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The French Connection

  1. The French Connection

    "I'd like to thank you all for attending here today and apologise for such short notice," Mr. Saputo cleared his throat. "As you all know, following the termination of Marco Schallibaum's contract at the end of the 2013 Major League Soccer season, myself and the club's directors have been searching for a new coach to lead The Impact into the new season and onto success. After thorough research on all candidates and a lengthy interview process, I'd like to announce Andre Holtzer as the new Head Coach of the Montreal Impact. We're confident that Andre has the correct skill set, philosophy and attitude to lead this club to a respectable position within the MLS."

    I walked out to a mixed reception. Several members of the press looked on in surprise whilst others customarily applauded. I'd been in and around the club for a couple of days now - having been in negotiations for nearly a fortnight. It felt good to finally have the deal complete and be officially announced to the press and supporters. I took a seat between Joey Saputo, the clubs Owner, and Nick De Santis, the Sporting Director. Beyond those two, I shared the stage with several other gentleman who I'd been made aware of during negotiations. I took a drink out of my glass of water as the applause calmed.

    "First of all I'd like to thank you all for convening," I tried to speak without fear, "It's been a lengthy process but I'm happy to finally be here today as the Head Coach of the Montreal Impact. Since the inaugural season of the Major League Soccer in 1996, I've followed the league with keen interest due to it's huge potential in North America. Sadly much of that potential had remained untouched until the past couple of years when the sport has really taken off. Having gained experience as a Coach and Assistant Manager in Europe, I'm confident I can lead the team to a strong position in my first season. I've extensively researched the club, the facilities, the players and the fans and I'm very happy to take over. I'm excited to get to work and look forward to pleasing the fans come the beginning of the 2014 MLS season."

    The Head of Public Relations invited the press to begin my open examination.

    "Amy Campbell, Fox News. You mentioned that you believe you can lead the side to a strong position in the 2014 season - how high in the Eastern Conference do you think is achievable?"

    "Well, you know as much as me I'm not going to predict an exact place. Having finished 5th last season, the squad has been slightly weakened with the departure of a few players. I'll do my utmost to strengthen the team in all areas but we have to be realistic - if we can put some good performances in and win some games, anything is possible. We'll see."

    "Jack Davison, NBC. Having no previous experience in the position of Head Coach makes you a slightly surprising choice. Do you think your inexperience could hurt the team?"

    "Not at all, Jack," I replied, "I've had great experience at some top clubs in Europe and I've experienced South American football. I recognise that isn't experience of the MLS and I understand if some fans are a little weary of my appointment but all we can do at this point is take things one game at a time. I promise the fans attractive football and positive results - myself and the players will do our best to get as high up the Conference as possible."

    "Is the owner, Joey Saputo, as equally as optimistic?" asked Jack.

    "Yes, he fully supports me in the philosophies I discussed with him and we're working towards a positive future for the club." I replied.

    "Molly Leighton, CNN. The club has lost several important players from the 2013 season including Davy Arnaud and Alessandro Nesta - how do you think you'll be able to cope without them?"

    "They were obviously big players for the team but they're not irreplaceable - we'll work towards bringing in reinforcements and try to strengthen the squad." I said.

    "And finally," Molly continued, "Quebec is predominantly French speaking - could this pose a problem? Can you speak French?"

    "Along my journey of coaching, I spent a period of time in France - learning to speak fluently. I'll look to use that in my job and personal life when needed; I don't have a problem speaking several different languages."

    The press conference didn't last much longer - the journalists soon had enough information to write a story. I imagined much of it would be negative - I was young, inexperienced and unknown in North America. The press would do what digging they could on me but it would probably be to no avail; I've spent much of my time observing others rather than managing. I learned quicker that way, I think. Moving to Montreal from Europe was a big step for me but I hoped I wouldn't regret it - it seemed the right thing to do. I was ready to make my mark.
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  2. Glad to have you back writing mate. Great start, look forward to more.

  3. Quote Originally Posted by AndySams10 View Post
    Glad to have you back writing mate. Great start, look forward to more.
    Thanks a lot mate - hope I can keep every interested
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  4. Quote Originally Posted by ZeCarlos View Post
    Thanks a lot mate - hope I can keep every interested
    Im pretty sure you will buddy, especially with how you write your stories, plus it's only 1 post, so after more, then you'll start getting people hooked.
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  5. Good luck in the MLS. The rules are so confusing to me I won't even touch that "league." And I though the A-league rules were bad...

    Do you know most of the differences between the US/Canada and everywhere else on the planet?

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Maximus94 View Post
    Good luck in the MLS. The rules are so confusing to me I won't even touch that "league." And I though the A-league rules were bad...

    Do you know most of the differences between the US/Canada and everywhere else on the planet?
    I'm still trying to get my head around the rules, but it'll only add to the fun.

    What do you mean mate?

  7. Time for a bit of background information.

    I was born on the 11th of January, 1981. My father, a German national from Munich, met my mother at a young age and married happily. After several years of travelling together, my parents settled in Haar (a quiet municipal of Munich) and I was born soon after. A medium-sized modern family home told the story of my early childhood - contentment. That was, until, my mother was mown down by a drunken driver on the 13th of August, 1985. The killer was never caught and I was left with an internal abyss. She was Swiss and, whilst I don't remember too much about her, my father always tells me how beautiful she was. Her death has always been a little bit of a taboo topic within the family - or what family we had. Just months after she was stolen away from us, my father moved the pair of us to London to relieve the heartache and, temporarily, it worked. The frantic life of the English capital swept us away - although it didn't last long. My grandmother, on my father's side, was the only family member we contacted and even then it wasn't too often.

    The next few years and how I subsequently got into the great game is another story. For now, the show must go on.

    It's Saturday the 25th of January - also known as my first official working day as Head Coach of the Montreal Impact. The 2014 Major League Soccer season kicks off on the 1st of March - leaving me with little over a month to prepare this team for the challenges we'll soon face. I've been given until Monday to relax before getting to work - I have players to scout, friendlies to schedule and staff to evaluate. I thought I'd take a thorough look around the Saputo Stadium whilst we're in the calm before the storm. I had, of course, had a tour of the place before signing but now I had complete freedom. The facilities are good - the stadium, in fact, could be mistaken for that of a decent European side. The pitch looked good and stands atmosphere-friendly. I soon retreated to my office, however, as it was apparently below -10 Degrees Celsius and forecast to rain again soon. Earlier in the day I'd asked Mauro Biello, club legend and current Assistant Manager, to send over a list of the first-team roster. Below is the attached document:

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    We didn't have the weakest roster in the MLS but we were, at this moment in time, certainly not contenders to even win our Conference. We were out-financed and out-facilitated by several teams and it showed in the roster. I'd been given a small budget to work on but it wasn't anything spectacular - we'd probably be starting the season with many of the current players. I'd been informed by Nick De Santis, the clubs Sporting Director, that Uruguayan striker Santiago Gonzalez was in advanced talks with the club before my arrival and the deal just needed my consent. We'd agreed a minimal fee with his current side (Sud America) and he'd take up just a fraction of my wage budget. I'd watched several recordings of the 21-year-old and he had plenty of potential - I sent an e-mail to Nick with my approval of the deal.
    Last edited by ZeCarlos; 02/03/2014 at 06:46 PM.
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  8. Nice update mate. Keep up the good start.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by AndySams10 View Post
    Nice update mate. Keep up the good start.
    Thanks man - appreciate your comments!
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  10. It was Sunday evening and I needed a break. I'd spent all day researching, analysing and perfecting.

    Joey Saputo had paid for two weeks advance in a Downtown Montreal hotel. My room was spacious, modern and clean - it was nice. I'm sure if I was paying the bills I wouldn't have such expensive tastes. I took a look out of the window - the sky darkened as the city lights flickered into action. Swathes of people began to leave the city whilst others' fun was just beginning. I decided to take a quick walk and explore a small part of what the city has to offer to those as lonely as me. I found a Starbucks just blocks from my hotel and bought myself a coffee - it was cold outside yet the -6C my iPhone registered was the highest it had been since I'd arrived in Canada.

    I walked further into the unknown and was confronted by the Saint Lawrence River (or Fleuve Saint-Laurent.) I called a taxi and after a short journey, we arrived at the Parc de la Cite-du-Havre. I'd been told the view from the Point facing the city was fascinating at this time. Apparently it's also easy to meet interesting people and rely on their anonymity to make sure your hearts wildest desires are kept safe. I wasn't too concerned with finding someone to confide in, however, but rather just a spot for relaxation and reflection. After a small walk I found a bench in relative darkness and took a seat. I hadn't been misled in believing the view from here was astounding - the city lights complemented the snow-filled clouds and created a beautiful sight. The insane (it's below 0C, remember) party-goers were just about visible in the distance and I wondered for a moment about those people - fathers, brothers, sons, grandsons. My thoughts took their own directions and I don't really remember what I was contemplating for a second.

    A shadow appeared to my right and I continued to look out at the city - I imagined they were simply a passer-by. The figure changed direction and slowly approached - I looked up and made out a woman's physique. She was a little smaller than me - no taller than 5ft 8" at a guess. I couldn't quite see her face, yet.

    "Hey," she said, "do you mind if I sit with you for a while?"

    "No, go ahead." I responded and looked back across the river. There was a moments silence after she sat, "Do you always sit with strangers like this?"

    "No," she laughed, "but desperate times call for desperate measures."

    "Desperate times?"

    "Just a little unfortunate," she continued, "what are you doing out here anyway?"

    "No real reason." I responded. There was another moment of silence, "I mean, I'm new to the city and I don't know anyone - is that a valid reason?"

    "I guess so," she smiled, "but there must be something more," she continued, "people don't come out here at this time for 'no real reason'."

    I must explain at this point that I'd taken several glances at her and she seemed fairly attractive. Mid-twenties. Dark hair. That's about all I could make out in the darkness. We talked a while and I explained about my past before she reminisced about her childhood. She then explained about her current situation - she moved to Montreal in March of 2013 to live with her boyfriend and now she suspected him of cheating. From what she told me, I'd say he was nailed on cheating and it was far more than her being simply paranoid which he'd exclaimed in an argument.

    "I guess I better head home." She said.

    "I'm probably better off doing the same thing," I replied, "hey, I didn't catch your name..."

    "You didn't need too," she smiled, "I'll see you around."

    In an instant, she was gone.
    Last edited by ZeCarlos; 02/03/2014 at 06:23 PM.
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  11. Quote Originally Posted by ZeCarlos View Post
    I'm still trying to get my head around the rules, but it'll only add to the fun.

    What do you mean mate?
    I just mean in terms of how the MLS and A-League are so different from European football. Salary caps, designated/marquee players, drafts, conferences. That sort of stuff.

    Can you buy/sell between other clubs in the MLS? In the A-League you're unable to...

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Maximus94 View Post
    I just mean in terms of how the MLS and A-League are so different from European football. Salary caps, designated/marquee players, drafts, conferences. That sort of stuff.

    Can you buy/sell between other clubs in the MLS? In the A-League you're unable to...
    I know a couple of things - I just learn as/when I need to. I haven't been on the game whilst I've been ill and a few things have slipped my memory - but I'm pretty sure you can sell between domestic clubs in the MLS. I think you can trade with your typical fees, or even use DP slots or something similar.

  13. Much had changed within the past six days. The young Uruguayan striker I mentioned, Santiago Gonzalez, joined on a two-year deal whilst we also struck a deal with MLS side Philadelphia Union for their left wing-back Fabinho. He was a 28-year-old Brazilian signed to fill the void on the left hand side of our defence. We were seriously lacking in that area - Fabinho was the only viable option on the market, too, so it meant we would probably be starting the season with a single left back. The only other incomings were 10 youngsters for the Reserves - I felt all could potentially play a part in the first-team if called upon.

    Scottish defender Callum Mallace left the club - joining English side Charlton Athletic for a reasonable fee whilst winger Blake Smith joined the Rochester Rhinos on a season-long loan deal. Not much else had happened in terms of outgoings - although I had been severely pestered by clubs across Europe interested in my experienced defender Matteo Ferrari. Despite being 34-years-old, I felt he was valuable enough to the team to not even begin negotiations.

    For our first friendly of the pre-season schedule, we had a long journey to the state of Florida. The Tampa Bay Rowdies, who competed in the North American Soccer League, would play host at their Al Lang Stadium. In my first week at the club we had constantly practised our system - drilling it into the players. We hadn't had the greatest amount of time but it was enough for the players to begin to understand their roles.

    Come kick-off, the rain began to fall. It had been breezy all day and luckily cooled before the 9:00 pm start time. I named a strong team with new signing Fabinho featuring as well as the likes of Justin Mapp and Marco Di Vaio.

    The first significant moment of the game came just after the fifteen minute mark. After some good possession on the edge of our box, the Tampa Bay Rowdies swung in a cross which Lallet nodded towards goal and past our starting 'keeper Perkins. The Rowdies' fans went wild. Fortunately for us, the linesman immediately waved his flag and indicated to the referee that Lallet was a yard or so offside.

    On the half hour mark, midfielders Bernadello and Felipe played a neat one-two before the former slid winger Nyassi through on goal. He hit his shot from seven yards out straight at the opposition 'keeper who palmed out for a corner kick. It wasn't the flowing football we aspired to - but myself and the coaching staff were certainly seeing signs of a foundation to build on.

    On the stroke of half-time, Nyassi was fouled after taking on his marker on the right wing. Felipe, who had several exceptional qualities, whipped the ball in the direction of Mapp at the back post. The opposition defender, however, managed to stretch a yard extra and clear directly to Felipe; he ducked his shoulder infield before beating two defenders with quick feet and nestling his shot into the back of the next. 0-1.

    At half-time we made a raft of changes - no less than eight in fact. Fabinho, Mapp and Di Vaio were the only survivors.

    The excitement of the first-half didn't continue into the second period as both teams appeared fairly accepting of the scoreline. Experienced striker Marco had a fantatsic opportunity after Felipe had slid him through although he smashed a wild shot over the bar.

    With around six minutes remaining on the clock, Lefevre passed into Mapp's feet. The American winger turned his man on the edge of the area and ran diagonally across the 'D' before hitting a reverse shot into the far corner. A stunning strike. 0-2.

    After the referee blew for full-time, I congratulated the opposition manager on a positive performance and headed back to the changing rooms. Having looked at the match stats, I concluded it hadn't been a bad day at the office:


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  14. Apologies there's been so long since my last post - firstly I had exams and then took ill for nearly a fortnight. Should hopefully be posting more again!

    Also, does anyone know why the attachment (of match stats) is so big? I tried changing the size like I usually do but it just remains the same.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by ZeCarlos View Post
    Apologies there's been so long since my last post - firstly I had exams and then took ill for nearly a fortnight. Should hopefully be posting more again!

    Also, does anyone know why the attachment (of match stats) is so big? I tried changing the size like I usually do but it just remains the same.
    Nice to have you back mate, glad you are feeling better.
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  16. Today was an important day in connecting the club with the fans and sponsors alike. Nick had informed me that each year the Major League Soccer clubs had the opportunity to schedule a 'promo' day where fans could meet the players and staff whilst sponsors were invited to advertise for a small fee. The press were allowed access to all areas and Nick, alongside the other board members, was keen to impress. Positive press coverage, I had been told, was very significant in attracting potential investors whilst I saw it as an opportunity to converse with the supporters and learn their traditions first-hand.

    After arriving home on Sunday night following the Tampa Bay friendly, I allowed the players a relaxed training session yesterday before working on a few roles this morning. I was already beginning to get a feel for who would feature substantially in my team this year and who may be placed onto the transfer list for potential suitors. I'd spoken to Nick before the event started and informed him of a further two players I was interested in signing: Mauro Dos Santos and Javi Espinosa. Javi is relatively well-known as a graduate of the famed La Masia Barcelona academy and has just five months remaining on his contract. A Barcelona representative had told me they would require just a small fee to release him for talks. Mauro, on the other hand, was a 24-year-old centre back from Spanish side Real Murcia. He had previously played for Banfield in his homeland, Argentina, and was an average 5'11". His contract situation was similar to Javi's and both deals just needed Nick to sort out the formalities. I trusted him to do so.

    After a short speech thanking the fans, staff and sponsors for attending, I headed down from the stage to mix whilst players began signing merchandise the swathes of supporters had brought along. The event was being held at some up-market downtown venue and, in the moments pause I had from public scrutiny, I headed towards the refreshments area to get a glass of water. A recognisable figure soon appeared.

    "Hey," I began as she turned to face me, "I remember you from the Point
    ."

    "Oh," she smiled and chuckled, "I guess we're no longer anonymous to one another."

    "Well, I suppose if you're here then I wasn't particularly anonymous before," she laughed again, "and you are?"

    "Olivia Jones," she paused, "part-time reporter for CTV Montreal."

    "Impressive,"

    "Impressive?" she exclaimed, "If you could call it that! I'm the lowest of the low in that place at the moment; too young to ever seriously impress the bosses. Heck, I should've probably taken advantage of the opportunity I had to get all of your secrets at the Point." She joked although I felt a hint of regret.

    We spoke a little longer before I returned to the crowds. Apparently she'd split from her boyfriend - I couldn't possibly think why. She wasn't specific over the details but, then again, I don't see why she would be. She asked whether I'd be available to speak to her individually at another time in order for her to present an article for editorial based around my coaching history and my plans for the club - I promised I'd try to find the time and she handed over her contact details. Having a direct media contact could be useful in future.
    Last edited by ZeCarlos; 04/03/2014 at 09:32 PM.
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  17. Enjoying this pal. Be interesting to see how you cope in the MLS.

    Always fancied doing a save in that league but the rules have put me off.
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  18. Quote Originally Posted by Mjalin View Post
    Enjoying this pal. Be interesting to see how you cope in the MLS.

    Always fancied doing a save in that league but the rules have put me off.
    Thanks

    The transfer rules are pretty complex - I've had a few messages pop up and I have to take time to research what they mean haha.

  19. It had been five days since I encountered Olivia at the clubs' promotional day and I still hadn't contacted her. It had been a busy few days. I'd officially been at the club for little over a fortnight - just about long enough to make some important decisions. After immediately implementing a system I knew could prove to be successful, I sat back and observed. Some players, such as Marco, used their experience to quickly adapt to the roles they were asked to play. Others, however, weren't so eager. I hadn't asked for revolutionary team play, yet, but some had still failed the early test.

    The signings of Fabinho, Mauro and Javi had taken up the little budget I had been given and I therefore knew selling before buying was my only option. Those who had failed my early inspections would now meet the consequence. I drew up a list with Mauro, my assistant, of five names who wouldn't be starting the new season with us and based off of this, gave Nick a number of names I wanted incoming. We worked together as a trio to order the importance of the potential signings in case we couldn't secure one or two. These transfer dealings would be huge news and Nick told me that if they backfired, the blame was on my shoulders. I assured him they'd work out.

    I'd given the players the day off from training today in order to call in those who would be leaving and make them aware of their futures.

    The first meeting of the day was with winger Justin Mapp. He was regarded as a key individual by the staff here as well as at other MLS clubs. Unfortunately for him, he wouldn't fit into my style and had to leave. He knocked on my office door.

    "Come in."

    "Hey boss," he said.

    "Justin, take a seat," I smiled and paused whilst he sat, "I know you'll have plans with your family today so I want to get straight to business. You and I both know you're regarded as a fantastic player in this division. As each year passes by, your stock increases further as you continue to impress. Sadly, and there's no easy way to say this, we're going to have to find you a new club. There are several factors in the decision made by myself and the directors but most importantly we'd like to thank you for your contribution to the team."

    "I have to say I'm a little surprised, boss," he paused, "I thought I was important to this team."

    That's exactly the type of attitude I want to eradicate from the squad. Arrogance. Complacency. Call it whatever you will.

    "I can't speak for those before me but I'm not sure you're fit for the system I'm looking to implement. We can spend the budget more efficiently in other areas to improve the team. You'll have a chance to meet the other players before you leave but we expect the transfer to move swiftly," I said whilst opening my office door, "other than that, good luck for the future." I smiled before we shook hands.

    The other four (Adrian Lopez, Hassoun Camara, Collen Warner and Wandrille Lefevre) were all told of their impeding departures. Adrian was formerly of Wigan Athletic but simply didn't meet my standards, Hassoun was too old to play right wing-back and would need replacing whilst Collen Warner and Wandrille Lefevre were simply un-needed reserves. Things were beginning to take shape.
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  20. The trip to Pittsburgh was much shorter than when we visited Florida. Over half as short, in fact. Our flight was under four hours. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds were our hosts tonight - the Highmark Stadium was the venue. The sound was astonishing; the rain, wind and cold had failed to disrupt the plans of three and a half thousand noisy supporters. We were no further forward in terms of transfer deals so I decided to bring the whole squad - including those I'd cast aside.

    Nick informed me before kick-off that there was now strong interest in our 'keeper, Troy Perkins. We'd contacted Hungarian Marton Fulop as a possible replacement and talks were at an advanced stage.

    We started with a weakened team.

    Troy, Adrian, Hassoun and Collen all started despite being in negotiations to leave the club. Striker Santiago Gonzalez was given the opportunity to impress over the more experienced Sanna Nysassi.

    The first half was slow. Very slow. Both teams lacked the impetus to create a genuine goalscoring opportunity. Pittsburgh sat off when they were without the ball. After twenty five minutes we removed Bernier(?) from the field of play and introduced the attack minded Felipe. The change of pace was immediately obvious.

    In the thirty eighth minute, Collen found the advancing Fabinho with a neat through ball who passed across the box for Santiago. He stopped the ball with an outstanding first touch and back-heeled for onrushing Hassoun. Two of the previously excluded squad members had a hand in the first goal; they weren't doing me any favours in winning over Nick. Nonetheless, 0-1.

    At half time, Nelson and Marco were replaced by new signings Mauro and Javi. I urged the team to up the tempo and press higher up the pitch - we needed more than one goal to show our superiority.

    On the hour mark, Fabinho was again advanced down the left wing at pace and was hacked down by their bulky right back. Katic was his name, I think. The crowd jeered the referee but it was a clear foul. As the opposition 'keeper organised his defence, the whistle was blown. Felipe whipped the ball around the wall and into the near post from a tight angle; a great finish. 0-2.

    Ten minutes later, our sitting midfielder Bernardello swung a loft ball out to the left hand side to Fabinho who sweetly cushioned the ball back across goal with his first touch. Hassoun, again, arrived out of nowhere and smashed it into the back of the net. 0-3.

    Unfortunately, whilst stretching for the ball, Hassoun pulled up. He immediately signalled for a substitution and Jeb Brovsky was his replacement.

    In the dying moments of the game, Pittsburgh got a rare chance. Their winger, Costanzo, beat Fabinho for the first time in the game to the delight of the roaring crowd. He raced forward and crossed for the Angulo, their lone striker. He planted his shot straight at Troy; seemingly an easy save. I turned away in anticipation of the final whistle blowing. How very wrong of me. The crowd went ballistic as Troy apparently fumbled into his own net. 1-3.

    Troy's mistake lifted the pressure from my shoulders in terms of Hassoun's brace. The journey home was a quiet one - most of the team slept as we had a night flight.

    We had a week until our next friendly whilst squad registration was just a day later. Things were about to get interesting.

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  21. Following the trip to Pittsburgh, the players had light training sessions last night and then again this morning. We focused primarily on winning the ball high up the pitch. It was a contemporary craze among many managers but I knew it could prove to be successful. The most important role in my team was undoubtedly the deepest of the three central midfielders. This was to be, primarily, Hernan's role. He knew we relied on him but I hadn't burdened him with the truth. Simply put, if we doesn't tick, neither does the team.

    I'd contacted Olivia this morning with the intention of meeting her after training. We arranged to meet at 5:00 pm at a coffee shop she'd chosen. 'Pikolo' was the name I think, just off Sherbrooke. I arrived ten minutes late and took a seat.

    "Sorry I'm late."

    "Don't worry," she smiled, "the music is good. I was content."

    "So," I cleared my throat, "What're you looking for?"

    "Well, as much as you're willing to give up about how you're going to get the Impact playing. Having an article on your style before the season starts would be huge for me in the office."

    "It may be huge for you in the office but," I lowered my voice, "we both know the consequences I could face should it be known I'm leaking inside information, even if the details are unimportant."

    "Which is why I only put your name with the most insignificant things; the rest is pure speculation," she said, "in return I keep you informed of what CTV Montreal is preparing to publish about the club. We both know that the media is capable of dictating opinion. Let's make you the hidden dictator."

    It was music to my ears. Unfortunately for her, she was going to have to prove her worth before she receives anything of substance. For now, she could make do with basics - basics which would have been obvious to anyone who attended our first two friendlies.

    At around 7:30 pm we parted ways. She told me the article should be published a couple of days before we played host to Toronto FC in the first MLS game of the season.
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  22. Like the detail you put into your updates mate. Keep them coming.

  23. I've ran into a problem.

    My drive seems to have crashed yet again. I've been working on fixing it all afternoon and right now I'm just trying to get my drive to boot once in order to retrieve this save file and my college work.

    I'll keep you updated one way or another.

  24. Still no further forward.

    I suppose I could start again, edit the same signings/outgoings, play the first two friendlies again (albeit against different opposition) and just continue the story from the current point if people are okay with that?

    The only thing with doing that is I don't want people to accuse me of cheating when I'm openly doing it to recover the story. Other than that I'm out of ideas because my drive is completely broken.

    Let me know.

  25. Sorry to hear you are having problems mate. Shame as story was going well. I'm happy if you continue or if you start a new story. I for one, know you won't have cheated in anyway!

  26. I'd like to make use of this time I'm taking to make a concrete decision on the future of this story or potentially an introduction to a new one.

    Whilst I'm considering options, that's irrelevant.

    I would like to know, meanwhile, what any of you think of my writing in general. I'm at an important stage in the maturity of my writing and would like to gather some thoughts. I don't mind receiving criticism - as long as it's constructive and not just an attempt at abuse.

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated and would hugely contribute to any improvement in my writing!

  27. Great detail in the writing mate I've enjoyed reading this so far. Mega in depth and I like that. Wouldn't mind a few additional screenshots here and there, but at the same time I wouldn't want to take away from the detail of your text. If you're struggling retrieving the other mate, restart, even if the fixtures are different, details in general will stay the same, and you've only done a couple pre-season friendlies so not like you're trying change the course of history
    AndySams10 and ZeCarlos like this.

  28. Quote Originally Posted by BatesyWhoa View Post
    Great detail in the writing mate I've enjoyed reading this so far. Mega in depth and I like that. Wouldn't mind a few additional screenshots here and there, but at the same time I wouldn't want to take away from the detail of your text. If you're struggling retrieving the other mate, restart, even if the fixtures are different, details in general will stay the same, and you've only done a couple pre-season friendlies so not like you're trying change the course of history
    Thanks for your feedback - it's appreciated. I was aiming to write in depth without making it sound over the top and boring, so I hope I've achieved that so far. Aside from my love of FM and football in general, I'm studying Literature amongst other written-based subjects in my further education so it's a nice to keep my writing fresh and (hopefully) gradually improve.

    Edit: I think I'm edging towards the introduction of a new story. I was enjoying the challenge of the MLS more than I'd expected, so it may be a save I pursue in my personal time. However, due to the delays/interruptions, it's hard to get back into the swing of contributing to this story with genuine interest. Plus, I'd signed another five or six players and, in honesty, I can't remember all of them so it'd disturb my progress. If anybody has had interest in this, I'll have new stuff up very, very soon so keep an eye out!

    Speaking on a personal level, I'm also unhappy with some of the writing I've produced in this thread. I initially started out with a set idea and, whilst creatively vying from plans isn't a bad thing, I feel I've completely lost sight of what I was hoping to achieve in the narrative. I hope anybody (and everybody) will understand!
    Last edited by ZeCarlos; 14/03/2014 at 04:36 PM.
    AndySams10 likes this.

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