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 Eclipsing former glories

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Steve
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PostSubject: Eclipsing former glories   Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:27 pm

As a side note this story is replicating my sucessful Parma save. I shall do all updates of the original version here and also add new updates in the next few days.

Prologue
13/5/2010



"You have no ambition, I need a man thats going places!" said my girlfriend. Or to put it more accurately, my now ex- girlfiriend. I stare across the table at her, barely able to fathom what she just said. I feel my head is about to explode with all the thoughts running through my head. Why do this to me, were we not happy and most importantly where did it go wrong... I snap back to reality before Sorcha leaves the cafe and do the only thing a man can do in this situation. "You know I've been having it my way with your best friend" I say. Sorcha looks at me with a look of pity on her face and walks away before I have a chance to say anything else. So this is really the end after 3 years... I sit at the table a little longer and order another coffee to wash down my breakfast. Bacon, eggs, pudding and sausage if you must know. Its the breakfast of champions my father would say.

I think back to when I met Sorcha. I was a handsome 22 year old, fresh out of college. I did what most young men dreamed of, I was a pro footballer. Athlone Town had given me an opportunity to play for them years before and i quickly moved up the ranks to become vice captain. The gaffer called me into his office and told me that my performances hadnt gone unnoticed and that Liverpool and Tottenham have been enquiring about me and decided to send scouts to our next game against Bohemians. On the match day i was acquitting myself well, we were underdogs but thanks to my leadership we were still in with a chance. I was nervous but it didnt stop me upping my game to try impress Rafa and Harrys scouts. Then it all started to go wrong... 80 minutes gone and we were deadlocked on no socre. Then a sweet pass came straight into my feet and i was through on goal, I pulled back and was about to blast the ball into the net when it happened. 'Snap'..was the horrible sound as I crashed to the ground. I was in agony. Just as I pulled back my foot Owen Heary the Bohs captain went studs up straight into my shin. I looked at my leg as I lay there in shock. I could see blood everywhere and to my horror my leg had broken in two and was sticking out through my skin. I was rushed to hospital but I didnt have to hear what the doctor was about to tell me next. "You will never play football again", I already knew this deep down within myself but it was still hard to hear. Anyway enough about that, I still had my degree in financial marketing. I would have no problem getting a top job in a bank.

Three years later I still hadnt found a job. The global recession meant that it was impossible to get a job. My only joy was that I could coach a team of u14's every week. There quite a good bunch too and sit top of their group this year.I had always wanted to do some coaching but I intended that would be when I was in my 30s after my playing career. Anyway enough about my past, im more focused on the future now.

I have decided enough is enough and I'm going to relocate. I finally decided to settle in Italy due to me being fluent in Italian and there being a shortfall of top financial experts in the country.Upon arriving in Milan Airport I hobbled to the nearest cafe to get my fix of coffee. My leg barely able to support my weight, I order a grande skinny latte and take a seat, I look at a newspaper on the table and immediately flip it over to look at the back page. Atalanta manager Bortolo Mutti resigns over boardroom squabble, was the headline.I had heard that Antonio Percassi wasnt the most reasonable chairman in the league but I didnt think he could be this bad. The article read that they are welcoming applications and that most well known managers have distanced themselves from the job as they dont need the hassle of dealing with Percassi. I think to myself for a minute before I pay for my coffee and rush home to type up my CV. This could be my chance to follow my dreams and I wasnt willing to let it slip by....
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PostSubject: Re: Eclipsing former glories   Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:09 am

Really good story there. Builds you up perfectly to the climax.
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PostSubject: Re: Eclipsing former glories   Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:56 am

Chapter 1:
1/7/2010
A lot has changed since that monumental day I met with Antonio Percassi. I remember arriving in Bergamo and making my way to the clubs stadium. Upon arrival I met with Percassi and a few board members. Despite me not having any real coaching experience they seemed happy with my enthusiasm and my plans if I were to become successful. They told me that they were looking for somebody who could balance the books and help them regain their position in the Serie A. The board said they would consider any other applications and inform me of their decision within a week.

Sure enough four days later I got the call and immediately I recognised the voice as that of Percassi. He wished to thank me for applying and also that the other board members had been complimentary on my interview. "Due to your excellent financial qualifications I firmly believe you have what it takes to steady our ship and make us a force to be reckoned with. Hereby I am offering you the position of manager for two seasons worth €10,000 per month" said Percassi. I thanked Antonio for the offer and said I would be thrilled to take up the offer.

1/6/2011
That faithful day was almost a year ago now and I again found myself sitting infront of the man they call 'bastardo spietato'. I was suprised when I was summoned to his office this morning. He greeted me with a handshake as he always does and began to speak " I wish to congratulate you for the teams excellent performance this year in getting us promoted to the Serie A again. I had faith in you and you repaid that faith by your performance. However we do have a current issue that we need to address". My heart sunk, I was thinking to myself surely he cant fire me after all that I have done for the club over the past year. However with his next words I was left in shock. After an awkward silence Antonio said to me "I regret to inform you that news is about to break about the club, Doni and Manfredini have been caught up in a match fixing scandal which has a strong possibility of the club being docked points or even being relegated back to Serie B. Following the scandal we wish to offer the chance to you to resign as manager and distance yourself from the clubs scandal to protect your own reputation. However if you decide to stay you will have the full boards confidence and we will be expecting you to maintain results". The look of shock was evident on my face at what I have just been told. I didnt want to leave the club but with circumstances the way they are I felt I had no option but to leave before the scandal became public. After all I had won the Serie B comfortably and there were rumours of a few top clubs in both Italy and England interested in my services. I couldnt risk damaging my chance at the top.

Percassi was very understanding and said it was with great regret that he would accept my resignation. He asked me to stay in the stadium for a few hours while he organised a for the players to come in and explain my decision and also to attend a press conference. The players were gutted that I was leaving as they enjoyed the way we played and our coaching sessions. The press on the other hand had a field day. I didnt want to put the club up shit creek and say why I was leaving so instead I just said
"It is with great regret that I today announce I am to leave as manager of Atalanta, I have enjoyed my time here and wish to thank all involved with the club for giving me this chance. However the past year has been tough for me as I havnt settled in the area as much as I would have liked to. I also think I have taken Atalanta as far as I can and I wish them well in their new venture in Serie A."


As expected the press didnt believe a word I said and there were so many rumours floating about.
La Gazzetta dello Sport
It is widely believed that Stephen Murphy had been forced to resign from the club after reportedly been caught sleeping with chairman Antonio Percassi's wife. Percassi apparently forced Murphy to resign or he would be sacked.
La Repubblica
Murphy has resigned because of a training ground fight earlier in March in which he threw a football boot at captain Giampaulo Bellini in a fit of rage. The board kept the incident quiet intil the end of the season as not to disrupt the team.
Leggo
Disgraced football manager Stephen Murphy has left his position at Atalanta following an investigation that the popular manager has been caught by club officials to be taking Class A drugs. The board seen this as detrimental to their reputation and acted swiftly to remove him.


Two weeks later the papers got wind of the match fixing scandal and suddenly I was old news. When Percassi addressed the media he informed them that I was in no way implicated and I left to distance myself from the controversy. I was glad that I was now cleared of any wrongdoing. My new priority was to now look for a new club who would be offer "the new Bill Shakley" a chance. That media comparison made me chuckle but it did wonders to my reputation. There were rumours that several clubs were lining me up including Werder Bremen, Parma, Wigan, PSG and Porto.

Where would I end up, only time will tell...
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PostSubject: Re: Eclipsing former glories   Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:31 am

Im going to follow this. Great start.
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PostSubject: Re: Eclipsing former glories   Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:22 pm

Chapter 2: Rise of the Crusaders
1/7/2011


I sit nervously infront of the TV cameras for the first time in a month. However this time it is to announce myself back in management. I sit beside my new chairman and the camera flashes are making me dizzy. The chairman stands up and announces " Welcome ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to be here today to introduce our new manager for the forthcoming season. Stephen Murphy has shown great character in his short career to date and we believe it is important for the club to have a young and talented individual in control of the club. Stephen will now be taking questions from the media"


Messani: How does it feel to be sitting here as the new Parma Manager?
Murphy: I am absolutely thrilled, I have always had an affinity for Parma and I am hoping my arrival can re-establish the club among the top in Italy.

Poli: How do you rate your teams chances over the coming season?
Murphy: I firmly believe with the squad we have here we should be in the top half of the table and that is where were aiming to be at the end of the season.

Messani: What is your tactical approach to the game?
Murphy: I want to play fast attractive football while also remaining tight at the back. I also like to pass the ball about and exploit the flanks.


Vieri: Parma have a tradition of nurturing young talent, do you plan to continue this philosophy?
Murphy: I am hoping to continue this tradition but we will not be forced to sell our prized assets like we have done in the past. Developing youngsters is great but we want to keep them at our club and have them challenging for honours.


Vieri: Do you really think that Parma can begin challenging for trophies again as it has been 9 years since they last won a major cup?
Murphy: I believe that we should always strive to compete for cups and I firmly believe by the time I leave this club we will have many more competitive trophies in our cabinet.

Murphy:
"This concludes the press conference for today, I look forward to sitting here again soon with possibly a few new signings."




​Tomasso Ghiradi invites me into his office after the press briefing. Decked out with Renaissance art and a large oak sculpted desk he asks me to take a seat on the soft Italian leather couch. Tommaso then proceeds to pour himself a drink, Scotch by the looks of it and asks me would I like one. Despite not really liking it I accept a glass and sip from it. It burns my throat on the way down. Tommaso informs me he will be asking me to call in every week to give him progress on how team affairs are and we can discuss any issues we have each week over a drink. I say this is fine and we will both know where we stand. Now there are only two matters left to attend to said Ghiradi " We will take a trip down to the training ground and will formally introduce you to the players and staff, and there is also the issue of your wages". "Issue with my wages?" I reply. "Yes we have already agreed on €40,000 a month but as we didnt handle your sign on fee" announced Tommaso as he handed me a cheque. I look down and see it is written for €120,000 and suddenly i have a grin on my face that would make the cheshire cat envious.

The training ground is a mess. I had been told that it had fallen into dissaray over the past few years and Tommaso has promised me this will be addressed over the coming months. On the positive side I am impressed with the players. Especially the likes of Giovinco, Mirante and Morrone. I call Stefano Morrone aside and reassure him that he will remain on as captain for the upcoming season with Giovinco being his vice captain. I then leave the training ground by taxi for my hotel, the plush Palace Maria Luigia. I sit down and open up my macbook and get busy looking for possible additions to the squad...and suddenly the room gets dark....
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