Meet the Manager - Mel

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

1) What is your name?

Mel. @Football_MDJ on Twitter and MDJ on the Footstock slack channel.

2) How long have you been on Footstock, how did you hear about it and what is your Footstock related background?

Since the very beginning. I saw the Indiegogo stuff flying around on Twitter, ignored it for a while and then thought ‘why not’ so chucked some money in. In all honesty, I was really 50:50 about investing but they seemed like good guys and a decent concept so I figured I’d take the chance.

The campaign came across my feed due to Football Index traders retweeting it. I’ve been on Football Index since 2017 and that’s really my main passion. As well as that, I’ve been a keen FPL player for a while and managed to finish in the top 10k on a couple of occasions.

I thought I could turn some of that time and effort into cash so I dabbled in some DFS games (Draftkings and Sportito) but couldn’t get on with them. I prefer the blend of long term and short term interest that you get with Footstock and that’s why I backed it really. I’ve also got the usual background of matched betting, and playing poker and FIFA equally badly.

3) What is your portfolio size?

I’ve got about £700 in play which is largely tied up in players (just over 500 cards). I haven’t deposited again since the initial crowdfunder round so if I run out of money to enter tournaments, I have to sell some players. Likewise, if I have a good run on tournaments, I can invest a bit more in the players.

4) What is your portfolio structure?

I think it’s pretty mixed to be honest. I’ve got a good spread across different teams and different ratings and positions. The vast majority of players came through the initial packs rather than trading on the market so the structure is somewhat… ‘organic’ rather than meticulously planned at this point!

5) What is your strategy?

I target tournaments during the season because that’s why I got involved with Footstock in the first place - to use the DFS side of the platform. Off-season I’ll do a bit more trading to make sure that I’ve got the players I need in my portfolio and to cut the dead wood. I dabble in a bit of roulette from time to time as well as a fun way to kill a few minutes of boredom.

6) What do you like about Footstock?

I like the concept - it’s easy to pick up and it’s ‘sticky’ enough to keep your interest. It’s by far the best DFS platform I’ve used. I think the design of the platform is clean and the order books system is well thought out (and this has given me some useful learning ahead of Football Index introducing order books at some point in the future).

[Check out our guide which explains how the Footstock order book system works (Quick Read - Order Book)]

I think the thing that gives me the most confidence at the moment is the way that the developers listen to the users and make changes to the platform very quickly in response to feedback. Let’s be honest, Footstock is still rough around the edges at the moment but it’s a really new platform and has the potential for growth if they make positive changes at the right time. So far, it seems that they are doing this.

7) Which players do you presently think are the best value and why?

I’m not a huge trader on the platform but if I had to pick some value buys, Hudson-Odoi looks good to me at less than £4, Traore at Wolves is in a rich vein of form for only around £3 and Martinelli at Arsenal could be a real steel at £4 given he’ll have fairly low ownership at the moment.

If you’re very patient, you can also look lower at the youth players who might start to break through for their clubs and are currently only a few pence, like John-Jules at Arsenal, McEachran at Chelsea or Eric (Garcia) at Man City.

8) What advice would you give a new trader?

Other than the obvious stuff about understanding the platform before you plough your life savings in, I’d say start with a small bankroll and target players from a few clubs first, rather than trying to acquire players from across the whole league. You want to be able to build enough of a portfolio to start entering some tournaments so look at upcoming fixtures and target those teams that looks to have a favourable run coming up. To do this, you really need to be buying from the market, rather than opening random packs.

Start off with the freeroll tournaments to get a feel for things before entering the paid tournaments. The money on offer for the Pro tourneys is a real tempter but it’s easy to make big losses too so I wouldn’t advise going above Amateur level without a really strong portfolio.

I’d also say be a little careful about investing in players/clubs that look likely to leave the EPL at the end of the season. If you’re buying a player for £4 or £5, you want to know that you’ll be able to enter him in enough tournaments to more than make your money back. Inactive players can be swapped for a new player but that leaves things up to chance so plan to avoid that scenario if you can.

9) What has been your best/favourite roulette win or swap?

I won Pepe on roulette at the start of the season when he was on the market for over £20 so I was pretty chuffed with that.

10) What are you most looking forward to about Footstock?

The £10k freeroll is the big one at the moment for obvious reasons. I’ll be interested to see what this does to the market more generally - I suspect it might stimulate more buying as traders will have their cards locked up in the freeroll all season.

Other than that, I hope that they can use this season as the opportunity to test the platform, iron out any issues and then have a bigger launch next season.

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