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Drago Barišić - Taking over the World

Started on 28 November 2021 by J_ames
Latest Reply on 22 January 2022 by Tango
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GETTING MYSELF SORTED

The club had told me they’d provide my accommodation, and they gave me a budget, before pointing me towards a nearby realtor. I met with the agent, told her what I wanted, and she said she had a few places that would meet my criteria. Rather than waiting around, we got in her car, and made our way to the properties.

The first two that she took me two were decent, but outdated, whilst the third was somewhat mortifying. I was losing hope of finding somewhere comfortable, when we pulled into the last option I’d have. As we drove by the 24-hour security guards, I looked around, and was hopeful that this place would be good. Needless to say: I wasn’t disappointed. As I walked around the property, I grew more and more impressed, and said to her that I’d take it. There'd be no need for any negotiations: I’d pay what they were asking. It was within the budget I’d been given, and a lease was signed that day, which was quite pleasing.

In the coming days, the club’s said that they’ll be providing me with a car, which was having some repairs done after its return from the previous manager. I've no idea what it is, but as long as it gets me from Point A to Point B: it’ll be just fine.



With my situation now sorted, I wanted to bring in my own assistant-manager. I had very few options to be honest, and I knew that Che Bunce wouldn’t be willing to move to Kenya in order to work with me again! As much as I respect him, I get the feeling that he wasn’t really the greatest assistant to have had, and if I had my time again: I probably would’ve replaced him in my second season with Team Wellington.

One lad that I knew I wanted to bring to the club was Michael Uchebo, and I was extremely disappointed to find out that he’d decided to hang up his boots. My disappointment soon turned to joy though, as he’d decided to go down the path of becoming a coach, and he was interested in joining the club as my assistant-manager.

Michael has signed a 2-year contract worth €2,000/month, and I'm delighted that I’ll have a familiar face with me here in Kenya. He's currently spending some time with his family in Nigeria, and he’ll link up with the club a fortnight before the pre-season begins.



A little over a week after my arrival at the club, they called me to tell me to head to a garage, which is where the car that I’d be using had been fixed. I was picked up by a taxi, who took me to the garage, who then handed me the keys. I'm not going to lie: I was a little taken aback. It’s a beautiful car, albeit a bit on the ‘old’ side, and I'm going to have to be very careful not to damage it. I've noticed that driving in Kenya is a bit of a ‘free for all’ at times, but so long as I stay in the left-hand lane when it’s a dual-lane set-up: I should be okay.

As I drove back to my house, I couldn’t help but smile: life in Kenya has gotten off to a great start.



@Maxporto: It would've been a lovely touch, but I don't think Drago was at the club long enough to earn such an honour unfortunately. There's no doubting the impact that he had in New Zealand though, and hopefully the club continues to move in the same direction, and doesn't go back to its old ways.

@Tango: I'll join you: I'm learning as I go too! It's a pretty straightforward league with no crazy stipulations, so that's a relief. Now it's just about finding the right players to bring in, and all that other fun stuff!

It looks like a nice dwelling you find yourself, with a built-in bbq and all that

It also looks kind of far from the city centre though

MEETING THE SQUAD

The squad was on their holidays, though all of the lads were still in Mombasa, so the board asked them to come in to the training ground, so that we could all meet one another. Over the past week or so, I’d watched every single game of the season just gone, which had formed my opinions of the squad. Simply put: almost all of them were free to go. There's a few lads that I want to keep at the club, and I’ll be offering them new deals in the near future, but for the rest of them: their time at the club is up.

Everyone filtered into a room, which thankfully, was air-conditioned. We went through the basic introductions, where the chairperson spoke for a bit, and then it was time for me to talk. I didn’t want to drag this out too long. I remember a scene in Moneyball, where Brad Pitt talked about handling player departures. “Would you rather get one shot in the head or five in the chest and bleed to death?”

I stood up, looked around the room, and said:

Drago Barišić:
“It’s nice to see you all, and I hope you're having a good time during your off-season. I want to thank you all for taking the time out to come in today, so that we can all discuss the plans for next season.

I'm not going to lie to you, so I'm going to be up-front and tell you all that if you wish to leave the club: you're free to go. We’ll sit down, work out what we feel is a fair price, and if a club comes in offering that fee, you’ll be free to negotiate terms with them. I'm well aware that there's a lot of unhappy players here, for a variety of reasons, and if leaving the club will make you happier: I'm willing to accommodate your request.

The club is now in the midst of a rebuild, but that’s not to say that we’re not going to be trying to win silverware in the near future. If there's one thing that you’ll get to know about me, it’s that I'm ambitious, and we’re going to be doing all we can here to be successful.

Simply put: the hard work starts now.

Enjoy your time off, and feel free to get in touch with me if you wish to sort a move elsewhere.”


In the coming days, I was approached by a lot of players that wanted to take advantage of my stance on them leaving the club, and I stayed true to my word. I sat down with them and their agent, worked out a price where we all felt like we were winners, and then went on our merry way. There was plenty of discussion league-wide about what was going on here, with some journalists speculating that the players don’t want to play for me. Far from it: I don’t want them to play for me!

We've gone on to negotiate a lot of departures, and I'm pleased to have been able to sort the moves out quickly, so that I can plan our moves.


DEFENDERS
We shifted four defenders, with the likes of Vincent Philipo, Hassan Iddi, Brian Otieno Odera, and Rodgers Aloro able to secure moves elsewhere. None of them had been in my plans, so I was relieved that there was interest in them, and we’ve been able to secure some good fees for them. We were able to secure €125,000 in transfer fees for their moves, and that’s the type of money that’ll really help the club moving forward.

Below are the deals we made:



MIDFIELDERS
There are quite a lot of midfielders that I'm still open to departing the club, but so far: only four have agreed moves to other clubs. Whilst it’s unfortunate that we’ve only been able to sell them to other Kenyan clubs, I'm not too worried about them coming back to haunt us either. I wish the likes of Faraj Ominde, Danson Namasaka, George Osama, and Benjamin Mosha the best of luck in the future endeavours, but I'm reasonably confident that their moves will see us perform much better next season.

Below are the deals we made:



ATTACKERS
Once again: I'm open to a few more strikers departing the club. Unfortunately, only Umaru Kasumba has been able to secure a move elsewhere, though we won’t stop trying to sell our other unwanted strikers. I wish Umaru the best of luck with Wazito FC, but with the foreign player restrictions that the league has: he's just not at the level required to be in my team.

Below is the deal we made:



At the moment, there's still another four players that we’re open to moving on in the near future, but unfortunately: they haven’t drawn any interest just yet. I've moved them down to the reserves squad, told them they're free to find a move, and I'm hopeful that someone will want to sign them. Whether that happens or not: I'm not sure. It’s quite frustrating, as I want their wages off our books as soon as possible, and I'm even open to a loan move if that’s what it takes to get them out of the club.

It’s nothing personal: it’s just the right thing to do for the club.
In the midst of getting myself organized in Kenya, I received an email that I’d passed my ‘Continental C Licence’ course, and would be free to pursue my next licence when the chance arose. I'm quite pleased with how quickly I'm getting all of these courses done, and at the rate that I'm going: I could have my Continental Pro Licence within the next 2-3 years. I’d be happy to pay for the licences myself if necessary, but alas: I require the clubs permission to partake in the course.

I'm going to wait a few weeks before I ask to do my next course, and hopefully the Bandari FC board will see that it’ll help the club in moving forwards.



@Tango: The quiet life just outside the city is always the best kind of life mate! It gives Drago the perfect place to 'unwind' after training or matches, without people clambering around to talk to him, or get a picture/autograph. A comfortable/settled home life is crucial to him not burning out, and need a sabbatical.

Tango's avatar Group Tango
1 weekEdited
The good old way: boot everyone out upon arrival at a new club
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BANDARI FC: OUR TACTICAL SET-UP

Ever since I've arrived in Mombasa, I've seen articles online, and speculation in the local newspapers on how I'm going to have the team play next season. I feel like I've been pigeon-holed into being known as a ‘3-4-1-2’ guy, when really: I'm not locked into any particular formation. I used that tactic as the Team Wellington manager as I felt that it would give us the best chance of achieving our goals, and although it was successful: it was also quite boring too. So, when I took the job here, I decided that I wanted to create a new formation, with ‘excitement’ being the main ingredient.

It took a few days for me to lock in a style where I feel we’ll be able to gung-ho attack, whilst also maintaining some form of defensive shape, but I'm pleased with what I was able to come up with. It’s all about ball movement, and when we lose the ball: pressuring our opposition into playing an aimless long ball. From there, I'm confident that we’ll win the ball back, and we’ll start again. Obviously, I'm going to have to pay close attention to our friendlies and early results, because if it isn't working: I’ll have to work out a new plan.

As you can see… the tactic is a little bit insane!

The tactic that we’ll be using this season is this:


This is the type of tactic that can bring the results that’ll have fans rushing through the turnstiles. To the fans credit, the average attendance here was still roughly 2,500 last season, despite the results in the second-half of the season. It takes a tremendously loyal fanbase to continue showing up when the team is performing that badly, so I hope to be able to give them plenty of reasons to cheer this season.

I've mentioned to Luke the type of players that I'm looking to bring to the club, though I've done the same with other agents, so that I can’t be accused of only working with one particular agency. Whoever can provide the best players: they're who we’ll go on and sign. You hear of collusion in football clubs constantly these days, but the truth is that I'm approached everyday by agents, trying to present me their players. Occasionally: they’ll offer me an incentive to sign the player. It’s at that point that I end the conversation, and tell them not to contact me again.

In Kenya, we’re only allowed 4 foreign players in the matchday squad, although we can have as many as we like on our books if we wish to. Personally, I only want to bring in a foreign player if they're levels ahead of the local players that we can look to sign, so I'm going to try and keep our ‘total’ foreign players to only 4. That could change, but for now: that’s what I'm looking at doing. We’re looking at players from neighbouring nations such as South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, or Ethiopia for players, but at the same time: we’re not limiting ourselves. If there's a better player from elsewhere, you can be sure that he’ll be brought in regardless of the nationality on his passport.


@Tango: There's nothing more satisfying than signing on at a club, and then pulling apart the entire squad that the previous manager had built over time. There's a reason they're no longer at the club most of the time! Building a squad is one of the most enjoyable things on FM tbh.

Have to agree with you final comment, there, for me too, building up a squad is the most enjoyable part of the game for me, not just in terms of a single window of spending, but over time slotting in the men you can depend on, tailoring your youth training to a system that clicks, finding those transfers that are perfect for what you need.
I'd love to know who's this Kenyan Beckenbauer

BANDARI FC FAREWELL 14, WELCOME 9 TO THE CLUB

As mentioned in a previous update: 14 players have now left the club. With the transfer window now opening, they're free to link up with their new clubs, which now gives me a great indication of where we need to strengthen. I've been quite methodical in my approach to signings, as I don’t want to waste any money, and it’s an approach that’s earning me a lot of respect from the board. There's roughly 6-weeks until the opening fixture of the season, so there's no need to panic just yet. The moment we start panicking: that’s when we’re in trouble.

We've shed quite a lot of money off of our wage bill, whilst I feel that we've brought superior players to the club, so in my opinion: we’re on the right track. I don’t think that we need to do too much more in the market for the time being, but that could all change if the right player becomes available. There's also another 4 players that we’re still trying to move on, so I'm hopeful that we’ll find clubs for those lads in the near future.

Below are the players that arrived before the transfer window opened:


Whilst these are the lads that arrived once the window opened:



GOALKEEPER
The goalkeeper that was already at the club, Joseph Okoth, is a good goalkeeper, but the signing of Brian Olang’o is one that strengthens our depth for the next 10-years. We paid a sizeable fee for Brian, but it’ll be money well spent in my opinion. He's agreed to come in as back-up to Joseph, but there's an understanding between us that if Joseph isn't performing: he’ll go into the starting-11. That would’ve happened regardless, but Brian needed that confirmation.

Brian signed an offer worth €1,000/month before bonuses for 3-years, which I feel is an absolute steal for someone of his potential. I've no doubt he’ll be in the starting-11 before the season is over.



DEFENDER
The club is actually quite well stocked in the defensive department, so I’ve decided against signing another local option, for the time being at least. There were two lads in the reserves squad that received a few opportunities last season, and despite them still being quite raw: I've promoted them to the first-team squad, so that I can keep a closer eye on them. They’ll still mainly play for the reserves, but I might give them a few chances in the early round cup games or league games against the weaker sides.

We’re currently in talks with a foreign central-defender, who I think would be a fantastic addition to the club, and I'm hopeful that he’ll sign our offer within the week. The longer it drags out: the more I worry he’ll secure a better offer.


MIDFIELDER
Due to the way we’ll set-up tactically, it was necessary for us to go out and sign quite a few midfielders, with Teddy Osok being the pick of the local lads that we've signed. Teddy has spent time playing for Tusker FC, AFC Leopards, and Gor Mahia, so he has experience playing for top clubs in Kenya. He also had a short spell in Zambia, which didn’t quite go as planned, but he's here now, and we’re happy to have him at the club.

Teddy has signed a 3-year deal with the club worth €1,500/month before bonuses, and we’re happy to have secured him for the next few years.



STRIKER
Another player that we spent money on was Kevintom Machika, who signed for us from Gor Mahia for a €25,000 fee. They’d signed him just 12-months earlier from Kariobangi Sharks for a €17,250 transfer fee, but have cut their losses on him after just 1-season. I'm not sure why things didn’t work out for him at Gor Mahia, but from the footage that I was able to watch of him: he looks a real nuisance in the box. He just needs regular game-time, and some confidence.

I made it very clear to Kevintom that I wanted him here, so he was more than happy to accept our 3-year offer worth €1,500/month before bonuses. We’re going to give him the chances he was starved of: it’s time for him to take them.



We’ve already taken quite a few steps in the right direction this off-season, and the fans concern regarding all of the departures has quickly turned to excitement over our new arrivals. I'm certain that our squad is much stronger now, and the pleasing thing for me is that all of our signings have a much higher ‘work rate’ than the lads they’ve replaced at the club. That’s something that will hold us in good stead during matchdays, and the fans will grow to love the level of industry that we show.

We have to show them we’re worthy of their adoration: hard work is just the beginning.


@Harleygator: Yeah, as long as you can build the squad that you feel suits your tactic, then the results will come quite quickly imo. There's a reason that I can play 10-20 games in a day, but a transfer window can [possibly] take me 2 days!

@Tango: I imagine he'll be showing up in an upcoming update!

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Exciting stuff, nice to see you finding a new club and new home. I'm excited to see how the tactic will work out, especially since i'm not that big of a tactical genius. Good luck!
you should put a collar on the neck of this Machika guy and give him a shock everytime he steps out of the box, he's the Kenyan Martín Palermo
I couldn't picture a more perfect way to travel around Kenya, that car is a beauty!

You really got the duster out on that squad, and at 21 and with some impressive physicals, the new striker should do some good work for you.

I'm honestly really excited to follow your season in Kenya. I've only really checked out the South African, Angola and Moroccan leagues in that continent.

FOREIGN QUARTET LAND IN MOMBASA

With us being allowed 4 foreign players in our matchday squad, that was something that I’d wanted to get sorted as soon as possible, and I was pleasantly surprised by the players that had been offered to the club. I’d spent close to a week in an office space with Michael, our chief scout, and our chief performance analyst, where we’d evaluated all of the players, and then come to a decision on who we felt would best suit us. There were a few disagreements at times, but things never got too heated, and eventually: we were all on the same page.

At the end of the day, we all want what's best for the club, and I find that contrasting views regarding signings is quite a good thing. I don’t want any ‘yes men’ at the club: I want people that aren't afraid to speak their mind. The key thing is that they know when they’ve been overruled, and subsequently, they have to fall back in line. We want to make this club the best club in Kenya, and I feel we’re making reasonable strides to doing just that.

So without further ado: below are our new foreign signings!


The first lad to sign was Peter Maker, with the South Sudanese international signing on a free transfer. He’d been a free agent since departing Zambian side Kabwe Warriors, and although he may not exactly suit the role that he’ll be asked to play here: I think he’ll still do a good job. Peter has great size, he's a good leader, and more importantly: he’s a good defender! He’ll be a great addition to our backline, and with him there: we should be okay. Whilst I do think we could improve in the future at this position, I also think that Peter is exactly what we need right now.

It took an offer of €3,000/month before bonuses to get Peter to the club, which I feel is money well spent. We've now got a defender who I believe would be in the top-3 in terms of ability within the league, and I'm also pleased that we've brought in a player from a neighbouring nation.



Next to come in was Moses Oloya, with the 31-year old Ugandan international joining us at the conclusion of his deal with Vietnamese club Ha Noi FC. I’d found out from Luke that Moses had been looking to head home after well over a decade abroad, with the majority of his career in Vietnam. He’d been on the verge of signing for Ugandan side Express FC, but we’d hijacked the deal at the last minute, and brought him to Kenya instead. I'm ecstatic with this move to be honest, and I believe that Moses is [quite easily] the best midfielder in the league.

Financially: this is a great deal too. Moses has accepted a 2-year offer worth just €2,500/month before bonuses, with it being a deal that doesn’t break the bank. Despite his age, I think that he still has quite a few good years of football left in his career, and I'm delighted to have been able to bring him to the club.



Another player that Luke was able to bring to the club is Gedion Zelalem, with the former Arsenal trainee, and United States youth international signing here on a free transfer. He’d been clubless for well over 18-months after his release from New York City FC, and despite trying to play hard to get: I didn’t entertain it for a minute. If he wanted to sign: I’d be happy to have him. If he didn’t: we’d look elsewhere. In the end, I think that Gedion realized he didn’t have another option, and he agreed to sign our offer.

Gedion is partially Ethiopian, which was why we were interested in bringing him here, and he signed the 3-year offer worth €3,000/month before bonuses that we’d extended to him. I also agreed to play him in the ‘advanced playmaker’ role this season, which I think he's perfectly suited for, and I look forward to seeing his performances for the club.



Our final foreign [for the time being] is Nikola Milošević: the 27-year old striker the son of former Serbian international Savo Milošević. He’d been a free agent since his departure from FK Radnički [SM], with them having organized a mutual termination. I’d wanted to sign a ‘target forward’ from the offset, and with Michael Uchebo now being my assistant: I had to find someone new! Despite looking all over Africa, nobody had stood out, and so we cast the net even wider. Once I saw the footage of Nikola: I knew we had our man.

It took a 3-year offer worth €2,500/month before bonuses to get Nikola to the club, and I'm pleased to have done the deal for such a modest wage. I think it’s quite likely that a team from within Africa that can pay a much more attractive wage will come in for him, so it’s very much a case of us beginning to look for his replacement already.



So there you have it: those are our foreign players! I think they all bring an enormous amount of quality to the club, and they're all lads that will help the younger players at the club learn good habits, and so on. Whilst it’s important that we bring good footballers to the club, it’s even more important that those footballers are good people too. All of them are going to help this club achieve the goals that we’re going to be setting in the near future, and I've tasked each lad with taking time out of their day occasionally to go to a ‘youth team’ training session. Those youngsters are the future of this club, and if they see first-team players making the effort: it’ll bring this club even closer together.

We’ve got 4 pre-season friendlies lined up, with 2 of the games against local sides, before we head to a nearby island off the coast of Tanzania to play two games against a couple of teams that play in the local league of Zanzibar. I’ve been extremely impressed by the pictures that I've seen of where we’re headed: it looks like paradise.



@NTBgaming: It'll be extremely interesting to see if the tactic will work, and I'm hoping that it does. Otherwise... I'll look a bit silly! I have faith that I've got the squad to be able to pull it off, so fingers crossed.

@Tango: Machika definitely looks like a 'fox in the box' type of striker, though I'm quite pleased that I [at least] have the option to play a long ball over the top if we're chasing a goal. He's a quick player, and I actually think that he might be one of the quickest players in the league.

@Maxporto: I love a classic car, and [imo] the shape of the old Mercedes is a lot nicer than what they produce these days. It'll be an exciting journey in Kenya, and hopefully I'm able to put the experience into the right words to do it justice. So far, I'm enjoying my time in Mombasa tremendously!

if you get a Palestinian player you'll officially represent more nations than the UN

GETTING OUR PRE-SEASON OVER WITH

I’d waited a while before making another request to the board, but considering they'd looked after me so well so far… I thought there was no harm in asking! I can’t find a fault with the people running Bandari FC, and I find it very easy to talk with them about any issues there might be. Where there might be disagreements, they're civil, and there's no ill will that lingers around. We all want what's best here, and that’s what we’re all working towards.

The board were happy to allow me to partake in my ‘Continental B Licence’ course, and I look forward to completing it in the next 6-months.



My squad had been quite alarmed when they saw how I planned for us to line-up this season, though it quickly turned to intrigue once we got out onto the training pitch. I’ll admit that it’s unorthodox to say the least, and there are some things that we’ll need to adjust over time, but for the time being: I'm sticking with it. As I've said before, I'm not locked into playing a particular way, and if there's a better way for us to play, where results will come a lot easier: then I’ll be happy to switch things up.

Our performances in our pre-season friendlies were quite pleasing to see, though I know our fans were a little annoyed that we didn’t have at least one game at home before the start of the season. That was a move designed to keep the pitch at the Bomu Stadium in pristine condition, whilst I also think that by not playing a home game: we built up a bit more intrigue in the ranks of our supporter base. Season tickets are up this season, with us selling a total of 1,163: up from 1,029 the season before.

Below are the results of our pre-season friendlies:



I'm quite pleased with the squad that I've been able to build, though I'm also realistic enough to recognize that we’re still going to need to look to improve over the course of the season. I'm intrigued to see how our tactical set-up will fare in the league, but if the pre-season friendlies are anything to go by: we should be fine. We have enough depth in the squad where we could handle a ‘re-jig’ if we needed to go down that path, though we’d also have to look for better options in the mid-season window too.

The board is only expecting a ‘top half’ finish from me this season, though I was pleased to see that the media have us finishing in the top-4: they’ve been paying attention to our signings! I was also pleased to find out from our analytical team that we have a considerably younger side [23] compared to the rest of the league [26], so that’s something that should hold us in good stead too.

Below is the squad that we’ll take into the season:




SIDE NOTE

For the league and cups this season, I will be posting every two months, so that there's reasonable progress made each update. In New Zealand I was able to get away with half-season reports, due to there being so few league games, but that isn't the case in Kenya!


@Tango: I try to incorporate multiculturalism as best I can in my saves, and in future parts of the save: there's other things I'll be looking to do too. I can't go into detail without giving the idea I've had away, so that's all I can say for now!

jeez finally this pre-season is coming to an end xD

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