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Canterbury Tales

Started on 19 November 2015 by Greyfriars Bobby
Latest Reply on 24 November 2015 by Murtagh
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Hi, everybody.

I made a brief and undistinguished appearance on the FM Stories board last spring, so I thought I would introduce myself again.

I'm a new arrival to the Football Manager world. I discovered the game two years ago, and it's become my favorite game, by far. In fact, it's almost the only one I play anymore. I played a lot of Out of the Park Baseball at one time, and began writing for the OOTP forum back in 2003.

Last week, I did something I've never done: buy FM the day the full game was released. Exploring its new features has been a lot of fun, and now I'm ready to begin a career. I remember liking the vibe on this forum, so I've decided to come back and write about my adventures here.

I downloaded a database that extends the English pyramid to Level 9. That's where this tale will take place, as the manager of Canterbury City F.C.

I'll return soon with the "real" beginning of the story. I hope it will be one you'll enjoy following, and please feel free to comment if the mood strikes you.
I know you can write. Have fun with your work and wow this board like you did mine with the story of Tim Francis.
2015-11-19 17:15#221939 tenthreeleader : I know you can write. Have fun with your work and wow this board like you did mine with the story of Tim Francis.

Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot, especially coming from a writer as talented as you are.

I'm going back to the Tim Francis story one day. Lately, I haven't felt quite as creative as I was during the summer, so I put it on hold for a while. This story will be more along the lines of a season report; I don't think I'll do much character development, at least not at first.

I always feel more connected to a career (in any game) if I write about it, so I hope the experience will be a lot of fun...for me, and for any of you who choose to follow along.

Canterbury City Football Club lack the long history that many English clubs can claim. The current organization was created in 2006, rising from the ashes of a similarly-named club that folded five years before.

The club plays in the Southern Counties East League, a Level Nine loop consisting of 19 clubs from Kent and southeast London. They are a semi-professional outfit, but only barely; the entire wage budget comes to £200/week. Canterbury City share the Winch's Field grounds with Herne Bay, a larger club from the Isthmian League.

I've created a manager character, Chris Keohane, a 31-year-old former semi-pro player with a National A badge, and he's taken the reins at Canterbury City. We'll see what the future holds for him and his club.
Good luck man.
Looks like a very nice challenge.
2015-11-20 13:02#221950 Murtagh : Good luck man.
Looks like a very nice challenge.

Thanks, Murtagh. I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully it will turn into a long-term save.

Chris Keohane’s first order of business upon arriving at Winch’s Field was filling out his back room staff. At least for now, he would be retaining Liam Martin, the assistant manager from the old regime. He was also fine with Paul Davidson, the Head of Youth Development. Chris promptly posted an advert for a Head Physio and a Chief Scout.

Within a fortnight, both posts were filled. The new physio, Carl Malone, was as good as any in the Southern Counties East League. The same could be said for the club’s new one-man scouting team, Ollie Munson.

Now it was time for Chris and his staff to peruse the squad list. He liked one of his defenders, a center half called Giorgos Nikolaou. Wide man Edward O’Brien was talented enough to make Chris consider forsaking his favorite 4-4-2 in favor of a formation that would take advantage of O’Brien’s talents as an advanced midfielder. Teenager Dannie Crabb looked like a promising playmaker, and Darren Jackson had promise as a striker. Nat Spice might work out fine between the posts. Everywhere else, Keohane saw a need for an upgrade.

“Our wage budget won’t allow us to sign a lot of the players we might want to bring in,” Chris said within the sanctity of his small, Spartan office. “A lad who wants 40 quid a week to turn out for us is probably outside our price range.”

The manager had seen several players who fit that description at the England Trial Day. Center back Miguel Pascal-Johnson had impressed him that day, and so did right back Jackson Ramm. Neither would consider signing for Canterbury, not for what the club could offer them.

Ollie Munson did know of one player, a versatile midfielder called Charlie Cooke, who might be a good fit for the club. Keohane offered him a trial, and waited to see what would happen next.

“If we have to go into the league programme with the team we have right now, then we’ll make the best of it," Chris admitted. The board wants a mid-table finish. I’d feel better about our chances of doing that if we can strengthen our side in a few places.”

6 August 2015

A little over a month passed between Chris Keohane’s arrival at Canterbury City and the team’s first league match, away to Croydon. It was a busy period for staff and players alike. Chris and his staff had evaluated a dozen or so players, and by the end of July, they had signed three of them.

Keohane had set out to strengthen the spine of his team, and he believed he had managed to do so. All three new men played in the middle of the park. An attempt to sign a quick young winger fell through, but the young manager remained hopeful. “We might be able to bring someone in on loan,” he mused. “Our wage budget is almost all spent.”

This was, then, the team he’d lead out of the tunnel at the Croydon Sports Arena in South Norwood.
Spice was a “piece of work,” as assistant Liam Martin put it. He had good hands and the reflexes of a cat. He also gave off a casual, laid-back vibe that made people wonder if he cared what kind of footballer he became. Roberts was younger, less athletic, more stable, and more professional, even at age 16. Another young ‘keeper, Ross Kerr, might also challenge for the number one shirt. City weren’t quite set in goal, and Keohane was aware of that fact.
Keohane had managed to sign Cooke, and he and Nikolaou formed a good pairing in the center of the defense. Nikolaou was adept at the technical aspects of defending. Cooke, whom Keohane had first envisioned as a midfielder, turned out to be well-suited to fill a gap at center half. The third center back, Fogden, was a tower of strength, but he was as slow as Christmas and clueless with the ball at his feet. Sharp would also have a chance to prove his class, but he didn’t offer much of an improvement other than youth.

The rest of the staff didn’t rate left back Malone highly. His marking and positioning weren’t up to par and, at age 27, he wasn’t going to get any better. He was a mentally tough player, however, and he was comfortable going forward, something Keohane wanted at least one of his fullbacks to do from time to time. Bennett, young and talented but green, would back him up. Hawes would feature at right back.
The central midfield had been fortified with two new men. One of the new arrivals, Magwood was the more defensively-minded of the pair, a well-rounded midfielder with everything but pace. Crabb was a very different player. He was creative, and he saw the field very well for a teenager. King, the other newcomer, was perhaps the team’s best player now. Keohane would ideally play him behind the striker, where his passing and vision could be put to best use. O’Leary provided good cover for the midfield playmakers, and Abdullahi's best attribute was his ability to play several positions.
O’Brien gave City a dynamic offensive threat on the right wing. Like Spice, however, Edward lacked the professionalism that might have made him a League footballer, given his physical prowess. Diminutive Weatherstone would probably play a lot, too; he was steadier and more reliable than O’Brien, and he was the club’s captain. Keohane hated to have his skipper on the bench, but the talent of the mercurial O'Brien made it hard to justify leaving him out of the first eleven.

Guy, a promising lad of 16, was a decent option on the left side. He was a better footballer than an athlete, without the pace and acceleration most young wide men had. Howes and Boyle would challenge for playing time on the left, too. There was little to distinguish the three players, all decent, none superlative.
Jackson would begin the campaign on the injury list with a damaged shoulder, which could keep him out of action for another two weeks or so. When healthy, he was a dangerous presence in front of goal. While Jackson healed, Vahid, a tough, old-fashioned English center forward, would lead the line. Hawtin was strictly a squad player.

"There's not a lot of pace in the team," Chris concluded. "There's not a tremendous amount of pace in our league, however, so we might be OK."
A brilliant report there, keep it up, mate :P
2015-11-24 04:29#222082 Jack : A brilliant report there, keep it up, mate :P

Thanks, mate. :) I'm trying to decide how often I'd like to post updates. I've thought about writing up each match, reporting each fortnight, and reporting each month. I want to find the right balance between playing and writing, which seems to vary from career to career.

If any of you have a preference, please let me know.

At any rate, I'll be back soon with an update that will cover the month of August. After that, I may decide to try something different.
Nice update :)

I think you should do it as you wish. That's the best way to do it, I guess, as you'd be more "into it".

You are reading "Canterbury Tales".

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