First of all, I’m from Belgium. There is a slight chance there will be some errors, as my native language is Dutch. Any feedback is much appreciated!
Let’s get into it. I very much enjoy reading about managing United, Arsenal, Barcelona, and so on or bringing back glory to mythical clubs. However I picked a club which hasn’t seen very much glory, nor in its past or recent history. I picked a cult club, a club whose supporters aren’t glory hunters, but give their blood (literally) to their club. Who put in thousands of man hours to rebuild the stadium. Supporters who go to their ground to sing Christmas carols together. A stadium where supporters chant: ‘Scheisse, wir steigen auf!’ (Shit, we are going up), because all they really want is to keep their identity, rather than spending the big money and become just a club like many others. Oh and they just have an absolutely fabulous club hymn.
I’m talking about Union Berlin, which is in Berlin. I’m sure you heard of it somehow, the area around it goes by the name Germany. The club’s nickname is Die Eisern referring to the iron industry back in the day. Last year they celebrated their 50th birthday, founded in 1966. The club sits in the second division and never reached the first division. As silverware goes, there isn’t much. One cup back in the days of the Cold War and several regional titles.
Over the series, I will tell you more about the club. But for now, it’s time to face the present reality (yeah yeah I know, the virtual one).
I’m going to set some objectives, so I can keep track of my progress and you can remind me how (awful) I’m doing.
- Promotion to the Bundesliga (pretty obvious)
- Become a Cup team. I don’t expect us to play European football soon, so the cup is equally important as the competition for me. I want silverware
- Win the cup
- Win the Bundesliga
- Create a successful youth academy.
- Achieve financial stability
- Domestic biased (10/18 squad: German)
- New/expand stadium
- Become bigger than Hertha Berlin
- Make a name for ourselves in Europe
First day at the job: the board expect a top half finish, but the media thinks we’re challenging for the promotion spot. Which of the two is the realistic one? Let’s take a look at our squad
Our strengths lie in the midfield. Felix Kroos (brother of) and Kreilach are going to be the cement of the team. I have a special plan for Skryzibski and Hosiner is our best striker. Club furniture Polter is the second striker but he is getting old (and grumpy). We don’t really have a left flank and our defence is quite modest. Tony Leistner will be the leader of the bunch at the back. We have one really exciting young attacking midfielder, Hartel. Three star ability, potential five stars. And German too!
One of the objectives is to get some youth into the team, maybe there already is an exciting hot prospect knocking on the door of the big men’s dressing room.
No… there isn’t.
So we need to strengthen our squad if we want to live up to the media’s expectations. Unfortunately there is only 170K available and I’m already above the wage budget. So the plan is to get rid of the deadwood. Only 55% of the transfer revenue is available so loan players it is.
About the facilities then. Our stadium (An der Alten Försterei) is in a very good condition so no need for immediate worry. It can host 21 717 supporters which is very good to start with. The cool thing is: only 3000 seated places. But so far for the good news as you can see… I did manage to convince the board to upgrade our youth recruitment. Babysteps.
Alright, let’s hit that Continue button.