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Fer Fuchs Ake

And Now That I've Been Through It All - A Journeyman Career Part 2: Preston? It's a Little North Of Where I Thought I'd End Up

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Congratulations! Champions and UEL KO Stage, a legend is born!

Cheers,
Bitner 

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2 hours ago, deltablue said:

You're doooooomed!

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I'll be happy to keep their aggregate score to below double digits! :lol:

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2 hours ago, Bitner said:

Congratulations! Champions and UEL KO Stage, a legend is born!

Cheers,
Bitner 

Cheers :D It's been a brilliant season.

1 hour ago, john1 said:

I hope you can beat Inter Milan :D Good luck!

Thanks man! I doubt we can beat them. :lol: But we'll give it a lash.

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2nd November 2018

The final match of the season had been played and Cork City had been presented with the trophy. Naturally, there was a massive party in full swing with everyone in high spirits. Tony found himself in conversation with Terry Stokes, the fan club's president. 

“Tony! It's been too long, man!”

Tony pulled a face. “Only been about a week. Anyway, how are you doing?”

“Yeah, no, pretty good. Tough draw against Inter, huh?”

Tony laughed slightly. “Yeah, it's gonna be a sh**show. But sure look, we'll give it a go and see what happens.”

“Yeah, no, that's the best way to do it. I'm sure you'll be grand enough though. You're a great manager, I'm so glad you're sticking around.”

Jesus, he couldn't escape it. Anywhere he went, there was always talk about him staying at Cork and building a legacy. But he wouldn't be, he'd be leaving. And while he knew it was the right choice, his conscience was still at him. 

Tony just smiled tightly at Terry and nodded slightly. 

“If this is how well you did in your first season, imagine what you'll be able to do in the future,” Terry continued. “You'll have more money, be able to bring in better players and you'll build a dominant side. You could revolutionise Irish football. Do well in Europe and really get it on the map!” 

Tony just wanted to get away from this conversation. “We'll see.” 

Tony planned on leaving as soon as the games against Inter were over. But Terry had said pretty much the same thing to him twice within about a week or so. He badly wanted him to stay. And he represented the fans so that was probably a common viewpoint. Tony had a bad feeling someone or some people would not take the eventual news too well...

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:eek::eek::eek:

I won't spend it all as I'll only be playing a handful of matches (this is assuming I don't get through against Inter which is probably a safe assumption). Still, I'll spend a bit and bring in some players to set them up for next season. We're actually able to attract a bit of quality now that we've done so well in Europe.

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31 minutes ago, kidthekid said:

finally caught up. Good to see that Joncker's influence is still there.

Thanks for reading. Jonker's training methods book is a bestseller in the footballing world so we had to use it. It worked too!

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Signings:

We made a few new signings, even though I'm not gonna be here long. Why?

1. I want to set Cork City up for when I'm gone.

2. I want to have the best team I can get for the Inter games.

3. I wanted to see what level of players I could attract. 

Turns out, we were able to sign some pretty good players. I think we'd have been a bit overpowered in the league were I to have stayed on.

Scott Fox:

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McNulty's replacement, Scott Fox comes in for 51k as he was running down his contract. He's a very well-rounded keeper for our level and he doesn't really have any glaring weaknesses. Pretty good signing for us.

Valber Huerta:

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The first of three Premier League based loans, Huerta comes in from Watford. He's a very tidy defender who can step in now that Delaney has retired and he pushes Connor McCarthy down to a backup. He's a really solid defender and, like Scott Fox, doesn't have any particular weak spots. 

Gideon Adu-Peprah:

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He's only a backup just add depth to the left wing back spot. Griffin is still first choice but we needed a backup as McLoughlin who was previously our second choice can't cross for jack. Adu-Peprah is fairly tidy and should be able to step in for them when the fixture congestion gets too much. Assuming the AI actually rotates the squad that is...

Sullay Kaikai:

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A very, very good option in on loan from Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, we can't register him for the Inter matches as we can only make these changes to our previous squad but he'll do a job for them in the league when I'm gone. He can give Sheppard some competition on the right wing or Cummins/Collins a rivalry for the striker position. Extremely good for our level.

Kazaiah Sterling:

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Like Kaikai, Sterling is a very, very good player for our level. He'll really be pushing Sadlier for that spot on the left wing or Cummins/Collins for the place up front. He comes in from Spurs and should hopefully really give us some impetus in the games against Inter and also help Cork City in their league campaign.

 

Overall, we were able to attract quality players. Hopefully they can help us keep it some bit respectable against Inter Milan and that they can help my replacement retain the Airtricity League. I should have the results for you by tomorrow.

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A very good performance at home where we managed to keep a full strength Inter Milan side at bay. At least until Connor McCormack was sent off. After that, Politano thumped in a banger of a free kick before Barco tapped in a cross to put them two up. But a very good result all things considered.

 

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Aarghhh!!! We were doing so well but we ruined it! We very nearly got a great score. We were only 2-1 down at the San Siro and there was only five minutes left. We'd even scored! But then the players got overexcited and we conceded three, meaning we lost 7-1 on aggregate. That takes the shine off the 4-1 that we would've had. Pretty annoying but at least it wasn't double digits like I'd expected going in. :lol:

 

All in all, I suppose we didn't do too badly. The frustrating thing about the away result was how close we were to a great result, not the scoreline itself which I expected going into the match. We did a very good job in front of our own fans and we also defied expectations throughout the competition. We can be proud of ourselves. We'll keep our heads high and move on. 

So we're out. And while the original plan was that those would be my last games in charge of Cork City, I decided to play one more...

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Looking back now, the away result to Inter wasn't that bad. But at the time, it left a sour taste in my mouth. So I decided to play one more match. :lol: Mainly to see if I could end my rather brief Cork City career on a good note. It was the President's Cup (Ireland's answer to the Community Shield) against Dundalk. 

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And we won 3-1! It's not particularly important silverware (think of how unimportant the Community Shield is and reduce its importance by ten) but it's always nice to win a trophy. Especially when it's your last match for the club, it's at home and it's against your bitter rivals. You'll notice that Brian Collins was once again on the scoresheet, the seventeen year old netted two for us. Kaikai also nabbed a goal as we rode out three one victors. 

A pretty nice way to end.

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So that's basically that for my time at Cork City. The narrative implications will come over the coming days. I know this is probably clear from the title and the narrative but this is not the end of the save, merely this chapter of the save. You'll find out my new club once I've joined (obviously) and once I've gone through the transfer window (assuming I join before a transfer window, i.e this summer). 

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Staying on to win a meaningless pseudofriendly great trophy is a noble way to end your time at the club... if only @Makoto Nakamura had understood that at St. Buryan, then this would go without saying.

Great job at Cork, really looking to forward to seeing where you'll shack up next. But I don't want to press a ton.

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Leaving Cork City (1/3)

“You're leaving. After one year,” said Tony's wife Lucy dumbfoundedly. 

“Look, I know it seems sudden but it's the right move,” Tony said, trying to defend himself.

“You've worked so hard to get this job. Why give it up now? You spent ages moping about trying to become a manager. Why are you leaving a a good thing now?”

“It's good but I can do better. I've just had brilliant success, my reputation has skyrocketed. We can go to any country. It'll be a club bigger than Cork City!”

“I don't know,” she responded hesitantly. “This is a very big risk to take.”

“I know but it's gonna pay off. I'll be able to get a good job maybe in the second tier of Spain or England or Italy or somewhere. You'd love those places. I'd be on much more than at Cork. This is a chance to make something of myself! That's what this was about, not staying at one club all my life. Besides, you've always said you wanted to go abroad.”

“Yeah, for a holiday, not actually emigrating.”

“You'll still love it, I promise. Trust me on this. Please. This is gonna work out great.”

There was a long pause before Lucy eventually replied “Alright, I'll go with you. Wherever ‘it’ ends up being.”

Tony breathed a sigh of relief. “Yes! Thank you. Thank you so much. This'll work out fine, I promise. Now I've gotta go tell two more people.”

Tony could only hope that the next two times would go as well as this one had.

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Leaving Cork City (2/3)

“You're leaving? After one year?” asked Pat Lyons who looked quite dejected.

It was like deja vu all over again. 

“Yeah, look, it's nothing personal. I've really enjoyed my time at this club. But it's time to move on.”

“But you've only been here for a season!”

“I know, I know. But I can't see myself topping the achievements I've gotten while here. And I know there's a couple of bigger clubs who are interested in me.” 

Pat frowned at Tony's use of the phrase ‘bigger clubs’.

“Ugh, Jesus, Tony. You're killing me here. You've just signed a new contract. How am I supposed to explain this to the fans?”

“You're not. I'll do all that. I'll make sure they know it's nothing to do with you or the club. You've been a great chairman and I owe you a lot. Especially for putting your neck on the line to protect me from Feconi's boardroom warfare.”

“Well you certainly paid back my faith. I don't suppose I could change your mind?”

Tony didn't reply. Both of them knew what the answer was.

“Well, in that case, I guess it's time to say goodbye. We'll organise an interview so you can explain this to the media. We'll also hold a party in a few days to celebrate your time at this club. You've been great, Tony.”

“Cheers Pat. So have you.”

Pat smiled warmly.

Good luck, Tony.”

The two men nodded and shook hands, both aware that this was the end. One was excited, the other was gutted.

 

 

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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9 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Great way to end your time at Cork City and good luck for your next job!

Cheers man. :thup: I'll hopefully be able to give news on that in the coming days.

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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Leaving Cork City (3/3)

The hardest announcement had been made. The one where Tony had to tell the media, and by extension the fans, that he was leaving the club. It had come as a shock to the media and supporters alike. Understandably so. He'd given Cork City their best season in recent history and signed a new contract. But how he was going. The reaction had been quite mixed. Some were thankful for what he'd done and wished him luck. Others branded him a mercenary and where disgusted at him. None more so, it seemed, than Terry. 

It was the end of season get-together/Tony's farewell party and Terry had sought Tony out to speak to him. Tony was caught on the hop somewhat. 

“So, you're leaving us. After just one season,” Terry said flatly. 

“Yeah, look I'm sorry to disappoint but–”

“F*** you Tony,” Terry blurted. Tony was thrown by the sudden fierceness in his voice.

Terry continued, “You ungrateful bastard! This club took a chance on you and this is how you repay us?!”

“Look–”

“And then you toy with the supporters by signing a new deal? Pretending you'll stay? It's disgraceful. You've completely disrespected everyone at this club.”

“Well look, that wasn't my inten–” 

“I don't give a flying f*** about your intentions. You're an absolute embarrassment! You don't give a s*** about this club or its fans. You just care about the five minutes of fame you call a career.”

“I'm sorry you feel that way Terry but I'm simply doing what's best for me as a manager,” Tony said, trying to defend himself.

“Yeah, and that's exactly the problem. You're only looking out for you. Well I'm gonna make it so that there's no manager and no career. Just some forgotten stain on a great club. You want the world to know your name? The people in this country will have forgotten it within a year. I'll make sure of it.”

And with that, Terry turned and stormed off. That was a blow for Tony. He'd hoped that Terry would take it well but he'd taken it even worse than Tony could've imagined. 

Tony tried to push that conversation to the back of his mind for the rest of the party. He mingled with the various well-wishers and friends of his as well as some of the staff. They relived some memories of his short time at the club and laughed about some of the weird and wilder stories from the season gone by. Various people went up to give the karaoke machine a go throughout the night. It was very much a mixed ability group, singing wise. He found himself reminiscing with Liam Kearney about their playing days while a guy with a grating voice belted into ‘Don't You Want Me’. It was a song that was popular amongst the Cork City support as the chorus was turned into a chant of “Mark McNulty baby”. That was redundant now of course as he'd retired. Liam was in the middle of an anecdote about that time he'd singlehandedly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a hat trick (This never happened, he just likes to BS a bit when he's drunk) when he suddenly trailed off.

“Hey!” Tony said. “What's the matter? You actually gonna finish this story or what?”

“That s*** singer on the mic up there,” said Liam corncernedly. “He's really staring you out of it.”

Tony glanced at where Liam was staring and he became aware of the fact that the terrible singer blundering his way through ‘Don't You Want Me’ was Terry Stokes.

And he was staring Tony dead in the eye as he sang the next few lines. 

“Success has been so easy for youuu. But don't forget it's me who put you where you are now. And I can put you back down too...”

End of Part 1.

 

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I'm barely gone a few weeks and The Irish Football Free Press are already making up stories. I'll give you some real news about Tony Cochrane though. 

He's got a new job. And you'll find out about it tomorrow when we move onto Part 2.

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Part 2

1200px-Blackburn_Rovers_svg.thumb.png.3e5c058771a7e1bf7a33dbc3576dcb6b.pngPNE_FC.png.e5e65daa6077361e4d3c0488fcf2644a.png185px-Empoli_FC_1920.png.1084cc40f6e21095459a88eea438c572.png

In the end, it came down to three clubs. Empoli who had been relegated from Serie A, Blackburn who'd finished lowish mid-table and Preston who had narrowly avoided the drop. 

Empoli were a very tempting option as I like Italy in FM and they'd a good squad. The problem was I think it would've been too easy to get promoted. Not much work was needed. 

Blackburn were the wealthiest and had a very good squad to boot. Their backroom staff were also great and there were very few changes I needed to propose. The main problem was their aging squad. The majority of their players seem to be anywhere from 28-32. It was off-putting.

Preston were the third option. They had a pretty good team and I thought that I could do a job with their squad. The main issue was the fact that their financial situation isn't great. In fact it was weakest of the three clubs.

All three offered contracts. 

Preston first, then Blackburn and then Empoli.

I delayed all offers for a week or two before deciding. And the club I chose was giphy.gif

Preston! 

And hey presto(n) I was back in management again by July 2019.

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6 hours ago, Rikulec said:

Great choice, I would have done the same. Good luck. :thup:

Cheers mate. It seems the best choice out of the three for me as well. I'll probably go through why that is in more detail soon.

Edited by Fer Fuchs Ake

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So, why Preston?

A couple of reasons really.

• The Irish connection. They've a load of Irish players.

• Sean Maguire who is down as a legend at my old club plays for them which I thought was kind of funny.

• Ironically, their nickname is the Lilywhites. That's the same as my former rivals, Dundalk.

• They have history, namely the fact that they were the first Invincibles.

• The squad is decent, good without being great. It should be a decent challenge to get them out of mid-table obscurity. This will probably be a 3 season job as opposed to my one year at City. I might go longer than 3 seasons if I feel I'm very close to major progress but it's unlikely I'll push it beyond the 3.

• Narrative wise it's handy as well. If I'd gone to Italy, I might've had to forget about some important characters and leave them behind in Ireland. Now that I'm only in England, they can still play a role.

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These are the lads I'll have playing for me. Squad depth needs to be improved at right back, up front and maybe in central midfield. Overall, they're a pretty good bunch of players so I'm cautiously optimistic. One or two like Lustig will need to go as they're too old and on too high wages which we're already well over budget on.

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The ol' financial situation isn't looking too good but I knew that going in. We'll have to rely on loans and even then we'll be hoping for ones where we barely have to pay wages/monthly fee. At least the scouting budget is healthy.

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2nd July 2019

 

It was Tony's first day on the job and he'd just been given the full tour of the stadium. They were now in Tony's new office. “Well Tony, welcome to Preston!” said Preston's chairman, David Sharpe. David was a tall, thin, black man, somewhere in his late fifties. He wore a smart-looking suit along with a light blue tie. Tony, wearing am all black tracksuit get-up was feeling a little shabby in comparison.

“Cheers David. Good to be here. I'm really looking forward to this,” Tony responded. 

“Yeah, I bet you are. This is a great club. Certainly a step up from your former club, mind. So, speaking of which, tell me about your season at Cork. I know most of it but I just want to know your full story.”

Tony filled him in on everything, from his first game to his last, from Mr Feconi to Terry, from his first signing to his last.

“Wow!” David exclaimed when he'd finished. “Two arch enemies within the space of a year. Damn, that's impressive. Concerning, but also impressive. 

“Well, I'd say that they're both overreacting so it's more their fault than anything anything and–”

“Yeah, yeah but I suppose you would say that,” said David laughingly. Tony didn't join in. David cleared his throat before speaking again. “Well, I'll leave you to get used to everything. Call me if you need me.”

Tony smiled and said “Will do” before examining his surroundings. He'd a much bigger office than at Cork. The stadium and facilities were much more impressive too. Tony decided to check Twitter to see what they were saying about his arrival.

“F*** Tony, that cock ran away the first chance he got,” read the first, from an irate Cork City fan.

The wnxt few were from Preston supporters.

“We barely survive relegation and so we hire a manager from what's basically a farmer's league. Wtf?”

“Lmao, joke of a club.”

And the next tweet was this gif with the caption, “Who?”

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There was a long road ahead.

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Transfer Window

Despite the budget restraints, we've done some pretty good business and strengthened where we needed to. 

Cuco Martina:

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He's a very solid option for the championship who can play anywhere across the back line. Great for squad with and he'll probably rotate in and out of the squad. He's fairly well-rounded which should hopefully stand to him when he plays for us. 

Korey Smith:

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We needed some depth for the BWM position and this guy is a great option to have. He's very versatile and is capable of playing as the playmaker for us or even as a right back, if needs be. His physicals are very good and his tackling is impressive too. He'll be important to us. 

Jordan Hugill:

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Guess who's back...

Honestly, he's probably straight into the first team ahead of Maguire. He's really good for this level. His mentals are incredible, his physicals solid and his finishing is pretty good too. I think he'll be great for us this season.

Kyle Walker-Peters:

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He'll be battling Martina for that right back spot. In case of injuries, he can fill in at left back too. Like Martina, he's very well-rounded and is quite good for a lower level Championship club. I really like his work rate and stamina.

Reece James:

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He's not that good to be honest :lol: My assman rates him as a League 1 player. His attacking attributes are pretty good to be fair so I guess we could play him against wekaer sides maybe in the cup. And he adds a bit of depth to the squad which is always good. 

So, all in all, that's some pretty good business. Our squad is good and our depth is great as well in most positions. First month of the season will hopefully be posted tomorrow. 

 

 

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A pretty good preseason, Ajax result aside. Even that wasn't too bad as it was a narrow loss against a much better club. The last two games were just morale boosters but back-to-back 5-0 victories are always welcome. Hopefully we can carry this into the new season.

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August Update:

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Long month :lol: I had planned on posting this a lot earlier but it's been a hectic week. 

It was a pretty tough one too, we got destroyed by injuries. Maguire, Barkhuizen, Robinson were just some of those out for a few weeks at a time. 

We started off with a great win away to Derby before effectively undoing that with a disappointing home lose to Reading. 

Our second XI scraped through against Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup before knocking Forest Green out in the next round. 

The draw against Leeds was certainly a result I'll take as they're a better side than us. The loss against Norwich was also somewhat expected. 

The draw against Portsmouth was a bad result, we really should be beating a newly promoted club. It's not terrible but not ideal either. 

We ended the month though with a superb win over Fulham. I really didn't expect any points out of this and we did brilliantly to get all three. We counter attacked for the majority of the match and turned a 1-0 defecit into a 2-1 win. Brilliant win. 

 

League Table:

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We're doing alright I suppose. Meeting expectations with a solid mid-table placing. If we can keep like this, I'd take it given it's my first season in charge. Huddersfield are the surprise strugglers while Nottingham Forest are flying high early on. 

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So I haven't really been feeling like playing FM for a while now. I don't think it's anything to do with this version, it's just that it's been the only game I played for a couple of years now and I need a break for a few weeks/months. In the meantime, I'll f*** around on other games :lol:. I'll probably still come to FMCU during that time though and I'll try to read and comment on threads. My thread is suffering the consequences of my apathy towards FM at the moment so I think I'm gonna end it here. Even when I do come back, I don't really see myself updating this. Anyway, thanks for reading and following up until this point and sorry to end so abruptly.

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