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The Pentagon Challenge: One Man - One Aim

The Pentagon Challenge: One Man - One Aim
Started on 22 July 2015 by Zed
Latest Reply on 24 August 2015 by TayBAFC
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Season One Episode Three: End of October

October had come to an end, and the first third of the season was finished. Time for a match update. The first matches Platter managed his team in were friendlies, both against much stronger teams from bigger competitions. As he expected, the team lost both. In the first, against Quirigua, the were outclassed. But especially in the second friendly, against Villanueva, a professional team from Honduras, was one where his team created a decent amount of chances. It was encouraging to see, as the difference in quality on paper was much bigger than that on the pitch.

The first competitive match the Bandits played under the reign of Seb Platter, was a very big match. It was Platter’s first match in the CONCACAF Champions League, a competition he’s hoping to win in a couple of years. Now though, this seems far away, as the teams in his side’s group were all much, much better than Belmopan. The first match, against El Salvadorian champions Isidro Metapán ended in a 4-0 loss. To give you an idea of how big the gap in quality is between the two: the El Salvadorian Premier League is 12th in terms of reputation. The Belizean league is 54th.

Next up was an even harder task: a home game against last year’s Champions League winners, Cruz Azul. Not only are they the reigning champions of North America, they’re also the reigning champions of Mexico, the highest ranked league in North America. As Platter expected, the match was different than other matches: the stadium was sold out, and there was much more media attention for him. Before the match, he was already talking about “trying to concede as little goals as possible.”

But at the break, the score was still 0-0. Although Cruz Azul had about 20 shots, they weren’t dangerous shots and when they did hit the target, 28-year-old keeper Woodrow West was there to prevent any goals. Platter was starting to believe in a huge stunt, and, when the score was still 0-0 in the 80th minute, he decided to switch to an even more defensive playing style. The last 10 minutes went by without any serious chances, and the stadium exploded. In only his second game as a manager, Platter had already become a hero for the people in Belize. He and his tiny football club held out for a draw against North America’s best team.

After these two competitive matches was a big hiatus to the next ones, so Belmopan arranged two friendlies, to keep the fitness levels high. The Bandits played against two lower league sides from Belize, but in the first friendly, against Griga United, the Belizean champions lost. Although they had about as many chances as Griga, they wasted many of them. Platter was angry. The next match was against San Felipe, and the manager desperately wanted to win a match after his first five ending in a defeat or in a draw. But again, the team lost, after a 91st minute equalizer.

The next match was another match in the Champions League, this time it was a home match against Isidro Metapán. The stadium was packed once again, after the sensational draw in the last match. Platter was pumped for this match, and was starting to believe another miracle was possible. At half-time, Belmopan had taken the lead three times, but Isidro had come back from behind three times as well. But despite warning his team many times, the match ended in a 3-6 defeat. Seven matches, zero victories for Platter. But almost all the teams they played, were much better.

The eighth match in the Englishman’s career marked the start of the Belizean Premier League. This was the perfect start to clinch his first victory. Belmopan started with a relatively easy home match against San Ignacio United, one of the weakest teams in the competition. Platter emphasized to his player that they have to win the championship, and that a winning start would be vital to achieving this. But, like it has been many times this season, Belmopan were sloppy in front of goal, and despite having 18 shots, they scored only two times. Their opposition had 8 shots but scored twice as well. Yet another disappointing result for Platter and his team.

Following this disappointing result, once again, the Bandits faced Cruz Azul again, this time in Mexico. The team couldn’t qualify anymore, but Platter still wanted his boys to show some character, and maybe even cause another upset. But as he expected, the team failed to cause an upset. The match ended in a 3-0 defeat, which wasn’t too horrible all things considered.

The match in the CONCACAF Champions League was the last one for this season, and now Platter had all the time to focus on winning the championship. The tenth match in his Belmopan career was an away game against Defence Force. Every Bandits fan was hoping for their favourite club’s first ever victory under their first ever non-Belizean manager. After a nine-game losing streaks, Seb Platter finally won his first game in management, and naturally, we has ecstatic. Now it was his duty to keep the team winning, and finish first in Belize.
An amazing update, shame about the results though! Hopefully you can bounce back. :D
Well, at least things can only get better from here!
Ah, a beautiful Zed story. Your graphics are beautiful as usual, and the writing standard is amazing. Not the greatest start, but the only way is up! ;)

Season One Episode Four: A Recap of September to December

The first half a season in charge of the Belmopan Bandits was over. Let’s take a look at the results in the matches in November and December, with a total of eight games to cover in this update. The first match was one against big title contenders Suga Boys Juventus, yes that’s actually how you spell their name, so this was a must-win for Platter and his men. The match looked to finish 1-1, but in the 88th minute, Juventus got a penalty. They scored, and yet another deception for Platter and his men: 1-2.

For the fourth match in the Belizean Premier League, Platter decided it was time for change. He changed his 4-1-2-1-2 narrow to a more attacking 4-3-3 narrow. Which meant the defensive mid had become a bit more attacking, and the attacking mid had become one of the team’s three strikers. The first time this new tactic was in use, was in an away game against FC Belize. The first signs were encouraging, despite drawing 2-2, the team looked better than before. Platter decided to stick with this tactic, and try to develop upon it.

Next up was another home game, against the Hankook Verdes. They were in 5th, two positions above Belmopan. For this match, Platter had only one(!) substitute. The other three were all injured. This once again indicated that the team needed some more players, the manager was considering bringing some players in on amateur contracts. Despite only having one sub, the team was better than ever before, and won convincingly by three goals to nil. The team didn’t create many chances, but most of them were big chances, and the players finished them off clinically.

The morale in the team was starting to improve, and Platter was sensing that they could now finally put together a string of good results. To start a winning streak, Belmopan would have to win the away game against Police United, one of the league’s worst teams. By half-time, the score was 3-0 to the Bandits, and everything was looking good. Centre-back David Trapp scored a brace, with two tap-ins from corners. In the second half, the team performed less overwhelming, and conceded one goal. But Denmark Casey scored one more for Belmopan, scoring a brace and also restoring the team’s three-goal lead. Final score: 1-4.

The Revolutionary Conquerors, league leaders, were the next team to face the in-form Belmopan Bandits, now in 4th, after two wins on the spin. The match started off in the worst way possible: the home team conceded a quick goal, and in the 16th minute, Anwar Sayeed-Hengar was sent off. In the second half, Belmopan showed signs of recovery, but it wasn’t enough to equalise. The match finished 0-1, and Platter’s side were 7 points behind the league leaders.

Last up in the regular season, the players would resume the season on the first of February, was a match against numbers eight Placencia Assassins. The match proved to be an easy task for the Bandits, as they won 2-0. With three wins from their last four games, the team had qualified for the play-offs of the opening stage of the Premier League. Play-offs? You might ask. Basically, in this league, there are two stages: an opening and closing stage. Each are half a year long. The best four teams from each stage then play two matches against each other to decide who is the best team from the stage.

The first two matches of the play-offs were played in 2014, so these two are the covered in this update. The last four will be covered in the first 2015 update. First match in the play-offs, was an away game against the Revolutionary Conquerors. These play-offs would be first chance for Platter to win some silverware, and get himself noticed in the North-American football scene. But just like the match against the Conquerors in the regular competition, the Bandits lost this match, with 1-0.

After the bad start to the play-offs, Belmopan played a home match against Suga Boys Juventus, the last match of 2014. Platter’s first year in charge was coming to an end, and it was a reasonable success. His team finished 3rd in the opening stage of the competition. To finish the year off well, Platter hoped to get a win against one of their biggest rivals. But again, the team failed to win, against, on paper, a weaker team. Now, they were 5 points off the first place in the play-offs, with four games left to play.
These team names are ridiculous xD
Some crazy team names there :)) But well done on improving your results mate, it'll all come good :)
Have to agree with Jack, the names are mental and you're rapidly improving :)

Season One Episode Five: The First Interview

SP: Seb Platter
MY: Michael Young

MY: Hello viewers, and welcome to Football Weekly. The show where we talk about football, but also try to delve a bit deeper. This week we’ve invited Seb Platter. He’s the manager of the Belmopan Bandits in Belize. You’ve probably never heard of that club, don’t worry neither had he before joining. So, Seb, how on earth did you decide to manage this club?

SP: Well, it’s a rather funny story actually. I’m a big Shrewsbury fan, and we got hammered that match. I’d had a couple of beers, as you do, and when we conceded another goal, I said “You know what, I’m much better than this manager. I bet you I could win the Champions League in all five continents!” Three days later I was on a plane to search for a job in North America, and Belmopan were the only club that wanted to hire me. Probably because I had never ever played nor managed at a football club. It came as a bit of a surprise that I actually got a job, to be frank.

MY: That is indeed quite a remarkable story. So tell me, how is it managing over there? The quality of the league isn’t very good I’m assuming?

SP: Well, the league itself is really bad. That got underlined when we played against a Mexican team, Cruz Azul, in the CONCACAF Champions League. They were ten times better than us. The gap is very big between the two leagues. For example, our highest earning player earns ninety pounds a week! Luckily we’re a semi-professional team and everybody has a job besides football.

MY: I see. You said something about winning the Champions League in all five continents? Is that really your goal?

SP: Yes, that’s my ultimate goal. I know it sounds very unrealistic, and it is, but I want to try achieving this. I’m just a normal guy that has never played football, so I think it’d be even more special if someone like me achieved this. But I don’t think it’ll even happen. I’d be really happy when winning one Champions League title, let alone five!

MY: We’ve heard that your club has recently switched chairmen, and that now the club is being led by local businessman Eugene Sosa. How’s it to work with him?

SP: Wow, you guys have really done your research, haven’t you? Eugene is a really nice guy, and upon becoming the chairman, he immediately invested some money in the club, that signalled that he has a lot of confidence in this club. Also, he set up a link with New York City FC. This means that we can loan players from them, and they have the first option for our players. I already wanted an affiliate with our old chairman, but he didn’t find any. The new chairman found one in a matter of days. So yeah, the new chairman is a really good guy to work with. Nice guy.

MY: Your start with the Belmopan Bandits was rocky, to say the least. After nine games in total you had won zero. But after that the results started picking up. Can you explain that?

SP: Well, obviously it took a bit of time to get into the swing of things, as I had had zero preparation for becoming a manager, but the assistant manager helped me. Quickly, I started learning how to manage a football team, and I came up with a formation that suited our players. In the first games the players didn’t really know how I wanted them to play, but after a little while they started to get to grips with my playing style. That explains why we started the competition in the bottom half, and finished third.

MY: In the second half of the season you probably want to finish first in the regular competition, as is expected from Belmopan. How will you try to achieve that?

SP: Yes, that’s right. I want to finish first with this team. We’re signing some new players, because in the first half of the season we had only 14 players. Also, we’ve changed our formation to a 4-3-3 narrow. Something very un-English, I know, but it’s working wonders right now. We’re signing three experienced players, William Hoare, a left-back, David McCauley, a striker and Eduardo Pérez, a centre-back from Kulture Yabra. We’re also signing a right-back, Jorge Celíz, from Jacitoville United, as our right-back in the first half of the season was a youth player. Finally, we’ve also signed Kishane Pech from Police United. A talented striker, only 22 years old. With these players I hope we can finish first in the second half of the season.

MY: This has been a very interesting interview about a league most people will have never heard of. I have one more question. Right now you’re managing a club that’s very unlikely to win the CONCACAF Champions League. Will you try and win the cup with Belmopan, or have you got another way of winning this cup?

SP: No, I don’t think I’ll be able to win it with this club, we’d need a lot of improving before we can even think about getting past the group stages. My ideal situation is to build up a reputation here and then lead a Mexican team to glory. In the last five years, the winners of the Champions League have all been from Mexico, so I think I’d have the most chance with a team from Mexico.

MY: Thank you very much for this interview, and I hope you can fulfil this, slightly impossible, task. Have a safe journey back, and all the best, Seb.

SP: I hope to see you again for another interview after I win all five competitions!
Hope you can find a gig in Mexico!
Good Luck :D

Season One Episode Six: The Climax of the Opening Stage

So, I accidentally deleted this update. Derp. Didn’t want to write it again, as it was over 1000 words… Above is an overview of the matches, though. Oh, we won the opening stage by the way, amazing final day where I had live coverage and all. Stupid me. Here’s a cookie for my derpiness.

PS: Bold text is for the ones who wanted to comment “too long, didn’t read”.

in 3rd early on pretty good, only one loss so can't criticize too much! hopefully your luck continues ;)

p.s. omg i want to bite that cookie :S deliciousss
Looking at pulling things round, anything you would have done any differently at the start of the season?

Enjoying the layout of the updates.

Season One Episode Seven: The Closing Stages, League Stage

After the dramatic ending of the play-offs in the opening stage, it was now time to start the closing stage of the league. Platter was feeling that his team was really starting to understand his tactics very well, and he felt that the team had a very good chance of also winning the closing stage. This time with less drama. The first match was an away game against overperformers San Ignacio. The team was expected to finish dead last, but they finished the opening stage neatly in 6th. The home team did well, and twenty minutes before the end, the score was 2-2 and Belmopan had only six players left. Kishane Pech scored a late winner, and Platter was very pleased with his fourth win on the spin.

Next up was a home game against Defence Force . Platter was expecting an easy game against the team, coming in 7th in the opening stage. After ten minutes, Anwar Sayeed-Hengar gave the home team the lead, and after five more goals, four for Belmopan and one for Defence Force, the referee blew the whistle for full-time. 5-1. The biggest win under Platter’s reign. The first two games in the closing stage were won, and the Bandits were in first. In the overall table, of all the matches in both the opening and closing stage, the team were still 3rd.

Third up was the first real test for Platter and his men, an away game against overall numbers one Suga Boys Juventus. The away team started off really well, and were in front after only three minutes through a William Hoare goal. After this, both teams didn’t really impress, until the 72nd minute: Dean Flowers scored the equaliser for Juventus, and this was how the match eventually ended. It wasn’t too bad of a result, Platter thought, as his team were still within reaching distance of Juventus, and in the league, they were level on points with FC Belize.

Following the difficult away match against Juventus, was a home match against league leaders FC Belize. A win was necessary here if Platter wanted to keep challenging for the first place in the closing stage, and overall as well. The match, on paper, looked like a great match, but in reality it was a rather bland match, and it ended in a 1-1 draw. Belmopan were starting to fall behind.

The Hankook Verdes were Belmopan’s next opponent. The manager was expecting another victory, after all, his team were unbeaten for seven games now, and the Verdes were second-to-last. The Bandits failed to win though, losing 2-1. The unbeaten streak had come to an end, after seven games. Belmopan were now 4th overall, and 5th in the closing stage. The team had to really regain their form again, because finishing 5th would mean they didn’t qualify for the play-offs.

In the sixth match, Belmopan played a team that Sepp Blatter doesn’t like, Police United. Seb Platter didn’t know what to think of this team. They were in sixth, one place behind Belmopan. In reality, it was a walkover. After 35 minutes, Pech had already bagged three goals, and assisted another. The man of the moment was involved in all four goals in the first half. In the second half, the rout continued. Final score: 7-1. Pech scored one more goal, and now had 13 goals in 9 games. Belmopan were in a play-off spot again, and only two points off league leaders Juventus, with two games left.

The second-to-last match in the regular competition of the 2014/2015-season was an away game against the Revolutionary Conquerors. The team the Bandits so famously overtook on the last matchday of the opening stage. The Conquerors were 5th, so they were on the verge of not qualifying for the finals. If Belmopan beat them today, they’d be out of the race. Inside a minute, the phenomenal Pech scored the opening goal: 1-0 to the away team. Just before half-time, the Conquerors equalized, and shortly after Edmund Pandy got his second yellow card. In the second half, West scored the 2-1 for the Bandits, and Platter’s team went top due to other results going their way.

Last match of the regular season. A home match against a team that had only collected four points from fifteen games, the Placencia Assassins. If the team won this match, they would secure the 1st place in the closing stage, and they would, if Juventus lost, secure the 1st place in the overall standings as well. Although Platter and his men won the match with 2-0, Juventus also won, by a two-goal margin. After the final kick of the ball, Platter was a pleased man. His team were much more stable than in the opening stage, and finished first in the closing stage. Now there were six more games to play. Six important matches. If Platter managed to win the closing stage as well, his name would really be out there.

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