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The Injustice – Barry Town United

Started on 14 August 2020 by HollowayOnHoliday
Latest Reply on 26 August 2020 by J_ames
  • POSTS10
  • VIEWS2778
 
Barry Town United – Episode 1, An Introduction



“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside… Oh I do like to be beside the sea…”

Those were the words I tunefully muttered to myself while waiting outside the office of Tom Parry, chairman of Barry Town United.
I was nervous. Even though the building air conditioning was battling against the scorching July heat, I was sweating through my suit.
I’d always imagined myself a suit and tie manager, but if on a match day I’m even half as nervous as this, perhaps that choice requires rethinking.

Tom’s office door swings open and out emerges a short balding Welshman, smile reaching from ear to ear.
“Ian!” he booms.
“I’ve been expecting you. Please do come in, take a seat.” he says.
I take a deep breath and match the attitude I’ve been received with.
“Tom, it’s a pleasure, thank you for taking the time to consider me for this huge role.” I say.

Pleasantries are exchanged for the next few moments before the juicy interview details kick off.

“So Ian, clearly you’ve never managed at a high level, hell you’ve not even kicked a ball at a semi-professional level. Tell me, why should I hire you over this stack of other CVs, all from people with considerably more experience than yourself?” Tom says, before slamming his hand on top of a mountain of paperwork.

This was the moment I’ve been waiting for, I anticipated this question more than any other.
“I’m not going to lie to you, of course I don’t have as much experience as other managers, and yes I probably will make mistakes within the role. However, this club once possessed the greatest team in Wales and that is exactly the goal I intend to reach.
Some may promise you beautiful football week in and week out, but that doesn’t guarantee you results. To paraphrase Ian Holloway, with me in charge some weeks you will leave Jenner Park feeling like you’ve been on a night out looking for a lovely lady. Some weeks we will pull a good looking performance, and some weeks it won’t be the best, but we will get the result.”


Tom pauses for a moment, soaking in the bizarre statement of intent I had just delivered, before cackling out in laughter. The rest of the interview was a breeze from then on…



Hello all! If you’ve reached this far, thank you for sticking through.
I will be switching up my narrative for the time being while this story starts, sometimes in the first person, and occasionally talking to you wonderful people directly.

Now that I’ve been given the mammoth job as Barry Town United manager, let’s take a look at the club’s current vision:



Maintaining a domestic presence and fighting in Europe, all under a transfer budget of £0 and a wage budget of £6,805 p/w (currently spending £5,305 p/w) will be a task and a half, but we have much larger long term goals in mind so we have to start somewhere!

Let’s take a quick look at the squad…



Clearly we have a mix bag. Some top players and some very poor players, very few in the middle. Looks like I’ll be rolling up my sleeves for some good ol’ fashioned wheeling and dealing.

That’s all for now. I’ll catch you guys at the end of pre-season with a wrap up of the changes made.
Any comments you have, either regarding the narrative, or managing in Wales, please comment below!
1
Good luck!
Cotterill, McLaggon and Compton: the league doesn't stand a chance! Best of luck mate.
First and foremost, welcome. Absolutely love the Holloway analogy; an absolute classic. The obvious challenge will be to break the dominance of TNS and then look to establish Barry to the heights of the past and beyond. There are some decent recognisable faces in the squad - a decent base to build from. Good luck.
Barry Town United - Episode 2, Pre-Season



The room is electric with noise. Dozens of journalists, all eager to rip to shreds the unqualified, unknown manager that Barry Town United were stupid enough to hire; all laughing and excited for the press conference to begin.
Tom introduces me to the room, and the feeding frenzy begins...

"Hi Ian, Giannis Pantazis from Goal here. What are your initial thoughts on taking the Barry job?"
"I'm very excited; this is a great club and I can't wait to get stuck in.", I state passionately.
"Do you feel that your ambitions for the club are matched by the chairman?"
This was hardly a straight forward reply. Earlier that day Tom had made it extremely clear he had no intention of the club searching for a Senior Affiliate club. The loan signings and financial benefits should have been worth considering at the very least.
Calmly I reply, "I do, yes. Our discussions are often creative and there are a lot of good ideas floated which promise good things for the future."
That took all of 60 seconds to deliver my first lie to the media.

"Joseph Gibson, FourFourTwo here. What attracted you to Barry?"
Back on track, amazing.
Passionately I reply, "This is a massive club that would appeal to anyone. They're built for success"

"Gareth Thomas, The Welsh Football Review. You've taken the step into football management despite being just 29 years of age. Critics have suggested that you will struggle to command respect in a dressing room that contains players older than you are. What do you say to that?"
Trying to ignore the clash I had with a member of the squad that day, I calmly reply, "I've already met with the players and there aren't any problems so far. They're a professional group".

"Alex Griffiths, The Barry Football Review. Does this squad have the necessary quality for you to achieve your targets?"
This was a tough one. I paused for a moment, which caused all of the journalists to look up in union, similar to a mob of meerkats. After assessing the squad, there was a lot of room for improvement and I would certainly be busy within the transfer market.
"Any manager who says they don't want to imprint their personality over the squad they inherit is lying and I expect I'll try to add to the quality of this group in due course".

Gareth: "How far can you take this club?"
Me: "We're going to aim high; if they're not intent on being the absolute best that you can be, why are you even in this business?"

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About a month has passed since that lovely introductory press conference, and we have been busy to say the very least!

Managing Barry has been unlike most saves I've ever done, the key reason being the pre-season. With a majority of clubs you will have a period of time to build your squad while playing friendlies, Barry Town United does not offer that luxury, it's straight into competitive football within days on the job. See below for a summary of my "pre-season":



Friendlies were directly exchanged for European qualifying matches. The save began on July 1st 2019, meaning my first game in charge of the club was a EURO Cup second leg tie. After extra time we pulled the result out of the bag, courtesy of a 111th minute winner from Luke Cooper (centre-back).

Our 1st qualifying round tie was considerably more straight forward, the first leg carried us through with no stress involved, thanks to two tidy goals from Jordan Cotterill and Kayne McLaggon.

Next came Legia! Being drawn against these (relative) giants sunk my hopes instantly. For a comparison of how large this club is in perspective to Barry Town, their squad contains the likes of ex-Sporting and Olympiakos player, Andre Martins.

With the damage done in the first leg, little hope remained, however, the boys earned my respect back in a thrilling away 2nd leg which finished 3-3.

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With European football dominating part of my concentration, everything else went towards improving the squad. I cut a number of fringe players who I had no intention of playing and brought in a bunch of fresh faces.



I'll take a moment to apologise to any readers who have gone, or go to, Cardiff Met Uni. Cardiff Met perform well each season, however, most of their players are on Amateur contracts, meaning I was easily able to pry away their best and brightest.

Below is a quick summary of the best signings made:

1. Danny Collins


There's no debate, Danny Collins IS the best signing we made. Even at 38 years old the man is a level beyond Barry Town, where I was more than happy to hand him the vice-captain position. Having a Welsh international at the heart of our defence will pay dividends by the end of this first season, let's hope he stays fit!

2. Shamar Moore


At 18 years old I'm not entirely sure how this loan signing will play out, but on paper Shamar Moore looks a talent. The best part? His contract with Cardiff expires at the end of this season, so if he performs, we have the chance to sign him up.

3. Jake Evans


The last I will share, Jake Evans is in exactly the same situation as Shamar, except Jake offers 3 years more in developed talent. His attributes are excellent for the Welsh Premier level and I am hoping he will step up to deliver.

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With the pre-season European run over, the squad rebuild complete, and days before the season starts, it's time to get some results!

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@TheLFCFan : thank you!

@J_ames : all 3 performed consistently in Europe, let's hope they keep it up for the league campaign!

@ScottT : Thank you! TNS are definitely my main worry going into the season, however, there squad doesn't seem to be anything too impressive. Fingers crossed?
A very respectable campaign in Europe. You can be really pleased with the second-leg against Legia in particular. Some good signings made to prepare the squad ready to compete with TNS.
Some nice additions to a squad who competed against some good European sides. particularly Legia, in the 'pre-season'. High hopes this season!


"Ian, Ian! Alex Griffiths, The Barry Football Review. Your side have enjoyed a perfect start to the season, 9 league wins in a row, just how far can you go this season?"
"Listen, I won't make outlandish comments that we're going to win the league on the first attempt. I was brought in because we want to take Barry Town back to the top of Welsh football, but that project will take time to deliver. Yes, we have started brilliantly, but we are not getting carried away."


"Gareth Thomas, The Welsh Football Review. Even this early in the season many have labelled the title race as a 'clash of Titans' between Barry and TNS, who have also enjoyed a 100% win success rate. Do you have any words for you title foes, who you will face next?"
"TNS have been unarguably the best team in Welsh league football for the last decade. We are a dark horse who will always look to upset the apple cart, but I'm a football manager, I can't look into the future. We will give TNS a fight and see where we end up come the end of the season."


The journalists continue to shout my name as Tom Parry drags me away from the pre-match press conference.

Over the last 2 months the town of Barry has transformed from a sleeping seaside resort into a buzzing football location. Every visiting team has looked to topple Barry's unprecedented formed, and every team has so far failed.



To say any of us were expecting such a brilliant start to the season would be laughable, however, heading into October Barry boast a 100% win rate.

Following the end to our European adventure, the season started away to Newtown in the cup. A professional 2-0 win threw our name into the next round, thanks to goals from Shamar Moore and Luke Evans, the latter becoming the clubs youngest ever goalscorer in the process.



This victory really was just the start of something unexpected. 9 league games later, 28 goals were scored and only 4 conceded.

The line-up has settled into a familiar 11 week in, week out, but why change something that clearly isn't broken?



Shamar Moore has become the clubs main goal threat, scoring 11 goals in all competitions, the best of the bunch coming most recently against Cefn Druids where Moore registered his first career hat-trick.



Elsewhere, TNS have also been on red hot form, which has resulted in a tight title race between themselves and Barry. With TNS our next opponents, it is incredibly likely that match up will play a crucial role in the outcome of the title race.




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Apologies for the break since my last post, I've recently moved house so things were a bit hectic! Hoping to provide more regular updates from now on.

@ScottT - The signings have definitely made their mark so far!

@TheLFCFan - This sneaky bunch have built my hopes up that something incredible may hope in this first season
What a fantastic start. It's fairly early into the season though so it will be best not to get too carried away and think about toppling TNS. The early signs are extremely encouraging though. A massive six-pointer in the upcoming clash however. Setting the ascendancy will be greatly welcomed.
What a brilliant start to the season! The team has gelled well, and shown that they may deserve another crack at European football next season. The big test is going to be your game against TNS, so best of luck. I used to sign Adrian Cieslewicz from them, due to his pace/power, so hopefully you can keep him quiet!

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