The best investment a football club can make

Early January 2020. The Atmosfera Bar, Mykolaiv, Ukraine. The medical team of second-tier club MFC Mykolaiv are enjoying pre-Christmas drinks. Dramatis personae: Olexiy Zhuravlev (Head Physio) Vasyl Kandaurov (Physio) Taras Kaval (Head of Sports Science) Rustam Ignatjev (Sport Scientist) Dmytro Binevskiy (Club doctor) BINEVSKIY: Well, gents, now we're half a season into the gaffer's reign, … Continue reading The best investment a football club can make

A despondent manager relies on tobacco that comes all the way from Bulgaria

Four in the afternoon, late in November, 2019. Scene: Grigor Pasha's apartment, Mykolaiv, Ukraine. Pasha is sitting in an arm chair, with a black coffee and a pensive look. He looks so much older. He is preparing his pipe, which he has recently taken to smoking again. Well, let's be honest. I'm not in a … Continue reading A despondent manager relies on tobacco that comes all the way from Bulgaria

Club management as brand management: the MFC Mykolaiv brand

Time and date: Just before lunch, 27 May 2019. Place: the manager's office, Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Cast: Grigor Pasha (manager); Anatoliy Didenko (assistant manager). Pasha has the air of a man in his element. Didenko has the look of the man who has been disconcerted by the rapidity and boldness of the his boss's decision-making. … Continue reading Club management as brand management: the MFC Mykolaiv brand

Special offer from MFC Mykolaiv: a 3-for-1 offer on left wingers

Time and date: late morning, 27 May 2019. Place: manager's office, Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Grigor Pasha was aware that, on his first day as manager of the club, he would be wanted by all kinds of people for all kinds of things. But they'd have to wait. He noticed, as he entered the manager's office, … Continue reading Special offer from MFC Mykolaiv: a 3-for-1 offer on left wingers

That’s the way a season crumbles: the surprising outcomes of a season review

Grigor Pasha writes: Our 2021-22 season in Liga 2 started well. We went unbeaten for 10 games. Then, having lost to Hermannstadt on 26 September, we didn't lose again (in the league) until 9 April, when we lost to Universitatea Cluj. Before the Cluj game we looked nailed-on for automatic promotion. After that game,we  didn't … Continue reading That’s the way a season crumbles: the surprising outcomes of a season review

How to keep your players fit and free from injury

Du Malone writes: I’m far from expert about what goes on, on the pitch. So to succeed at Football Manager (FM) I have to attend closely to what goes on, off it. One area in which I do seem to succeed is management of injuries and fitness. My aim is always that, when the match … Continue reading How to keep your players fit and free from injury

Squad development: the roundtable approach

SCENE: Football manager's office. It is an office of two halves. The half nearer the window is dominated by a tatty desk from the 1970s. On the desk are in, pending, and out trays, with paper spilling out of them. There are also various other piles of paper: from the looks of things this manager … Continue reading Squad development: the roundtable approach

In the mild midwinter: in praise of the mid-season break

Grigor Pasha writes: Jan 2021. It's the winter break here in Bulgaria. I know the pros and cons of winter breaks are something journalists love to start a debate on, when they're too lazy to do any real reporting. In Bulgaria, the break is the obvious pragmatic choice. Though winters here in Burgas, on the … Continue reading In the mild midwinter: in praise of the mid-season break

Friendly competitions: signalling intent

Grigor Pasha writes: My method for getting the players fit, pre-season, and fit again, during the winter break, is in both periods to organise a sequence of three cup competitions, one per week. To date we've named the competitions after out Chief Physio, our Head of Sport Scientist, and Club Doctor, Ema Ruseva. Next season … Continue reading Friendly competitions: signalling intent