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My FM 2012 Story – Respect the Past, Challenge the Future

Hello folks, the moment has finally arrived! I will reveal the team that I will be managing in Football Manager 2012, the team that I will try to take from anonymity to glory! I know you were all curious to find out the name of that team, especially after I revealed that it will be a Romanian team. Most of you know that my favourite team is Universitatea Craiova but sadly I won’t be able to manage them in FM 2012 simply because the club doesn’t exist any more because of a controversial FA decision. But I think I have found a team that I care about, maybe not as much as I care about Craiova but pretty close.

The main reason why I love the team I’m going to manage is the club owner, the chairman… This guy was my childhood idol, his name is… Gheorghe Hagi!

For the youngest of you who might not know who Gheorge Hagi was I have prepared a quick fact file and some moving pictures that will surely enchant you.

International Career

1983–2000: 125 caps, 35 goals. He was the captain of the Romanian national team at the age of 18!

Club Career

1982–1983:  Farul Constanţa – 18 apps, 7 goals

1983–1987: Sportul Studenţesc – 107 apps, 58 goals

1987–1990: Steaua Bucureşti – 97 apps, 76 goals

1990–1992: Real Madrid – 64 apps, 16 goals

1992–1994: Brescia 61 apps,  14 goals

1994–1996: Barcelona 36 apps, 7 goals

1996–2001: Galatasaray 132 apps, 59 goals

Nicknames

– in Romania – “Regele” (The King)

– in Turkey – “Commandante” (The Commander)

– international – “The Maradona of the Carpathians”

I could go on and on about Hagi, he was one of the best footballers of all time, an attacking midfielder with fabulous skills, awesome intelligence on the football pitch and a devastating left foot. Let’s watch some of his goals and delightful dribbles and passes:

Was he great or what? I got to meet him after he hung up his boots and I have to say that he is a wonderful man as well, not only a great former footballer. He spent huge sums on charities, especially for children, but I had to investigate to find that out because he never told anybody how much he gave and to whom. That’s why I admire him and I probably always will.

He founded a football club in 2009 in his home town, Constanta. The club was named FC Viitorul, where FC stands for “Football Club” and “Viitorul” means “The Future“. Why this name? It’s simple: the foundation of the whole project is a cracking youth academy, the best in the country. In fact, the academy was built following the model of Barcelona‘s “La Masia“, a club that Hagi knows very well since his playing days in Spain. You can check out the club website, some pages are translated into English.

Back to the game now, I took the job and Hagi himself greeted me with a message! He even gave me a contract until 2013 although I only have Sunday league footballer experience ;)

As I said the club was founded in 2009 by taking over a third league team spot and they managed to get promoted to the second tier right away. They finished somewhere in mid-table last season but they kept investing in the future and built excellent training and youth facilities.

But now they want to make the big step forward and climb up to the Romanian top flight! There will be a lot of pressure on me right away, I guess I kind of like that :)

I checked out the club staff and I was a bit amazed to see the number of youth coaches! I guess the project is pretty clear now: this club wants to nurture their own youngsters instead of just buying established players and I really, really like that.

I won’t go into details about the tactic that I will use now, I will do that in a separate post. All I can say is that it will be a 4-3-3 tactic that I have tested in the demo with Barcelona. The results were pretty good buy I guess any tactic can give you results with Barcelona… Anyway, the whole idea is based on possession, short passing and creative freedom, you know that I like that ;)

Now let’s have a look at the squad… As you can see we’re pretty well equipped in terms of potential, most of the players are young and very young so the future looks quite exciting.

The under 19s squad does have a few talents as well but I plan on bringing in a few more exciting youngsters.

The best player at the club seems to be central midfielder Mihai Onicas, a hard working lad that still has a bit of room for improvement. He will probably be my first choice playmaker this season.

Before concluding this post I want to show you a couple of pictures of the places that are related to the club. First, the city of Constanta, one of the biggest and most beautiful cities in Romania. It’s located right on the shores of the Black Sea and was built on the foundations of the ancient Roman city named Tomis.

But the team doesn’t have a stadium in Constanta… The stadium is located in the nearby town called Ovidiu, a small stadium that was renovated with Hagi‘s money…

I hope you like the club that I have chosen, it will surely be a tough challenge but I hope I will be able to pull it off. Wait, I never told you the exact terms of the challenge… Here goes:

– The main goal is to win the Champions League! It might take several seasons but I have the patience. Hopefully I will have the time to complete that…

– My plan is to sign mostly young players, under 21 years of age. However, I think I will need some experienced players at some point but I think I will restrict that to a maximum of two new experienced players per season.

That’s what I’ll be up to in FM 2012, what do you think?

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Malhar Bhadbhade
Guest
Malhar Bhadbhade

hey Johnny,
cannot wait for the story to get properly underway. i’m sure you’ll put romanian football on the map in next to no time…looking forward to pre-season and then the start of the season. good luck!

Darren Smith
Admin

Excellent choice Johnny, my wife will certainly approve as she adores Hagi. Great footballers have talent in more than one area, legendary footballers can do anything and Hagi was a real legend! I can’t wait for this story, its going to be very different for the norm!

Laxeyman
Guest
Laxeyman

Looks like a really interesting and unique story Johnny! Hagi was certainly a fantastic player, and it looks like he’s building a great project with Viitorul :) The expectations are high, but I’m sure you’ll live up to them, good luck!

Nicholas Phipps
Guest
Nicholas Phipps

Looks like an interesting challenge. Although I’m not old enough to have seen Hagi play, I’ve seen a few goals/skill compilations and he looks absolutely breathtaking :). Looking forward to this and good luck :)

Lye
Guest

Hi Johnny,

I am anticipating for you to manage a club from your native country and the choice is fantastic. Hagi is a gifted footballer and i like him a lot. To know that he is concerned about charity and even found a football club is amazing. Looking forward to an outstanding story from you. Good luck.

FM Blogger
Guest
FM Blogger

Now this is going to be very interesting. Hagi is one of my favourite players, a true legend and from what you said, he seems to be a good person as well. I did not know that he founded a club, but I just enjoy the plan of creating a club that wants to work with youngsters and the youth academy. This is going to be a really good story and I am looking forward to see Viitorul conquer Europe and have a bunch of players that come from the academy. Good Luck!

Jack
Guest
Jack

This is going to be a good one Johnny, really looking forward to this! So great to see a team with a real emphasis on youth development, Hagi is some guy. Maybe to make this challenge a bit harder you could perhaps have a minimum of 5 Romanian players in your starting lineup at all times? Good look on this challenge!

TheZiggy
Guest

An most interesting challenge. There is definitely huge amounts of potential waiting to be unlocked in the squad.

One thing is for sure, Hagi was not only a great player, but a great person as well. His vision and skill with the ball on the field was outstanding. It looks like he was one of those players, where all his moves just came naturally, and only really knew what he was about to do as it happened. He definitely did it with humility, unlike certain players today, who I won’t mention. To have that much talent, and not be an arrogant with it, is a true measure of the man, and makes him likeable where others will always struggle.

Sears
Guest

Fantastic choice of team Johnny.This certainly has the potential to be a great story, just as most of you’re team have the potential to be very good players :D Hagi’s shot were so powerful what a player he was! Good luck with this pal!

paine
Guest

I didn’t know anything about FC Viitorul, my bad, but this could be a good background for a story.
Hagi was a great player, his laziness limited a bit his career though.

Kevin
Member

Hi Johnny
Great choice of team which looks to have bags of potential in both the senior and junior teams. I very much like the look of Constanta and hope you develop your team to be as eaqually as beautiful as that Black Sea town Good luck with this new story!

Matt Clark
Guest
Matt Clark

hey johnny your team looks to have immense potential
do you know if the dynamic league reputation will actually have a big difference on the other teams in the country as i am trying to do something similar to yourself and stromson only with ireland then n.ireland and i dont really want to win every league game 10-0 after 5-10 seasons

Dan
Member

Great choice Johnny plus I learned a little about Romanian football :) This story is different and I look forward to it.

Sorry to hear about Universitatea Craiova, I can’t imagine what it would be like to see your favourite team disappear from existence…

vaibhavc
Guest
vaibhavc

I will learn a lot about the Romanian league now, I will look forward to seeing a complete change in story. It is very unique, you should put a copyright on this! And how do you say that stadium name?

Stromson
Member

Very compelling Johnny, I’m excited to see where you can take them! I was also shamefully unaware of Hagi’s talent, and I appreciate the education. :)

Sayam Khan
Member

Hi Johnny,
hope you are well. Like the new website design, it’s very eye catching!

Seems like it will be an interesting story Johnny, much different compared to your past stories.

Good Luck!

Jakefog
Guest
Jakefog

Good luck Johnny, I am sad to admit that I have never previously heard of Hagi but in my defence, he retired by the time I really knew much about football and being a Leeds fan I must say I do not approve of his final team! But I hope you have a fantastic time managing this team and I definitely look forward to reading about it!

P.S. are you going to concentrate on bringing up mostly Romanian players or are you going to look to bring in more foreign players?

Calin
Guest

What a great choice for a story, Johnny! And what a nice intro you have written to something that is indeed an amazing challenge. I am sure though that taking Viitorul Constanta to win the Champions League is something next to impossible due to the limitations because of the league standard and team’s reputation. But it will certainly be a great story to follow and I am sure you are the person to take Hagi’s team and turn it into a great one.

However, as you probably remember, I have managed Universitatea Craiova in FM 2011 and managed to get them to the Champions League final after 5 seasons – and they were a team with a bigger reputation already, and still money were lacking and quality players simply weren’t to be found… so I guess that with Viitorul Constanta you will get some headaches. Just be prepared for that and good luck with this great story!

CsAtlantis
Guest

Interesting club choice, not a lot of money but very very good facilities for a club playing in the 2nd division, the squad is filled with players who have tons of potential, the journey to the Champions League will probably take a while though, but hopefully before long you’ll be producing the next Hagi from your youth academy

Must be nice to have a legendary player as chairman too Johnny, I remember watching him in the 98 world cup , good luck!

Martin - F.M.J.S
Guest

Well that sounds like a great story mate i hope you can achieve your european goal.

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Guest
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard

Brilliant choice of team Johnny! I’m really looking forward to seeing you suceed with home nation club! I really sorry to hear about you club…what’s the latest? Looking forward to your first of FM12…all the best :)

Mariano
Guest
Mariano

Very nice story choice Johnny!

I will be following it!

Jojo
Guest
Jojo

Man, this idea of yours is awesome. It has motivated me to try and do the same thing with a Blue Premier North team called Gloucester City. Good luck

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