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The Final Fling

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benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 11:47
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012

The Final Fling

Last Adventure in the World of Football Manager

Manager 92/93. That is how far i go back in the history of the football management series. I may have missed an iteration or two. I can clearly remember growing tired of it for a few seasons in the early Noughties, but its genesis into Manager brought me back into the fold. so you could call me a Management sim veteran.

I have decided however at the ripe old age of 30 to give the game one last throw of the dice, one last save, one last create new . This decision has not been taken lightly. The game and I have been through a lot. I have punched walls, jumped for joy, torn up more disks than I can remember only to re buy it days later. I even have Manager related injury. (Having sat playing at a desktop for hours on end, resting my elbow on the edge, I have damaged nerve endings to such a degree that I can't feel my ring and pinkie on my left hand.) So, after ridicule and derision from friends and girlfriend, and the fact that I am now self employed with a semi successful editing business I need to push on. So, I am embarking on one final furrow into the world of football management.

As it's my swan song I will be blogging my story for personal posterity and hopefully one or two readers out there. Feel free to give advice, make requests, or simply jeer or cheer me, for this is…. my final fling!
This post was edited by benjy00 (2012-09-02 11:48, 6 years ago)
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 11:49
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012

The Challenge

The challenge I have given myself is enormous. As a Gloucestershire boy and a life long Newcastle fan (don't ask) my intended career path will hopefully pan out like this.

As a Sunday league footballer I will sensationally be appointed as the manager of Conference North side Gloucester City. After leading them through the leagues to domestic and European superiority I will then take the hot seat at the club of my heart Newcastle United, where similar success will hopefully see my career end with a legendary status.

A tasty challenge I think you'll agree. This may take some time., hopefully until I'm 40.

I shall be starting and finishing the challenge with fm12. So will keep the story quite generic.

And so it begins.....
This post was edited by benjy00 (2012-08-29 16:14, 6 years ago)
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 11:56
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012

July 2011 - Pre-Season

The Citizen writes:
City Pluck New Manager From Obscurity.

Gloucester city chairman Nigel Hughes has a reputation for odd decisions non more so than his latest one. After the sacking of popular David Mehew, he has appointed complete unknown as manager on a short-term contract until the end of season. With no managerial or footballing experience, Hedley will have to gain his badges on the job. With no press confernce sceduled and no interview forthcoming from either the Chairman or himself Gloucester will have to wait to get to the bottom of this strange and confusing appointment.

Gloucester had an average season in 2010/11 and held a decent mid-table position in the Conference North and the are understandably shocked by Mehew’s dismissal. A fans spokesman said this

"After all Mehew has done for the club we the are shocked and disgusted by the apparent forcing out of our Manager. We demand an explanation for this and the appointment of Ben Hedley. "

Mehew’s agent released this statement :

"Due to a clause in the dismissal agreement my client is unable to comment on all matters regarding his removal as manager at Gloucester City. He would however like to thank both the club and fans for there over the seasons and is sure that their continued efforts would be rewarded with more success in the future. My client now considers the matter closed and is looking forwrd to continuing his career."

With more than 6 weeks until Gloucester’s first league game against Eastwood, arguably has plenty of time to get to know his . It remains to be seen whether he has the know how or the backing from his squad to keep The Tigers in the Conference North. In the meantime Gloucester is reeling from the recent events and are still looking for answers.
This post was edited by benjy00 (2012-09-02 11:48, 6 years ago)
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 12:01
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012


My first day as manager of Gloucester and I can't believe I'm here. Until last week I had nothing to do with football and now at the age of 30 I am managing part time outfit Gloucester City.

Having been a season ticket holder at the club for the last few seasons and being a drinking acquaintance of Chairman Nigel Hughes I was well known and I had even shared a few drinks with some of the players. I had on a few occasions voiced my opinions on some of Mehew’s tactics to the Chairman and because of my knowledge of the lower leagues I had even mentioned a few new faces that would benefit the side. To my surprise he had even signed one of them over the managers head (Darren Mullings MC, Free Weston Super Mare). It was that signing that caused the rift between Chairman and manager that eventually led to his dismissal and the phone call that I received not 6 days ago where in an hour long conversation and a subsequent 3 hour meeting I was offered a 1 year very low paid contract with clause for my immediate release should things not work out.

I'm still not completely sure why he chose me, but he mentioned my knowledge of football and his belief that on field experience isn't everything and gave Jose Morinho as example. I would later find out that the clubs dire financial situation was a major factor.

My spine is still tingling. Nigel gave me the rest of the week to put my affairs in order, resign from my job and offered to pay the rent on a one bed flat near the training ground for the remainder of my current contract. As I had 3 months of my present rent agreement still to run I persuaded him to let me stay in nearby Stroud until the New Year. 6 days later here I am, in charge of a non-league football club. I have no idea how much money I have to with or what my wage budget is, that joy is still to come, in the mean time I have been told to get to know thes, staff and training ground and get settled into my office. today is the start of a long .
This post was edited by benjy00 (2012-08-29 16:23, 6 years ago)
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 20:52
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012

Pre Season Cont...

Monday morning at ‘The Tigers’ Black Bridge training ground and I’m petrified. I shouldn’t be, I know full well I can do this. Its hardly Barcelona I’m taking over. This is a semi professional football club and half of my players will come into training this morning on the bus. £200 per week part time wages is the top earner on the pitch, and I sit at the top of the tree with £325 a week. That’s just under £17000 per year. It’s supposed to be a part time role, but I know that this job will consume me so I’ve quit my job in the media industry and taken a substantial pay cut. It’s all or nothing, I must make a success of this or come May next year I’ll have to quit.

10am and I have scheduled a meeting before I put the players through their paces. I have decided to keep hold of the majority of the training staff.
Adie Harris the assistant manager whom I already knew very well was not the man I would have chosen to be my understudy but he is the only link I have to the players and the training regime that was already in place here, so for now he stays.

By benjy00 at 2012-08-27

I have also kept hold of Neil Mustoe who is a half decent Coach and a cracking Midfield force who will no doubt be a major contributor to our success this season.

By benjy00 at 2012-08-27

The player who indirectly got me this job Darren Mullings, I know will be an integral part of my plans and I intend to shape my team around him.

The welcome meeting went very well. I got Adie to introduce me and I informed the players of my ethos and goals for the season. My regime is going to be one of honesty and hard work. The whole squad will have to pull their weight and there will be no room for dead wood. My honesty extended to informing the players that some of them in the room probably wouldn’t be here at the end of the week. I already have a shortlist of talent that I want to bring into the club and the task of signing them would start immediately.

The week went well. An inter-friendly brought me more knowledge of the team and I managed to arrange 6 friendlies over the pre-season including a mouth-watering money-spinner against the mighty Birmingham City.

When the Friday came I knew whom I wanted to keep at Black Bridge and who just wouldn’t make the grade. One by one the guys were called into my office to receive the bad news.

All these players bar Gloucester veteran Matt Coupe were out of contract and needed to be released. A quick call to Llanelli and Matt was on his way.

Coupe was a popular player here, both on the training ground and in the stands but I need technical prowess at the back for a successful season and I knew Matt would not feature. High wages meant that him and many others needed to go.

Nigel (The Chairman) dropped a bombshell in the week when he brought me in his office to discuss finances. He explained that the situation at Gloucester was dire. The club is in debt due to over spending in recent years and the plans for a new stadium have been shelved. (We are ground sharing with Cheltenham Town) He also informed me that I wouldn’t have a transfer budget this term and with wages at £3000 per week I would need to slash that by a 1/3. Players had to go.

A busy few weeks followed. No less than 19 players would come in before the first game of the season. With Mullings already earmarked for a supporting role, I knew I needed to form a good spine to the team with him at the centre. Here's who I went for.

GK James Gilpin 21
Between the sticks I went for none other than James Gilpin. At 21 he still has much to learn but at £60 per week and with his technical ability this was my best signing so far. I know he’ll be an ever present in the league for us.

CB Martin Camano 26
My plan of keeping solid at the back this season has been made a hell of a lot easier by the capture of Argentine defender Martin Camano. He has experience in his native country and also in the Scottish leagues. Although fairly slow and a limited grasp of English I hope his strength and height will be put to good use.

James Comley 20
I had planned on Neil Mustoe being the Ball winning midfield General to work alongside Mullings but Comley will be pushing him all the way for a place. With a fantastic physical presence and an old head on young shoulders, I know Crystal Palace will rue the day they ever decided to let him go.

Martin Reilly 24
Martin didn’t make the grade at Burnley but I know he’ll fit in well at Black Bridge. Tall quick and great with his head I hope that he’ll strike up an awesome partnership with Jamil Adam who I have installed as Poacher.

Hopefully the speed of these two will lead to the goals we need to be a success this campaign.

The Friendlies
Gloucester City 4-1 Albion Rovers
Weston Super Mare 2-0 Gloucester City
Gloucester City 0-2 Burton
Gloucester City 0-3 Birmingham City
Gloucester City 4-1 Caine
Gloucester City 1-0 Hednesford

In all honesty our Pre-season results were disappointing. I knew it was going to be tough start to theseason due to the sheer number of faces that have arrived and departed in the last month. Some of the deals took a long time to nail down so the side isn’t even close to being gelled yet and some of the guys are yet to learn everybody’s name. The First match against Eastwood will see us flying by the seat of our pants.

We also received two injuries during these friendlies that will hurt us. Our best CB Camano is out for a couple of weeks with concussion. And young Jimmy Adcock faces a long 4 months out with a torn hamstring. Jimmy is a promising young winger, released by Chesterfield. He is a good all rounder and expected him to form a rotation with young MR George Lloyd (brought in from the youth system).

Although he won’t make too many appearances this term I handed Neil Mustoe our veteran defender and coach the club captaincy. New signing, but currently injured, Martin Camano was pepped up by the honour of vice captaincy. If his English improves and he proves himself worthy on the pitch, I hope to hand him the full captaincy one day. I have high hopes for Martin.

We also have our first international call up. It is only the Moroccan under 20’s but I know Hicham Abdellah will gain valuable experience. It’s a real landmark for the club and a marvelous opportunity that will help his career.
This post was edited by benjy00 (2012-08-29 16:32, 6 years ago)
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 21:03
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012
V Eastwood A
Won 1 – 2

With a huge influx of players and hardly anytime to get everyone fit and singing we were up against it today at Eastwood. But the 100 mile trip up the M42 was rewarded with 3 points. I’ve no idea how we got them mind, we were all over the place.
With Camano injured our all-important utility player Mustoe came in at CB and did a sublime job. Although George Lloyd picked up the MoM I felt that Neil’s presence helped steady the ship in stormy waters.
Referee Scott Duncan was kept busy today and felt it necessary to produce 3 red cards. Two of those going gloucesters way we managed to produce a gutsy yet messy display to edge the game a clinch all 3 points
Gloucester went two goals up by the 53rd minute with a salmon like powered header from Reilly for the first and Reilly turned supplier as George Lloyd slotted a superb through from Reilly past the flailing Atkinson bottom left.
Istead scored a marvelous strike from 30 yards to set up a frantic last 30 minutes, but Gloucester held on and nearly sealed the win on 90 minutes as substitute Yvan Tomatula wasted a clear cut chance by steering the ball right of the post.

This game did not go to plan and the players aren’t as yet singing to the hymn sheet given to them this pre-season. Two suspensions leave’s the squad light for the home game against Vauxhall. I shall be locking them in the screening room on Monday until everyone knows what went wrong today. Still… 3 points and our season is most definitely underway.
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
The FM Rookie's avatar Group The FM Rookie 2012-08-27 21:18
ie 1300 posts 216 likes joined Jul 29, 2012
James Gilpin and Jamil Adam are great players for LLM. Good luck with your story! I will follow this until the end.
Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 21:49
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012
V Vauxhall H
3 – 0 W
Paul Jones og 9
Yvan Tomatula 12
Will Morford 29
Michael Jackson sent off 62

Our first home game of the season at Whaddon Road went off with a bang. Although only poultry 284 people got to see it the game was won inside half an hour.

A poor Vauxhall side could not defend against our balls into the box and on 9 minutes the confusion was too much for Vauxhall defender Paul Jones as he bundled a cross into his own net.
On 12 minutes, the surprise package of the season so far, Yvan Tomatula scored a superb volley from the edge of area to make it 2 – 0.
Will Morford rounded off the goals on 30 minutes with a grateful tap in to secure the win. The remainder of the game we sat back as the fruitless Vauxhall attack failed to get them selves back in the game.

A really promising display to start our home campaign and a much improved performance dispite a much changed side due to injury and suspension. I am also enjoying the performances from French 23 year old Yvan Tomtula. Picked up on a free during the pre season, my intention was to take my time in bedding him into an attacking role from his preferred AMC position. My tactics don’t really have room for this role but Yvan’s skill and physical presence are a shoe in for the poacher position. I thought he’d need time, but it looks like he has other plans. It will teach Admil Adam to stay on the pitch in future, looks like Tomatula pounced on this opportunity and has earnt a run in the team.

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Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 21:55
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012
International Update

Hichum Abdellah had a stomer on his international debut for Morocco U20’s. He was brought on after 35 minutes and contributed to the five goals against Zanzibar without reply with two of his own with one assist. Well done Hichum.
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-27 22:31
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012
V Stalybridge A
1 – 2 L
Djeny Bembo-Leta 4
Lewis Whiteley 21
Clark Keltie 67

MoM Lewis Whiteley

Our trip to the northwest was a fruitless one. Our 3rd inside a week was a too far and the players’ already questionable fitness was truly tested.
We set up with a defensive minded 442 and hoped to sit back and wait for our opportunity. Our plan was undone inside 4 mintues as Bembo-Leta caught us cold with a well-worked . After this we regained our composure and played some good football Tagro worked the left wing well and angled a low cross that was met by the instep of Pre signing Lewis Whiteley. As the second half started we were still in control and I decided to try and turn the screws. That was our undoing. As we pressed for a we began to tire Clark Keltie took advantage and a simple tap in on the break.

A good lesson learnt and hopefully we can get back to ways next week.
This post was edited by benjy00 (2012-08-28 11:18, 6 years ago)
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
Akash's avatar Group Akash 2012-08-28 04:36
hm 1013 posts 176 likes joined Feb 12, 2012
Beautifully written, and the signings will do wonders for you.
By the way, may I ask what notes you created for each one of them?
Glenn T's avatar Group Glenn T 2012-08-28 05:30
sg 4658 posts 450 likes joined Jun 02, 2012
Well done... I'll definitely be following...
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-28 06:21
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012
V Histon
2 – 4 L
Martin Reilly 14
Baron Tagro 20
Danial Sparkes 49, 55, pen 90+1
Gomez Pico 85

MoM Daniel Sparkes

Nigel came to me midweek and reminded me that this weeks home gamewas to be a fanday and a boosted crowd of 419. Intrigued by our recent good form, they were expecting a show, and after 20 minutes they were getiing one.
We set up a fast paced direct out stall out fast and had some good early chances. On 14 minutes Martin Reilly converted a breath-taking freekick that breeched the wall to the top left corner. Tagro broke free of is mark to make it two on 20 minutes. By this time we were cruising.
62% possession could not stop two wondrous freekicks and a penalty from the very promising looking Daniel Sparkes. Gomez Pico added to that tally to make it 4.
This was an embarrassing state of affairs and at the full time whistle my exhausted dressing room was duly told to that effect. We need to see these games off and not give away stupid free kicks and penalties. Wednesday takes us to Nuneaten. We must improve.
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-28 06:30
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012

To lose Martin Camano pre-season was a blow and these recent leaked goals by us promised to be cured by Martin’s recovery unitl this happened

Martin was well scouted before coming over to us, I made sure of that. No history of injury and a solid pedigree was reason I signed him. I must have all my star players singing all season if we are to succeed. Ade Tandy the head Physio assured me he’d back in the team inside 4 weeks. I certainly hope so.
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.
benjy00's avatar Group benjy00 2012-08-28 06:49
gb 62 posts joined Aug 27, 2012

On taking on this job, Nigel was very clear that the £3000 wage budget needed to be cut by £1000 or the club was likely to be in trouble. As it stands today, my threadbare is taking £3200 per week. Nigel was not pleased. Over lunch at Tony and Dot’s Café (outside our training ground) he informed me that I shall no longer have a free licence to control the negotiations, Nigel must be involved. He advised me to offload some fringe to balance the books.
So when I asked for more cash to fund another player, he was furious. Evntually after explaining that this was an opportunity too good to pass up, he agreed.

Gary Wales, Striker 32

We need some strength and experience up front. Our present strikeforce is very promising and I’m glad with what we have but we need steel if we are going to hold possession in the final third. Gary will be up to the task.
Gary has a strong pedigree in the Scottish Premier with Hearts and Kilmarnock. Although he doesn’t have a great golascoring record I believe that he will give his share of assists and hopefully bang in a few more at this level.
I assured Nigel that this would be the last player id ask for this season so he’s taken over the negotiations with Gary. Fingers crossed
This post was edited by benjy00 (2012-08-28 10:36, 6 years ago)
Currently steering Gloucester City toward world domination.

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