With Friday’s full release just round the corner, I have the standard major decision to make. Where am I going to start a full, long-term save? Honved has been fun, I have enjoyed updating my “Searching the Stats v2.0” model. #TheArgentineStrikerless seems in fine fettle and I am confident I am match fit for the new season. But where?
In FM15 I wrote about several saves. For FM16 the plan is to go once, and do it right. The writing will be story based, I want to take you inside the club and my head and walk through all the things that go on as I play the game. I will look to build a narrative around the career, help you connect with what is happening as well as actually give you some potentially useful tips along the way with “StS” and any tactical innovations that come up along the way. At this stage I have no idea how much time I will have to invest in playing and writing, and my productivity certainly slowed down over the summer when I started the “Beating Brian” series. Therefore it is important I get the decision right. It is a career with no real direction, other than seeing how far I can go. I would like to start low and see where I end up in a year’s time. I will apply the usual rules, my profile will be set as it stands today with the current qualifications and playing history.
So who is in the running? In no particular order…
I love a proper lower league management save. Clapton FC were one of the greatest amateur sides ever, dominating that level of football in the early 1900’s. The won the FA Amateur Cup several times, had some players that went on to play for England and have one of the oldest grounds in the country. Nowadays, they are having a rebellious revival. They have arguably the best non-league fans in the country who stand against all the issues of modern day society, including modern day football. They are a club very close to my heart, and the fact they are in the Essex Senior League (step 9) is a bonus. It is a level where I could realistically get a manager’s job if I was back home, and could start from there and work my way up the leagues. Could I get Clapton into league football for the first time ever before moving on?
Garforth became semi-well-known back in the mid 2000’s when coaching entrepreneur Simon Clifford bought the club. He was very ambitous in his claims that he could take the club to the Premier League within 20 years and that the team playing in the Premier League would all be graduates of his world wide academy, Brazilian Soccer Schools. He also persuaded famous ex-players like Socrates, Careca and, ahem, Lee Sharpe to turn out for the team to get publicity. It failed, and apparently Clifford sold the club again a few years ago – randomly to Rupert Lowe, the ex-Southampton chairman (I could be wrong). Could I achieve what Clifford failed to achieve?
Carl Zeiss Jena
This was one of my favourite saves in FM15. Jena are a famous former East German giant of football, that once the reunification of Germany happened fell down the unified leagues. They used to compete for the East German title regularly and were often in Europe as a result. Now they sit in the 4th tier of German football, a proper fallen giant. I took them from 4th Tier to Bundesliga in straight seasons, purchasing only free transfers or out of contract players. However, we did get relegated after one season and I decided to move on to to a new save. Could I take Jena up the leagues and see what job offers come my way?
FC Sete 34
FC Sete 34 were the first French team to win the League and Cup double in 1934. That was not the springboard for dominance, they now sit in the 5th tier of French football as amateurs. It is tragic really, they have won both the League and the Cup twice each in their history so should be at a higher level. It would be great to take the club back to the top, win the double and then move on to a new challenge. Hell, imagine this little provincial club by the Mediterranean sea toppling PSG!
Club Deportivo Torrevieja
The club that was featured in #WeAreTheManagers. Again set by the Mediterranean sea it has no real history to speak of. We play in the Tercera Division, the 4th tier of Spanish football. We’ve never really been any higher, but the size of the town is bigger than Eibar and they an in La Liga! I took Torrevieja into La Liga on FM15, and as the story goes is the reason I now live here and volunteer at the club as a director. Can I do it again? What would happen if I was actually in charge of our current group of players? If the President gave me the job tomorrow, where would my coaching career end up?
Folks, I genuinely do not know which one to do. Each would need some database work, so it is not as if I could just start on Friday immediately. What do people think? Each have their merits. I need to have something to write about otherwise I cannot enjoy the game so much, so feel free to try and influence my opinion either by commenting here or on Twitter (@www.thehighertempopress.comcomeontheoviedo)