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Vaulks4

[FM18] Addicted to FM

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If you want to see any of the past versions of this save, check one out here, which contains the links to the rest of them:

New account, but same premise. Bit more narrative this time. Other than that, everything's the same (I think?)

Let's go!

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Hall Of Fame

I'll probably forget about this entirely, but if I don't, here's a nice place to document the stars of San Giovanni over the years (and maybe San Marino too):

Edited by Vaulks4

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2 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Always love these. I'll be following.

Cheers!

1 hour ago, endtime said:

Why a new account?

No real reason, other than I fancied a different username :lol: 

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A loud shriek pierced the air. Jack Turner fumbled with his phone, trying to turn that damned alarm off. The clock might have read 12:00, but he was by no means well rested. He hadn't had a good night's sleep since his brother died seven months ago. Sleeping the days away was a tantalising prospect, but lying in bed meant being alone with his thoughts. Not going to happen. Too much to think about. Instead, he stumbled through the day, barely conscious. There but not there. Eventually, he'd get tired enough to pass out. His body was starting to give up on him, but it'd be more accurate to say he was giving up on his body.

A friend had recommended sleeping pills. Jack had punched him. Hard. An ex-friend.

Jack stared at his blue bedroom wall, remembering the punch. He saw the blood trickle, but felt nothing.

He sighed. Blue was his brother's favourite colour.

There but not there.

Edited by Vaulks4

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Jack switched on his laptop, aimlessly flicking through anything that caught his eye. It didn't matter what it was, so long as it gave him something to do. He probably wouldn't remember it in five minutes, anyway.

It wasn't long before he ended up looking at football results. Football had been his escape, since Sam - his younger brother - died. He'd only gotten interested in football after Sam had demanded he watch some games with him. Always the obliging big brother, Jack had agreed, and it quickly became 'their thing.' No matter how badly things were going, talking about football was enough to get over their problems. Until it hadn't been.

With tears in his eyes, Jack thought back to the summer holidays they'd shared together while at school and university. They'd spend hours together each day, locked away in the room they shared, playing Football Manager - usually with clubs they'd never heard of before. They'd always both liked a challenge. If only life hadn't been so challenging.

Jack thought back to one particular game they'd shared with fondness. Instead of competing against each other, they decided to join forces, and try and turn the worst team in Europe into a respectable outfit. They agreed on San Giovanni from San Marino as the worst team in Europe - the worst team in San Marino had to be pretty awful, right? - and off they went. They were able to take them into the Champions League Group Stages, but while things were improving on the game, they were very much deteriorating back in reality. 

Jack winced. The wounds were still too fresh. He googled San Giovanni, wondering how they were getting on in real life. 

Still rock bottom. That made two of us, Jack thought.

There was a recent news article, which was a rarity. It was in Italian, but that wasn't a problem. They'd both learnt some Italian for the purposes of their game. One of them would pretend to be a journalist, firing questions about the team at the other. Then they'd swap round. 

Jack turned his attention back to the screen. He'd picked up enough Italian to realise San Giovanni were without a manager, and were looking for any interested candidates to put their name forward. Jack smiled wistfully, thinking about chucking in an application, just for something to do. Then he began to actually consider it.

He knew he couldn't stay around here. Too many painful reminders. He didn't really want to stay in England, truth be told. It's not like he had anything to stick around for. His work had granted him three months compassionate leave. He'd taken five before handing in his notice. He didn't feel like facing his friends any time soon, and it's not like his mum wanted to talk to him. She blamed him for Sam's death. He blamed himself, too.

Jack caught himself mid-thought before he fell down that rabbit hole again. He just wanted things to go back to the way they were. Before the problems happened. When they would sit in a room together, playing Football Manager without a care in the world. 

If things couldn't go back to the way they were - and, deep down, Jack knew they couldn't - then this was probably as close as Jack was going to get. 

Time to put in a job application.

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Fabio Giardi was puzzled. When the San Giovanni chairman had opened up applications for the job, he'd expected two, maybe three interested parties - PE Teachers and Personal Trainers, usually. He hadn't expected an Englishman with a Psychology Degree. How had the man even found out about the job? Giardi was amazed - and, truth told, a little proud - that anyone from England had heard of his little team. They play good football in England! Giardi liked the idea of a psychology background, too. That could no doubt come in useful. But who on earth was this man?

He knew that Jack - he checked the name on the email again - Turner - could speak a bit of Italian, but Giardi could speak English fluently, so there was no problem there. When Giardi had said that he'd be happy to interview the man over the phone, the man had said that there was no need - he was already on his way to San Marino.

How bizarre. Still, Giardi reckoned, he'd learn more when he met the mystery man.

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Fabio Giardi took a moment to assess the man opposite him. Jack Turner looked to be in his mid-20s, with sharp features and a definite warmth that, despite it's best efforts, couldn't belie a definite sadness to his eyes. Still, Giardi was impressed. He was a big believer in first impressions, and Jack's answer to how he even knew about the club - that he'd played with them on a video game - both satisfied and amused him. He didn't know what he was expecting from the man, but it wasn't this. He didn't seem to have exalted ideas about the quality of San Giovanni's squad, recognising that they were very much an Amateur side. He wasn't just a random chancer, either, having taken some coaching badges back in England.

San Giovanni had finished bottom of their group for the last four seasons. They'd won just one game in each of the last two seasons. Things couldn't get much worse, and Giardi was impressed by the man opposite him. He was tempted to take a chance.

"I don't know if you know this, Mr Turner, but I actually still play for the club. If you got the job, would you be playing me?"

Jack grinned. "Are you good enough?"

Fabio Giardi stared at Jack for a second before breaking out into a hearty laugh.

"The job's yours."

"Gre- Oh, there is one thing before I take it, Mr Giardi?"

Here we go, Giardi thought. He's a serial killer on the run. He's not allowed to work near minors. He's a cannibal who's only here to...

"I'm not working with an Assistant. Coaches are fine, but no Assistant."

Giardi shrugged. He hadn't planned to give Turner an assistant, anyway. Or any coaches, for that matter.

 

Edited by Vaulks4

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Alright, mate? This is a bit mental, innit? I don't really know what to say. I needed to do something to get out of the rut. I haven't been... anything, really, since you died. I miss you, bro. Nothing's the same. Remember when we were joking about going over to San Marino and turning them into a world footballing force for real? I figured... I don't know, man. I just want to feel like you're still here. This is all I can think of. We did this before, and it was great fun. Some of the happiest moments we shared together. I know this isn't even close to the same thing, but...

S***, I don't know. I just miss you, Sam.

I really miss you.

Edited by Vaulks4

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b45eb6116d47493648200955b7856782.png

You see that, bro? Remember the one fan on the game's social feed who'd never stop moaning no matter how well we did? It's happened to me in real life!

...

I wish you were here to see it.

Edited by Vaulks4

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Jack Turner stood at the entrance to the 'training pitch' - also known as a park - and surveyed his new team. They'd made it to training at 8:30 PM, after work, and he couldn't fault their endeavour or enthusiasm. Their talent? That was a different matter. Jack hadn't coached since he helped out with a local Sunday League team while earning his coaching badges. Honestly? He wasn't sure if his new team were any better. He knew it would be bad, but this... this was something else. Some of them were 45 years old, for christ sake. Not all of them could kick a ball 10 yards!

Jack smiled. They were perfect. Lots to be done. Not much time to thi... to think about Sam.

 

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I wish you could have seen that, bro. They're awful! Every time we'd cry out because our striker would hit a one on one out for a throw in? That actually happened today!

There's so much to be done. This could be good, Sam. I have a feeling. I love it.

I love you.

Edited by Vaulks4

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Tactics were giving Jack a headache. Sam had always been the tactician, Jack the man manager and developer of young talent. Sam's natural inclination was to keep things cautious, 5 at the back - negative football, get the points. Sam had always been the opposite. 4-3-3, all out attack, go for goals. Good football. Jack hesitated. He was doing this for Sam, after all.

4-3-3 it was.

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I detect a distinct lack of hipster-ism in your tactics.  Please return your beret and shave the 'stache.  Good day, sir.

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2 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

I detect a distinct lack of hipster-ism in your tactics.  Please return your beret and shave the 'stache.  Good day, sir.

Jack smiled. Sam had always been the 'hipster' one of the two. More willing to try new things. That wasn't Jack's style.

He'd have to work on that.

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Just now, Vaulks4 said:

Jack smiled. Sam had always been the 'hipster' one of the two. More willing to try new things. That wasn't Jack's style.

He'd have to work on that.

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19 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

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I saw this left on the fan messageboard earlier today, Sam. Do you remember when we were younger - I think I was seven and you were five? - and Mum and Dad let us watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?  And Gene Wilder started screaming at Charlie. You started to cry, and I told you it was okay, even though deep down I was terrified too? I told you that I'd always protect you.

Liar. Liar. LIAR.

I'm sorry, Sam.

Edited by Vaulks4

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A journalist called to ask me about transfers today. Transfers! It bought me back to the days of sitting in our room together, painstakingly spending hours researching potential signings. We'd go to watch the matches, and pretend to both be scouts, making notes. We'd compare our notes after, and discuss the merits of the player like real scouts would. We wrote more notes in that room than we ever did in school.

We signed some proper rubbish players, didn't we, Sam? Remember Marcellinho? £42m - lots of money back then - for a striker who scored one goal in 21 games. I blamed you for signing him, and you blamed me. We dug up our old scouting reports and found that we'd both wanted him!

I just want you back.

Edited by Vaulks4

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19 hours ago, Jakarooney said:

This is brilliant so far. Will be keeping up with this for sure!

Remember how Mum would always ask you whether you were 'keeping up' at school? You'd reply back 'yes' regardless. Sometimes true, sometimes not. We both knew you were lying in the last year of college, and throughout University. I just didn't know why. Not until it was too late.

Maybe too late. Maybe not.

Definitely too late now.

I'm sorry Sam.

Liar. Liar. LIAR.

Edited by Vaulks4

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12 minutes ago, Makoto Nakamura said:

Good luck getting something out of these lads, Jack. Or, as I know you 340px-Prince_logo_svg.thumb.png.4237739791677286ac8f795542d619cf.png

Jack smiled. Makoto had always been a good friend. They'd been friends since Year 7, and Makoto had called him Prince ever since he turned up to school looking like him on Fancy Dress Day.

He sighed. He was supposed to have been Michael Jackson...

Sam had made fun of that costume, too.

 

Edited by Vaulks4

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This will be very ironic if your youth intakes start giving you defenders when you want to go all-out attack, like when it gave you a million wingers the last time when you didn't even play with wingers.

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7 hours ago, oneronaldo said:

This will be very ironic if your youth intakes start giving you defenders when you want to go all-out attack, like when it gave you a million wingers the last time when you didn't even play with wingers.

All out attack, Jack smiled. He liked the sound of that. 

Sam would have been proud.

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Things were going a lot better than Jack had anticipated. Four games in, and three wins and a draw meant that they'd already beaten their points tally from the previous season. And the season before that. And the one before that, too. Maybe he was naturally cut out for this?

The chairman of all people had scored a goal for the club, too, poking in from close range after a corner. It was his first goal in close to a decade, apparently. He clearly enjoyed it.

Jack was enjoying the job, too. For the first time in a while, life was improving. There was still a long way to go, of course, but he'd experienced some moments of genuine happiness. In the second game of the season, they'd come up against Tre Fiori, somewhat of a 'heavyweight' in Sammarinese football. San Giovanni had gone 1-0 up, but were sent down to 10 men in the 75th minute. Jack was about to pull everyone back and attempt to park the bus, but Sam's voice came into his head. Sam had always argued that if you were winning, you didn't need to panic and change things up. Jack took his brother's advice, and Tre Fiori didn't even come close to getting back into the game. Jack smiled at the recollection.

Who needed an assistant?

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This is wild, Sam. Really wild. I'm - we're - actually the manager of an actual football team! I know you're not here, but this is as much your team as it is mine. Every time I go to make a decision, I can hear your voice in my head, berating me. Telling me why I'm wrong and you're right. I usually listen to you, and you usually are right. Just like in real life. Before... things happened.

Anyway, I moved into a small flat here. It's... okay, I guess. It's definitely not at the level of the houses we'd look at on Google Maps whenever we took over a job on the game, picking out where we'd live and what we'd buy. I did try to take a look at the house we'd decided on at San Giovanni, but it looked way out of my price range. I thought about asking the owner, but I figured having a random Englishman turn up and demanding that he sell his house might be a bit weird. Yeah, right. Like any of this isn't weird.

I'm f***ing drowning here, Sam.

And you're not here to throw me the life-jacket.

Edited by Vaulks4

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Is San Giovanni's chairman really a player irl? If so, that's mental! You've had a pretty solid start. Maybe Sam really is cut out for this.

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5 minutes ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Is San Giovanni's chairman really a player irl? If so, that's mental! You've had a pretty solid start. Maybe Sam really is cut out for this.

Jack smiled. That's what he'd thought when Giardi dropped that line in the interview! But yes, he was very much a player. He wasn't doing as badly as Jack had feared this season, either:

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Youth Intake Day!

Jack was reasonably impressed with the quality of this year's crop of academy players. Sam had always made fun of him for the amount of time he spent obsessing over the youth teams, but he knew it'd pay dividends, and it always did. He wasn't expecting any of this lot to exactly be world class, although he quite liked the look of Manuel Muccioli.

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Edited by Vaulks4

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Season Review!

A good season, Jack reasoned, even if it had promised so much more. The club reached their best points tally for.. well, ever. They were predicted to be the league laughing stock but surpassed everybody's expectations by finishing 4th in their group, just two points off a playoff spot. There was also a Coppa Titano Quarter Final appearance for them, but Pennarossa proved too strong for them there.

Yes, a decent season. Definitely something to build on.

He wondered what Sam would have made of it.

 

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Edited by Vaulks4

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Not to be rude or something, i'm loving the save so far, but the whole story aspect shouldn't be the entire post. I'd reccomend still doing it (can't say i'm not intrigued) but make a dumbed down version which only states facts and it'd be easier to get into.

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1 minute ago, Minuy600 said:

Not to be rude or something, i'm loving the save so far, but the whole story aspect shouldn't be the entire post. I'd reccomend still doing it (can't say i'm not intrigued) but make a dumbed down version which only states facts and it'd be easier to get into.

Jack groaned. Minuy was right. He'd meant to include facts and stats, but it'd just slipped his mind. Lots on his mind. He made a mental note to add some stats. Then he grabbed a post-it note. He knew he wouldn't remember otherwise.

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The first season is in the books, Sam. We did well, but I can hear you in my ear, calling me a 'bottlejob' for throwing away such a promising start. You wouldn't be wrong, either. You gave me a hell of a lot of stick for bottling things, but you were never wrong. I did. Still do. Something to work on. 

I've been doing a lot of reflecting this past year, Sam. I haven't had much choice. I lie in bed at night, and I think. And I think, and I think. About you. I keep going back to that day you told me you were going to meet Gareth. I knew he was bad news, but all I did was gently warn you. I didn't stop you going.

I should have stopped you, Sam.

Why didn't I stop you?

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At the end of their seasons on Football Manager, Jack would always make a chart detailing the important things. Sam didn't understand why he did it until later in their save, when they were able to look back and track their incredible progress. Jack figured he might as well do it in real life, too. He'd even include the European bit for a laugh.

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"Reckon we should go down the park to look for any players, Fabio?"

"Yeah, go on, then."

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24th January 2019. Wandsworth Cemetery. 

It's 12:30 am. A lone figure can be made out in the darkness. Wearing a hooded top and tracksuit bottoms, the figure cuts across the grass. He knows where he's heading.

After a few minutes of walking, the man comes to an abrupt stop. He's arrived. 

The man lowers himself to the ground, no more than 10 feet away from the nearest grave. He sits cross-legged, with his head bowed down. He sits, and he sits. He doesn't get off the ground until the clock strikes midnight the following day. He disappears as quietly as he arrived, and the inscription on the grave can be seen in his absence.

 

Sam Turner

15.09.94 - 24.01.17

Taken From Us Too Soon.

 

Edited by Vaulks4

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Youth Intake Day!

Jack was pretty happy with the newest crop of youngsters pushing through the ranks at San Giovanni. There were at least a couple of players there that he was earmarking for a quick introduction to the first team.

Andrea Ceccoli (YP19a) was one to keep an eye on, definitely. He needed to bulk out a bit to survive the physicality of men's football, but there was talent there. Jack wasn't playing with wingers, and didn't intend to, but reckoned Ceccoli would make a pretty decent striker, with a bit of training. He definitely had the pace for it.

Daniele Bernardi (YP19b) had been impressing Jack in training for a while now. He was still a pup at just 15 years of age, but an absolute gargantuan at 6'4. Jack privately reckoned he was already the best keeper at the club, but had held off on giving him his debut before he was ready. He couldn't be registered for league games until next season, and Jack planned to give him every chance to win the #1 shirt for next year.

 

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This is still so weird, mate. 

You knew how much I enjoyed coaching the kids back home, and how much I regretted it when I gave it up. I still love the coaching part. Love it. But the rest of this manager lark?

I don't know, Sam.

I know the level of football isn't the greatest, but it still feels like I'm a fraud here. It gets to 3 PM on a Saturday and I just feel like I don't belong. I'll look over at the opposing manager and see someone who's been in football their whole life, no matter the level. They're professional, and they just ooze confidence. They know what they're doing. I spend most of the game thinking about what you'd have done if you were still here.

The chairman tells me I'm doing a great job, and I know that the results are good. (We've just missed out on the playoff places in the league by one point, and we've got a Cup Quarter Final to come). But I just don't feel like I belong here. 

Everyone else at this level is here because they love the sport, because they're passionate about management. 

Don't get me wrong, I still love football. But I'm here because I thought it would bring me closer to the memory of my dead brother.

I don't think I belong here, Sam. But I know you'd be so proud that I was a real life Football Manager. I've got to keep going. At some point, I'll have to feel better.

Right?

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Season Review!

Despite a plateau this season - fourth in the league group and a cup Quarter Final loss once more - Jack felt positive about the way the year had gone. Footballing wise, at least. They'd been unlucky not to go any further, he reckoned. Despite being by far the worst team in the country when he took over the job, San Giovanni didn't look like being too far away from being serious contenders.

Fabio Giardi - now retired as a player but still very much going as chairman - was singing Jack's praises, letting him know how impressed he was by the job he'd been doing there. The players all liked Jack, and responded well to both his coaching and his calm demeanour. The fans were delighted, too, singing a (very out of tune) rendition of 'Only one Jack Turner' at every match. The only person who wasn't convinced by Jack was Jack himself.

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Edited by Vaulks4

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Youth Intake Day!

Lots to like this year. Jack had his eye particularly on Fabrizio Agostini (YP20a), a striker with a real eye for goal. The next Andy Selva, Jack laughed. 

Jack still wasn't intending to use wingers, but Fabrizio Maiani (YP20b) looked a decent prospect, and Jack had to look up at him when he spoke. Jack reckoned Alessandro Podeschi (YP20c) would make a quality CB if he had a bit of a growth spurt and could pack on some muscle, and he loved his attitude.

Yes, Jack thought. Lots to like this year.

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Season Review!

Disappointing. Fourth place for the third year in a row. Two points out of the playoffs, one point out of the playoffs, and now just three out the playoffs this year. Jack was still learning on the job, but he knew enough to know that in just a 20 game season, one win in eight games wasn't going to cut it. They'd suffered from injuries, but Jack wasn't in the business of making excuses. The self doubt that had been there since Sam died was continuing to gnaw away at him. What if he'd done this? Or hadn't done this? The chairman continued to enthuse about the job he was doing, but Jack wasn't so sure. Don't even mention the cup. To be the only team from the group that didn't qualify (even if the group contained the eventual winners in Cailungo and the league winners from the previous two seasons in Faetano?) Not good enough. Must do better next season.

 

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