Meet the Manager - Tom Mitcham

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

1) What is your name?

Tom Mitcham

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

I’ve been on Footstock since day one having signed up through the Indiegogo campaign. I have to applaud Paul Anthony for the tireless rounding up of FI members to join Footstock, of which I was one. He sold me on the idea and then conversations with the owners helped give me faith it was a worthwhile investment.

It’s an ideal product for me given my background in virtually anything and everything football/gambling related you can think of! I started out as many do collecting Panini stickers, Pro Set cards, Subbuteo teams etc so I was already well ingrained in footballers being something you can collect. My formative years were spent playing ‘three and you’re in’, ‘heads and volleys’ etc at the local park, never did quite make it into the Burnley first team though so I needed another avenue into the football world.

That’s where fantasy came in, a key facet of Footstock. At Grammar school I remember first falling in love with Fantasy sports, using the Daily Telegraph fantasy format to launch our own league. Being at an all-boys school we needed something to scratch our competitive urges, and for several years fantasy did just that. Football was the primary game but I also do remember Formula One and strangely one pupil dreamt up Fantasy Music – maybe something Footstock could consider in the future! Points were gained from chart performance, appearance on Top of the Pops etc, I remember Ocean Colour Scene propelling me to glory one year through their constant TFI Friday appearances. On second thoughts maybe Footstock should stick to football….

Once Uni and adulthood hit I then moved on to gambling in a big way, mainly poker and sports betting. I like to think I’m a decent bettor and a bit more than decent poker player, but certainly couldn’t say I’m in profit overall. Over the years I’ve probably bet on every sport there’s a market for, not an approach that’s going to make you rich. The thrill of gambling is what draws you in, and to an extent you’re happy to lose the odd tenner in pursuit of that big win, I did always wonder whether there was a more profitable way of scratching that itch. The need for a return is also enhanced by the things you tend to pick up along the way as an adult – mortgages, kids, wives with Amazon obsessions etc.

Well that’s where Football Index came in. I’ve made a fair bit off the platform, as I imagine many Footstock signups have, and it’s helped me have a decent amount to diversify into Footstock. I’ve also been moderately successful at Draftkings Golf over the last few years and now have a passion for Korn Ferry Tour rookies at big odds.

All this has led me to Footstock, which I believe takes many of the positives from betting, fantasy, trading etc and combines them brilliantly.

What is your portfolio size?

My portfolio is probably fairly large by current standards, around the £5k mark, but I’m hoping it’s dwarfed by big investors over the coming years.

4) What is your portfolio structure?

If I’m honest my portfolio is a bit haphazard, but starting to be shaped a bit better. My initial Footstock investment came from FI winnings so I was a bit lazy at first, just buying at random and not worrying too much about value. I have at least one of each player, ensuring I’m always able to enter any tourney. Initially I just tried to stock up on certain players I thought were way undervalued, but have since tried to focus in on ones I use regularly in tournaments. My biggest holds are a reflection of those early stockpile days:

Obafemi (Soton) *43 – think he’ll break through later in the season when Ings next gets injured / dropped. Big talent.

Jesus (Man City) *38 – I felt this season he’d start to transition into the team as Aguero starts to age, which we’re seeing. You could put a donkey up front in that side and he’s scoring 15+ goals, so Jesus seemed a no-brainer whilst cheap over the summer.

McNeil (Burnley) *32 – as a Burnley fan how could I not? Man Utd fans must be green with envy having released him, he’s sooo much better than their current crop of youngsters. Pretty crucial for Burnley single game tourneys, and a huge future.

Current focus is to get multiples of players I use regularly in tournaments, especially crucial as we enter the 10k freeroll era. Once prices increase a bit more I do plan to sell off some highly valued players that I don’t use much in tourneys. I’m looking at you Mr Pogba.

5) What is your strategy?

My strategy is simply tournaments for now, entering pretty much all of them and relying on my fantasy background to make good decisions on lineups. It’s been pretty profitable so far, but more importantly is so much fun. I’ve not really done much on the trading side as I don’t feel I have enough cards yet to be selling any! I’m very bullish about the future of the product and our card prices, so I’m happy to just hold cards for now and benefit from tourney winnings.

Roulette is a guilty passion part of my strategy, allows me to be a little more reckless than is probably optimal. I can constantly be found in the roulette tourneys, usually losing Almirons to Bicknell. I think it’s a great game and certainly fills the time on commutes and the odd trip to soft play with my son.

Above all else my strategy really is to have fun with Footstock. I’m not counting the pennies, tracking every trade etc. If I was I’m sure I’d be making a bit more profit, but the product’s so much fun I’m taking a relaxed approach to it. If you have faith in the product going places in the future then I feel you can be relaxed, have fun with it, and still make a tidy profit along the way.

6) What do you like about Footstock?

The fact I don’t have one single thing kind of sums up the attraction of the product, it’s so multi-faceted.

My primary love is the fantasy football tournaments, I’ve pretty much entered everything since the

start of the season. The fact you can see your points update in real time and watch your leaderboard movements is so addictive, knowing which players you have as differentials against the field, just brilliant. The fact there’s tournaments for every budget, plus very generous freerolls, really gives me faith that Footstock can be profitable for a wide variety of budgets.

The casino games are also great. The fact they’re available 24/7 means you can jump into them at any time, and are ideal for when you’ve a quick 5 mins on the tube, the toilet etc. I think Footstock have been constantly evolving this area based on user feedback, something they’re always quick to react to and take on board.

Given how many facets there are to Footstock I’ve found it far easier to convert people to it than other platforms. There’s something for fantasy football fans, shrewd traders and even pure gamblers. I’ve focused less on the card trading side, but as more users sign up I believe there’ll be much more ‘buy low, sell high’ potential going forward.

My long term plan is to continue entering a lot of tournaments, and also win the £10k freeroll! I believe I can stay profitable in the tournaments, so they’ll always be my major focus as the prize pots increase moving forward.

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

In my view the best value players are all outside of the traditional Top 6 sides. I’ve always found in fantasy football that there’s a huge bias towards the top six sides, and I think we’re seeing that in Footstock comps too. The main places you see this is in the poorer side’s creative hubs, that one player who’s a cut above the rest, takes set pieces, creates all the chances etc. The obvious ones I’ve stocked up on:

Mcneil *32

Buendia *11

Norwood *10

Trossard *13

Moutinho *12

I love these kinds of players. If you’re playing all the tournaments they’re gold. Consider it this way – in any Burnley home game I’m going to play Mcneil because he accumulates points through chance creation, crosses, set pieces etc. Even if Burnley lose he’ll rack up points, and is virtually guaranteed to play every game. I’ll also use him in any fixture where Burnley are away to a bottom half team.

He’s £4.68 in the market right now, but I’ll likely use him 20-30 times during the season in tournaments. That’s huge value.

8) What advice would you give a new trader?

I would make sure new traders get to grips with the way the site works before putting serious money in. Start off by building up a collection of player cards that you think suit the Footstock scoring matrix, then enter the lower buy-in tournaments to validate your selection decisions. Only move up to the pro tournament ranks once you’re profitable at the other levels.

Think of it like poker, when you sign up to Pokerstars you don’t immediately deposit a huge bankroll and sit down in a nose bleed stakes Omaha game with Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen. Unless you’re Viktor Blom, but that’s another story, and not something you should try to replicate!

Start small, learn the ropes and build your collection before going big.

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

Highlight was winning the first bonus roulette 32 man tourney, I used a Tielemans and won a shedload of top stars! Every now and then Footstock do a secret roulette tournament for their twitter followers, so I’d recommend following them and setting notifications to ‘on’!

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

The £10k freeroll has really captured my imagination I must admit. I’ll do a few teams to go after the big prizes, but then will probably go after the manager of the week prizes regularly too. There’s restrictions on the number of players per club, star category etc, so I’m (geekily) relishing the process of constructing lineups!

Longer term I think how replicable the Footstock formula is means we’ll see more leagues, sports etc. As a golf nut I can’t wait to see Footstock golf tournaments!

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