My Journal: Life as a Manager


Nov 17, 2017
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Entry One: Introduction

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Hello, my name is Thomas Buckingham and this is my journal. I will use this to keep track of my career as I progress from managing a club in the lower leagues of whichever country will accept me to hopeful one day taking control of one of the top clubs in the world. I know I won’t be landing a top job in Europe anytime soon, so I will be looking in South Africa and a handful of nations in Asia to start.

As far as my experience, well there isn’t much to gloat about. As an American, there really weren't any clubs with established youth setups to play for. I did play for local youth teams as well as my high school, but nothing beyond that. As far as managing, I helped at the grade school level to start. I did catch a break when I had a chance to coach at the youth level with the national team stateside where I made a few friends who went aboard. My plan is to use those contacts as I look to progress in the future. Wish me luck!

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Entry Two (May 6, 2019): The Job Search

Right out of the gate I applied for seven jobs and was offered an interview by three clubs. I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly, but who am I to complain? To be honest, I figured for the first few months my job would be trying to prove to these clubs that I’m actually a real person and my application was no hoax.

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My first interview was with Home Utd. FC in Singapore. It didn’t take long for me to feel out of place. They are currently in third place after eight games played (24 game season) and they expect to win this league this season. That’s a huge ask for someone who has never managed a professional club before. Regardless, I said those demands were reasonable and I was out the door wondering what just happened?!

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After leaving Singapore, I was on my way to Malaysia for my second interview. This was with a second division side, Sarawak, who sit in the middle of the table halfway through their Premier League season. Sarawak are a club with little funds and are currently pushing above their weight. The board have asked me to avoid relegation if offered the job. Managing here would be a little less stressful, however, can I really start to make a name for myself if I’m managing a club in the Malaysian second division who are just trying to stay afloat?

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Lastly, I hopped on another plane, this time to Indonesia. The club I’m interviewing for is another second tier side where the season is yet to start. It would be nice to start with a club at the beginning of the season, then again, I’m not Pep Guardiola. I need to take every job offer I receive very seriously. The club I interviewed for was PSPS Pekanbaru. They want a mid-table finish in the first season before pushing for promotion in year two.

It’s now a waiting game to see if I can land an offer.


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Entry Three (May 9, 2019): My First Job

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I had a massive smile on my face when I received a phone call from the President of PSPS Pekanbaru, Arsadianto Rachman offering me a job. My first job as a manager!

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The first thing I did after landing my new role was to learn about the club. They were promoted to the second tier back in 1999 and have been here ever since. They go by the nickname Askar Bertuah or ‘Lucky Warriors’ and wear a blue kit for home matches and wear white away from home. The stadium holds 25,000 and is located in a city of over 1,000,000 people, but I doubt we’ll ever get close to selling out. It is a multi-purpose facility after all.

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The league set up is pretty unique. League Two is split into two halves, East and West. This season there are 11 teams in the East and 12 in the West. The first phase consists of 20-22 games over four months (June-October). The bottom two teams from the East and three from West will be relegated while the top four teams from both halves qualify for the second phase. Each side from the East play each other once (three matches) and the same in the West. The top two clubs reach the Semi Final where they play a two legged playoff to reach the Final. The loser in the East plays the loser from the West and the winner gets promoted along with the two clubs from the Final.

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