A football manager ?! Me ?!
I just couldn`t believe it when one of my commercial suppliers, which is actually a longtime friend told me this crazy idea - " You know that i am a busy man, a 35 years old guy who devotes much time for family and also for my business ( along with my family )...but.. what crazy idea is that to put someone who is not from the class in front of a football club ?! "
- Rodrigo, I confess that it was i that suggested your name to the club chairman...i know very well that you are a born leader and you have done a remarkable job in your company. I was also surprised when he told me what he wanted, but in my head ... you are what he seeks, no doubt about that.
- What the hell, are you really mean it! You realise that it sounds something truly surreal ?!
I know, but look... you won`t lose anything and why not come with me to talk with him!?
- Okay, I'll go with you, I want to see who's crazier ... you or that man
Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 28-10-16 at 10:51 PM.
So..2 days later i went with my friend to Sacavém ( a place just outside Lisbon )... we went straight to Sacavenense facilities where we were greeted by a man who kindly took us to a very small office, small but yet cozy. In fact in my youth ... I had been in that club (more precisely had played against them) and I cannot say that much has changed in more or less 20 years. We entered the office and were greeted very warmly by a man already close to 60, overflowing sympathy and he immediately told me to be completely at ease.
We were introduced by our mutual friend and they both told me that also their friendship ... was something that had been going on for some years.
Rodrigo is a pleasure to welcome you here in our modest club
- Thank you Mr Manuel do Carmo, the pleasure is all mine.
Well, I will be synthetic and as I know you are also a very pragmatic man ... let's go straight to what brings us here today
- Fine by me...i am indeed very curious to see what you want from me
My friend, I want you to take control of my team, be Sacavenense manager !!!
- Look, with all due respect ... I do not have any experience in that you are asking me, it is clear that this is some kind of mistake, i love football...but that is not my life, i am a hard working man, i have my own business as you probably already know and...
Yes, yes...our friend already told me, he spoke me about your abilities as a leader of a very successful company and i have to tell you...i am impressed of what you already achieved at such a young age...only 35 right ?!
- Right...35, but look, as he might told you also...i run a familiar business, so i must share all that we achieved with my brother and my father, without them...possibly the company would not be what it is today.
Perfect, a man with your leadership, with your honesty in recognizing the merits of teamwork and most of all...with your humility ... is just what I seek, my friend ... i have no doubt that you are the man for this job
- Oh boy, look...i played in my youth, until my 19/20...always in small teams and the only contact that i have with this game nowadays...is when i go to see Benfica and when i play just for fun with my friends, every tuesday and sometimes also wednesdays. I have no experience in managing football teams...
I see you point, but let`s do this...1 year of contract, and since we are a semi-professional club, you will be able to continue with your daily job, come on...you will find out how much fun this will be for you
Give me 24 hours...i have to speak with my family and of course i will do some thinking about all this...
Done...call me tomorrow and give me your decision
I ll do it...thanks and goodbye
Next day...this is fuc**** insane, but let`s do it
Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 29-10-16 at 01:43 PM.
Reason: not finished
Three days later i went to Sacavenense ( to meet with the chairman Manuel do Carmo) in order to discuss some details of my contract and also to make some planification for the new season. He introduce me to the remaining staff, people of his entire confidence...Arlindo Souto a 59 years old coach, Rafael Tavares a 74 ?!? years scout and Manuel Silva also a 74 ?!? years physiotherapist. I was smiling but kept thinking ... this shit looks like a nursing home !!!
Rodrigo, we have few resources, but still i hope you help us fighting against relegation
We are in 2nd division B , south zone...and all we want is to " sail in safe water "
I understand Mr chairman, but now...let`s go see the squad if you don`t mind
Of course, follow me, the lads are in the locker room
What ?!? Only 3 players ?!? Where are the rest of the players ?! We can`t even play futsal !! Is this a joke ?! Oh boy...what the hell am i doing here ?? ( i thought to myself )
So the Sacavenense squad..one central back Toze Andrade (30 years), and two central midfields...Pedro Ribeiro and Fábio Arcanjo ( both 21 years)
Sorry Rodrigo, i know we have a lot of work to do
Allow me to disagree Mr chairman...we have ALL the work to do !!
Indeed, once again im sorry...but most of our last year players, went away with the former manager and only these 3 remained here
I won`t lie to you, i wasn`t expecting this...my job will be even harder from now on, but i will still give my best to this club.
Let`s start working, there`s no time to lose...i already see our schedule and we have only 4 or 5 weeks ahead, before our 1st official match.
Somehow and even knowing our poor finances, i managed to arrange a 7 days tour to north region of the country. Meanwhile...among some phone calls and in coordination with the board, we schedule two friendly games to compete while we're there.
I knew we were running against time, so my one and only old scout bring me some players to do trial training sessions. I couldn`t believe it how bad some of them really were So among about 20 players i only gave permission to give part time contract to 5 players. A greek, an italian and three spanish guys. All of them very young players and obviously very immature. However, I could not at all afford to waste some players that I felt that perhaps could have some use. Many were the contacts established in these days leading up to our north tour, and with great difficulty i managed to strengthen the squad with some players of other portuguese teams.
Miguel Soares a good G.K from Casa Pia
Tiago Silva an average striker from Salgueiros
Fidélis, brazilian striker with some 1st league experience ( Marítimo) from Portimonense ( 2nd league team)
Ivo Nicolau a 33 old defender also from Portimonense
Filipe Brigues right back from U.Leiria.
In our training sessions, i had to use some young players from our youth team...just to make number
My 1st ever match as a manager
Unfortunately I also had to adapt myself to the squad ( not what i wanted,but what was possible) so, obviously that this reality conditioned my tactical ideas to the team. The strategy for the game, always depended on the resources at my disposal. That was clear from the beginning and i knew it very well.
In my lecture prior to the game and because I had many young players in our squad, i felt the need to make my team understand that was not the result that interested me, my goal was to give minutes of competition and of course rehearse some of the ideas that I had planned.
After the game, the chairman right there in the dressing room expressed all his satisfaction. I had to remind him that it was only a friendly game and there was still much work ahead.
Our second and last game of the 7 day tour was against Trofense ( like Felgueiras, also a team from 2nd division B, North zone). We`ve fought well, but in the end we lose 2-0. Back to our home i`ve managed to fix a tournament in our Stadium. I personally made the contacts and i invited successfully two teams from our league...U.Leiria ( same division but different zone) and Oriental. The last team was actually my former team Clube Futebol Benfica were i played for 5 years in my youth. Unbelievably the chairman is still the same after so many years and they are now playing non league football.
Meanwhile my almost skeleton scout, brought more trial players for me to do the evaluation. I gave 3 portuguese, 1 spanish, 1 turkish, 1 italian and 1 greek the opportunity to sign a part time contract with low wages. I could strengthen my squad with some more negotiations that ended up well
- Joăo Real a central back from Académica with 1st league experience.
- Vieirinha a 23 old midfielder from U.Torcatense
- Ricardo Neves a goalkeeper and Fábio ( my one and only loaned player ) a brazilian striker...both from Farense
- Nélson Agra, a central back who can also play as defensive midfielder from Varzim
- Dani Costa, midfielder from Salgueiros
- Landinho a defensive midfielder from Fafe.
My squad was now completed, i spent some money to build this team but it was necessary to do so, even with the club poor finances resources. Clearly there were some gaps in certain positions, but it was with this group of 24 players that I would start the season.
Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 30-10-16 at 11:57 AM.
In the 1st match of this home cup, C.Futebol Benfica won one neal against Oriental and booked their place in the final. So match 2 was Sacavenense vs U.Leiria and the atmosphere leading up to the game was very good. The fans were very expectant to see the team perform at home for the 1st time this season. Of course curiosity was even greater because no one had any idea who was this stranger managing their local team.
Before the game, i talked to my players...Boys, this is our first game here at our home and i want to win this game. However, most of all...i want to see you guys enjoying the game, let`s play some nice football. I want to offer a win for these magnificent supporters that came to see us here today.
After 45 minutes, this was not what i was expecting. The game not on was going well, but still felt that the result wasn`t well mirrored what had happened in the 1st half
In the locker room i encouraged the boys not to give up playing and not worrying about the result ... the only thing I wanted for them was to see that they were giving the best of themselves.
But in the end of the match...
Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 30-10-16 at 11:59 AM.
In fact, I was not totally disappointed with my team, although I confess I was worried about the bad performances of my two chickens ...I was really scared that these two goalkeepers had played so badly. Maybe they had accused the pressure, but still I knew I had to motivate them,i trusted above all in those two and i knew the 3rd goalkeeper in my squad as well as very young, also had many gaps in his game.
Next day, we played for 3rd and 4th place of the Sacavém Cup against Oriental. I had the perfect idea that they were better than us, moreover it was common knowledge that we were still in a growth process, new manager, new players, new ideas...all this takes time to make it work.
Of course i prefer working over wins, after two losses ( in fact, 3 in a row counting with the Trofense game) in our own homeground, mistrust settled in our supporters (understandably) and of course I also felt some apprehension in the board. The road would be long, but I believed in my work and in my abilities to lead this team.
Out of curiosity ...my former and the only non league team of this tournament, ended up winning the Sacavém Cup.
I mentioned before that i had a 24 players squad, because i somehow had managed to sell 3 players who could hardly kick the ball. Not even one month these three players were in the club, as soon as some football agents have emerged with proposals for them, sure that i wouldn`t think twice. Not to brag myself, but all my experience gained over the years as a successful businessman, would be useful also in football
In the last week of work before our 1st official game, I felt some anxiety on the squad. However I was very confident that the team would give an answer to our bad previous results and that would give proof of their value as a team. We had worked well all week and i truly believed that we were ready for the 1st game.
So we traveled to Algarve to face Lusitano de Vila Real de Sto António...my official debut as football manager was just around the corner
The morning before the match, Arlindo Souto ( my one and only coach) approach me and ask me if i wanted him to do the talking to the squad for our 1st official game, since he was older and far more experient then me. Obviously i thanked his gesture and took the opportunity to also thank all the help he was giving me since I came to the club...but I made him understand that I would never be a good leader if i do not assume completely the responsibility I have on my shoulders.
Before the game..in the locker room, and after i give the tactics
Boys,i want you to play without any complex,I want above all to see you guys have fun, play what you know, try to execute what we have trained over these weeks, football is a simple game ... avoid complicating what is easy, play as a team i want each one be supportive to each other come on guys, we will win this game.
Very important, I want you boys to be smart, there`s no good protesting the referee's decisions, he's the boss and we won`t gain anything from it. Concentration, i do not ask for too much ...i just want each of you give your best for this club.
Good luck and have fun
Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 31-10-16 at 05:31 PM.
After the game, everyone was satisfied with the outcome, the chairman gave me a big hug and I felt the need to cool the excessive euphoria. Despite the significant result, which made me happy, I knew perfectly well that nothing was won yet. There was still much work ahead.
A good performance in our first home match, made us win by a solid 3-1 against Alcanenense.
We traveled a few days later, to the stadium of Beneditense ( a non league team) for the 1st round of the Portuguese cup.
Since the beginning of my manager job in Sacavém, I always felt a committed team with me...and I took the opportunity of playing with a team of lower divisions, to put it my starting eleven my less used players. When i have two goalkeepers almost at same level, i usually make one play league games and the other one will be my number 1 at cup games. So i also changed my keeper for this cup match. I made many changes but i kept Fidélis in the team. He had scored in the previous two games and cause the next game would only be within a week, I decided to keep him.
Away match against Loures
The distance between the 2 clubs is about 15 miles...and despite the good relationship between the two boards, i knew that we would have a very hard game. Among neighbors, tempers always heat a little bit and besides ... I was also duly informed about the quality of this Loures team.
I prepared well the team for this clash and we went to the game loaded with confidence.
We had a very good 1st half an hour, that saw us score twice and gave us an important advantage of 0-2. However, we lowered our level of play in the 2nd half and after much pressure from our rival coupled with the incredible support of over 4000 local fans ( outstanding assistance for a 2nd division B game) they actually managed to tie the game with two goals in five minutes.
I felt that maybe the 1st official defeat was about to happen, but the inevitable Fidelis with only 8/10 minutes to play...scored a vital third goal that made the three points stay on our side. When he scored, it was a complete crazyness in our bench and when he came to embrace me , the whole team celebrated together.
When Fidélis joined Sacavenense and after a few training sessions, i immediately understood that much of the success of my team, would be on the feet of this brazilian striker.
I remember that perhaps in our second or third conversation I was honest with him and told him that he had too much quality to be playing at this level ( 2nd division B ). He was pleased with my words, and told me that all he wanted by coming to Sacavenense was 1st team action and of course...to help the club with his goals.
His numbers in the first games of the season ... showed me that I was not mistaken with my previous predictions.
After another win at home against Torreense ( not a bad team ) we were satisfied with our stats as a team. After all...we achieved 5 wins in a row and i felt everybody delighted with Sacavenense performances.
For me it would be perfect if the league ended at that moment
Vieirinha - Come on mister, let me play this next game, you know how special it will be for me to face my former club
You know how i think, you are a very important 1st team player and i want to give some of your teammates the opportunity to play
I know mister, but...
Look, i am very pleased with your good contribution, but i want you to rest this next match
Ok mister, i see there is no point in arguing with you, but at least take me to the bench
I wasn`t planning to take you , but...what the hell i guess it`s ok if you stay on the bench
The game was one-way side and we ended up eliminating this team in the 3rd round of the cup. Vieirinha was glad to see his former teammates and coaches, but he did not leave the bench the entire game.
Against one of the best youth academy of Portugal and why not...of Europe
Our travel to the field of Sporting B would always be a hard game. In addition of being a team with very good young players, they also had some less used players from the first team. A very complicated game was what awaited us, no doubt about that.
We didn´t start well the game and we conceded an early goal which consequently made my team far more anxious, more nervous. Luckly our keeper was not at all affected by the enormous pressure caused by our opponent and with a handful of good interventions, helped the team to resist until the halftime. We improved a lot in the 2nd half and my 2 star players operated a twist that left me delightedly at the end of the game. Absolutely great victory at home of one of the big candidates of this league.
Back to our home, we managed to win a very disputed game against Barreirense.
The bitter taste of defeat
One day we would lost a game, we were playing some nice football and we were all happy with this good run of consecutive victories. The team was very consistent and overflowed confidence as the wins keep coming to our side. Unfortunately on our second trip to Algarve, we were finally defeated at the hands of Farense.
I knew this day would come and I can not deny that I was upset, but even so, on the return trip, I tried to encourage the team and show all my trust in them. There was no time to lose with lamentations and the thought was already in the next game at home against a very good and dangerous team that had been relegated in the previous year.
For the 1st time...from bad to worse
I wasn`t mad with some of my players, offensively we played well but we were stopped by the man of the match, their goalkeeper with a brilliant display. Perhaps the result was not fair, but with a defense as permeable as mine, we will always be closer of losing. Still, despite the upset home loss, I chose not to be too hard on my boys.
Nothing better than Portuguese cup to made us return to winning days.
Back to Algarve, we went to face Louletano and once more Fábio was just outstanding. He was destined to shine in portuguese cup
Trashing next opponent
As a manager i always privilege the group, i do not even like to individualize but despite not expressing my happiness to them ... I was truly delighted with my key players.
Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 01-11-16 at 10:50 PM.
It was too soon, but i started hearing some people talking about promotion and how it would be with the this club in the professional leagues. I guess with such good results, it was impossible to stop some natural euphoria. Still, I kept my feet firmly on the ground and my concern was mainly on getting good games combined with good results.
The first images are broken...
Thanks, but can you be more specific?
Originally Posted by reynaldo20