James Gater enjoys $1,000 view from RG Fantasy League penthouse
James Gater finally reached the promised land after a few near misses when he was crowned champion of the RG Fantasy League at the end of the 2021-22 season.
The manager of Unathletico Madrid walked way with a cheque for a cool $1,000 after his team amassed 2,715 points over the 38-week season.
In second place was Martyn Chattey with Unintended Sub on 2,699 points ($500), followed in third by Paul Springer and Surgeon General ($200) on 2,658 points.
Gater commented on how he had a few nervy moments towards the end of the season, which were not to dissimilar to what was happening on the pitch, where champions Manchester City and Liverpool slugged it out to the final day.
The difference was that where Liverpool failed for the second time in three years to keep their nose ahead of City, Gater got his selections right to outscore Chattey by 20 points in Week 38.
“It was a tough one,” the insurance executive told The Royal Gazette at the presentation this week. “I think with Martyn joining the league quite late, I was getting worried towards the end — he was in the lead with one game to go. But I think it’s just a case of picking seven or eight of the players that always score a lot points and then hoping that you get lucky with the final three or four players.”
And so it proved, with Leicester City’s James Maddison nabbing 13 points with a goal, assist and three bonus points in the 4-1 win over Southampton as the key difference.
Gater, a Manchester United fan who has become used to dodging brickbats, expects that he will be there to be shot at when the new season begins on August 5.
“I think I’ve been in the same kind of position before,” he said. “You need that little bit of luck for you to get really close to the top. Unless some of the captaincy decisions go the right way, it gets really tough.”
Registration for the 2022-23 RG Fantasy League competition portal opens on July 11. Participants can get your code to enter at https://www.royalgazette.com/sport/rg-fantasy-league/.
A minor amendment to the terms of reference will preclude anyone from joining the league after the midway point.
Premier League fixtures begin on August 5 with a London derby at Selhurst Park between Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Other notable matches on Week 1 include promoted Fulham hosting Liverpool at Craven Cottage on August 6 and Manchester City travelling to the London Stadium on August 7 to face West Ham United.