Yep, the second star of the game is another player who you would never have heard of if you didn’t play Champ. But Andy Mainwaring is a bona fide lower league legend. I buy him in every game I play, he doesn’t always go on to fulfill his potential, but he always gives you a season or two of goals
In the real world, he was a forward who was at Newport County in the 97-98 season. A former Welsh youth international, he bounced around the League of Wales and the English non-league for most of his career, including spells at Cwmbran Town, Bromsgrove Rovers, Gloucester City and Merthyr Tydfil. He had scored 45 goals in a couple of seasons at Cwmbran prior to his move to Newport, which is probably why he was rated so highly in the 97-98 edition of Championship Manager.
WHAT ARE HIS STATS?
Andy starts the game in the Welsh league and can be brought for 5k. If you start a game in the bottom two divisions, he’ll immediately improve your team. On paper he’s nothing special, but football isn’t played on paper (or computer spreadsheets, but that’s not the point…)
SO WHY’S HE SO SPECIAL?
Young Andy has got that all-important -1 potential ability rating. One of the main attributes (although by no means the only one) that determines how good a player is, is his ability rating out of 200. Having a potential ability of -1 means that there is no determined limit to how good a young player can become. If he sits on a bench in Division 2, then he won’t develop very far. If he gets a run of games for a good team, he can become very good, very quickly.
He usually insists on a big-club release clause when he signs for you. This means that as soon as he starts scoring regularly, and his price shoots up, you’ll be in danger of losing him. That’s the curse of Mainwaring, like Greame Tomlinson and the other -1 players available for free or cheap at the start of the game. They’ll score 20+ goals a year for you and soon be worth millions, but when he moves, he’ll end up sitting on the bench for a bigger team and will never progress to the maximum of his potential
HOW’S HE DOING IN THE CURRENT GAME?
Well, he has followed his usual path. Only with us for one season (but what a season), before the big boys came calling. He is still worth £2 million, but usually comes off the bench for Everton. He did score the winning goal in the League Cup Final a couple of years ago, but only got 4 goals the year after.
For me, what he does post 2000 is usually irrelevant. If you’re trying to bring a team up from Division 3 to the Premiership, Andy is the first player you should turn to. Although he won’t often be there to see the journey through, he’ll carry you the first step of the way.