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The David Smith Story - Some dreams do come true, will his?

With no badges, no managerial or professional football experience and without a club to start his career, a young man from Bristol attempts to make history with his favorite football team.
Started on 7 November 2021 by Maxporto
Latest Reply on 22 January 2022 by Tango
Form still seems alright. Hopefully the new signings can add the quality to get you through the play offs, good luck!
avoiding Sriwijaya in the next stage seems to have been a good thing, so I reckon your path was made easier, or at least less tough
That Persekat Tegal game must've been hard to watch, considering the number of shots that both teams had! To come out of it with the win would be so satisfying, although it'd be alarming how quickly the lads fell asleep at the wheel too. That's to be expected at this level though: they're not top footballers. A 'get out of jail' card was definitely played in the following game against Sriwijaya FC, and you seem to have drawn quite a good group for the next stage.

Good luck :)

The Play Offs

The lead up to the first game of the play offs starts with some bad news, Pae and Sukmara miss the first game due suspension. But on the other hand, the new signings are settling in pretty well, and all are available for the upcoming matches. Also my Goalkeeper Rivky Mokodompit or just Moko to friends and manager, made it into the team of the week. Fingers crossed this wasn’t his peak performance of the year. I get a feeling we’re going to need him on top form in the coming weeks!

3 games to decide our fortune for next year, will it be a fairy tale promotion in the clubs first ever season? Which just happens to be my first ever job in football management, or will it be another year in the Divisi Utama?

Our first game will be against a team that finished in 4th place during the 1st Phase. In other words, they are on paper the easiest opponents we could have asked for. But once you get this far, the first Phase final standings mean very little, so we’ll take nothing for granted. We are playing at home, so we really need to make this advantage count and start on the front foot.

Game 1 – Sulut Utd

The first games of the playoff have already taken place, PSIM beat Persis Solo in the other group match. A draw would have been nicer, but it’s our own results we need to concentrate on first.

Because of the suspensions, I had no choice but to change things up in our line-up. Out of the new players, only Sofyan the striker makes the starting 11, but plenty of chances will come for the others to feature.

The stadium is nowhere near full, but hopefully the few that have turned up can rally this team to victory!

The first half hour is very quiet, but we managed 7 shots to their 0… apart from their first shot, which is off target, nothing else happens during the following 15 minutes. 0-0 at half time. We are definitely the stronger side, we just need to score!

Second half starts, and the first big chance is ours again. Took 10 minutes but Beytoven manages to find Muslim with a lovely through ball, and one on one, he strikes it straight at the goalkeeper!

We are alive at least! And not long after, another chance. But this time, Fandi who is playing on the right where Pae usually tears it down, misses his shot wide.

65 minutes on the clock and another 1v1 miss. This time Sofyan, the new striker with the miss. What a hero he would have been if he had scored on his debut!

If you don’t score… then you are likely going to concede, and that’s the cruelty of football. With only their second shot of the game, they score a goal after some very poor defending…

We carry on being the better side after the goal, and on the 77th minute, we finally put the ball in the back of the net. It’s Buddy with the final touch, but our hearts are broken very soon after as it’s ruled out for offside!

No other shot from us happened to go in after that, and the game ends 0-1.

A very hard defeat to take… and the media agree, we couldn’t have done more to deserve the win, but we need to be more clinical. Something my team have failed to do since I’ve taken over. And after 1 out of 3 games, we are already dependant on other results to go through to the semi-finals.

Despite that, I try and rally the troops and head into the next game with a positive mind set. It’s an away game this time, but every game is a final now, so that shouldn’t matter anymore even though it involves a 1 hour long plane journey.

Game 2 – PSIM Yogyakarta

The team we’re facing are known as PSIM Yogyakarta. they finished top of the First Phase group A, and not surprisingly, the media have them as favourites for our clash.

Pae is back, I have altered some of the roles in my midfield, and gave the new man Gardner a chance to prove himself ahead of Suhendra, I know how well the guy has played for us, but he’s 38 years old and the season has been pretty long!

The attendance is a huge 4850! Only 4 fans are here for us. But still, an impressive atmosphere regardless.

We get the first shot, and it’s on target, but it’s very tame and from long range.

They respond not long after, with a header from a corner which hits the bar!

The first 30 minutes don’t offer much in terms of excitement. We manage 1 more shot each and the half ends 0-0.

Both teams come out fired up in the second half, and 5 minutes into it we both have a good chance each. But still no goal.

They have been exploiting the left side of my defence all game, getting crosses in freely, and wining most of the headers that follow. But on the 76th minute, they decide to try a low cross. And it pays off. My defender misses the clearance and their striker hits the ball into an empty net. 1-0.

We turn into the better team after that goal, and if it wasn’t for their goalkeeper pulling off some fantastic saves, we would have scored 2 or 3. But again we only shoot blanks, and the promotion dream is all but over. 1-0 it ends.

It’s a very quiet flight back to Jakarta…

Back home, in England things are looking very promising for Fulham, 14 games 13 wins 1 draw. And 9 points clear at the top of the Championship! Mitrovic with 10 goals already. I could definitely do with a goalscoring machine like him in my team!

Game 3 – Persis Solo

With nothing interesting happening during the week other than the usual training sessions, we head into the final game of our incredible, almost magical season.

I leave the line-up for our final game to Rully, my assistant, I owe a lot of the good things over my first managerial job to him, so it’s only fair I give him a bit more responsibility every now and then.

And before the clock hits the 1 minute mark. Persis Solo open my defence up with some Man City like play and Bawuo scores with a lovely chipped ball over the keeper…

As it stands, Persis Solo go 2nd in the table which would put them through into the semi-finals.

The pressing from my players is actually good, but our opponents are still able to pass the ball around in an impressive way. But no more clear cut chances for either team, and the clock is on 30 minutes already.

8 minutes later, we get a lifeline. Casimir one of their midfielders gets shown a second yellow and is sent off. This is our opportunity to get something out of the game!

And 3 minutes later our biggest chance falls to the new guy Gardner. Beytoven crosses the ball to the edge of the box and Gardner hits it first time, only to be denied by the post. Agonisingly close!

Half time ends 0-1.

We seem to enjoy most of the possession now that we have an extra man, but chances aren’t coming.

Despite the big chance in the first half Gardner’s fitness is still pretty bad, and I am forced to take him off. I give the youngster Iqbal his debut.

I could have brought in Xavi and Iniesta in their prime and we probably still wouldn’t have scored. Fair play to Persis Solo, they deserved to go through, they lost the first game, won their second one and despite being a man down for over 50 minutes in this game, they still manage to get the win. I think I’ll stick to picking the line up next year!

Despite the last 3 matches, the team should be proud with how far they got in their first season. We now have the advantage of having experienced the Second Phase, and if we can finish in the top 4 again next year, maybe we can go a step further. For now, plenty of work to do on my end to make that happen. But first… I need a holiday, Bristol can wait, there are plenty of islands that need to be explored around this corner of the World.

Reply to Comments

NTBgaming – Form was certainly good, but I guess we peaked too early, it was an abysmal play-off. But we take what we learn and hopefully with the new signings settling in we can give it another shot next year.

Tango – That certainly seemed like a positive, but sometimes it’s best to face the devil you know that the one you don’t. But looking at the results we got, we probably would have lost against a non league side, Dewa Utd just can’t score!

J_ames – It was proper nail bitting stuff, I was throwing all kinds of objects around the technical area (or desk), I was really happy with the group I got, but it just wasn’t to be… we live and learn I suppose. Thanks for checking in once again
considering the campaign in the first round, I wasn't waiting for a trainwreck in the play-offs... But I guess if you can't score, you can't win right
Ouch! What a harsh way to finish the season :( In real life, Dewa United were promoted! Persis Solo went up as champions, RANS Cilegon were the runners-up, and Dewa United beat PSIM Yogyakarta in the 'third place playoff' which I found really interesting.

Take nothing away from what happened in the playoffs for you: David has had a magnificent start to his career. With the experience that he's gotten from this, he'll come back stronger, and he'll also have a good idea on who he should/shouldn't target in the off-season transfer window.

Good luck mate :D
Maxporto's avatar Group Maxporto
1 yearEdited

End of season - Time off

To my shock Sriwijaya FC lost both the Semi-Final and the Third Place Play Off games.
The final was disputed between PSPS and PSIM, and PSIM came out victorious. Both teams get promoted to the top division.

Before the players left on holiday, we held a small gathering with everyone at the club. Every member of staff that helps running Dewa Utd was invited, and we took the special occasion to host the clubs very first Season Awards. Dito the center-back was voted player of the season. A worthy winner in my opinion. He’s been very solid at the back since my arrival at the club.

Although no award went my way, I can at least say I am the best and worse manager this club has ever had. And I am now the proud owner of a National C Coaching Licence! With no time to waste, I inform the Board of my newly acquired qualification, and they reply to say they are covering the costs of the next coaching badge! I should achieve a National B Licence in 4 month’s time, and given the league doesn’t start until February and we’re in November, I might have a National A Licence before the end of next season, if all goes well of course.

With the fun and celebrations out of the way, I have one last meeting with the board to discuss the clubs’ ambitions for next year. A repeat of last season’s adventures is pretty much what they are asking from me, only this time they want us to go one better and get to the Semi-Finals of Phase 2. Given the fact that I took the job when the team were already top of the league, I expected nothing less.

With the season now officially over, I spend the last day before the holidays analysing our season. Where we need improving is very clear for all to see, our finishing. Arguably the most important part of football.

The fact that our top goal scorer only managed 6 goals all season in the league says it all. Maybe if we improve the number of goals we score, then we might also improve the attendance numbers our stadium is getting. After all, nobody likes to watch a team that doesn’t score.

While I was packing for my holiday, I get an email from Rully to let me know what youth players to expect when I come back. It’s not a pretty sight I’m afraid… Maybe if we get some good results, I can ask the board to improve on the youth recruitment next season.


With around £8000 (more or less €9500) in my savings, and with an incredible part of the World on my doorstep, I book a well deserved 2 week holiday, the destination? Mu Koh Chang National Park in Thailand. An absolute steal for just £1000 flight and accommodation.
I make the most of the time off, and switch off from everything football related. Just the holiday I needed, before what it’s certainly going to be a 2nd season full of emotions.

I come back from holiday a week before Christmas, and since the bank balance is still so healthy it would be indecent of me not to travel back home and spend some time with family and friends. There is still 50 days until we play our first match of the Pre-Season. It’s my first time back in Bristol, UK since my adventure started, so there is plenty of catching up to do.

I’m lucky enough to be given 2 match day tickets to watch Fulham on Boxing Day (26th of December for those not familiar with it). I ring my mate Jon who never turns down a chance to see live football, and we make our way to London on a freezing cold morning to watch top of the Championship Fulham take on Birmingham City who are in 21st. Safe to say I was feeling very confident!

We take our seats, we’re about 5 rows away from the grass, just right of the Cottage, and as the players come out just under that famous building, I can’t help but imagine what an incredible feeling it would be to lead this team out in front of this fans on Boxing Day. Personally one of my favourite days during the football season.

Despite the pre-game stats pointing to an easy home win, things are never straightforward when it comes to the Championship…. And the game turns out to be an absolute cracker!

Fulham take the lead after just 5 minutes. Fabio Carvalho, the Portuguese/English wonderkid (to Fulham fans at least) gets the goal.

A fellow Bristolian gets the second for us about 20 minutes later, Decordova-Reid with a really smart finish.

But just before half-time, Troy Deeney. The former Watford Striker gets a goal back for the away team.

And not long after the interval, Deeney pops up with his second goal of the afternoon to level the match.

It looked like the game was going to end in a draw, until Knockaert who was subbed on at the beginning of the 2nd half scores a ridiculous goal on the 88th minute to win the match, a great strike into the top corner from outside the area that lifts the crowd into euphoria, I probably burnt all the calories I gained from the mince pies celebrating that one!

I stay in London for New Years Eve, and travel back to Indonesia on the 2nd day of the new year.

It’s back to work straight away, but not Football related just yet… First I must find a new place to live.

With the help from my assistant manager, who can actually speak the language and know which areas I should avoid, I find a place that fits the bill just perfectly! How life has changed.

Okay, now it’s really back to work. I have around 30 days left before our first friendly match. I need to find players for certain positions, most importantly, wing backs. The tactic can remain the same for now, but If we struggle to get results, I might go back to a 4-4-2. Simple players need simple instructions, and we have all positions covered now at least!

Reply to Comments

Tango – I’m glad someone around here has some faith in this team! I was hoping for a better result against the Sulut Utd at least, and squeezing into 2nd place. But I certainly didn’t see us do much after that. Maybe next year!

J_ames – Not gonna lie that was actually really interesting to know! Fair play to them for getting promoted IRL.
I’m not really sure how the new season will go, but the first few matches should paint a better picture, I like to rely on Scouts to find players, but my scouts aren’t very good. But we’ll see.

Thank you all for reading! :D
ok, sorry, lesson learnt. I won't have faith anymore

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