi   : 10,000
Final  : 15,000
Winner : 25,000

Winner Qualifies for UEFA Cup (unless qualified for Champions League or UEFA
Cup through the league, in which case it goes to the runners-up, unless they've
also qualified for the Champions League or UEFA Cup through the league, in
which case it goes to 3rd placed in the League (and Intertoto Cup place goes
to 4th place)

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     FAW Premier Cup
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The Premier Cup was set up several years ago as a tournament to 'lure' the
exiles (Cardiff, Wrexham, Swansea, Newport County, Merthyr Tydfil and Colwyn
Bay) back to some sort of Welsh Football. Anyway, sponsored by the BBC, it
offers some fairly lucrative prize money, so qualification is a good idea.
With 100,000 for winning (maximum of 5 games) and 50,000 for the runner-up
as well as high-ish amounts for people getting knocked out. It used to be
played in group stages, but now is a straight knock-out tournament. This means
that prize money in the earlier rounds is lower, but in later rounds, is more.

N.B Although the Welsh Cup winner is meant to be a part of the Premier Cup, in
CM03/04 this was not the case. Therefore I have assumed that it is the same
here, unless I find out otherwise, in which case I will change it. Also, in
my game it has entered all 6 of the exiles, at seemingly random stages.

Exiles:
Cardiff City, Wrexham, Swansea City, Newport County, Merthyr Tydfil, 
Colwyn Bay

Qualification:
(positions are positions in Welsh Premier from previous season)
1st Round: 4th,5th,6th,7th,8th,9th,10th, 1 Exile
2nd Round: Round 1 Winners, 2nd, 3rd, 2 Exiles
Quarter  : Round 2 Winners, 1st, 3 Exiles

Notes:
-Games are 1 legged, with extra time and penalties
-5 Subs named, 3 used

Loser prize money:
Round 1: 4,000
Round 2: 6,000
Quarter: 16,000
Semi   : 25,000
Final  : 50,000
Winner : 100,000

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     Welsh Challenge Cup
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The Welsh Challenge Cup is the League Cup, featuring just teams from the Welsh
Premier. It is a two-legged competition (except for the final), and there is
no prize money. There's no real attraction with this competition for me, only
the prospect of trying out some Reserve/Youth players in competitive games.
However, if you can win it, your reputation will go up, and you usually get
a fairly large gate at the final.

Notes:
-Games are in 2 legs, 1 Home, 1 Away (except Final)
-Away Goals Rule in effect
-3 Subs named, 3 used
-Final played at the Millenium Stadium

Qualification:
Prelim. Round: Bottom 4 WPL from previous season (2 Promoted team + 15th,16th)
1st Round    : Prelim. Round winners + other 14 WPL teams.

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     Playing as a Welsh Side
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If you want to do well as a Welsh team, then you're in for a tough challenge,
but that's what makes it such a fun game. Here are some points to bear in mind.

----------
 Finances
----------

First thing first, is finances. If you can build up a good amount of money in
your first couple of seasons, then you can start to invest heavily and build
up a really decent team. Now, the most effective way to do this is to lower
your costs as much as you can. Therefore, sell/loan all the players that you
don't need (as a rough guide, 18 players is the maximum you should keep - it
should give you adequate back-up while keeping your wages low).

Next, although, if you're at a fairly rich club, you may have been given a
transfer budget - don't use it!! Try and sign players on frees (either 
make an offer of 0 or sign players not at clubs). Also, when signing
players or renewing contracts, don't offer them signing on fees, bonuses,
wage rises or anything except a (low) basic wage and, if you want, minimum
fee release clauses. And be really strict on yourself here: remember there's
no player too good that he can't be replaced with someone cheaper!

One cost that noone seems to realise is Staff Costs. Most of your staff will
be on 200/300/400 a week. Try re-negotiating their contracts down to
something more manageable. Also remember you can probably get by with just:
Assistant Manager, Scout, Physio. If you can get decent Player/Coaches then
you get two for the price of one! You can also reduce player/staff wages
more than once - bring their wage down a little bit each time, that way
they're less likely to reject their new contracts.

Sign players only on one year contracts. That way, if you find a replacement
for them or they fall out of your favour then you don't have to keep paying
them wages for 3 or 4 years more. Also, if you let players' contracts run
out, then when it comes to re-negotiation, they're more likely to accept
cuts of up to 50% of their wages - a great money saver.

As for making your money, there's no real other way than winning stuff.
Qualify for the Premier Cup and get far in it, get a good Welsh Cup run,
get into Europe. Prize money, really, is your best option for getting
lots of money. Although you may get some lucky breaks - e.g. a great
Youth player which you can sell for several hundred thousand. But
chances are you won't get all this, so you've got to work on assembling a
good team with no money at all. However, there are lots of good players
which are available for free.

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 Europe
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You want serious money? Europe is your answer. However, it's not just Europe,
it's the UEFA Cup or the Champions League that you need. Welsh football isn't
the highest standard, so there's only 2 spots in the UEFA Cup and 1 for the
Champions League, and all of them are in the first qualification round. This
means that, in the Champions League, you've got 3 qualifying rounds before
you get into the Group Stages. If you get into Europe, then your aims should
be as follows:

_UEFA Cup_
Get as far as possible. You start getting prize money even in the first
qualifying round. Due to the seeding system, the chances are you won't
get past the 1st round for the first few seasons - the opposition are usually
too strong. Getting to the First Round though will earn you 50,000 in Prize
Money, as well as Gate receipts. However, getting to the group stages is 
where the real money's at, even if you don't win or draw a single game, as
this is when you definitely start to get TV Revenue, which is always a sweet
bounty.

_Champions League_
In this one you don't get any prize money in the first 2 qualifying rounds, so
you'll be hoping for some good gates. However, in the 3rd qualifying round,
winning will give you 2.7M as well as 13M at the end of the season in TV
revenue. Therefore you know what you must do if you want your club to become 
a big one. Group Stages. That kind of money will enable you to pull away from
the Welsh League as a whole - noone will be able to match your standard, if
you use the money correctly. So try and get some good players, and qualify
again for the Champions League. The first time is the most difficult and
after that it gets easier to qualify.

-------------
 Player Tips
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There's a lot of players in the game who won't even think about coming to
play for you, but there's also a lot of players who will. However, most of
these players will be no use to you whatsoever. Bear in mind the fact that
you don't want to have too many players on your books, so you only want
to get players that you know will be good. So break down the positions you
need (Team Report will help here) and then think about the key stats that
those positions need. Here is what I think are the most important stats
for each positions:


                        +--------------------------------------------+
                        | Technical    | Mental       | Physical     |
                        +--------------------------------------------+
            Goalkeepers | Handling     | Anticipation | Jumping      |
                        | One on Ones  | Bravery      |              |
                        | Reflexes     | Positioning  |              |
                        +--------------------------------------------+
              Defenders | Heading      | Composure    | Jumping      |
                        | Marking      | Determination| Strength     |
                        | Tackling     | Positioning  |              |
                        |              | Team Work    |              |
                        +--------------------------------------------+
 Left/Right Midfielders | Crossing     |              | Acceleration |
                        | Dribbling    |              | Pace         |
                        +--------------------------------------------+
    Central Midfielders | Dribbling    | Creativity   | Stamina      |
                        | Passing      | Decisions    | Strength     |
                        |              | Work Rate    |              |
                        +--------------------------------------------+
            Attackers   | Finishing    | Agression    | Pace         |
                        | Heading      | Determination| Strength     |
                        | Long Shots   |              |              |
                        +--------------------------------------------+

Basically, when looking for a player, most of these stats should be at least
10-12. Obviously higher ones are preferable, but remember that a lot of good
players won't come to your team, or will ask for far too much money. Therefore
work on getting players with good key stats, rather than players with good
general stats.

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     Outro
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Well, I hope this guide has been of some help to you. I don't plan on making
any updates right now, although some day I may add Club details. Anyway, fun
playing in the Welsh League! Please e-mail me with your success stories, I
always love to hear about Welsh teams winning UEFA Cups and Champions Leagues

                                                                         PIW :)
                                                    philip_ian_ward@yahoo.co.uk