I’ve been a massive fan of Football Manager for more than 20 years.
From spending hours waiting patiently for my allocated 30 minute slot on our family computer, to indulging in gloriously unproductive two day marathons at University, it was first of many self-inflicted addictions in my lifetime. Unfortunately getting older meant doing more adult things, and opportunities to prove that I could be the next Gary Megson grew few and far between.
But now I’ve hit 35. Too young for a mid-life crisis? Not sure, but I’m confident that my two daughters (11 months and two and a half) are almost self-sufficient enough to afford me some downtime, allowing me to dust off my trusted chalkboard for a new challenge…
In previous versions of the game I’ve taken my beloved West Bromwich Albion to the pinnacle of football glory. That wasn’t too tough. In fact it was too easy. Having never before taken on a non-league challenge, the prospect of turning my local team Worcester City into the champions of Europe seems an attractive proposition.
Languishing in the sixth tier of English football, homeless (having short-sightedly sold their ground to housing developers back in 2013) and with little more to show for their efforts than winning the Southern League Premier in 1979, Worcester City aren’t exactly your typical sleeping giant.
But I see their potential. They just need a charismatic leader. Someone who can galvanise the squad and get the 343 fans dreaming of better things. Someone with unfeasibly high expectations and a misplaced sense of self-confidence.
They need me.
This blog will share the highs, the lows and my fictional interpretation of events as I attempt to take Worcester City from non-league obscurity to Champions League glory within 15 seasons.
For information (and for anyone foolish enough to wish to tackle the same challenge) I’m running Football Manager 2017 with the following setup:
- Playable: Vanarama National League North/South (ENG), Irish First Division (IRE), NIFL Premier Intermediate League (NIR), Ladbrokes League 2 (SCO), Dafabet Welsh Premier League (WAL)
- Viewable: French National (FRA), German Second Division (GER), Italian Serie B (ITA), Spanish Second Division (SPA)
- Database: Large (21,020 players)
- Start date: Early 2016/17 preseason