Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Introduction


Do you ever have that fear when travelling abroad that you might accidently get on the wrong plane and end up at the far side of the world? Imagine that has happened and then after disembarking you also realise that you have left most of your credit/debit cards at home and a now a large volcanic ash cloud is sweeping in, preventing all air travel (and therefore your quick return home), well this is that scenario but in FM form.

In this save I have just set off on my summer vacation, I have boarded the plane and it has taken off, we're mid-flight when I realise that it's not in fact going to Mallorca, but is instead heading down to Mbabane in the Kingdom of Eswatini, located near the far side of the African continent, wedged between South Africa and Mozambique. After many hours of flying, I disembark, counting what little money I have after leaving my credit cards on the kitchen table before I left the house, once the panic subsides, I take stock of my situation, sitting down on a bench at the airport I notice a gentleman to my side is reading a local newspaper, I spy a story on the back cover about how the country is suffering a distinct shortage of competent football managers and after striking up a conversation with him, it seems a number of locals teams are in search of new managers. Now I have no experience managing a football team and I certainly am not qualified to do so, however, I firmly believe that after many years of playing football management games, I am entirely capable of doing so, with that confidence in mind, I apply for every manager job going in the country and to my amazement, I am invited to attend interviews at a variety of local clubs, both in Mbabane and in Manzini, another city a short distance away.

While only in possession of a small amount of money, it is more than enough to fund a few nights stay in a cheap hotel in the centre of Mbabane and pay for my food while I look for employment, my interviews turn out to be quite successful and I am offered jobs at Mbabane Swallows, Mbabane Highlanders, Young Buffaloes, Manzini Sea Birds and Moneni Pirates, all of which are interesting prospects, but I can only take up one of the offers, which one I picked will be revealed in the next post.

[[For this save, all the countries highlighted in the attached image, located most likely in the first season results, are the ones I have loaded, the basic rules for this save is that I am trying to return to England ideally or Europe in general, I can only move to neighbouring countries to the one I am in and I can only move one country at a time, though there will be a few exceptions, the first exception is that I can travel along three select coastal routes, one covers the southern tip of the continent, one around the horn of Africa and the other covers the coastal nations of west Africa, the next exception is a route between the former Portuguese colonies and with these, I will allow myself to go from Mozambique to Angola to Sao Tome & Principe to Cabo Verde and then finally to Portugal, this is the quickest way to Europe in my save but not one I necessarily want to take, it's mainly there to add options in case I get stuck in certain countries. When crossing into Europe, with the exception of the Portuguese route already mentioned, I have to cross from north Africa to southern Europe and then only to the nearest one or two countries to the African country I am departing. Finally, I can go directly to Europe from any country, if I have at least a continental license of some description, the team I'm joining is professional with a weekly wage that exceeds the average flight cost, the team has head hunted me and only once at least three seasons in game have passed.

 

 



 

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

2022/2023 - Eswatini.

 

After applying for just about every job I could find in the MTN Premier League in Eswatini I waited and before long, I had interest from several teams, Young Buffaloes were the team I eventually settled on and once the paper work was out of the way, I took control of what looked on paper to be a top end team in the league, with a good chance at winning either the league or the cup, possibly even both of them.

 

Due in part to the limited funds available at Young Buffaloes and my own lack of local footballing knowledge, I didn't make a lot of moves in the transfer market, bringing in just one player on loan during the mid-season window and offering contracts out to some of the players who trained with us on a casual basis without actively being on the books (basically the greyed out players in the squad). The squad I possessed was for the most part, strong everywhere but on the left, and for the left back and left winger positions, I relied on two of the local lads that I had given contracts to (greyed out players).

 

Thanks in no small part to the fact that we had a fairly decent squad of professionals compared to many of the opposition who were semi-pro or amateur, we were able to notch up some big wins and by the end of the season, we claimed the title, the only competition came from Mbabane Swallows, Mbabane Highlanders and Royal Leopards, pretty much the only other teams to have players on the same kind of level as us or better.

 

Although we won the league fairly comfortably, we only made it to the semi-final of the cup as we lost to Mbabane Swallows, it would have nice to reach the final and even win the competition, but Mbabane Swallows were the better team on paper and on the day, we didn't really have an answer for them.

 

By winning the league, we qualified for the CAF Champions League, though with my plans to return home, I'm not at present sure whether I will remain at the club for another season, this decision will largely be based around the job market in neighbouring countries during the post-season period.

 

What happens next and where I will move, if at all, will be revealed in my next post.

bigmattb28
9 years ago
4 hours ago
1,368

Good start this

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Mid 2023 - Mozambique

 

After a year in Eswatini as manager of Young Buffaloes, it was time to make a decision, remain at the club for another year and lead the team through their CAF Champions League campaign, while also trying to retain our league title and win the cup, or move on and begin my journey back home to the UK.

 

The decision to leave would be based primarily on whether there would be any teams in either South Africa or Mozambique, at a reasonable level, that would be willing to hire me. There were two jobs in South Africa, one at the top level and one second level, I applied for both but as I expected, neither were interested, I think at this point, South Africa is just a little above my reputation level, Mozambique on the other hand, is a lower ranked nation and as such, had more possibility of me being able to find employment.

 

In Mozambique, there were three teams down in the third tier that I probably could have approached, but then I spotted Baía de Pemba in the second tier and with their season underway already, it was a great opportunity to jump straight into the action without having to sit through a long and boring pre-season period.

 

Aside from simply wanting to move up the continent to return home, a secondary motivator for me moving clubs was that Young Buffaloes board were completely unwilling to allow me to undertake any coaching courses, as soon as I took up the Baía de Pemba job, the board there was more than happy to see me progress my footballing education.

 

Upon joining, Baía de Pemba were sat in seventh place and in the relegation zone after the first few league games had already been played, I was able to pickup a win in my first game in charge, this was followed up by two draws, a comprehensive 5-0 win and finally a loss. In the cup at the same time, we managed to knock out one of our local rivals, Ferroviário de Pemba, who are also in the league above.

 

Looking at the table and with only another nine games to go, I'm not convinced we have any real chance of winning the league, we are however not so far behind second place, my goal is going to be to try and finish second if we can, but so long as we avoid the relegation zone, I will be happy.

 

My next post will be at the end of the season and detail how well we did both in the league and cup, along with any plans I might have going forward with regards to my plan to move on up the continent.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Late 2023 - Mozambique

 

The curtain has come down on the season and fourth place was all my Baía de Pemba side could manage this season in the Divisão de Honra – Sul, Mozambique, it's not a bad finish as we were predicted to go down, but I had hoped we could maybe snatch second and attempt promotion via the playoffs, unfortunately it wasn't to be this time, we had a couple of poor results right at the end that not only ended any thoughts of promotion, but also cost us a third place finish.

In the Taça Moçambique, we defied expectations and reached the quarter final, defeating two teams from the league above to do so, especially pleasing was that both of those two teams are rivals, one being Ferroviário de Pemba, our local rivals, and the other being Ferroviário de Quelimane who are considered historic rivals. We were eventually defeated by Liga Desportiva de Maputo, another team from the league above who proved to be too much for us on this occasion.

As far as transfers go, I've not actually done a lot of business yet, only one player joined on loan and that was Juda Mzuma, a Scottish/Mozambique centre back that my director of football found. For the most part, I have been trying to work with what we have and only really adding to the squad by offering contracts to the greyed out players where they seemed to have as good or better stats than the existing players.

Looking forward, while my plan is to one day reach the UK, right now I feel that staying put for at least another season would be a good idea, Baía de Pemba have so far been willing to fund my coaching courses, so I have now completed my National C course and begun working towards the next one, this will certainly help me out in the long term, especially if I want to get better jobs down the line. When I do eventually move on, it may just be to a bigger club in Mozambique, but Zimbabwe and Zambia could be good options if South Africa remains out of reach due to the reputation level being somewhat higher than mine right now.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Mid 2024 - Mozambique


Half time in Mozambique for the 2024 season and we're second in the league at the moment, we started off strongly winning seven our nine games, our only loss so far in the league has been to recently relegated Ferroviário de Quelimane and our draw was against newly promoted FC Monapo.

 

In the Taça Moçambique, things haven't gone as well for us, we were eliminated in the second round, losing in extra time to Sporting Clube de Monapo from the league below. We weren't exactly expected to win the competition, but I had hoped to progress at least beyond the second round, especially after we did well least year in reaching the quarter final.

 

We have another nine games remaining in the league and I'm hoping we can continue our run for a little while yet, we're still in with a shot at winning the league and gaining automatic promotion, but I'm largely aiming to at least try and keep hold of second place and attempt promotion via the playoffs, last season we missed out by finishing fourth, so I would like to see an improvement this time around if possible as I did make some efforts to strengthen the squad over the pre-season period and turn us into a more competitive outfit.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Late 2024 - Mozambique

 

So the 2024 season has ended and while we won't be adding the Divisão de Honra – Sul title to our trophy cabinet with Ferroviário de Quelimane being far too strong for us this season and managing to go undefeated, we did end up securing a second place finish in the league with a large gap over third placed Estrela Vermelha Maputo and subsequently gained promotion via the playoffs after beating Estrela Vermelha Beira 5-3 in the final.

In the Taça Moçambique we were eliminated in the second round, it was also the round we entered the competition so it was a disappointing effort after having reached the quarter final last season, what made the exit most dissatisfying however, was that it was not a bigger team that sent us out, but a team from the league below in the form of Sporting Clube de Quelimane.

As the season approached the final weeks, I was approached by GD Incomáti from the league above, looking to hire me as their new manager and to save them from relegation. I decided to attend the interview and the outcome was positive, they offered me the job, the only downside is that the wage they were offering me, was less than I was already on, I tried negotiating to get a higher amount while also undergoing talks with my current employers to see if they were willing to offer me anything more to keep me at the team.

 

The talks with GD Incomáti came to naught in the end as they simply weren't prepared to offer me even an equivalent deal to what I already had and with them facing likely relegation and with my own team at the time looking fairly good for the playoffs, it made sense to turn them down, at the end of the day, I didn't want to still be at this level next year but on a lower wage. The talks with my own team didn't initially bring about any improvement in my contract as they too broke down when they were unwilling to offer me a higher wage, though less than a week later, they came back to me and the end result was one more year on my contract, but with a higher wage rise if we managed to get promoted, which we ended up doing.

My immediate plans for next season are to prepare club for playing in the Moçambola, the top division in Mozambique, because my plans are to make my way up through the African continent however, I am not looking to stick around in this country for too much longer, so while I may start off the new season and perhaps even finish it with Baía de Pemba, I will be constantly on the look out for new opportunities in neighbouring countries. Right now, looking out to Mozambique's neighbours, Zambia looks a promising option as it borders both Botswana and Namibia which are both countries I would like to manage in, while also having options to the north and north west in the form of DR Congo and Angola, which would help me progress up the continent more quickly if I so wished.


My next post will likely be either an early look at our progress in the league above, or details of my next move so keep an eye out over the next week or so.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Early 2025 - Still Mozambique

 

2024 ended with my Baía de Pemba side gaining promotion to the Moçambola, the top level of football in Mozambique, it was a great moment but looking ahead at the challenge awaiting the team at the higher level, I was not confident that we would have much chance of staying up, my fears were subsequently backed up by a media prediction that had us as clear favourites to go back down.

I did make a start at improving the side a little, bringing in new players across several positions, but the quality of players that we could attract, while much better than what we already possessed, would still barely be sufficient to play for many of the bigger teams youth setup, with that in mind, I decided to jump ship while my managerial stock was relatively high.

 

I looked at the job market over the first few weeks of the post-season period with a thought to moving on to another country and continuing my journey up the African continent, the options however were fairly limited and generally unappealing at the time of looking, instead I decided to remain in Mozambique for the time being, but rather than remain at my current club, I took advantage of the interest being shown in me by some of the teams in the top division and ended up accepting a job offer from Ferroviário de Maputo.

My new team is expected to finish fifth in the league, the board and fans are expecting at least a top half finish but hopefully I can do better than that and position us amongst the front runners, either mounting a title challenge or at least competing for a place in next season's continental competition. As I don't intend to remain much longer in Mozambique, my plan is hopefully to do as well as possible this year and then use any success at this level to boost my chances of landing a decent job in the next country I move to, wherever that might be.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Late 2025 - Mozambique

 

The 2025 season has ended and I am delighted to announce that it could hardly have gone any better, we won both the Moçambola and the Taça Moçambique, we didn't embarrasses ourselves in the CAF Champions League and when knocked down to the CAF Confederation Cup, we managed to reach the group stage, which is due to be played in the pre-season period before the start of next season.

In the league, we lead the pack from the opening day to the close of business, our lead fluctuated a little but never dropped below a four point gap once we had established it and we ended the season eight point clear over our local rivals Liga Desportiva in second place. One thing to note is that my former team, Baía de Pemba, ended up finishing in last place, much as I expected, though to their credit, they did manage to pick up three wins in the league, they did not do significantly worse than the other relegated teams and even managed to reach the quarter final of the cup before being eliminated, the really sad part to their season from my perspective, was that it was their loss to my team, that officially confirmed their relegation.

In the cup, we had an excellent run, lifting the trophy in the end by beating GD Incomáti, the team that tried to hire me while I was at Baía de Pemba and before I left them for my current team, it was not a particularly even contest as they were in the league below us thanks to their relegation last season, we won 4-1 in the end, in what was as expected, a largely one sided affair, they managed to score against us, though their goal only came about once I started experimenting with the tactics to try and make us even more aggressive on offence, my plan backfired and left us a little too exposed at the back and they managed to take advantage thanks to a long ball goal kick that their pacey striker happily put away after bursting through our back line.

 

In the CAF Champions League, we were drawn against Pyramids from Egypt, I took at look at their team and I was doubtful of progressing beyond the preliminary round, we lost the first leg at their ground but then we somehow came out on top at our ground, winning by enough to overcome their first leg victory. In the first round we came up against Al-Ahli Tripoli, they I assumed would be a slightly weaker team than Pyramids but we could not beat them in either leg and ended up being eliminated from the competition.

After being knocked out of the CAF Champions League, we were automatically entered into the CAF Confederation Cup, the second level of continental football in Africa, we entered at the second round, facing CR Bélouizdad from Algeria. I had expected a tough game against our opposition but in the first leg at home, we managed a comfortable 3-0 win, the second leg ended in a draw but that didn't matter, we were through to the group stage. Because of the timing of the competition, the early rounds start towards the end of the season and finish up during the start of the following year, as such we don't play the group stage games for another couple of months, I expect us to be eliminated at this point though you never know how things will turn out.

Because of my plans to move on up the continent, I am now in a bind, on one hand I do want to finish off the CAF Confederation Cup and see how we end up doing, but on the other hand, I want to get out of Mozambique and continue my journey home. My contract expires within a week or two and there are jobs going in both Zambia and Zimbabwe that I could apply for, if I leave now, I could most likely get a job in either country, possibly too South Africa with my recent success having boosted my reputation a little, there is a chance one bottom end second tier teams might be interested, but in moving now, I miss out on finishing the CAF Confederation Cup along with a chance at winning the Supertaça next season and any future success I might have if I remain at the club.

In the coming days, I will have to look at my options and my next update will reveal my decision.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67
Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Early 2026 - Zimbabwe

 

The next step of my journey has begun, I have arrived in the town of Zvishavane in Zimbabwe, I might not be taking the most direct route home, but I do feel I have made a positive step, despite the Zimbabwean league and my new club, being of a slightly lower reputation level compared to where I was before.

 

I did consider moving to Zambia but the job market was looking a little stale and both Malawi and Tanzania were off limits due to political unrest [really it was because they were not loaded lol]. I could have remained in Mozambique and seen out the CAF Confederation Cup but I was ready to move on with my journey, instead I'll leave my old team's fortunes in that competition and beyond, in the safe hands of my successor, whoever that may be.

 

Now that I have arrived at my new club, the process begins again, time take stock of my surroundings, learn what I can about the place that will be my home for the next couple of seasons, and hit up Youtube for a playlist of local music to get me in the mood for tackling this new country and its competitions.

 

FC Platinum are a team with history in the Zimbabwean Premier League, they've won the division four times altogether but not for a few years now, having spent the last four years in the top half but only finishing each year between fourth and seventh. The team has however won the main domestic trophy back in 2024 and looking at the current roster of players, I think there is the potential for the team to win more silverware in the near future and regain its spot at the top of Zimbabwean football, they just need a little nudge in the right direction and I feel I can be the person to give them that.

 

The main issue I can see upon reviewing the team is that there is a distinct lack of quality and depth in defence, beyond that, the reserves and youth teams have a number of players that will clearly never reach any kind of level that will be useful to the team, my plan is to try and streamline our youth setup to free up a little room in the somewhat limited budget while focussing on loan signings and maybe a one or two transfers to bolster the senior team, both in defence and elsewhere if we can find the right people.

 

My goal right now is to try and improve this side as much as I can in preparation for what I hope will be a title challenge in my first year at the club, along with a respectable run in the cup as well. Right now, I'm planning to remain at this club for at least two seasons, provided that is, I do well enough to please the board and fans and earn a contract renewal for next season.

 

My next up date will show off any transfers I make along with our results from the pre-season friendlies and the first few games of the season.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

¼ Distance 2026 - Zimbabwe

Just over a quarter of the way into the 2026 season and my FC Platinum side have a 100% record in the Zimbabwean Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

 

I inherited a fairly strong side when I joined as manager but I've managed to strengthen the defence considerably by bringing in Foia from Ferroviário de Nacala in Mozambique and both Brandon Mpofu and Munashe Katondo on loan from Highlanders, joining them on the way into our side is Stephen Moyo, a young MC/AMC from Dynamos Harare who has already managed to claim a spot in our starting XI, our final signing is Sibusiso Msomi from Ubuntu Cape Town, Msomi is a promising young striker who I see making the odd appearance from the bench this season while mainly playing with the youth and reserve teams and then maybe getting increased game time next season depending on his development.

 

Although we have won every game so far, I am expecting things to get tougher soon, we have a very busy schedule in May, playing eight games this month and with three in a row away from home, on top of that, we face Highlanders twice at their ground and those two players I loaned in from them cannot play in those games, beyond that we also face Ngezi Platinum and Black Rhinos who have both won the league in the last four years.

 

The next update will be at the half way point, by that point we should have the CBZ FA Cup to talk about as well, that's one of our games with Highlanders and while it could end up being a quick exit in the second round, hopefully I will have additional rounds to discuss as well.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

½ Distance 2026 - Zimbabwe

 

We've reached he halfway point now in the Zimbabwean Premier League and we're still going strong, fifteen wins in seventeen games sees us four point clear at the top of the table.

In the CBZ FA Cup, we are through to the quarter final after beating Highlanders in the second round and then Black Rhinos in the third, we now face Buffaloes FC who are a division below us, I am hoping that being a much bigger team, we should progress at least to the semi final but with several of Zimbabwe's top teams still in the competition, we are by no means guaranteed to bring home the trophy or even reach the final at this point.

It would be nice to win the domestic double in my first season here in Zimbabwe, but my main priority is always the league, I want to win that at the first time of asking under my leadership, even if we don't win the cup as well, as it would see us into the AFC Champions League for next season and I have already agreed to a contract extension, so it would be great to have another crack at that competition, not that we are really in a position to realistically win it, but at least we are a better side than my previous team in Mozambique, despite the league and the club being of a slightly lower reputation.

At this point in the season, the transfer window is open once more, we have already brought in Katlego Ndou from Casric Stars, he is a young and talented left back who I hope will develop sufficiently that he can take over full time at the left back position, once Brandon Mpofu finishes his loan spell with us. Also joining us in this window is Prince Phiri, a goalkeeper from Dynamos Harare, he is right now, little more than a backup, I don't suspect he will supplant our number one unless he is poached at some point or sustains a long-term injury, but he is a fair bit better than the player we already had as our number two and he didn't cost us anything other than a centre-midfielder in a straight sway, one who I was already looking to offload anyway. In the next week or so, I will be looking to see if I can do any more business, perhaps bring in one or two youngsters to bolster the youth team and maybe try to offload some of our fringe players.

The next update is likely going to be at the end of the season but I may do one at around ¾ distance if there are any significant happenings to report, like we get knocked out of the cup or lose the top spot.

 

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

¾ Distance 2026 - Zimbabwe

 

We are now three quarters of the way through the 2026 season, we are still top of the table and six points clear, things are going pretty well at the moment but our lead could easily evaporate within just two games if we're not careful, I want to win the league and we're in a good place right now, but we need to make sure we don't slip up as we tackle the final quarter of our season.

Right now, we have a short break in the season with enough time to play a few friendlies but once the season resumes, we have a tough challenge with us facing two of the better teams in the league, along with having the CAF Champions League first round games against Egypt's Al-Ahly in between.

Away from the league, we are still in the CBZ FA Cup, we face Chicken Inn in a tough away game in the semi final, the game could go either way, but if we can make the final, I think we have as good a chance as any to lift the trophy.

 

In the CAF Champions League, I already mentioned that we will be facing Al-Ahly in the first round, we reached that point by knocking out Angola's Primeiro de Agosto, beating them 4-2 over two legs in the preliminary round. Al-Ahly are going to be strong opposition and while it would be nice to reach the group stage, I'm not expecting to do so, we will have to play to the best of our abilities and have a good amount of luck to do so, we might do it, but if we can't, it's not a major problem as we're not exactly one of the top teams in Africa.

 

When the season ends, my contract still has one more season to go before it expires, the plan right now is to remain at FC Platinum for another season, but should a top job become available in either Zambia or Botswana, I would consider a move. Zambia interests me mainly because it keeps me heading north as part of my original plan to return home, but I would also really like to manage in Botswana and potentially after that, Namibia, and while not being the most direct route home, it could make the save more interesting, the downside being that I might never make it back home if I don't keep moving in the right direction.

 

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Late 2026 - Zimbabwe

 

2026 has finally come to an end and I am pleased to announce that FC Platinum have brought home the Castle Larger Premier Soccer League in Zimbabwe, on top of that we also managed to win the CBZ FA Cup and played in both the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.

Our league campaign went largely without a hitch, leading the way for all but two weeks early on in the season, back when things were much closer. We held our form for more or less the entire season and ended up finishing fourteen points clear at the top of the table, a significant increase over the six points clear we were at the three quarters mark. 

In the FA Cup, we managed to reach the final, beating the likes of  Highlanders, Black Rhinos and Chicken Inn along the way. The final was against Harare City and I had a good feeling going into the match, we beat them in the league 3-0 at our ground and 5-1 at their ground, so I knew we were capable of beating them comfortably, though the end result was us only just scraping a 1-0 win. I think the problem we had was that we were not playing to our more typical attacking style, but rather, we played with a more defensive nature which was a hangover from our previous game in the CAF Confederations Cup match against ASO Chlef. Despite not giving Harare City the beating that I know we could have on another day, we still won the match and that is what is important.

 

A big part of our success in domestic competition came from the high number of goals we were able to score, six of our players were into double figures by the end of the season (across all competitions) and it was especially pleasing to see our goal difference being more than double either of the next two teams in the league and even with their goal differences combined, they would still fall short of what we accomplished. Aside from goals, we had three players at the top of the average rating table and one of our players topped the league in assists.

 

Away from the domestic game, we entered the CAF Champions League at the preliminary round, there we beat Primeiro de Agosto from Angola, before losing to Egypt's Al-Ahly in the first round proper. Having been eliminated from the Champions League, we dropped down to the Confederation Cup and entered the tournament at the second round, once in the lower level competition, we faced and managed to beat ASO Chlef from Algeria, putting us through to the group stage.

 

The group stage will be played in February which means it will take place just before the normal start of pre-season, as such, our performance for the rest of the competition will be revealed in my next update, provided I have not left the team before that point as I did last season when I got Ferroviário de Maputo to the group stage.

 

Looking forward to next season, my plan right now is to remain at FC Platinum, at the very least I intend to manage the team through the group stage of the Confederation Cup, but as always, with my intention to continue my journey back to the UK, if a suitable move comes up, I may have to leave. I would like to manage in Botswana, and Zambia would be the smart choice if I want to be more direct in my journey home, though looking at how close the Namibia border is to Zimbabwe, even if it doesn't directly border the country, it looks to be swimming distance, so I might consider any jobs there as well as those in the other two countries. 

Now because I won the Zimbabwean double this season and also last season as well in Mozambique, I am tempted that when I do look to move on to the next country, I will go for a job at a weaker team, either a bottom-end team in the top division, or even one in a lower league. It's nice winning trophies, but if I just straight up win the league and cup at the first attempt every time, this is going to get boring really quickly, part of what I enjoyed while managing Baía de Pemba was that I didn't just win the league straight away, in fact I didn't win anything with them, finishing fourth and then second, I did get them promoted but that was it, if I can find a team that could give me a similar experience, or one that will at least take more than one season before we start collecting silverware, it will make the whole experience both more enjoyable and more realistic.

My next update should hopefully reveal how we did in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup, I'm not expecting much, we're the smallest team in the group based solely on reputation but if we can finish anywhere other than last, that would be a pretty reasonably achievement, qualifying for the next round would be fantastic, it will be hard, though not outside the realm of possibility, we did only narrowly lose to Al-Ahly in the Champions League and they are the best rated team in Africa so there is always a chance we can get a result here or there. If I do end up leaving before or during the group stage, my next update will simply be a brief announcement as to where I've gone.

 

bigmattb28
9 years ago
4 hours ago
1,368

Really liking this.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Early 2027 - Zimbabwe

 

Having reached the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup at the end of last season, we saw out the competition to its conclusion at the start of 2027, unfortunately for us, the conclusion was just the end of the group stage as we only managed to finish third and were therefore eliminated.

 

Prior to the start of the group stage, I did not have any expectation of progressing beyond this round, I did hope to make it to the next round, but that's all it was, hope. In our group, we faced CS Sfax from Tunisia, Al-Merreikh Omdurman from Sudan and Réal Bamako from Mali, based solely on reputation, my FC Platinum team was considered to be the smallest team, though I felt that in terms of quality of players, we were not too dissimilar to Réal Bamako and I believed us capable of giving the other two teams a run for their money on a good day.

In the first half of the group stage, we managed to draw at home against CS Sfax and away against Al-Merreikh Omdurman before beating Réal Bamako 4-1 at their ground. Draws against the two biggest teams and then the comprehensive win at Réal Bamako, I had confidence that we would not be finishing last in this group. In the second half, losing to CS Sfax at their ground dented our hopes a little, but then beating Al-Merreikh Omdurman at our ground in the second to last game, put us up into second place and with a shot at progressing, all we needed was to win or draw our final game and we would reach the quarter final.

 

With the away game against Réal Bamako being such a comfortable victory, I was certain we could beat them again at our ground, even if we didn't, we only needed that one point to secure our place in the next round, unfortunately our opposition knew what was at steak just as well as we did and that they had to win if they wanted to move onto the next round. The game itself was a fairly close affair and nothing like our previous match, I felt we played better football overall, but when it mattered, they came out on top, taking advantage of a couple of mistakes from our defenders.

I think main problem we faced during the group stage, was that it occurred after the end of the Zimbabwean season, because of that, three of our defenders, who were on loan to us, returned to their respective teams, we actually managed to sign two of them back on permanent deals but we couldn't re-register them for the group stage, we also ended up selling one of our attacking midfielders and our star striker from last season, the midfielder was not really an essential player as we had up and coming players who had more or less surpassed him in ability level, but losing our striker who had scored 38 in all competitions, that was more of a blow and his replacement, Mário, formerly of my old Ferroviário de Maputo side, was already cup-tied in this competition, all in all, we were not at our best going into what would be the final stage of the competition for us, despite this, I think we did no worse that I had expected and I am not displeased with how we played in general.

Now that the CAF Confederation Cup is out of the way, it's onto the 2027 season and already we are second in the table with three wins out of three, the pre-season friendlies we played were barely worth mentioning, we played our own reserves and under 21 team twice each before the CAF Confederation Cup group stage began, and then in the gaps between matches in the cup and the start of the league games, we played against lower league teams Shabanie Mine and Kariba Waves, we won all of those games as I expected us to do and now it's simply the case of fighting once more for glory in the league and the main domestic cup, all the while, keeping my eyes fixed to the horizon as I seek out my next move to another country and continue making my way back home to the UK.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67

Mid 2027 - Zimbabwe to Botswana

 

Sixteen games into the season, one short of the halfway point, my FC Platinum side sit at the top of the table, we briefly lost first place to Chicken Inn a few weeks back, but we've managed to reclaim our spot now. In the CBZ FA Cup we've done largely as expected so far, beating Buffaloes FC in the second round and moving onto the third.

 

Right now, I am confident that we're on course to challenge for our second league title in a row and we also have as good a chance as any in the cup, but as always, my sights are set on the horizon, searching for a chance to continue my journey home to the UK.

 

Last night, I spotted that chance, an opening, an opportunity, it's not exactly a move in the right direction as it technically mean heading south west, but it does mean managing in a country that interests me more than most others in this region of Africa, that alone was enough to encourage me to up sticks and make the move, but to pretty much seal the deal, the managerial vacancy was at Township Rollers, one of only two teams on the entire continent that I specifically wanted to manage (the other being Raja Casablanca which right now is a long way off, both in terms of physical distance and because of the difference in reputation between myself and the team.)
 


In joining Township Rollers, I've technically joined a slightly larger club, but on the other hand, the Botswana Premier League has just recently dropped one place below the Zimbabwe league in the competition rankings, in terms of what really matters though, Township Rollers have ten percent of FC Platinum's bank balance and transfer budget, over one hundred thousand pounds of debt and only half the wage budget, on top of that, the team possesses a weaker squad across the board and within a matter of days, is going to get considerably weaker still as several of the star players are going to leave on a free transfer.

 

In the coming months, I will have a great deal of work to do to get this team back on track and to mould them into a competitive outfit once more. Last season the team finished twelfth out of sixteen teams, this is a team that should be at or near the top of the table, they are the most successful team in the league and that is what I am going to try and correct. 

 

The previous manager was entirely inept from what I can gather, he had star players barely playing all year and guys getting games that would not, in my opinion, be good enough to don the shirt of even the worst non-league teams in Botswana, he set about the teams misfortunes by not playing his best players, in turn the team lost games they should have won and the poor performance in the league lead to most of the stars wanting to leave, as they want to leave, they wouldn't renew their contracts and now we're going to lose them for free when their values could have probably wiped the clubs debt if they had been sold six or more months ago.

 

There is not a lot I can do to keep the players who are already set on leaving, I'm going to keep badgering them and their agents every day just to see if they've changed their minds but I'm already planning for their departure, as I am with the two coaches that won't renew their contracts. At the end of the day, it's going to feel like a big loss for a little while, but there are always more players out there, some we may find can slot straight in, others, especially young talent, may need time to get up to speed, but we can come out of this stronger in the near future.

 

My next update will likely be at the end of pre-season or after a few league games have been played, hopefully by that time, I will have corrected some of the problems faced by this squad right now.

bigmattb28
9 years ago
4 hours ago
1,368

Lets hope going to Township pays off.

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67
By bigmattb28 17 January 2023 - 16:14 PM UTC 

Lets hope going to Township pays off.

 

Hopefully it does, certainly I'm going to do everything I can to try and ensure we do well from the get-go, I've already started rebuilding the side and I'm barely a week into my job, with a long pre-season due to us not playing in the Top 8 Cup, I have all the time I need to clear out the deadwood, put together a decent starting XI and get the tactics sorted, I'm hoping we can be in the running this season for the title, but if things go wrong then perhaps I'll just slip out of the ground one night, when nobody's looking, and make a dash for the Namibian border lol.

bigmattb28
9 years ago
4 hours ago
1,368
By Zebramanii 17 January 2023 - 23:49 PM UTC 

Hopefully it does, certainly I'm going to do everything I can to try and ensure we do well from the get-go, I've already started rebuilding the side and I'm barely a week into my job, with a long pre-season due to us not playing in the Top 8 Cup, I have all the time I need to clear out the deadwood, put together a decent starting XI and get the tactics sorted, I'm hoping we can be in the running this season for the title, but if things go wrong then perhaps I'll just slip out of the ground one night, when nobody's looking, and make a dash for the Namibian border lol.

 

I'm sure you'll ace it. Once you've sorted the tactics and starters out and got rid of the bad players, the title race will be on!

Etienne MNT
1 month ago
2 weeks ago
1

Bonjour,

 

J'ai absolument hâte de lire la suite de vos aventures sur le continent Africain !

J'espère que vous rentrerez en Angleterre et que vous pourrez avoir des offres d'emplois attrayantes.

 

Je vous souhaite, depuis le club Brésilien de VIL, bonne chance en Afrique du Sud !

 

Très belle journée à vous,

 

Etienne

Zebramanii
12 years ago
2 weeks ago
67
By Etienne MNT 19 January 2023 - 13:25 PM UTC 

Bonjour,

 

J'ai absolument hâte de lire la suite de vos aventures sur le continent Africain !

J'espère que vous rentrerez en Angleterre et que vous pourrez avoir des offres d'emplois attrayantes.

 

Je vous souhaite, depuis le club Brésilien de VIL, bonne chance en Afrique du Sud !

 

Très belle journée à vous,

 

Etienne

 

Hi there, thanks a lot buddy, I hope you have every success with your team as well.

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