Mariners' Tale Mar 9, 2019 14:46:25 GMT
Post by ozzywizard on Mar 9, 2019 14:46:25 GMT
I come into this new and completely different FM save (for me) with fresh impetus and excitement. I have been struggling lately to get into saves and that’s no surprise when I was slogging it out in the same leagues, with the same players and barely making it to the January transfer window. I’m starting as the new manager of Central Coast Mariners from the A-League to give me a completely different footballing world (in fact I haven’t loaded a single European league) and also one of the shortest regular seasons. Preseason is long but also features the FFA Cup which is straight knockout with 32 teams. Then, we commence the regular league season which is contested by 10 teams playing each other 3 times before a Grand Final play-off featuring the 6 best teams playing 2 or 3 games depending on final league position (I think). I should be flying through these seasons, especially considering as cup success or play-offs should be a fair while away.
So why The Mariners? First of all… Tom Rogic – The Wizard of Oz. The Canberra native of Serbian descent turned out for teams such as Woden Weston and Tuggeranong United before finding his magic feet at the Nike Football Academy and then moving to CCM. He has also represented Australia at futsal. He is currently a fan-favourite for Celtic and a key component of the Australian National Team, but this is the type of recruitment and style that I want CCM to return to… They have the much renowned Mariners Centre of Excellence and I intend to tap into this facility to produce technically gifted players, to grace the Central Coast Stadium and propel the Mariners back to the heights of the 2013 Championship winning team under Graham Arnold.
I touched upon getting ‘back to the heights’ which alluded to the fact that we are predicted to not do very well, but the media think we will finish last in the Hyundai A-League this season… last. I need to combine defensive grit with enough panache to pick up points and steer clear of the bottom spot. This allows me to create my favoured style of defensive football – defending with the ball. If you have the ball then the other team can’t score – simple? Couple that with the facilities to create Rogic two point oh and we should be able to bring a brand and a philosophy to the central coast. I don’t intend for this to happen overnight and will begin with more traditional counter-attacking football to try to eek out more points than our rivals.
First season aims are very simple – don’t come last by whatever means necessary. I’ll also enjoy as much of a cup run as I can safe in the knowledge that it won’t affect league form. The second season is where it will become much more difficult. The first reason for this is that I don’t intend to buy any players – be that for money, for free or even on loan. I will be relying solely on the youth academy. We have a basic squad with not much talent (well we are predicted last!), surprisingly little youth prospects and worryingly of all a squad full of players on expiring contracts. Thankfully I can renew contracts! That being said I don’t think I’m due a youth intake while early season 2, so my first task will be to do what I can to tie down this motley crew at Mariners for a couple of years. That should give me time to actually have an intake and start to promote from within. It will be tough but that’s what I want.
I’m very much looking forward to this save and already it has been a breath of fresh air… the minor Australian teams have some superb names! It’s also a learning curve as I am not very familiar at all with the rules and regulations of Australian football. I’ll be back with a preseason and cup update and probably a full squad review highlighting the players that should be around for a while before we start the season proper. Until the next time!