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Alessandro Del Piero: A Journeyman In Management

I, Alessandro, aim to conquer the world as a manager
Started on 22 June 2014 by Zed
Latest Reply on 30 June 2014 by Zed
  • POSTS45
  • VIEWS14544
unlucky missing out on the Asian Champions league but a decent finish nonetheless,

good solid signing with Josh Brillainte :0 any news on a new marquee?
Fixtures And Results:

The first half of the season started, and it was vital to win the first matches, instead of drawing them all. We started badly again, but we had a really strong run.

League Table:

It’s looking really good in the table, and we’re first at the moment, as long as Perth lose or draw their 11th match. If they win, we’ll still be in a respectable position: 2nd.

League Position Development:

You can clearly see the bumpy start of the season, and the very strong run of wins after that bad start.

Sydney FC– Central Coast Mariners (3-0):
The very first match of the season, and everybody was keen on a good start: this year would be the year where Sydney won their 2nd A-League title. Everybody was convinced of my team’s qualities, especially now that I had Brilliante, Charisteas and Griffiths. I sadly couldn’t be there, as I was banned from the touchline after making some comments on the decision to give a penalty to Perth in the play-off match against them. This didn’t matter, as we took the lead in the 27th minute, and we kept it since that moment. In the second half, we were even better, and Carle ensured we got the first 3 points of the season, with a superb goal. The 3-0 was scored some time later, by Despotovic. It was a very confident performance from the boys, and a great victory.
Nikola Petkovic

Newcastle Jets United FC– Sydney FC (2-1):
This was our first real test, against the reigning A-League champions. I was on the side-line, as I had served my one-match ban. But after a bland first half, Pepper scored in the 58th minute. 8 minutes later, Brilliante scored from a cleverly executed free kick by Carle, and we were back in the match. I was happy with the point, but Taggart ruined this good result, with a really late goal: 2-1 to the Jets. We put up a fight, but in the end, the Jets were a bit better than us.
Josh Brilliante

Sydney FC–Melbourne Victory FC (0-0):
A hard match, seeing as Melbourne had 6 points from two games, and they were leading the table on goal difference. I was expecting a really hard match, but we had some good chances ourselves. On the other hand, Melbourne also had some good scoring opportunities. After 90 minutes, no team was capable of scoring, and we both got 1 point.
Sasa Ognenovski

Wanderers FC– Sydney FC (0-0):
A team we played in pre-season, and I was keen to get a better result than the draw we got last time. In the first half, we were really bad, and we could have been 3-0 down if the Wanderers finished more clinically. But once again, we failed to score, and we had another draw. Things had to change if we were to challenge for the league title this year.
Tom Mickel

Sydney FC–Wellington Phoenix FC (0-1):
We had to win this one to keep everybody happy, and to get the morale up: we’ve only won one match so far. Also, we had to win to stay within distance of the league leaders. Just before half-time, things got much worse, and another defeat was on the cards: 0-1 to Wellington due to a Carle own goal. A good counter attack led to the 1-1, at least I thought so. It turned out to be offside. Things weren’t going our way this match. After the match, we were booed of the pitch, and it was all but unreasoned: we were bad that match.
Sebastian Ryall

Adelaide United FC–Sydney FC (0-1):
Things were looking worse than ever, and the board had once again given me an ultimatum: if we didn’t get good results in that month, I would be fired. We started this “Month of Truth” with an away match against Adelaide. To start, I took a different tactic, and I motivated the boys as much as I could. It seemed to work, we were in front because of a nice attack which ended with a shot by Despotovic. For the second half, I switched to a 5-3-2, so that we could sit back and counter. It worked, as we picked up a result that could mean I kept my job at Sydney.
Sasa Ognenovski

Brisbane Roar FC–Sydney FC (1-2):
Another must-win match for us. This match was a bit easier than the other one: Brisbane were only 7th in the league. But it would still prove to be a real challenge, and I was really hoping for a win. My plans were ruined, as Brisbane scored just before half-time. I made some tactical changes at half-time, and some substitutions as well. We played much better in the second half, and this led to Carle scoring the equaliser in the 50th minute. In the 66th minute, Carle scored again via a great free kick. The change in tactics seemed to be so successful, that I decided to make these changes to my main tactic.
Nick Carle

Perth Glory FC-Sydney FC (1-2):
After our recent run, I was feeling confident ahead of this match. The atmosphere has been much better after our last win, in the dressing room, but also in the boardroom. We did however face the number 2 of the league, a team with some good players, like William Gallas. And it was also an away game, our third in a row. In the 7th minute, Despotovic scored after a horrible mistake by Gallas, and I ran onto the pitch to congratulate everybody: things were looking up again. In the second half, Perth stunned us with a good counter attack, and we were back where we started. But once again, the boys put together a good attack, and Charisteas scored his first goal for the club, and it was too late for Perth to get back into the game. We won our third match in a row, and again it was an away game.
Ranko Despotovic

Sydney FC–Melbourne City FC (2-0):
Finally a home game, after three away matches in a row. The atmosphere was much better, and fans were coming to the stadium to cheer again, not to boo. We faced Melbourne City, a team that was much lower than us. 9th, to be exact, they only had Central Coast behind them. The difference in quality became clear in the 32nd minute, when Ognenovski scored the 1-0. In the 80th minute however, Bojic made a stupid foul, and got a yellow. The problem was, he already had yellow, so we had to try and maintain our lead with 10 men. Luckily, we did, and Charisteas even scored our second goal of the match. This match was probably the least interesting match I’ve ever seen, even in Italy there were shots than in this game: five shots in total, we only had two shots on goal.
Nikola Petkovic

Perth Glory FC-Central Coast Mariners FC (1-3):
Another match against a team low on the table, this time we played Central Coast Mariners, who were 8th. We had a great form, with four wins in a row, and I didn’t see any excuse why we couldn’t add a fifth successive win. And it certainly looked like we were going to get this 5th win, as Despotovic scored two goals just before half-time. We were in control, and Despotovic was really important with his two goals. And just after half-time, we scored our third goal in ten minutes, as Griffiths finally grabbed his first goal. Luoni scored a consolation goal for the Mariners, because we had already sealed the win with those three quick goals.
Ranko Despotovic

Sydney FC–Newcastle Jets United FC (2-0):
Now, the match that could get us into the first place: a match against league leaders and champions of last season Newcastle Jets. It was a very, very important match as a win in this match would mean that our strong, undefeated run was rewarded with the first place in the league. The first half was boring, and there were no real chances. In the second half however, we were good. We were better than Newcastle, and that lead to the 1-0 in the 47th minute, the goal was scored by in-form striker Ranko Despotovic. When the referee blew the whistle, the fans stood up and clapped for the players as they went to the showers. The fans were very pleased by our strong run of results, and the board was really happy as well. Things were really looking up again, and the fear to lose my job was completely gone. We just had to keep this form, and we would have a good lead over our chasers in a couple of matches.
Ranko Despotovic
Toonman8589: Yeah, a good season, but shame about the end... Good question! I'd love to get a new marquee player, but we just don't have the budget to get one. You could say Charisteas kind of is our marquee player.
Nice story mate you've had a good season.
Top of the table, great stuff!
You're doing well! Keep it up like this!

Trying To Keep Our Run Going
After that very good first half of the season, which started rough, I wanted to keep our run going, and our first place in the league.

Fixtures And Results:

Some very good results in the league, but also some unacceptable results in matches that we should be winning.

League Table:

We’re still top, and by a significant amount of points as well! If we keep up this run we’re on, the title will be ours!

League Position Development:

We haven’t let go of the first place for some matches now, and I’m happy with our performances lately.

Melbourne Victory FC–Sydney FC (0-1):
A pretty hard away match, on paper, against Sydney’s big rivals. In reality, it turned out to be a pretty easy match. We took the lead, through a goal by Charisteas in the 34th minute. We dominated until half time, and in the second half, we were in control of the match as well. No goals were scored by us, but Melbourne also didn’t pose a threat in the second half. It was a very good victory that ensured we kept our run going, and because of a loss by Perth, we were now officially first in the league for the first time this season.
Pedj Bojic

Wellington Phoenix FC–Sydney FC (2-3):
We have only been beaten by two teams this season, one of which was Wellington, so I was keen to get a good result this time round. We started off well, with a quick goal: a 4th minute goal by Jurman, our centre-back. But then in the 11th minute, Petkovic lost control of the ball, and decided to just slide in, full-risk. He got sent off, and I spoke to him about that accident after the match. This red card meant that we had to play with 10 men for 80 minutes, a long time to play with 10 men, and we only had a 1-0 lead. Luckily, Despotovic scored yet again in the 25th minute, and we were in control, even with 10 men. In the second half, we were still dominating, and Despotovic scored a beautiful lobbed goal: 3-0 with ten men. Brockie scored the 3-1 in the 52nd minute, but this didn’t worry me at all. When Cunningham scored the 2-3 in the 72nd minute, I was feeling the heat, and I changed back to a more defensive style of play, and this made sure we got the 3 points in that match.
Ranko Despotovic

Sydney FC-Wanderers FC (0-2):
A home game this time, after we had two pretty hard away matches, where we managed to take all 6 possible points. I thought this match would be pretty easy, but at half-time it was 0-1. We scored a goal that first half, but it was offside. And then just before the break, we also scored, but it was an own goal by Mark Warren: 0-1. And then just after the second half started, we scored our second own goal of the match, I couldn’t believe it! This time it was Ryall that put it past Mickel. Because of these two very unfortunate own goals, we lost our first match in 2015, and also the first loss after an 8-match win streak. However, we kept the first place in the table, and our lead over Perth was still 2 points. But losing a match is always bad, also if it has no consequences.
Ranko Despotovic

Sydney FC-Adelaide United FC (2-0):
I wanted to bounce back from that loss with a win in this game, but it was a pretty hard ask: Adelaide are a good side. Also, our starting goalkeeper Tom Mickel is out for more than a month, which is very bad news for us. And more bad news: Petkovic got a 2-match ban after his stupid foul in our game against Wellington. We dominated the first half, but it took us until the 51st minute to score, another goal by Despotovic. And in the 84th minute, Carle scored the 2-0 after a brilliant through ball by Charisteas. We were back to winning ways, after that bad loss against the Wanderers.
Mark Warren

Sydney FC-Brisbane Roar FC (4-3):
Brisbane were 9th at the time, so I expected an easy victory, although Mickel and Petkovic were not eligible to play due to an injury or a suspension. And we started off brilliantly, we were in front after 35 seconds, due to an own goal. After that, Brisbane had some good chances, so we needed to stay focused and keep our 1-0 lead. This didn’t happen, and in the 29th minute, Guinot equalised for Roar. Just before half-time, Ognenovski scored the 2-1, and made sure we went into half-time with a 1-goal lead. Just after half-time, Brisbane scored again. It was entertaining for a neutral supporter, but it was frustrating for a Sydney supporter, as we took the lead twice, and gave it away twice as well. When Griffiths scored the 3-2, I thought it was sealed, but the referee was against us once again, as he awarded a penalty to Brisbane: 3-3. When the injury time was over, we were on an attack, so the referee let the play continue. Somebody tripped Despotovic in the box, and luckily, the referee also awarded a penalty to us. Bojic scored our penalty, and we won the match in the very last minute! It was a very good match with an impressive scoreline: 4-3.
Ranko Despotovic

Melbourne City FC–Sydney FC (2-2):
Finally, Petkovic was back from his 3-match ban, Mickel however was still injured. Payne has also been on international duty for the last three matches, but that wasn’t really a problem for us, as he hasn’t really impressed this season. Melbourne opened the score with a shock goal; I wasn’t expecting a hard match. Quickly after, Despotovic equalised, and it was all uphill from there: Charisteas gave us the lead after 16 minutes. But after half-time, Melbourne equalised, through a goal from O’Dea. There weren’t any goals after that, and we spilled 2 points that could prove to be vital in the title race.
Angelos Charisteas

Sydney FC-Perth Glory FC (2-1):
One of the most important matches of the season, against our main rivals for the title: Perth Glory. We had an 8 point lead over them, but if we lost, that lead would only be 5 points. On the other hand, if we won, we would have a lead of 11 points after 18 matches. In the 18th minute, Despotovic scored his 11th goal of the season, and we were in front! Just before half-time, a bad pass by Bojic led to a good attack by Perth, and a goal by Hersi: 1-1 in the 39th minute. In the second half, almost nothing happened until the 85th minute: Burns got sent off, and I decided to play more attacking. And this attacking tactic led to a goal by Antonis in the 89th minute, I was proud of my successful change of tactics, and I was proud that we were winning against arguably the best team in the league. We survived the extra time easily, and the scoreboard said 2-1 when the whistle was blown. Fans were cheering the team on, and they were dreaming about the second A-League title ever.
Josh Brillante

Sydney FC– Central Coast Mariners FC (1-1):
After that great win against Perth, I wanted to keep up our form with a win against Central Coast. This match marked the return of our star goalkeeper Tom Mickel, after a one month injury. Just before the 45-minute-mark, Despotovic scored a great goal to give us the lead. The second half started off pretty boring, but in the 53rd minute, John Hutchinson scored the equaliser for Central Coast. And eventually, the match ended in a disappointing draw against 6th placed Central Coast Mariners.
Ranko Despotovic

Newcastle Jets United FC–Sydney FC (0-1):
Another important match in the title race, this time it was a hard away match against the number 2 in the A-League at that moment: the Newcastle Jets. In the first half, Newcastle dominated us, but we managed to withstand their pressure. Shortly after half-time, against all odds, we took the lead, and Carle sored that vital goal. After that, we started to create more chances than the Jets, but we didn’t manage to score. It didn’t matter, as we won the match with 1-0. We’re title-bound!
Matthew Jurman

Team Meeting
I called a team meeting after the match against the Newcastle Jets, everybody was present, and I addressed the group::

ADP: “Hello everybody, thanks for coming. I want to congratulate all of you for those very good results recently. We’ve had a good season in general, and we shouldn’t let our performance level drop, like last season.”

I passed the word to Matthew Thompson, our captain.

MT: “I agree with Alessandro. We’ve had a good season, but the way we ended last season was unacceptable to say the least. I’d like to see a better performance from everybody these last matches, including me!”

Everybody nodded in agreement, and Tom Mickel stood up and took the word:

TM: “I think that if we keep up this form, we can easily win the A-League! Come on boys, we can do it!”

ADP: “Thanks for coming everybody, I’m happy with the positive reactions!”
coldyb: Thanks mate!
Griffo: Great season so far :)
AAN: Will do ;)
Amazing results!
Fantastic series, especially since I'm australian and follow the A-League. Surprised to my favourite club though, Brisbane Roar FC, doing so poorly after previous championship. Not their league then, eh? However great series, and fantastic results for you! :D

Title Or Not?
A pretty bad ending of the season, but in the end we managed to win the A-League! It was a great season, and I’ve been very pleased at times.

Fixtures And Results:

Our form had a drop, but we managed to win some big matches in the second half of the season, and this led to a decent second half of the season. I’ll get into the play-offs later.

League Table:

We’re the champions of Australia, after a great season. My first piece of silverware as a manager.

League Position Development:

As you can see, we had a bad start of the season, and I almost lost my job, but we managed to come back really strong and win the title.

Sydney FC– Melbourne Victory FC (1-2):
A hard match was predicted, due to our existing rivalry. But Melbourne were 5th this campaign, and we were top. We also had a massive advantage in form, as we were scoring for fun. And after a great counter attack, Charisteas scored, but the flag was already up: offside. In the 40th minute, Melbourne’s Berisha scored the 0-1, it wasn’t at all deserved. We set things straight after 3 minutes in the second half, when Despotovic scored a great goal after a long kick by Mickel. After 54 minutes, Petkovic once again made a stupid foul when he already had yellow: another red card for Petkovic. I really need to tell him to be more disciplined. And then in the 62th minute, Ognenovski made a foul in the penalty box: straight red card! We were 2-1 down with 9 men, and it was going to be very hard to score. But after 68 minutes, Griffiths scored, once again however, it was offside. All in all, this was a very frustrating match with 2 red cards and 2 offside-goals. Our lead on Perth is still 9 points, but slip-ups like this one should never be made again.
Ranko Despotovic

Wanderers FC–Sydney FC (3-2):
Everybody wanted to win this match after that disappointing loss against Melbourne, it would however be a hard match for us: 2 of our starting 11 players were banned, and 4 would get banned at one more yellow card due to the yellow-card ban rule. Our form was dropping at the end of the season, just like last year, and we had to win this match to avoid such a bad finish of the season. But it certainly looked like we were finishing the season on a bad run, when Juric scored the 1-0 for the Wanderers. Our boys didn’t give up, and Ryall scored the equaliser shortly after. In the 81st minute, Juric scored another goal from a corner, and we were trailing again. And 2 minutes after, Juric completed his hat-trick with the 3-1. We went down fighting, with a late goal by Charisteas, but it was too late, and we lost once again.
Sebastian Ryall

Sydney FC– Wellington Phoenix FC (0-0):
“Boys, this can’t happen again! Win this match for me, and for yourselves!” I really meant it, as we were kind of giving another championship away with this form, and I really didn’t want this to happen again. It was unacceptable, and terrible for our fans. Luckily, we still had an advantage of 9 points due to the losses of Perth and Newcastle. We also had Ognenovksi and Petkovic back from their bans. The first half was pretty even, with no real chances. But in the second half, after 75 minutes, Bruno Cazerine scored the 1-0 for Wellington. Luckily, the goal was offside. There weren’t any goals in the rest of the match, but a draw at home against Wellington was a very bad result. And it was really looking like we were going to give it away at the end of the season once again.
Pedj Bojic

Adelaide United FC–Sydney FC (1-2):
A hard away match, but we couldn’t afford losing here, as Adelaide were 3rd at the moment. A draw could also be bad if Perth won their match. This match could be vital in the title race, and I made that clear to the boys. In the first half, we were decent, but we missed the clinical finishing that we had before, and it led to a pretty boring first half with no real chances. After the break, we were much better, that led to a goal by Charisteas in the 57th minute, we were ecstatic! And when Carle scored the 2-0 shortly after, we knew we would get a good result. But when the 2-1 was scored, we were feeling the heat, and I switched to a more defensive set-up. Because of the change, we kept our lead until the end of the match, and we were the deserved winners in Adelaide, I was very happy that we finally won a match.
Angelos Charisteas

Sydney FC– Melbourne City FC (6-0):
After that great result against Adelaide, I wanted to carry that good form through to this match with a second consecutive win. It looked like we would get this win, when Charisteas scored the 1-0 after 8 minutes, and 20 minutes later he scored his second of the match. Just before half-time, he completed his hat-trick. Charisteas has been a great signing for us, with 10 goals so far. After the break, he scored his 11th of the season, his finishing was amazing that game. But sadly, after 75 minutes, he had to go off injured, and he had an injury of 6-7 weeks. His striking partner Despotovic also managed to grab a goal, our 5th of the match. It wasn’t over yet for Melbourne, as Antonis scored the 6-0. It was a great, morale boosting victory. This victory also ensured that we won the A-League! I’ve got my first piece of silverware, and the fans were absolutely ecstatic!
“Angoals” Charisteas

Brisbane Roar FC–Sydney FC (1-0):
We had already clinched the title, so I decided to play my second team: I changed up the whole team. I knew this would maybe lead to a loss, but I wanted to give some talents playing time. I played players like Bouzanis, a young goalkeeper, Corey Gameiro and Joel Chianese. The second team didn’t really play well, as expected, and Brisbane took the lead in the 22nd minute. Griffiths scored a minute later, but it was offside. The rest of the match, Brisbane dominated, and we went down to 10 men after 82 minutes: another second yellow card, this time for our captain Thompson.
Rhyan Grant

Perth Glory FC–Sydney FC (2-4):
The last match of this great season, against the team that was first for a long time, now they have dropped to 6th. I didn’t mind losing this game, but I still fielded a strong team for our last match of this season. Griffiths opened the score after one minute, and we had some more big chances to extend our lead, but we weren’t clinical enough. After 27 minutes, we did manage to score: it was a goal by Nick Carle. We still had this comfortable 2-0 lead at half-time, and I was very pleased with our performance. Shortly after half-time, the boys shut the crowd up with yet another goal, this time it was Bojic. The scoring spree continued on the other side of the pitch: Perth scored a consolation goal. And in the 64th minute, things got worse for Perth, as Gallas got sent off. But O’Brien scored Perth another goal, and the 3-1 didn’t turn out to be a consolation goal at all. We got very sluggish after we took the 3-0 lead, and that is how we allowed Perth back in to the game. Brillante managed to score the 4-2 just after Woodcock got sent off, Perth’s second sending off of the match.
Ryan Griffiths

General Stats Of This Season
It has been a very good season, and we finished first! I’m very happy with the performance of everybody in the team. I got sent an overview of some stats in the league this year, and I saw Sydney’s name a lot of times:

Team Of The Year:

Team Stats:

Player Stats:

The last few matches of this season, and undoubtedly the most important ones as well. I’m not a fan of these play-offs, but we’ll have to put up with them. We drew Adelaide United in the semi-finals, because they won against the Wanderers in the previous round, a round we didn’t have to participate in due to our 1st place in the regular season.

Sydney FC– Adelaide United FC (1-1):
“Now, this time we should put in a good performance in the play-offs, last season’s play-offs were a disaster!” The boys were really motivated, I could see it. And after 31 minutes of good football, Brillante scored a beautiful half-volley, we were in the lead, and it was deserved. I thought we would go into half-time with a nice lead, but Richard Cardozo scored just before half-time. After 90 minutes, it was still 1-1, but we controlled the match in terms of possession and big chances. So we had to make a difference in extra time: we didn’t, and penalties were needed to decide the winner. After we scored all five of our penalties, and Adelaide only scored 3, we were in to the play-off final!
Josh Brillante

Sydney FC– Newcastle United Jets FC (0-3):
The most important match of my career to date: my first final. We played the Jets at home, which was a massive advantage. The stadium was almost sold-out, for the first time in my career. There was a great atmosphere in and around the stadium, the fans wanted to take pictures with me and they wanted my signature. Things didn’t start well for us though, as Capello scored a headed goal in the 13th minute. And after 60 minutes, we had an impossible task: Newcastle scored the 2-0. And in the 67th minute, Capello scored the 3-0: we collapsed under the immense pressure of a final. We worked all season long, and we lose the final because we play badly for 90 minutes. This is why I hate play-offs. We put up a fight, and we even hit the crossbar on 3 occasions, and it certainly wasn’t a deserved loss: we had 11 shots, and they had 6.

End Of The Season:
We had a very successful season, and we won a piece of silverware. In the play-offs, we were a lot less dominant. And in the final, we lost to the Newcastle Jets, this was an unnecessary loss. But in general, I’m happy about this season. I have made the decision to start looking for a new club, as I think I can’t do a lot better at Sydney than I did this season. Also, they don’t really have enough financial possibilities, and the foreigner-rule makes it even harder, so does the salary cap. I haven’t seen the right club yet, but I’m sure I’ll find a good club sooner or later.
Griffo: Thanks mate :)
pokarioboy: Thanks a bunch! Yeah, Brisbane lost some good players in my save, I think.
Unlucky with the final :/

The play-offs are very annoying, I believe that the league is more important, it shows consistency throughout the season. Great story so far though!

A New Challenge Awaits
I was on the plane to East Midlands Airport, and I was very excited. This was because I had an appointment with a certain Ray Trew. Some days before, after I resigned at Sydney so I could focus on searching the right club, this man offered me a job at his club. We talked about my philosophy: he liked it. I was happy at how the interview went, but I was sad at the same time: I had left my job after two years, and Sydney FC is a club that would always stay in my heart.

Some days later, I got offered a contract for 1.5k a week, and the budgets I had to work with were pretty small. My task was to keep the club up in the league, I felt this was a very reasonable target. The club I joined was League 1-outfit Notts County, a club that finished 14th the year before, and the media predicted us to finish 23rd this season, but I was aiming to bring in some players. At my presentation in the stadium, I saw that the stadium was pretty big, and I found out it had 20300 seats. It was a typical English stadium with 4 separated stands.

The crowd at my presentation were happy to see their club got a manager with a great reputation around the world, and they asked for my autograph and pictures with me. I was happy with the fan’s reaction at the presentation, and I hoped I could give them something in return this season. A mid-table finish would be good in my debut season.

The Squad
When I arrived on the training, the first thing that hit me was the amount of players: 13! We needed a bunch of signings, and preferably free agents.

I started a little conversation with the group of players:

ADP: “Hello lads, I’m Alessandro, and I’m the new coach here. I want to see how you perform, so I’ll make a 11v11, well, in this case a 6v6.”

Nathan Eccelston: “Hey Alex, I’ve always wanted to meet you, and now you’re our manager! It’s a pleasure to be working with such a legend!”

All the players nodded in agreement, I felt I had a very nice group of players.

Luke Rooney: “Yeah, you’re absolutely right Nathan, Alex was a great player, and I’m really happy to be working with him!”

Nathan Eccelston: “Thanks lads, I appreciate your reaction! Our goal for this season is to stay up, and I think we can, if we believe in ourselves!”

I watched the little 6v6 match from the sidelines, and some players really impressed me. One of those players was Nathan Eccelston, a young English striker.

The other player that impressed me, was creative midfielder Wayne Brown. He distributed play very well from his midfield role, and he would be a key player in our survival battle.

In general, our group had enough quality, but with 13 players you’re never going to make it. That’s why I decided to move a very promising 17-year-old to our first team, just for back-up. In terms of budget, to strengthen our squad, we didn’t have a lot: 9.5k on unused wages, and a transfer budget of 0 pounds. I immediately requested a search for a parent club, and luckily the board granted me my request. I also considered asking for a higher wage and/or transfer budget, but I needed some more time to think about that decision.

pokarioboy: Yeah, I completely agree with you on that. Play-offs are really annoying...
Good luck at your new club!

Pre-Season Preparations
Transfers In:
We had a very small squad, so I had to get at least 5 new players, and possibly even more. I looked at free agents, seeing as we didn’t have a single penny to spend in transfer fees. I also asked the board to search for a parent club, and they accepted the request.

The first player I signed, was promising 22-year-old Ollie Banks, as a starting player on our 3-men midfield. I liked his personality, and his abilities were very good for a League 1 player. I think he could’ve joined a Championship side as well. Nonetheless, I signed him on 1.1k deal, and I felt this was a real steal, as he was also a free agent.

After this, I signed a right-back, seeing as we didn’t have a single one in the squad. His name was Richard Brindley, and again, he was very young: 22 years. This player also looked like a great addition to the team for a small fee: 1.3k.

The next free agent I picked up was centre-back Jake Wright. And again, I got him on low wages: 1.5k. Wright was a bit older, to get some experience into the squad, something we lacked after I brought in those young players.

I decided to sign one more centre-back, Ellis Plummer. Plummer was a young prospect, aged 20. He wasn’t really ready to be dropped into the first team, so I decided to set his squad role to back-up.

As we only had one goalkeeper, and a pretty expensive one, I decided to sign Jesse Joronen as his replacement. He was only 22 years old, and he had already played for Fulham on 15 occasions. We managed to sign him for 2.2k per week, and I was very happy that we signed this great goalie.

We still only had one real first-team quality goalkeeper, so as back-up for Joronen, I went for 17-year-old Australian goalkeeper Tom Glover. He looked very promising, but at that moment, he wasn’t quite ready for a big first-team role.

We also needed a new right winger, as we had just one player there: Rooney. I managed to pick up experienced Febian Brandy, 26 years old, on a 2.1k per week deal. He wasn’t a very good player, but a great back-up for Rooney.

After we signed a right winger, I also decided to sign a left winger, but this time a first-team quality player. The player, Jason Banton, was 22 years old, and still had some potential. We signed him on a 1.6k deal.

When I evaluated the squad, I saw that we still only had one real right-back, so I decided to sign Irish 20-year-old right-back Niall Keown. He was very skilled already at the age of 20, and I was very impressed with his qualities. I managed to pick him up for 1.4k per week.

Transfers Out:
I sold a couple of youth players who had no future at the club, as they were just taking up some of the wage budget.

I also decided to sell our first goalkeeper, Bartosz Bialkowski, for 100k. We sold him to Chelsea, although I have no idea why they wanted a Polish 28-year-old keeper, but I was happy that we sold him. I did this because he had pretty high wages for us, and I thought we could find a better player for less.

The last player I sold was Teo, a 30-year-old right-mid who cost us 3.2k per week. I wasn’t planning on using him, so I just sold him for free. He joined Spanish team Xerez.

Transfer Round-Up:
I made a lot of transfers this window, and I really had to, as the club only had 13 players. Some players I’m very happy about, others I’m less pleased with, but that’s the risk with free agents. All in all, we’ve had a good transfer period, and it wasn’t even over at that time: a lot could still happen.

Club News
New Kits:
I joined several journalists to attend the kit presentation for this season. The kits were made by Nike, after they took over from Fila last season. The shirts looked nice, and the colour schemes were really nice. I liked the home kit the most.

Home Kit

Away Kit

Parent Club:
I linked up with Southampton, who had turned into a solid top-5 team under Ronald Koeman, but I didn’t see a lot of players that I liked, so I decided not to sign anybody yet.

We only had 3 games in this pre-season, all against English teams.

AAN:Thanks mate :D
Zed's avatar Group Zed
8 yearsEdited

The First 7 Games Of 2015/2016 Season
The first months at my new club Notts County, and I hoped to get a good start.

The Fixtures And Results:

A pretty bad start, but when the team started to get used to my tactics, we went on a little unbeaten run.

The League Table:

Portsmouth: 23rd and MK Dons: 24th
It was looking good in the league, and we were 15 positions above our predicted 23rd position finish.

League Position Development:

As I’ve said earlier, we started off pretty badly, and since then, we’ve been picking up results.

Match Reports
League 1: Yeovil Town – Notts County (1-1):
My first match at Notts, and I wanted to make a good impression. We had to play with our 3rd keeper, because Joronen was out for 2 weeks, and Glover didn’t have his work permit accepted yet. We started off with a goal in the 24th second by Eccleston, but it was offside, sadly. After that, our performance level dropped, and Proctor scored after 24 minutes. But a few minutes after, we were back, as Eccleston scored a nice header, and this time it wasn’t offside. The match ended in 1-1, and it was deserved. The pundits expected an easy win for Yeovil, but after the game, they were very impressed by our performance. All in all, a good debut as the manager of Notts County.
Nathan Eccelston

Capital One Cup: Derby County – Notts County (3-0):
Another away match, and a very hard one against Championsgip side Derby County. Just before the match, I managed to sign 18-year-old centre-back Joshua Debayo on loan from Southampton for 3 months, and I put him straight into the squad for this match. We were the underdogs here, but we put up a fight. Just before half-time, Ince scored for them. And after an hour of playing, Ward scored the 2-0, which made a comeback impossible. A couple of minutes later, Ridgewell even scored the 3-0. But looking back at the match, there were a lot of positives to take from that defeat. We actually had 1 more shot than Derby, but we weren’t that good in front of goal.
Lescinel Jean-Francois

League 1: Notts County – Rotherham (1-1):
The first match at home for me, and I was hoping for support from the crowd. I was also hoping for my first victory, after 2 decent matches, but no wins. Joronen was back for this match, but he wasn’t fully fit, so I put him on the bench instead of in the starting line-up. We started off with some chances, but after 26 minutes, Ben Pringle scored a tap-in. At half-time, we had had about 5 enormous chances, and Rotherham only had one, but they were leading. After I switched to a very offensive formation, we managed to equalise in the 91st minute, through a goal by Wayne Brown. And although we didn’t win again, our performance was good again, now we just had to take advantage from that.
Wayne Brown

League 1: Fleetwood – Notts County (1-2):
Fleetwood promoted from League 2 this season, and they were a big relegation candidate, so it would be a winnable match on paper. We also had first keeper Jesse Joronen back for this match, after a 2-week injury. Our other keeper, Tom Glover, didn’t have his work permit accepted, so his transfer was cancelled: we had to look for a new 2nd keeper. But after 2 minutes, we conceded a goal from a penalty, and yet again, we were losing. After 70 minutes, Eccleston got us back in the game with a nicely taken shot. And 76 minutes in, Musonda scored an own goal to give us the lead. When the referee blew the whistle, the staff congratulated me, and I felt happy. We played a good match, and finally, this paid off.
Nathan Eccleston

League 1: Notts County – Tranmere Rovers (1-0):
After that good win, I wanted to carry that spirit through to this match, a match against a team we should be winning against. In this match, our new 2nd goalkeeper Chris Johns made his first appearance on the team sheet. I wasn’t seated properly, when Ollie Banks already scored for us: we were leading after 14 seconds. In the rest of the first half, nothing happened. But after 60 minutes, Jennings got sent off after 2 yellow cards, and we were playing against 10 players. This made it even easier for us to keep our lead, and in the end, we won this match easily. Because of this victory, we were still unbeaten in the league, and we were in a very respectable 7th position, after a rough start.
Wayne Brown

League 1: Notts County – Charlton Athletic (1-1):
The fallen Premier League club: Charlton, who were now in League 1. It wouldn’t be an easy match, as Charlton were promotion favourites. And once again, we scored a really quick goal, this time it was Brindley who sent Rooney away with a beautiful pass, and Rooney slotted home the 1-0 in the 1st minute. Then, Charlton got a very easily given penalty, Noble didn’t do anything, but the referees in England also favoured our opponent, and Charlton equalised with a very cheap goal. In the second half, nothing happened, and the score remained 1-1. Despite the draw and the cheap goal for Charlton, I was happy: we gave Charlton a really hard match, and we should’ve got the 3 points in that match.
Luke Rooney

Johnstone’s Paint Trophy 1: Lincoln – Notts County (0-2):
Another chance in a cup tournament, this time in the JPT. We were playing recently promoted team Lincoln, they got promoted from the Skrill Premier last season. I decided to start a slightly weakened side, but I didn’t field our second team, as I knew Lincoln weren’t an easy team to play against. These worries were going through my head, until Banks scored in the 27th minute, from then on, we dominated. And when Spencer scored after 38 minutes, the victory was near. After 90 minutes, the score still was 0-2: we won the match without any problems at all.
Ollie Banks
Hey guys,

I'm starting a new story today, and I'm ending this story here, but I might post some updates at the end of a season, just so you can see where I've finished.

The reason I stopped this story, is because I felt it got a bit boring: I was 3 seasons in, but still I only got 1 job offer from Notts.

Thanks for commenting and reading everybody :)

You are reading "Alessandro Del Piero: A Journeyman In Management".

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