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A Tale of Woe (Well hopefully not!)

The story of a Nomadic English Manager looking to make his name in the footballing world.
Started on 5 November 2018 by jmc-1989
Latest Reply on 4 December 2018 by mgriffin2012
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jmc-1989's avatar Group jmc-1989
2 yearsEdited
A Brief Welcome

Hi all, this is my first time ever attempting a story series for FM so please do be patient. If you have any tips that can make my posts more entertaining (or even of how to do this kind of play through), please do let me know! I am unsure, as yet, how often I will be posting but fingers crossed you find it interesting when I do.

I will apologise in advance that this first post is maybe not going to be overly exciting, however, I do believe it is important to lay the groundwork for the rest of the series.

The Set-up

I have decided to start the save unemployed so that I have a limited bias towards where I may begin my career. Whilst this is not necessarily ‘realistic’ (i.e. an English manager in some random foreign league) I will be living as a Nomad in a world which is becoming ever-more Global and less Nationalistic.

I decided that I wanted at least 1 Nation from each Continent loaded, in addition to England. To do this I assigned numbers to each Nation within a continent and randomly drew a number from each. This provided me with my top 6 Nations. To fill the game out a little more, I randomly selected 3 more and personally chose a 10th, and final, Nation which I felt would work well with the others.

This resulted in the following nations

  • England (Automatic)
  • South Africa (Automatic)
  • South Korea
  • Germany
  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil (Random 2nd draw)
  • Italy (Random 2nd draw)
  • Spain (Random 2nd draw)
  • France (Final, personal choice)
All of the above Nations have been set to the lowest playable league with a large database.

The rules:

As this is my first time doing this kind of challenge, I am not going to be too tough on myself. The rules I will be sticking to are:

  • No finding players or staff outside of game (i.e. Genie Scout). Can only use players found on player search page (i.e. we have knowledge of them existing but will need to scout them for more info)
  • Backroom Staff signed through job adverts
  • Own Tactics ONLY
  • No Rage quits
  • Do not add Key Staff
  • Disable 1st Transfers
  • Prevent use of In-game editor
  • Manager to begin with Continental C license & Sunday league player. Balanced attributes with 2 ‘special’ attributes (my choice, Tactical and Adaptability)
  • Holiday until 30th April 2019 (just before end of English season - I will try to show how som of the key leagues finished - if you want to see a specific one, just let me know!)

Meeting the Manager:

Born in Birmingham in 1989, this 28 year old supports his local team, Birmingham City. He has little football experience, but his love of the game is clear for all to see. He is currently travelling the world, trying to find somewhere to start his footballing journey.
Welcome to story writing! Read this guide for additional help:

Hope this helps and I'm looking forward to following your progress!
A Year on the road

What better way to learn the game than to travel the world, watching games from different nations, teams with different playstyles and managers with different attitudes?

I started back home in England, watching the opening game of my beloved Birmingham City. Anybody that knows about Birmingham City Football Club knows that you should NEVER hope and should ALWAYS expect the worst. To my surprise however, all turned good as Birmingham dispatched Norwich with a 2-1 victory at home! Jutkiewicz slotting home a shot from the edge of the area after just 25 minutes and Harlee Dean rising above the defence to score a headed goal following a 59th minute corner to give the Blues a fantastic 3 point start to their campaign. I stayed in Birmingham for a while, witnessing Blues winning 7 of their opening 10 Championship games – a fantastic achievement! It is a shame, however, that Accrington Stanley booted us out of the Carabao Cup in just the 2nd round!

In Mid-September I found myself at the Groupama Stadium, watching Lyon take on Marseille. Lyon have an incredibly young team in comparison to many of their rivals but still have players that nearly all football fans would have heard of (Fekir, Mendy, Depay). Given Marseille’s form in the league (2nd) I anticipated an easy victory for them over 6th place Lyon; this was certainly not the case. Lyon romped home with a 3-0 victory, with all goals coming in the first 40 minutes of the game. Sadly, the second half did not live up to the excitement of the first; an experience not to be missed, regardless.

In November I witnessed a tale of two cities in South Korea as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC hammered Incheon United FC 4-2. The quality of play was not something to be admired. But the scrappy heart of the players, and the pride the had for their team made this an almost magical game. All too often this ‘heart’ is lost by those players earning incredibly high salaries so this was a joy to behold.
In December I was treated to a bore-draw as I watched Gremio crowned champions of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. The technique of the players was second to none, despite the game have very few clear-cut chances. Everton Sousa Soares was especially impressive.

Now…. well now I am back in England, waiting to watch Birmingham once more. There is one game remaining of the season and they are outside of the play-ffs by goal difference alone. I am naively hopeful for their chances – as you know though…you should always Expect the worst the Blues.

Thank you for reading the first post - not the most exciting but hopefully they will start to get there soon - I don't even have a club yet haha!
A very intriguing start to the story, certainly different in content and style to how others write! That's what I love about writing though; no two writers are the same. Good luck with your first story here, enjoy the save and the writing will follow! :)
A different approach, which I greatly admire. Looking forward to seeing the next update here and if we see any progression towards an appointment!
2018-11-06 23:55#252049 Justice : A very intriguing start to the story, certainly different in content and style to how others write! That's what I love about writing though; no two writers are the same. Good luck with your first story here, enjoy the save and the writing will follow! :)

Haha! Thank you for your feedback! I am quite an analytical person so I probably will spend more time focussing on my method than others might; perhaps I can learn from them how to add some excitement too!

2018-11-07 20:40#252092 ScottT : A different approach, which I greatly admire. Looking forward to seeing the next update here and if we see any progression towards an appointment!

Thank you for your feedback! I am certainly working on an appointment, in fact there are two posts coming momentarily which will get the ball rolling here!

I can’t quite believe it! The results went Birmingham’s way!!! The Blues have made it into the Playoffs!! Straight from the game I was buying my Playoff tickets. I am excited by the prospect of Birmingham making it back into the Premier League, however there are some tough teams to get through before we reach that goal.

In the meantime, I really do need to start working on finding a job, I have maybe 3 months worth of savings remaining, if I don’t find something soon I will have to head down the job centre! If I have to take a job in a factory or office, I am worried I will be kissing my dreams of football domination goodbye!

Whilst looking through the managerial posts online a few jobs did draw me in somewhat!

Giana Erminio of Lega Pro Girone B seem like an interesting option, as do Club Deportivo Atlético Baleares of Segunda División B de España Grupo III. In both cases, however, I will have a lot to prove and the language barrier may turn out to be one too many hurdles!

Instead, I have arranged to visit Chelmsford City, Concord Rangers and Leamington of Vanarama National League South (x2)/North (respectively) and join in on their training sessions for a couple of days. These are significantly lower clubs in terms of quality and reputation but offer a great opportunity to cut my teeth in the world of football and begin pushing towards climbing the ladder!
Training and Play-offs

I took a trip to train with Chemlsford and met a really friendly bunch of lads. The session was fun, focussing on attacking drills, but also professional, in that it demanded a lot of effort from the lads. I can’t say I heard anybody grumbling about this, though maybe that was because they wanted to look good!

I was particularly impressed by a couple of Welsh lads. They are both fairly young but still command respect in the team due to (as far as I can see) their quality.

Naturally, I was most looking forward to Birmingham’s participation in the Championship play-offs. I remember when I was much younger, Darren Carter scoring a penalty that saw us promoted to the Premier League; it would be amazing if Birmingham can replicate this once more!

The semi’s saw Birmingham facing Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn finished 3rd in the league and missed out on automatic promotion by just two points. This was going to be a tough challenge for Birmingham – I remained ever hopeful.

Birmingham started strongly, their passing was pin point for a large portion of the game. Unfortunately, even the leagues top goal scorer Lukas Jutkiewicz couldn’t put the ball into Blackburn’s goal. This was, sadly, not the case for Blackburn however, as they slotted two into Birmingham’s net putting them into an incredibly strong position for the 2nd leg.

Between the 1st and 2nd leg I paid a visit to Concord Rangers. I am going to be brief here – I did not enjoy it! The staff didn’t seem to have time for me, the players looked disinterested and training finished an hour early as a result! I can’t honestly say that I believe I am going to feel at home here! Massive red flags if you ask me!

The 2nd leg of the Championship Play-offs semi-final quickly came around and I was eager to see if Birmingham could put the last game’s disappointment behind them and come out fighting; they could not. It took Blackburn just 10 minutes to grab their first goal and nothing moved towards Blackburn’s box! Ultimately, a poor performance from Birmingham’s defensive players saw Blackburn run riot, netting themselves 4 goals.

Seeing as I live in Birmingham, I decided to pay Leamington a visit last. Sadly their training was cancelled due to no-one showing up with the keys to open up – a little worrying in terms of me considering them for a job. Instead, the team invited me to join them for a curry at Millennium Balti. The food was excellent and it was reassuring getting to know the lads and understanding that they do want to succeed.

I drove home and had a sleep, mulling over my thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, I decided to apply for both the positions at Chelmsford and Leamington, firing off two quick-fire applications Chelmsford seem to have more quality for me to work with, but Leamington is close and subsequently an easier commute; I would be happy with either…fingers crossed!
Nice to see Birmingham putting together a strong run! Hopefully the Chemlsford and Leamington positions are fruitful
2018-11-08 07:36#252110 mgriffin2012 : Nice to see Birmingham putting together a strong run! Hopefully the Chemlsford and Leamington positions are fruitful

Haha! Yes, quite a difference from reality, though Birmingham have looked quite strong - just couldn't score at start of season!
I am not sure how much I am going to be able to get on over the next few days - So i am going to be adding a couple of entries today to keep you going!

Morning Breeze

Money troubles have been keeping me up lately – what if I am not able to land a job soon?? I find myself checking my emails at 03:00 in the morning hoping that one of the jobs I have applied to replies – because they aren’t going to be asleep right??

I guess I shouldn’t be too worried, only yesterday 8 managers found themselves no longer in employment – a few of these are well above me and a couple would be a push, but there are options at least!

It is amazing the emails that you receive these days. A lot has changed since those days of dial-up internet; I was actually able to somewhat keep my email address secret back then. Instead now...well now it is a case of:

Get 50% off our super secret sale
These blue pills will change your life
I am a Nigerian prince and I am giving you $12423443563458976
Looking to hookup?
Invitation to job interview
Natural Penis enlargement
Your account has been hacked
I need your help, money needs to be sent to you


What was that??

No not the penis enlargement! Invitation to a job Interview!!! I cannot believe my eyes! Who is it going to be? Leamington or Chelmsford?

With eagerness I click the email to see it’s contents:

Turns out, it is neither! Instead I have an invite from East Thurrock United!

Now, obviously, I haven’t been to see them play or train, I know nothing about them other than they finished a couple of places below Chelmsford last season.
Given my financial woes it makes sense to just accept and I can play it by ear!

Thankfully the interview is to be conducted over Skype so I can sit there in my suit jacket, without their owner knowing my Spiderman boxers are also on show!

I receive an incredibly quick response from Brian Mansbridge and head straight into the interview.

I think the interview went well overall, though a lot of time was spent discussing the need for restraint and a firm hold of the club’s finances – this does indicate that the job may be especially difficult. I guess I will have to mull it over whilst waiting for a decision.

In no time at all I have another two interview offers! Eastborne and Leamington! At this point I thought it best to attend both and see how they went! It would be nice, however, if journalists didn’t start telling the world about my plans!

Job Offers

Finally! I have some offers!

The last few days have been spent fielding calls from 4 different teams, trying to negotiate with them without finalising a contract to see what the best scenario would be for me! The lowest offer I received was from East Thurrock who offered me £200 per week (£0 transfer, £3.1k wage) This was fairly easy to turn down!
Eastbourne offered a much more generous contract to me at £450 per week – this is something which I could actually live on! I would even have £5,000 to spend on transfers with a wage budget of £5,750.

Multiple betting outlets had me down as favourites to take on the Leamington position. My fairly close proximity to the club likely being a consideration. Leamington did indeed offer me a contract. Sadly, however, this was only going to be £300 per week, with limited club resources. Despite having not visited Eastbourne, the resources available to make some slight changes, made this a more attractive option. As such I have turned down the contract with Leamington!
Having delayed my offer from Eastbourne twice already, the clock was ticking for an offer from Chelmsford; Eastbourne would surely not let me delay for a third time. Thankfully, Chelmsford came in with a contract offer just before this was put to the test. This offers a slight increase on that of the Eastbourne contract – and additional £50 per week for myself, a further £250 in the transfer budget and another £750 per week for wages.

Before taking the final plunge I had to make sure that moving to one over the other made financial sense so I had a look at some local properties. With Eastbourne I would have a maximum of £110,000 to spend on a property and a maximum of £125,000 with Chelmsford. A couple of calls and my offer was accepted!

I have a home!

But where is it you may ask…

Whilst the players are away the manager will play! As the players are still on Holiday I have a chance to work through the inductions and begin working on the setup for the season to come! I have noticed that we are lacking a few members of staff so I have already placed a couple of adverts and I have cancelled the four loan players we have (only 12 days left) so I have a clean slate to work with.
Not a bad club to start with at all, good luck!
Not a great start…

Having walked into my office for the first time, I am greeted with pizza-stained folders to work through – it takes me only moments to realise what is happening here; I have a whole bunch of expired contracts to work though!

I call the lads in one by one and start negotiating with them. Chris Whelpdale is one lad I really wanted to keep, a star player infact, however his extortionate request of £850 per week, and his unwillingness to negotiate leaves me with little choice but to allow him to leave.

I find myself in a similar situation with the rest of the players who I try to negotiate with; this is going to be a tougher season than I originally anticipated – there are just 12 players left at the club!

Time is of the essence I guess, I have friendlies coming up, so my best bet is to just throw a whole bunch of trial invites out to players my scouts have said are unattached to clubs; the more I can bring in, the more chance I have of finding someone who is going to suit my team.

In the meantime, I place an advert in the job centre for a director of football. I am not one to like the thought of a Director of Football, however, as this is my first club, I feel that a little extra assistance may well come in handy. A few days later, I find myself signing Dean Beckwith as my Director of Football. He is fairly young, at 35, but has an ok level of adaptability and just players ability. This may come in useful as we move forward.

I also hear back from a whole bunch of (13) trial players I aim to use a few of these in my opening few friendlies to gain some insight into their ability and style to see whether anyone would be worth signing.

In an attempt to bring in some additional finances, just to ensure the ship remains secure, I have set up a number of friendlies – I don’t expect to manage much from the first chunk of these, however by the end, once my squad is more settled, I hope to start winning to build up some form ready for the season.

I decided to test out almost every player (trial and contracted) in the opening game to gain a little feedback. Whilst it is pre-season and anything can happen, I am fairly happy with the result. Whilst we were completely out played, we did manage to only lose by 3 goals to 2.

The second game against Derby County actually went fairly well too, again losing by 3 goal to 2 – this time the fatal blow coming late in the game. Losing 3-2 to a Premiership and Championship side at this point seems pretty good going!

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