Footstock Meet the Manager: Martin Bicknell
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 hates it when one of his players puts in a daft challenge and the ref sends his silly mid off – it’s Martin Bicknell!
1) What is your name?
Martin Bicknell (@bickers1969 on Twitter)
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 the start. I got wind of it on Twitter and it sounded like another Football Index, so it stirred my imagination and after the success of FI I wanted to be involved. Now I’ve spent time on the platform I’ve realised it’s actually a lot more multifaceted, with so many different ways to approach Footstock depending on your preferences and how much time and budget you want to commit. I have always been interested in sports betting, had a good run with poker so I am always looking for something new to get my teeth into. Footstock fits that bill perfectly.
3) What is your collection structure?
I bought a pack at the very start which gave me every player – after that I realised that wasn’t going to be enough so expanded to make sure I could enter every tournament. Then the 10k freeroll came along, so I kept buying! I have a lot of cards now. I’ve continued to reinvest during the dips and am happy with what I have now, with not many rewards left to get. I wouldn’t say I focus on any team or position, but do buy what I think are undervalued players. During the early part of the lockdown, with roulette I ended up with over 100 Nathan Redmonds and Matt Dohertys – it was a profitable period! It’s fair to say when it comes to swapping it takes a considerable amount of time! I’m looking forward to Leeds being part of the platform as I’ve been a supporter since I was 4 years old. I’m saving my swaps for my Leeds boys now!
4) What is your strategy?
Tournaments are my main focus. I love the way they are delivered and the added excitement on match days. There’s no better feeling than winning or finishing high up a big tournament. Each to their own though – trading is definitely a good option for some, but you do have to really focus on what profit you want to make on each card. It can be hard when the market dictates the price, not necessarily your own knowledge. The beauty of Footstock is that there are many enjoyable ways to play the game.
5) What do you like about Footstock?
I have been massively impressed by the structure of the company and the owners: the communication is first class and I like the way they listen to people and implement new ideas. If anyone should be successful its Footstock, Oliver and Till. A great concept backed up with sound ideas and clear plans.
If I was selling Footstock to someone I would describe it as a platform to have fun, whatever your budget. It caters for everyone and adds excitement to match days.
My expectations of Footstock are very limited really: enjoy the site, the tournaments and if I’m lucky make some money along the way. I couldn’t have dreamt of what happened during lockdown with the massive increase in collection value and the user base rise. That was pretty insane after a period where collection values remained pretty static.
I can only see Footstock growing, in a similar way to Football Index, where I was lucky to be in from the start and saw an incredible rise in value. I do think card values need to remain affordable to new players joining though. There’s no point in having £500 cards, that would be a barrier if I was joining now I think. That is my only worry moving forward when the likes of Sancho, Werner and Ziyech join. How much will they be? Time will tell on that one.
6) Which players do you presently think are the best value and why?
I’ve given up predicting! I thought Firmino and Aubameyang were going to fly, but they have gone backwards. However, I see Kevin De Bruyne as the best hold on the market, and to a lesser degree Andrew Robertson and Ricardo Pereira. I think Robertson especially is massively underpriced when compared to TAA.
7) What advice would you give a new trader?
Take your time to understand the market and how it works. It isn’t always what you think will work but what the market thinks; a lesson learned from FI and very relevant on FS too. Play the freerolls, build your collection and treat it as fun, otherwise it becomes too stressful when you don’t win!
8) What has been your best/favourite roulette win or swap?
I won the weekly raffle once and got a free card. Just happened to be Bruno Fernandes when he was around £40. I was pretty happy with that. Even more so when he went over £300 soon after. I have 5 Brunos now, with not a prayer of selling any!
I did play a lot of roulette for a while before I had to stop as it became too consuming. Winning a 32-man with 6 Freds has to be the best haul I had. I did manage to sell all the roulette kings just before football came back – one of my better trades.
9) What are you most looking forward to about Footstock?
The growth and success of the company. As I mentioned before, the success of this company has come from good people and they deserve all the plaudits for creating such a brilliant concept. I look forward to Footstock becoming a household name and can’t wait to see the future plans.