I’ve always liked a challenge. I don’t know why, but it’s always been there for me. Maybe it has something to do with being a Newcastle fan, from down south. I like to prove people wrong, but ultimately fail. My normal FM saves start with me joining a team in the lower leagues and then trying to take them up the leagues to the promised land. I say trying as there is always a period where the game stagnates, normally as you get to Championship, where it is quite hard to bring the team on further in a short space of time.
With this in mind, I thought, what would happen if I didn’t have to do it with the club I started with? What if the goal was to get me, the manager, into the promised land? Not necessarily with one or two clubs, but by any means necessary?
How long could it take to get an unemployed, Sunday league manager with no qualifications, to be mixing it with the big boys in the Champions League?? It can’t be that hard!
So I started, and I applied at every job that became available. I was interviewed by a few, but mainly laughed at by the secretaries when I handed over my CV. They didn’t care about my GCSE in Maths. They didn’t care that I used to work at JJB Sports. They didn’t even hand my CV over to the boss, they just tossed it into the bin along with that day’s lunch.
I waited. And waited. The season started and I was still unemployed. The wife’s birthday came and went. The wife did not like her handmade card, and apparently a bag from Primark is not considered designer. She wanted the WAG lifestyle that I had promised her when I quit my job and told her that I was going to be a football manager.
I’d had interviews. Sure, they went well and they liked me. But they didn’t hire me. Going to interviews and not getting the jobs does not pay the bills at home.
It’s the 1st October and Dover are 23rd in the Vanarama National League. They have no wins in their first 12 games, scoring only 8 goals. Naturally I think for a second whether I can hold out for a better club, but seeing as most of my rejections were down to being inexperienced, I decide to jump straight in and begin life as manager of Dover Athletic.
Catch us next time to see how I get on at my first managerial post.