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Stoke City- Pottering Up The League.


May 2, 2010

Team Name: Stoke City Football Club
Nickname: The Potters
Year Founded: 1863.
Ground: Britannia Stadium.
Capacity: 27,598.

Chairman: Peter Coates
Director of Football: Peter Reid
Manager: Connor Clarke...

"After a successful spell in charge of the football club, its with regret today we announce the regisnation of Tony Pulis from the managerial position at Stoke City Football Club. Tony has been an excellent leader since re-joining the club, and his success will never be forgotten. He will always be held in the highest regard, after taking us into the promised land of the Premier League and an FA Cup Final. We wish Tony the best of luck in whatever the future holds for him. Peter Reid & Connor Clarke will take over 1st team affairs for the coming season, they have our full backing."


Sigh, just who is Connor Clarke, you ask? Relatively unheard of in these parts of the country, Clarke has been on the backroom staff at Plymouth Argyle since 2003. Starting off as Youth Coach, he was soon promoted to the 1st team in 2005, and then Assistant Manager when Peter Reid took over as manager in 2010. Financial problems ensured the club went down, so why did Peter Coates want Clarke & Reid to manage his Premier League Football Club? Coates believed after bringing so much success to Stoke City it was time he put something back into football, and with that, he wanted to take a young [good looking?] man and turn him into a top quality manager. It was a risk, but by May 2012, we would find out if this was a risk worth taking....


The Managers Office

When I first walked into my new office, it was like walking into your new house for the first time. It always seemed different to what it looked like when you went on that first tour. This was no different. It was big, but the desks were empty, the walls were bare and the place felt a little dead. There was a desk for myself, Peter Reid and my assistant David Kemp. We all had previous links to Plymouth Argyle, so Reid placed a framed signed on the wall, he was very proud of it- The shirt was donated to him by the fans after he give up many months of wages and payed the clubs heating bill. After getting my laptop open, and a cup of coffee beside me, I took a look at my squad list...

1- Asmir Begovic
3- Danny Higginbotham
4- Robert Huth
5- Danny Collins
6- Glenn Whelan
8- Tom Soares
9- Kenwyne Jones
10- Ricardo Fuller
11- Mamady Sidibe
12- Marc Wilson
15- Salif Diao
16- Jermaine Pennant
17- Ryan Shawcross
18- Dean Whitehead
19- Jonathan Walters
20- Matthew Upson
21- Andrew Davies
23- Michael Tonge
24- Rory Delap
25- Peter Crouch
26- Matthew Etherington
27- Carlo Nash
28- Andy Wilkinson
29- Thomas Sorensen
30- Ryan Shotton
32- Diego Arismendi
33- Cameron Jerome
36- Matthew Lund
38- Florent Cuvlier
39- Jonathan Woodgate
40- Wilson Palacios
42- Louis Molt

"We've got a big squad here Reidy" I shouted across the office.

I suppose it did make sense. We would have Europa League Matches and Premier League matches to deal with, along with other various cup competitions and the long-list of injuries and suspensions which will no doubt pile-up. I knew a majority of those players, which was when it hit home what a big task I had on my plate. There was no way I wanted to keep all of those players though, some of them did not look up to the standard at all. After checking the report from coaches who had been at the club previously, I had a rough idea which players might be heading out the exit door. With that, I recieved a call from the club secetary, Brenda. The chairman and the board of directors were ready to see me, to discuss expectations. I finished my coffee, and rushed up the stairs towards the boardroom...

The boardroom overlooked the pitch, it was spacious and had recently had a little makeover. All the clubs directors were looking at me as I rushed in and the door slammed behind me. It felt pretty intense, but once I took a seat and everyone took the time to introduce themselves, things seemed a little happier. The chairman must of been a man under pressure. Everyone has seen the protests from Blackburn fans towards Steve Kean, so I knew the first 4 or 5 matches would be vital. The chairman checked what was next to discuss, and as expected, it was season objectives. With that, a powerpoint appeared showing me the available budgets depending on what I think would a realistic target for the club.

"Connor, what do you think you can secure the club for the coming season?" the chairman asked..

"Well, I think we are in a great position to secure a top half finish" was my reply.

Everybody in the room seemed to be in agreement at this point, I wasn't going to be given a transfer budget to begin with, but I felt that was OK. My wage budget was very good, I had 75k left. I knew some players would be leaving, so I could get room in the wages and maybe some transfer funds from that. That night I went home into my new apartment, which I would be sharing with Peter Reid for the time being and had a relax on the sofa. Tomorrow I was going to meet the players and my backroom staff for the first time, and my idea's weren't exactly the same as Tony Pulis'....


Players Meet-Up.

It was a bright summers morning, so I decided the meet-up should take place on the astro. The players took a sit on the turf, and watched in a bit of excitment as myself & Peter Reid walked in and stood in front of the 'lads'. I wasn't really a big fan of the long-ball football that had served the club so well, so I had my tinhat firmly placed on when I said I wanted to bring an attractive brand of football...

"Hi lads. Its nice to meet you all, and I can only hope we have a successful time here. Many of you have been here for a long time, and might know Peter from his last spell at the club. You can call me Connor, I don't really mind. I've been thinking about this for a long time really, and I want to bring an attractive style of football to Stoke. I agree the long ball system has worked well in the past, but teams are starting to work us out, and well I'm not Tony Pulis and I certainly don't wear a cap. So, what do you think?"

"What about the long throws?!" shouts out someone from the back.

"Well" but then I'm cut out from more outcrys...

"This is an outrage!"

"What will happen to Tony's old caps?!"

"The long ball football is stoke city, you can't mess with history!"

"I really don't think thats the correct attitude to be taking lads, especially seeing as someone will need to be sold..."

After I said that, the place went quiet, before erupting into laughter. Its a good job we all seen the funny side, and the lads had took well to this new style of football I wanted to play- Well most of them. The first training session went well. Some light jogging, passing sessions and a small game towards the end. There was some fantastic footballers in the side, and I was excited ahead of the new season. Peter Reid had a word in my ear at the end of the session, and told me we should meet with the coaching staff to decide who is dead wood.

The coaching staff took their place in my office, and helped themselves to Tea, Coffee and Biscuits. It was a long debate over players, and after a good 20 minutes of it, we had reached one agreement. There should be a target-man up front with a poacher. It was a step in the right direction I suppose. More vicious debate broke out after I asked which players are not good enough for this level of football- It felt like almost every player had been shouted out at one point, but it was good to see the coaches weren't afraid to speak their opinion. I then knew which players should be ready to leave Stoke City, and I would inform them the next day....


Authors Notes- The story will be based on the inner 'politics' of a football club plus the usual excitment on the pitch. I personally don't think this was the greatest update ever, so I'll work on finding a consistent layout and improving the standard of writing.



Oct 27, 2009
Brilliant start mate, looks like one of the best stories on the site so far.

But just a small thing (yes, I am picky! :p), after speech you should include a comma - like so "I walked to the shops," he said.

Just being picky, though, as I said it's a brilliant start. Keep it up! :)


May 2, 2010
Brilliant start mate, looks like one of the best stories on the site so far.

But just a small thing (yes, I am picky! :p), after speech you should include a comma - like so "I walked to the shops," he said.

Just being picky, though, as I said it's a brilliant start. Keep it up! :)
Thanks pal- And also, thanks for the advice :)