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The path of an ambitious Scot

Started on 23 February 2020 by Imagine
Latest Reply on 21 April 2020 by Big_Wully_Boly
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The pursuit of happiness

All of my life I've known that I wasn't cut out for an average life with average life goals, I've always wanted to be the best at everything I do and that isn't something which has ever wavered. I had quite a rough upbringing which really should've indicated that I'd go down the down and out route but as yet, that hasn't happened! Thankfully. I guess things started to go wrong for me really early in life, from as young an age as two. It was at the age of two when my parents got a divorce and I experienced a huge life changing event. I was two and my sisters Sarah and Holly were slightly older, ten and five, obviously as I was the youngest I was completely oblivious to what was going on at the time. Being oblivious to the goings on of the divorce at the time may have helped me at two years old but on the flip side to that, I missed that family togetherness completely because I was too young to have any memories from that period of my life. In a way that makes me jealous of my sisters because they saw my mum and dad together and have some good memories of that. Then both my parents ended up in violent relationships with other partners which made home life a very traumatic place for myself and my sisters. Needless to say I wasn't a happy child but in spite of that I've turned out happy enough, I think. I wish I could find myself a good girlfriend to settle down with my own family and create a loving environment for them that I never had. So.. Perhaps not the happiest but I want to be happy, it's just hard to do when you always have a little black cloud hanging over you.

I'm so through with struggling with life, no matter what I do I always, always end up back in this dark place and can't get myself out. I wish I was as self centred as everyone else I know, maybe, just maybe then I'd be *bleep*ing happy for once. I see people with no morals or care for anyone in the world achieving everything I've ever wanted in life and it kills me. I’ve been working in rubbish jobs since I was first employed in a clothes shop at seventeen. I struggle picking a good girlfriend so badly that it’d be laughable if it wasn’t so damn pathetic! I mean, life isn’t all bad, I have a great family, despite my childhood nothing's changed there, and love my mum, dad and two sisters to pieces but it’s fair to say I’m the underachiever of the family. The lazy one, the nice one and ultimately the one who doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in life. That is hard to deal with, when everyone around you has their life on track and you are still trying to figure things out. I’ve gotten to the point where I hate everyone and everything nowadays which is actually a really lonely place to be. Yet I know this isn't a permanent feeling, things will change. Now that I've got these coaching badges behind me surely I can make something of myself if only someone would hurry up and give me a chance.

Grabbing the opportunity

So, finally I have the chance to be a football manager. Finally, I can make something of my life. Darlington managing director David Johnson had told me that I was the leading candidate for the job after my interview but although I acted confidently outwardly I wasn't entirely confident inside. I guess the follow up interviews didn't go so well for the others but I am extremely happy with that, of course. Now that I have this chance I am not going to let the opportunity slip, I am grabbing this with both hands. It is going to be tough, I know it is as there are some restraints of managing at this level. If we can just get through a season or two in these leagues though, and get promotion, things could be great. I'm a dreamer and I'm highly ambitious, I haven't taken this job to get my foot in the door and then just settle. If I can't take this team any further then I will seek out an opportunity for myself but I want to take this team further. So my focus now goes on to creating a structure within this team this is going to enable me to do that. I'll have to recruit a couple of players, staff, create a tactic that suits this level and restructure the sub-standard training currently in place.
Oh the drama, wonder if it will have any long lasting affect on you while your trying to manage Darlington
A good chance to make an impression. Good luck!
jahendricksi's avatar Group jahendricksi
4 yearsEdited
Imagine : Thank you very much! Yeah I was disappointed too as I wanted to win something with them and I'm unlikely to attempt it again. That strikeforce I had with them was going places. Really appreciate that. Also, I'm pretty sure I remember reading something of yours on another forum, did you used to post on Neo?

Holy moley, I did used to post on Neo ages ago! What was your handle on Neo? CBurns1?

That strike force you had assembled was pretty good. Scotland will usually produce some killer wingers along with 1-2 good strikers over the years. I am currently in 2031 with my Scotland save and they have yet to produce a good Keeper. :rollseyes:

Settling in period

It's been a fun but hectic couple of months in charge of Darlington as we had to make a fair few changes around the place. We had to negotiate the moves of players who had just joined, get some players in at the same time as other clubs were sniffing about them. It was a bit of a hectic time as we 'wheeled and dealed' our way to a better squad. At the same time, we recruited some backroom staff members that I feel will be instrumental in helping us achieve success over the next couple of years. Former Stoke player Jonathan Walters joined our coaching set up alongside former Brighton player Gordon Greer. I enlisted the services of former journeyman striker Rory Fallon as my assistant manager and also added former Celtic legend Jackie McNamara as our reserves manager. These were the stand out additions but we also recruited a further eleven members of staff across the board, including former Darlington player and goalkeeping coach Andy Collett. As well as all that I really had to redecorate my new office as it was incredibly dated, dull and rundown. I wanted my office to be my safe space and I couldn't function properly in it before it was completely revamped. I am now entirely at peace in my new surroundings and I just hope that continued success with Darlington can enable us to revamp our training facilities as well as our stadium.

Millen Baars formerly of Man Utd, Okera Simmonds formerly of Liverpool, Callum Nicell formerly of Leeds, Liam Smith formerly of Newcastle, Rhys Taylor formerly of Chelsea, Jake Kenyon formerly of Man Utd, Jay McEveley formerly of Derby, Joe Muscatt formerly of Tottenham and Tom Heardman formerly of Newcastle all joined us upon my arrival. Harvey Saunders returns to us once again on loan after joining Fleetwood from us in 2018/19 season this is his second successive loan with us since then. Also joining on loan were Jake Hackett from Sunderland and Max Broughton from Salford, a team we'd love to emulate. Once we'd got all those lads in and managed to clear out some of the deadwood the team was beginning to shape up well. Unfortunately we've still been unable to come to an agreement to sever ties with our long term injury absentees. Understandably they don't want to leave however, they won't be around come next year so we're essentially paying, not playing, them till we release them.

After winning six of our seven pre-season friendlies we soon turned our attentions to the league as my debut campaign as manager in a semi decent league kicked off. August was threw nine league games at us and I've honestly never seen a schedule like it in such a short space of time as we played every three or four days. My life for the foreseeable future now I guess. Our season got off to a flying start thanks to the strike duo of Adam Campbell and Gary Martin who both bagged a double in our four two win over Altricham. We went a further three matches unbeaten before falling to defeat at the hands of Hereford despite dominating once again. We then went another three games unbeaten as we rescued a two goal deficit at Curzon Ashton and then we beat Boston Utd comfortably. Our one nil win over AFC Telford was a long time coming but to score in the ninety-sixth minute took leaving it late to the extremes. Gloucester knocked us right back down to earth with their win ending the month of August on a sour note for us.

@Leckuno: Time will tell eh?

@TheLFCFan: I certainly hope so, cheers!

@Jahendricksi: I knew I knew that name, also if memory serves me right you were American and loved a Celtic save and used to do well(unfortunately). It was chrisburns1 originally and then I changed to Imagine on there too. It was a good strikeforce courtesy of Celtic and Rangers! It's a shame Robby McCrorie doesn't develop well with the computer managers as he never amounts to much with them yet I can turn him in to a great goalkeeper. All about playing them consistently I guess. AI managers make weird choices and moves in my experience.
A strong start and sitting nicely in the play off spots. York should really run away with this league so will be tough to catch

A mixed run but still in play-off contention

Following on from September we lost to Gateshead and followed that up with a draw at York to continue a run of three matches without a win. A Jay McEveley free kick against Bradford PA allowed us to end the winless streak before we went on another one soon after as we went four games without a win in the league. In between those games we played Berkhamsted in the FA Cup 2nd round of qualifying and smashed them four one. We got Witton in the next round and once again we were far superior as we won four nil. That win allowed us to rediscover some form in the league as we won two of our next games in the competition and move back in to play-off contention in the process. Unfortunately, we let David Johnson down as we failed to deliver on the first of his expectations as defeat to Wrexham in the FA Cup 4th qualifying round meant we were out of the competition and therefor unable to match the expectations of reaching the 1st round of the FA Cup.

The signs are positive though as a couple of wins were put together after a change of formation for the lads. We are now playing a 4-1-2-2-1 system that appears to be working much better so far. With the form of some of our players starting to dip and my scouts unable to provide me with any better options I came up with an unorthodox idea. I loaded up my favourite video game Football Manager and checked to see what free agents were about on the game. You see, there are a whole load of fanatics out there who research the game so extensively that they update databases based on the latest real world news and as such the game is really accurately up to date. I was able to find Sonhy Sefil, Amine Lingazi and James Wallace on the unattached list and after some enquiries for contact details were successful we soon had them on trial as they were indeed free agents. It didn't take long for us to decide that all three could slot straight in to the first team for us here at Darlington. In order to bring these lads in and keep within the wage budget we moved on five fringe players and released our back up goalkeeper, and replaced him with George Sykes-Kenworthy on loan from Bradford City. I am now almost happy with the squad which I now have at my disposal barring a proper first choice right back which we are really lacking and unable to find at the moment. I will always be on the lookout for players that can improve the squad however.

@Leckuno: It's been decent but aye I can definitely see York seriously peeling away soon.

Former Chelsea, Reading, Millwall, Rotherham and, most recently, Doncaster full back Shaun Cummings has joined the project happening at Darlington for the rest of the season. Darlington manager Christopher Burns recently admitted that he was on the hunt for a right back and that must have alerted the agent of Cummings as he joins the club soon after. He has been a decent player that's played at a much higher level than his new club are currently in so he should really stand out in the team. It is expected that the three cap Jamaican will slot right in to the first team by taking the place of Ben Hedley, who has played in all but two matches this season. Cummings joins the team as they are on a run of four wins in a row and in the hunt for top spot as they sit just three points behind league leaders Kidderminster.
A mixed run to start but apart from the loss to Wrexham, October went well. Some nice additions also adding to the depth of the squad sets you up nicely at this playoff run.

An excellent run puts us in a great position

The month of November was Gary Martin's as his five goals in five games led to him deservedly winning the player of the month. His goals sent us on a fantastic winning run which started in October and continues past December. Spennymoor, Chester, Blyth and Altricham were dismantled in the league in November and Dereham were saw off in the FA Trophy 3rd qualifying round. The next round saw us face off with Hyde and once again we overcame the challenge as we secured our place in the 2nd round. Some dogged December displays ensured our winning run was extended to ten with twelve wins picked up from the last thirteen matches too. Kettering, Southport and Leamington failed to pick up points against us last month either and we took advantage of Kidderminsters draw with Brackley to go top with York also struggling. We are in a fantastic position going in to January and long may it continue. I was awarded the manager of the month for November and December too which was a fantastic personal achievement. About eight months ago I had no clue if I would ever get a chance to manage at this level or above and now I've won back to back manager of the month awards. Crazy.

@TheLFCFan: Well that mixed run has certainly ended! The squad is looking good but I've got to try not to get too carried away.

It's been more sadness and confusion than love and laughs for me these past few weeks as I finally feel that it might be time to break up with my boyfriend. We've been together since September last year but I feel like it's now run it's course it's become really boring and mundane recently. In his job he practically works 24/7 and gives me no attention when he is at home. I've been trying to put it to the back of my mind and I've just been pretending like everything is all fine but it really isn't. I don't know how much longer I can pretend, I'm so tired waking up alongside someone I'm growing to hate. He's not a bad person, infact he's such a thoughtful and kind person most of the time but there's just no spark. I can't see any way back for us and it's probably for the best if we split up I just need to find the right time to do it. I finally make up my mind to do it this weekend and he books a weekend away for us! Maybe going away together will give us a chance to talk about things and decide the best way to end it.
Imagine's avatar Group Imagine
4 yearsEdited

An ever so slight dip in form but our position remains

January saw us continue our fine form of late as we won all five of our games in that month. Millen Baars, Adam Campbell, Gary Martin, Okera Simmonds and James Wallace providing the goals that ensured victory against Hereford, Curzon Ashton, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Boston United and AFC Telford. We released twelve players in January too as the clear out for next year begun. Long term injury absentees Luke Trotman and Jamie Holmes followed Will Hatfield, Tom Heardman and a host of youngsters out the door. We had hoped to bring in a player or two and on different occasions came close to four big signings but they plumped for moves to Australia and who can blame them? That meant that our side remained unchanged as we headed for the crucial part of the season. In February we crashed out of FA Trophy 3rd round after two disappointing matches against Weymouth ended in 116th minute winner for our opponents, ironic given that we scored in the 92nd minute too. In the league we weren't as great in February as we failed to score more than one goal in any of our matches. Thankfully though, one goal was enough for us to emerge victorious over Gateshead, Bradford PA and York after a grim draw against Glouchester. York have continued to struggle whilst Kidderminster have been on a downward slope since their draw at the New Year saw us leap frog them. That means that with thirteen games left, and a game advantage over our rivals, we are a healthy eleven points clear at the top of the table. Another couple of manager of the month awards headed my way this month and I think I'm actually going to have to great a personal cabinet for these if this continues. James Wallace was also rewarded with the player of the month award after some fine performances since his arrival culminated in a fantastic February for him.

A life changing weekend away

Having made all the preparations for a weekend away with the girl I've been seeing since September, Georgia, I was now getting very, very nervous. You see, This wasn't just a weekend away, oh no, I was preparing to ask my girlfriend to marry me! I had been thinking about it for a bit over the past few weeks and finally I decided to take the plunge. As we went for a romantic stroll through the snow filled streets I thought that this would be a really picturesque moment for me to propose. Here it goes; "Georgia, this is something I've been wanting to ask you for the past few weeks but kept thinking it was too soon.. You have been a breath of fresh air in my life these past few months, I actually think I'd be lost without you down here now. I really don't know what I would do without you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, I want to have kids with you, I want to grow old with you. I may not be perfect and for that matter you may not be either but I believe that we are perfect for each other. Will you marry me?"

Do you have to, make me feel like, there's nothing left of me

What do men do when they are heartbroken? We drink, we go to the strippers and we drink some more. I'm sorry it's just the way it is. I had laid out a romantic proposal for that woman and she turns me down? Who does that? She wasn't happy? Well why didn't she tell me? I swear, women drive me crazy. Always have done and probably always will do. I could have dealt with Georgia telling me she didn't want to be with me, I really could have but she didn't let on that there was a single problem between us. I thought things were going better than ever as she didn't seem to be moody or anything like that in the build up to the end. I guess that should've been a tell tale sign, women are always moody. There was only one way I could think of to recover from my broken heart and that was to turn to drink. And strippers. Pretty much on repeat. I was having a really good time of it until I was brought back down to earth with a text from David Johnson which read; "Chris, we need to talk. Come in to the office as soon as possible." Ohhh sh!t what now? "Sorry Stacey I've got to go right now, we can meet up later if you want? I asked my latest squeeze. Or the stripper from last night rather. I didn't wait around for an answer, what was David going to say?

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