Meet the Manager: FPL Journal creator Craig Priestley

Ahead of the 2022/23 pre-season, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers were offered a simple approach to managing their team by writer and social media manager Craig Priestley (@CraigyBacha).

With some help from illustrator @fpldoodles1, he has created the FPL Journal, offering managers the chance to put down their phones, stop taking screen shots of hundreds of drafts and go back to pen and paper management.

Meet the Manager - FPL Journal creator Craig Priestley

Inspired by the original Fantasy Football games, where teams were submitted by post, the book offers managers the chance to plot their moves and select their players. They – or their kids – can even do a spot of colouring in when putting in the team kits!

By writing notes along the way, Craig is offering a back-to-basics take on FPL management that many have not experienced since they were able to select Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer in their team.

Joe chats to Craig about his inspiration for the book as well as how managers are psychologically benefitting from being able to write out their thoughts on paper, colour in selected players and cut down on their screen time.

While the Meet the Manager series is focused on managers with an interesting story to tell, rather than primarily looking at their rank history, this latest video and podcast’s content is certainly helped by Craig’s strong recent track record in the game.

Over the last seven seasons he has a top 2,000 finish as well as four other campaign conclusions within the top 40,000.

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His rank of 1,847 in the Covid-impacted 2020/21 season is particularly impressive and was achieved after discovering the Fantasy Football Scout Members Area. He understandably has been a Member of this website ever since.

Above all, a patient approach to players has guided him to strong finishes and that is particularly the case this season so far, with Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey (£5.0m), who he is keen to keep before he plays Everton this weekend.

Joe and Craig look over the key decisions to face managers ahead of Gameweek 2 as a snapshot of his thinking. He reveals his captaincy plans, Wildcard thoughts ahead of the World Cup, as well as players that may make way soon.

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Joe’s thoughts

Craig’s FPL Journal is a great example of the imagination and talent across the Fantasy Football community.

Already community members are showcasing a wealth of digital design and number-crunching talents to help FPL managers.

What Craig has done is look back at the origins of the game and replicate them in a digital age.

This enables managers to cut down on their screen time and enjoy FPL in a different, more creative way.

Although not intended as a colouring in book, that is exactly what the journal offers, with all the calming mental health benefits that brings.

In fact, he is so impressed with the community’s response to the colouring in aspect of the book that he is considering launching a children’s versions for FPL managers’ kids and some of the game’s youngest players to use.

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