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Nike Academy - Your Chance: The Story

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iNickStuff

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Well, this is the story. As you would expect. Thirty-two people registered on the thread (which is here) to be part of the story, something that is my first-ever at doing so, yet marvel at other people's stories such as this. Sometimes, I am a part of it. Then, with the thirty-two applicants, came the need of creating the database, in which I did. The Nike Academy. Sitting in League 2, with a team blossoming of world-beaters, it was inevitable success would spew out and reach the far corners of the world, knowing they were all graduates from an academy that was founded only two years ago.

Now, like I said, comes the story. This story is not going to be like most. It's not going to be the same register here, database is released, and then update after update, with brief text on how the person is doing. No. It's going to be written like a story, as if you are there and that it is speaking from a view that makes it more interesting, and something that is, metaphorically, of course, tangible. I will be speaking from first-person, but updating on all thirty-two people. Not all at once though, but sixteen at one time, and then the other sixteen another. It makes it short and sweet, rather than boring and long-wounded. I hope you enjoy the story, as I did making it.

Original thread is here, whilst the database is also available on it.

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Nike Academy - Your Chance: The Story
"Get noticed. Get scouted. Get signed."

###

Well, here I am. I didn't think at any moment eighteen months ago that I would be in the position that I am now. Graduating from the same academy, fresh off the shelf and looking to get into club football, I now find myself the head coach of it. Weird. What happened between those times seems to be a blur, but now, I am now coaching a team of youths that are in the same position I was. In an academy that would be their springboard into football, and be potential superstars. The majority of whom are English, would also mean benefitting the country's lack of youth, that was seemingly a plethora, like a fountain back in the 70's and 80's. Before I was born. The Nike Academy, though, is great. It taught me athe things that I needed to know before going into the 'real world' and experiencing the professional game. Training, fitness, professionalism at all times, keeping a cool head - that's just scratching the surface. There is a lot more to it than what meets the eye. The coaching staff are of top quality. Not people that would necessarily have heard of quite regularly, but people who know what they are doing and how to do it. A team of staff that have knowledge of the game, and know what it is like at professional level. Now that I join them in this kind of higher authority status, looking down upon the 'students' of the academy with a fearsome eye, it is time to take on the role I never thought of, let alone dreamed of. Twenty-five years old, having got my coaching badges and now embarking on a totally different adventure, it's not only my chance, but every single one of the players' chances to make something of themselves in the game. Something I wish I did - it's too late now.

###

What may not be a blur to me is how the Nike Academy started, two years ago when the liquidation of Barnet Football Club was to be another casualty of the crippling force of debts, unpaid loans, and the club's hatred for such a careless board of directors. Since then, they have been dwelling in the Isthmian leagues under the new name 'Barnet Town F.C.' and is run by the supporters themselves. Good luck with that.

And with the F.A. needing a club to take over, there was an uproar from fans across the leagues to bring in a club from the lower divisions, to which their positions would be replaced by ones from the next, and the next, and the next. All the way down to the twenty-fourth flight of the English game, and then a pool of Sunday league clubs that would apply to join that flight. But, it wasn't to be that. Nike was on it themselves. Philip Knight, the CEO of Nike Inc., was to be the man to guide in this sort of one-club revolution, and bring the power of the Nike brand into the English game, and benefit everyone, with, not a club, but an academy. Unorthodox, yes, but the younger side of the game were jumping at the chance for this to be put in place. Lord Triesman, the then-Chairman of the Football Assocation, passed it through, and thus, the Nike Academy was born. With that, was the birth of hundreds of thousands of applicants to then be wanting to be a part of the Nike Academy. I was lucky enough to have mine passed through, but I had a chance. Or at least that was their slogan. I had a chance, but the key word in that sentence is had. It's gone now. But I have the chance to make something of the thirty-two youngsters that will beckon on me tomorrow, on recruitment day.

As my job went through to being the Head Coach of the academy, they sent me this picture of what they think my talent is. How nice. Something to build upon in my tenure as the 'manager'.


 
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Anybody do or want to do graphics for this save/database? (H)

Logo and kits will be very welcome! :p
 
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Good start. :)

So you are not managing the club personally, but instead holidaying the game and letting your er... virtual self manage the club?
 
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Me gusta. Looking forward to see the first update.
 
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iNickStuff

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Good start. :)

So you are not managing the club personally, but instead holidaying the game and letting your er... virtual self manage the club?
Nonono. No.

I am managing the club, because holidaying, for me would be boring, and I would miss out on some things that might be interesting to use in the story/update.

I just used that screenshot as a little taster to make the OP a little more interesting.

Besides, that me is nowhere near the real me.
 
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Nonono. No.

I am managing the club, because holidaying, for me would be boring, and I would miss out on some things that might be interesting to use in the story/update.

I just used that screenshot as a little taster to make the OP a little more interesting.

Besides, that me is nowhere near the real me.
Ah OK cool. I was initially under the impression you where going to be managing the club. But I wasn't so sure after I was that ;)

You will be able to get a much better feel for who is improving/performing well ect. :)
 
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Ah OK cool. I was initially under the impression you where going to be managing the club. But I wasn't so sure after I was that ;)

You will be able to get a much better feel for who is improving/performing well ect. :)
Exactly.

The first update will be soon, just getting the team ready and the attributes up because we have the poorest concentration in the league.
 
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looking forward as i have jsut downlaoded this
 
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Nice job mate :D good luck with this, *your the best coach ever - sucks up :p* interesting to see where we all end up.
 
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Recruitment Day: The beginning of pre-season

###

My Starbucks coffee piping hot, my clipboard tucked under my arm, and standing alongside Dean on a rainy London afternoon outside Selhurst Park, it was the day to meet all of the players. It was recruitment day. My first real day in the job had come on a day that I struggled to even thrust my arm and smash the alarm clock off my night stand, and pluck myself out of the covers to get washed and dressed, drive down to south London and get to meet my new squad. Dean was standing there, shivering, and not even wearing his water-resistant coach on - courtesy of the company itself. He is a hard nut.

I didn't take any chances in risking a cold. I needed fresh nostrils to talk to my new recruits without blasting snot into one of their faces whilst inside the stadium. Looking down, my coffee was still hot, with the slowly-rising smoke coming out and the aroma of it tempting me for a sip. I did without much hesitation. And with that, came the arrival of the coach that we sent out to find all of them in a meeting point not far from the ground. The coach pulled in, with the slogan in large capital letters, and the players reaching for the cabinets above to retain their gear for the day ahead. I took a closer look at some of them, with my eyes widening at some of their faces and hairstyles. One of them was so tall, his head hit the roof of the coach, leading to a roughened voice from the coach driver to mind it. I laughed. And as they embarked from the coach, they all flooded the park with their bags on their shoulders, backs and in their hands, mingling and chatting away, whilst Dean looked with a firm face, and Jon in the background with Huw - getting ready for the day ahead.


11.06 AM

###

"Welcome to the Nike Academy. I hope you all enjoyed your coach ride here to Selhurst Park, as this will be the academy's ground for the rest of the season. This is where we will play our matches, do training sessions and assess each and every one of you, making you stronger, quicker, fitter and hungrier to sign a contract in a few years with, hopefully, a big club." Huw paced from side-to-side, with his clipboard grasped behind his back and trainers making squeaks and squelches on the floor under him. I stood there, in the background, assessing their faces for a closer look. I just couldn't take my eyes off the big one. His big, fluffy ginger hair and pale skin made me think what kind of an intimidating player he would be to defenders. We definitely needed to pay closer attention to him.

"My name is Huw Jennings, I am one of the coaches here at the academy, and the man standing next to me is a former graduate from the academy. He is now the head coach, and will be the sort of 'manager' from now on. Longer than you boys will be, and graduate in a couple years. Maybe even in a shorter period." Now I had the attention. All of them - tall, small, big, skinny, black, white - they all stared at me with eyes to marvel me with and slowly drifting off Huw's lecture. I felt uncomfortable. But to direct them back to him, I looked on, and listened. They followed. Thank God.

"Today is just a day for us all to settle down, put our gear down and start to get to know each other. All of you will have accomodation in a hotel for the rest of the season, as you chose in your applications, and be driven to and from training, as well as matches and friendlies if needed aborad." Huw calmed "We are now in July. This is pre-season. We, at the Nike Academy, are going to put you on training schedules in accordance to your positions, and improve your abilities before the start of the season. It is crucial that we do this before we kick on, because we will struggle if we don't have you all fit, ready and able before we face Torquay in our first league match of the season."

"I would also like to point out that there is a need for us to register a twenty-five man squad ahead of the new season, so this month will have all of our eyes on you to perform, show your skills and your abilities to be selected. I myself, alongside Jon, Dean and Nick are going to select that squad, so we urge you all to do your best. Thank you." Huw turned, and so did the players. I was excited, still revelling in the job that I was given from Nike to be the head coach of the academy, and to lead a new, revolutionary team of players into their own careers and lives.




16.33 PM

It took a good four hours to get through the names, positions, registration and accomdations of the players. I was tired, and out on the pitch to set up the cones for a light training session that would give us a very brief assessment of the players that we had coming through. Obviously, there wasn't much need to write anything down on my part, but to see a good sketch of some of them at least. Still raining, I had finished putting down the cones, and waited in the dugout for the staff and the lads to get out on the pitch for it to start. They had been in the changing rooms for a good ten minutes, and I decided to take a look at the players whilst I waited. It seemed that we had a lot of attacking talent to choose from, which also defeated it's own point, but a heavy need of left backs. Versatility seemed to be evident too, but I wasn't impressed by the lack of them.


Goalkeepers

Jordan Kennedy

View attachment 138832

Aerially-efficient, the lad calls himself "JK". I am guessing that is short for Jordan Kennedy. Pretty sure soon, when the lads get to know all of each other, they'll start calling him 'JK the GK'. That is if he gets a place. I don't understand how he can be so good, as a goalkeeper aerially, if he is only 5 ft 10. Puzzled me. We need to work on his Reflexes though, Huw mentioned that earlier.

Edward Syers

View attachment 138831

Also good aerially, but also towering. Taller than all of the goalkeepers in the academy, he will have some sort of advantage, I am sure. Distribution seems to be lacking, but Sal will look into that, and Paul will be happy with his fitness. Although, his stamina was mentioned to be very poor, so that slightly concerns me. We can always work on that though.

Kevin Naylor

View attachment 138833

Fast for a goalkeeper, decent aerially and pretty good with his one-on-ones, I wouldn't mind making him the first-choice goalkeeper. But this is all been said after a small test, so it wasn't necessarily over a number of games. His distribution is scarily poor, so we will need to get Sal on hand to work on that. I am worried at his ability to anticipate situations well as well - but the same can be said for Jordan and Edward. They all need a good goalkeeping schedule for the pre-season.


Defenders

Pauley


View attachment 138812

Looks good for a central defender. He is brave, can anticipate situations well and is quite creative. I guess that is where his versatility can become his weapon. Seems a little slow, but then again, the majority of League 2 players are around that kind of level in terms of quickness. He can make it up in anticipation. Quite tall. Comes in handy with his heading, marking and tackling. Need to work on the mental side of his game.


Niall Lawton

View attachment 138813

Versatile fullback, but mainly dominant down the right hand-side, Niall is a decent fullback in terms of getting forward. He has the pace to run up and down the touchline, and put in the odd cross, but his weakness, slightly, is defending. Can get up the pitch, but getting down seems the opposite. Will be getting Gareth on to work on the defensive side. I might take a look too. Depends.


Joe Williams

View attachment 138814

Tall, fast and technically-efficient. He seems to have a good ability to tackle, man-mark and header the ball away when danger comes knocking. A bit worried in how he puts that into practice. He also seems quite determined, which I guess, would dbe nice to see him run back at strikers to sweep the ball from under their feet for a corner. Yeah, I'd like that.


Alan Kemp

View attachment 138815

One of the verstaile players, like Thirtle (Pauley). Can play across the defence and in the midfield, he also has the efficiency to get the ball away and sniff out the danger with ease. Although, he did slip on his way out of the bus, to which I laughed, and will be a bit of a while before we see him in action. Will be useful be at left back though.


Omar Danish


View attachment 138816

Quite an athletic defender, and has a good first touch apparently. Travelled all the way from Malaysia to get into the academy. That kind of shows the sacrifices people will make to get in to football. I respect that. He can head the ball, even though he is under six foot, and is a hard worker. Need Jon to look at his stats a little closer though.


Luke Cummings

View attachment 138817

It's weird. He is fast, he can defend and has a decent pass. He is also under six foot, but he is quite poor mentally. Tries to get up the pitch quite often and has been said to be a sly little ******* with the officials (not literally) but sometimes makes some very poor decisions on the pitch. I don't know, he would be versatile, but metally, needs work.


Harry Charnock

View attachment 138834

Tall defender. Six foot five. Said to have good heading and jumping, good tackler and, to top it all off, can make some good decisions, concentrate, but needs work on anticipating situations. One thing that came with concern, though was his habit of diving into tackles. He's legs seemingly get tangled too. Gonna get Gareth on that. He'll know what to do, since he was a master at defending whilst at 'Boro.


Ryan Stubbs

View attachment 138835

He looks a hard nut. Aggressive, brave, quite influential. Reminds me of a young John Terry, but also Sheffield's Chris Morgan. Seems to be in a running trend with the rest of the defenders with poor anticipation, but his aggressive way of going about things will be good on the pitch. Not sure about it off the pitch though ...


Tim Harrison

View attachment 138836

Another defender from a far away land. Harrison now boasts the longest travel from his homeland to the academy. From Australia. They seem to be having a good knack at developing young talent, as Tim is quite tall, aggressive, brave, can anticipation and is good at defending. Albeit, there is a slight concern at his inability to make good decisions. Like, it clicks in his head, but he does the wrong thing. Gareth will know what to do.


Midfielders

Pablo Hernandez

View attachment 138837

A prospectful Argentine winger, he is versatile down both flanks, has good pace, very skilful and can quite easily beat his man - but lacks quite a lot mentally. I could go as far as saying he is the next Lionel Messi, but that would only be decided on how he develops in his time at the academy. Given the right training, Hernandez has potential. It's there. Huw has a good way of going about attacking training and tactical coaching, so we will slot him there.


Ronan

View attachment 138839

This is the six-foot-nine attacking midfielder that seemingly slipped through the fish net and made his way into the academy. I can only shiver at the prospect of what his parents look like. Another skilful player, he will be decent in the centre, but lacks a lot of creativity, in terms of putting it into use. Needs to work on that, and be part of an attacking three in the midfield. We'll see during the training anyway.

Sergey Tikhonov

View attachment 138840

Russian central midfielder that is quite aggressive, has a good pass on him, and seems composed on the ball. Could be an effective box-to-box midfielder, depending on his training. All-round attributes seem to make out a good role in the centre, alongside a good playmaker, and have a decent centre to compliment the attackers.

Siddharta Gurung

View attachment 138841

Came down from Nepal, he is also skilful, but is poor mentally when it comes to picking out passes or getting the players in to the space needed to score. Will look in to that. Huw mentioned earlier that he seemed to be influential, and a 'perfectionist' of sorts. I don't know how well that will go down with the others, but he will be decent in the centre of the field. Depends who partners him.


Oh, here we go. The lads are fit and ready. Let's crack on with the training session. Going to have a look at the five-page long report after (next update) but right now, it's action time.
 
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he did slip on his way out of the bus, to which I laughed
lol :( better not keep me waiting too long :O hope the other LB gets injured so I have an easy ride into it :p
 
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iNickStuff

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great update;D
I'm hoping ill get in your team but theres quite a few cbs/dm:/
There isn't really that much competition. Most of the defenders slacked in pre-season, so it made it a little easier to see the better of the defenders.

lol :( better not keep me waiting too long :O hope the other LB gets injured so I have an easy ride into it :p
You came off injury and have been doing quite well. A bit jagged at times, but steady enough to warrant a few first-team games.
 
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Has my player inproved, Who is first choice Goalie?, I copied VDS stats.
 
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Following even though im not involved, looks very good a lot of effort was obviously put into this.

You need to include Kenny more though :)
 
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Has my player inproved, Who is first choice Goalie?, I copied VDS stats.
From now on, all questions like the quoted are going to be ignored. You will just have to wait.

Regardless of copying a player stats, the outcome will be average. Besides, you have said that thousands of times. No more please.
 
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There isn't really that much competition. Most of the defenders slacked in pre-season, so it made it a little easier to see the better of the defenders.
Good/bad depending on whether im one of those players;)

---------- Post added at 02:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:06 AM ----------

Off topic: but on my save got to the third round of league cup, knocked out Bolton and Ipswich before going out on penos to Blackburn. We missed all our penalties:'( the only good penalty taker ive found is Feliciano and he was shattered and got subbed at extra time:( we need some penalty takers ! aha:)
 
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