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Liam Knowles: Hopeful Stagnation

Started on 17 March 2017 by Jack
Latest Reply on 30 May 2017 by Justice
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26th June 2016

"Good morning, Mr. Knowles. Glad you've been able to make it today! Must have been a massive trail to come all the way down to the southern coast from Yorkshire! Get here by train?" asked Stewart Donald, the man conducting the interview.

"Haha! Yes, must say I feel jetlagged without even leaving the country! All worth it in the end though, hey?" I sent over an almost passive aggressive wink towards the chairman.

"Lets hope so, ey?" Donald said.

Stewart Donald opened the drawer behind his desk to find an envelope. It was my envelope with my letter of interest and my CV that I sent to him. Donald's letter-opening strategy must have been impeccable as my envelope was opened as if I never even sealed the thing!

"This is the letter that you sent me," confirmed Donald, looking up from the envelope followed by a gruff cough dug up from the very back of his throat. He was a definite smoker. " I couldn't help notice that you were a semi-professional footballer back in the day? Where was that at?"

"Oh, that! To be fair, it's not much to talk about - I spent a few years at FC Halifax before a leg break, used to be a right-winger." I said.

"Aye, football's a vicious game - survival of the fittest. Anyhow, you're not here to be a player. You're here to become manager of Eastleigh Football Club, aren't you?" he said, laying a very imposing question straight at me.

"That is what I am here for. I am here to take your football club to the top."
It seems Liam has a bit of confidence in himself, nothing wrong with that. Eastleigh would be silly not to appoint him ;)
Theres only way youre heading at the moment and that is up!





After weeks of debate, Eastleigh chairman Stewart Donald has chosen Liam Knowles to take hold of the reigns following Martin Allen's sacking at the end of last season.

The news comes as Eastleigh unveil their new season ticket scheme for the 2016/17 season as The Spitfires head into their third season in the National League.

Taking over from Ronnie Moore, Martin Allen served one of the worst managerial performances in Eastleigh's history, ending his 14-game nightmare with a 14.3% win percentage as Eastleigh finished off the season in 7th place.

However, in a shock to many who were expecting Richard Hill or a return for Chris Todd in the hot seat at Silverlake Stadium, it is managerial newcomer Liam Knowles who steals the manager's role at the club - despite no semi-professional or professional managerial experience.

Armed with a Degree in Sports and Exercise Medicine, a Fitness Coach role at Doncaster Rovers and a National 'C' Coaching License, 26-year-old Knowles has left fans' forums across the non-league arena somewhat baffled as to how Stewart Donald has selected the Bradfordian.

Donald has already come out in the club statement commenting that he has put his 'complete trust' in Knowles to take the club to the top, but that doesn't seem to be enough for the loyal Eastleigh fans who have become rather disgruntled at the lack of quality managers the club has had recently - particularly after Allen.

Knowles, 26, does have some fans in his camp willing to offer him a chance spearheading the football club. A section of supporters have argued that an unknown quantity like Knowles is what the club requires, leaving opposition managers with a little tactical uncertainty about how to approach a new kid on the block like Liam Knowles. Some have gone on to say that the youthful nature of the new manager could provide some attractive football down at Silverlake Stadium this season.

With Eastleigh one of the favourites to be promoted this season according to numerous bookies, this is one of the most important seasons the club has had to date, with the club's first season in the Football League swinging in the balance, provided with momentum of the sudden rise of the club through the divisions in recent years following the transition from Swaythling Athletic in 1980.

Liam Knowles will face the local and national media tomorrow where he will answer questions from several newspapers and media outlets.
Damn Liam is Mr. GQ haha. Good luck with Eastleigh
Class update mate. Glad we finally have learnt the club that Liam will be starting at. Let's see how it goes, I'm sure it'll go just great. ;)
MJK: He's quite the looker ain't he ;)

Scott: Cheers fella, appreciate it. Looking forward to the new adventure :P
7th July 2016

This was my life now. I really couldn’t complain – this had always been my dream, but there’s always that thing with these ‘dreams’, if or when they do become true you always feel ever so jittery about doing it. That was the sensation I was getting as I headed in the office room where myself, Stewart Donald and the Eastleigh Press Officer Jacob Walsh.

Donald would introduce me, I would answer the questions and Walsh would make sure everything passed off without drama. At least that was the plan.

“Mr. Donald, Mr. Knowles, we’re ready for you.” Walsh called us over before I and Stewart exchanged a glance of affirmation.

Camera flashes went off as the three of us entered the press room. I had read the fans’ forums last night as sort of revision for the upcoming questions. Not that it had done my confidence any good, 90% of it was lads I haven’t met in my life slagging me off because of my career history.

Big smile. Sit confidently. No stuttering. They were the rules that I had set myself.

“Welcome to Silverlake Stadium everybody,” started Stewart Donald after taking a sip of the bottle of water. “This is the official club press conference to introduce the new club manager – Liam Knowles – to the press.” My back shivered as he said my name following the title of ‘club manager’. This was the dream, just beginning. “Fire away, I’m sure he’s ready.” Donald said, looking over his shoulder to me with a gleaming smile.

“Mr. Knowles!” a short, black-haired man shouted above the rest. Walsh pointed at him to proceed with his question. “Thank you. Liam, you’ve taken the step into football management aged only 26. Critics have said that you will be incapable of commanding respect in a dressing room where some players are older than yourself. How do you tackle this potential issue?”

I pondered, not leaving too long to let them consider I was actually nervous about the issue. “Age isn’t important. If you win games, have good tactics and make the club a great place to be, that is enough to command respect from any person, any age.”

“Mr. Knowles!!” Shouted a fat man in the front row, “Kane Cooper, Eastleigh Football Informer here: you don’t have much of a reputation in management and many people – particularly Eastleigh fans – have expressed disappointment as well as surprise that such a little known manager has taken the job here. What do you say to those fans?”

“I can completely sympathise with them. However, I am only one day into a new job here. I have my own philosophies as well as the club’s philosophies to fulfil and the fans here need to understand that I have conveyed my confidence in my ability to the chairman of the club. I am here for a reason; I am not here to fail. I am here to succeed, to succeed I can assure you that I need more than one day to prove myself.” Bit bitchy, I know, but give me a bit of leeway at least, lads.

“Will you be concentrating on the Vanarama National League this season or will a cup run be looked at as a favourable opportunity this season?” The same man asked.

Easy enough to answer this, heard it too many times on the telly to know a good response to this. “The league is the main focus. Simple as that. You might get a bit of cash with a cup run, but ultimately if a football club wants to advance in any way – like this club does – our interests are concentrated on league performances.

The conference seemed to go on forever. I tried not to look down at my wristwatch to try and save myself from a press slaughtering but the temptation was definitely there. ’Just let me go and sort this bloody team out!’ I thought to myself.

“Yes sir, final question of the day.” Said Jacob Walsh to my pleasure. It was almost finally over!

“Richard Howarth, Non-League Paper: Do you feel that your personal ambitions for the club are met by that of the chairman?” Uft. You twat. He’s sat right next to me and to be honest I don’t want my neck wrung in the office as soon as this is finished!

I chuckled to myself, glancing over towards Stewart Donald before answering. “Yes. Absolutely, that’s partly the reason I’m sat here answering your questions today. I and the chairman meet eye-to-eye on the potential of Eastleigh and we are both willing to enact our ideas this season and beyond.”

“That will be all, thank you ladies and gentlemen,” said Jacob Walsh, tapping the pile of A4 papers on the desk to call an end to the interview.
That was a very informative press conference
Fantastic writing mate, really enjoyable read. Good luck with Eastleigh.

And my sexual preference has nothing to do with it, I automatically have a thing for Liam Knowles...
MJK: Just letting the fans get a nice slice of Knowles ;)

BPH: Cheers man :D I must say he's not quite Neil Warnock in terms of looks is he ;)
11th July 2016

I absolutely hate living in a Travelodge with a passion. From the smell, to the springy beds that you cannot get to sleep on at all. That’s not even mentioning the three interesting channels you get on the telly. I’m literally a football manager who has not got ‘home’ access to Sky Sports channels. Does that class as relative poverty?

I finished work for the day at the ground and I only went back to my room to get some stuff together. For some reason I was feeling like going to the seaside and finding a nice little cocktail bar to look out on the sea in the summer evening. Anything to get me away from the four walls of my Travelodge room.

7.44pm. I arrived in Southampton and parked my car up near the port as I went searching for a bar with an aid of Google Maps.

“Alright mate? I recognise you.” Said a tall, lean male of around twenty years old, I guessed by looking at him. He had dark coloured skin but I couldn’t decipher whether it was black or mixed. A black beanie hat covered the top of his head and he wore an Adidas puffer jacket despite the warm July evening air.

“You might do, mate.” I responded, not really sure why I said it but I was in shock at being suddenly stopped.

“Ain’t you that football guy? Seen you on Twitter and that lately, yeah?” Blimey, news got around quickly down South didn’t it!

“Yeah, I’m the new manager of Eastleigh football club.” I said bluntly, with a smile on my face anyhow.

“Aw man, that’s sick!” He said, almost excitedly bobbing up and down on the balls of his feet. “Man, I’ve got my boy over there, am I OK for a picture of us?” He seemed like a nice enough fella. Go on then.

“Sure, is he that one there?”

“Sweet, yeah.” He confirmed to me. “Oi! Jamal! Come over here man, it’s that Liam Knowles – I told you!

“Get a pic man!” He shouted to his friend, who hurried up with his phone camera to snap a picture of me and this guy, who I had learned was called Derrick.

The flash went off as Derrick and I had our arms on each other’s shoulders, posing for the picture. “That’s sweet, Liam. Thanks so much man! Good luck at Eastleigh and all that yeah!” He said, grinning widely while poking his eyes over towards his friend slightly.

“No problem. Nice to meet you, mate.” I smiled.

“My God man, I can’t believe we just done that. That guy is done for if this shit gets out!” I heard Jamal laughing to Derrick as they walked away, at a considerable pace. What did they mean?

By which point it was too late to turn back. They had turned a corner and had probably ran off. I was left wondering what the hell they were talking about.
These dudes must be on MI5's most wanted list
That's interesting.. I'm left trying to piece together something but whether I'm thick or it's just one of those things I have no idea. Can't wait to see what those kids were laughing about.
MJK: You'll just have to see where it goes ;)

Scott: That's the point of it - to leave you wondering at what's going on :P

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