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Season 89 - Division 4 (11/06/2012 16:26)
Upon my arrival into the office on the first morning of round 1, I had the fixture list for the new season waiting for me on my desk. This would tell me if I got only bot teams, or if there was some other sign of human life in the manager's chair of my opposition. I looked down the list....bot, bot, bot. I started to think I was in another bot division when - yes, there it was. Plain as day. RD Stars.
My first instinct was to try and communicate with him/her. No immediate success. Perhaps they are on holiday or a training camp or something.
So I put the fixture list to one side and focussed on the next task at hand; keeping this team in this division. The odds may not be in my favour, with so many teams to be relegated at the end of the campaign. I had to make improvements to my team if I had any hope of survival. After lengthy discussions with myself, as I did not have a scout yet, I bought 2 players for the start of the new season: an experienced goalkeeper, 29 years old and Q74, a short term investment perhaps, but an improvement on what I already had, and Domnescu, an older midfielder, brought in to sure up the centre of the team, and to help develop and train the younger members of the squad.
After sorting out training (including a training camp) my attention turned to friendlies. Only 2 were played, to my dismay. Nobody really wanted to host my team. Never mind.
"There is real buzz round the whole team, start of a new season!" Neven Budimir
"Bring on the bots, we can beat them" Ionel Domnescu
As you can see, the team is fired up for the start of season. Excellent! I can smell the bot blood already.
The game started slowly, until the 10th minute, when kid striker Lewis Badby had a great effort turned round the post by the goalkeeper. Bot154377 then came into the game a bit more with a couple of corners, but nothing came from them thanks to some resolute defending. Things stayed the same until halftime. The team knew what they had to do, attack. Score just one goal and you will surely win the game.
The effect of my teamtalk was immediate. More passion, more flair and enthusiasm. A drive up the middle by Bardolf, a pass to Domnescu, shot....GOALLL!!!!! The tiny crowd of 5000 goes wild, but there was still a job to be done. Keep that clean sheet. The team managed this, and then in the 84th minute it became 2-0. Domnescu involved again, this time he was the provider, setting up Badby for his first goal of the campaign. Celebrations all round, slightly early for my liking, but both team and crowd knew that the game was effectively over. 1 game played, 1 victory.
Preparation is now needed for the next match. A far tougher prospect against Brewers FC in the League Cup First round....
League Cup Rd 1
The eagerly awaited matchup between Syracusians and Brewers FC arrived with both clubs expecting to win, although only 1 of the two sides could progress. My hopes were not high as my Q rating was a little lower, but not much. Being away from home gave me a second disadvantage.
The only goal of the game came in the 6th minute, as my midfielder Audlington stuck it in the net!!!! More chances from both teams soon followed, but the result in the end was well deserved. Round 2 would be against Fort Wayne Chargers.
Matchday 2 & 3
2 more games against bot teams in the league, the first another 1-0 win (my team still to allow a goal), followed by a disappointing 0-0 draw with both teams making very few chances.
League Cup Rd 2
Away to Fort Wayne Chargers was a tough assignment for a new manager. A Q72 team, this game would be difficult. After only 8 minutes, they scored. The first goal conceded by Syracusians all year thus far. Nevertheless, this only seemed to spur on my players and they were rewarded with a goal by Bobby Bardolf. Half time came and the Chargers had made 3 chances to my team's 1. Early in the second half, one of the opponents players gets injured and has to be replaced, after a clash of heads. Would this change the momentum of the game? No more chances made by either side after 90 minutes. Extra time. Right at the end of the 1st half of extra time DISASTER!!!!! Connor Berwick gives away a penalty. Joel Nelson steps up.....What a miss! Was he aiming for the scoreboard? Apparently so, and I know my team got away with one there. Would that miss come back to haunt Nelson? No further drama ensued, so it was down to the lottery of penalties.
Chargers first. Nelson scores, followed by a miss by Badby. 4 penalties later and it was 1-1. Then 2-2. Fingerlos of the Chargers then steps up....and he misses! If Bardolf could score again now, Syracusians would be in round 3....and he put it in!!! Great drama, if a little biut undeserved for my team as we only made the 1 chance.
My reward for this win? No not a division 3 team, but a bot team. Okay, good chance to get to Round 4, I think.
Matchdays 4 & 5
Uneventful games again, a 2-0 win and a 0-0 draw. So after 5 games I was in 2nd place, far better than I had expected, and only 2 points behind a bot team. The other human team another 2 points behind me after 2 wins and 3 draws. MOst importantly from my team's perspective was no goals conceded after 7.5 hours of football.
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