From Zero to Hero!!

  1. From Zero to Hero!!

    Who is He?

    An unknown individual, 25 year old Mr Oliver Cilia is currently doing his coaching badges in order so that in the coming months he will start his way up the managerial ladder. So far, the young lad who hails from a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean called Malta, has had no experience whatsoever in professional football. He played football with some friends from time to time but that was it, yet his passion for football led him to follow several football clubs both on the island and abroad. He aspirations are that to become a top notch manager across Europe yet first he is willing to learn and familiarise himself with smaller clubs.
    Last edited by iccilja; 04/10/2014 at 01:02 PM.

  2. Graduation and Starting the Search!

    End of June and Mr Cilia graduated with top scores in his coaching badges and was ready to start looking for his first club. With July round the corner and some clubs willing to make a managerial change, Cilia had a good chance to let club presidents know of his recently achieved qualifications and maybe he is given a possibility. Through the help of his agents, Cilia was looking at several nations where he could start coaching and these include Porugal, Holland, Turkey and Russia as the most influential ones. Other nations that he was considering were Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, Slovakia, Romania, Belarus, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland and Croatia.

    During an interview with Maltese media, Mr Cilia was asked why he chose to ignore the possibility of coaching in one of the top five nations. Cilia explained that he wanted to learn and test his abilities in different scenes to what he was accustomed to see. Mr Cilia added that he grew up watching mostly the top 5 nations, especially the Italian Serie A and the English Premiership. He said that he wants to study new scenarios yet he doesn’t exclude the possibility of going there later on in his managerial experience if all goes well.
    Last edited by iccilja; 04/10/2014 at 01:03 PM.

  3. Curious where this is going!

  4. Asteras Tripolis FC Approach

    Only a few days had passed since Cilia started his search for his first professional job as soon enough an opening came through. Asteras Tripolis FC manager Sakis Tsiolis left the club due to personal reason, and Cilia approached Tripolis President Georgios Borovilos and asked him to consider him as a potential new manager. A couple of days later Cilia was summoned in front of Tripolis’ Board of Directors for an interview. After the interview Cilia told local media that nothing was confirmed so far yet he felt confident that if given this post he would surprise many people.

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    Cilia didn’t want to give any further comments as he felt that it wasn’t appropriate for him to give further comments to the media. He finished by saying that now everything depends on the decision to be taken by President Borovilos and his board of directors.
    Cilia didn’t need to wait long, as three days later he was approached by Tripolis President with the job. It took a brief meeting for Cilia to agree terms with Borovilos and eventually signed a two year contract for 4,100 Euros p/w with the Greek club.

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    Asteras Tripolis FC was founded in 1931 and is known by several nicknames including "
    The yellow-blue", "Arkades" and "Galacticos". They play their football in the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium which can host up to 7,616 fans. Currently Tripolis participate in the Greek Superleague and the past 12 years saw them rise from the bottom of the pyramid to the summit. Despite the positive hype that surrounds this club, they are yet to win any major silverware.

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    Season 12/13 was Tripolis best ever season as they finished 3rd in the Greek Superleague and thus qualified for their first time for the European football. During his first press conference Manager Oliver Cilia was quite concise yet direct and when asked if he can lead this club to glory, he answered with a definite yes. He said that hard work and commitment are the base of his recipe. He included team work, flair and communication as other qualities he will be looking for in his team. Cilia commented on the fact that he will start his first ever professional game with the Europa League qualifiers, adding that it can be a dangerous test to kick off the campaign. On the other hand he said that he has the backup of the President and will give a chance to all the players in the squad to prove themselves.
    Last edited by iccilja; 04/10/2014 at 01:03 PM.

  5. July 2013

    During the month of July we had a good three weeks of pre season friendlies. Having missed a couple of weeks already I wanted to make the most of the games to assess the fitness and the technical abilities of my players. I didn’t want to overhaul the whole club yet I felt the need to bring in a couple of players to strengthen some departments.

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    With regards to the friendlies, I was very happy with the performances put forward by the majority of those involved. In fact we played a total of 6 friendlies where we won 4, drew 1 and lost 1. During that time I was testing the squad using a 4-4-2 formation.

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    Transfer Market: A replacement for left back Lautaro Formica was needed since he was given the release as he didn’t impress at all. Also Sebastian Setti was sold to River Plate due to many players fighting for the same slot. I felt the need to reinforce both central defence, due to the long term injury of Bartolini, and the attack, as I wanted a fast striker. In the meantime a couple of youngsters were loaned out in order to get first team experience.

    Since I was working on a limited budget, I opted for free transfers and a couple of loans. Our first signing was youngster left back Kostas Stafylidis who arrived on loan from Bayer Leverkusen. The following day I signed what I consider to be a great coup for the club with the arrival of Greece international striker Apostolos Vellios on loan from Everton. Finally a week later I signed veteran Greek defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos on a free transfer.

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    Last edited by iccilja; 04/10/2014 at 01:03 PM.

  6. August 2013

    Euro Cup 3rd Qual. Rnd 1st Leg
    Ast. Tripolis vs Maccabi Haifa
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    First professional game didn’t go as anticipated as we lost our first leg Euro Cup 3rd Qual. Rnd. Two penalties, one in each half, scored both by Harazi were enough to settle the match and making the second leg a mission impossible for us.

    Euro Cup 3rd Qual. Rnd 2nd Leg

    Maccabi Haifa vs Ast. Tripolis
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    The trip to Israel gave me food for thought. A red card to newcomer Kyrgiakos with 21 mins to play surely affected the flow of the game, which we were dominating at the moment. Then their goal with 10 mins to go killed what was left. Eventually the draw wasn’t enough for us and we left the pitch very disappointed with the result and the elimination.

    Superleague Week 1
    Giannina vs Ast. Tripolis
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    (Valdo, Kyrgiakos, Barrales, De Blasis)

    Beginner’s luck, who knows! I shifted from the 4-4-2 formation we used against Maccabi to a 3-1-4-2 formation. Definitely wasn’t expecting such a great result in our first game in the Superleague, particularly since we were playing on away turf, as we won comfortably. I was very pleased especially with the second half performance. Kygriakos paid for the red card received against Maccabi with a great goal which gave us the momentarily 2 goal cushion.

    Superleague Week 2
    Ast. Tripolis vs Panathinaikos
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    Faced a Greek super power in Panathinaikos. I feared their attacking prowess and once again changed the formation and deployed a 4-5-1 with the wingers playing in an advanced position to support Barrales up in front. Zisopoulos scored afer 14 mins and we managed to protect our lead till the last 10 mins, when we conceded an unfortunate goal. Still was quite happy with the performance.

    Superleague Week 3
    Xanthi vs Ast. Tripolis
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    (Vellios, Vellios, Kyrgiakos)

    Vellios opens his account. I reverted back to he 3-1-4-2 formation and a brace from the Greek international helped us win the 2nd away game in a row. A blunder from our keeper in the last 6 mins put a tense finale to the game yet Kyrgiakos scored in the dying minutes to round up the score.

    Transfer Market: (Although the transfer market ends on the 2nd of September I will be including the transfer period in this section). I had no plans of buying or selling any players. We loaned 3 more youngsters for more playing time. In the last days I had to fend off several good offers from different teams especially for De Blasis for whom we had a 2.5 million euros offer from St Etienne. I rejected the offer.

    Despite all this a 550,000 Euros offer for playmaker Usero, which matched his release clause, was accepted during the final days of the transfer market. He signed for Bordeaux on deadline day. Since he was vital to the team, I had to find an alternative replacement and on deadline day we signed Tunisian International midfielder Wissem Ben Yahia from Mersin I.Y. for free.

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    Overall: August left me with some mixed feelings. The elimination from the Europa League hurts yet the positive start to the league fills me with optimism for the future. After 3 games Tripolis sit in 2nd place 2 pts behind Aris. Tripolis also have he best attacking form as they scored 8 goals in 3 matches.

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    Last edited by iccilja; 04/10/2014 at 01:03 PM.

  7. September 2013

    Superleague Week 4
    Ast. Tripolis vs PAOK
    1 - 1
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    Still looking for our first home win as a battling performance saw us coming back from a goal down. First we conceded a penalty and later on Barrales scored a stunner to equalize the score. Valdo got sent off in the dying minutes.

    Superleague Week 5
    OFI Crete vs Ast. Tripolis
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    First defeat of the season at the hands of Crete. 11 shots from both sides. Two goals down in the first few minutes. Vellios scored one just before the break to keep us in the game. In the second half Crete defended courageously and blocked our attempts to try at least take a point.

    Greek Cup 2nd Round 1st Leg
    Aiginiakos vs Ast. Tripolis

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    Change nearly the whole squad for some playing time while resting the first team, yet they didn’t gel and played a lot if individual football. We conceded a penalty halfway through the first half and Goian got sent off. Although I inserted more experienced players we didn’t manage score despite our 9 shots against their 5. Will have to play at full strength the second leg!

    Superleague Week 6
    Ast. Triplos vs Atromitos
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    (Vellios, Stafylidis)

    An entertaining game which saw 21 shots in total gave us our first win on home turf. Vellios continued his fine form by opening the score and Stafylidis doubled the score for the yellow-blue.

    Overall: Still not convinced with our tactics. I’m undecided between playing with a back three which would give me an added striker, or sacrificing that striker to play with a four men defence. In the league we’re 5th with 11 points from 6 games. Expected more from these games. At least everyone is dropping points.

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  8. October 2013

    Superleague Week 7
    Ast. Triplos vs AEK Kalloni
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    Dominated the game and wanted us to score more. Kallonis kept the ball for long stretches but never actually threatened our goal. Vellios scored the only goal which decided the encounter.

    Superleague Week 8

    Panthrakikos vs Ast. Tripolis
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    The better team lost! We ruined a lot of chances and despite dominating possession with a good 61% and having 14 shots we didn’t manage to score at all. A goal in each half gave Panthrakikos the three points.

    Superleague Week 9
    Ast. Tripolis vs Olympiakos
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    (Vellios, De Blasis)
    Back to the 3-1-4-2 formation and although we gave possesion to our opponents, we hit them on counter attacks and long balls. A goal in each half first by Vellios and then by De Blasis gave us a superb win against the champions.

    Overall: Starting to make the most of the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium by winning both home matches. Risen to 2nd place in the league and hope that we keep on bagging the goals. Decided that I will focus more with the 3-1-4-2 formation. Unfortunately Ben Yahia is no Usero and so far he hasn’t convinced that much. Munafo will get a chance in his place and they can battle for a slot in midfield. Confirmed the signing of left winger Caffa to Velez for 250,000 Euros. Caffa featured just once in the cup and wasn’t in my plans from the beginning.

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