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The Leap of Faith - Daniel Karbassiyoon

Dan Karbassiyoon's leap into management.
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Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 12:29
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

The Need For Closure

'The Audi looks out of place.' I thought as I walked to the reception, greeted left and right by the backs of various used Vauxhalls and Fords. The light breeze was catchng the back of my neck in the summer sun, or at least that was what I was convincing myself. I was nervous. Today I would kick attempt to gain a contract for the first time in 6 years.

I'd given up scouting two months earlier, the thought of continuing to watch these talented footballers coming through to a career I never had the chance to achieve had sent me spiralling into depression. Arsenal had paid me handsomely, and Arsene was sad to see me go. His final words to me were 'Do what you have to, but because you want to, not to prove anything to anyone' ripping through my head as I approached the reception. I had 2 hours to prove I've still got it.

As I entered the reception I saw that Mr Khan was waiting for me. Tahir Khan was a small indian man with a full head of black hair and a pair of bronzed glasses. His stature was warm as he approached me, almost like he could sense my fear.

"Daniel, welcome to Hyde! I'm sure you weren't expecting these kinds of facilities for a club of our stature?" He beamed.

Being wrapped up in my own nerves, this was the first time I'd taken into account my surroundings fully, and Khan was right. Hyde were a Blue Square Premier consolidate, and their training facilities were alongside those of a Championship promotion contender.

"Wow." I uttered "This place is fantastic!"
"We also pride ourselves on having the best pitch outside the football league, and we will keep it that way" Khan continued, cutting me off before I could ask how this place had been funded. "Shall we get you onto the pitch and see what you can do?"
"Get me out there and let me do the rest." I smiled.
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 12:43
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

The Moment

Freshly laced up, I trekked onto the field. The breeze had subsided but the cold on the back of my neck maintained. I instantly recognised Ray Putterill and Josh Brizell from scouting trips with Arsenal. 'These guys aren't bad.' I thought to myself, 'but I am better. Well I was...'

"Daniel, this is Gavin McCann, the assistant manager" Tahir said as I greeted the man infront of me, arm outstretched. "Gav, this is Daniel Karbassiyoon."
"I know all about you Daniel, it's good to have you here." Said Gavin, although his tone concerned me. It was a tone of doubt. He was doubting me even more than I was.
"Right then lads, I'll let you guys get going, I expect feed-back Gav!" And with that Khan strode purposefully back towards the complex.

The awkward silence between Gavin and I was detectable even to the players warming up half a pitch away. I decided to break the ice.
"How have you guys managed to get such a good place to train?" I asked "I mean, it's not far off Arsenal's place, and Arsenal are streets ahead..."
"Look Dan, I know about the knee."

I stopped in a stunned silence. My heart punched into my chest and I was lost for words.

"Did you not think when Tahir explained you hadn't played football for 6 years I wasn't going to find out why?" Gavin added bluntly. "Look mate, we're going to give you a fair trial like everyone else, and I hope you still have it, because you were, and maybe still are a talent. But you have to promise me that, if even for a second, your knee starts twinging, that you'll end it there. Understand?"

"Crystal clear." I said, after a thoughtful delay.

I got through the warm-up, and the passing drill. I was partnered with Chris Sedgwick, another talented player playing well below himself. Soon we found ourselves doing a shooting drill.

"Right" Gav addressed the team. "Simple really, I'm going to feed the attacker a ball, you're going to run at the defender, beat him and score. Got it? Good. Dan you're up first. Kelvin, you defend."

I looked up and saw my nemesis for the next few seconds, Kelvin Lomax, a little over 6 foot, not particularly strong or quick, I smirked as I knew I had the immediate advantage.

Gavin fed me the ball, I sauntered towards Kelvin, feinting one way and flicking the ball the other to avoid his outstretched leg. Then I began to use my pace. Pace I had prided myself on in my youth. Kelvin was left in my wake as I set off towards goal, I began to steady myself as I saw Ashley Frith come out of his line. I pulled back my foot to find the near post.


Just as quickly as my foot had come back to shoot my body had hit the floor. The heat searing through my right knee was bringing a tear to my eye, as well as the shame. Kelvin and Ashley stood over me, awkwardly assessing the damage as I lay in a pathetic heap on the penalty spot.

The first person to speak to me was Gav, as he picked me up and assisted me towards the Reception. "You're a brave man." was all he could muster.

"What?" I said, a whimper in my voice which was noticeable to anyone.

"I know how bad your knee is, and I know how hard it must be for you to take that. But you still tried and you were still willing to put yourself through that barrier. Don't get me wrong mate, you're a complete idiot for doing this, but a brave one." He finished, before rubbing my hair and sending me through to see Tahir.
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 12:43
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013
The Proposal

Tahir was understanding, brining me a glass of water and inviting me into his office to discuss the matter. "I'm sorry about all of this." He concluded, sipping his tea.

"I'm sorry for wasting your time." I replied. "I mean I never even got to meet the manager."

"We don't have a manager." Tahir cut me off. "That was part of the reason we invited you here."

"What do you mean?" I asked, taking a sip of water.

"Well Daniel, our old manager left last week, Gavin has been taking the training sessions whilst we search. And when you got in contact asking for a trial, we did some research and obviously you mentioned that you had been scouting. We know you have your badges. We also know that you have an extensive knowledge of one of the best run clubs in the world. If you're knee was going to go, we always had this option."

My head was spinning. Was this really happening?

"What we are offering you Daniel. Is a managerial position. We're predicted to go down this season, so barring a humiliating season, we're not going to be sacking you. It's an almost pressureless position to test yourself out and see if this is what you want to do."

10 minutes of silence followed. Tahir eyeing me intently as I racked my brain for a solution. My football career was dead and buried. I had come here to prove to myself I could do something, that I knew was impossible. However, I had been given an opportunity to try something new, and in the end my heart saw through the numerous doubts I had.

"It's going to be a pleasure working for your Mr.Khan." I said, a nervous but buoyant smile coming across my face.
Glenn T's avatar Group Glenn T 2013-04-15 12:47
sg 4658 posts 450 likes joined Jun 02, 2012
Lovely start, really emotional. Great job. Will be following as much as I can.
Arvind's avatar Group Arvind 2013-04-15 12:51
in 1243 posts 214 likes joined Oct 15, 2012
Fricking brilliant start, one of the best to a FM story ever!
Joe's avatar Group Joe 2013-04-15 12:53
gb 1405 posts 102 likes joined Apr 12, 2012
Brilliant mate, absolutely brilliant :D
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 13:11
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013
Cheers for the responses guys. Just thought I'd post an article that I discovered when trawling the net which gave me the premise for this story.

This story is new territory for me as my standard tales have been used through news reports and not from a first person perspective, but I will give it my best.
JasonRM's avatar Group JasonRM 2013-04-15 13:13
us 1181 posts 222 likes joined Nov 28, 2012
Incredible start mate, this story will be brilliant for sure! :D
Current Team: Q. P. R.
Year: 2020/2021 (2nd Season)
Manager: Francesco Totti
Honors: None
Story: What the Future Holds
Atreidas's avatar Group Atreidas 2013-04-15 14:27
gb 574 posts 63 likes joined Nov 01, 2011
This sir, right here, should write a book. Can't wait for another update :)
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 19:48
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

Meeting the Team

The Audi felt a lot more at home in the car park, as I purposefully strode into reception, a fresh new Hyde FC tracksuit proudly on show. Gav was the first person to greet me.

"Y'allright boss?" he smirked.
"Hi Gav."I responded "Look before we start cheers for looking after me the other day. This must be a bit of a shock for you though right?"
"Tahir told me everything before you knew." he pursed through a wry smile. "Why do you think you were sent to the Chairman's office and not to the physio's eh?"

This took a while to set in, that there had been a contingency plan for my timebomb of a knee. They must really have wanted me here in any sense they could?

"The lads are waiting for you in the changing room." Gav said, directing me through a winding corridor and to a door with "Home" emblazoned in red and black proudly.

'Here goes.' I thought, and in one swift motion swung through the door to greet my team. A half-empty room was what greeted me. I saw Kelvin Lomax, Ash Frith, Raymond Putterill and Josh Brizell, as well as a few other faces I vaguely recognised. Chris Sedgwick and Phil Jevons were the biggest names I could see, sitting together in the corner, messing around on their phones.

"Alright lads, some of you met me the other day, my name's Daniel and I'm your new manager."
I'd never given a speech to a team before, and for about 30 seconds I was lost for where to go from my introduction. A few blank expressions looked back at me, and silence ensued.

"Er... Right then, when the rest of the lad get here I'll tell you all where I want to take us, and we'll discuss training and stuff like that" I continued.
"Boss this is all of us." Replied Phil Jevons.
"What?" I retorted, surveying the half-empty room infront of me, doing a minute headcount as I went. "You're joking? I've only got 15 players!?"
"14 boss. Liam Tomsett is only on loan."

Suddenly he magnitude of my role had caught up with me. I was not happy.
"Right Gav, you can take training, call the reserves, tell them we're playing them in a friendly in 45 minutes, I've got to go and speak to Tahir."

"No Pressure."

"I don't understand what the problem is?" Tahir said, sipping his tea.
"The problem is that it probably would have been a good idea to tell me that we have a squad that is half-full with no money to spend!" I raged. I had refused the offer of a seat, as I prowled the room like a Lion circling it's prey.
"I told you the job is a virtually pressureless one..."
"You said 'No Pressure.' Not 'No Players.'" I interrupted.

"And why exactly do you think it's pressureless?" He responded, his calm tone beginning to neutralise my tirades. "It is presureless because you cannot really fail Daniel. Promotion should have been the best thing to happen to us last season, but players left. Because we can't afford to offer lengthy deals they went for nothing or next to nothing. This is a challenge that most manager have to face in their careers at some point. If you want to walk out, then feel free. But I thought you'd prefer a challenge to just watching youngsters play."

His calm speech had ended with a blunt statement, which immediately sunk in. I didn't want to go back to watching kids play. I wanted to guide this team away from the mire. By whatever means necessary.

"Ok." I said. "I'm in, but if you deceive me like that again, we've got a fucking problem."
"Understood." said Tahir, smiling warmly as I turned to leave.
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 20:34
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

Something in the Ayr.

"He better be worth this drive. For your sake." I muttered through yawns to Gav as the Audi pulled up at Ayr Park. Despite the July heat of England mist had descended in Scotland, doing absolutely nothing to hinder my negative connotations with the country.
"Just trust me lad, he's good. And they want him off the wage bill." Gav replied, in between bites of his Subway sandwich.

We made our way into the ground, shaking hands with a few people I had never, and probably would never, meet again. One porky brown haired gentleman came up and grabbed me forcefully by the hand. His speech was slurred even without the disfiguring drivel of a thick highland accent, and it took Gav to step in and communicate with the man to understand what he was saying. The man finished his altercation and went back down a corridor. Gav beckoned me the other way towards the stands.

"Who was that weirdo?" I laughed, "I knew Scottish should be classified as foreign language."
"That." Gav quipped. "Is Lachlan Cameron, he's the chairman of Ayr. He's set us up a meeting with Martyn Campbell after the game. Apparently he's as desperate to leave this place as you are."
"If he's as good as you say he's in the bag then." I smirked.

Ayr were playing Queen of The South in the Scottish Challenge Cup 1st round. The game was a 3-1 win for Ayr. Gav was right, the boy was good. Martyn stood at 6 ft 3 was strong, mean and head almost every single cross or long ball back where it came. In a position where we oly had one centre-back, I was in no position to be picky.

After the game we walked into the meeting room and waited. Not more than 5 minutes after we had arrived, Martyn entered, still wearing his kit from the match, the smell of deep freeze rising from him. I was thankful that his accent was more understandable than his compatriot chairman.

"Martyn, we're not going to beat around the bush." I began. "Me and Gav have come a long way to see you play tonight. We want you to be the rock at the heart of our defence, like you were tonight."
Martyn looked stern, he furrowed his brow.
"When can you get me away from this place?" He was precise and to the point.
"Training on Monday ten o'clock." I replied.
"I'll see you then." Martyn concluded, before silently standing up and leaving the room.
"Christ he doesn't say much!" Gav laughed.
"Doesn't matter!" I smiled. "If he plays like that he can communicate through sign language. He was a beast. Fair play Gav."
"Not just a pretty face eh?" Gav chuckled, as we put on our coats and headed out of the room, in the direction of the Audi.
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 20:46
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

Martyn Campbell - Ayr free

Vincent Pericard - free

Michael Collins - St.Patricks Young Men - free
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 21:56
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

The Journey Begins

The bus pulled up at Cressing Road Stadium, Vincent Pericard was the first to jump out of his seat and head towards the door. I was the last, sat solemnly, assessing our first game of the season and what would be the beginning of my journey.

Pre-season had been a nightmare, asides from beating our own reserves in a friendly Gav managed, we'd drawn once and lost 4 more against a string of reserve sides and non-league opposition. On top of this Michael, Vince and Martyn had been our only signings, meaning we still only had 2 centre-backs, and 18 players.

The atmosphere was unusual, my nerves seemed to be the only nerves around as the players all looked calm and unbothered. This annoyed me. The warm-up seemed like a side in first gear which irritated me further.

"Are you guys even up for this?" I started, as the lads sat down. "I know the majority of you have already played above this division, and have already earned your money. But this is a big big day for me, and for those fans who have travelled. Please don't let them, or me, down."

A solemn silence followed, a lot of older players almost guiltily eyeing the floor. I tought best to chirp up.

"Right then. Alex Frith, Josh Brizell, Martyn Campbell, Luke Ashworth, Matthew Cassidy, Ray Putterill, Liam Tomsett, Michael Collins, Chris Sedgwick, Vincent Pericard, Phil Jevons. Keep it tight, keep the ball, on the floor. If you have to go long look for Vinny's chest. Get it into the box and on Phil's right foot. DO it for those fans out there. Come on lads!"

My enthusiastic words mustered a few mutters and a couple of claps, but I was left underwhelmed as we lined up to enter the field. I let the players go first, finding myself a seat to sit and have one last hopeful think before walking onto the pitch. Walking down the touchline, heart pounding as I shook hands with the opposition manager, and sat in the dugout.

The Match

It took just 4 minutes for Braintree to cut us open, some slick passing and a pacey winger, a low cross and Brizell's lacklustre marking, and the ball was in the net. It happened so quickly that it took a few seconds to sink in. I was immediately out on the dug-out, but found myself shouting almost random words, without any meaning. Gav was at my side shortly after, translating my random jumblings into coherent English. Within 15 minutes it was 2-0, my centre-backs unable to cope with the a simple long ball. My plan was failing. I was failing. We needed something.

In the 40th minute we began to pass the ball. Liam Tomsett got his foot on the ball for the first time, and found Phil Jevons, who promptly turned and fired a 20 yard rocket into the top corner. Hands a loft, I raced out of the dugout, only to be warned back by the linesman. From nowhere we had some momentum to enter half-time with.

Unfortunately, this was not a revival, more defensive woes ensued. We found ourselves 4-1 down and sinking fast. Scott Spencer pulled one back with a header but at full-time the handshake was bitter. The team-talk was disheartened, and the drive home was quiet.

Braintree 4-2 Hyde
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-15 22:43
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

First Home Game

The previous game had tought me to things. The first being that I needed to sign another defender with no money. The second being that we were going to have to keep the ball better. When I came into the dressing room at 19.30 before the Barrow game. I had a plan.

"Right lads." I stated. "Let's forget Saturday. It's gone. We can't change it. What we can do, is change the way we go into our games. I've done us a diagram of what we need to do."

I unfolded the A 3 sheet I had brought with me. and held it towards the team, who sat there in an almost baffled silence. Liam Tromsett was the most concerned of all.

"Er, Boss, why has it only got my name written on it?" Liam asked, worriedly.

Well Liam, last week tought me that you are the only player I have who can seemingly pass a ball more than 20 yards and consistently find a man." I replied. "Which would make it an obvious decision to base my attacking play through you now wouldn't it?"

Liam sunk his head in an embarrassed recoil, but the movement of his cheeks indicated a smile. The rest of the lads seemed confused. I elaborated.

"Simple really lads, focus your passes to Liam, Liam will look for the wingers and forwards, you never know, we might score first!"

We didn't. 15 minutes in and Lee McEvilly headed home. However, there was no collapse, instead we focused. In the 29th minute Tomsett levelled, when his pass to Pericard was blocked back into his path. Pericard himself then headed us into the lea before half-time. My encouragement seemed to fall on deaf ears, and this was backed up when Richie Baker levelled, only for Sedgers to put us back infront 3 minutes later. As the game opened up ate on Adam Griffin, inexplicably roaming from the back, found himself unmarked and fired home, giving me my first win.

Resisting the urge to drop to the floor, in a heap of elation, I opted for a civil approach, having shaken mu opponent's hands and trekked down the tunnel to meet my weary, but happy soldiers.

I was lost for words to begin with. The lads noticed this, and smiles beamed back at me, Sedgers was the first to pipe up.
"Well boss?" He said, a big grin on his face.
I laughed back "Boys, that was fucking fantastic!"
Travisio92's avatar Group Travisio92 2013-04-16 13:55
00 200 posts joined Feb 11, 2013

Stress Relieving Samba

As August ended, I found myself in a familiar position, sitting in Tahir's office, as the chairman sipped his tea and listened to my pleas intently.

"Look Daniel." Tahir began when my proposal had been outlined. "You know I cant give you any more money. We simply don't have any."

"But we're desperately short! We haven't got any fit centre-backs for Christ's sake!" I begged.

"You are already over wage budget as it is. You've just signed Michael Brown to go in goal, and I'm yet to see any player sales." He sipped at his tea. "Hang on a minute, no centre-backs?"
"Er... yeah, Luke and Martyn might have collided in training. Luke's got a jarred shoulder and Martyn's got a concussion." To my surprise Tahir found this amusing.
"Well, that's just our luck." He chuckled, before leaning forward. "you find me a player. The deadline shuts in 3 hours. But after that you're on your own with the squad."

After several thanks I was straight out of the door to find Gav, almost dragging him away from the training session.
"What did Tahir say?" He asked hopefully.
"We Have 3 hours. We can get 1 centre-back. Any ideas?" I enquired, noticing the glint in my assistant's eye.
"Samba Kanoute." as his two word response. "I've got his number already just in case. Used to play at Hereford. Lives down here nowadays. Can be here within the hour."

Gav's response made me question whether he'd already asked the man to attend, but his stone cold expressions always made it hard to judge the motives of a man I struggled to read.

"I don't care how good or bad he is. If he's got one leg he's still a body. Get him here and get him signed!"


Samba Kanoute - free

Michael Brown - free

You are reading "The Leap of Faith - Daniel Karbassiyoon".

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