Say not the struggle nought availeth

30 May 2020. Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Goalkeeping coach Roman Chumak is in the stand, watching the final fixture of the league campaign. There are two relegation places to be decided and four teams in danger of the drop, of which MFC Mykolaiv are one. Mykolaiv are at home to Obolon-Brewer, who have secured a place in … Continue reading Say not the struggle nought availeth

Will we go down to the third tier?

30 May 2020. Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Goalkeeping coach Roman Chumak is in the stand, watching the final fixture of the league campaign. There are two relegation places to be decided and four teams in danger of the drop, of which MFC Mykolaiv are one. Mykolaiv are at home to Obolon-Brewer, who have secured a place … Continue reading Will we go down to the third tier?

Elegy written in a west Ukrainian stadium

23 May 2020. Yunist Stadium, western Ukraine. Grigor Pasha, manager of Mykolaiv in the Ukrainian second tier, is reflecting after the game. After that drubbing at Prykarpattya, I was expecting the sack. It didn't happen. I guess they reasoned that, with only four fixtures left, it was too late to make a change. I made … Continue reading Elegy written in a west Ukrainian stadium

What the goalie said to himself

25 April 2020. The Karpathian foothills. Goalkeeper Amir Agalarov is on the MFC Mykolaiv bench, waiting for the game at Prykarpattya to get under way. I'm hoping that Yaroslav Kotlyarov will get injured in the first minute. Not badly, of course: I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But just enough for him to have to come … Continue reading What the goalie said to himself

Revival or a dead cat bounce? Diary of a manager

Spring 2020. Southern Ukraine. Extracts from the diary of Grigor Pasha, manager of second-tier MFC Mykolaiv. 23 March So, we had some fun hosting some friendly competitions -- the Black Sea Shield and the Black Sea Trophy. We got our squad match fit and, most importantly, our so-called sharp shooters -- Kravchenko, Soldatov, and Malyarchuk … Continue reading Revival or a dead cat bounce? Diary of a manager

At last — at long, long, last — an injection of talent

Late February, 2020. Grigor Pasha, the manager of Ukrainian second-tier club MFC Mykolaiv, is sitting at home, smoking a pipe of Turkish tobacco and staring at his laptop. His sleeves are rolled up. When I arrived here in the early summer -- My! That sunlit world full of dreams appears in my mind now like … Continue reading At last — at long, long, last — an injection of talent

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

An old war horse bows out

Early December 2019. A previous post revealed that, back in the summer of 2019, Ukrainian second tier club MFC Mykolaiv decided to sign Volodymar Kornutyak. Scene: the Kornutyak household in their rented accommodation in Mykolaiv. Personae dramatis: Volodymar Kornutyak; Mrs Kornutyak KORNUTYAK: Well, perhaps it's just as well that we haven't quite sold our house in … Continue reading An old war horse bows out

The Trials & Tribulations of Non League

Du Malone writes: Recently I was given the opportunity to review blog posts for Score More FM’s ‘Posts of the moment’ column. I finished the review by picking a new blog, ‘A thistle and the vale’ from JDH. I suggested it would be worth following.

Well, this opening narrative post doesn’t disappoint. I’m reblogging it here because I like the liveliness of the writing.

JDH Football Manager Blogs

Jonathan Hogan

The Scottish Football calendar has drawn to a close, and whilst many outlets will be focused on the blue half of Glasgow’s return to the mountain top, this piece will focus on a team still trudging up towards basecamp. Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, are the team I will be focussing on today and their season in the East of Scotland League Conference B.

The pre-season started in a hectic manner, with the appointment of, recently retired Lowland League journeyman, Greig Porter as Manager. Having funded himself through his coaching courses but with only a short player/manager stint at Rosyth FC, this seemed like a risky manoeuvre. This sense of risk was heightened when at his initial press conference to a single journalist he stated his coaching influences where “Bielsa, Pep and Poch” and further described himself as a “pragmatic Bielsa” (surely an oxymoron as the influential Argentine can…

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The sweet spot in contract negotiation

Du Malone writes: This post is the seventh of an extended series on the topic of contracts in FM. The post is designed to make explicit a theme that is implicit through much of this series. When you're negotiating terms with a player or member of staff, you can sometimes get trapped in a zero-sum … Continue reading The sweet spot in contract negotiation