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HHTFC: The light shines in darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Aannddyy

Super Duper Moderator
Jun 30, 2009
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Okay, here goes. I haven’t written a FM story for a few years. A few of you may remember my “From Russia with love” story. I apologise in advance if my grammar or spelling is incorrect at times, I can only try my best. Also, the title is a quote from the bible, which is probably why it makes very little sense. This story is of course fictional, anything that happens or any resemblances it has to real life and/or real people are completely coincidental and there is no disrespect to anyone intended in my writing. I hope you enjoy reading and would be happy to receive some feedback.

Chapter 1
‘Oi, who the f*ck are you?'

I stand alone in this dull, damp and poorly lit corridor. 18 men in football boots and red tracksuits clamber past me as if I was nobody, if only they knew. I make my way across the thick British mud and take my place in the stand. To my left a man dressed head to toe in the clubs kit—even at this level there are diehard fans, who knew, and to my right an old lady cradling her dog; I know children go free, but dogs? That’s a new one.

I sit here cautiously waiting for the team I will soon call my own to start playing, just hoping they don’t suck as bad as I’d been told they do.This manager-less team couldn’t buy a point right now. Although, they’ve somehow managed to avoid relegation thanks to an unbeaten run earlier in the season. They’re sitting uncomfortably in the 7[SUP]th[/SUP] tier in English football and it isn’t a pretty place to be. This isn't ideal considering my dream is to one day manage England at the World Cup, who's isn't, right? But I know everyone has to start somewhere and for me it’s here, Hemel Hempstead FC

The match kicked-off and I just knew it was going to be the longest 90 minutes of my life. The pitch looked as if it was made entirely out of mud as the ball trudged from side to side at a snail’s pace. I can’t complain though, most of the footballers on the pitch are better than me and I’m the man who will be telling them what to do the next time they play. ****. Still, when you see challenges like this you can understand why I’m so bewildered.

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My father used to play for England, it’s likely that's the only reason I got this job. I can’t complain though, I asked him if he could help me out and he did, now I’m about to earn a massive £160 per week, woohoo. I know this job certainly won’t be easy but it’s got to be better than the life I’m living at the moment. No kids, no girlfriend, no social life to speak off. It’s just me, my job, and football. Well, the job I just quit—so really it’s just me and football.

I wouldn't say I was a bad footballer, I had trials at a few Football League clubs in my teens but when you get to 19 and you aren’t signed you start to wonder if it was really meant to be. I gave up and decided to get some coaching badges alongside work. I’ve managed a couple of my local sides and lead them to success, nothing major. I'm 31 now and still waiting for that solid gold World Cup medal, can’t help but feel I’ll be waiting a long time for it, either.

The match finished 1-1, the highlights being a couple of goalmouth scrambles and a corner that was blown onto the crossbar by HHFC’s twelfth man, the wind. As everyone began making their way out of the one lonely stand, a man started walking towards me. He was wearing a black suit, woolly hat and wellingtons. “Ahh, Mr. Smith, would you like to meet your team?” he bellowed towards me, trying to make his voice heard through the gale force winds. It was the club secretary Dean Chance. “Sure.” I replied. We made our way back across the park and into the changing rooms.

The first team coach was giving the boys a debriefing as I entered.I took the seat closest to the door and waited for the coach to finish talking. “..And well done to Barry’s wife, Sue, who managed to raise £200 for charity in the cake sale last weekend. Now, I’ll hand you over to the very capable hands of Stan Smith.” I took the place of the coach in the centre of the room. This was it, the moment that I’d spent years dreaming of, I’m finally going to address my play—“Oi, who the **** are you?” I had shouted at me from the corner of the room. I forgot the speech that I spent 6 hours writing and instead replied with “I’m the guy who’s going to get you out of this shithole and into the big-time.”

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Aannddyy

Super Duper Moderator
Jun 30, 2009
7,742
0
36
www.fm-base.co.uk
Looks good. this should be a great story
Good start. Bookmarked.
Brilliant start, will follow
Great start, nice layout.Never seen a Hemel Hempstead story before XD but they're pretty local to me. I'll follow.
Thanks a lot guys, next update will probably be tonight.@Poppa_Chester To be honest with you, I've never heard of HHTFC, I just selected them randomly!
 
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Aannddyy

Super Duper Moderator
Jun 30, 2009
7,742
0
36
www.fm-base.co.uk
Chapter 2'
Are you scared of aliens?'

It wasn’t until I arrived at my new ‘office’ that I realised really how poor the 7
th tier is. The room didn't even have a leather chair, just some cheap IKEA furniture; a bookcase, desk and a chair. Although, my favourite thing about my new office has to be the nice beige paint on the walls, it goes nicely with the fake wooden flooring. I can’t let this put me off, though; I know it won’t be like this forever, so the sooner I find success, the better.

I logged onto HSBC to take a quick look at the club finances, it wasn’t a pleasant site, £2240, what!? That’s less than my bank balance! I immediately called the secretary and told him to cancel all friendly matches; we need to make some cash and that’s not going to happen by hosting clubs in lower leagues than us. I made a few calls and managed to persuade the managers of Southampton, Q.P.R, and Hibernian [amongst others] to give us a visit. Hopefully our financial position will be a little less precarious after we play some big-boys.

Next order of business: hiring and firing players. A quick look at the wage bill tells me there isn’t much room for negotiation. £675 per week is what the club can afford to pay in wages and there’s no chance of getting it increased. On the bright side—the squad isn’t that weak. Having said that, the only player I recognise is Paolo Vernazza, the ex-Arsenal and Watford midfielder. I do think that with a couple of ‘non-contract’ signings we can compete for promotion, I hope so anyway, I’ve only been here five minutes and I already hate it.
___________

A couple of scrawny men with moustaches make their way into the room; one holding a dictaphone, the other a notepad and pen. “Alright, we’re from the paper.” One of them says.The other follows up with “You’ve been expecting us, yeah?”.“Um, sure. Take a seat.” I know I’m not managing Manchester United but I was expecting some form of press conference, not an interview with the Chuckle Brothers. Anyway, the interview is below if you’re interested. I’ve nicknamed them Barry and Paul, for my own amusement, no idea what their real names are.

Barry: “Right, so first things first; what are your views on eggplants?”

Reply: “I’m sorry, what, eggplants?”

Paul: “Yeah, y’know, eggplants. We've got a great gardening section in our magazine."

Reply: “I-I don't know. Are you not here to discuss football?”

Barry: “Well I guess, but that’s not what our readers want.”

Paul: “Leave it, fine, Stan, have it your way. On a scale of 1-10 how happy are you right now?”

Reply: “Ok... I’d say a seven. Nerves are something I’m certainly experiencing at the moment but I’m delighted to be here.”

Barry: “So, you’re scared, good stuff. Who are you sacking?”

Reply:
“Sacking? Nobody, I need everyone who has knowledge of this club here. No good me signing all new staff who know less about the club than I do.”


Barry:
“Right. Attack or defence?”

Reply: “Depends on the situation.”

Barry: “Attack or defence?”

Reply: “Um, like I said—that depends on the situation.”

Paul:
“Defence. Now, what are your views on the rumours that ex-manager Tommy Widdrington has been abducted by astronauts?”

Barry:
“He means aliens.”

Reply: “Aliens? I honestly haven’t heard anything, I just assumed he resigned, but who knows.”

Paul: “Yeah, aliens, are you scared of aliens?”

Reply: “Not really...”

Barry: “Oh. Well, I think we have got all that we need for today.”

Reply:
“Right, okay then. I’ve got a lot to be getting on with, anyway. Thank you.”

Barry & Paul: “Goodbye!”

It was certainly one of the strangest interviews I’ve experienced. Looking forward to checking out the article though, not that I’m an avid reader of the Non-League Paper. Anyway, time to start drawing up a shortlist of targets, can’t help but think this is going to be very, very difficult.


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ajt09

Nice Guy Gramps
Oct 23, 2009
15,215
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46
Yeah I'm having the same problem. There was a twist in the story recently I'm doing, but I'm deciding wether or not to keep it going and to make it based on an entire career-it's asking a lot as it's my first one based on a real save. I've written stories before, and the longer it goes the trickier it gets to instill new ideas to keep it fresh and interesting-but that's just my experience anyway.

Good luck though-look forward to next update
 

Aannddyy

Super Duper Moderator
Jun 30, 2009
7,742
0
36
www.fm-base.co.uk
Chapter 3

“Warren, we are awaiting replies and I expect us to have some offers for you by tomorrow.”
“I **** well hope so. You can’t just mess people around like this, Stan.” Warren Goodhind, the clubs highest paid player [£275 p/w] storms out of the room. I didn’t mean to come across as rude, but I’ve got the Pakistani centre-back partnership arriving on trial in a couple of days and really need the funds. I’m sure Warren will find a new club; I just really need those funds free.

I’ve inherited a thread-bare backroom staff as well as squad. My main order of business this week is to find an assistant, that’s not going to be an easy task, who wants to be assistant manager to a club in the 7[SUP]th[/SUP] tier of English football? No-one, that’s ‘who’. I headed down to the training ground and starting watching the boys, a couple of minutes in and one of the coaches jogs over, “Smith. A couple of the NC [Non-contract] boys are talking about offers; apparently other clubs are interested in signing them on semi-pro deals.”
“Anyone, in particular?”
“Not too sure, Vernazza, is probably one.” He replied as he jogged back over to continue training. ****. He’s the best player in the squad, and I’m not sure I have the budget to hand out semi-pro contracts like they’re smarties. This is exactly what I wanted to avoid.



___________

July 1[SUP]st[/SUP], my first game in charge comes against Oxford United in a home friendly. We’re expecting a crowd of around 1000 which should bring in some much needed funds. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing an Iqbal-Docker partnership today as they’ve been called away on international duty, but, we’re still hoping to be able to take some positives from the game against a big Football League side. Find out how we did, below.


View attachment 218582


I couldn’t have wished for a better managerial debut, we managed to beat one of the biggest clubs in League 2, albeit thanks to a 92[SUP]nd[/SUP] minute own-goal by a player paid more than my entire team put together. Our luck started when 37 year old lawyer Steve Butler headed home in the 22[SUP]nd[/SUP] minute. The pros quickly replied with a 24[SUP]th[/SUP] minute strike by the unstoppable James Constable. Ten minutes later and we were back ahead; one of the players currently considering contracts from other clubs, Chris Watters, with a 16 yard strike. It looked like our luck had run out by half-time, two late strikes from Josh Payne and Deane Smalley was almost heart breaking. We struggled to keep up with Oxford’s game, it took a wonder-strike from Premier League veteran Paolo Vernazza to turn it all around, coupled with a defensive howler by Oxford and we had the win. HHTFC 4 v 3 Oxford United. ‘Beautiful’.


I woke up the next day and my worst fears were confirmed, it was in the form of a text from Vernazza, “Salisbury just offered me a contract. V”. I can’t compete with Salisbury, they’re BSP! I made my way to work in break-neck speed, I’m not losing Paolo, and I just can’t. I grabbed the contract I had prepared the night before. Good thing I was feeling very pessimistic last night and made it as a contingency plan encase this sort of thing were to happen. I reached out to Paolo, contract in hand, “Take a look at it, and let me know what you think.” “OK, boss.” He responded positively, “See-you, tomorrow.” I guess now I just wait.

Our next two friendly-matches were less successful; two equally unavoidable 3-0 losses to Premier League sides Swansea and QPR. During the latter, Warnock publically ‘dissed’ me on Radio 5 Live, no idea why. Apparently I had “no answer to his gameplan.” I also don’t have millions of pounds to invest, but, boy, if I did, I would ruin that smug *******. Anyway, can’t let him get to me, it’s time to try to find an assistant and five or ten players who are willing to play for free, wish me luck.


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Aannddyy

Super Duper Moderator
Jun 30, 2009
7,742
0
36
www.fm-base.co.uk
Next update tomorrow night, possibly Tuesday.

Yeah I'm having the same problem. There was a twist in the story recently I'm doing, but I'm deciding wether or not to keep it going and to make it based on an entire career-it's asking a lot as it's my first one based on a real save. I've written stories before, and the longer it goes the trickier it gets to instill new ideas to keep it fresh and interesting-but that's just my experience anyway.

Good luck though-look forward to next update
Pretty epic so far, keep it up :)

Thanks Bear89.

I like the what you've done with yours ajt. Although, I've just looked for it to see if there were any more updates and saw it had been deleted? That's a shame.
 
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ajt09

Nice Guy Gramps
Oct 23, 2009
15,215
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0
46
Next update tomorrow night, possibly Tuesday.


Thanks Bear89.

I like the what you've done with yours ajt. Although, I've just looked for it to see if there were any more updates and saw it had been deleted? That's a shame.
Yeah the save totally died on me. Wasn't much use just sitting there unfinished so thought it was best to delete it. Gutted though. Working on a new one at the moment though and going to try to make it a bit better than the last one.
 
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