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 The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright

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Director of Football
Director of Football

Managing : Leigh Genesis

Posts : 175
Career Goals : 13977
Location : Canada

PostThe Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright

I have a little bit of history with football.

Well, American Football.

You see, I had taken a few collegiate programs to the top, won some trophies, launched a few quarterbacks, receivers and running backs onto the national stage... all the milestones a coach could ever want. Having done everything at that level, I wanted to kick it up a notch. So I quit my job and hired an agent I was told was very good at finding positions for football coaches.

And then I waited a few months, and I hadn't heard anything. So I gave my representative up, and they sounded a little preoccupied, but they said they were glad that I had called because it seems that there were a couple of positions that she wanted me to look at.

It was after I was shown the documents that I realized my predicament. My agent was a specialist in finding Futbol coaches work, not *ahem* football. I was looking for a job at an NFL franchise, not some club outside of North America.

But I also had a problem. Let's just say, I burned a few bridges after I left my last job... because it wasn't the most diplomatic of partings. And the member schools of the Big Ten like to gossip, so finding work back in NCAA was going to be tough, and it was going to cost me.

So, I had to think about these two jobs before me. One was a second tier club in a small town in the south of the Czech Republic called Znojmo, which let's be honest, was a little low rent.

And then there was a job in Turkey, where my weekly wage would be equal to the entire squad's wages at Znojmo. The fact that it looked like it could be just over a cool quarter million dollars was just added incentive.

The choice seemed clear. Now to get this job, I was going to have to lie like I had never lied before.

I told my agent to set up an interview with the Turkish club, and after I got off the phone I studied everything I could about modern football so that I could pull this off. Her return call gave me a week to get my story in order.

After 7 days of non-stop cramming, I was off to the warm (and I do mean warm) embrace of east-central
Turkey to interview amongst the lush watermelon fields near Diyarbakırspor, the name of the club. Hopefully I wouldn't be expected to say it.

I think I was in luck. My translator, who seemed to understand my plight and was sympathetic (I am assuming), seemed to smooth over my own awkwardness and gave my somewhat stumbling answers a much smoother delivery in Turkish and I found myself shaking the chairman's hand as he gave a hearty laugh by the end of it.

My agent calling me on the phone to tell me I nailed it confirmed my suspicions... the job was mine.

Now my biggest problem, aside from this whole living a lie thing is the fact that I don't really have a transfer budget to work with. Then again, I wouldn't know how to use it. But I've coached players before... how hard can switching sports be?

Oh, and if you think I am joking about the watermelons, don't you. I'm not. For all the lies I've told so far, on that detail, I am being completely honest.
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The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright :: Comments

Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 01:07 by Posh
This looks like its gonna be a classic, cant wait for the next installment Smile
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 01:16 by Jelly
What a fantastic start here mate, great work! kiu!
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 07:56 by Kwiebe
This is great! Not sure how much anyone else will understand the american football but I loved it Laughing
Great start, keep it up!
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 10:12 by the deeb
This promises a lot. Feel like I haven't read a story like this for a while.

You know we're going to want plenty of detail, writers? Hope you can deliver
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 10:30 by Pringers
Fantastic start mate, can't wait for the installments, keep it up Smile
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 21:23 by Narl
This is fantastic Matt! A true epic! Very Happy

Can't wait for more mate Smile
The First Meeting
Post on 2010-12-18, 22:47 by writinguy
After it was announced that I was taking control of the club, there was the little matter of a press conference, because let's be honest, any opportunity to get good press is golden.

Now I have three rules that I've always followed when it comes to dealing with the press:

1. Don't ever bad-mouth the team or a player, and in fact, defend them vehemently. If I have an issue with someone I am coaching, I take it up with them privately, and I believe that my players should show me the same kind of respect.

2. Be very respectful of other teams and their players. Yes, you can get a lot of copy from saying something negative about someone outside the organization, but in doing so, you are also giving that other party something to work for... mainly to prove you wrong or show you up.

3. No matter how much they try to push you, don't lose your cool with a reporter. You never know when you are going to need their help with something, so it is always good to keep your relationships with the press at least cordial.

And in Diyarbakir, there was just one reporter who covered football, so it looked like it was going to be the start of a rather cozy relationship. Hopefully the gentleman in question isn't too much of a muckraker. Given his first set of questions, he seems to be rather diligent, and that is something I can more than appreciate.

Following that, I thought it would be a good idea to meet my new staff, who I was informed were working in the club house, and the staff were gathered in a common room.

"Good afternoon gentlemen. As you are no doubt aware, I was recently hired as the head coach of this football team, and I am here to introduce myself and find out what you've been up to as of late."

Looking amongst the group, I recognized the man who would be my assistant coach.

"Ah, you must be Mehmet Gonulacar?" A tall slender black haired man nodded after my question was translated.

"Didn't you score in the final Presidential Cup with Galatasaray SK?" Mehmet instantly brightened when this highlight of his career was brought up.

I was quickly introduced to the other coaches, the scout and the physiotherapist, Hakak Tok.

"How come I have a feeling I am going to be talking to you a lot?" Tok laughed and nodded. He was well-aware of the dangers of professional sports.

"Listen, you've all been here longer than I have, so you are much more familiar with this team than I am at this point. I would like to assure all of you that your jobs are safe. I am not the kind of man who makes changes just for the sake of doing so." There was a visible look of relief amongst those gathered.

"Given the club's current budgetary issues, you aren't really in a position to make changes anyway, however, I do believe that even if that were not the case, you would still live up to that promise." Mehmet said.

"I am also bit of hands-off. I like to delegate. I think that having the right people in place making the decisions they are best qualified to make is the best way to run things. As I've gotten up to speed with what is going on here, I might take on a little more control over this organization, but at the moment, I just want you to continue doing what you are doing. I trust your experience." This seemed like more news that the staff liked.

"Now Mehmet, do you feel comfortable putting together the line-up for our upcoming friendly against Zeytinburnuspor? I want to see how this team performs on the field and you are in a much better position to determine who would be ideal starters at the moment."

"I have some idea of who we should start, yes."

"Well, I'll leave that in your capable hands then."
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 23:29 by the deeb
I love this style of writing.

Interesting to see your management style too. I usually struggle to resist winding other managers up, and can't stand stroppy players.

Good stuff this mate, you must keep this going
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-18, 23:30 by Pringers
Excellent stuff once again mate - I'm absolutely loving this story so far and I'm sure I will keep up with this throughout the story. Keep it up mate Smile
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-19, 11:07 by Niko
Awsome stuff mate Smile
Keep it up Smile
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-19, 18:18 by writinguy
I was to thank you all for the encouragement. It has been a long time since I wrote an AAR (I used to write them for the Paradox Interactive games I played). Good to know I still have something left to give in this medium. Wink
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-19, 19:18 by the deeb
Writinguy, there's not many on this forum who are writing this sort of stuff. We've all thought about it, but you have a particular way of converting the ideas in your head, to the page.

My only concern is that, I've read these things on other sites and they have so much detail, but the author gets bored after the 5th or 6th post and the story is never finished.

Please keep this going.
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-20, 20:07 by writinguy
I didn't have to wait long for our first friendly, as it was scheduled for the day following my arrival. It seemed that even though I had just gotten off a plane, I was going to have to get on another to go to Istanbul that morning. I took that time to start acquainting myself with my assistant coach's game plan and to start getting to know a few of my players.

One of those players was Caner Altin, who on paper would seem to be one of our most promising strikers. I asked what he was looking to do this season and he told me he wanted to at least lead the team in scoring. Perhaps I can get him to set his sights a little bit higher than that. I can only hope.

Now most coaches probably spend a little more time getting acquainted with their team before leading them into a game, but given the situation, I wasn't going to have that opportunity. This was going to be a true baptism by fire. But even under these circumstances, I can still motivate a team full of strangers.

"Gentlemen, today we face our first challenge together. Some of you are new to the team like myself, while others have been here for some time, but over the next few months, hopefully this team will come together as a cohesive unit, one which can take on any challenge. It may be a little bumpy at the beginning, there may be losses and disappointments, but if we take them in stride, together we can win this division. We can be champions... but just importantly, we can be promoted. As they say, to the victors go the spoils. I believe in this club and I believe you are all capable of winning. So show me what you can do today." I had to wait a few seconds for my words to be translated before a satisfying collective cheer arose from those gathered.

The team erupted onto the field like an invading army, full of vim and ready to attack.

I turned to my assistant coach and asked, "Is there anything I should be worried about Mehmet?"

"This is probably one of the easiest matches you are ever going to be involved with. Zeytinburnuspor is really quite terrible. Infamous really."

"How so?"

"The last time they were in this league, they lost 27 games out of 34. They were the very model of ineptitude. Let's just say, if we lost this game, it wouldn't be good."

I had played this kind of opponent before. Back when I was coaching back in the Big Ten, we'd always schedule a few games at the beginning of the season against less than stellar competition to tune up. Of course, there was always the risk of an upset even when one was facing a supposedly weak competitor. Just ask Michigan how they feel about their decision to book a game against Appalachian State back in 2007.

And that particular game was in the back of my mind when Zeytinburnuspor scored against us in the 17th minute. I consoled the team, saying we would quickly get it back, and a few minutes later, Caner Altin did just that. The score remained tied going into the half, and I offered a few more encouraging words to the squad.

Then in the 51st minute, Ali Cansun Begeçarslan, Caner's linemate at striker, scored to put us ahead. But even more notable was the cruel cutting down of Altin as he approached the box late in the game. He writhed on the ground, clutching his leg, and it seemed clear we wouldn't have his services for at least a few games. But even with this unpleasantness, we still managed to hold on and we had our first victory.

It was a little ugly, but it was a win.

And with that win in hand, I was not unduly upset by the first team being defeated by our reserve squad just 24 hours later.
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-20, 20:52 by Pringers
I absolutely love your work writinguy - it's so fascinating to read! Keep up the awesome work Smile Well done!
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-20, 21:24 by Niko
Great Stuff keep it up Smile
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-24, 06:29 by writinguy
The next few games passed in a blur, a sea of close wins and losses, and it seemed that the team was starting to come together and develop some chemistry.

Caner Altin came back from his injury, and his first game back was a spectacular affair, involving not just a hattrick on his part, and our first shutout against Korfez Spor, ending the game with a 3-0 score. As a bonus, our substitutes all got some time on the field as well, and all in all, it was a very positive experience.

But as it happened, their coach made some comments about how we had played sloppily and so forth. Now I could have let it go, could have just chalked it up to some hurt feelings.

In short, I could have been the bigger man. But I didn't go that route.

Instead, I fired back in the press. Given my warming relations with the local sports reporter, this proved to be well received and spun into an minor but entertaining feud. And the team seemed to enjoy the quips I was making, and my style of leadership. Things were definitely looking up.
Re: The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright
Post on 2010-12-24, 12:00 by Pringers
Nice update Writinguy - not doing too bad here, I presume. Well done and keep up the solid work.

The Crescent Moon, Is Big and Bright

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