What would happen if some of the best English players abroad were all signed by one club and chucked into League One?
Okay that is probably never going to happen but thanks to Football Manager 2020, we can simulate what would happen if some crazed owner decided to make this reality.
Using the FM Editor, which comes free with the game (in the tools section of your Steam library), I have created English Abroad FC ready to fill the void Bury unfortunately left in League One at the start of the 2019/20 season.
I have selected 40 of the finest English abroad talents to attempt an assault on the English league system. Can they go all the way to winning the Premier League, let’s see?
I won’t actually be managing the team myself. I will put a team of English coaches abroad in charge and will be holidaying into the future – in other words, simulating the action.
I have changed Bury to English Abroad FC and transferred 40 players to the club, which will be split across the first team and the U23 team. All loans have been cancelled and everyone has signed a five-year deal until the summer of 2024 on their original wages.
The first team will be competing in League One, starting with Bury’s 12 point deduction. The under-23s will be spending the season playing various friendlies, in a similar way to Brentford B do in real life.
I have selected Sutton United’s Gander Green Lane as the club’s stadium as they have signed several former English abroad in the past including Wayne Brown and Jonathan Barden. I have chosen Crystal Palace’s training ground for the club.
I’ve set the save up so there can’t be any transfers in the initial transfer window but for future windows there is a chance there could be some transfers as I will be simming and not in charge of the club. I’m hoping no-one will leave, if they do, I will open the in game editor and put them back.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams. I didn’t assign them to each squad, that was the games doing.
Position, name, age now, real life club
Jermaine Fordah, 26, El Paso Locomotive
Conor O’Keefe, 24, Bruno’s Magpies
Brandon Austin, 21, Viborg (on loan from Tottenham)
Steven Taylor, 34, Wellington Phoenix
Tyias Browning, 25, Guangzhou Evergrande
Chris Smalling, 30, Roma (on loan from Manchester United)
Nick Swirad, 28, Selangor
Arinse Uade, 24, RoPS
Kieran Trippier, 29, Atletico Madrid
Jonjoe Kenny, 23, Schalke (on loan from Everton)
Ashley Young, 34, Inter (on loan from Manchester United)
Nathan Mavila 24, Cavalry FC
Max Clark, 24, Vitesse
Clinton Mola, 19, Stuttgart
Toby Down, 25, Tai Po
Lee Cattermole, 32, VVV-Venlo
Laurie Bell, 27, Örebro Syrianska
Tom Hateley, 30, Piast Gliwice
Nico Yennaris, 26, Beijing Guoan
Charlie Machell, 25, Hougang United
Levi Lumeka, 21, Varzim
Marcus Edwards, 21, Vitoria
Jadon Sancho, 20, Borussia Dortmund
Ademola Lookman, 22, RB Leipzig
Gary Hooper, 32, Wellington Phoenix
Adam le Fondre, 33, Sydney
Lee Tuck, 31, Terengganu
The Under-23 squad
Josh Robson, 22, Bryne
Jonathan Panzo, 19, Cercle Brugge (on loan from Monaco)
Harry Singh, 24, Gjovik-Lyn
Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, 24, Excelsior (on loan from Dordrecht)
Elliot Simmons, 22, Cavalry FC
Will Hoare, 23, Skelleftea
Noni Madueke, 18, PSV
Kyle Spence, 23, Øygarden
Harley Willard, 22, Fylkir
Moses Duckrell, 23, VPS
Stephy Mavididi, 21, Dijon (on loan from Juventus)
Jordan Brown, 23, Cavalry FC
Noel Mbo, 21, Helsingborgs
Ian Burchnall, Östersunds FK (manager)
Shaun Constable, Brommapojkarna (manager)
Brian Wake, Östersunds FK (coach)
Mark Briggs, Sacramento Republic (manager)
With the team all ready to go, I’m going to holiday for a season and see what happens. The next post will have the results from the first season.