Quite simply – I am a football / Football Manager mad fan from the West of Ireland, I’ve been playing FM since the CM2 days and have bought the new version every year since. I am also a lifelong Newcastle United fan (7 year old me has a lot to answer for), far easier watching them in the game than in real life and I have spent years managing them through thick and thin within the FM world (as well as watching them struggle in real life 😩).
Recreating that famous celebration aged 10 (spot the Newcastle fan)
Taking #NUFC to new heights
My obsession with Football Management simulation games all started with Sensible World of Soccer (1995/1996), which was literally light years ahead of its time in terms of detail and global team/player information. In Sensible Soccer I found something that was lacking for me in other football games I had played up to that point – not only could you pick the team and control tactics/ substitutes etc, but here was a game where you could also buy and sell players; actual transfers with monetary amounts and negotiation between clubs! For me it was a revelation, a complete change of scene and an opportunity to apply a lot more thought and insight to football simulation in addition to being able to play games and control teams.
However, as time progressed I found myself wanting more in the game, more competition and challenges and overall more reality in which to thrive as a (simulated) football manager. The confines of the game meant that only the user’s team developed and improved with time, however other teams would not do the same (i.e. they would not buy or sell players themselves unless I bought/exchanged from them), and this meant that the game would become somewhat static around you from season to season – enter Championship Manager!! I discovered the game by chance at a friends birthday (aged 9 or 10), and after a long period of negotiating (which involved swapping SWOS for CM2) I brought the game home, never returned it and the rest as we know is history…I have bought, played and obsessed over every version of the game since and here I sit (aged 32 years and 4 months old) writing about it with the same enthusiasm I held all those years ago.
My introduction to the Football Manager online community came through FMWEC, where I was fortunate to be selected to participate in the first ever Football Manager World E-Sports Championship (organised by the legends at Bidstack). I managed to top my group of this epic 64 man competition winning 3 games out of 3, eventually crashing out to @AccessEuphoria in the last 16. It was here that I met 63 other FM fanatics many of whom are huge contributors to the FM community, and I also had the privilege of meeting arguably the greatest CM/FM Wonderkid of all time, the legend that is Cherno Samba (@samgerfc) – an FM milestone that was only topped by a visit to the Sports Interactive offices at the end of 2018, the home of Football Manager.
Since then the only way has been up – I was fortunate to be asked to join the @5StarPotential team, initially as Head of Blogging for 5StarPotential.com and subsequently hanging around long enough to establish a full time spot on the 5 Star Potential podcast, the longest running weekly Football Manager podcast in the world! 2 years and multiple visits to the UK later we are still going strong having recently celebrated 5 years of the podcast and recording our 250th episode where we were graced with the presence of none other than Miles Jacobson, Studio Director of Sports Interactive.
My FM blogging continues here on MaddFM.com, 5StarPotential.com and occasionally on Football Manager’s The Byline, while I also stream every now and again on Twitch and you can of course hear my voice most Mondays on the pod – feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if I can ever help out in any way.