Footstock Meet the Manager: Aaron Palace
In the Footstock Meet the Manager series, we profile some of the platform’s most active managers. Today’s manager under the spotlight is someone who wants to soar up the tournament rankings like an eagle, Aaron Palace.
1) What is your name?
@AaronPalace on Twitter. Aaron Palace on the Official Footstock Slack Chat.
I’m not on Slack as much as I would like to be. I struggle to keep up with all the conversations!
2) How long have you been on Footstock, how did you hear about it and what is your Footstock-related background?
I joined Footstock at the start of February this year.
I first heard of the product around September last year through Twitter and the concept always interested me. After listening to Tom Mitcham speak about Footstock on the ‘High Wide & Handsome’ podcast, I realised that Footstock encapsulates everything I enjoyed about fantasy football and from the brief time I played FIFA Ultimate Team.
The reason I didn’t sign up earlier was because I wanted to see if the concept would gather steam. I was still very new to Football Index at the time and didn’t have a big holding in that product. So I couldn’t justify jumping on to another gambling platform where the concept was alien to me.
What pushed me over the edge was hearing the app had launched and Rio mentioning on the ‘High Wide & Handsome Podcast’ that out of Football Index, SportStack and Footstock he enjoyed Footstock the most. It was at this time I felt the ship was beginning to sail. So after that I signed up and had a look round. It occurred to me that for £300 I could buy 4/5 players from each team that had ‘fantasy football value’ over the course of a season, and my journey really kicked on from here.
3) What is your collection size and structure?
At the moment my collection value has fluctuated just below £2,000 after depositing £750. Whilst that value is two thirds of the price it was at the beginning of the ‘virtual boom’, that’s still almost three times the size it was when football was suspended!
At the moment I hold one of almost every card. The cards I don’t hold are players with a potential ability lower than 125 on the Football Manager 2020 Genie (the cutoff point for Premier League talent is 130, so it allows for a slight discrepancy). Those are the cards I don’t anticipate having any Premier League involvement during the course of their careers.
Whilst this approach isn’t for everybody, it has allowed me not to get emotionally overinvested in the product and allows me to have a clear head when discussing the product with others. By having one of every card I haven’t panicked during any dips or got overly excited during any rises.
I did ‘flip’ regularly for anything up to £5 when I first signed up. When the boom happened though I realised this was all a real waste of time.
So yeah, for less than £2,000, you can get one of each card!
4) What is your strategy?
You’ve probably guessed that I’m purely on Footstock for the tournaments! To me, Footstock has never been like Football Index and I’ve never treated it like such. I just hope those that did in April haven’t sold up on a loss.
My approach to tournaments fluctuates depending on my confidence in lineups, fixtures and possible hauls. What I have found on a couple of occasions is that on weeks where I lack confidence to put out a Pro team of nine players, those nine players score very well in the freeroll and would have won a fair amount in the Pros. But that’s always the way!
5) What do you like about Footstock?
There’s a lot to like about Footstock. The core of the community in particular is brilliant. I’ve enjoyed seeing the community grow with the podcasts and YouTube content over the last couple of months. I anticipate that getting bigger over time.
What doesn’t get mentioned enough is the team behind the concept. I haven’t had to speak to the Customer Service team on many occasions, but when I have I’ve found them to be prompt, approachable and professional. It’s honestly second to none. I’m also really impressed with how engaged they are with the community through the Slack channel and their willingness to listen to the community.
6) Which players do you presently think are the best value and why?
Well it’s definitely a buyers’ market this week!
Placing value on cards is extremely difficult. I remember paying £30 for Mo Salah when I first joined and wondering if I got ripped off. Then his performance helped me win £160 in a tournament. So you could argue he more than paid his price in a couple of weeks.
With that in mind I’d argue that anybody that plays regularly in the Premier League is potentially underpriced at the minute, IF you have a long-term approach to this product. Those that paid £300+ for a Bruno Fernandes in the summer could probably justify it if he goes on to win them £700+ in one tournament throughout his career.
If I was forced to name certain players for a short-term approach then you have to look at West Ham’s fixtures from now until the end of the season. They have Norwich, Watford and Aston Villa left to play. Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio are linking up well. If they can improve their PPG now they could become very useful for virtual tournaments during the brief break.
7) What advice would you give a new trader?
Take your time to learn the scoring matrix. It’s similar to Fantasy Premier League, but it’s not entirely relatable. The sooner you realise why it suits players like Allan Saint-Maximin and why central midfielders can get good scores, the better prepared you will be.
Also, don’t go in with a large deposit immediately. We all want this product to grow, but it’s important to never lose touch with the fact that it’s still a gambling product. There will be losers along the way. Play around with a small amount, have a feel if this concept is for you, and if so invest more after a month or so.
And finally, if we’re all being honest with ourselves, we all think our fantasy football knowledge is better than it actually is! So don’t get too disheartened if it takes a while to win a tournament. It makes it all the sweeter when it happens!
8) What has been your best/favourite roulette win or swap?
I avoid roulette. I enjoy seeing people’s winnings and people going at it on the live streams, but it’s not for me.
My favourite swap occurred when I found out about the inactive page. I bought good European players with the right intentions, but I got a bit carried away to the point where I bought Mangala. I realised this was a mistake after half a day so I traded him. Honestly, I would have settled for a 40p Sakho, but I ended up with a £17 Pulisic! Given I thought I overpaid on Pulisic when I first signed up at £12 (he dropped to £4 in a week!), I was delighted.
9) What are you most looking forward to about Footstock?
There’s a lot I’m looking forward to. More content in the community, the time I can watch football live in a pub and check how I’m doing on my phone, Danilo taking me under his wing and training me …
The expansion to further leagues and Euro 2021 will be an extremely interesting time. I imagine any winnings I get will be going on building a collection that can compete in the single-game tournaments for the Euros!
The end game for me is having private tournaments with mates. I imagine we are a long way off that, but the growth of this product has far exceeded my expectations already!