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Revival of the Robins

Started on 16 January 2016 by Neistat
Latest Reply on 18 January 2016 by Neistat
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Revival of the Robins

'A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe that you are the best and then make sure that you are.'

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

My nerves were calmed somewhat by the stern and straight talking Chairman, Keith Dawe. Often criticised among press and fans alike, Mr. Dawe was key to the financial and structural make-up of Bristol City FC. He was often scapegoated despite his investment of time and money often matching that of the Directors, Steve and Jon Lansdown as well as Erine Arathoon.

"We're here this evening to announce the appointment of the young man sitting alongside me, Alex Neistat, as the new Manager of Bristol City FC." Mr. Dawe bellowed, "After lengthy discussions with several candidates, we felt Alex had the correct skill set, philosophy and attitude to lead the club out of the relegation zone and onto better things. I, among with the Directors, would like to welcome Alex to the club in what we hope will be a successful period. Despite Alex's lack of managerial experience, we were mightly impressed with his vision for the club and his knowledge of the game."

Mr. Dawe was right - for the role I was starting, I was young and inexperienced. Having just turned 26 years old, I had never experienced first-team management. Much of my time in football had Sunderland AFC at it's nucleus as a youth manager and then first-team coach. I was spoken of in high regard, but even I wasn't expecting a chance at management at such a young age.

I was being unveiled almost immediately after an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Preston North End, a team who were promoted from League One last season with Bristol City, yet were doing considerably better in the current campaign with a 13 point gap between the teams. Assistant John Pemberton and Under 21 Manager Wade Elliott had taken temporary charge. Despite the victory, my new employers remained in the bottom 3, although by a meagre 2 points.

It wasn't hard to work out why the team was struggling in the Championship. 46 goals against meant we were joint second for the most goals conceded and 23 goals for was also joint second for least goals scored. It was obvious the team was struggling at both ends of the pitch and it was now my job to get the team firing again.

Oh, and if that job wasn't hard enough, we hosted top of the table Middlesbrough in 4 days' time. I best get to work.

Disclaimer: I've started the save and subsequent story in January for added realism. I have used an in-game editor to make the table the exact same at the time of starting the save, which was Wednesday. For the purposes of the story, former Manager Steve Cotterill left the club a week earlier that in reality.
Great start!
Looking forward to this and a very unique idea to starting the season like it is in real life! Good luck :)
Thursday, 14 January 2016

The first training session of my tenure passed yesterday without major incident. The Under 21 side trained alongside the first team squad so I had the opportunity to oversee the talent pool currently at my disposal. In all honesty, the Under 21 squad was of a poor standard with no real stars. Midfielder Bobby Reid was the only one to show any signs of potential but at 22 years old, should really be in the first team by now. Elliott Ward, manager of the Under 21 squad, pointed out that Reid had started the season with the first team squad but was demoted due to issues with his attitude to training.

Training today would be left in the trusted hands of my new Assistant Manager, Brian Adair. Brian is a friend I had made several years ago while playing in the lower leagues and his knowledge of the game was superb while his enthusiasm was unrivalled. He left his role as player/coach at Northern Irish side Dollingstown to join us at Bristol City in our push for survival.

Much of my time today would be spent meeting potential signings - after my own unveiling on Tuesday evening, we had been quick to negotiate and agree fees for 3 different players. Jamie Allen was a 20 year old central midfielder currently with Rochdale in the league below us and had shown signs of huge quality at his tender age. A relatively small sum of £220,000 was to be initially paid, although the figure could rise to £525,000 dependent upon the youngsters performances.

After the first training session yesterday, it become obvious we lacked depth in between the sticks. Frank Fielding was a relatively solid option as the first choice goalkeeper but beyond him we couldn't offer much resistance to the leagues best attackers. Max O'Leary, the substitute goalkeeper, was very poor in comparison and wasn't near to being ready for this standard at the age of 19 years old. To be honest, I'm not certain he'll ever be ready for this standard. A fee had quickly been agreed with Crewe Alexandra for Ben Garratt, a 21 year old who was already regarded as a key player by Crewe boss Steve Davis. Ben's agent had been in contact and was eager to sign up so long as we could offer a competitive package for the 6'1" stopper.

The third player we had been in contact with was very much a wildcard choice. 19 year old Dominic McHale was certainly a throw of the dice and at the very worst would offer us something a little bit different to what we already have in the armoury. Formerly of Manchester City's academy, Dominic currently plays 5 divisions lower than us in the English Northern Premier League Premier Division with Ramsbottom United. After leaving Manchester, he spent a short time with Barnsley before finding himself back out of football and has since kept fit with Ramsbottom. Chairman Keith Dawe had paid for Dominic's personal transport from Ramsbottom down to our training ground so we could discuss terms.

There was a sudden, loud buzzing as I reached for my mobile phone which was still a disruption despite it's silent setting.

"Mr Neistat? Mr McHale has arrived."

Side note: This update (or one very similar) should have been posted yesterday evening. My time to update will sometimes be limited and yesterday was one of those occasions. I had written out the full update and made a very amateur mistake - after completing the update, I hit the update button and found the session had timed out. Therefore, the whole update was lost and I've had to re-write the same information this evening. It was obviously my own fault, I've learned the hard way and can only apologise for the delay!
2016-01-16 17:08#224880 TNFM : Great start!

2016-01-16 19:38#224888 MaxLuxon : Looking forward to this and a very unique idea to starting the season like it is in real life! Good luck :)

Thank you! Hopefully I can keep you interested :)

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