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My First Journeyman Attempt - Breaking Through The Three Season Barrier (First Stop, Norway)


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So after many years of reading these forums and trying my hand a few different career threads, the time has come for me to start my first journeyman adventure.

My saves normally last anywhere between 1-3 seasons, whereby I then get bored and look for a new challenge. This time, I'm looking to for a long-term save, with the aim of starting unemployed and picking up a smaller European role before moving on to something bigger.

As I hold certain coaching badges in real life, I've decided to give myself a Pro Licence, but that is combatted by the fact I have the lowest reputation, leaving me on just half a star to start.

So, after starting unemployed, a number of Norwegian jobs started to become available and after attending a couple of interviews, I took the job at struggling Stromgodset. 


'Godset' decided to take a chance on the unknown 31 year old, who has been given the big responsibility of keeping them in the league. A club that did win the league as recently as 2013, have been struggling in mid-table for a while.

I've taken over the role with the table looking like this:


It's not all doom and gloom. Yes we are in the relegation zone, but a win in the game in hand will take us up to 12th. I have some good options in the squad too that definitely look like they have the ability to get us up the table, such as Fred Friday, Tobias Gulliksen, Jonatan Brunes, Johan Hove and Ipalibo Jack. 

The plan here is to keep them up, solidify next season and then look to move on to somewhere bigger at the end of next season when my contract runs out.

Wish me luck on my first Journeyman adventure!

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The Story So Far...

So as earlier explained my first stop on the Journeyman save has brought me to 45 minutes outside of Oslo, with relegation threatened Stromgodset. A young, foreign, inexperienced but highly-qualified coach wasn't really high on the supporters' wish lists, but I introduced myself by telling them i'm here to stay and they're going to have to get behind me and the team if we are to get out of this mess.

I decided that instead of doing a deep-dive analytical approach, that I was going to a short-term fix for the final 9 games or so of the season and then I could go in to things a lot deeper in the summer should we stay up. Taking stock of the squad and trying to utilise my best players as much as possible, I've decided to go with this set up:


Now i'm normally a pretty straight-forward 4-3-3 (DM Wide) kind of guy, but I just felt that we don't really have the wide options and in Fred Friday and Jonatan Brunes, I had 2 strikers that will need to both play if i'm going to give myself a chance of surviving.

The aim, as you can see from the team instructions, is to be compact in a mid-block, with the defence forcing the opposition inside to try and prevent overloads out wide against my wing backs, with the defence always looking to drop off should they look to hit us with a long ball over the top. When we win the ball, we're looking to counter with short, sharp passing, with the wing backs being the catalysts for our attacks.

So without further ado, here's how the first 4 games of my tenure have gone:


4 games, 2 wins, 2 draws, 0 defeats. Can't really complain about that! We got off to the dream start in my first game in charge away at Sarpsborg, with Fred Friday putting us 1-0 up after just 20 minutes. Unfortunately we couldn't hold on, but a point away from home in my first game in charge was definitely not to be sniffed at.

Then we made the trip to 9th placed Haugesund. We took an absolute battering in this one, but the lads held firm and in the 93rd minute, Fred Friday hit the home team with a sucker punch on the break. With 2 minutes of added time still to play, the home team threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser, but our tails were up and we finished the game off with a 96th minute strike from Brunes, clinching a massive 3 points. 

I knew I needed something from the first 2 games, as my 3rd game in charge was a 3rd successive away game, this time to the mighty Rosenborg. However, the new manager bounce seemed in full swing when Vilsvik converted a penalty to put us 1-0 up at half time. The pressure eventually told in the second half, with the home team equalising, but again, i'm more than happy with a point away from home in that one.

And finally, I got to manage in front of the home fans for the first time since taking over against Tromso and boy what a game! We raced in to a 2 goal lead thanks to goals from Hove and Leifsson, but the away side pegged us back in the 2nd half and the game looked destined to finish in another draw for us. Then, with just a few minutes left on the clock, Brunes sent the home fans wild, with an eighty-sixth minute strike sealing the victory. The results have left the table looking like this:


Our good start since taking over has seen us rise up the table and out of the relegation zone to 10th, but we're still just 4 points clear of that play-off spot. We're definitely not counting any chickens yet, with the likes of Molde and Valerenga yet to play.

Hopefully the tactics will continue to work and we'll pick up another 4 or 5 points that I think will keep us safe, but you just never know! 

Edited by smplfc123
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