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  • 1 Post By mkb152
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An American Football Coach in Europe

  1. An American Football Coach in Europe

    (This is an unemployed story, I will probably update every half-season, but I may update more often depending on results and to advance the story. Names are changed/omitted to protect the innocent. The manager is based off a more sarcastic and bachelor version of me. In real life I coach *American* football and wrestling and am happily married with three kids. I have loaded all levels of Belgium, Brazil, England, Mexico, Scotland, Portugal, and the US. I intend to start in Europe but will see how it goes)

    His coaching mentor drove the manager to the airport and talked logistics. Having done something similar himself when he came to America from Ghana he had given up trying to talk the manager out of it. "You never told me how you got your coaching badges?" the mentor inquired.

    "Remember my trip to Cancun for two months last summer? Yeah, I didn't go to Cancun. Plus some of it is online now." The manager added, "Hell, I don't know if I'll even get a job. I have enough in savings to travel around for about 2 years if I have to. And if it doesn't work out, you only need a pulse to get hired to teach math around here. Plus some famous high school coach might need an assistant." His mentor laughed. "Hey if I knew I was eligible for an EU passport when I was 22 I would have tried this broke! Now at least I won't starve even after I find a job."

    The pulled up to the airport. Jokingly, the mentor said "I expect tickets when you make the Premier League."

    "OK, I think I can make the Skrill Premier in a few years!:

    Later, as he sat in the poorly named Fresno-Yosemite International Airport having a highly overpriced pint of pale ale, he pulled up his tablet and hatched a plan. He noted that there were a few 3rd Belgium Division and the usual Skrill N/S open positions. His flight plan took him to England first; he booked a quick flight to Brussels for early in the week with the intention of trying out Beligium too. He didn't know Dutch - hell he claimed to know Spanish but he spoke the California slang dialect poorly even - but it was worth a shot. He was going to chase a dream.
    AndySams10 likes this.

  2. Brendn's Avatar Brendn
    Modern Day Legend

    THis is all I thought about when I read the title of your story
    Good luck mate, I'll be following.
    ThePav and Maximus94 like this.

  3. Interviews and First Job

    So far, interviews were *not* going well. It was already late August and he was 0 for 3. He thought he had the Stockport job nailed, but according to body language apparently his ambition of playing attacking football and building a solid youth program was a poison pill. Yeah, it sucks to have excited fans and a system where you build your own talent. Freaking morons.

    Belgium was worse. He wasn't sure what was said in Dutch, but he thinks it was more vulgar than what the President told him in English: "Thanks for your time. We'll call you."

    He checked his email: "Tell them what they want to hear. If you win, it won't matter how you win."

    He thought about that for a second. It made some sense. He decided in his next interview to come across as the biggest yes-man ever. It couldn't be worse!

    Later that day he got a phone call from Berwick in Scottish league 2, but actually based on the English side of the border. "You have a (ahem) unique resume. Could you come tomorrow for an interview?" "Well, I'm in London, but I can see if I can manage." "OK, call this number when you arrive."


    President: "Well this is strange. American high school coaching experience, junior college coaching experience, played in junior college, hmm... what is junior college anyway?" He continued talking: "If we are barmy enough to give you the job, what type of football will you present."

    The manager cleared his throat and barely managed to stomach out his answer: "I will take Berwick Rangers to the next level by playing direct and defensive football." In his head he envisioned balls going from fullback to striker while the midfielders watched the ball fly through the air. He was barely able to stop himself from retching.

    "We need you to have us finish in a respectable league position. Do you think that is feasible?"

    "I think that is fine. We will do better than that!"

    *sigh* "You start tomorrow. Come back tomorrow and meet your staff. If you need to make any changes, make them tomorrow. We can't afford to buy out any huge contracts. Oh, and you are on the equivalent of $375/wk until the end of the year. Good luck"

  4. An American Football Coach in Europe-current-sit.jpgAn American Football Coach in Europe-current-squad.jpg

    He arrived to find no assistant coach, GM, or scouts. Additionally, there were several open coaching positions. The GK coach, a Scot named Gary O'Connor, met him as he arrived to let him know of the situation. He seemed pretty withit for this level.

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    The manager quickly decided that about half the rest of the staff needed to be let go. He told each face to face. Most didn't seem that disappointed to get a buyout for their part-time gigs.

    Assessing training was difficult without many capable assistants, but a few of the players seemed capable for this level. Of course, the manager had *never* seen a game at *this* level. Even Scottish Premier League games when seen in the US were grainy feeds and hard to find.

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    So, *many* job postings were put up, training schedules changed, and the Manager determined to make his name in the "glamorous" Scottish league 2.
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    Last edited by mkb152; 25/01/2014 at 05:44 PM.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Brendn View Post
    THis is all I thought about when I read the title of your story
    Good luck mate, I'll be following.
    Yeah, that bit gave me some of the idea!


    September 14
    Albion Rovers 2 - Berwick
    Scottish League 2
    Ronald (7,50), OG, Gray (78)

    Decent first game; Owen Ronald with a brace. Trying to play direct and defensive, but only managing to play direct. Guess we'll have to win.

    September 21
    Berwick 3 - Clyde 1
    Scottish League 2
    Gray (11), Currie (pen 66), Lavery (90+2)

    September 24
    Berwick 2 - Stirling 2
    Scottish League 2
    Ronald , Lavery (87)
    First blemish, but the manager was delighted with the fight as Lavery's score was very late. Still not playing anything resembling good defensive football.

    September 28
    Scottish Cup
    Berwick 1 - Forres Mechanics 2
    McLean (31)
    When O'Connor shut the doors and kicked out the one press member (a local blogger) out, the players had a feeling this was not going to be good.

    The manager fumed: "What in the living **** was that!!!??? You - who are currently ****ing 3rd in League 2 just got beat by a ****ing junior side!!!" The captain moved to intervene - but was waved off: "I get that you are tired. I get that this is your part-time job. But that was un-****ing-acceptable! An decent high school team could score 2 on you!!" He tried to calm down. "Training tomorrow will be strictly fitness and defense. Bring your running shoes. You'll find out what a gringo means by 'hell day'". "And if that ever happens again, I swear to the almighty that I will sell your contracts to teams in the Faroe Islands!" He stormed off.

    Below is current league standings going into October:
    An American Football Coach in Europe-oct1-2014-ls.jpg

  7. Half a season down

    After the disastrous cup loss things went downhill from there for a month, with Berwick dropping as low as 8th! The manager noticed in his contract (that he didn't pay attention enough to) that he had 4 requirements:

    1) his offhand comment about doing better meant that he had guaranteed promotion.
    2) Play direct soccer (wretch)
    3) Play defensive soccer (double wretch)
    4) sign youth players. He had forgotten about that comment, so he worked through his lists and found some free transfers to shore up the U19s.

    The manager was finishing a skype with his mother as his captain Currie came to see him.

    "No mom, I'm not going to get fired. Not yet, anyway. Yeah, it's cold. No, the food does suck it's true. I miss real bacon. No, they call it bacon, but it's more like Canadian bacon sorta. Yeah, the beer's good though. Hey, gotta go. *stops Skype* What do you need, Lee?"

    Lee shuts the door. "This team is rubbish and I need to play at a higher level." Having been one of his main supporters on the team, this was a bit of a shock.

    "I agree you are ready for league 1. Your contract is up at the end of the year. I think we can turn this around and make it. How about if we do it, you can consider re-signing. If not, I'll even help you find a club."

    "How in the bloody hell are you going to manage that?"

    "I have three players coming in for trial in the next few days, plus I've signed some u19 players for the future. Additionally, I somehow tricked the board into getting Hibernian as a parent club, so some loanees are due soon. You'll have to trust me. Also I'm getting rid of the 4-5-1. Since the president wants us to take football back 30 years and long-ball it, we are going straight-old school with a 4-4-2. Also, call a team meeting. We need to get all this aired out before everyone gives up."

    "OK, boss. It better work, or you're getting sacked by Christmas."

    "I know."

    It must have worked, since the results after October were much better:

    An American Football Coach in Europe-matches-through-dec.jpg

    Loanees brought in:

    An American Football Coach in Europe-steeves-loanee.jpgAn American Football Coach in Europe-hendry-loanee.png

    We got a few signing - mainly free(including the compulsory poaching from Queens)

    An American Football Coach in Europe-navas-free-signing.jpgAn American Football Coach in Europe-rooney-poached-queens.pngAn American Football Coach in Europe-leyden-1500-transfer-5-jan.jpg

    The manager began to think he *might* not have to go job surfing after his first year.

  8. With 5 matches to go...

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    Things were looking up for the manager. Although his accommodations were sparse, it finally felt like home. He had two league 2 manager of the Month awards hanging in his office, and his previously struggling Berwick Rangers were sitting in 2nd place with some chances of greater glory. His signings had added depth, but really it was the sterling play of Darren Lavery that was giving some hope to a league 1 appearance.

    An American Football Coach in Europe-lavery-stats.jpgAn American Football Coach in Europe-lavery-may.jpg

    Additionally, the manager had been reading online about tactics and started experimenting with some 4-2-3-1 to go with his normal 4-4-2. Since the board had wanted "route one" football he had only used it in a few games, but in recent contract negotiations the manager had convinced them to remove the defensive football *and* direct football additions to the contract, so he was keen to use it some more.

    After training, he took O'Conner (the GK coach) aside and asked him to go out for a few pints.

    "Do you think we can really go up a level?" he asked his most trusted assistant.

    "Maybe. But if we don't, we'll have to replace half the lads."

    "Yeah, 4 of them have been to my office speaking about needing a higher level of competition... at least not Grant (first string GK). Hibernian have agreed to extend his loan. Speaking of extensions, do you want one?"

    "OK, but I need a bit more quid. I'm thinking of a number."

    "As long as that number is two digits, we'll make it happen!"

    Here are results and table as of April 5 (5 games to go):

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  9. One season down

    His entourage for "press conferences" now totalled three newspaper reporters and one video blogger.

    -"So, what do you think of your first year in Scottish football?"

    "Well, being as we won the league, I felt we were very successful. The players really adapted towards the end of the season to a more fluid and possession game and scored many goals."

    -"What do you think about Darren Lavery's play?"

    "Darren is a phenomenal goal-scorer and it was a pleasure to coach him this year. He really stepped it up in some big matches towards the stretch. He'll be the first to tell you it was a team effort though, and while we gave up many goals, part of that was our tendency to really push the pace of the game."

    -"Do you think you'll be able to keep ahold of him?"

    "We think Darren is a vital part of our success going into league one. It was a travesty that he wasn't selected player of the year. Obviously, there is going to be some offers. I've already gotten several phone calls. But they can pound sand unless they make a very good offer."

    -"Pound sand?"

    "Sod off, basically."

    -"What's next for you?"

    "Well my contract just got extended *again* so I am very happy to continue on and attempt to make our way into the second division. I am sure the next level will have many challenges, but I am confident we can make serious strides."

    -(new face)"Some would say with a draw and a loss you backed into the title. What is your response?"

    "I would tell this *someone* that over here the league is decided over the course of a season. If I wanted to win a playoff I would have stayed home. Next question."

    -"What are your goals for next year?"

    "First, stay competitive. Then we'll see where the cards land. We *will* score goals."

    -"Are you selling or buying?"

    "Hopefully, we'll add a few names to make us more competitive. A few will leave the club due to not being ready for the next level. We have a few who are likely poised for big things, but unless a really good offer is made, they'll be pushing us up."

    League top 11 for season
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    Last fixtures
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    Team of year, season review, etc.
    An American Football Coach in Europe-best-11.jpg
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  10. A new year dawns

    Sometimes, every once in a while, a BBC reporter made it around. It wasn't often, and mainly it was due to him being an American coaching in Scotland, but the manager was happy with any publicity he could get. He'd be happy with ESPN 8 (the ocho). Hell, he'd be happy if 1000 people showed up for a home game!

    "So, what would you say about the season so far?"

    "Well, we definitely had some good goes, but it is still early. League one will definitely be a huge challenge. However, I see us being able to deal with that challenge bravely and see us continue into the top half."

    "We've heard of some teams sniffing for Jim Law... what is your take?"

    "When a youth like Jim Law comes along, it's one in a million. And it will take at much that much for us to part with him. Literally."

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