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NTB: from Zero to Hero?

Follow Norbert Theodore Brandt on his way from zero to possible hero!
Started on 19 December 2021 by NTBgaming
Latest Reply on 25 January 2022 by NTBgaming
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NTBgaming's avatar Group NTBgaming
1 yearEdited

It's january 2021, Norbert is sitting at his desk, staring at his computer screen, watching highlights from another random footballgame. He's been doing this for months now, ever since he wasn't able to work due to all the lockdowns.

Even though he never played professionally himself, he always found it fascinating to watch football and look how teams tactically set up and why they did or did not succeed. But without any playing experience or coaching badges, how is he ever gonna be an actual coach?

Possibly the closest to getting there is playing Football Manager, which does represent a quite realistic experience, where you can change tactics and see what works and what doesn't.
He's been playing it loads and the game makes it look easy, or is the game telling him he would actually make a good manager?
Anyway after being inside for this long and watching so many managers doing it completely wrong, surely he can do better, even without any experience?

This lockdown made him realise something: his job wasn't secure at this moment, his love for the game of football was totally back, so isn't this the best ever moment to take a chance and see if he actually knows it better then all the other managers?

This is the start of something new in the life of Norbert, a step into the unknown.
A long road lies ahead, we start at zero and hopefully we end up being a HERO!

NTBgaming's avatar Group NTBgaming
1 yearEdited

So after this decision to actually go ahead and make the jump into the unknown, it was time for Norbert to actually go and see how he could set his first steps into management.
He decided to go ahead and contact an agency to make sure he would get to know which clubs were on the lookout for a manager. A lovely lady called Amelie is now keeping him up to date which jobs are available and, more important, which ones he’d even stand a chance at getting the job!

After a first, allbeit short, interview with somebody from Maxifoot, a football related site, Norbert stated he definately wouldn’t mind working abroad. Reallistically he’d probably have to start in a smaller league before eventually working in his beloved Germany or one of the other big football nations!

Obviously Norbert himself was looking around as well, seeing the likes of Ligue 2 Nancy, League Two Hartlepool and even bigger clubs being without a manager! But he quickly came back down to earth when Amelie send her first mail with possible destinations. Instead of sunny France or the football heaven that’s England, he got the advice to apply for the manager post at Slonim…

I hear you think, Slonim, where is that even? The same has to be said for Norbert, so he decided to look it up and after he found out it was in Belarus he had to step back and consider his choice. Obviously it’s nothing inspiring, it seems quite basic, but that might be the best way to start. And let’s be real, without any footballing experience and no coaching license Norbert won’t have that much choice anyway! So he decided to apply and, low and behold, after only a few days they already came back to him with an offer for a job interview!

The interview took place online, which was ideal for Norbert, he didnt have to pay for his transportation to the club! It was an interesting interview to say the least, after talking about him not being able to speak the language (football is a universal language anyway) and some questions about his preferences, the club presented their plans for the coming season. And here the fun bit comes in, they expected Norbert to finish BOTTOM of the league! Norbert had to take a few moments to process what he just heard, but then he thought: It’s not the most exciting of expectations, but that might be a great starting point! So he decided to just take the expectation of the board, just so he wouldn’t have the pressure of bottling his first job!

After just 3 days Slonim already came back to Norbert with a job offer! This made Norbert think: Isn’t this a little too easy? A random club from Belarus just presented me a contract within a week of me applying for the job. A complete stranger, with no experience and licenses whatsoever! He started to doubt whether he should go. On the other hand, it was €700 per week which was already more then he earned now! After some thinking he decided to ask the club for some time to think about the offer, which they agreed to without any hesitation.

So now Norbert has a week to make his choice, does he go into the unknown and jump at the chance given to him by Slonim or does he keep looking for other, possibly better, jobs?

After delaying his decision about the Slonim job Norbert decided to wait a couple of days and see if there would be other opportunities for him. And eventually Amelie came to him with another job, in Iceland this time with Knattspyrnufélagið Þróttur, who were in the 2nd tier of Iceland. Norbert decided to apply and see if he got as quick of a reaction from them as he did with Slonim. Unfortunately he didnt hear anything from them before Slonim got back to him with their offer again. Norbert decided to test the waters even more and asked for a €100 rise in his wages, just to see if the club really wanted him and they accepted it straight away! Now nothing was gonna hold him back from signing the deal!

So all things are signed, Norbert Theodore Brandt is now a manager, in REAL life! Obviously some people are doubting his ability, with him not having any experience on the field, but with the low expectations from the board he should do just fine!
After his appointment the club send him some much needed information about the club and the squad. The club itself is a pretty young club, with a solid stadium for now but not a lot of staff! I guess that's another chance for Norbert to set up things as he likes at the club!

FC Slonim-2017

Looking at the squad it's quite thin, only 20 players and quite a few of them are loans. On top of that ALL contracts expire at the end of the season! While on the one hand this gives Norbert a good chance to decide who he wants to keep and sell, on the other hand it has resulted in some horrific team cohesion. Plenty of work to do as it seems, but for now Norbert will have to do with these players as the board hasn't allowed him to sign or sell anybody due to the low team cohesion. Most of the players are allright, with a few players being above average, the likes of Ilya Baglay, Kirill Gusev (a 1.92m striker), young talent Alexey Chernodarov and captain Roman Kozel.
The squad does lack a bit of depth in the central and left defensive area, but with some player training we should be okay. Plenty of potential for growth in the team at least, so hopefully Norbert can gather some good backgroundstaff to help him getting that potential out of the players!

After getting this information Norbert decides to ask for some videomaterial from the players, so the club organise a friendly between the first and the second team and film the whole match! The first team won the game convincingly playing in a 433 system, focussing on nice passing play and high pressure. People might think this wouldn't be a good playstyle in lower leagues, but Norbert wants to try and show the world everyone can play nice football and win games, as long as you practice a lot!
With that in mind Norbert decided to arrange loads of friendlies to make sure the players could get used to the system and, maybe even more importantly, get used to eachother!

After 9 friendlies in only 1.5 month, the players seemed to get used to the system and doing well with it! 8 wins and 1 draw is a great result, but it has to be said, these opponents weren't quite their level yet. Having attended most of the friendlies, Norbert had a great idea about how his squad looked, which players he would use and what tactic was the best. With these results and the new staff coming in, Norbert is really looking forward to the new season, his first ever season managing a football team in real life! This is so exciting!
NTBgaming's avatar Group NTBgaming
1 yearEdited
2021-12-20 16:42#286196 NTBgaming : Plenty of work to do as it seems, but for now Norbert will have to do with these players as the board hasn't allowed him to sign or sell anybody due to the low team cohesion.

I've got the first transfer window disabled to make my saves more realistic. Most of the time you can't just walk into a job and change the whole team. So that's why i won't be making any transfers this transferwindow! Also other clubs won't make any transfers this (winter)window which wouldn't be logical as that didnt happen IRL either!

After the good friendly results, Norbert was wondering whether his team could keep this level of playing up against bigger and better opposition! The tactic we used most of the friendlies is the one Norbert settled on, a 433 tika-taka with a DM to sure up the defense.

First game of the season was at home against Naftan, a side who are predicted to finish just above us. After just 14 minutes it's our big striker Gusev who opens the score with a nice header, and in the 2nd half Chernodarov and Baglay added two more goals with our defense giving next to nothing away! A great way to start off the season!
Next game was away against Baranovichi, a side predicted to finish around the same place as us, so this should be an easy win and it is! 4-0 away from home with Gusev adding another two goals to his tally and right winger Dybin also grabbing a brace.
Game number three was a bit more of a challenge with one of the better teams in Dnepr Mogilev being our opponent away from home. After a difficult first half where our opponent missed a penalty and we didnt create a lot, in the 2nd half i decided to bring on my experienced right midfielder Puzach , who isn't supposed to be able to play on the right wing to his full potential yet. Even though he shouldn't be great, his experience seems to give him the quality he needs and he scores two goals to win us the game! We actually are doing great, which i totally didnt expect with the board expecting us to finish last!
The 4th and final game of the month is another away game against Orsha, a team who aren't doing too great so we should be able to win the game. Even though we were in great form and Dybin putting us 1-0 up in the first half, we gave away a late equalizer in the 88th minute against 10 men. Unlucky, but we can still take our good amount of chances created and build on that!

After all that, the table looks as follows:

We are unbeaten and top of the league! Naftan also seem to have had a great start after losing to us in the first game, they won all three of their other games! Norbert certainly didn't expect to be so high up the table after the first month!
To top it all off, Norbert also managed to pick up Manager of the Month in his first ever month of being a manager! This all feels like a dream, will Slonim be able to keep this up or will they be back down to earth quickly?
It's been a very strong start to life in management for Norbert , and I'm sure he didn't envision beginning his career in Belarus! Having played there in past editions of the game, it's a lot of fun, and I've no doubt that you'll be able to use FC Slonim-2017 to get yourself into a bigger/better club.

Good luck :D

After a great start to the season, Norbert is looking to continue to profit from this rich vein of form as long as it lasts! The board are incredibly happy and with him winning manager of the month, Norbert decides to ask the club if he can study for his first coaching license so he can become an even better manager. The board were a bit hesitant at first with him being less at the training ground when studying, but after Norbert convinced them he would still be at the training ground a lot, they eventually let him take his first course!

The second month kicks off with a fixture against Volna Pinsk at home, another mid-table team. Gusev got Slonim of to a great start by scoring after only 2 minutes, already his 4th goal of the season! In the 2nd half Dybin added a second goal in the 48th minute, things seemed to be going great! Maybe the players got a bit complacent, but in the 63rd minute and the 82nd minute Volna Pinsk managed to score two to bring it back to a draw. More points lost, which hopefully won't lead to a dip in form!

Next game is at home against Lida, on of the teams predicted to struggle in the league, so this is the ideal game to pick up a win and look to get back into form. The players certainly seemed to have this in mind, with Gusev yet again opening the scoring in the 14th minute. Slonim were playing well, but couldn't seem to get the goal, but on the other hand Lida weren't exactly getting close to scoring either. Finally in the 87th minute Gavrilov managed to get the 2nd goal and seal the win. Back to winning ways!

A third home game in a row sees Norbert's men go up against Belshina, one of the toughest opponents this season, with them being relegated from the league above and predicted to finish in the top places this year. If they can win this one, it would really give them a boost in confidence!
Yet again Slonim were of to a great start with rightwinger Dybin scoring in the 18th minute! The defense seemed rock solid and after going into half time at 1-0 it was Gusev putting them up 2-0 in the 53rd minute and Slonim were flying! A quick brace by Ramazan Isaev quickly put them back down to earth as it suddenly was level pegging after 69 minutes. Norbert was yelling at his men to give all they had left and show their attacking prowess once again. It definately seemed to work out as they had lots of chances towards the end of the game, but the ball just wouldn't go in... until the 86th minute when who else then Gusev headed in a freekick to get his brace and win Slonim the game, a massive result!

From one huge game to another, with an away day to Krumkachy Minsk, another team predicted to do really well in the league. With the boost they got from the win, surely Slonim would have a chance?
After the impressive attacking prowess shown last game, this game was the opposite, it seemed to be a tactical game of chess, with not a lot of chances and it taking up to the 87th minute for a team to score. It was Shubko who grabbed a goal from the penalty spot to put Slonim 1-0 up! This would mean a great result, to beat two of the biggest teams in the league in short time and keep running away with the league!
Unfortunately it wasn't to be when Kaloshkin grabbed a late 90th minute equalizer to take away two possible extra points from Slonim. Still a great result away from home, but not when you were up by a goal with so little time left!

The games were coming thick and fast for Slonim, with only a few days between the last match and the next, away from home against Shaktar Petrikov, one of the worst teams in the league. You would expect Slonim to breeze past them, but it took until the end of the first half to open the scoring. It was rightwinger Dybin who scored the 1-0 in the 44th minute. Topscorer Gusev then added another two goals to his growing tally to take home a 3-0 win.

3 days later the 6th and final game of the month took place against Lokomotiv Gomel, one of the teams battling in the top half of the table with Norbert's men. Yet again it took until far into the second half to open the scoring. The high amount of matches in a short time seem to take their toll, with the players not being able to create as much as usual. Norbert needed to bring on a few fresh players to grab the game and win, with substitute midfielder Rogach and winger Puzach grabbing the goals to win them the game.

A crazy busy month came to an end and Slonim STILL didn't lose! A dream start for Norbert in Belarus, how long can this still go on? Still top of the league and now 4 points clear of #2, which still would give Slonim promotion!

After this busy of a month, Norbert decided he needed a place of his own, so he wouldn't have to go back to the hotel every day. A place where he could have a bit of rest, with not many people around him. After looking into the housing market around Slonim, he managed to find a bargain buy, for only 18k! It is a little outside of Slonim, but that's no problem as it seems to be in a quiet neighbourhood!

A nice new place for Norbert to live!

Not gonna lie, Norbert needs to pinch himself in the arm from time to time, to make sure he isn't just dreaming and this is really happening. Long may it continue!
Haven't seen anyone playing in Belarus since the Savitskiy-fever. Good luck!

After the last busy month, business continues for Norbert and his men. In june we play 5 games, 4 in the league, 1 in the cup.
First game is at home against Arsenal Dzerzhinsk which was a hard game, with left winger Baglay grabbing a late equalizer in the 80th minute for a 1-1 draw. Not great but we will take a point!

Only a few days later, just before the international break, Slonim takes on Veles-2020 in the cup at home. After an incredibly stale game it took Norbert's men until extra time to finally score and it was that man Kirill Gusev again! A 1-0 win against a lower league team in extra time doesn't fill the fans with confidence for the further games this month though.

Next game is against Volna Pinsk away, hoping to win a game convincingly again! And it was Kirill Gusev who grabbed another brace, this man is on fire, defenses are terrified! Unfortunately they conceded a penalty in the 77th minute, but they managed to hold on for a 2-1 win away from home! Against a team like Volna Pinsk that's solid!

Game number 4 is at home against Dnepr Mogilev, one of the teams challenging for the top spot, so a difficult game! And it showed, with a 0-0 stalemate at fulltime. The biggest factor in the 0-0 is the fact topscorer Kirill Gusev wasn't available, because we are loaning him from Dnepr Mogilev. At least we kept a clean sheat and the goalkeeper had a good game!

Last game of june then, away against Lida, a mid table team we should be able to beat, with Gusev back in the team. Unfortunately the midfield had a complete offday and also our defense wasn't the greatest, with them conceding a goal in the 41st minute. And the fact Gusev didn't score meant we unfortunately, finally, lost our first game of the season! Hopefully it's not downhill from here, with only 1 win this month! We have to remember where we are 'supposed' to finish though and we are massively overperforming that! Still in first place, despite only winning one game, let's look at the positives!

The results

The leaguetable

2021-12-23 11:14#286253 J_ames : It's been a very strong start to life in management for Norbert , and I'm sure he didn't envision beginning his career in Belarus! Having played there in past editions of the game, it's a lot of fun, and I've no doubt that you'll be able to use FC Slonim-2017 to get yourself into a bigger/better club.

Good luck :D

Norbert surely didnt expect to start in Belarus, but he also didn't expect the club to react so quickly to his job application! But it seems their trust in him was justified now Slonim are doing insane! Now it's about seeing how the season ends and eventual next steps!

2021-12-23 21:34#286266 Tango : Haven't seen anyone playing in Belarus since the Savitskiy-fever. Good luck!

Thanks! It started off well, let's hope we can keep this going!

Month number 4 in charge of Slonim brings another 7 matches, 6 in the league and 1 cup game!
After a disappointing end of last month, Norbert wanted to get things back to 'normal', at least his normal, since he was so used to winning all the games!

First game was a tough one at home against 3rd placed Krumkachy and, after not scoring in the first half, rightwinger Dybin managed to put one in in the 53rd minute! The lads were defending really well up until the final whistle, at least nearly... In the 89th minute it was Aleksievich who put one past Dimitry Sai to pull Krumkachy back to 1-1. It's not too bad, but not the win they were looking for!

Next up: Lokomotiv Gomel away, another top half team fighting for 4th place. The defense was really solid this game! But the goals were hard to come by, with yet again a first half with no goals. It took until the 78th minute to open the scoring, but then we after that Slonim grabbed a few more! It was leftwinger Baglay who opened the scoring and grabbed his brace in the 81st minute, after they had equalized in that same 81st minute. Then it was substitute rightwinger Puzach who grabbed the third and final goal in a nice and convincing 3-1 win!

Game number 3, at home against Shakhter Petrikov, realistically one of the easier opponents and it showed. A 3-0 win after 3 quick goals in the first half. Gusev scoring again after a few games without a goal, he managed to grab a brace with goals in the 19th and 31st minute. Rightwinger Puzach who started the game to make sure he got more used to playing on the wing, grabbed another goal for himself in the 29th minute. Unfortunately CB Adamchik managed to get himself send off in the 77th minute, leaving us in a bit of a pickly with the lack of centerbacks at the club. We managed to snatch one up on a free in june, but he's not able to play yet because he needs to be registered. Anyway a comfortable 3-0 win is a nice way to build up some momentum and extend the gap at the top!

Game number 4, at home against Orsha, another team in the bottomhalf of the table, and yet again at home. Yet again we had a great first half and were up 2-0 at HT, centermid Gavrilov and topscorer Gusev grabbing the goals in the 26th and 47th minute. Unfortunately the defense didn't manage to keep a clean sheet, with Orsha scoring in the 92nd minute, but it's another 3 points added!

Game number 5 was away against Arsenal Dzerzhinsk, one of the teams just outside of the top 3, which could be a big hurdle to take. Well in the end, it appeared to be one of the best matches we played this season! An emphatic 5-0 win away from home! Gusev grabbing a brace in the 1st half and rightwinger Puzach also grabbing a brace with substitute leftwinger Kopach grabbing the fifth and final goal! We are back on a roll!

Now for the 6th game this month we go away to Lokomotiv Gomel in the cup, with a much changed team! Not gonna lie, it showed, with us losing 3-1. The lads did alright in the first half, with Gusev grabbing a goal just before halftime. But in the 2nd half Lokomotiv Gomel stepped up their game and scored in the 68th, 88th and 91st minute to get them the win. Another loss for the team and we're out off the cup, but we can't be too disheartened, we can now focus on the league!

Back to the league we go now, with our 7th game of the month away against Belshina. Our new signings were finally able to play after being registered in the squad, we now have a proper CB and a backup winger on loan. The CB (Alekhnovich) played his 2nd game after also starting in the cup. This time he managed to keep a clean sheet along with the other players in defense, but still not getting a great rating. CDM Artem Antonov is developing nicely though and played another great game with him grabbing the only goal this game in the 76th minute. A nice end to a really good month with 5 wins and a draw in the league!

The results

The leaguetable at the end of july

We're now 7 points clear of 2nd place! The team is doing great and we finally can add some of our own signings, although we only have little room to play with in the budget. We're still looking for a back up striker, so Gusev could possibly get some rest.

To top this great month off, the board decided to extend my contract until december next year! So in case we manage to go up, i can guide them to even better things! Time is flying and we're having fun!
Playing like that it seems that promotion is in the bag. How many matches will be played until the end of the season? This league seems to have more than two turns
2022-01-01 16:45#286393 Tango : Playing like that it seems that promotion is in the bag. How many matches will be played until the end of the season? This league seems to have more than two turns

Yh form is great! Also having someone like Gusev who bangs in the goals really helps!
This competition had 33 games, so everyone plays eachother 3 times.
You're cruising in the league atm, and although the cup defeat is disappointing: the league is far more important this season. I [briefly] managed Gomel in my story save last year, and had quite a lot of fun in Belarus, but was able to move on to the lower leagues of Spain from there quite quickly. Is Norbert committed to spending the next 10-years in Belarus, or will he be looking to move if an opportunity arises?

Not gonna lie, i've been flying through this first season and just to be able to play ahead, i kinda need to wrap up the first season in this update, so get ready to experience the second half of the season with me!

4 months into his first managerial experience, top of the table with Slonim, who would've imagined that!
After looking for a back up striker for a while, we managed to get one on a free, 20 year old Konechnyi joins us a back up for Gusev. He's young enough to still count as an under 20 player (of which you need 2 in your starting eleven and 4 in the matchday squad) and has some decent potential.
We also picked up a back up leftback, Pavel Baronovskiy, only 18 years of age and also has decent potential. With Spasyuk already being 30, he can possible take over in the coming years!

After a busy july, august fortunately was a little less busy with only 4 matches to play.
First game was at home against Baranovichi, a game we should win easily. Much to Norberts suprise though, we went 2-0 down within the first half an hour, goals in the 26th and 29th minute made us look horrific!
Just before half time Ilya Baglev managed to get a goal back to at least give us a lifeline, but things still weren't looking too bright. After a telling off by Norbert, the lads went off to a flying start in the second half and Gusev got the game back to 2-2 in the 50th, before CM Alexey Rogach managed to get the winner in the 72nd minute. We got the win after all, but it should've been a lot easier!

Next game was against one of the title challengers, Naftan, who we beat earlier in the season, but after that they went on an equally impressive run of form to kind of keep up with us. After last games struggles, Norbert was eager to see if his lads could bounce back and get of to a good start. And sure they did! Gusev finding the net after only 6 minutes to give Slonim a 1-0 lead, which was double by winger Puzach in the 42nd minute. The 2nd half didn't see any extra goals, which meant a clean sheet for the defense, where new signing Alekhnovich is getting more and more used to the level of football!

Game number 3 of august is at home against Volna Pinsk and in this one both Gusev and Baglay were trying to show of some of the goalscoring abilities! With Gusev scoring in the 10th and 86th minute and Baglay grabbing his goals in the 32nd and 61st minute, to win the game 4-1!

To end of the month of august, we had another difficult game, away against Krumkachy, who were also challenging for the promotion spots. In front of the biggest crowd we've seen this season (726 people), Kirill Gusev was once again showing his tremendous goal scoring form by bagging another brace. Unfortunately Krumkachy managed to grab two late goals to secure them a point after being 2-0 down. But still a 2-2 draw away from home against one of the better teams in the league is nothing to be sniffed at!

Another HUGE update!
After his impressive month of august, we managed to get Gusev to sign for us after this season! His contract was running out at Dnepr Mogilev and we decided to approach him. He asked for quite a bit of money, but we managed to bring out down to only €130 p/w, which is only €10 p/w more than the minimum! Exciting times for next season, when we could possibly have our goal cannon firing in the top division in Belarus!

Also Norbert managed to go on another coaching course, after succesfully finishing his national C license!

September brought another 4 games. The first one being a friendly just to keep match fitness up and give some people a chance during the international break. We won 6-1 with rightwinger Dybin grabbing a hattrick, so he is getting another chance at rightwing after being out of the team because Puzach was playing.

The next week we played Arsenal Dzerzhinsk at home, in front of over 500 people! Normally we get around 300 people in, but the people of Slonim must've been excited for this game! The amount of people certainly didn't get on the nerves of the players, with them showing a solid performance with a 2-0 win and the defense standing out! Dybin took his chance by scoring a goal in the 33rd minute and it was the other winger Baglay who grabbed the other goal to get the 2-0 win.

Game number 3 was away against Orsha, where we got off to a great start with Gavrilov opening the scoring after only 4 minutes! Then Gusev and Baglay grabbed another two goals in the first half to get us to half-time 3-0 ahead and cruising. Then the second half started and despite cruising in the first half, we managed to give away two goals in the 51st and 63rd minute to be only 1 goal ahead. To make things even worse they managed to score in the 83rd minute to equalize. As if that wasn't enough, they also managed to grab the winner in the 92nd minute... So after being 3 goals up at half time, the lads managed to give away the match and lose! Norbert was pissed and he definately did let the players know, maybe there was a water bottle flying through the dressing room...

The last game of september then. Norbert was looking for a reaction from his players after last weeks diabolical 2nd half performance. Playing at home against Lokomotiv Gomel, the players didn't quite show a lot of desire to right the wrongs of last week, with nothing happening in the 1st half. Luckily Gusev managed to grab a goal in the 2nd half to go 1-0 up and actually the defense did right the wrongs of last game by not conceding any goals. This might also have been down to the fact GK Dmitriy Sai has been dropped in favour of loanee Andrey Shkvarkov, who managed to keep a clean sheet.
And this game sealed it, we are the champions of the MaxLine Pieršaja Liha! With 7 games to go, the gap is too big and we are already crowned champions! Norbert can't quite believe his luck, managing to get a job where he's expected to finish bottom, to only go on and win the league!

With the league title already in the bag, some people might've gone easy for the rest of the season. Not Norbert Theodore Brandt though, he wants to do what needs to be done, play out the season like a proper champion! 4 league games were played in october, 2 at home and 2 away, with 1 friendly in between for match fitness again.
Game #1: At home against Belshina, a comfortable 4-0 win with Gusev grabbing another goal and Baglay grabbing a hattrick!
Game #2: A friendly against Riteriai B, a comfortable 3-0 win, with Baglay showing his goal scoring for once again by scoring 2 goals.
Game #3: Away against Baranovichi, the team we struggles against at home. This time we managed to get a comfortable win with our superstar striker Gusev grabbing a hattrick to win 3-1!
Game #4: At home against Naftan, still fighting for a top 3 finish, but we managed to beat them 2-1, with goals for Rogach and Kopach who was given a chance to show his ability since he was on loan and didn't feature a lot.
Game #5: Away against Shakhter Petrikov, another Kirill Gusev show with two goals to win the game 2-0. Another player who was stealing a bit of the spotlight this game was Artem Shubko, who was playing CM and got both assists! He played CB for most of the season, but with Khizhnyak doing well there and Alekhnovich's place being cemented in the squad, i decided to try Shubko at CM. Even though he is natural at CB and AM, he wasn't at CM, but i am trying to get him accomplished there so we can get even more out of him and it seems to work out!
Another good month, form not dropping off, even though we don't need the wins at all!

The last two games of the league, at home against Lida and away against Dnepr Mogilev.
Lida, a midtable side, managed to get a draw against us, after they went up by a goal in the 43rd minute. Artem Shubko however manager to grab himself a goal this game with a beautiful freekick and once again showed his ability to play in the CM spot.
The last game of the season was against Dnepr Mogilev, so unfortunately Kirill Gusev wasn't able to feature. Norbert felt it was his duty to beat them, as Krumkachy were still in with a chance to get 2nd place and automatic promotion. Despite having to do without Gusev, Slonim were still able to grab the win, with a Ilya Baglay goal in the 67th minute and the defense keeping another clean sheet! GK Shkvarkov managed to keep 4 clean sheets in 7 games, so that's something to think about for Norbert!

The season is finished and Slonim won the league with a 22 point lead over Dnepr Mogilev! Only two losses in the whole season is also something to be immensely proud of!

The MaxLine Pieršaja Liha Team of the Season was also, understandably, filled with a lot of our players!

With us being promoted, we have to look at our squad and decide who to keep and who to let go, especially the loanees. Some business has already been done and the loan of Shubko has been renewed and Gusev is joining permanently! Also most of the first team squad have been given a new contract, with the exception of GK Sai, who realistically isn't good enough, rightwinger Puzach who might still get a contract and captain and rightback Roman Kozel who we didn't manage to reach an agreement with yet.
Players definately leaving us after this season are: backup rightback Solodovnikov, who agreed to join Ryazan in Russia and CM Chernodarov who agreed to Gomel in the Belarusbank Vyšejšaja Liha, so we are going to see him again next season!
Gusev, the man joining us permanently next season, what striker to have!

So after this dreamstart to his career, what is Norbert gonna do? To be honest, he doesn't even know himself yet! He is looking at jobs around the world, but at the same time he still wants to do the best for Slonim, with the chance being he is still with them when the new season starts. It is november, so there is a chance to make the step to another european lower league, and bring in some of his own players in january. Exciting times are ahead, let's see what comes of Norbert Theodore Brandt, can he become a hero? He might already be one for the slonim supporters!

2022-01-02 22:56#286413 J_ames : You're cruising in the league atm, and although the cup defeat is disappointing: the league is far more important this season. I [briefly] managed Gomel in my story save last year, and had quite a lot of fun in Belarus, but was able to move on to the lower leagues of Spain from there quite quickly. Is Norbert committed to spending the next 10-years in Belarus, or will he be looking to move if an opportunity arises?

To be honest, Norbert doesn't really know himself yet. This first year has been a dream and he didn't expect it to go this quick! The chance of managing in the topleague in Belarus is nice, but working his way up to a bigger club is certainly something Norbert will think of!
That was a walk in a park. I can only imagine next season to be a tad more complicated

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