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Mission to the Champions League: Stoke City

My story on trying to get Stoke to the Champions League
Started on 21 April 2012 by jpfeehily
Latest Reply on 26 April 2012 by kellerz1992
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10 yearsEdited
Tony Pulis resigns as Stoke boss to take charge of England

Tony Pulis has left Stoke to take charge of England after Fabio Capello resigned. Stoke fans are said to be shocked at Pulis' departure but understand his desire to manage on an international scale. Whether England can perform under Pulis is another manager, but he enjoyed great success as Stoke manager, making them play solid football, and also achieving qualification in the Europa League.

Rumours suggest that Andre Villas-Boas is reportedly interested in the job, as is Louis van Gaal. However, unknown manager Josh Feehily has also openly declared his interest in the job, he was a Chelsea coach for six years quitting in 2010 to get his coaching badges (which he has now got). He also has a glowing reference from Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich, both saying he is a natural in the field and is great at working with the players. We will have more on who takes charge at Stoke when we get it.
I am a football manager. Finally. After being a senior coach at Chelsea for six years, I decided to be a footie manager and I've got all of my coaching badges and, I hope, the reputation to start my managerial career. As soon as I saw that Tony Pulis had resigned from Stoke to take charge of England I immediately applied. E-mail sent along with my CV and it was the waiting game.

I sat down and flicked on Sky Sports News. Obviously all of the news was focused on Pulis taking control and 'who's going to be the next Stoke manager?' I secretly thought, 'it might be me!' The media didn't know that I had applied, only that I had publicly declared interest. I knew it would take time before Peter Coates or another Stoke board member would tell me their response or whether I was wanted for an interview, I just hope that they see that taking on board a fresh new manager, could have a great impact on Stoke City F.C.
Hey, can people say if they're following so I know when to do my next update :)
The day that could change my life

Technically, I am a football manager. I had moved from Chelsea to Newark in Nottignhamshire. My sister lives there and she said it was really nice, so I moved as they have some really good local clubs e.g. Nottingham Forest. My son, Charlie who's 8, plays for Farndon Colts under 10s, and I am their manager. It's 4.30pm, the school summer holidays so I've organised a training session. I put mine and my son's boots in the bag and grab the car keys, as I'm about to leave the house the phone starts ringing, I tell Charlie to sit in the car.

"Hello" I said

"Hello, this is Peter Coates the owner of Stoke City F.C. After reading your application to be our next manager, we would like to invite you to an interview tomorrow, if that's ok?"

"Yeah...that's fine, what time?" I was nearly crying with joy!

"Excellent, I look forward to meeting you!"

I put the phone down and did a little dance. Me: the possible Stoke manager. I told Charlie and he was delighted. He said he was proud of me. Training session, and then preparation for the interview...
I will not be following
#49198 Gspot69 : I will not be following
I'll follow this story. Haven't seen a story with Stoke and should be interesting :)
#49203 patrick1 : I'll follow this story. Haven't seen a story with Stoke and should be interesting :)
Thank you! I'll have an update in about 20 minutes!! :)
#49203 patrick1 : I'll follow this story. Haven't seen a story with Stoke and should be interesting :)

Is the job going to be mine?

The alarm goes. 8am. I wanted to be up early and refreshed for a 1hr 30mins trip to Stoke. I intend to leave at about 10. Give me a chance to prepare. I get my suit out of the wardrobe and iron it, complete with a red tie, going with the colours of Stoke. I switch on SSN and see that Rafael Benitez and Andre Villas-Boas are also having interviews. They were two really good managers and I knew that I would have to make a good impression.

I couldn't eat I was so nervous. 10 came around and I got in my car and started the trip. In the end it was boring. Constantly stopping at service stations for toilet breaks added an extra 20 minutes to the journey. I spent around an hour in Stoke, seeing what it had to offer, and a conclusion: not much. it wasn't a nice place, but the towering presence of the Britannia Stadium made me have butterflies in my stomach, and total excitement. I glanced at my watch, 1:57, three minutes until one of the most important days of my life.

A door burst open to my left and there was Peter Coates. He extended his hand which I shook eagerly.

"Afternoon Josh, how was the trip?"

"It was fine thanks Mr Coates."

"Please call me Peter. Lets try and sort this out. Ok, what do you think that you can offer to this club?

"I can offer passion. I am only 38 which is a good thing, I've still got 30 years left in the game at least. I've worked with huge clubs like Chelsea and I know how the league works. I've stayed up to date with it as well, so I feel that I am a great candidate. I also believe I can win a trophy in my first season, adn qualify for Europe."

"Hmm, interesting. It certainly is a big risk offering those sorts of assurances for a first season, but I believe that you are the right man. Quite frankly, Rafa and Andre didn't exactly shine and I was hoping for someone like you. So let me see, we are willing to offer you a 2 year contract worth £29,000 p/w. If you can acheive Europe, you can have £7m to spend and a wage budget of around £660k. Do you accept?"

"Of course! I would be delighted. Thank you Peter, I won't let you down!"

"Great, you'll have a press conference tomorrow, just tell them what you told me and you'll be fine!"

We shook hands again, another glance at my watch, 2:04, 4 minutes felt like 4 months but I was thrilled, I looked across the corridor and saw a gold plaque being nailed to the door it read 'Manager: Josh Feehily' I nearly cried, I couldn't wait to tell Charlie. I booked a hotel for later, drove home and picked him up, and drove all the way back again...
#49206 blue is the colour : #49203 patrick1 :
I'll follow this story. Haven't seen a story with Stoke and should be interesting :)


Thank you, I hope it'll be interesting myself. I'll do the press conference possibly later and I've played a couple of European games already, what I can say is, there's quite a bit of reading for the first leg.
I will be following! Will be interested to see how far Stoke can go. Can't wait to see your signings, do you think you will be buying players for the future or players in their prime?
#49211 CharlieM92 : I will be following! Will be interested to see how far Stoke can go. Can't wait to see your signings, do you think you will be buying players for the future or players in their prime?

I'm looking to do both, I'll do the press conference now and show you my ins and outs, I've signed two players so far and sold/loaned about 4!
Press-conference time. I've heard a lot of managers say that the first press conference is scary but I was calm. I was wearing a crisp dark blue suit with my new official Stoke City tie and notes, e.g. potential signings, staff etc. Peter Coates was standing in a doorway, which beyond had about 12 journalists and media crews. I walked in and there was a ripple of applause, as me and Peter sat down in our chairs, Peter got the ball rolling:

"Hello and welcome, I would like to introduce our new manager, Josh Feehily! He's open to questions but keep them minimal, he's new to the scene!"

There's laughter around the room as Peter seemed to make a joke about my inexperience, which angered me slightly. Before I could dwell on it much longer a question was thrown at me.

"Josh, congratulations on getting the Stoke job, how do you feel?"

"Thank you very much. I am delighted and honoured. I didn't think that a big reputation club like Stoke would try and get me at such an early stage in my managerial career, I was shocked but thrilled at the same time."

"What sort of position do you aim to achieve in your first season?"

"I think around 7th would be realistic with a good cup run, maybe even a trophy. The squad is fantastic and I know that we are a tough team to beat at home, we can build on that and focus a lot on away performances."

"What sort of money do you have to spend and are signings likely?"

"I can't say exactly how much money I have to spend but at least I have some. Signings will be likely but I won't sign everyone available to me."

"Final question Josh, how far do you think you can get in the Europa League?"

"Short and simple: Quarter-finals. Thank you all!"

I stood up and left. First press conference over and it wasn't as difficult as it was made out to be. I walked the 15 yards to my office and sat down at my desk. The finances were ok, I was still within the wage budget and the squad was strong enough for the top half of the table. I was confident and optimistic that Stoke were right for me...
I just want to ask a question to all of the followers. Would you like individual match reports or monthly updates with concise details about each game and a player of the month. I really don't mind doing either so it's all up to you. The next update is transfers and pre-season results and how I feel about everthing!

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