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Interview

Interview – Geoff Pryor – Sky Sports Winner

Geoff Pryor earned himself a cool £30,000 after clinching the Sky Sports Fantasy Football crown on the final day of 2014/15. In our latest post-season interview, we discuss Geoff’s recent campaign and also delve into his success across a number of Fantasy games.

Congratulations on your victory. Were you confident going into the final day that you’d claim the crown? How did you spend the final day?

Thank you.

I went into the last day with only a 13-point lead, so knew it was going to be tense. I had a good idea who my rivals had at this stage (although I wasn’t correct on all counts). It was a combination of watching Jeff and the boys on Soccer Sunday, along with checking the Sky Sports Game’s live score updates. Like Simon Marsh in Fantasy Premier League, I had my own “Aguerrroooo” moment when he scored late as I had him as my captain. It was around 11pm Sunday night when they finally updated the game scores, and I got the confirmation I was looking for.

What were your final transfers? How many trades did you have left in the final week?

I used my last two transfers on the penultimate weekend of the season on Sunday May 17 as the final part of my transfer strategy. First was used to bring Aguero back in as captain, and the other was to bring in Gylfi Sigurdsson for Christian Eriksen, as I knew some of my rivals had him. Siggy scored that day, so was relieved I had brought him in.

You’ve been a key competitor in “money games” previously – I believe you’ve always fared well in the Sun Dream Team game – what’s your Fantasy Football history?

Thanks again. Fantasy Football has been very kind to me over the years, and I’ve been playing it longer than I care to remember. I started taking it a lot more seriously about ten years ago, and have had some memorable wins over different games and formats. This Sky Sports win is probably my proudest yet, but I’ve also won great prizes in Sun Dream Team, Mirror and the Metro.

How did you fare in other games this season?
I had a good season across Fantasy Football games, I even managed my best ever FPL finish with a rank of 1355. Elsewhere, I finished 274 in Ultimate FPL and had teams placed 14th and 30th in the Sun Dream Team. I’d also managed to claim joint first in the Sun’s weekly game in Gameweek 37, bagging a decent prize. Believe it or not, I also played the Daily Telegraph game (finishing top 100) and the Daily Mail game (finishing top 50).

Do you find yourself concentrating your end of season focus on one game, depending on your progress?

I think it’s just natural to focus towards the game(s) you are making best progress in when it comes to the business end of the season. I do always try to keep my interest in all games though as much as possible.

Do you play, or have you considered playing any of the weekly games that have now been established – like Mondogoal or PlayOn?

I’m not a massive fan of weekly games personally, although I have played PlayOn several times. I finished fifth in the first Gameweek of this season, which won me £600.

Getting back to Sky Sports, how did you manage your transfer strategy throughout the season? Did you make a conscious effort to reserve trades for the run-in?

I always try to and hold a healthy transfer count until the later part of the season, but that should never be at the expense of missing an earlier transfer opportunity. You just have to play the season as it unfolds, and hope that fortune is on your side and you are not using all your transfers on injured players all the time.

In the FFScout articles towards the end of the season you published data about how many transfers were left in teams in Top 10, Top 100 etc. My transfer count was always above the average so that gave me confidence in the run-in to carry on with my strategy.

What was your best decision you made over the course of the season? Was there any decisions that you lived to regret?

I like to think I saved my best until last, as it was the one that finally won it for me. I was only two points in front going into the penultimate weekend with my final two transfers. I was going to use my free captain change on Saturday May 16 and whoever got it would then be transferred out on the Sunday for Aguero (captain).

I had two options. The first was to captain Kane at home to Hull on the Saturday, then switch him and Eriksen out for Aguero and Ki Sung-Yeung the following day. The other alternative was to captain Romelu Lukaku away to West Ham, then swap him out – along with Eriksen – for Aguero and Sigurdsson on Sunday.

I went with Lukaku (goal/assist), which then meant I had Siggy (goal) and Ki was injured. Then, to complete the good fortune, it meant I had Kane away at Everton on the last day – he managed to score, whilst Lukaku blanked.

Like everyone I also had my share of decisions that didn’t work out. One, in particular, I remember was on a Monday night match back in January. My transfer count was healthy, so I thought I would take a punt on bringing a player to be captain that Monday/following Saturday. The transfer was Kevin Mirallas on the night he decided to wrestle penalty duties from Leighton Baines, so his penalty miss meant he ended with a grand total of -1 doubled to -2 as captain!

Do you find the fact that lineups are hidden a benefit when at the top or a hindrance to your strategy?

I enjoy the challenge of trying to work out others teams when they are hidden, which might not be for everyone which has to be a benefit.

Katie Burgin was runner-up in the Scout League and pushing you close at the end – were you aware that her team wasn’t hidden? Did this influence your strategy?

It certainly didn’t go unnoticed by me, but there were so many teams up there with a chance in the end that my strategy wasn’t just aimed at one team.

When we spoke to Kevin Anderson – who finished ninth overall– he mentioned that he was able to track the likely lineups of his competitors. Were you doing the same?

“Reverse Engineering” is a key factor to success in any games where you can’t see others teams. It does take up a lot of time and effort to do this, but for those managers who do it well usually reap the benefit. However with there being so many transfers available in the Sky Sports game, just when you think you have someone’s team all worked out, they make a transfer which gets you scrambling to work it all out again.

How did you go about managing the captaincy over the season? Did you run a system that helped you ensure that you always used the captaincy and transfers efficiently?

I generally went with the captain tactic of switching on a Sunday to someone playing on the following Saturday which produced consistent results. Also key is making the most of the blank Gameweeks where you can get the free captain change.

Do you think you can achieve good results in the Sky Sports game without such planning?

In my opinion, you cannot win any Fantasy Football game without putting in the planning. In the Sky Sports game in particular, there are so many points to be gained through a well thought out transfer and captaincy plan.

Is there an essential strategy you use when playing the Sky Sports game that you’d recommend to new players?

First recommendation to new players is easy – make sure you read D1Sable’s excellent weekly previews on Fantasy Football Scout for a great insight into the game.

Are there any rules in the Sky Sports game that you’d tweak?

I think the Sky Sports rules and scoring are generally well thought out, with the tackling/passing bonuses meaning that some players you don’t consider in other games become good value. Perhaps a slight tweak to the defensive scoring to make investment in defenders a bit more worthwhile.

Do you have plans for the prize money? Perhaps a holiday to refresh yourself for another title tilt? What do your partner, family and friends think of your achievement?

Everyone is really proud of my achievement in Sky Sports this season, and if the wife hasn’t spent it all yet, then I’m still hoping for a nice family holiday in pre-season.

Finally, would you like to give a shout-out to any fellow Fantasy Football managers or members of the Fantasy Football community?

Just to my fellow Fantasy Football managers – enjoy the summer off and I look forward to resuming battle again next season.

Mark Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”

858 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Triggerlips
    • 8 Years
    4 years, 1 month ago

    Logs on

    - shakes head at twelve hours of childish fuch comments

    Logs off

    1. J0E
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      Logs on ...deletes 12 hours of fuch comments

      Thereby people can now log back on again.

        • 5 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        This is your life now for at least the next season Jonty.

    2. Zan Keroski
      • 6 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      Well they do say the deadzone is the time for a more intelligent discussion but they can often be wrong.

  2. Doolittle
    • 6 Years
    4 years, 1 month ago

    Milner deal done pending a medical.

    1. The Champ is here
      • 9 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      😎

    2. Internal Error
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      🙂

    3. heraty88
      • 4 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      To who?

      1. KujaliaFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        Mr Rogers.

        1. Woy of the Wovers
          • 9 Years
          4 years, 1 month ago

          Who's that?

          1. KujaliaFC
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            4 years, 1 month ago

            Raheem's "boss".

    4. Don CorLawrøne
      • 7 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      I've only seen him play once in real life for City against Reading... He played like Iniesta that day... Now we have the Welsh Xavi and the English Iniesta! 😀

      1. J0E
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 9 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        The only time I saw him in real life was years ago when he was a teenager. He was brought to Swindon on loan. Arrived the Friday, played the next day against Brighton. He was the best player on the pitch by miles, really quality passing and speed, all with just a few hours training with his team mates.

        1. Marknlard
          • 10 Years
          4 years, 1 month ago

          Milner is a bit like Kevin Davies. Changed his style totally as he got older. There's actually fairly few players who do this.

        2. Don CorLawrøne
          • 7 Years
          4 years, 1 month ago

          I think he's one of these players that are more impressive in real life than on tele 🙂

          Very shrewd signing imo

      2. KujaliaFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        Now all you need is the Argentine Messi.

    5. Van Klinkert Delarosa
      • 5 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      Get in!

  3. Fring
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 years, 1 month ago

    What a brilliant start to the transfer window for Liverpool. Great signing.

    1. Internal Error
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      His stats were right up there last season

      1. Triggerlips
        • 8 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        Has he ever been a genuine fantasy option?
        Even when he was at Villa i dont recall him being up there wuith Young and Downing

        1. Triggerlips
          • 8 Years
          4 years, 1 month ago

          Good signing for pool though

        2. KujaliaFC
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          4 years, 1 month ago

          He's an upgrade on Henderson isn't he?

        3. J0E
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 9 Years
          4 years, 1 month ago

          He was a great fantasy option at Villa. I think it was my second season playing FPL and all my mini league rivals got him in and he just want on an incredible run of FPL pt scoring Oct -Dec time. He wasn't an option for the whole season but he was a great option for those few months. He was so regarded among Fantasy managers that when Villa West Ham had a double many captained him. He got injured after about 20 mins and people have been swerving him ever since. At his price at Man C he was a great 4th to 5th mid option this season for the last few months.

          1. Triggerlips
            • 8 Years
            4 years, 1 month ago

            Your memory better than mine 😀 If 6.5 or under could be a decent 4th mid i guess

            1. J0E
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 9 Years
              4 years, 1 month ago

              I remember it so well as I avoided him as I think I already had Young or Downing....and each week it became clear he was essential for that brief period. I eventually relented but by then the damage was done and many double digit scores had passed me by. The whole experience actually benefited me in the long run as ever since I've had no hesitation at getting in a player who is clearly on a fine run and has good fixtures.

              1. Triggerlips
                • 8 Years
                4 years, 1 month ago

                I might have done him a disservice, just looked through the matches he started this season and he has fairly good point production.
                Will be tricky for them to price up

              2. Triggerlips
                • 8 Years
                4 years, 1 month ago

                what year was that, must have been a while back now

                1. Christina.
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  4 years, 1 month ago

                  2009/10

                  184 pts

                2. J0E
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • Has Moderation Rights
                  • 9 Years
                  4 years, 1 month ago

                  I'm fairly certain looking at my FPL istory it was 2009/10 as that was my second season.

                  1. Triggerlips
                    • 8 Years
                    4 years, 1 month ago

                    Any chance he could be on penalties? He took a few at Villa , and with Gerrard gone who will step up?

                    1. Don CorLawrøne
                      • 7 Years
                      4 years, 1 month ago

                      I wouldn't rule it out but I'd expect Henderson to to start taking them this season. I wouldn't be surprised if Sturridge wants the duty too. I'd expect Lambert and Balotelli to leave...

                  2. J0E
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • Has Moderation Rights
                    • 9 Years
                    4 years, 1 month ago

                    Ah yes....looks like was 2009/10 based on Christina's comment. He was great that year.

                    For Liverpool though it will be all about Henderson and Milner and their price. Henderson is on penalties and will dominate free kicks. Milner should do well too. Whichever is cheaper in gameweek 1 may be the most popular.

                    1. Triggerlips
                      • 8 Years
                      4 years, 1 month ago

                      Looking at his previous pricing 6.5 looks about fair

                    2. RedLightning - Top 10k Any …
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • Has Moderation Rights
                      • 8 Years
                      4 years, 1 month ago

                      He was the 7th highest points scorer in 2009-10.

                      Lampard (284), Drogba (242), Rooney (224), Fabregas (214), Tevez (210), Bent (195), Milner (184).

  4. HuttonDressedasLahm
    • 9 Years
    4 years, 1 month ago

    Who deleted my Fuchs?!

    1. J0E
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      Me.

    2. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      Who gives them?

  5. Nomar
    • 9 Years
    4 years, 1 month ago

    Anyone seriously thinking of not getting Aguero in next season?

    This is going to be like RVP in his heyday all over again. He's going to severely restrict our ability to get big hitters in MF and DEF.

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      It's possible to get enough big hitters. Always is.

    2. Old Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      Let's see what happens in the Copa America. I cannot imagine not starting with him though - one of the first on the team sheet. Easy to downgrade too.

    3. Zan Keroski
      • 6 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      Assuming fit, he is the only player I've already selected

  6. Van Klinkert Delarosa
    • 5 Years
    4 years, 1 month ago

    If there is ever a list of underrated English players, Milner should be somewhere at the top.

    1. Siva Mohan
      • 6 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      along with Shawcross

      1. Athletico Timbo
        • 9 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        +1 I'm amazed he's never been selected for England. Actually I'm not, he plays for Stoke.

      2. Van Klinkert Delarosa
        • 5 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        Yeah, waiting for his next move.

        Still young too.

    2. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 years, 1 month ago

      It's weird, because pretty much everyone says he's underrated, which in turn surely means he isn't?

      1. Don CorLawrøne
        • 7 Years
        4 years, 1 month ago

        This is the same for Carrick.

        1. Doolittle
          • 6 Years
          4 years, 1 month ago

          Ditto Matic.

  7. Beavis
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 years, 1 month ago

    New post