“My first time out on the training ground as a head coach. I’m not quite sure what to think of it. It’s certainly more than a little intimidating to me, being an American fan of the sport and only 21 years old. What the hell do I know about being a coach, aside from what I think I know? And, besides that, I’m 11 years junior to Harry York, the man I’ll be working with. A Londoner, just as uncomfortable in this small town as I am. At least he’s as unqualified as I am, though I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing that the two random dudes who walked in asking for the openings got it. He seems a good man, though, quite likeable, the Londoner, and he’s got some ideas kicking around in his head already, so I’m sure we can get a working relationship going.”
I’ve been itching to write some Football Manager posts for a while, and I’ve made (and removed) plenty of “Part One” posts over the last month. I’ve been having one of those times where nothing I do on Football Manager ever sticks. Sweden, for instance, was a mistake. I never got on well in Greece with AO Xanthi despite my best intentions, I started a save similar to Darwen’s Boys of Bilbao that didn’t stick, Oviedo didn’t stick either, and I’ve just not been feeling it for a while.
I have, however, been interested in some lower league England. It’s been well over a year since I’ve done anything in England, and I find the most enjoyment in being a lower leagues manager, so, with that in mind, I’ve decided that it was time to go small-time, as in, with a club so lowly that you need to kick off sheep from the field and shovel up dung and garbage so that the environment is safe for you and the ball… Well, okay, maybe we aren’t that lowly, and Mill Road is actually in the city of Barnstaple. Still, we could be in Wales somewhere instead!
So, as you’ll realise, or maybe not since we’re in the County Leagues, I’m in Barnstaple and I’ve taken over Barnstaple Town FC for a save where I’ll start small with no badges or experience, as per real life.
Here we have it. Barnstaple Town FC from the Western League of the Counties Leagues. Our home ground is Mill Road, with 5,000 capacity, though only 250 seated, the club is 110 years old, hasn’t got much to speak of whatsoever, aside from a few token real players in the data, and I’ve got to get everything up and running, because my managerial journey depends upon it!
You’ll also notice that I made the kits myself (first time doing it!) after tinkering with some of those kit resources available online. I think they look quite good, myself, with Sainsbury as a random sponsor to make the kits look “legit”. These will be my kits through to the start of the National League, and I’ll change them up at that time if I’m still here. And, I do plan to be here. While my departure from this club won’t end the save and I still intend to make a long-term name for myself, my current goal is to try and take this County Leagues team as far as I can.
Here’s me with my current stats so that we can look at them in the future and see my development.
Our fixtures so far… As you can see, we’ve won all of our friendlies, though the second wasn’t as comfortable as I would have liked, and we’ve won our opening game. I do want to point out that I started the save unemployed and applied to places, so I missed the first friendly. As should be expected, considering we’re favorites by a margin to go up to the next level. I think second place’s media odds were something like 30-1 or 40-1 while ours was 5-1. We’re rated as strong favorites.
Usually, I’d go into team and player details, but the lower league players tend to have a significant turnover, the team I’ve got is absolute crap, though I’ve got a couple of gems I’m still sizing up, and I’m not familiar enough with my players yet to have final opinions on them. I will, however, share the stats page for a couple of the better ones here that I’d like to keep, and when I make my next post I’ll go into more detail with my impressions on the team and staff after the players and staff are all gathered, because I’m still making deals for players and trying to move some out, since (spoiler alert!) our team is quite dreadful at this level.
I won’t make any explicit promises on when the next post will come out, because it’s Thanksgiving this week, which is a big holiday in America and I’ll be out with family for a spell later this week, which will cut into play time, but I found a save that I’m interested in trying to run for a while, so I’m crossing my fingers that this won’t be another letdown fo a post where I don’t commit to writing a blog long-term, despite my desire to click with a save and want to write like I used to with my older saves.