Monday, June 24, 2013

The Road to Foot to Ball Glory (Part 2)

As Tamworth settled in to the idea of being back in Blue Square North, a lot of changes were made to the squad. The board decided to drop back to being a semi-pro team and dropped the budget from $12k to $10k. Every player who had a contract up for renewal had to be released on a free, because they all demanded more than the club was willing to pay them. That left me with a squad of about 6 players and a month to build some form of team to field this upcoming season. Luckily those that had contracts lasting past the just finished season were some of the best players on the team, so a nucleus was there to form something decent for BSN.

I proceeded to scour the listings for any deals possible, and signed a number of players, and even got a couple decent players on loan for the season. I am still a couple grand under budget so I have some space to work with. We played 4 friendlies going 0-1-3. We drew against a BSP team, lost to 2 non-league teams and lost to Leyton Orient of League 1.

The season started with a game against Cambridge City, which we won. So we started things off on the right foot in BSN. The fans aren't too broken up about the moves made with the squad during the offseason, so if the team can gel together and make a respectable showing this year I might even avoid being sacked. It remains to be seen how this all will affect my reputation as a manager.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Road to Foot to Ball Glory

I have been playing the latest edition of the sports management soccer game Football Manager lately. For the start I took over the manager role at Farnborough in Blue Square South as I'd previously done a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I didn't do my due diligence prior to that decision. Farnborough were a team in a horrible state financially, so there was no money available to make any adjustments with the squad.

The board expectations were minimal with them looking for a mid-table finish, and rather early exits in the various cup competitions we would be involved with. The team got off to a decent start though, and kept playing well. By November we were top of the table and managed to stay there through the holiday season despite a rash of injuries on top of the brutal schedule. At this level it is almost about just scoring more than the other side as defenses and goalies tend to be atrocious. Once we made through that patch which I considered to be the roughest spot, the team lost its way. By the end of the season we had drifted down the table a bit, and only secured a spot in the promotion playoffs by beating the league winning team Chelmsford on the final day of games. We were scheduled to play Dover in the 1st round of the playoffs, and won the 1st leg at home 2-1. The second was 2-3 at the end of regulation and extra time, and a penalty shootout was required, with Dover taking the honors.

After the season it was time to deal with contracts and the salary budget. Though the board was very pleased with our results, they refused to give more money to the cause. With pretty much the entire team up for contract renewal and all of them wanting more money, I decided to resign and try my luck elsewhere.

Not long after my abrupt departure Tamworth in Blue Square Premiere came calling, and I had another job and team to manage. Tamworth have a budget about 3 times the size of the Farnborough budget, but they are also having financial troubles. We were a ways over budget on salary so I dropped 2 players  to start off and get us closer to the goal budget. I will have to take time now to look at the team and see who can go and who stays and perhaps get some salary budget space to bring in some fresh faces and start to put my stamp on the team. Looking at the league table I can't tell if we are still in Blue Square Premiere or if they were relegated this season. If relegated I imagine we will definitely be top contenders for promotion back to the BSP (Edit: taking a look, they were relegated on 4.1.2013, the last manager was sacked on 5.9.2013 and I was hired on 5.25.2013).

One funny thing to note was that my reputation has already jumped to regional status with just my 1 season at Farnborough. I guess having an American almost manage the side to promotion was a news worthy story.