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Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub

  1. Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub

    Hey guys!

    This is my first story - I'm furiously FMing my way through the dark danish winter and I wanted to try something new and write a little story alongside my challenge. So this will be my little escapism project, haha!

    I like to keep a fair pace in the game, but I'm hoping this will be a reason to slow down a bit, let the imagination run loose and enjoy the details - instead of pacing through what just feels like 'another save'. I hope this won't flounder, but I might lose focus. I'll will try my best to keep it entertaining

    Background info

    I'm taking over OB (Odense Boldklub) from Odense, Denmark midway through the 2016/2017 season in the Danish Superliga.

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    The hard facts - Club: Odense Boldklub - Founded: 1887 - Stadium: TRE-FOR Park (Cap: 15,750) - Latest League Position: 7th

    OB is based in Odense on Funen, the island in the middle of the Danish kingdom. Odense is a modest city, yet it is the third largest city in Denmark and the capital of Funen with 175,000 inhabitants. 466,000 live on the island of Funen.

    Like Funen is in the heart of Denmark, Odense is in the heart of Funen. The furthest you can get from the island capital on the island itself is somewhere around 50 kilometers (31 miles) so the surrounding area of the club is very close but pretty big in numbers, especially of Danish standards.
    Besides beloved fairytale writer H.C. Andersen, OB is the pride of the island and the youth development of the club reaches the whole region with tons of affiliated clubs. There can't be talent on Funen without OB spotting it and a good example of that is Christian Eriksen who came from local Middelfart (yes) and honed his talent in OB before leaving for Ajax.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-intro.png
    Click to enlarge

    The scenario is inspired by the real-life season of OB, who are struggling at the bottom of the league. 13th of 14 at winter break. Manager Kent Nielsen is struggling with a undetermined and uninspired squad who doens't seem fit for much. Nielsens reputation as a solid coach has probably kept him in his seat so far (league winner in 2014 with AaB) but things will be expected to turn around soon - in this scenario he is being fired though

    Only a few years ago the OB supporters were used to their club competing in the top of the league, but lately there have been more relegation scares than talk of medals.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-honours.png
    Click to enlarge

    The biggest of the relegations scares came straight after the silver-medal season of 2010/11 which contained managerial changes. 2011/2012 was one big nightmare for the fans and 12/13 weren't much better - with OB clinching 10th, just above the relegation line, in both seasons.

    Sponsors pulled back and the club's economy were rambling, going from quite solid to unstable. Given the size of the club, a relegation could have been fatal to its existence. League big-brother Brøndby had a similar crisis before OB, starting around 06/07, some would argue this gave OB the space to grow into a bigger title contender than ever before. Now OB has over £ 15 million in collected debt and a weaker squad than ever.

    Most OB supporters would agree that the latest seasons hasn't been worth remembering. Now it's hopefully time for something more memorable than ever for the (fictional) OB supporters

    The scenario

    This scenario is starting the 1st of december, just a week after the winter break of the league. Half of the games is played and transfers is disabled in first season (more on the league specs later) - OB is yet again struggling at the bottom and with the squads morale at an all time low, the board felt something had to be done. So Kent Nielsen is fired and an old friend is taking over...

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-liga.png Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-sq1.png
    Click to enlarge

    The goal of the save is to take Danish and Scandinavian football to the next level, win the Champions League with OB and become a top 5 nation. But the challenge is layered - First challenge is to survive in the league with abysmal morale and a bad position, next will be to win the league for the first time since 89, next is to win the Champions League - after that, make the Danish league a top 5 league. The time frame growing exponentially Quick guess might be 3, 10 and 20 years maybe.

    First season will be spent on damage control and implementing ideas, hopefully avoiding relegation - then I'll slowly build on from there.

    The technical info

    Instead of playing the new Danish structure of 14 teams and a weird play-off stage, I've decided to create a custom Danish league with 16 teams and 30 games, just like the Czech league. Up until this point the Danish league has had 33 games and 12 teams. The teams 'Vejle BK' and 'Vendsyssel FF' is the two teams which I've pulled up into the top tier to make the league 16 teams. Last years sole relegation team, Hobro, is in the second tier for this database.

    The league is pretty standard, 3 out of 7 subs and no special play-off stages or anything. The only twist is that the match squad is required to have 3 U21 players.

    Only thing else I've tinkered with is the management setup at OB, more will follow in the story.

    Below is an image of the database setup.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-setup.png
    Click to enlarge

    Hope you'll enjoy reading!
    Last edited by FyrstWalterLFC; 08/02/2017 at 10:19 PM.

  2. I like your ideas here mate. Really different team and set up you are going with! I like to read and write about things outwith the football as well so I like forward to reading
    FyrstWalterLFC likes this.

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    Nielsen fired - Helveg becomes OB caretaker

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-split.jpg
    Kent Nielsen on the left, Helveg re-signing with OB back in 2007.

    December 1st - OB legend and former national team captain will be taking over the reigns in his crisis-ridden boyhood club.

    Earlier today Kent Nielsen, former league champion and AaB coach, has been fired from his job in OB. After a problematic half-season OB is struggling at the bottom of the league, 13 out of 16, with 15 points after just as many games. The clubs downward spiral had to be stopped said OB chairman Niels Thorborg:

    "It's with a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to Kent Nielsen. His down to earth mentality and solid football know-how has been appreciated since he arrived. But sadly different things are needed now."

    Former OB legend Thomas Helveg was presented as the caretaker for the hot seat just minutes ago.

    "I'm happy to get the change to manage my beloved OB and personally I think and feel that the time is right, in spite of the big challenge a head of us"

    "I've been roaming around this afterlife of profesional football and it's tough. I felt like I had more in me, but the managerial seat seemed daunting to be perfectly honest. I've never been afraid of the pressure or the attention, neither the responsibility, but the amount of pressure on a manager seems absurd" says the former national team captain. "But I've moved on from that, I'm ready. That's why I think the timing is right. I've always felt me and OB has been a perfect match" Helveg continues while being applaused by the bigger-than-average press conference crowd.

    Since retiring from the top flight in 2010 Helveg has been linked to several positions without ever commenting on the speculations. Though remaining low key, Helveg has not been wasting his time.

    "I've seen the management side of things in a new perspective since retiring and I now feel like I can put my experience from around the world into play"

    Helveg will be taking over on a 6-month contract until the end of the 2016/17 season. Sports director Jesper Hansen will be leaving together with Chief Scout Ole Nielsen - Helveg will be bringing in more OB legens in the form of Ulrik Laursen, Morten Bisgaard and Michael Hemmingsen.

    Kent Nielsen took over OB in 2015. Before OB, Nielsen managed AaB, Brøndby and Horsens.

    Thomas Helveg has 108 caps for the Danish national team and former teams include: OB, Udinese, AC Milan, Internazionale, Norwich and Gladbach. Helveg latest period in OB was spent from 2011-13 as an assistant manager. Helvegs most recent gig has been as a board member of FC Roskilde

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    This will section will be me commentating the story - The mentioned new additions to staff is these three guys. All OB players, all former teammates of Helveg. Morten Bisgaard on the left is the new Assistant Manager, Bisgaard took the route to Serie A and Udinese just like Helveg while Michael Hemmingsen stayed in Denmark with OB. Laursen on the right had a brief stint in Scotland (Hiberian, Celtic) while playing most of his career for OB.

    Hemmingsen is head of youth development while Ulrik Laursen is the new Chief Scout.

  4. Squad Presentation

    I've been given a pretty beaten squad. The moral isn't totally abysmal but it ain't perfect either.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-squad.png
    Goalkeeper Falkesgaard and striker Mikkelsen was for sale. They've been taken off the sale-list.

    I'm giving TFFs Beast tactic a go - I will be using variations of both the 4 defence and the 3 defence tactic.
    As there is no transfers in the first season this is tactic is a fitting choice as any for the squad.

    The strongest line-up looks something like this.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-11.png
    The screen is taken after pre-season. So the morale is higher now.

    Here's a overview of the players. The general verdict of the squad is okay. Compared to the other Superliga squads OB is probably in the lower middle with a few quality players like captain Kenneth Emil Pedersen (CB) Rasmus Festersen and A.K. Jacobsen (both attackers)

    Characterizing The squad is quite unprofessional and lacking concentration. 19 out of 24 first team players has from 5-11 in professionalism while 18 players has from 5-11 in concentration. While the youngsters of the squad is clearly dragging these stats down, it still needs to be improved. I imagine a new quality defender will need to be signed in the summer. Captain Kenneth Emil Pedersen is determined and has composure, but low concentration and professionalism. We'll need a better leader and role model to transition into something bigger.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-1-akj.png Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-1-rf.pngSuch Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-1-kep.png


    The defence is the thinnest part of the squad with few quality players. The 3 center back defence is will hard to employ in the long run if injuries hit. Width and quality will need to be strenghtend. Kenneth Emil Pedersen (32) and Oliver Lund (26) is the profiles.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-forsvar.png
    The highlighted stats are for 'Central Defenders (Defend)'


    The midfield is also littered with low quality youngsters but also a few quality players like Izunna Uzochukwu (26), El Makrini (29) and Welbeck (22). Homegrown talent Desler (21) is quite alright and a little versatile as well.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-midtbane.png
    The highlighted stats are for 'Box To Box Midfielder'


    The highest quality of the team is probably concentrated in the attack, stat-wise at least. Both Jönsson (27) and Thomas Mikkelsen (27) hasn't had the most succesful years recently and it's characterizing for the team that they seem to underperform in spite of okay stats.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-angreb.png
    The highlighted stats are for 'Deep Lying Attacker (Support)'
    Last edited by FyrstWalterLFC; 06/02/2017 at 03:22 PM.

  5. Helveg's first game

    The winter break came and went. Spirits were lifted and formations tried out - both the 3-4-1-2 and 4-3-1-2 has gelled well with the long break with plenty of time to train tactics besides the obligatory fitness winter training.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-0.png

    I invited lower league regional sides and boosted morale with some easy victories.

    So the first game was just ahead and hopes were high.

    AGF, yet another of the seasons underperformers were hosting the first Danish league game of 2017.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-1.png

    We came out victorious after a dominating first half, which was made easy by AGFs first half red card. Festersen (30) scored his second goal of the season after just 30 seconds and things looked bright in the first half with 64 % possession and zero shots for AGF.

    AGF came back into the game in the second half with a few shots but were closed down by yet another Festersen goal. Mikkel Deslers (21) red card made things easier for AGF and a late open chance made things interesting before Festersens goal but goalkeeper Grytebust (27) kept his net untouched and got his 6th clean sheet of the season.

    A victory over 11th place AGF gives a great boost in league positions after the first game. OB jumping from 13th to 10th.

    Such Great Heights - A Caretakers Journey - Odense Boldklub-2.png

    Next game up is away against another struggling side - AC Horsens.

    Next up:

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    Last edited by FyrstWalterLFC; 06/02/2017 at 03:23 PM.

  6. First 5 games in charge

    Second game in charge, against AC Horsens, would end up being our first draw.

    A tired K.E. Petersen were booked for a penalty in the 75th minute and Horsens topscorer Finnbogason (30) equalised for the final result 1-1. Faroe Island international Edmundsson (25) scored our only goal.

    After the away game against AC Horsens, OB could welcome league number 2, AaB, to an exciting match - OBs first home game in 2017. AaB ended up being dominated 6-1 by an inspired OB team with 2 goals from Festersen, Edmundsson and A.K. Jacobsen who ended a goalless streak of 8 games.

    The next home game against SønderjyskE gave us a beautiful comeback from a 2-1 SønderjyskE lead. Backup defender F. Tingager (24) gave SønderjyskE the lead with an unlucky own goal in the 35th minute. A.K. Jacobsen turned out to be the hero of the day, scoring two further goals to secure 3-2 and a hattrick. Nana Welbeck closed the show with a goal for 4-2.

    The next game against Silkeborg IF at home ended up being the end of a short undefeated streak when Oliver Lund (26) got a red card in the 75th minute and I didn't replace him with a new right back but instead pushed for a 2-1. Lost 1-2 instead.

    So after the first 5 games we've gotten 10 points from 3 victories, 1 draw and 1 loss.

    We've jumped from 13th place with 15 points to 8th place with 25 points.

    I'm struggling a bit with the layout and such. Please do mention your favorite stories layout if you have anything you would like to recommend! I'm looking for inspiration around the forum
    Last edited by FyrstWalterLFC; 06/02/2017 at 04:20 PM.

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