Apr 6, 2013
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Hello everyone, this is my first attempt at a story, I hope you will enjoy it. I have been browsing the forums for a while now and have finally decided to join up and join the community. I normally enjoy the stories where the player builds up a reputation in Europe before moving to a bigger team so that is the road I will be taking. Please feel free to leave advice on how to make my story and presentation better. Also, I didn't want to use my real name so I just chose a random name and my imagination came up with John Smith (took me a while to think up as you can tell lol). So here it goes...


One Year on

The day has come. One year exactly since I completed my coaching courses and got my badges. I thought that was the hard part over, teams would come calling, but it has proved alot more difficult as I sit here still jobless after 365 days. Now into March 2012 and I have been rejected for two jobs already this month. Then the post came through the letterbox, I took a look at the floor and the normal rubbish sat there, 'cash for gold' being at the top of the pile. I picked it up and sifted through and right at the bottom was a handwritten envelope but the handwriting I did not recognise. I proceded to open it up and it was from an old friend I used to play football with. We both played for a semi-professional club but neither of our careers took off from there. I read through...

"I hear you have completed your badges, you took your time. No luck with a job then? It's a tough market out there. I am writing because as you know I am also coaching, at the moment I am on a great coaching course out in Norway. Anyway, a space has opened up and I was hoping you would join me out here. It's a great course and managers and chairman from the Norwegian Premier League are constantly arriving and watching us coach. This could be our chance. Let me know..."

It sounded like a great opportunity but managing abroad. I wasn't too sure, I always had my heart set on managing in England, I love it here. But staying here is getting me nowhere. I decided then and there, on the spot, I need to take a risk, I'm going to Norway!


I will try to do an update a bit later on, I hope you enjoyed this one. Please feel free to leave some suggestions if you think you can help me, cheers!​
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First Step Into Management?

The coaching initiative was going well and I had already had a couple of managers from the Tippeligaen approach me and tell me I was proving myself as a decent coach. One of the coaches taking part alongside me had been appointed as head coach of a team in the Norwegian First Division but as of yet, no interest for my services.

I was now 3 months into the initiative and was starting to get homesick. I was wasting time just as I was in England, if anyone was interested they would have approached me by now, surely? I started to pack away the equipment I had used while coaching a session that day and I was approached by a chairman that I knew was watching our progression. His name was Einar Handlykken from Odd (who were currently manager-less). I could tell he was watching me carefully, especially over the last couple of weeks.

Einar: Hi John, how are you?
Me: Erm, I'm fine thanks, and yourself?
I was quite nervous in his presence, he had never talked to any of us before, he just watched in the background.
Einar: I'm good, thank you. I am going to cut right to the point John, you are a good coach, a very good coach. I have been watching you closely recently and am impressed by your work but this coaching initiative ends in just a few weeks, what will you do when it is over?
Me: Yes, I had noticed your appearances were more frequent than normal. I will probably head back to England and try my hand at home again. Something will come up eventually.
Einar: I think something might have come up already. As I said, I am impressed by your work. As you probably know we are a few games into the season now and are sitting in 10th position which isn't too bad but we have big ambitions. We want to be higher and I believe you could be the man to take us there.
Me: Wow, really? Sorry, I am just taken aback a bit. Is that an offer?
Einar (smiling): Absolutely, obviously we have to draw up contracts and get all the paperwork sorted but I don't see any stumbling blocks. Come to our training ground bright and early tomorrow morning and we will talk further then.
Me: Sounds good, I appreciate it. I will be there first thing, Thanks alot.
I then shook his hand and he turned and walked away to his car.

This is it, this is my chance. But did I want it. Just this morning I was thinking about going back home, this initiative was temporary, if I take this job, I will be here permanently. I had a long night of thinking ahead of me, it was guaranteed to be a sleepless one...


Is this the badge of the team that will shape my future?
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I have to do it. This is my chance to break into management. Everyone has to start somewhere and this is such a great opportunity. Sharing a touchline with the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I have to do it. I grabbed my bags and made my way to the training ground...



Norwegian side Odd BK appoint John Smith

Unproven English manager John Smith has been appointed manager of Tippeliga
en side Odd Ballklubb. Today he has signed a 6 month contract until the end of the season. John Smith was originally coaching in England but decided to enrol in a coaching initiative in Norway after a few unsuccessful applications back home. Today he said he feels 'relieved after a chairman has finally trusted him with a managerial position'. He will undoubtedly be looking forward to getting stuck into his new role in a league that now has no less than three managers that have experience in English football. Smith joins Brian Deane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who both enjoyed success in the Premier League and now manage Sarpsborg 08 FF and Molde FK respectively. John Smith played semi-professionally but never made the next step up. We spoke with the man who has allowed Smith his first managerial role.

Reporter: How did you find out about John Smith?
Einar: Well, he was taking part in a coaching initiative where we like to go to look at the talent and maybe pick up a coach or two. I was surprised with how professional and tactically wise Smith was. You could see he had a passion for good football and one that we both share alike.
Reporter: When did you first approach Smith to be manager?
Einar: I was thinking about appointing him as a first team coach under the previous manager but then the circumstances changed and we had to start a search for a new head coach. He was the perfect fit.
Reporter: How far do you think John Smith can take your side?
Einar: I have full confidence in his ability and I believe he can take us to the very top of Norwegian football.
Reporter: Wow, thats quite a statement, well we wish you the best for the rest of the season.

We will no doubt hear more about this man and we hope this is the start of a successful career for John Smith.


I sat there with my laptop amazed. I was on BBC Sport, the news of my appointment had reached England. This is a bigger chance than I thought. If I do well here, I could start to turn heads back home. I shut my laptop off and went to lay on my bed, it had been a long day with lots of paperwork. I reached for my bag and pulled out a few sheets of paper I was given with information about the team and my contract along with any other useful information.


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​Club Info

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Team Report

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League Table


I hope you enjoyed this update, the next one will probably be tomorrow evening :)
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Smith Brings In E

John Smith may have only been at the Odd helm for a few days but he has already brought in 3 new faces. Smith is obviously going down the experienced route as the youngest of the three is 32 with the other two players at the age of 35. The first signing is a player with a fountain of experience in the English Premier League with Chelsea and Wigan as well as 22 appearances in the Dutch national team. He is bound to add something to this team and will bolster the defence.

Mario Melchiot
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The next signing will add valuable experience to the midfield. This defensive minded player has played the majority of his career in Italy for teams that include Juventus, Inter and Roma. He has also been capped 17 times by his country. He is now going to try his hand in Norway.

Cristiano Zanetti
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The last of the three signings is a Brazilian who hasn't made it to any top teams but has a wealth of experience including playing in the Norwegian Leagues. Unlike Zanetti, this midfielder is more attack minded and may prove to be a vital asset.

View attachment 328346

The general perspective of these signings is very positive. It seems that John Smith has sold them on his vision for this club and they clearly want to be a part of this clubs future. All three of the players have signed a contract until the end of the season but will be willing to sign an extension depending on the success of the team. These signings are a clear sign of where Smith wants to take this club, they have signed not only 3 very capable players but also 3 possible future coaches/members of staff.


The next update will be the first three fixtures under my management. I hope you enjoyed this update, feel free to leave any comments/questions :).​
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Mixed Start To Football Management For John Smith

8.7.12 - Odd BK 0-3 Brann - Loss
(No Goalscorers)

This was a game that we dominated and this showed in the stats as we ended the game with 69% of the overall possession. However, we struggled in the final third and failed to score. Brann played quite well on the counter but ultimately we can look back at this game as points lost.

15.7.12 - Stabaek 0-2 Odd BK - Win
(Matias Andersson, Adam Guven)

Again, a game where we were very comfortable, this time we were able to convert chances into goals. The showing statistic in this game was the shot count at 13-2 in favour of Odd.

23.7.12 - Odd BK 3-2 Aalesund - Win
(Marciano 2, Elba Rashani)

This final game was an equal one, with us going one goal twice up only for Aalesund to equalise both times. We managed to confirm the 3 points though when Elba Rashani grabbed a winner and this time we held on.


Overall, a good first 3 games. To pick up 6 points out of 9, straight from the off is a very positive sign. As a result we have managed to move up the table ever so slightly.

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In the next update, we will look at the next 4 fixtures. Luckily, we are only playing one team from the top 5, this should allow us to climb the table a bit more (fingers crossed).

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Thank you! I have no work tomorrow so there should be a couple of updates then :)