NB - This is my first game of Football Manager in over 20 years. I last played Championship Manager in 2001 and contributed the story "All Roads Lead to Berlin" to this forum in its CM Stories guise many years ago. Bored at work, I managed to put together 350,000 words over a few months and frustratingly lost it all - the website underwent some sort of server crash and that magnum opus was lost forever. I haven't played Football Manager until now.
Longmead. A ramshackle corrugated shed of a stand envelopes the plush lawn of one of Kent's up and coming football teams. Kent, a county that has never really made a dent in the English football world - apart from the odd cup upset courtesy of Medway grifters Gillingham - now has a number of bright sparks vying for attention in the seething bearpit that are the Vanarama National Leagues. Bromley, Ebbsfleet, Maidstone, Dartford and now the Angels, from Tonbridge, who have never seen the lofty climes of the National league, but dream of a reality where they reach the apex of part-time football.
My aim - to make Tonbridge competitive. As a 48 year old novice in the realm of non-league football, where physicality and determination make short shrift of silky skills and faint-hearted technical types, I want to make this team a force in the Vanarama South, a task that is going to be Sisyphean in nature. Many have warned me that Tonbridge simply don't have the quality to stay up and given the paucity of funds at my disposal, merely clinging on at the end without being relegated is enough according to the club's owners, who thankfully don't live in cloud cuckoo land when it comes to the bare-boned reality of their situation. They have taken a gamble on an amateur with little to no qualifications and nothing but desire to mould a group of amateurs into something greater than their parts.