Inverness Caledonian Youth: Highland Highlights


Nov 21, 2009
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Unknown Manager Takes Highland Helm

Football fans around Scotland woke up to a surprise on the 3rd July 2012. It had been announced that Sean Page was to become Manager at Inverness Caledonian Thistle with immediate effect. Waves of criticism have already been hurled at the Inverness Board, claiming that appointing such an inexperienced Manager would end up detrimental to the club. Indeed, Page had little more than youth coaching experience and was working towards his UEFA B licence and had never worked at a senior level. Chairman Alan Savage issued the following statement:

"We are pleased to announce Sean as our new manager. We understand that people will be concerned with appointing someone without a proven track record. However, after speaking at length with Sean we were impressed with his playing philosophy and his vision for the club and believe it to be the best way forward for the club. We can see a bright and prosperous future here with Sean at the helm and seek that the fans will stand behind him."

When Page arrived at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium after his long journey from the South Coast of England, he was fully prepared for the media onslaught ahead. Namely, how he as an inexperienced player and coach could seriously manage at this level and what this playing philosophy and vision was that had taken in the board so well.

"A great manager once said that you do not have to have been a horse, to be a jockey. I am not worried about my lack of playing experience. I have studied the game rigorously and I know how I want my teams to play. We will press the opposition and force them to play well to get it round us. Everyone will know their role and perform it within a cohesive team. Most importantly we will attack and impose our play on the opposition, we will force them to play at our tempo and push them to their limits. I am a big believer in individual creativity providing that team defensive duties are performed and I encourage all players to be as imaginative as they can be. I believe there is a good set up here for developing players and there are several future SPL stars here, but I believe I can take this further. In the future, we will have one of the strongest academies in the world and have a proven record for producing world class players. I will not need to sign anyone except players that can enter the academy at U18 level. In a few years time I expect football fans across the globe to turn on the television, only to struggle to work out whether it is the blue and red strips of Inverness playing, or Barcelona."

We hold a fierce rivalry with recently promoted Ross County and also a rivalry with Aberdeen. As a reformed club, the Caley Jags have a short history. Starting in Division 3 and working their way up to the premier league, where they have had 7 seasons in total but have never finished in the top half. The facilities for a club of this stature are pretty good as well.

These are the four players I believe will be key to us this season. Richie Foran is a tremendously hard-working, determined left winger who can perform well at this level and will also be a great influence on the younger players. Graeme Shinnie is 20 years old and already a top class SPL left-back with room for development and his brother Andrew Shinnie is the biggest creative genius at the club. I also fully expect Owain Tudor-Jones to be a rock in DM as he has all the attributes to do well there.

As you can see, there are some really promising looking youngsters at the club already. Nick Ross & Josh Meekings will be big fixtures in the first time whilst others will be given their chances. Also an interesting fact, Meekings grew up in the same town as myself and went to the same school, my prime motivation for choosing Caley. I will be managing the U19s side as well as first team affairs in a hands on approach and although there are some good prospects in there the squad is very thin. So I will be looking out for decent free u18s I can put in there.
Good luck - Hamilton have a good 16 or 17 year old left back called Stephen Hendrie if you can afford him.
Cheers for the interest guys, I've never managed in Scotland before. Interestingly the wage budget is the same as the team I support, Cambridge United of the BSP! I expect to have an update by this evening.
Good luck mate ;) am looking forward to this :) if a could give you advice a would tell you to get Andy shinnie a new deal straight away :)
July / August Update

Staff & Player Transfers:

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The four young signings above have been brought in to add depth to our Development Squad, which I am also controlling. They are players that didn't quite make the grade at top academies, with two from Newcastle, one from Marseille and the latter Elfsborg. In their time here they will be given opportunities in the DS and their progress in matches and training monitored. I don't expect any of them to turn into top players, but they've got reasonable potential. Most significantly, I have completely overhauled the staff at the club, scouring the globe for affordable coaches that are able to over a good level of coaching and work well with youngsters. Similarly, a HOYD from Belgium with good judging potential has come in to help us snap up the best youngsters around and our junior coaching upgraded up to good. There are many more steps to make, but this will do for the first season.

Pre-Season Friendlies
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I believe we had a successful pre-season. We won most of our games, allowed our squad to gain match fitness and we put in a great performance against Everton and we were very unlucky not to come away with a win. Not greatest pre-season we could have had, but I always take friendlies with a pinch of salt.

August Fixtures
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We kicked off the season with a win away to St Mirren, 2-1 followed by a good 2-0 home performance to Kilmarnock. Our first taste of defeat came at the hands of Hearts, who scraped a 2-1 win despite a draw being a fairer result. Next up was Celtic, and I did not expect to win 3-1! A fantastic result as we created 4 CCC's to their 1. The last game of August took us to the Ibrox in the second round of the League Cup. I was expecting a close game, but we annihilated them, 3-0! Also, East Stirlingshire of SD3 beat Kilmarnock 3-1, earning a home tie to Celtic in the 3rd round.

August Player of the Month
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The August Player of the month goes to Philip Roberts, who scored 5 in 5 appearances including braces against both Celtic and Rangers. He looks like a hot prospect, it's just a shame he's a loanee from Arsenal.
Good luck mate ;) am looking forward to this :) if a could give you advice a would tell you to get Andy shinnie a new deal straight away :)

Cheers, I've noticed no one is on long term deals so I'm going to be offering contracts to several players.
Well your doing really well the now :) so keep it up ;)
Sorry for those that were following this but I'm afraid I couldn't get into it. I was doing well going into February but I couldn't find my passion for it and I was holidaying games :/

I am starting a new game/story however which I know I will stick to as I have brough my favourite manager out of retirement - Arrigo Sacchi.