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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 Two Episode Four: Trying to continue the Streak

Maracas were now unbeaten for four games, and counting. In an away fixture against Goal City, Platter was hoping to extend this unbeaten spell. Goal City had other plans though, and they took the lead after 13 minutes. The away team quickly recovered, through a goal by Belgrave and two goals scored by star striker Damian Pino. The team were now unbeaten for five games.

Next was a home game against Siparia, who were in tenth, two places behind Maracas. Platter’s team had no real trouble with Siparia, as they won 2-0 through an early penalty goal by Dave Lewis and a second-half goal by Jeremy Providence. Only six matches ago, Maracas were 14th, and fighting against relegation. But now they were in 8th, with no real fear of relegation. If they managed to keep winning some games, that is.

In the next match, Maracas faced a team that were still in a relegation battle, FC Phoenix in a confrontation away from home. Real started off the game well, and were in front after 20 minutes, through a goal by the team’s top scorer, Damian Pino. But from 55 minutes in and onwards, it was all bad luck for Maracas. Keston Prince got injured, and his team had already made three substitions, so they were forced to play with ten men. Then, Elijah Belgrave saw a red card, and Maracas were left with nine men for the last 15 minutes. Soon after, Glen Walker scored the equalizer, and Maracas only got one point from the game.

After this disappointing draw, Maracas faced La Horquetta, second-to-last in the table, at home. The hosts took the lead after only 10 minutes, and had the game under control. But after wasting several chances to extend their lead, La Horquetta scored two goals, with only four shots in total. The run with losing was over after seven matches, seven matches that had seen Maracas go from 14th to 8th.

The team were devastated at being so wasteful against La Horquetta, and wanted to win the next match, away to Las Lomas, to prevent the morale from dropping lower. And after two quick goals, the team was well on their way to win the game. Jeremy Providence had scored a brace inside seven minutes. But between the 34th and 36th minute, Las Lomas displayed that they too were able to score quick goals, with a quick-fire double. In the 55th minute, Maracas took the lead again and were dominating the match. However, Joron “Optimus” Primus scored a 91st minute equaliser, and Real were forced to wait at least one more game for another victory.

Lastly, a home match against St. Ann’s Rangers. The away team were in 5th, and in good form. Platter really needed a win now, as he noticed that the morale in the dressing room was dropping rapidly. For a very long time, it looked like this match was going to end in another draw. But in the 84th minute, Keon Edwards dented Maracas’ hopes of achieving a good finish some more, as he condemned the hosts to a defeat once more.
Still not a perfect month, but only 2 losses! Great update as per usual!
Bettered last season in the cup and a decent month. Still room for improvement though!

Season Two Episode Five: Meeting Expectations

The season was slowly coming to an end, with six more matches to be played. An away game against league leaders Club Sando, who were 14 points in the clear, was the first of the last six matches. Platter knew that this match would be a hard one, especially because the FBI were onto him so he couldn’t bribe anyone. Anyways, the match turned out to be a disaster, as the team lost 5-0. Club Sando were clearly a level above the rest of the teams in the league, and deserved promotion.

Following the heavy loss, the heaviest this season, Maracas faced Santa Rosa in a home match. It looked like Maracas were going to stop the rot, they hadn’t won in five games, as they were 2-0 ahead after 23 minutes. But like many times, the team gave away the lead. Santa Rosa scored the 2-1 in the 67th minute, and in extra time they equalised. Another disappointing result. Platter wondered how many more points they would’ve had if football matches lasted five minutes less.

In the next match, away to Palo Seco, Maracas displayed that they could also win matches with late goals. Palo Seco on the other hand showed that they were good at scoring early goals, as they were 2-0 ahead after only four minutes. In the 24th minute, Real scored the 2-1, and their comeback was on. With two goals in stoppage time, Maracas managed to win their first match after five matches without a victory, and Platter was a happy man.

Up next, a home match against Malabar. One of the last matches of the season, and Maracas could still move up a couple of positions if they managed to win the last three games. A good start was made by winning against Malabar. Both goals of the game were scored in the first half, and, of course, Damian Pino grabbed a goal. Maracas didn’t put in a very impressive performance, as they had only six shots.

The last away match of the season was one against the Roxborough Lakers, runners up in the league. Maracas didn’t have a good game and lost 3-1, through goals that didn’t come late on in the match. Good for Platter’s blood pressure levels. Real’s goal was scored by who else than Damian Pino, who doesn’t want to extend his contract at Maracas.

Lastly, a home match against Saint Francois National, numbers four of the league. Maracas suffered a loss in their last game of the season, through an early first half goal and a late second half goal. Despite the two defeats in their last two matches, Platter and his team finished in respectably, in ninth. This was exactly in line with the expectations set by the board at the start of the season. After the last match of the season, Platter had a sit down with the chairman, to talk about something very important.

SP: Hello Eugene, I’d like to speak to you about something

ES: Yes, go ahead.

SP: Listen, my contract is expiring at the end of this season, and I don’t want to extend it, I’ve decided.

ES: That’s a shame, really, and I’m quite disappointed with you. At the start of your career here you said that you were going to stay here for a long time, but now you’re leaving. Also, you’ve applied for many jobs while working here.

SP: Yes, I know that. That’s actually one of the reasons I’m leaving. Our relationship isn’t too good, and I know I can get a job at a better club somewhere else. This club doesn’t have good enough finances to really challenge for promotion. It’s not like I’m being showered with money here.

ES: I’m really disappointed, but I guess when you put it like that it makes sense. I thank you for telling this now, because we’ve got enough time to search for a new manager now. I wish you the best of luck in finding a new club.

SP: Thank you, I hope Maracas do well next season under the new manager.

So, the job hunt was on. What would be Seb Platter’s next club in his mission to win the North American Champions League?

That's a good decision, you can do better I think :)

Season Three Episode One: The Job Hunt

Normally I put a graphic of the team here, but that’d be giving it away a bit.

So, for the first time since his arrival in North America, Seb didn’t have a job. After managing in Belize, the 55th-ranked league, and in the second Trinbagonian division, the 24th-ranked league, it was time to step up again and get a job in an even better league. He had done quite well at Maracas, so getting a job in a higher ranked league wouldn’t be much trouble. The Englishman’s first applications were unsuccessful though, as he tried getting a job in Mexico’s second league. Platter realised that he’d set the bar a bit too high, as this league was ranked 5th in North America.

After the lowering the bar a bit, Platter eventually stumbled upon an interesting opportunity to manage in the Trinbagonian Premier League, which would mean Platter didn’t have to move. The team looking for a new manager were Caledonia AIA, who gave Maracas a real beating in the third round of last year’s cup – the match ended 6-2 to Caledonia. Although they offered Platter a job interview, they decided to hire another manager, and the job-searching Platter was left distraught.

The search continued, and eventually led him to Panama, a small, yet densely populated, country in Central America, quite near Belize. Platter could only think of one disadvantage of managing in Panama: the language. Unlike in Belize and Trinidad, the main language here was Spanish. The club with an open managerial post was San Francisco FC. A club located near Panama’s capital, handily named Panama City. It was the first time Platter had been to such a big city, as Belmopan, Maracas and Ludlow, especially Ludlow, weren’t big cities at all.

Upon arrival in Panama City, Platter was taken away by the skyscrapers and the masses of people. He was starting to think that this club wouldn’t fit him very well, but decided to still attend the job interview. It was a smart move to stick around, as the stadium and club office itself were located outside the city, in the town of La Chorrera. San Francisco were the first professional club Platter had an interview at, and he was very impressed at how much bigger of a club this was.

The man who picked up Platter from the airport, and drove him to La Chorrera turned out to be one of the club’s director’s Hairo Miranda. When the car neared the stadium, Platter was very impressed by the club’s stadium. Maracas and Belmopan both had really small 1000-seater stadium. San Francisco had a stadium eight times as big, so for those of you who can’t count: 8000 seats. The offices of the club were also a lot more professional. Platter was starting to get his hopes up, and hoped this job interview wouldn’t also end in a deception, like the one at Caledonia.

The main stand of the Estadio Agustín Sánchez

When Platter stepped into one of the offices of the club, a man greeted him with a friendly smile.

JG: Hello Seb, I’m Jose Gonzalez, the chairman of this club. Welcome.

SP: Hello mister Gonzalez, nice to meet you.

JG: Let’s crack on with this interview then. Listen, we haven’t had too many candidates yet, so you’ve got a real chance if you impress us here. First up, I’d like to ask you something about your ability to handle a club’s finances. We aren’t in great shape financially and we need a manager that can stay competitive, but also reduce the debt of this club. Are you capable of doing this?

SP: I think so, yes. I’m capable of getting rid of some of the dead wood in the club’s reserves, and keep the more important players. Because despite financial troubles, we have to keep the money on the pitch, and not in the bank.

JG: Good, good. I’m glad that you’re a manager who’s comfortable working with a small budget. Next question I’d like to ask is, our fans want to see attractive football, how are you going to make the team play?

SP: I’m a manager renowned for playing more attacking football, and I’d like to also play attacking and attractive football here. The aim is to score more than the opposition, and not to let the opposition not score at all.

JG: I like your style of play, we want to see many goals, as long as San Francisco scores the most goals. Another point I’d like to talk about is concerning our expectations. I expect you to challenge for the title this season, after our disappointing ninth place last season. Do you think you can put up a title challenge with the current team?

SP: I’d like to think that, with the right tactics and the right attitude, a title challenge is possible with nearly all teams. The Panamese league is one where the teams are quite similar in terms of ability, so yes, I think I can make a title challenge happen.

JG: That’s very nice to hear. Do you have anything you’d like to ask me?

SP: As a matter of fact, I do. I’d really like to obtain my National B License when hired, as it will boost my reputation and it’ll improve my understanding of the game even more. It’d mean that my training sessions would be more effective than before.

JG: Yes, I will allow you to obtain your license during the season, we will cover the costs of this course. And I think we know enough. You’re hired, congratulations!

SP: Great! I’m very happy and excited to start coaching this team!

JG: I’ll see you tomorrow, at the first day of training.

Seb walked out of the office, and took one good look at the stadium. It was a great stadium, and he felt like a real football manager for the first time. In the years before, he felt more like a Sunday league manager. The next step towards Champions League glory was set, but it was still a very long path.
Really well written, I'm sure you'll get your NACL victory very soon ;)

Seb Platter the man, the legend.
Good luck at your new club! Hopefully you can do better here than you have done in the past, it being pro is a huge advantage!

Season Three Episode Two: Transfers and Nice Graphics

Platter’s first weeks in charge of San Francisco were hectic ones. The club were in big debt, almost one million in the hole, and had to take a 900k loan to stay out of real trouble. The 23-year-old manager was feeling the pressure of performing, and at the same time, keep the finances from deteriorating even more. He decided the best way to improve the finances was to not extend the contract of some unnecessary players.

He made the hard decision to not extend the contracts of seven players, which meant that he had cut back the wage by around 1.5k per week. He didn’t sell any players, because nearly all were important first team players, or there were no clubs that wanted them. Also, no signings were made at all, so it was a very boring transfer period for San Francisco, but the club did reduce its wages, so the board were happy with the English manager. With the squad at his disposal, Platter felt that the team could challenge for the league title, provided he found the right tactics.

After judging the squad, the 23-year-old decided to go for a 4-1-4-1 formation. A formation that provided good cover at the back, but also had the power to switch to a more attacking shape in the matter of seconds. Platter wanted his team to play aggressive when they didn’t have the ball, and play calm when in possession. This would lead to his team having the ball a lot, and leaving the opposition with almost no chance to score, because they simply didn’t have the ball. He decided to go with the following line-up in his 4-1-4-1 formation:

He also wanted to create a deadly duo with two of the club’s best players, Brazilian playmaker Milan and poacher Eduardo McTaggart. Platter got the idea from watching Liverpool a couple of years back, when Suarez and Sturridge formed a great partnership together. The aim for MAM (Milan and McTaggart) was that Milan would provide the assists, and McTaggart would bang the goals in.

Now that the team was set up, and the transfers were made, it was time for one more thing before pre-season. The kits. San Francisco wanted unique kits, and kit manufacturer Lotto surely delivered. The new San Fran kits looked very nice, and were very unique as well. Platter was one of the prominent guests at the kit presentation, and was very impressed with the kits Lotto had produced for his new team.

The Pride of Panama – The New Kits by Lotto

The home kit featured a very good-looking and unique gradient pattern, that emphasized the club’s two main colors: red and black. Also, the kit featured some white details to support the white sponsor logo. Reactions by people attending the press conference were very positive, and the social media also loved the kit. Except for the obvious comments by fans of other Panamese clubs.
San Francisco’s new away kit was also a very unique one. Featuring the same the three colors as the home kit, this shirt was revolutionary, and the red pattern on the kit was unique.

Now that all the pre-season formalities were over, such as the kit presentation, the many press conferences about transfers, it was time for some football. Platter had set up a pre-season consisting of only two matches, both against fellow LPF – Liga Panameña de Futbol – teams. The second pre-season match was actually a match against Plaza Amador, the team San Francisco would open the league against a few days later. In the next update, we’ll cover these matches, and the first eight LPF matches.

How can you be sponsored by KFC when your striker's name is McTaggart?
2015-08-04 11:03#217727 Feliks : How can you be sponsored by KFC when your striker's name is McTaggart?

McTaggart sounds awfully.. not from the Americas.
Those kits look amazing!

Season Three Episode Three: The Start of a New Era. Again.

It was that time of the year again: the start of the football season. As mentioned before, the pre-season consisted of only two matches. Both against LPF teams: Alianza FC and Plaza Amador. Considering the Panamese League is a league where almost every team is equal, there wasn’t really any prediction to make. The first match, against Alianza, was one where both teams had good spells, which eventually led to a 4-3 final score. Against Plaza Amador, San Francisco weren’t as impressive, and they lost 1-0.

In the third match of the season San Fran faced Plaza Amador for the second time in a couple of days, but this time it was a competitive match and it was away from home for Platter’s team. Again, San Fran failed to win, but this time their performance was much better than the match before, and Platter was confident that if they kept playing like in the away match against Amador, the results would come.

And come, they did. The first of a good, good being an understatement, sequence of results came at home against Chepo FC. Like in the match before, San Fran controlled the match, and had a total of 23 shots. Compared to Chepo’s seven shots. After three minutes, the home team took the lead through Francisco Palacios. Following the goal by Palacios, it was McTaggart’s time to shine. He scored two goals, and was off the mark. One of his goals was assisted by Milan, so the MAM-partnership was also off the mark.

Next was an away match against Árabe Unido, who were in third, one place above San Francisco. Through a brace by Jhonny Ruiz, the away team led comfortably after 74 minutes. Árabe couldn’t mount a late comeback, but they did get one goal back, in the 89th minute. Francisco were off to a good start in the league, and they were now second in the league, level on points with numbers one and local rival CA Independiente.

The following match was a home fixture against Alianza FC, one of the two teams Platter’s side played against in their pre-season. Like the match in the pre-season, that ended in 4-3, this match also turned out to be an exciting one. Just after half-time, the score was 1-1, but in the space of ten minutes, San Francisco scored twice. Alianza couldn’t come back from this two-goal deficit, but did manage to get a late consolation goal, nothing more than that. The match ended in a 3-2 victory for the home team.

On the fifth matchday of the season, Platter and his team could go top, if they beat league leaders CA Independiente in a local derby. It was an away game on paper, but as Independiente played in the same stadium as them, it felt like a home match. So, a win was necessary here, and win is what San Francisco did. In extraordinary fashion. The away team recorded a 6-0 match, and Eduardo McTaggart scored four of the six goals, and also provided one assist. San Francisco were up to first, in style.

After this amazing win, the fourth in a row, Platter was hoping to add another win to his team’s winning streak. The English manager’s side played at home against Tauro FC, who took advantage of Independiente’s 6-0 hammering, and moved up to second in the league. The only goal in the game came in fourth minute, when Palacios scored the 1-0 for San Fran. The home side had many chances to extend their lead, but failed to. Luckily Tauro didn’t punish the team for their carelessness, and the match finished 1-0 to the hosts.

San Francisco were now two points clear of Tauro FC, and in the form they were in, they didn’t look like giving away their two-point lead any time soon. Against the recently promoted AFC Eurokickers, the fans were expecting another win. Their team delivered, and managed to win the game 1-0. The goal was scored by club top marksman Eduardo McTaggart, who had now scored eight goals in six games.

The last match in the first match update of season three, was game where San Francisco hosted mid-table team Chorrillo. This match was one of late goals, as San Fran scored one goal just before half-time, and two just before the end of the match. Final result: 3-0. Platter’s won their seventh consecutive match, and the manager was impressing the fans, the board and the media. Obviously, other clubs were also monitoring the meteoric rise of this apprentice manager, who was younger than most his players.

A really good month! The two defeats, unfortunately, do overshadow that 6-0 win - but that may be due to the colours you've used on the graphic :P

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