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FM19 - The Great Glasgow Alternative

Recently retired hard man Roy Scully ventures north of the border for his first job in management. Steve Gerrard, he ain't.
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mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012 2019-03-13 18:35
00 2960 posts 459 likes joined Nov 12, 2013
Things not looking great but I'm sure you can make the best of it
tenthreeleader's avatar Group tenthreeleader 2019-03-22 16:58
us 704 posts 31 likes joined Jun 22, 2015
We'll do the best we can. The finance chart is looking pretty grim.
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It seemed odd, but that was life in the modern game. The club appeared to be hemorrhaging money yet everyone at Partick Thistle just loved what Roy was doing.

Roy and Kate had had a laugh about that on their way home from the ground when discussing their meeting with the big wigs.

“As long as you win, they’ll be happy,” Kate observed in a bit of a “Captain Obvious” moment.

“Then they won’t be able to afford me,” he joked, and she reached for his free hand as he drove.

“Well, I think this has the chance to be a half-decent group,” he added. “Of course, I need the board onside so they don’t start selling players on me if they can’t turn a few more quid.”

“Aren’t board members supposed to help fund the club?” she asked. It was a profound observation.

“Yes,” Roy said. “Bill Shankly once said that at a football club there’s a holy trinity – players, managers and supporters. Directors don’t come into it – they are only there to sign the cheques.”

“He didn’t really believe that,” Kate marveled.

“I wouldn’t have liked to tell Bill Shankly what he did and didn’t think,” Roy smiled. “Anyhow, yes, he did believe that, and he managed like that.”

“And you?”

Roy paused and finally squeezed his wife’s hand. “I believe that too,” he said. “But the difference between us is that Bill Shankly had managed Liverpool for about ten years when he said that. I’ve managed Thistle for what, nine weeks? One of us will get away with saying that, while the other will get the sack.”

Kate looked at him. “Don’t tell me that frightens you,” she said. “That isn’t the Roy I know.”

Just then, they reached home. Roy pulled into the driveway and shut down the car’s engine. He looked at his wife.

“There will never be a day when any board member or any chairman tells me what I can and cannot say and gets away with it,” he said. “If it means that I sacrifice my job to keep my integrity, well, then that’s what it means.”

Gone was the quiet, loving Roy Kate was used to seeing around her. Unknowingly, she had managed to tap into her husband’s inner competitor – the driving force behind everything he had managed to build in his life.

Question that drive, and he wasn’t likely to react well. Kate was the only person in
the world who could talk to him this way now that his parents were gone, and it was a gift she didn’t utilize often.

Finally, after an awkward silence, she spoke again. “I’m sorry, Roy,” she offered. “I didn’t mean to…”

“…of course you didn’t,” Roy replied, his pleasant demeanor starting to return. “You just want to make sure I’m the same old Roy.”

“I didn’t doubt it,” she said, opening the door to head into the house. “I can honestly say that in all the years I’ve known you, I’ve never doubted that even once.”

He chuckled. No self-made man likes to be challenged, and he felt she had done. But he simply took her hand.

“Sometimes it’s good for you to remind me,” he said. “And I have to be man enough to take it. Let’s go inside and get the babysitter paid.”

# # #
tenthreeleader's avatar Group tenthreeleader 2019-04-06 17:16
us 704 posts 31 likes joined Jun 22, 2015
Postponements due to weather were next on the cards and as a result, the Jags had eleven luxurious days between matches at the start of September.

The break was even longer for the first-team players, who were held out of the trip to SuperSeal Stadium in the IRN-BRU Cup so the colt team could have a chance. For them, it was two weeks between matches.

As a reward for playing so well out of the chute, Roy gave the first team three entire days away from the training ground with the proviso that if any of them wound up on a police blotter he was going to rip up contracts.

He said it with a smile, though, and the players accepted Roy’s warning as the friendly reminder it was. He had a good squad, a dedicated squad, and had no worries about their conduct away from the club.

This meant family time for Roy and he was delighted. The girls had just started school and for now, things were going well on that front.

Maybe it was because the Jags were playing so well. Despite not having lost, they still trailed Ross County in the table. Second wasn’t horrible but Roy wasn’t going to rest until he had erased that deficit.

He did also worry about the affect his job would have on his girls. Too young for most public schools, his hope was that the kids around them would play nicely in the sandbox. Generally, kids have to grow up in age before they grow up or down in temperament, but he was keeping a sharp eye out for anyone who might seek to hurt them.

Roy, of course, worked from home during that time, watching video and helping around the house. For example, taking Kate to the Tesco was fun in itself because it gave them a chance to let their hair down. Being alone with his wife for the first time since the children were born when they were away at school wasn’t so darned bad either.

But then it was back to work. Hamilton awaited and Roy enjoyed working with Barmby and the younglings to prepare them for an away cup tie.

SuperSeal Stadium awaited them, as did a young Accies team. Sort of a glorified youth cup event, Roy supposed, as the match kicked off.

Immediately, the baby Jags dominated play, knocking the ball around the park with aplomb, flair and verve, and every other adjective Roy could think of to say they did everything but score.

Quitongo, who had been good in the first round, wasn’t as good in this one. That was a bit unfortunate since in Roy’s quest for an all-youth team he wasn’t required to field, he had only three substitutes he would consider for selection.

One of them, Jamie Stevenson, was the spare goalkeeper. The others were Penrice and prospect Andrew McCarthy.

So, one defender and one midfielder. Keown, Spittal, Bannigan and Coulibaly came along for the trip but had been told that barring pestilence, none would get onto the pitch.

It took 43 minutes before the breakthrough game and then it was Aidan Fitzpatrick who did the deed. He found room on the right, cut that direction, and squeezed a shot between Reegan Campbell’s outstretched arm and his near post.

The kids had played well and deserved their lead, and Roy was gentle on them in the changing room at halftime. “This is the kind of football we expect to see,” he told his team. “You’re leading away. Now it’s down to you to finish the deal.”

Forced to open up slightly due to chasing the game, Accies left a space just big enough for Shea Gordon to get into early in the second half and the loanee didn’t miss from twenty yards, arrowing a top-corner drive home in 58 minutes that made it 2-0.

But then the Jaglets let down their guards and the home team roared back into the match. A rather sad lack of communication between centerbacks Dan Jeffries and Ruaridh McIntyre led to Steven Boyd finding himself in an embarrassing amount of open space only two minutes later, and Sneddon was left with no chance.

That gave Roy the chance to get off the bench and, shall we say, educate his center halves.

“Just a thought,” he yelled. “Maybe next time the striker stands in front of goal, one of you might consider marking him.”

It was good for a laugh, but Roy needed to address the issue anyway the next time he handled youth training. It had been a schoolboy error – they were supposed to be in a zonal marking scheme and neither player had remembered what zone he was in, so they chose neither.

However, Gordon bailed out his teammates with a superbly taken strike only four minutes later, for a 3-1 lead in 64 minutes.

Then he was there again, heading home Fitzpatrick’s perfect cross only three minutes after that to complete his second-half hat trick in a blistering span of nine minutes.

Ronan Hughes scored off a set piece in 72 minutes, meaning the teams had scored five combined goals in only fourteen minutes, but the end result was fair.

The baby Jags had 21 attempts at goal away from home and scored four times. It was hard to be anything but happy about that.

IRN-BRU Cup Second Round – Hamilton Reserves 2-4 Partick Thistle

# # #
mgriffin2012's avatar Group mgriffin2012 2019-04-08 17:31
00 2960 posts 459 likes joined Nov 12, 2013
A very good win, onto the next one
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT 2019-04-09 11:09
gb 1875 posts 300 likes joined Apr 04, 2016
Time away from football is important for everyone, so it's nice to read that Roy had allowed himself some time with the family, as well as letting the players do the same.

The result in the cup is fantastic and the faith put in the young players should help them progress over the course of the season. Hopefully you can return to league football and get another positive result from the senior players, after a short break.
chrisburnss's avatar Group chrisburnss 2019-04-14 09:03
gb 24 posts 3 likes joined Mar 28, 2019
I am buzzing to have found this story and to see that you are still writing tenthree! As soon as I seen your name I remembered it from another website although I'm not too sure which one, The Dugout or FM Base or something? Anyway, I had to google your username as I could instantly remember loving an old story of yours and upon googling I recognized American Calcio straight away! I never actually got to finish that story so not only do I have to catch up on five more pages of this I think I'll have to go give that a read too!

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