I’ve never done any sort of blogging before in my life. I’ve recently started doing the whole “being public with my FM playing” thing on twitter, and it seems that making a blog is the next step. So I guess I’ll do sort of an introduction.
My name’s Dave. At the time of this writing I’m 25. I’ve been a huge fan of football (soccer) for quite a few years now. I played rec stuff when I was young, but got out of it for a while. I’m a certified USSF ref, but at the moment I can’t do much of anything due to a serious back injury. So the closest I can get to the sport besides watching it on TV is to play Football Manager.
I haven’t been with the series since it was Championship Manager, like (as far as I can tell) almost everyone that talks about it online. I got into it right near the end of FM12. I bought FM13 when it came out and according to Steam spent almost 1000 hours with it. Of course, I picked my Premier League team (Manchester United) for my first save, but after spending a few in-game months doing horrible thanks to my lack of understanding of both tactics and the game, got frustrated and stopped playing that save. I spent quite a bit of time on the official forums, reading over topics about tactics and spending a lot of time in the Career Updates forum, reading various types of saves that other people were doing.
I quickly realized that even with an understanding of the game and tactics, managing one of the best teams in one of the best leagues was not how I was going to enjoy the game the most. Sure, you can bring in your favorite top players that you wish the club would sign in real life. Sure, you can build a super world beating team and win treble after treble. But to me, there was no fun in that. You get your team full of Ronaldos and Messis, get a solid tactical setup, and grind out big win after big win. Some people like that, and I won’t tell anyone to play the game. Reading through all these career stories though, what appealed to me most were journeyman saves, and taking a team from the lowest division and trying to make them into a continental superpower.
I tried a few games starting in the Conference North/South, aiming for one club saves. I was still learning a lot, and things never went to plan. I’d do poorly, get sacked, and start a new save. Eventually I started a save with Salisbury in the Conference South, and something amazing happened; I won the league. The next season, in the Conference Premier, I barely avoided the drop. The season after looked like it was going the same way, so I resigned. Due to not having much reputation, I had to drop down to the North/South again, with Boston United, leading them to a midtable finish. After leaving there partway through the next season, something amazing happened, something which sold me on the magic of a journeyman save. I was hired by an MLS team. Sporting Kansas City. Although they aren’t a team I support, I’m a huge follower of MLS, and after three seasons in the fifth and six tiers of the English game, I had a job in the MLS. I was hooked on the game. I ended up playing the save until 2024, slowly building a reputation. After SKC, I went to Bury and finished 2nd in League 2, earning promotion. Partway through the next season, I left to head to Doncaster Rovers, also in League 1, and finished 2nd for the 2nd season in a row, getting promoted to the Championship. My first season in the 2nd tier, I finished 17th, barely staying up. I left Doncaster, spending two short spells at FC Twente in the Eredivisie, with a quick time at OH Leuven in between. I spent most a year without a job, before joining Swindon in the Championship, taking the from a relegation battle to a safe finish in 13th. Another short spell in Belgium with AA Gent, before coming back to England again with Carlisle in League 1. Finished 3rd with them, losing out in the playoffs. The next season, it finally happened. I was offered a job at Southampton in the Premier League. I finished the season 18th, getting relegated, but my love for Football Manager was forever sealed.
So that’s my (rather wordy) story of how I came to love this game. I’ve had a few saves on FM14 so far, only being a season or two each. When I started with my FM twitter, I started a new save in the 2. Bundesliga, which I’m a few months into. I’m also very seriously considering doing the Pentagon Challenge for this blog, seeing as how much I loved being a journeyman last year.