Football Manager Cup

Newport County AFC are delighted to announce that we have appointed Football Manager veteran Gareth Swattridge as our virtual manager for the upcoming EFL organised Football Manager Cup!

Gareth takes the hotseat with over a decade of experience working in the virtual world of football, providing in-depth statistics year after year to developers Sports Interactive to create the most detailed and accurate information for Newport County AFC in-game. 

The Football Manager Cup partnered with the EFL and charity MIND will see 54 teams come together to fight for glory. But let's get to know our virtual gaffer a little more, here's what Gareth had to say:

"My name is Gareth Swattridge, I’m 37 and from Newport. I have supported Newport County AFC for over 20 years, starting in 1998 and have been a Season Ticket holder for almost the same amount of time.

About my role with Football Manager

My role with Football Manager started way back in 2007, and has given me some fantastic opportunities volunteering with the club. In early 2017 I was invited by current coach Danny Elliott to provide statistical data for the Academy Pro Development Phrase games, which by the end of the season had increased to providing the same data for the 1st team games under Michael Flynn. Since then I have also joined the Match Day Programme Team, given the role of keeping the League Table, Player’s Statistics and the WhoWhatWhereWhen Pages up to date.

My job for Football Manager is to collect and keep up to date, all information regarding Newport County AFC, as the club in whole and then the individual data for every player and staff member.

For the club, data is collected regarding Club Statistics and Historical Records, Supporters Opinions and Morale, Club Finances and Financial Fair Play, Backroom Staff Responsibilities, State of the Pitch, Training Facilities and Youth Setup.

Regarding staff, Players need endless updating throughout the season. Youth players need adding to the database every season, while established players need continuous updating. With an almost endless list of requirements containing Name, Date of Birth, Nationality, City of Birth, Weight, Height, Appearance, Contract Details, Injuries, Player Preferences (Favourite and Disliked Clubs and Staff) Playing Positions, Preferred Foot, Player Attributes (Technical, Mental and Physical), Preferred Actions, Season History, Achievements (Promotions, Relegations, Trophies, and International Caps) and Long Term Career Goals.

All of this is gathered using many different ways. News articles, Club Statements, Match Programmes and all club and staff Social Media Accounts are scoured almost daily looking for that little bit of information. Supporters opinions are also watched via social media accounts and message boards.

Club games are watched and re-watched in full, with every stat possible being collected. From general match stats to individual player pass completion, passing partners, balls played into areas, tackles and headers won/lost and shots on/off target etc. The list is endless.

All of this allows us to try and accurately recreate each member of staff in the game as best we can to get a real recreation of that player, coach, scout, physio, manager and board member.

I am really looking forward to representing Newport County AFC and to do the club proud"


The draw for the first round will take place live on the official Football Manager Twitter page (@FootballManager) at 3pm today, April 19th and those matches will take place from Monday, April 20th until Thursday, April 23rd. 10 teams will be given a first-round bye and go straight into the second round.

Here are some key dates to follow the tournament


•    First round draw – Sunday April 19th
•    First round match dates – Monday April 20th to Thurs April 23rd
•    The second round – week commencing April 27th
•    The ‘round of 16’ – week commencing May 4th
•    The quarter finals – May 11th to 14th
•    The semi-finals – Saturday May 16th
•    The final – Sunday May 17th

We wish Gareth all the best in his pursuit of glory! Stay updated with the Football Manager Cup through our social media channels to find out how he gets on.