Football manager 2013
After completing my continental B licence in December 2012 a job offer from Grimsby town came along December 17th 2012, after accepting the offer of a two yea contract £750 per week (£525 after tax) I soon had a meeting with my new chairman Mr Taylor; he ensured me that I had the boards full backing and the minimum aim was to archive a respectable league position in the blue square premier league. After the meeting with Mr Taylor he then past me over to my assistant manager Paul Hurst who asked me about any responsibilities I would like him to take care of and gave me a team report on the players I had available. Hours after the two meetings with my new chairman and assistant manager I held a meeting with my new team every player was present from first team to the youth set up, I introduced myself as the new manager of the team and ensured the players that if they needed to talk to me or my staff about any issues they had then they are free to do so, the meeting lasted a good hour or so with a lot of the teams moral being boosted by this.
At the time of my arrival Grimsby were 12th in the table 15 points from the play-offs and 10 points clear of relegation with 24 games to go it was all to play for. Grimsby Towns form before my arrival was shaky they had won one game in the last four league games and had exited the F.A Cup in the fourth round of qualifying to Droylsden a semi-professional side from the blue square bet north so it's fair to say the moral was pretty low before the meeting. After the lunch break I then headed down to the training ground to talk to my coaching staff about the training schedule that I wanted enforced with immediate affect. Before I could reach the training ground there was a quick trip to the home of Grimsby Town Blundell Park where the press were waiting for my first press conference as manager of Grimsby or any professional side in that fact I answered several questions about my intentions for the club which I answered calmly saying"I have my own ideas of how football should be played at this level and ill be looking to get the squad playing my way" which in turn raised some question of which squad members will be apart of my plans but I then reassured them that every player had a chance to impress me and prove their worth to the club weather it be in the starting eleven as a sub or in training as a squad player. I also told the press that I intended to reshape the club from top to bottom which of course meant that some staff would be leaving the club by mutual termination of their contracts. The press then asked what my tactical approach would be at the club? "I like to play attacking football whilst keeping possession of the ball" I replied, so concluded the press conference at Blundell Park and it was off to the training ground.
As I woke up fresh from the madness from the day before (meetings,press conferences etc) I the headed to my office at the clubs training base in Cleethorpes I had to make some crucial decisions about some people's jobs and livelihoods. First in line was my assistant manager Paul Hurst as I looked at his cv I decided that his level of discipline and determination were both at a high level; but his tactical knowledge and motivation skills were very low and below standard for me. I called Paul into my office and gave him the news that unfortunately for him he would not be staying at Grimsby Town in the future. Also to go on this day would have been Adam Smith my head of youth development as he was not very good with his skills talking and working with young players, Steve Croudson the goalkeeping coach who level of discipline was not up to scratch and finally my scout Dylan Beale who was not very good at delivering the sort of players in his reports that I was looking for. I then immediately placed an advert in the job centre for an assistant manager and a new coach first and foremost.
I then called my first team captain to my office to talk about his recent form and explained how he needed to lift his performance levels as an inspiration to the rest of the team. On to training I took charge of my first training session and got the team used to playing a new formation to them, my formation was 2-3-2-2-1 which took a couple of hour for the lads to understand as it was not only the team shape they had to adjust to but the tempo, width, marking, closing down, mentality, passing style and creative freedom. After lunch I then took a look at my teams match preparations which I took charge of making sure our team is focused on the tactics for the upcoming game in two days time against Wrexham at Blundell Park.
The day before the home match with Wrexham I decided to give my players a day of relaxation in a local hotel where we could lightly go over the tactics for the game the following day.
We arrived at Blundell Park ready for the warm up session and hour and a half before kick off. There was an air of excitement as kick off drew nearer as the teams came in for the final team talk before kick off I told them there was no pressure on them today just play football the way we had been training.
It was Grimsby who got the game under way and things started brightly as Sam Hatton scored the opening goal after just two minutes of the game being played, after playing a one-two round the Wrexham defence with Micah Evans Hatton then slotted the ball home in the bottom corner.
The joy from the home fans was short lived however as Wrexham straight from the restart hit a twenty yard pass up the pitch and Adrian Cieslewicz was waiting to volley the visitors level.
Things got worse for the home side when a Neil Ashton throw-in cause havoc in the Grimsby penalty area when Bradley wood's header fell nicely for Brett Ormerod to place the ball home on twenty two minutes.
The lead only lasted nine minutes however as Craig Disley levelled for the home side after some good pressure down the wing paid of with a good ball into the middle Disley was there to head home.
Four minutes later Nathan Luscombe put Grimsby in front for the second time in this match with a great solo goal from picking the ball up inside his own half Nathan then ran 30 yards and released a belter from 25 yards into the top corner.
It took the visitors until the second half to find the equaliser through Brice Ntambwe who's header from 12 yards was enough to give Wrexham a point from their trip to Blundell Park full time score Grimsby Town 3 Wrexham 3
A week had pasted since I put an advert in the job centre for an assistant manager and a coach when I got some response I looked through the cv's I had received I noticed an applicant who's reputation was not well recognised in fact he had an obscure reputation but what he did have was a very high determination and level of discipline and was also good with his motivational skills so I offered Kyle Collinge the job as my assistant manager on a two year contract on £575 per week (£425 after tax).
I then looked through more cv's I had received a stand out name had appeared in front of me for a coaching role who's level of discipline motivation and determination were all high on the flip side he had no qualifications but none the less I offered Jimmy Bullard a two year contract on £575 per week(£425 after tax).
In the coming days I then appointed Stuart Gregory as a chief scout Andy Jones as a scout Billy Hunter as my head of youth development and Ben Burgess and Neil Mellor as coaches as for a goalkeeping coach I hired Trevor Porter.
Match day two
A local affair away to Lincoln was next up for my Grimsby side we travelled in confidence knowing we has just come away with a point from one of the leagues leading sides whilst Lincoln's form was dipping leading up to the local derby.
Grimsby again got the game started after winning the coin toss and as Lincoln's form suggested it was the visitors who took the lead in the forth minute of the game for the second game running under new manager Sam Bailey Grimsby took an early lead, this time it was Louie Soares who got the goal.
Five minutes later it was two as Bradley wood grabbed his first goal for the new boss after cutting inside from the right placed the ball in the bottom corner and things were looking great for Grimsby.
On twelve minutes baileys side were in dreamland as Louie Soares grabbed his second goal for Grimsby and in the match 3-0 and cruising.
Seventeen minutes into the game Bradley Wood stuck a leg out and brought down Lincoln's Drey Wright that earned wood a yellow card. A yellow card which Wood was regretting three minutes after half time as another trip this time on Lincoln's Miler and Wood was off for an early bath.
Lincoln couldn't capitalise on the advantage until the 82nd minute went Rob Taylor scored a consolation goal for the hosts it finished at Sincil Bank Lincoln 1 Grimsby Town 3
The Form Continues
It was the Monday after the derby I was reflecting on the previous two games I had seen clearly there are goals in this Grimsby side the problem seemed to be the defensive side of things so I upped the anti on defensive training that day ready for the trip to Mansfield on the Tuesday evening. Mansfield were a team on form at home this was not going to be an easy game.the press were waiting on Monday evening I attended and fielded many questions about the team moral and recent improvement in form it was nice to see that people are noticing a difference that had happened lately at the club.
Match day arrived and as usual we arrived at the ground an hour and a half early for our warm up the final instructions were past around and what happened over the next 90 minutes was mind blowing.
It was Mansfield who got the game going this time round the home fans got behind there team right from the off as did the traveling Grimsby fans it took 35 minutes for the first goal in this game Grimsby's youngster Andy Cook with the opener
Six minutes had past when Mansfield levelled however through Matt Green Grimsby held on till half time with the score at 1-1
In the dressing room the players were looking motivated and ready to go again I reminded them of the fans that had travelled to see them and off they went for the second half. Just one minute into the second half and Mansfield strike through Nick Wright.
Youngster Andy Cook seemed to use that goal from Wright as inspiration as he then picked the ball up on 59 minutes to level once more at 2-2.
Four minutes later it was 3-2 to Grimsby as Simon ford place a shot into the top corner from 8 yards out. On 67 minutes Craig Disley made it 4-2 with a powerful header before Andy Cook completed his hat trick on 70 minutes 5-2 the score at this point, Cook was not finished there however as four minutes later he added his forth and Grimsby's sixth goal with a strike of pure class from outside the area. Louie Soares then made it 7-2 on 78 minutes before grabbing a second in the last minute to complete the rout full time from Field Mill Mansfield Town 2 Grimsby Town 8.