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The Wonders of a Greek

Greek manager taking on hexagon challenge
Started on 18 July 2015 by macdab55
Latest Reply on 31 July 2015 by Jer
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The Wonders of a Greek
12.8.2014

Hello, and welcome to my managerial story. I am Eleftherios Smytrakis, and I’m from Greece. In my first post, I would like to write about, how and why I made it into managerial system. Let me write about me little, I was born on 10th February 1990. I was born in Athens, but spend my childhood in Achiaki, where I played in youth teams. I wasn’t particularly good footballer(I was a winger), since I could only play, for FC Achiaki first team, which with me in a squad never, made it higher than 4th Greek, tier. I played with them, until age of 18, when I decided to attend a University in Athens, to study physical education, since I just couldn’t give up sport. While at Uni. I played for local amateur teams. While after 2nd year, so in 2010, I though an Erasmus would be a good idea to try. For some reason, I picked Poland to go travel to. I landed in Gdansk in August, since I wanted to get to know city, and make some friends, and obviously try out to some football. I successfully made it into Polonia Gdansk, which played in 6th tier of Poland. I played quite a few number of games. I finished my bachelor degree, but I had offers from people at Polonia to stay, that I could play for them, and complete the Post-Graduate degree at University. I though really long about, and I decided to stay, don’t know why, maybe it was just to achieve my dream of playing football, where Polonia had been promoted to 5th tier. That season, I also helped out with youth teams, mainly as assistant, because I still didn’t have the coaching qualifications, but I really enjoyed ‘managing’ teams. That’s when, I decided to start managerial career. I stayed in Gdansk, until I finished my degree, and I had quite fun playing for Polonia, which made into 4th tier. I wasn’t particularly brilliant player, but I still had really had good games for them, and with 2 season helping out with youth teams, I decided to start my own managerial career.

My aims is to win every Champions League in the World. That means that I will have to win:
  • OFC Champions League
  • AFC Champions League
  • CONCACAF Champions League
  • CAF Champions League
  • Copa Libertadores
  • UEFA Champions League.
That is the order, which I would like to win, but when it comes down, I don’t know where it will get me. When it comes to other competitions, I don’t know, I would really love to win as many trophies, as possible, but Champions Leagues are the most important.

For now those are the leagues which I selected:


Obviously, I think the best will be get a job at New Zealand, since they are probably the best nation, and best league in Oceania. But I think it will be hard to get job in any top division teams from there.

I’ve already put, job applications for some teams:


I decided for those teams, since they managed, to win previous year leagues, which would mean, that they will play in Champions League, which I would like in my first season.
FC Gaitcha Job Interview:

Ernest Wakanumune, chairman of FC Gaitcha (New Caledonia):
EW: Hello Mr. Smytrakis. I received your job application for a manager job. At young age for manager, have you ever got any experienced?
Me: I helped out with some young teams in previous club that I have played at, in Europe.
EW: Alright, so you never had a first team manager experienced?
Me: No, I didn’t have any first team experienced, but everyone needs to start somewhere, so it could be FC Gaitcha.
EW: OK, in New Caledonia, season has already started, and well FC Gaitcha isn’t doing that well, sitting 8th position out of 12, and 17 points behind 1st with 9 games left, what position you would want to achieve in that position at the end of the season?
Me: I would love to be in 1st position, but in that situation, it could be tough to achieve that, but I would still fight for it.
EW: I like your ambition, we are semi-pro team, so we can’t offer big bucks for managers and players, and would you still want to manage, here?
Me: Well, yeah. I don’t expect for my first job ever, to earn 1 million Euros, a year.
EW: Your answers really got me thinking, that you might be a good candidate for the job, we will get in touch soon.


Solomon Warriors Job Interview:

Philip Wickham, chairman of Solomon Warriors (Solomon Islands):
PW: So, why did you choose to apply for Solomon Warriors job?
Me: Every manager has to start someone, and since I had little experience in youth teams, I think Solomon Warriors will be good start at first team management.
PW: I see, what is your ambition with Solomon Warriors?
Me: Firstly, I would like to win national competitions, and then win the most important OFC Champions League.
PW: You are really ambitious, here in Solomon Islands, we don’t have players on scale of Europe or South America, nor money, so how do you plan on doing, so?
Me: An army of sheep under leadership of lion, are mightier, than an army of lions under leadership of a sheep. So, you don’t have to have Brazilians to win a games.
PW: I like you already, just a quick last question. How long would you like to manage here?
Me: Until I win that precious Champions League.

Amicale Job Interview:

Lexa Demas, chairman of Amicale (Vanuatu):
LD: Why did you decide to send job application for this job?
Me: Because I think Amicale is a good team, and with good coaching, they will win Champions League.
LD: What make you so sure? Auckland City won it year after year, in past few years.
Me: Because Amicale has potential, which they didn’t fully achieved yet, when they achieve it, they will be better team, than Auckland City.
LD: OK, is Champions League on your mind?
Me: Obviously yeah, and I won’t rest until I win at least once.
LD: I like you, you are a manager which we would like to hire.
Me: That’s good to hear, so when a contract arrives?
LD: (laughs). We will look at other options, but you are good candidate, so we should stay in touch.
Me: Thank you.
A nice start mate! I think you'll have to be very pacient to complete your objectives...it will take you some time. Good luck!
Amicale:

Lexa Demas: We are prepared to offer you a contract.
Me: Thank you very much.
LD: But we want you to at least win Premier Division this season.
Me: Reasonable, but I will shoot for higher stars.
LD: Since, Amicale is an amateur team, we can’t offer you a pay.
Me: That’s alright, I could try to apply for PE teacher job at school, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
LD: I really, really love your ambition.
Me: There should be really great connection between us.
LD: Yeah, let’s me introduce to other members of the staff.
Me: OK, thank you very much.
LD: One of the last questions, which I forgot about interview. What style of play would you play?
Me: It’s hard to say, since it will depend on opponent, but from my information, I understand that Amicale is good team, and I will probably play attacking style, which should entertain fans.
LD: Very nice, let’s see what you can do with squad. You have my full support.

Tactics:

My main tactic will be that 4-2-3-1 wide tactic. This is newly created tactic for Amicale. Although, I don’t know how will it go, but we will find out when the season comes. I think I should create, loads of chances, and with chances there should be goals. So, I think it should be entertaining football for fans, and board should be pleased.


My second tactic is 4-2-3-1 narrow, which I will use against ‘bigger’ teams. I already used that tactic, and it worked fined, so I hope it will work again for Amicale.


In 3rd tactic, I decided to go for a tactic which will be considered to be ‘anti-football’. Why, because in some games, I will only concentrate on, not to concede.
"I could apply as a P.E. teacher." Haha, love it!
First Trophy? – Part One: Road to the Final.

Before the league has started, Vanuatu Port Villa FA Shield was played. Port Villa Shield is main cup on the island. Although I didn’t pay too much attention to this, since it is only a cup, and I prefer to do better in the league, and in Continental cups. But I thought that, it will be good time to get to know my team, and see how good my main tactic is, and if I will need to make some changes.
Port Villa Shield consists of 3 games in a group of 4, from which 2 teams advance to Semi-Finals. With 1 leg of Semi-Final, you either go out, or obviously make it into Final.
I was in a group with Tupuji Imere, Tafea, and Erakor GS. I knew about Tafea, that it might give me some trouble, but I was not afraid of them. I knew my team was enough to stop them, and win that game. But other teams, I have no idea. And since, all matches are played on neutral stadium, I think I have a good shot at qualifying into Semi-Final.
Ok, let’s write a little about the group stage games.

Tupuji Imere:
First off, Amicale faced, Tupuji Imere. And since, I don’t know much about them, I didn’t have any expectations if, I will lose heavily, or if I will win heavily, so I just wanted to see, how the games will play out and I will take it from there.
First half wasn’t too pleasing for me and my fans. I don’t mean particularly that team played poorly, since they didn’t, but they have made two really important mistakes in defense, and unluckily they have conceded two goals, and that was a score line at half-time. 2-0 to Tupuji Imere.
At half-time, I shouted at my team, to show me something else, I meant they shouldn’t lose first game under my management. It really helped a lot, because they played really good in second half. They even managed a comeback, and make it into a 2-2 game, in 87th minute, and they were still attacking for a win, but unfortunately they didn’t score, and my first game as Amicale manager, I go away with a 2-2 draw.

Tafea:
Second game, was against tough opposition Tafea. I know, them since they are one of better teams from Vanuatu. I thought that I might lose that game, which wouldn’t be too good since, I only drew in first game, and 2nd game will lose, that would mean that I only have small chance of advancing.
Amicale made a good start in first half, scoring in 8th minute already. But that didn’t last for too long, since Tafea equaled in 15th minute. Score line didn’t change until half-time, which I think would be fair, since both teams played equally good (or equally bad).
Game didn’t change too much in second half, and I had to wait until stoppage time, to score winning goal. I was really overjoyed with that goal, since it would mean that I have won my first game, as manager of Amicale and as my first team manager.

Erakor GS:
Third and last game in group stage. It was the most important one, since mathematically every one still could advance to the Semi-Finals. Amicale and Erakor GS, were on 4 points each, so we were both hot favorites to advance, and that make the game, so much better since the winner would top the group.
Game didn’t start as planned for Amicale, I mean, like in previous games, they played quite alright, but in 15th minute they managed to concede a goal, which wasn’t pleasant, but fortunately with good performance, Amicale players managed to score a equalizer in 41st minute.
In second half, game didn’t change, and we were still attacking, and with that form, we finally scored, a winner goal in 92nd minute, which was enjoying, but with such a performance, I thought that we should win higher.
Thanks to win Amicale topped a group.

Semi-Final:
Ifira BB
After really good performances in a group, I finally had high expectations for this game, since I started to see that I have pretty good squad for Vanuatu, and quite alright tactic.
First half, like in previous matches was quite good from my players, and I took a lead in 24th minute, but result didn’t change until half-time. In second half we saw more number of goals, but this time there were 2 goals, and both scored by Amicale player. And that means that Amicale have won 3-0.

And thankfully after good performances Amicale have managed to advance to Final, which will be played against Shepherds United.

Finally, I will make it coaching qualification, since Amicale board, decided to send me for a coaching course for National C License.
First Trophy 2 – Final

Shepherds United:

In my first final as a coach, I played Shepherds United, which I know aren’t that terrible team, but with really great previous games, I think this should be a win from Amicale.
First half was really great performance from Amicale, my team took a lead in 5th minute, so it was really good start and a fast goal. Second goal for Amicale came in 19th minute, so just after 14 minutes after the 1st first. And as I thought that with that result, will end first half, but another goal for Amicale was scored in 44th minute, making it a 3-0 lead at half time.
Second half was similar to first one, but to a surprise, despite my team putting on pressure on Shepherds, they managed to score a goal in 67th minute. To even bigger surprise 9 minutes later Shepherds had scored 2nd goal. After that goal, I was walking really nervously along the sideline, since who would want to lose a 3 goal lead. Fortunately for me and team, they didn’t find an answer for another goal, and game ended in 3-2 win for Amicale.


Nation Hall of Fame:


Continent Hall of Fame:


With just one win in a nation cup, I think I might have go higher up the Fame, if I will win the Champions League, and the Vanuatu Premier League.

And I have found out the group stage for Champions League:

I think this might be quite tough group, since Auckland is really great team, and they won the Champions League, a lot of times. So, they should be a really hard to beat, and with Ba, being a good team too, I think I will have a hard time qualifying to next round. But after a win in the Cup, I have high expectations, and on good side before, the group stage matches, we play the whole season in the league, so I can still make a few changes before the games in the Champions League.

Half a season report:



In Vanuatu, season is quite short, since there are only 14 games a season in the league. And since there is a break from first week of December, until nearly the end of January, I thought that it was a good time, to report on the progress of Amicale FC in the, first half of the season.
First game was at home against Tafea, I was hoping for a win, but after good match, I had to be satisfy with a point, which is still not that bad considering that Tafea is quite a good team.
Second game ended in my first league win, away against Narak Tegapu. I have to say, that this was really, really boring game. And I am feeling kind of ashamed for my players that this was, such a poor game that if fans paid for tickets, I would gave their money back.
Third was a better performance from Amicale, and they fully deserved that win. They had numerous number of chances, but I would say, that they weren’t perfect. But I will take those 3 points.
4th game was well, not too great from my team. I mean game overall was quite alright, but it could have been a better performance for Amicale. But I am still happy that they managed to score 2 goals, and win that game.
Fifth game against Ifira BB, was just abysmal. I just can’t call that game, anything else. Just imagine a game, where there were just a few shots throughout the game, and there wasn’t any single shot on goal. So, how I could call that game anything else, than just disaster.
Sixth game, was against Shepherds United, which I thought would be quite though game, since it was played away. And both teams played on similar level, both created loads of chances, which defiantly impressed and make fans happy. And it was a nervous game, since score line was 0-0 until 87th minute, which I though wouldn’t be a good result for that game, because both teams deserved a goal. But in 87th minute, my player scored for 1-0, and to my surprise two minutes later, there was another goal, and for Amicale too.
Last game in first half of the season, was another 2-0 win for Amicale. That time it was an Erakor GS, away game. This game was a good performance from Amicale. Although again, there were two late goals, but I must say, that I am quite happy with that win, since it make Amicale unbeatable, so far in the league.

Table:

So, after 5 wins and 2 draws, Amicale is topping league, but with just 1 point ahead of Tafea. I think Amicale, has a good chance of winning the league, but that would mean, that I have to win against Tafea, but that game will be played at Tafea territory.
Second Half of League:

In second half of the season, we also (obviously) played 7 games. And like in 1st part of the season, we started with Tafea.
With Tafea in second game, we again go away with a draw. And, this game was really close like the first one. Both teams crated loads of chances, and I think it was fair that this game ended in a draw, but could have gone either way.
2nd game was a good win at home over Narak Tegapu. Amicale really dominated in this game, and they really deserved this win, and no I am not overhyping, because Amicale did an amazing job in this game, and it surely pleased the fans, that Amicale is capable of playing like that.
Third game on the other hand, wasn’t so great. Although Amicale, did make some chances, which ended up scoring one goal. But I have to admit that Spirit, did they part, and they really deserved that win. So, with that lose, I will not remain unbeaten this season.
With 4th game, Amicale wanted to bounce back from first loss of the season. And they did, they did really good job in that game, and I think that Tupuji was lucky, that this game didn’t end in more goals, since they barely created any chances, and scored a goal, and Amicale had a lot, lot of chances.
Another game, and another win. And it was another game, where Amicale was dominating, but Ifira did put up a fight, but until the end of the first half. Since Ifira did actually, took lead, but with Amicale scoring in 42nd and 44th minute, something happened. In second half Ifira didn’t play as good as in first, and luckily for me Amicale managed to win that game.
With second last game, I knew we had, just had to win, since Tafea were just sitting under us with reaching hand to title. But like in previous games, it was the opposition who took the lead, so I had to say that I was disappointed, but in first half Amicale still managed to get equalizer. And thankfully of playing superb football (for that level) they managed to score another goal, and win this game.
OK, it was down to this last game of the season. I was too nervous since, I would like to finish it earlier, but I would take it as it is. I kind of knew that Erakor, weren’t that good. And well, they did not performed good in this game. Since, it was a quite larger win for Amicale. Amicale took lead in 2nd minute, which was really good to see, but just 8 minutes later, it was already a 1-1 result. But after that it was Amicale game, they just played superbly, managing to score 3 goals in space of 8 minutes, just before the first half ended. In second half, Amicale still dominated, but neither team scored, so end score was definitely pleasing, for fans and for me.

Table:

With good run, Amicale managed to put some pretty good matches, which lead them to win that important league Championship.
CHAMPIONS CHAMPIONS CHAMPIONS! Focus on the CL!
Champions League – Road to the Final.

At group stage, we played only 3 games, since each teams each other once, which is for me really good, since there aren’t as many games to play, but on the other hand, they are quite close to each other, so within a week we played 3 games.
In first game we played Lotoha’apai, they are champions of Tonga. Since, all games are played on neutral pitch. Amicale played quite well, but Tongan team did also a good job in this game, so I though this game could have ended in a draw, but both teams really poor job at front of goal. So, I just knew, that when Amicale took lead in 67th minute, that it had to be winning goal, so besides of poor finishing, I was happy with a win.
Second game, was against the hardest opponent possible, since we played Auckland. And how a poor performance from Amicale it was. I mean they played quite poorly, but then again, Auckland is really good team. So, I was really pleased to see Auckland player, getting sent off in 27th minute, and Amicale player scoring a free kick goal in next minute. And that was that for 1st half. In second half, everyone who watched the game, was even more surprised since, Amicale took 2-0 lead in 51st minute. But unfortunately we couldn’t keep clean sheet, since Auckland managed to score a goal in 76th minute.
Third game was against the champions of Fiji. And I must say that is was the worst performance. I mean they created their chances, but they just couldn’t even shoot on target, which just were really poor see. But at least Ba, weren’t better and they also didn’t have any shots on target, so I think a 0-0 result is fair. I am just ashamed that people who watched this game, had to witness this.

After winning the Group A, we advanced to the Semi-Final, in which we played Solomon champions, and a team which I applied for: Solomon Warriors. I was aware that they could play some good football.

In first half of the game, it really happened a lot. Both teams played really good, but it was the Warriors who took lead in 32nd minute, but equalizer came in 36th minute. But that is not all in 43rd minute, Amicale took lead, and to top that before the half time, there was another goal and Amicale was winning 3-1 at half time. 6 minute after the second half, Solomon Warriors, scored another goal, which I didn’t even took notice, since Amicale was leading by two goals. But to my surprise, Warriors made a comeback in 85th minute, to equalizer after being 2 goals down. And that score line didn’t change. Just before starting the extra time, I was really frustrated with Amicale, since how can you blow a 2 goal lead. 9 minutes after the game restarted, Amicale make a really good move, and managed to score fourth goal, which proved to be winning goal.

In the Final, Amicale will play Team Wellington.
Road to the Final – The Final

In the final of Oceanic Champions League, Amicale played Team Wellington. They are pretty good team, but since Amicale won against Auckland, I think they could beat anyone. But it will defiantly will be really hard.

And, like with game against Auckland, Amicale have won that game by one goal, but they were just really abysmal, with loads, loads of luck. Amicale was even more abysmal, than in Auckland game. But as always, they can do their job finishing their chances, and with a massive amount of 3 shots on goal, they managed to score 2 goals, which is cause to celebrate, but not for me. A win is not enough, because performance is also important, as not more important than a win.
First half, well I can’t right too much about this, since it was just Team Wellington attacking, while Amicale were on defense. But surprisingly in 14th minute Amicale took lead, which was really pleasing to see. Until the half time the result didn’t change, which made half time team talk, a lot easier.
In 7th minute of the second half, Team Wellington managed to equalize, and after that it went even worse, Amicale couldn’t even get into Wellington’s half, but luckily when, they lost their guard at the end of the game, Esau Luke break through, and score a winning goal in…… 90+3rd minute. Everyone at the stadium was shocked, a team which defended throughout the game, managed to score that important goal in last minute of the game.
And with that final kick of the game, Amicale managed to win that important for me Oceanic Champions League. And with that I officially ended my first chapter of my management journey.
Well done, some fantastic results! Congrats on an unexpected CL win!
First Asian job
8th November 2015
After nearly half a year, I finally have been approached by a team, which plays in one of the Asian leagues. I know it took me long time to get approached, there were teams who offered me a job interviews, but none of them approached me since then. And there were some good teams like Al Rayyan, who offered me a job interview, not once, but twice. On those both times, they hired someone else.
Job Interview with Abdularhman Al-Yazidi, a chairman of Al-Khor, team from Qatar.
AAY: Why did you application for manager position?
Me: Because it will be a step closer to achieving my dream.
AAY: And what is that dream?
Me: I want to complete a Hexagon challenge, and win Champions League on every continent.
AAY: And is there are progress?
Me: Yeah, I’ve already won Oceania Champions League, and I thought that Asian will be a good next step.
AAY: So, you think you could win it with AL-Khor
Me: I don’t know, every team has a chance at winning, but I will need time to accomplish this.
AAY: I like you ambition, and are there any other trophies?
Me: I’ve won the Vanuatu Premier League with Amicale.
AAY: OK. But I still worry about you being with one team, and you quite young age for manager.
Me: I wouldn’t worry, because age doesn’t define the greatness.
AAY: I like that, really like that. We will keep in touch.

10th November:

AAY: I really like what I heard from you. I think you are the right man I was looking for.
Me: Thank you, I think you won’t regret it.
AAY: But I have a little expectations.
Me: Alright.
AAY: I want Al-Khor to be in mid table.
Me: OK, I will to do, but I will also try hard and try to achieve the highest position.
AAY: I like you attitude. To achieve this, I offer you 1.8M for transfers. And 45K for wages.
Me: I really like those offers. First professional offer, and already big money to spend.
AAY: Yeah, but let’s money not hit you in the head. I am up to offer you a 2,000 per week.
Me: Wow, again its loads of money for me.
AAY: Haha, I hope you will still do you duties, and you will become our legendary manager.
Me: I really hopes so.
Great update! Best of luck in Qatar, you'll probs meet Xavi there!

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