The Unknown Manager: Distracted Driving

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I’m not going to lie. I’ve had one eye on the exit door since the day after we won the title. I haven’t been half-assing it with the team. The transfer window should be evidence enough of that. I can’t help but feel like I’ve done all I can here. Last season, despite our previous double, we were only projected as 5th. This season the media and the bookies have us as clear favorites. The team that dominated last year has only been made stronger still. Stomping to a double every year is nice, but the board are hopeless to work with and going professional is forever out of reach. I’ve grown to love this club dearly, but my career is destined for more than it can offer. This will be my last season at Glentoran FC, but I don’t know when I’ll leave yet.

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The Unknown Manager: I Am Become Chelsea

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The Transfer Window

How does a semi-professional club approach the offseason after back to back league titles? We can’t scout anywhere outside the country, so our transfer choices are rather limited. There are a fair few star players in the side already, and we’ve got over 200k and 1.5k p/w to work with. I’ve had my eye on a few players to strengthen some key areas, but overall this is a strong squad already. Let’s see how the window went.  Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: I Am Become Chelsea”

The Unknown Manager: Double Doubles Aren’t Just For Basketball

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End of Season 2018-2019

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The final table wasn’t close. I sent out a youth/reserve team in our final match again, and we they lost 1-2. We’ve improved from winning the league by a single point last year to twelve points this year. Our goal difference was fully double the next best club.  Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Double Doubles Aren’t Just For Basketball”

The Unknown Manager: Five Games To Glory

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Championship Group – The Final Five Matches

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The final five matches of the season in Northern Ireland take place after the league splits in half. Each team in the top half plays each other once, and same for the bottom half. Three of our five are away, with Crusaders and Coleraine having a history of giving us trouble on their own grounds. As far as the table goes, it’s down to a two horse race as we enter the split; we can’t finish lower than second. Ten points guarantees the title for us regardless of Coleraine’s results.I feel like the league has scheduled this for maximum drama, as the chance for us to get the tenth point and secure the title is in fact the match against second place. They want a show? Let’s give ’em a show. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Five Games To Glory”

The Unknown Manager: I’ve Gone Too Far In Quite A Few Places

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You know you’ve got a good save going when you’re so into it you totally blow by the stopping point you’d pick to make the next post. It started off with “Well, the Champions League starts right during pre-season, so I’ll just go past these matches…” and now we’re at the start of the January window. I may have to split this into two posts. Times they are a-changing. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: I’ve Gone Too Far In Quite A Few Places”

The Unknown Manager: To All The Clubs That Laughed Me Off

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Danske Bank Premier League
April 21, 2018

Here we are. Linfield have come to the Oval for our fourth meeting of the season. They’ve brought over 1,200 supporters with them, helping to set our season high attendance of nearly 4,700. There’s a light drizzle falling as the players take the pitch. All we need is a draw to secure our first league championship since 2009. We fought the first half of the season to keep up with Linfield as jump them in the table and the second half to stay ahead of them. The season series stands at two wins for us and a draw. It’s time. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: To All The Clubs That Laughed Me Off”

The Unknown Manager: Cruising Toward Somewhere

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Dankse Bank Premier League
January – April 2018

There’s a strange scent you can catch on the winds of fortune these days. Despite going through what I consider easily our worst patch of the season, we find ourselves four points clear in first place with two matches remaining.The first of those two matches is yet another derby against Linfield at the Oval. This season-defining moment will come in the next post, but for now let’s examine what’s happened the past few months. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Cruising Toward Somewhere”

The Unknown Manager: Two Derbies Won, Time For A Third

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November 2017 – January 2018
Transfers

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Right, well I haven’t done very much. I was looking to add depth up front and in central defense, and none of the players I’ve signed fill either need. I asked for an increased wage budget in November, as both Croskery and Birney wanted new contracts, and I had a bit left over. We also had the chance to adjust our season expectations at the start of the transfer window and that got us a bit more room in the budget.

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The Unknown Manager: Belfast Big Who?

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 July – October 2017
Danske Bank Premier League

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We’ve had a much better start to the season than I could have anticipated. Ten points from the first five matches isn’t bad but in truth it looks better than it was. Institute and Ards are bottom half teams and we scraped both of those wins. The loss to Crusaders was a wake up call that made me switch from an initial 4-5-1 to the 4-4-1-1 that we’ve settled on. The 3-0 win over Dungannon Swifts is really when everything started clicking and it kicked off a nice little six match unbeaten run.  Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Belfast Big Who?”