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Diary of a new manager

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There's not much more you can ask from PEN. I came into the leagues as Swansea manager, hoping to stabilise the club with its imbalanced yet teasingly good looking side. It wasn't just the team I had to work around. I was learning my trade as an up-and-coming manager, avoiding the many obstacles such as wage bills, tax, fines, squad sizes and sustainability. I was foolish and I didn't really check into all the rules, picking some up as I went a long and missing a few tricks along the way. I was learning the hard way.

I'm a defensive guy, always working from the back and relying heavily on a powerful strike partnership. I had ideas and a philosophy that I wanted my team to follow, the current squad just didn't fit. To do this I needed certain characters, adept at certain roles. This means I needed to jump into a transfer market full of veteran managers, experienced dealers, sharks, as well as eleven new managers all in exactly the same position as me.

I was lucky, the Board of Directors assigned me a mentor, someone to guide me past the minefield that was approaching. He was needed. Heavily. I had no clue on market values, and I definitely did not understand how real life events such as contract, transfers and players that had potential to either disappear from the next seasons game, or go the opposite way and be boosted from a regular player to a superstar, potentially reaping rewards later down the line.

Soaking up all of these variables was a challenge, but I had only seen the tip of the iceberg. And this iceberg had enough size to sink a dozen Titanics! I was concentrating on this season, trying to stabilise my starting XI and hopefully having a bench good enough to support tired legs at the end of a match. I was thinking of now, but there were guys thinking ahead to 2 seasons, one elite manager was even thinking ahead to 5 seasons time.... it was mind-blowing.

I scoured the transfer deals and players available, hoping to find players that fitted my shopping list. Day 1 was full of frustration, every player either didn't fit or seemed to cost a fortune, especially the young players. This pattern was becoming consistent ; young players had potential and the market reflected this.

Whilst negotiating with a few manager I had their console, giving me advice I would need to remember. I enquired on 32 players for this day, with no positive return. Some were overpriced, some would go AWOL next season, and some were gambles. But I was gaining valuable experience with each enquiry. A picture was forming in my head. Already on the second day I was beginning to get a gauge of players worth, to some extent anyway. And I had some luck on my side, with three players on the market that were on my shopping list. This gave me hope, that I could deal in the markets, with a little help from my mentor.
The floodgates suddenly opened as the transfer market grew. I can only assume that other new managers were doing the same as me, getting a feel for the market and finally getting confidence to dip their toes in the water.

It's now a week of well and Swansea has seen 10 transfers in total, which in reality is not a lot in return for over two hundred enquiries, failures, broken deals and successes. I sit back now, after a week of what is pure madness, and I cannot wait to see how the future of my PEN managerial career unfolds.

What I have learnt with PEN is that it's as in-depth as you can get, and brings something that no football manager game, or playable simulator can, on their own.
It's a community of people, decent people, that all play for the same love of the sport.

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