Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Americans. Happy Thursday to the rest of the world! While I’m out with family enjoying the holidays and loading up on my Grandmother’s amazing chocolate pie, I thought I’d schedule and share an update on the journeyman save… Things aren’t going so well, to say the least.
I’m going to be honest. I had lofty ambitions for Barnstaple that I knew would be tough to realise, but even I felt that the first goal of landing that only promotion spot would have been doable. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how much you try to doll up a pile of crap, it’s still crap under the hood.
On October 22nd, 2014 I was sacked from Barnstaple. The team was sitting in 11th place drawing more than we were winning, and there were far too many dropped points in the league, with the hierarchy at the club quite upset with me.
We can spend a long time looking at what went wrong and how. My “star” players would seldom actually finish on a goal run, the defense was horrible at defense, and I’ve lost count of how many highlights I’ve seen where a blatant defensive blunder lead to goals, fouls, penalties, and the like.
That said, I did have some degree of optimism, because when the team was fit, like at the start of the season, they were performing well. However, we weren’t fit. It was easy and common for us to hold 4-5 injuries on the injuries list, which is dangerous when the squad lacks depth or quality in general. It was almost a doomed venture from the beginning, because despite my best efforts, I failed to find any quality players who would accept a non-contract, and my small wage budget was blown overboard at the start of the season to begin with, meaning there was no room for transfers.
The board wanted to discuss my future at the club following my poor results and some snide press comments about the board, and I refused an emergency meeting for the first time, recognising the meeting and the players as a lost cause. The players are too poor in quality and we’re broke enough that I can’t terminate any contracts to make room in the over-budget wages to move in the talent needed to meet the board’s expectations.
After 93 days I’m sacked. The first time I’ve ever been sacked. I’ve left my fair share of jobs prematurely, but this is the first outright sack. Time to look for a new job…
On the plus side, despite my short-comings, I was attached to jobs almost immediately after my departure from Barnstaple, since it’s the middle of the autumn sacking season. This particular job doesn’t interest me, but being attached to several jobs gives me hope for moving up in the world, which was what the objective to The Journey, was, not making Barnstaple specifically a big club.
After about a month unemployed while looking for an opportunity that looked interesting, I applied to Faversham in the Isthmian First Division South. Apparently, their manager, who’s overachieving with the team and in the mid-table, ditched them for Hythe, who are below the drop line and relegation candidates. A peculiar move, to be sure, but it’s a team with an interesting roster, they’ve clearly got some potential, and I ought to have my National C within the next month or so, so I figured I’d give it a go despite being a step up in leagues.
Here’s the club history. Not much to go on, but despite the struggles of managing so low in England when I’m not a master player, I’m enthused and ready to get to work!
I’ve been in charge for three matches, and I’ve had two wins and a draw, with our team sitting in 9th, playing a 3-4-3 counter-attacking tactic that I’m trying out.
I’ll get into team details in the winter transfer window next month after I’ve had a coupe of matches to size up the team and figure out where things need to get better and what we need to do to succeed.
While I know it’s going to be a rough ride getting my name up and getting into a position to manage a good team with decent facilities and players/staff, I’ll try to not make a habit of every other blog being about being hired by a new team after a couple in-game months.
There will be a bit of a wait before the next post. This one is out on a holiday because I pre-wrote and scheduled it, but I’ll be with family out of town for the next many days, so there will be little, if any, Football Manager.
See you when I return, and hopefully there will be some good news for once in this save!
P.S. Release-day addition to this post, since it infuriates me to not have graphics for my teams I manage and I now figured out how to do custom kits, as I mentioned a couple posts ago, I made a home and away kit for Faversham using the game’s home/away colors as the base. And, that lovely man Chris Darwen and his website The Higher Tempo Press are Faversham’s kit sponsor, because I was bored, reading his blog while working, and needed a sponsor logo for the kits!
The white one is the home kit, since counter to what is normal, white was the home color, with the tan color being the away color. Personally, I think they look pretty sexy with that THTP logo! (P.P.S. Don’t hate me for rippin’ off your logo, man, it’s all in fun! ;))
Shameless plug that I can be contacted on Twitter @EricSnowmane if anyone wants to follow my nonsense or chat with me.