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Around The World in 30 Seasons

Starting unemployed, as a formed Sunday League Footballer, this is my adventure!
Started on 31 December 2011 by rpaddyk
Latest Reply on 3 January 2012 by CantGetEnoughOfJelavic
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11 yearsEdited


After having been inspired by the truly awesome ‘Don’t know where I’m going, but I’ll get there!’ by l3nnart (thanks) I decided to follow in his footsteps, load up as many leagues as my shiny new computer can cope with, start unemployed, and treat the game as a globe trotting adventure!

On previous versions of FM, and CM before it, I’ve always started a game as Man Utd, as they the team that caused me to fall in love with football in the first place around 30 years ago, and have owned my allegiance ever since. This is the game I normally return to throughout the year, in between starting games with various other clubs, as varied as Macabi Haifa, Fiorentina, Atletico Madrid, Woking, Stuttgart, Birmingham, Stevenage (the closest pro team to where I live) and Nottingham Forest (the team closest to where I was born!)

As you can see from the list above, I’ll often get a strange urge to start a game as a random team, but I’ve never before started unemployed, so it’s a new one on me - most of the games above involved me staying long term at one club and looking to develop them in a linear way - it’s very rare I take a job offer at another club, so the idea of moving between clubs regularly could be a learning experience for me.

Couple that with fact that this is the first FM Story I’ve written, and the fact that I work fulltime on early, late and night shifts, the story may be little disjointed - please feel free to offer (constructive) criticism and advice!

First Steps

Visiting the job centre revealed a host of vacancies for ways to start my career in football management. Looking down the list, I immediately discounted any club currently competing in either a ‘premier’ or ‘super’ league for two reasons:

1. I felt it would be pointless in applying for such a job on the back of my experience as a Sunday League Footballer.

2. I felt I needed to build up some experience of managing smaller clubs before I could make the step up to dealing with the huge egos and increased pressure of top level club management.

This left me with a list made up of a Ukrainian First Division team, a Russian First Division team, a few teams who compete in the South African First Division, some who take part in Brazil’s second tier, and one who were battling relegation from the second tier of Argentinean football.

I was drawn to the idea of taking part in the ‘new adventure’ of South African football - most of the teams taking part in the Nation Division 1 were formed around 10-20 years ago. I also felt the tug of managing in such a prestigious footballing culture as the Brazilian leagues, and maybe discovering the next Pele, Ronaldo or Ronaldinho.

With this in mind, I sent applications to 4 South African teams with a managerial vacancy, and 3 Brazilian teams.

Applications sent, I settled down to wait for replies…

An Offer

It wasn’t a long wait!

Within 24 hours, I had been offered jobs at all of the clubs which I applied for, (and been accused of not taking them seriously in the newspapers!)

This left me with a decision to make.

Eventually, I ruled out managing in Brazil - at least at this stage - being a more established league, I felt the expectations would be higher - and I only speak English and Spanish!

Having decided on South Africa, I looked through the offers, and noticed that one of the clubs had only been formed 5 years previously, and the Chairman was offering me a slightly more impressive wage and transfer budget - this was a chance to start my career and footballing adventure with a club which was just taking their own first steps!

With my decision made, I sent my acceptance to a club I had previously never heard of F.C. A.K of Johannesburg.

The Club

On the plane over to South Africa, I did a bit of light reading on the history of my club - it didn’t take long!

FC AK is a professional football club based in Johannesburg, South Africa. They were formed in 2006, and named after the founder and previous owner, Azziz Karra.

They were fined 500,000 rand and docked 15 points in 2008 after Azziz Karra was banned from South African football for life following allegations of corruption. The points deduction resulted in their relegation to the Provincial Vodacom League.

The club bounced back and won the Vodacom League in 2010, earning promotion back into the National First Division. This remains the only honours in the club’s history, although they did finish on the losing side of the 2006 First Division Cup.

The club play in the 12000 capacity Eldorado Park Stadium.
Looking good mate , cant wait to read it :)
looking like an interesting story so far . ill definitly be keeping an eye on this story
Cheers guys - I'm just mastering screenshots at the moment, so it will take me a wihle to do the next update - probably over the weekend.

Have already finished 2 seasons in this stroy, including moving clubs, without having taken screenshots, so I'll be going back to take them now, but attributes etc. may have changed!
So far, so good! Looking forward to reading more.

First Impressions

My first task in my new role was to meet with my staff. I wasn’t expecting any tactical or coaching masters, but I was hoping for ambitious youngsters, who could grow alongside the club and me, becoming at least half competent over the next few years.

Unfortunately, what I got wasn’t that;

All of the staff indicated to me that, although they wanted to continue in there roles, they would accept an offer to terminate their contracts if I wanted to bring in my own team.

I gave some serious consideration to this offer, as I believe the back room staff could offer a high level of support in developing talent at the club, and these guys clearly weren’t up to the job.

Fortunately for the staff, though less so for me, a lack of suitable replacements, and the lack of a decent wage structure meant I would struggle to improve on the quality of what I already had, so I decided to keep them on until the end of their contracts. Judging by the awful standard of the youth and training facilities I had walked through to get to the meeting, it seemed highly unlikely that any budding Messis were going to be coming through into the team anyway!

Putting that disappointment aside, I set to assessing my playing squad. There were problems here as well, though a few rays of light in Zambian DC Chalwe, RSA AML Thwallo and Liberian DM/MC Abu Sando. The media felt my squad could see me finish 12th in the 16 team league, but the board were expecting a mid-table finish. I could tell that this squad wasn’t up to either of these expectations, and some strengthening was needed.

I felt that the sensible course was to set up a system based around the few stars in my team, and attempt to recruit players to fill in the weak points. I favoured a system with 2 MCs, with a DM tucked in behind, feeling that this would help me to dominate possession in the centre of the park, and hopefully give Sando enough of the ball to spray some through balls to my two advanced wingers, and my central striker. My intention was to encourage the team to play fast, short passes in the centre of the park, until they found an opportunity to get one of the wingers away, to deliver a cross to the striker - this seemed simple, and with this in mind, I instructed my team to play very short passes, at a very high tempo, with a large amount of width.

Unfortunately, this left me with a long list of positions in need of strengthening. I urgently needed to sign a MC, AMR, DL and DC. Ideally I would also like to replace my ST and GK, as the incumbents weren’t really up to standard.

With my assessment completed, I went to see the board to discuss the finances. The chairman proudly informed that I had 250K to spend on transfers, before mentioning that the club’s wage budget was 16K per week, and the club was currently spending nigh on 20K per week, meaning most of my transfer budget would have to be adjusted into wages.

With my severely limited budgets set, I started looking for the players to get this club moving.


My first priority was my AMR. In order for my tactics to work, I needed my wingers to be able to get down the line and provide the majority of my goals.

My scout, as the only staff member I have a modicum of respect for, recommended Dikgang Mabalane, who was transfer listed by the reigning champions, Orlando Pirates.

I took a look, and was very impressed by the lads pace, and his ability to beat his man, so I faxed over a transfer offer of 70K, spread over the next 4 years.

I followed this up by beginning my search for my new MC. This was the most important role in my team, as it was vital that the team was able to dominate possession in the centre of the park.

I identified Shandile Zuke of the MP Black Aces, a fellow First Division Team recently relegated from the premier league, as a player capable of playing far above this level, and sent my scout out to give me his impression.

I also discovered a South African legend on the Free Agent list. Very few South African footballers can claim to have the pedigree of Quinton Fortune, who has had the honour of turning out for Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, amongst others. His experience and excellent mentality made him an ideal choice to lead my club into its new era, despite his advancing years. I immediately contacted his agent and offered him terms.

After scouring the transfer list, I’ve decided that Nkuta appears to be a suitable candidate for my DL position, although he’s not great, he’s good enough for this level, and at 21 years old, he might improve, even with my awful coaching staff and facilities. I despatched my scout with instructions to compile a more detailed report.

Moving on to DCs, this caused somewhat more of a problem, with both the transfer list and the free agent list providing slim pickings of prospects willing to move to us. In the end I had to plump for Mofokeng and Motale, and offered them both contracts. There is a slight bonus with Mokofeng in that he wants to come on board as a player coach. He’s not much of a coach, but as I’ll be paying him as a player anyway, so I’m more than happy for him to help out as a coach as well!

With my initial steps into the transfer market taken, it’s time to go home for the night and start preparing for some of the pre-season games which have been arranged.
Pre Season

I’m not too disappointed with how the pre season went, although we struggled for victories, most of our matches were against premier division teams, and with various players coming in at different times through the pre season period.

In all of the matches we controlled the ball well and defended stoutly, rarely allowing the opposition many clear cut chances. Our attack wasn’t really producing much at this point, but I’ve been adding players throughout the close season to attempt to address that issue.

The following transfers have been completed, and join the club ready for the season start:

Dikgang Mabalane - AMR

My current AMR was a real weak point in the attacking line up, and Mabalane would grace most Premier League teams, so he should impress in NFD. Hoping this will be one of the stars of the team this year.

Shandile Zuke - MC

A vital position for the tactics I’m looking to play - it just won’t work if we can’t control the middle of the park. The 250k price tag caused a long period of consideration, but it’s spread over 4 years, and the board assure me they can afford it. The most important member of the team this season, if he doesn’t perform, our tactics just won’t work!

Quinton Fortune - MC/DM/ML/DL/AML

The sheer versatility and experience of this legend makes him worth his wait in gold! He will be looking to start in my 2nd Central Midfield role alongside Zuke as a ball winning midfielder, but the ability to fill in where required if injuries strike could be vital. Fortune is also the Club Captain.

Nkuta - DL

Not quite at the standard I would like, but young and capable of getting there. He will take my first choice left back slot at the start of the season.

Mofokeng - DC

Experienced and decent Centre Back - a better partner for Chalwe then anyone already at the club, though again, not as good as I would have hoped. He will also fill the role of Coach.

Motale - DC

Another experienced centre back, he will offer me cover for Mofokeng and Chalwe.

Mogaila - DR

Not a position I was specifically looking to strengthen this season, but the opportunity was too good to pass up when I received a phone call from his agent. He can also fill in in the middle of the park if required. He is probably the best right back in the division, and would be competitive in the Premier League.

Ngwenya - ST

Another offer instigated by a phone call from an agent, I really like the look of this lad’s pace and finishing, even if he needs some work on the other aspects of his game. He will be our starting striker this season, hopefully the pace of the AMR,AML and ST will cause defences some serious problems.

Ngcepe - ST

This lad has been signed as a 2nd choice ST for this season and maybe a first choice for future seasons. Only 21 years old, and a much more rounded player than Ngwenya, he just lacks the pace that I will be looking to build our attacking threat around this season.

Nholsa - ST

Brought in to add a bit of experience to our strike force if required. Provided the 2 younger STs perform and don’t struggle to score, I don’t see Nholsa getting many games, but, if they go through a dry patch, I’ll draft him in.

Meyiwa - GK

Another agent offered player, capable of playing far above this level, and a real boost for us to have him in our team.

All of the transfer fee’s have been spread over 48 months, to allow to us to strengthen now, and pay later. It will add up to just shy of 10k a month coming out of the club for the next 4 years, which isn’t ideal, but isn’t crippling either.

With 11 players joining the club, an already large squad is now huge, so I’ve had to be ruthless with players who were earning wages on a par with the best in the team, though they had no ability to play at that level, and wouldn’t be used in future. Unfortunately, no other clubs were daft enough to bid for these players, even when offered for free, and they all flatly refused to consider a mutual termination of their contracts, so a vast amount of money has been spent on terminating their contracts. The board aren’t happy with me regarding this, but I keep pointing out that they should be blaming the idiot who thought they were worth that much in the first place!

What spec is ur pc to run this Many leagues and how long does it take you to get through a month of game time ??


I can’t be anything but happy with that start to the season, early days, but I’ve beaten a few teams that the media thought would be up near the top. Especially impressed with the clean sheets - my defence seems immense at the moment. The goals aren’t exactly flowing, but we’re scoring enough to win, and that’s what matters! We’ve also shown some resilience, after suffering injuries to some key players, others have stepped in and performed admirably, which is good, as one of my main concerns this season is that I felt we may not have any depth in our squad.

Progression in the D1 Cup is nice - the board aren’t bothered how we do, but I’m seeing it as a chance to judge how we stack up against the rest of the division, and progress is encouraging.


Our brilliant for continues, progressing in the D1 Cup and becoming established at the top end of the league. I’m starting to feel that we might have a chance of really getting somewhere this season, and going up in my first year in charge, which is way above my expectations. A long way to go still though, and only the Champions go up automatically, with 2nd, 3rd and 4th going into a play off with the 15th placed Premier team - I’m starting to think we could qualify for that.
What a start! No losses right?

I have started a story very similar to this and 'Don't know where am going but I'll get there'

Can't wait for more.

You are reading "Around The World in 30 Seasons".

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