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Having left my job working in a supermarket, I embark upon a new career in football management and aim to reach the top. Along the way I would like to manage any of the following Crystal Palace, Galatasaray, Paris Saint Germain, Rapid Wien, Sampdoria, Benfica or OFI Crete and be successful with them. Other than those teams, I have no real preference where I manage but all the time, I will be on the lookout for a good move. My career goals are as follows: -Manage specific club - Crystal Palace, Galatasaray, Paris Saint Germain, Sampdoria, Benfica, Rapid Wien or OFI Crete -Win a domestic league -Win a domestic cup -Reach the top level of any nation -Reach the top level of a 3* or better league -Qualify for Europe -Win European trophy -Win an intercontinental cup -Manage a nation -Win an international competition For this career I have started out unemployed with a sunday league reputation and with a National C coaching badge. I have all the European leagues loaded along with Gibraltar and Malta.

The Beginning

Having worked in retail since leaving school, I finally got fed up with where my career was heading and made the decision to go into football management, which had always been my ambition after realising that actually playing football was something that I was not so good at.

After successfully completing several coaching courses and obtaining my National C License, I was now ready to put my name forward for any football management jobs available. I figured it would be a long road to travel before I would reach the top flight but all journeys have a beginning and that beginning would be unemployed and searching the web for any available job across Europe.
Vittoriosa Stars

In my searches I found out about a few vacancies in Malta so after contacting several clubs there, I was invited to meet with Erskine Vella, the chairman of Vittoriosa Stars. I set off for the sunny climes of the little mediterranean island and met the man who was to become my first boss in the football world, we spoke for a long time about my ideas for the club and I think that despite my lack of experience, he was impressed by what I had to offer the club. Before the week was out, he offered me the job and in no time at all, I was sat in the club's office, trying to make sense of where the club was at and how I would go about implementing the plans that I had explained to the chairman.

The club
Vittoriosa Stars currently play in the Maltese Bank of Valletta 1st Division. I'm told they previously played in the division above so in theory they should be one of the better teams in this league, provided I can keep the core of the squad together. As a semi-professional outfit, the club has very basic facilities and money is tight, though they are not in debt and there is a little room to work with in the wage budget.
Vittoriosa Stars - 2014/2015 Season Review

After reviewing the team I came to the conclusion that the squad would be good enough to challenge for the league title this season. The squad was strong all around except on the left wing and in goals. My first signing was Reuben Gauci, a decent goalkeeper with some international experience for the Maltese national side at senior and youth level. I brought in a couple of young wingers on loan to fill the left wing gap and the rest of my signings were to provide added depth and injury cover. Aside from players, I also expanded the backroom staff a little to make sure we had the staff in place to ensure the growth of the club as we work towards getting up to the Premier Division.


The season went well in the league with my Vittoriosa side topping the table from nearly start to finish. No club really pushed us and we finished with a comfortable gap between us and the second placed team. In the cup we managed to meet the expectation of reaching the third round but we were knocked out by Balzan Youths who are in the league above.

Vittoriosa Stars - 2015/2016 Season Review

After winning the First Division and gaining promotion, we found outselves amongst much stronger opposition. In this new league, from my observations, there appears to be three groups of teams, the strong group containing the likes of Valletta, Birkirkara and Sliema. A medium group consisting of Hiberninas, Tarxien, Floriana, Mosta and Qormi and the weak group containing the newly promoted teams.

Considering the gulf in class between my team and the teams in the strong group I think I have to be realistic that winning this league straight away is going to be an almost impossible challenge. I know I can beat the teams in the weak group as I did so last season so if I can get good results againt them each time and get some respectable results against the medium group teams I might be in with a good shot at avoiding relegation (which is the minimum expectation from the board).


While avoiding relegation is the minimum aim, I would prefer to do better than that so with a safe mid-table finish as my own personal aim, I went about strengthening my squad.


GK - My original plan was to keep Reuben Gauci in this position but as he picked up a lenghty injury, he had to be replaced. In the January window, I signed in Andrea Boatto as his replacement but he did not perform as expected so I brought in the Floriana keeper who I had been watching most of the season. Valerio Senatore came in and claimed the number one spot, though the others remained at the club.

DF - I needed a second decent centreback and came across Sliema player Josef Mifsud who I signed. To give me a third option, I managed to bring in veteran Maltese international defender, Luke Dimech. To provide a backup for the left back position and as an option for the left wing, I found Aaron Agius. In January I also signed Spanish left back Richard from Melita on a free transfer.

MID - To bolster my midfield, I brought in Thodoros Tsikoudakis from my afflilate team in Greece, Platanias. He performed really well in this position and was key to my final position in the league. I also found a Japanese player called Go Nagaoka who could play on the left or centre of midfield, he would become an important first team players. In the centre of midfield I also signed Kurt Magro and Jonathan Bondin who would become key players. Towards the end of the season I picked up Ige Adesina who would rotate with many of the central midfield players to provide additional options.

FWD - Up front I already had three good strikers but added Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza as a fourth option to help with cover for injuries.


League and Cup

In the league we spent most of the season, just above the relegation zone but as we came to the final third, we managed to get a good run of form going and we pushed up to 6th place and to meet my goal of a safe mid-table finish. This decent finish pleased the board and the fans as we were expected to finish around 10th.

In the cup we did slightly better than last season and reached the fourth round of the FA Trophy but got knocked out by the in-form Sliema Wanderers.


All in all, it was another productive season. The question I now have to ask myself is "what now?" During my time at Vittoriosa I have worked throught the national coaching license courses and now I possess a Continental C license, also throughout the season I have been getting offers of job interviews from clubs in the Scottish Leagues One and Two and that makes me think, could there be something better out there. Is two years of footballing experience at the semi-pro level enough to get me into a bigger and better paid job? We shall see.
Moving On - A Pre-Season Surprise

With two seasons of experience under my belt that included a promotion and a respectablle finish, I was certain that there would be bigger teams that would be interested in hiring me so I handed in my resignation at Vittoriosa. The next month I spent contacting clubs with managerial vacancies and submitting my CV to anyone that would take it and I recieved a number of job interviews. Some of the interviews were for bigger clubs, some were for clubs at similar levels but out of the blue a job offer came that surprised me.

The Offer

The surprising job offer came from the Swiss national team. They were looking for someone to lead their under 23 side at the Olympic Games and they decided to take a gamble on a young Englishman who had never managed in Switzerland or even at the professional level. I am not sure quite what they saw in me but evidently it was enough to warrent the offer and how could I turn this down? Here I was, looking for a new job, hoping for something a little bigger and better than my previous club in Malta and what I was given was a trip to Rio and the chance to make a name for myself in one of the biggest sporting events possible. Sure, the Swiss side would not be the strongest side in the games but I would do my best and this could be the big break I needed to really push my career onto the next level.

The Second Offer
If being offered the Swiss job was not enough, I was also approached by several interesting clubs that would take me into the realm of professional football. The first offer was from the Scottish club Dunfermline who had just been relegated from the Scottish Championship to League One, a second offer came from Hartlepool in the English League Two and while both offers had elements that would have interested me, I decided to accept a third offer that came from the Italian Lega Pro side, Bassano Virtus.

Bassano Virtus
Bassano Virtus are a team that plays in Lega Pro Girone A. This is the first of three equal leagues that sit at the third level of Italian football. The last couple of years have been rather unforgetabble at Bassano and it is my hope to be able to inject that spark that they need to kick on and establish them selves as a decent outfit within this league or better yet, maybe even promotion.

As one of the smaller teams in the league and one that I don't think has ever gone much further than they are now, they have a small ground and basic facilities. When I first got the job they were in a poor financial state but some of that has been alleviated by new income from sponsors, TV rights and from investment from the board, still finances are tight and there is only a little room within the budget to work my magic but I'm sure I can meet the expectations of mid-table in the league and third round in the Coppa Italia di Lega Pro.

In my next post, I will talk about both my Swiss team and Bassano in more detail and show how I got on in the Olympics.
This is interesting Good luck with your new club.
Nice to see a career in a few mixed leagues. Good luck with Bassano
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