Life in Levice

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #1
Levice is a town of 36 000 people in the Nitra region of Western Slovakia. It lies on the left bank of the Hron river, 40km away from the City of Nitra, 110km east of Bratislava and 25km from the Hungarian border. Just in case anyone is still struggling to place this on a map, I have very kindly done it for you. The arrow is mine anyway, someone else drew the towns and cities on.


The Old Slavic name of the town was Leva, which means "the Left One". In the present day, Levice's heraldic animal is the lion, and the town's colours are green and yellow. This is not just filler copied and pasted off Wikipedia either, I had to type it out myself as I forgot how to copy and paste.

The town has a lovely looking castle, and is also the home of one 'notable person' , Geographer Kalman Kittenberger. I was actually born in 1981, not 1881, but I was typing in a hurry. If they want 100% historical accuracy then they shouldn't let just anyone edit their pages.


Ok, I haven't actually had anything published yet, but it will save editing the page later. For through my Geographical exploits, I intend to put Levice on the map. Metaphorically speaking of course, I think I have already proven beyond reasonable doubt that we are on most reputable maps.


To boost my income as a poorly paid Geographicalist I have taken a part time job managing the local football team. It's not much money, and not what I really wanted to do, but the video store didn't have any vacancies.


Never having watched a football match before, I had to do a bit of research. FK Slovan Levice were founded in 1911, charge £3 a game to get in (£19 for a season ticket), are worth £65k (which seems awfully high) and are predicted to finish 12th out of 12 in the 2nd Division in the coming season. With such low expectations I am not expecting to have to work too hard, so perhaps the video store thing was a lucky break.

On the footballing side, the Club has £58 250 in the bank, largely funded by a £33.25k a season sponsorship deal. They are currently spending £736 a week in wages, so plenty of room to work within the £3k a week budget that I have been given by the Chairman.

 
Last edited:

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #2
So. I took over as Levice manager on 29th June 2014, giving me 21 days until the new season begins. The summer break in Slovkia is pretty short anyway – there is a 3 month winter break because of the weather, so there is only a 6 week break in the summer.

The squad building was made harder by the fact that, of the players I had, only one was contracted beyond 7/7/14 (quite an unusual expiry date), so the rest were leaving in a week. They weren’t great quality, but none were interested in signing a contract extension. I wasn't upset to lose their quality, but it was a sign that convincing anyone to sign would be tricky.

I could have an assistant and two staff members, so signed up the best coach and physio foolish enough to want the job.

My target was to sign a squad of 16 quality players, as with only 33 games, there are virtually no midweek games and you don't need a huge squad in Slovakia. I spent just over half of my £3k wage budget, signing the best free transfers I could get. As a rough guide, no one at another club would sign for me, no one not Slovak would sign for me, and no one under the age of 34 would sign for me. So I had a squad of free transfer Slovak pensioners.

Then with a week to go until the big kick-off, a few new, better quality players became interested in joining me. One joined for a massive £450 per week, another on £300 and I ended up with a squad of 22, and slightly over budget - completely against the plan, but that was how it fell.

After 7 games, we had a record of 0 wins, 1 draw and 6 defeats, and had let in 25 goals. Things were so bad the physio refused to watch the games and the players had to magic sponge themselves.



We then had a turning point. 5-3 down to Podbrezova, and with 5 minutes to go, it was looking like a heavy defeat. Then the strikers remembered there was a goal at the other end as well and we pulled off the highest scoring game in Slovak 2nd Division history.


Boosted by the confidence of a victory, and as much diving as we could get away with, we then went on a run of 5 wins and a draw from the next 9 games and got back in touch with the pack.


At the winter break, with 20 out of 33 games played, we are in the safety of 10th place, although by a fine margin. In the winter break I will do nothing, because we have no money and no one wants to sign for me. The physio has started watching games again though, so I am positive for the future.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #3
After the three month winter break we returned to action, still deep in the relegation battle. I used the break productively, spending months alone in my office debating if we should learn a second formation, but stuck bravely to the 4-4-2 diamond that had served us so well so far.

Unfortunately, after the last defeat in November I had responded to criticism of my side by telling supporters to 'come and have a go yourselves if you think it's so easy'. The locals took this to be an open invitation to stake a claim for a first team place and I was forced to hold open trials.



We didn't unearth any hidden gems, but the local community saw it as a bonding moment with their local club. Seizing on this, I sent out a call to arms for the Levice faithful to back their team when the season restarted, and they turned out in record numbers. Staff who have worked at the club for more than 30 years told me that they had never seen such a queue at the ticket office before.



Crowds of 485 and 474 turned up for our run of back to back home games. Unfortunately they didn't go as planned.



It was then that I realised things had gone far enough. We were in the relegation zone, and had just lost 7-0 at home. We needed a new mascot.



And so, Leon the Lion, the Club's new mascot, made his debut in the next game. I had to release one of the strikers to pay for the costume, and some fans reacted badly to my decision, but in the long term I think it will be worthwhile.

Faced with a third home game in a row we needed something to keep the fans. Leon told me that his sister, an unemployed cheerleader, was looking for work. Putting two and two together, I invited her round for tea and we formulated a plan. Within days the Lion Girls were ready to make their first appearance, as "something for the dads". They didn't have much time to practise, but will only get better with time. If they keep the morale of the fans up as we battle relegation, then I am confident they will prove more useful than the left back who had to make way for their uniforms and pom poms.



Immediately these brave moves were proved to be justified, as with a central midfielder up front and a right back at left back, we thumped bottom of the table FM Senec 4-1 to rise out of the relegation places.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #5
The effect these managerial introductions had on the town is hard to describe. On the bus to training the following Thursday, a pregnant lady offered me her seat as thanks for my efforts. In 20 years of marriage her husband had never come home from a game with a smile before. I did feel bad when the bus went round the corner and she stumbled, but it was a lovely gesture on her part and one I really appreciated.

At training that night, we spent the session working out how to keep the fans on board. With hindsight we should have spent some of the time on the field, and we lost our way a touch on the pitch, falling to 3-0, 2-0 and 4-1 defeats, but that goal was marked by the finest celebration in Levice history. Unfortunately the camera man ran out of film before players 3 and 4 joined in, but you can take my word for it, that this was the finest Human Octopus ever seen on a football field.



Following this run of defeats, we went back to basics. I told my players that if they got into the box, go down, you never know what the ref will do.



Leon was instrumental in imparting some of his acting experience to the lads and results picked up. Things went down to the wire, but a 3-2 win against 10th placed Podbrezova in the penultimate game of the season took us into 10th place and moved them into the bottom two. On the final day, both sides demonstrated what was at stake and how much it meant to them. Podbrezova lost 4-1 and we lost 3-2, securing our safety.



This led to an emotional celebration between the players and travelling support.



This meant that we were able to plan for another season in the 2nd Division, but also that Leon had to complete a 24 hour run on top of a giant hamster wheel. This was a fundraising idea of mine from earlier in the year, and after getting him drunk one night after training, he agreed to take part. He began the morning after survival was accomplished, and after passing the hat round the many passers by, boosted my war chest for the summer.



In fact, with £13k won in prize money and £74 from Leon's fundraising, I will be able to replace the left back and centre forward we sadly had to lose earlier in the year.

Reflecting back over the season, it has been very successful. I was honoured that the media described us as overachievers for finishing 3 places higher than our expected 13th placed finish. I thought better of pointing out that there are only 12 teams in the league and hastily accepted the accolade.


The Ricardo twins also qualified for a special mention, which is quite some feat as there's only one of him.

We then found out that we had broken the record for league goals conceded. After initially taking the news badly, I reflected that all sides have to start somewhere, and now that the squad have the record breaking mentality, it bodes well for the future. The cheerleading uniforms purchased at the expense of a left back unfairly skew the figures in my opinion.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #6
Squad re-building for the 2015/16 season got off to a bad start. The mother of the left back let go last season turned out to be the owner of the only petrol station in town. For the first pre-season friendly she had organised a boycott. The fans still watched the game, but from behind the perimeter fence, and not having handed over their 50p admission.



With finances at the Club already tight, this had to end. My counter boycott of her petrol station started strongly but weakened when people started running out of petrol. I considered hitch-hiking to the next away game, but long term it would be too unreliable as a method of travel. Unrest in the squad was beginning to grow too big to ignore - one player told me his wife was withholding sex until he got more petrol for their car. I immediately told him to have faith in me, he would be able to fill the old banger up by the end of the week.

Miroslav Orsula returned to the squad as my first signing of the summer. My authority as manager has been undermined, but I get 10% off all confectionary in the Petrol Station shop. Swings and Roundabouts.

In all, nine players left the squad that summer. I was convinced that we could not do any worse, although player recruitment was tough. I was only able to talk 6 players into signing for us, leaving us a bit thin on the ground.

On the pitch, an early 5-1 win was followed by a 4-0 defeat. We were fortunate that our own lack of quality was matched by the rest of the division. For one match in particular, it was looking like a 0-0 draw until, with our centre forward receiving treatment off the pitch and no other Levice player in sight, they took it upon themselves to score a spectacular own goal, and giving us three crucial points.



This continued for the opening months of the season. I doubled the number of weekly training sessions to 2, and the improvement in our organisation was clear to see. Fans responded to our increased professionalism with their backsides, which I hope will be maintained.



At the three month winter break, we have a slight cushion over the bottom two. I am going to reward myself with a small break.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #7
With three months between fixtures, I recharged my batteries with a short break away, touring the zoos of Eastern Slovakia. They were both lovely and I returned eager to push on with the revolution at Levice.

Unfortunately then there was an 'incident' which slightly upset our progress. One day Leon came home from his day job, promoting the club in town, early, and found me in bed with his sister, Sarabi.



Things quickly turned ugly as I fought with Leon for twenty exhausting minutes before managing to escape through a downstairs window and run home. The next day I received a note through the door made from cut out newspaper. I'm not sure why he went to all that effort, because he signed his name at the bottom. He told me that I had to start playing him up front, or my wife would find out about my affair with his sister. He also had my only suit, left on his sister's bedroom floor, and was holding it hostage until I gave in.

I weighed up my choices. He is a 45 year old, out of condition actor, with no previous experience as a footballer. However, on the flip side, it's not like the rest of the squad are any good either. With a small squad, I could probably put him on the bench and get away with it, saving my marriage.

That plan, however, was doomed to fail when he turned up for the first game after the winter break wearing his full costume. Feeling that I may as well play the lion rather than be hung as a sheep (that might not be the original saying), I put him in my starting line up. Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes as the opposition manager questioned whether he was eligible to play, but thrusting a rule book in his face, I challenged them to find just where it said you weren't allowed to wear a full lion costume. Common sense prevailed and the game kicked off.

I had to answer some questions during the final team talk. Frantisek Koristek in particular questioned my decision to drop him for the team mascot, but I put my foot down and insisted I knew what I was doing. I think they respected that.

On the pitch, things started well and Leon quickly got an assist, as we went 1-0 up.



Unfortunately though, things didn't last and we fell to a 4-2 defeat. The home crowd took the defeat badly, perhaps not understanding why the mascot was starting up front, and stayed on the field for the whole game despite visibly tiring after the opening ten minutes.

With our goal threat diminished somewhat, we went on a run of poor form.



The two home games in the middle were tough. The Ultras weren't happy with the 0-2 and 0-3 scorelines, and during the latter game I was forced to watch the game from a touchline bush as my assistant took the brunt of the beer cans reigning down from the stands.



That week at training I tried everything to put things right. We spent half the session working on Leon's finishing, and the other half working on his fitness. But a 3-1 defeat away from home in the next game made me realise that things needed to change. There is only so much you can do with a 45 year old man in a Lion costume, and I could not stand another game hiding in the bush.

Desperate times called for desperate measures, and I planted £1000 worth of cocaine in Leon's locker before calling the police. Hopefully by the time it goes to trial we will be safe from relegation.

After placing an advert in the local paper for a new mascot, we lined up for the next game with a proper centre forward back up front and the mascot on the touchline. The 3-1 victory restored some confidence in the squad, and took us out of the relegation zone. We then returned home and won 1-0, allowing me to return to the dugout. By this time, Leon had gone public with his allegations of my affair with his sister, but I told everyone it was just a smear campaign against me. By now my reputation in the town was so low that his sister didn't want to be connected with me, and denied the allegations vigorously. My wife bought it, and I was in the clear.



Buoyed by this escape, I felt untouchable, and this confidence filtered through to the lads. That month we won 5 on the spin, and I won the Manager of the Month award for April after securing our safety for another year.

The final few games of the season were an anti-climax, but we held on to secure a record high, 8th placed finish.



Looking back at the season as a whole, a record points total and finishing position is something to build on. The low point was without doubt the five games we played with a middle aged Lion up front, and when I had to hide in the bush to avoid our angered Ultras. Overall a mixed bag, and I hope to do better next year, having learned from my mistakes.
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #8
I will admit to being slightly nervous that summer. My one year contract, signed the year before, had only three weeks to run. I had spent part of the season hiding from supporters, and lost 5 games in a row with an eight foot lion as the lone striker in a very defensive 4-5-1 formation. I tried to prepare for the worst - but unfortunately my mother refused point blank to let me move back in with her, not after the incident.

Fortunately, it never came to that. After some intense contract negotiations, I convinced the chairman of my quality. He gave me another 12 months, cutting my wages from £220 per week to £180. I have taken a part time job in a local Chinese restaurant to make up the difference, and with tips may even be slightly ahead. Going to night school to learn some more Geography is going to have to go on the back burner for a while.

We lost our best player, Rafael Ricardo - he promised to return for pre-season training but never showed up. I phoned him that evening and when he realised it was me, he put on a very poor Hungarian accent and pretended I had the wrong number. We both knew what had happened, and I had too much pride to call him again.

Player recruitment was again difficult. I tried being open and honest, I tried misleading them, I tried barefaced lying, but very few players were interested. One unemployed layabout told me he would rather sign on the dole than sign for Levice.

I tried Rafael Ricardo one more time. I pretended to be from his network provider and asked him to confirm his name and address, then revealed my true identity. He's definitely not coming back, and was very rude about my man management style. Screw him, he won't be missed.

On the pitch we lost 1-6 and 0-8 in the opening month - my wife collects the coins thrown at me during games and is saving them up for a nice holiday in the summer. Things picked up though, and we found safety in mid table.



During the winter break I made sure I didn't repeat the mistakes of the previous season - I slept only with my own wife and concentrated solely on footballing matters. This professionalism was rewarded on the pitch, and we finished 8th with 42 points, another giant leap step forward from the previous season, in which we only got 41 points and finished 8th.

The Chairman, being a shrewd man, realised that such a rise deserved a new contract, and I will continue for another 12 months at least, on a wage of £190 per week. It does help that he lives in Monaco and hasn't seen the petition started in the town demanding my removal.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #9
June 2017 was a busy month. Firstly Leon the Lion escaped from prison after taking off his costume and walking out. Apparently no-one that worked there knew what he actually looked like.

He came to my house one afternoon to, and I quote, "seek vengeance". Spending a year in prison after I planted cocaine in his locker and testified against him in court to avoid the blackmail after I slept with his sister behind my wife's back had turned him into a very bitter individual. We screamed, argued and fought with each other, until suddenly, a realisation dawned. We stopped fighting and embraced as old friends. We agreed that we had gone through too much together to hold petty grudges - we had all made mistakes, and it's water under the bridge now. The band was back together.

There was the slight problem in that we had replaced him 18 months ago, and for continuity purposes, could not have two mascots. When Leon said he knew a guy who could 'take care of him', I assumed he meant someone in the recruitment industry who could fix him up at another Club with a Lion mascot. Of course I forgot that he had just spent time in a category one prison and had made some new friends since I last knew him. The official line is that he is missing, and until more information comes to light, I think it's best all round just to leave it there, I can't afford another scandal.

Leon's sister also returned to the Club, after feeling betrayed by my testimony in court against her brother. She had found employment as a cheerleader hard to come by after leaving the only attraction in town that requires cheerleading, and was forced into an another line of work. Leon made me promise to protect his family honour by not revealing which one, but let's just say it is a very old profession - nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Anyway, as we were a bit short staffed in this department, she signed up some of the other hookers from The Lion Ranch to fill the gaps. When news of this spread, season ticket sales went through the roof. One local told me a £19 season ticket was far less than he was paying in internet subscriptions to fill his Saturday afternoons.

Ever the entrepreneur, I spread the word amongst the region that a few of the players were enjoying some 'win bonuses' with the girls. Soon we had players knocking on our door, actually wanting to sign for us.

By the time the season kicked off, I was relieved. It was hard work to have to decide which players to sign, rather than sign up anyone who was interested on a first come, first served basis. I looked back at the days when I could wake up in the afternoon and watch daytime TV before walking to training. Those days are gone now, but the team is much better for it.


Leon cops a quick feel when no-one is looking (except for the man with the camera)

We started the season well, and I have to say I enjoyed it. I could attend games without having to wear a hard hat, and I didn't have to yell at any of the players that they were "f***ing useless w***ers" because, they were much better than the previous rabble. As a consequence of this, the players didn't hate me and listened when I spoke to them at half time. Morale had never been so high.

At Christmas, we sat 3rd in the table, and I rewarded myself with that holiday I had been promising my wife, courtesy of disgruntled fans. She asked me half-way through if I felt insulted that we had managed to go so far on the back of loose change thrown at my head in an attempt to seriously injure me. I considered it for a moment but Vegas has a way of making you forget your problems.



I will admit that with hindsight, it was a poor choice of location for a humble man from Levice, with a known history of failing to resist temptation. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas though, so I can't tell you that.

After my wife moved out and I moved onto Leon's couch, I felt that she had overreacted, but having heard the story already he told me to shut up.

Needing only 10 points from 13 games to beat our record points total, I was confident of achieving a new Levice record. So confident in fact, that maybe I took my eye off the ball a little bit, and our form did slide a little bit after the winter break...



I am a man who is always willing to admit his faults. When I killed our goldfish by not feeding him, I held my hands up and admitted I should have given him food. When I got so drunk in Vegas I gambled away all our money and was hospitalised by angry pimps after being unable to pay the trio of prostitutes I ordered, I realised immediately that I had been a selfish holiday companion.

If I could go back and play those games again, I would do things differently for sure. In my defence, I would say that dating websites require a lot of your time, and football management is a lonely business. But I accept I should have multi-tasked more and not let Leon take charge of the last two months in exchange for use of his laptop when he's out managing. Lesson learned for the future.

Nevertheless, those 11 points, added to the previous 33, gave us our highest ever points total and finishing position.



At the end of season meeting with the chairman, I gave him the simplified version, not the game by game breakdown. We are improving year on year, demonstrating beyond doubt that I am the right man for the job, I told him. Not knowing any better, he gave me the contract extension I was after.

2014/15 - P33 W10 D6 L17 - 36 points - 10th
2015/16 - P33 W11 D8 L14 - 41 points - 8th
2016/17 - P33 W12 D6 L15 - 42 points - 8th
2017/18 - P33 W12 D8 L13 - 44 points - 7th
 
Messages
82
Likes
13
Supports
Mansfield Town
#10
Loving this thread and chuckling at the side story, very well written. Surely this season is the one for a promotion push!?
 

AFCB_Mark

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Messages
3,514
Likes
1,062
Supports
A single unitary authority for urban Dorset
#11
That was awesome to read. Please keep us updated!
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #12
That summer I was determined to sort my life out. A 37 year old man should not be spending his free time in the manner I was. Besides, after I inflicted his laptop with a nasty virus whilst downloading some material, Leon refused to lend it to me any longer. I used the extra time to scout new players and build a squad to take the next step forward. I haven’t done any Geography at all in four years now.

Six players were released in what can only be described as a ruthless cull. I should know, I wrote the press release.



In their place, came 8 new players. You may remember that interest in joining the club rose last year when I started spreading rumours that the Lion Girls were providing 'win bonuses' for the players. The natural step was to kick it up a notch and include them in the contract negotiations. The new centre forward, for example, signed for £275 a week, £35 per goal and 20 minutes with Leon's sister twice a month. She wanted longer, but I wanted him to think about football at least occasionally.

We started the season well, topping the table for a few weeks early on, and when the winter break started, we were sat nicely in the table.



That January saw the return of Rafael Ricardo. He was the little whippersnapper who put on a fake Hungarian accent when I phoned him up to ask why he hadn't turn up for pre-season training. He had heard whispers about the Lion Girls, and wanted to leave Petrzalka to come back. When he phoned me up to ask if he could come back, I contemplated putting on a Hungarian accent and pretending I didn't know who he was, but he was an improvement on the useless guy I had replaced him with, so I let bygones be bygones and welcomed him back to the squad.



Shortly afterwards Leon and I celebrated our one year anniversary living together. Our friendship has grown so strong that we can finish each other's sandwiches.

With no off-field issues to distract us, we maintained our form right through the season, and with one game of the season left, were still in the mix for promotion.



In the final game, who did we have? Presov. 1st vs 2nd. The winner takes all, the loser stands still.

I spent all week preparing the lads mentally for the game. We had to match them kick for kick, win every battle and go at them from the very first minute.

Perhaps taking that last piece of advice too literally, we conceded in the second minute, and were soon two down. We battled back to 2-2, then went 3-2 down on the stroke of half time. At half time, I gave the team talk of my life, quoting from Shakespeare, Tennyson and Byron. If any of the lads spoke English, it would have inspired them, but alas they all sat there blankly wondering what I was going on about. We did pull it back to 3-3, but needed one more to win promotion to the top flight for the first time ever. We threw everything at them in the final stages, and I tried everything I could think of. We used all three subs, switched from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 to 4-2-4 to 2-3-5 to 2-2-6 to 1-2-7 and finally 1-1-8. I got Leon to steal every numbered board other than 7 from the 4th official, but it was no use. He just called the ref over and told him to add 3 minutes, and the game finished 3 all.



Heartbroken, I considered my future. Not only as Levice manager, but if I wanted life to go on. At times like this, you rely on your closest friends and family to help you pull through. But for me 20 minutes with a Lion Girl pulling me off was enough to reinvigorate me for one more year.



With the prospect of being in a successful team pushing for promotion, and the perks offered, I am confident I can attract the players to get us over the line, just as long as I don't do anything stupid.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #13
Following that rather upsetting half an hour bout of depression, I rewarded myself with a day off. I slept in until midday, borrowed Leon's laptop without asking him, and didn't even delete the history afterwards. Half a bottle of homemade vodka later I was crashed out on the sofa, but when I woke, I was ready to plan for another season.

Being part-time and skint, players could only be tied down to a two year contract, which made retaining anyone with ability difficult. New contracts had to be offered every summer to avoid losing players on a free. This summer we lost two such prospects, who moved on to the giddy heights of Michalovce and Senica. Two others I had to convince to stay by telling them we would be promoted this season.

Replacing these players, as well as improving the squad was tricky on a budget the chairman hadn't changed in 4 years. I worked out that I need 5 new players, these two replacements and three extra. A right back, goalkeeper and attacking midfielder came in on free transfers, which left us needing two centre backs, and I signed two hard cases, paying out a combined £22k in transfer fees. They were all we needed to complete the squad, so money was shifted from the wage bill. The fee will be paid over 4 years, so only a small part had to be funded this year. If we don't get promotion this year then the squad will be torn apart anyway, so we are going for it this year.

I invited the leader of the local ultras round for a cup of tea. He had some interesting political views, and refused to eat bourbons on principle, but the time we spent together was very productive. He agreed to step up the support this year, and I promised him a league title in exchange. If we fall short again this year, I will definitely have to do a runner.



True to his word, the whole town got behind their team. After an early 3-1 defeat I did purchase a Spanish phrasebook just in case I did need to flee somewhere foreign, but fortunately we won a few in a row after that.

Teams began to fear coming to Levice, such was our home record.



As the season drew to a close, we were right in the mix. A win and we went back to the top of the table, a defeat and we slipped back down. With a winning mentality we might have pulled away, but on more than one occasion we bottled it. With one game to go, the league table looked somewhat familiar, only this time, we were in the driving seat.



The week leading up to the game has been eventful. The consequences of failure are so vast that I needed an escape plan in place in case things went wrong. Naturally I can't disclose exactly what the plan is, but it involves a small tunnel, three Lion Girls, a hire car, five thousand pounds, a huge explosion and a false passport.

Hopefully I will be back to give news of how the game went. If this is to be the last update then hopefully I will at least be safe in Chile rather than supporting the foundations of the next local construction project.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #14


Levice 2-2 Petrzalka



I won't lie to you, I never heard the final whistle. I had disappeared down the tunnel and was crawling my way towards the car park. Once back above ground I went to put part two of the plan into operation, the distractionary explosion. It was a shame to have to stand there and watch part of my beloved hometown stadium collapse to the ground, but needs must. I had already started a twitter rumour that extremist Hungarian separatists were planning something, so I am 90% certain that they will eventually take the blame. It's a good thing crowds are so small, otherwise people might have died.

Running towards the getaway vehicle, I noticed something I had never seen before. People were dancing in the street.

I stopped the local butcher to ask him what was going on. "We've won the league" he told me, before continuing with his one person conga line.

Confused, I walked back to the stadium, where I found the party in full swing.



Banksa Bystrica had won, but due to the head to head record between us we finished above them. To be honest, I still thought it was goal average, so it was a relief. Had I known then I would have realised it was impossible for them to finish above us, and losing 2400 from the capacity wouldn't have been necessary. Podbrezova, the side I beat 6-5 five years ago to win my first ever game as a manager, would have won the league with a win, but drew, giving us promotion. With hindsight, I should have had someone checking the other scores, but I never thought a draw would be enough. Blazej, the part time groundsman, is going to have a big job on his hands this summer cleaning up the mess - he only works three hours a week. The upside of it all is that I never liked him anyway. He won't be getting any paid overtime for this.



As the realisation of promotion dawned on me, I realised I was not prepared. I had let the cupboards run bare in case of doing a runner - there was nothing to have for dinner tonight. Also, we're a very small, and not particularly good football team, how on earth are we going to compete with the giants of Slovan Bratislava and Zilina? And with TV cameras at games next season, should I wear a hat or be openly bald and proud?

That was soon forgotten when the party got started for real. Everyone piled into the pub, where the landlady showed her gratitude by giving us 10% off for the next half hour. I was the star of the show, and never had to buy a drink all night. Well, that might be romanticising it a touch - I was skint and didn't want anyone else to know. Truth be told, at least one of those bastards should have bought me a drink, after all I had done for their careers. Screw them, half of them will be released anyway, especially after this.

The next morning, I woke to a great newspaper headline.



To be honest I think it's a little bit fickle. I know for a fact that they had a mob ready to "hold a post season review of performances and expectations" immediately after the final whistle had things gone tits up. On that note, does anyone know if it counts as incest if two people out of seven are related? Just as a hypothetical question, I don't want to tattle on Leon.

That morning we said goodbye to two club legends. Michal Otocka, a striker and Tomas Obert, an attacking midfielder, had been with me from the very first game. They had loyally resigned for us each summer, despite being far too good for us, and their goals had turned a small town team into one that had managed to compete against the semi-professional teams of the second division. Both were now aged 34 and their importance was waning, but could maybe play a small role off the field with their experience. However the decision not to buy me a drink, despite my subtle hints, was too much to ignore, and they were both fired immediately. Several more followed them out the door, for a variety of footballing and non-footballing reasons.



As I prepared for the season ahead, I knew things would be tough. We were no longer just underdogs, but minnows. You don't get away with the little things when the TV cameras are present - if I played an 8 foot lion up front in the First Division, I would be a laughing stock.



A trophy cabinet had to be bought for the Club's first ever trophy. We marked this rise by turning professional. For a club with me as manager, almost no support staff, and only three players left after my cull, this would be a big change.



In terms of wage budget, the chairman kept it at £3,800 per week. The switch to professional football and rise to the top tier of the game refused to make him budge even a penny. Livid, I left a floater in his toilet, refusing to flush out of principle.

Building a side of 18 full time professionals, willing to play for a combined £3,800 per week, in front of 500 people, to take on the big boys, will take some persuasion. Fortunately I'm now on very intimate terms with five of the lion girls, so I will see what they can do to help me.

 

AFCB_Mark

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Messages
3,514
Likes
1,062
Supports
A single unitary authority for urban Dorset
#15
Exciting times for Levice!
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #17
The weekend after our league title win, I was invited by the mayor to an end of year event, to be hosted at our stadium. Blazej had started to shift some of the rubble, but working only three hours a week, it might take him a while. He asked for a wheelbarrow and some tools to help him out, but the budget wouldn't stretch that far. I suspected that it might be a surprise party, and when I arrived to see the local dignitaries arranging shiny new trophies and medals, I began to work on my acceptance speech.



Finding out that they were for the local college's netball team and I had been invited to help hand out the medals was a blow, but at least now I have an acceptance speech ready to go if I do ever receive an award. To be honest, the jokes were already out of date, so I don't think anyone would know. What really hurt was finding out about the attitude of the town at large - time and time again gushing parents would tell me that Levice is a netball town and football will never be anything but tinpot. I challenged the first few to a fight and they soon backed down, but then one of their husbands turned up and I had to hide in the toilets as he came looking for me.

In the close season, I had to find a crucial balance between maximising every penny I could spend on building a squad for the top flight, whilst not damaging the integrity of the Club. The Lion Girls attempted performing without pom poms in a pre-season friendly, but when fans threatened to boycott season tickets, I had to bring them back.



As a result, the budget wouldn't quite run to my first choice centre back, so I made do with second choice. If you can't afford the best players, sign the ones with the best names.



He gets annoyed now whenever I shout 'Huszar!' every time I say his name, but he can't have it both ways. If he was called Macek then he would have stayed in the regional divisions of Czech football, paying his £2 weekly sub to train and play. He's now getting paid to play football, so he should be more grateful.

When the morning of the big day came, I went to put on my best suit. I wanted to look the part for the cameras. I felt pretty silly when I remembered that I don't own a suit. I hodge-podged together what was cleanest from the floor, but in my heart of hearts I knew I didn't really look the part. On TV later that night, three ex-professionals analysed my trousers before agreeing with my conclusion. Had I paid the license fee in the last decade I would have considered it a waste of my hard-earned money, but at least it distracted them away from talking about the game. Two things were clear - I needed a suit, and Levice needed a new centre-half. The problem was that every time I contemplated replacing David, I would say his name, then shout 'Huszar!', start giggling and then promise myself never to replace him.

Of course when facing the media after another defeat, I couldn't let on that it was my fault for playing a below-average pub player in the heart of a top division defence. Fortunately we had a break in the next match. We didn't win but they appointed a female ref to the game. Between the guys in the pub, I collected enough jokes to fill the pre and post match press conferences, and I never had to discuss the game.



In the week afterwards I had to cope with quite a few negative column inches. The Society for Female Lawyers called me a misogymnast. I don't know where they got that idea from, I can't even touch my toes never mind any of that jumping and flipping rubbish.

I then got into a few tit for tat arguments with the Referee's Association, Football Association, Referee's Union, numerous Women's Rights groups, two police officers, two further police officers and a police dog, a desk sergeant and a local magistrate. Long story short, I was banned from the stadium for 10 games and given a £4000 fine, but as this was my first offence it was suspended, so long as I didn't breach a ban on using certain words and all corresponding euphemisms.

Four minutes into the next game I called my left-winger a c*nt, and was immediately back before the panel to explain myself. I managed to get a few of the lads to testify that it was a) fair comment and b) totally unrelated to the original incident. Fortunately they agreed with me, so the next time he falls over when trying to do a stepover I can be pitchside to tell him that legally, he is a c*nt.

The upside of this run of events was that I was pushed into buying a suit for my court appearances, so now the pundits will be forced to eat their own words.

As the season went along, we picked up a few points where we could. Teams complained that we were using 'all the tricks in the book' to get an advantage. What they didn't know was that the pitch is always that bad, the hot water tank broke six years ago and the locals behave like that on a Saturday evening regardless of whether they're at a game or not. Never-the-less, the reputation we were gaining as unsportsmanlike hooligans was putting off opposition sides, so I didn't correct them.

The Chairman rewarded me for my court win with an extra £600 on the wage bill, so I spent £1000 a week on a new attacking midfielder. In a squad that earned £3400 between them, he would be the superstar, to stand head and shoulders above the others and show them how to do it. He was Croatian, the exotic hero we were looking for. The Chairman never found out that I overspent the budget, but I think karma must have been paying attention, because he was absolutely shit. I'm trying to offload him, but so long as other managers continue to scout players before signing them, this may prove tricky. Still, it taught me a valuable lesson - don't spend a quarter of your wage budget on one player without watching him play, or a least watching a video or talking to someone who had seen him play. Because now, re-reading the CV he posted me, he has completely over-exaggerated how good he is.

Anyway, come May we were in what was becoming a trademark position.



Once more we were left with a battle in the final game of the season, and like my very first as a manager, this was to survive. I spent all week telling the players that Dun Streda would be showing just how much the game meant to them, and we would have to match them. We did exactly that, and secured our survival. You couldn't ask for any more from the players.



Maybe not our players, I would have liked them to win, but between all the players involved across the games that day, we got what we wanted.

Levice Football Club are now an established Premier Division side, whilst Levice College Netball lost in the last 16 of the Cup to Kremnica High School for Girls. I think we all know where bragging rights will be this summer.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #18
Very soon after the season finished I learned a very important lesson - namely that 'bragging rights' is only a cliché, and not something you should take literally. In my defence, the name does suggest that you have the right to openly take the piss, and I felt that the social media campaign mocking the plight of the netball team was entirely merited, given how successful our boys had been in comparison. Nevertheless, I had once again forgotten that Levice is a small town, and making enemies can come back to bite you.

Doris, the landlady of the Lion's Bush, Levice's only pub, was the mother of two of the girls in the team. She put the word out that everyone connected to the Football Club, fans included, were barred until I apologised. I stood firm and held my ground for as long as I could, but once they saw my feet sticking out from under the bed and found me, it was game over. Nothing comes between Levice men and the local Bush, and I was forced into an embarrassing series of apologies around the town.

There was one stroke of luck, however, during my community work with the netball team, I spotted a bit of talent. She was tall, quick, and ran in a straight line, qualities which could make her my first choice left winger with a bit of work on her game. She played in a few of the pre-season friendlies and one she gets her head around the rules, she could be a handful.

I must admit that I did have a slightly ulterior motive in signing her. The Society for Female Lawyers have been hassling me ever since my run in with them last season, and they have started a petition calling for my banning from all levels of football in Slovakia. In a little over two weeks since the season ended, it has just reached 1.3 million signatures. Now this is only just over 20% of the population of Slovakia, so I'm not going to take offence just yet, it seems that the vast majority of the country do want me to continue in my job, but let it not be said that I am someone who is happy to rest on his laurels. Clearly, I could do with some work on my public image, and I think that mentoring a young woman as she tries to forge a career in a man's world could be just the issue to show my sensitive and caring side, and help displace this notion of me as a misogynistic caveman that a few cartoons in the media have been running with.



Unfortunately, quite soon after this she rejected my sexual advances and for the benefit of team morale I was forced to get rid of her. It was a worthy pursuit, but just didn't quite work out.

With all the fuss surrounding Andrea, I had taken my eye off the ball in terms of squad building. At the squad meeting five days before the season opener against Nitra, I noticed that there were only four of us. After initially cursing the timekeeping of my side, one of them pointed out that this was in fact the full squad present. A few of the lads from last season had told me just where I could stick my contract renewal and the rest had taken better jobs around the town. Ivan gave me 50% off my admission last time I went to the bingo, and I accept that he had to do what was best for his family in taking up their offer over mine. There's no hard feelings. David Huszar was tough to do, but there's only so long you can giggle at a name, especially when he's making you look like an idiot on TV every week.

Realising that we would need at least 11 to give us a chance in the opener, I phoned a local job agency to see if they had any out of work footballers looking for some work. They sent me everybody they had - four Ukrainians and two Serbs. It's shocking to see local jobs going to these bloody foreigners, but they swore blind that they had no Slovaks available. That took us up to nine. Leon then pointed out that there was a formal transfer list of players available to move. I had a look at this and two days later added seven more, six on loan and one free transfer. 16 should be enough to see the season through. Lets not forget that we have a £1000 a week Croatian, we're not going to be pushovers.



The local paper had the cheek to call my approach unprofessional, so I am boycotting them until I get an apology. Well, it worked for the netball team. Sales have soared since I announced this, but that's probably just a co-incidence. They will come crawling back soon enough.

On the pitch, the new guys struggled to gel with their teammates. It was hard to get my approach across with the guys that didn't speak any Slovak, but they weren't much kop, so it's not like I could have done much with them anyway. Fortunately the cheating, gamesmanship and brutality came naturally to the Serbs, so they fitted right in. This approach didn't win us any friends within the media, but they were out to get me anyway. Our 10th place finish was one higher than our first season in the top flight, so an unqualified success. Some pedants pointed out that our total of 27 points was in fact one fewer than last season, but I forgot to sign any players last summer, what were they expecting?

This summer, I have made a promise to myself that I will take player recruitment more seriously. As long as I keep my promise, the only way is up.

 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #19
True to my word, no sooner had the season ended than I was on the lookout for players to bring in. These wouldn’t just be any Tomas, Dusan or Havel either; they would be useful additions to the squad, who would fit right into our style of play. During a tactical meeting with Leon down the pub, we came up with the idea of a long throw merchant, someone who could get us into the opposition’s area without having to work hard to get there. A few jokes about Leon’s sister later, and Marko Colja was identified as first choice. He’s slow, skinny and not great with the ball at his feet, but he can chuck it a mile, giving him an edge over the useless bastard he is replacing. I have always believed that a long throw is the hallmark of a perfectly balanced side.



Next on the shopping list was a tough tackling midfielder to shore up the defence, which was currently the only thing in town more favourable to visitors than Leon’s sister. He agreed that we had to do something about it, and I assumed he meant our defence. The ship has long since sailed with his sister.

With no-one in mind, and time on my side, I placed an advert in the local newspaper for a no-nonsense, would kick his own granny defensive midfielder. Seven people responded to the advert and were invited for a trial, although sadly only three actually turned up with their grandmothers. Having sent the others home, we got down to the nitty gritty. After a brutal morning on the training pitch there was a clear winner, but during the contract discussions it transpired that the woman he had with him was not his own grandmother at all, just an old woman he had hired to kick around for the day. My reputation in this town, indeed this country, may not be up to much, but I will not tolerate liars in my employment. Djuro Devic, who came second, may not have kicked quite so hard, but it was his own grandmother he was kicking, he'd flown her in all the way from Serbia just to audition, and I knew I could trust him to do a job for me.

I had to break my boycott of the local newspaper to place the ad. I was expecting to have to eat some humble pie after approaching them, but happily they didn’t make anything of it. Truth be told, I’m sure they had forgotten that I was boycotting them.

With the season underway, we wasted no time in putting our new weapons to good use. Visiting teams were complaining that we were overly physical, but this was music to my ears. Charges from the SFZ were piling up, but we were winning more than we were losing.



I don't wish to sound paranoid, but those bastards have it in for me. If it's not one thing it's another. The very next game we were given the female ref again, and one of the lads had a cheeky feel during the second half. There was nothing much in it, just a little touch up, but of course she reported it. On Monday morning I had a letter from the SFZ telling me that my player's behaviour had been ungentlemanly, and as his manager I was responsible for setting an example and disciplining him internally. According to them I should have immediately substituted him, apologised to the referee, fined the player and sent him on a sensitivity awareness course. My actions, high-fiving him on the side of the pitch, had fallen short of their expectations and I was therefore being charged with misconduct.



Of course, you can guess who just had to chip in with their tuppence worth? I had no sooner managed to survive their petition than I was back in the sights of the Society for Female Lawyers. At times I swear they have nothing else to do with their lives but harass me.

The media storm had picked up again, so little did I realise that there was further danger around the corner. Six days later things quickly escalated after one fiery match against Slovan Bratislava. It turns out that you can kick as many Presov players as you like, if you can hit 'em, but it’s a sin to twat a Slovan player. Both sides finished with 9 men, which I scored as a fair draw, shake hands after the game and say no more about it. But their manager kicked up a stink, suggesting that the two guys they had stretchered off was our fault, and the two red cards dished out was not punishment enough.

Looking at the photos in the paper on Monday morning, I had to concede that one of them had been slightly late, but the other was a reasonable attempt to win the ball. Their lad just didn't want it enough, and his leg was only broken in one place. Four months and he'll be back. No sooner had I turned to page three than the postman brought me another letter from the authorities. The repeated poor conduct of both my players and myself was something they could no longer ignore.



The hearing was basically a kangaroo court. It was held at the national stadium, which coincidently is Slovan’s home ground. The three man panel consisted of one Slovan season ticket holder, one female lawyer and one old man who slept through it all. Before I had even presented my case I noticed a black cap lying on the bench. Without any need to deliberate, or wake up the old man, I was found guilty by two votes to nil.

My sentence was a six month ban from all football activity, including going near the stadium and the training ground. Members of the Society for Female Lawyers, ex-players and townspeople of Levice united and agreed to take turns monitoring my movements to make sure I didn’t break the restrictions imposed upon me. It was the two current players who offered their services that really stung, they'll be gone in the summer.
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #20
I spent the time off preparing for my return to the hotseat. I tried to use a false moustache to get past my observers, but those female lawyers aren't as foolish as I had hoped, so I was forced to learn the theories rather than the realities of management. To this end, I had a book lying around that I had been meaning read for a while, and now had the time to. It was from the Club's secret santa last year.



I am a slow reader, so the finishing of the book coincided with the end of the ban. It had some great, innovative ideas that I was bursting to try out on the lads.

I had been following our progress in my absence in the local paper. After my ban began following the Slovan bloodbath, Leon had taken over the reigns. He was never officially appointed, but as the only other Member of staff we employ he seemed the best man for the job. Not having been at the games myself I cannot comment on his brand of management, but it is clear to me that he must have been watching me closely for all these years because he took to the job quite well. He was very lucky that he inherited the job after I had put in the hard work, but he think Leon deserves a share of the credit too for staying unbeaten until the winter break.



With the three month winter break, I was able to return to take charge for the second half of the season, beginning at the start of March. I was surprised by the level of resistance I encountered - it should have been obvious to anyone that he was just the frontman and I was the brains behind the operation.

The first game back didn't go quite to plan, but Michalovce are a big name. 10 letters no less. It took time to stamp out any bad habits that Leon had allowed to creep in and get them back playing my style of football again. The 4-1 defeat was severe, but it was an important step to get us back to top form.

It was then that I was stabbed in the back. At training the following Tuesday there was a revolt. A lot of them are pretty revolting without putting in extra effort, but this was a rehearsed manoeuvre to bring about my removal as manager. The Chairman had flown in from Monaco at their request and we had a meeting about the future of the Club. Now living that far away, he was not able to see the day to day things that happen, he was just looking at the big picture. I had used this to my credit many times over the years, but this time it proved to be my undoing.

The picture that Leon, the players, club officials, season ticket holders, SFZ representatives and several passing townspeople painted to him is that I had damaged the Club's image with the series of incidents and six month ban, and that since taking over Leon had gone six months unbeaten without any disciplinary issues. In my one game back, I had lost that record and picked up another two red cards (a refereeing smear campaign if ever I've seen one, they were both yellows at worst).

I tried to argue my case, but the chairman hadn't been around to see the work I had put in setting Leon up for this success. He allowed himself to be swayed by the fantasy that had been descried to him. As a thanks for my years of service and the promotion from second division obscurity to the top flight, I was allowed to stay on as Leon's assistant, but he was the new manager of FK Slovan Levice.

I am not too proud to admit that I cried a few tears that evening. And the following morning, and for a few more days after that. But that is not the real Kalman Kittenberger. I will be back.
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #21
It has been said many times in football that it is better to be a lucky manager than a good manager. Nowhere was this better shown to be true than at Levice, where Leon continued to grind out lucky wins week after week. I had initially hoped that he would be shown up as the fraud that he is pretty quickly, but lady luck was smiling on him. She's probably another of those female lawyers who have it in for me. In the month after his arrival he stayed unbeaten in the league and took Levice to their first ever cup final.



With this success, he was able to manipulate the players and the town at large into believing that he was behind this sudden great run of form. After games he would flaunt himself for adulation and lap it all up - it made my blood boil.



He had a series of publicity photos taken, and was spreading them across the town. Furthermore, with the power of the internet and social media, his story was spreading around the world. People seemed to think that an 8 foot Lion managing a professional football team, and taking them to never before seen success in only six months is some sort of news story. It was lazy journalism, and Leon knew how to play them.



Never one to miss a photo opportunity, he began a series of staged stunts, posing with happy looking fans. I knew these were staged because I had been the manager in this town for years, and I had never seen them happy. The guy has no shame.







The whole thing went to his head big time. At one game he reprised his hamster wheel dance from our first season together. This was five minutes into the game! When he should have been managing! Now I have been called unprofessional in the past, but I would never have done this. Not only because of my portly build and lack of fitness ether, it is a matter of integrity.



For the good of the town, and of this football club, action must be taken.
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #22
I did a bit of research on Wikipedia and discovered that "The Nile Crocodile is the only sympatric predator than can singly threaten the lion". My immediate thought was that obtaining one would be difficult, and putting him in a zoo might be easier. This, Wikipedia says, is the other main threat to lions. I then remembered that he isn't a real lion, just a formerly out of work actor that I employed to raise morale in the town (looking back, another success story of mine, and once again one that I haven't been given the credit for).

I then put this thought out of my mind. We have been very close friends for a very long time - he lent me his laptop after my wife left me, allowing me to fulfil my needs at a difficult time. That type of thing should not be forgotten.



Then the bastard went and did something I never thought he would do...























































He brought success to Levice.






It was a glorious day. The sun shone, the birds sang, and Levice joined the big hitters of Slovak football. But I couldn't enjoy it, not like I should have. This was the culmination of nine years of my life - blood, sweat and tears. Hiding in bushes and under beds. Taking the full force of local, national and international media campaigns.

And at the final whistle, I wasn't running onto the pitch to celebrate. I was the assistant.





This was my team. My town. And I felt shunned.

I gave him three days to enjoy his moment. I felt like he deserved that, and then I took the only course of action that could end his reign of terror once and for all.

For weeks now I had planned in my head how I might do this. He had stabbed me in the back, so it seemed poignant that he should get the same treatment himself. I went round to his house, took one of the kitchen knives and then when he turned his back on me, I took action.

The town, indeed Slovakia and the football community at large, took the news badly. From their reaction you would think he had been Princess Dianna and not some two bit jester in a lion costume.

His funeral was an opportunity for me to get some closure on a difficult time in my life, and also to subconsciously remind the town that I was his assistant during the success.



I did feel a bit guilty using that photo at his funeral, after all I was the one who had killed him, but somehow it just seemed right. For most of our time together we were friends, jail time and murder aside, and I don’t think that should be forgotten.

To complete the circle of life, as the only other employee at the Club, I took back control of Levice. This was how Leon had assumed control in the first place, so it seemed like God was finishing his story, and choosing me as the natural successor. This version plays easier on my conscience at least.

There were only a few games of the season to go, and it was now my turn to take the spotlight. We had a real chance of glory, in fact with only one game to go, we had a chance of winning the ultimate prize.



Unfortunately, once again the players failed to win when needed on the final day. One day I will bring in some players capable of responding to my motivational speeches and producing when it matters. Other results went against us, and we finished 4th.



In my mind, this is a big jump - from relegation battlers to titles chasers. However the view in the town was that I had destroyed all Leon's work and ruined Levice's chance to win a first ever league title. If he was still in charge, we wouldn't have 'bottled' the last three games and would have triumphed. This demonstrates just how little footballing knowledge there is in the town. Rome wasn't built in a day. We will win the league title, and we will do it my way.



All things considered, it has been an emotional season, but there is plenty to build on. It feels great to be back in the hotseat again, and I'm ready to take on all challenges.

Season Overview 2022/23

League Finish: 4th (56 points)
Cup: Winners

Nine players in, total spent £0
Four players out, total received £20k
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #23
This was a big summer, both for myself and for FK Slovan Levice. This was an opportunity to build on our recent success and take the next step. But it would not be easy, and recruitment would be crucial. My reputation in this town and my standing at the football club could hardly be any lower. One false move and I could be for the chop.

To this end, I held auditions for a new Leon. Gone are the days for a light-hearted entertainer, I needed an enforcer in the assistant manager/mascot position. The first lot were enthusiastic, but none of them had the intimidatory factor that I was looking for. It then struck me that I could kill two birds with one stone - if I got one of the leading ultras to fill the role then I could keep order within the camp whilst simultaneously bringing myself closer with the club's loyalist and most physically visible fans.

Roman was thrilled to get the gig, and took to it like a duck to water. It's decisions like this that remind me just why I'm the right man to take this club forward.

At the very first day of pre-season he overheard a bit of dissent from a few of the Lion Girls. Now, they had taken Leon's death badly, especially his sister, but there is no room for sentiment in football. All Roman had to do was slap one of them about a bit and we didn't hear a peep out of any of the others for the rest of the session.



It's this no more Mr Nice Guy approach that we now have to transfer to the playing staff if we are going to better our title challenge and cup success of last season.

Transfer wise it was six out and six in. With European football on offer we had people queuing up to sign for us, and some of these players knew their stuff. At training these new guys were doing things that I had never seen in any coaching manuals. Not that I've read any, but I'm confident that these things they were doing wouldn't be in there even if I had, that's how good they were. If I could have shipped out more than six of our lads I would have, but there's only so much of a market for exceptionally poor footballers, even in the Slovak lower leagues. Money is tight though, so until I can clear more room in the budget, there's nothing left in the cupboards. I've promised a few of the unlucky ones that I will keep them in mind as soon as I can rid myself of the useless bastards we currently employ. There's the beginning of an idea already forming in my mind about some 'accidents' a few of the higher paid ones might happen to suffer, but until I build my relationship with Roman in the Leon role I can't make any promises to them.

Money wise, we are still the smallest fish in the park, but the gap is closing. We're not the minnows we once were, more of a small mackerel. The dream is that if we can keep our fins on the ground and don't run before we can walk, in 12 months time we could be a herring. Nothing flashy but something that the SFZ will have to buy a bigger tank to keep domestically.

The published figures pretty much back all of that up. £234 000 a year, or £4 500 a week is right in mackerel territory, but in my opinion anything up to Kosice (halibuts in my eyes) are catchable if we swim fast enough.



I was a very proud man when we welcomed Partizan to our humble home for our first ever game on our European adventure. That was the plan at least, but the authorities didn't think our 700 seats was enough, and moved the game to Slovan Bratislava. Truth be told I didn't even bother to check so turned up at our ground as normal and found it empty. A passing dog walker put me right, but by then it was too late to make it to Bratislava, so I watched the game on a dodgy internet stream. It wasn't how I imagined my first taste of European football, but that's life. To save face I pretended to know about the switch and was boycotting because of Slovan's close links to the SFZ. I put it out there that the move was nothing more than a plan for Slovan and the authorities to take a share of the gate, but after the threat of a lawsuit I was forced to withdraw the accusation. Fortunately my players were more switched on, turning up at the correct ground AND winning the game 2-1. I was the happiest I had been squinting into a laptop and hoping to avoid viruses that I had been in weeks.

For the return leg, we boarded the plane to Serbia to find out that not everyone had remembered to apply for a passport. Initially I was outraged at the jobsworths working in airport security, but eventually calmed down enough to storm off and hire a coach. I heard a few rumblings that we should just leave this person behind and everyone else carry on without them, but I convinced them that it must be one for all and all for one if we are going to have any success this season. Besides which, if we lost then it might be our last game in Europe and I wanted to be present at one of the games at the very least. New Leon once again proved his worth in crushing any potential mutiny.

Fortunately we only had to travel 505km to Belgrade and not to Iceland, otherwise we might have had to request a day's postponement. Going overnight on a coach wasn't ideal preparation, but it's these little learning curves that you have to take on board as you grow. I will apply for a passport the moment we get back.



On the pitch the boys did me proud, winning the game 2-1 on the day and 4-2 on aggregate. In the streets too we proved our worth, with the ultras making the short bus journey across Europe to meet their Serbian counterparts. I'm happy to report that several Serbians suffered serious injuries and that Roman managed to fulfil both his ultra and his Leon commitments during the trip. Never has a lion deserved his win bonus more.

Word of our success spread, and we were also helped by a kind draw in the next round, being paired with Videoton of Hungary. This was within public transport distance, and a few Jonnycumlatelys turned up to boost our numbers and take over pubs throughout Videoton. Windows were put through, innocent locals fled in terror and we made it into several international media reports. On the pitch we also won, 5-2 on aggregate to extend our run in the competition, and I made sure I turned up in Bratislava on the right day this time for the home leg. Never make the same mistake twice, that's my motto, not unless you accidently do do it twice.

We were now only two legs away from the group stages of the Euro Cup. Unfortunately fish don't have legs and this was where my metaphor fell short. Real Betis saw us off 7-3, watched by 19 616 fans in the Slovak capital. Those numbers indicate the potential that is there, even if it wasn't in our town and over 19 000 of them weren't our fans.



Overall, a good learning experience for my school and the extra few pennies in the bank from the gates and prize money is the first rung on the minnows to halibut ladder, if you will allow yourself to imagine such an implement. There's definite board game material there one day if the snakes and ladders people can handle some fish based competition.
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #24
Domestically, we were simply not used to having two games in a week and so we started the season slowly. If this European football is going to become a regular thing then we are going to have to start taking fitness a lot more seriously. Things like the half time fag, the pizzas on the team bus, the Wednesday night piss up and the Saturday night piss up will have to be phased out.

After we crashed out of Europe we started to motor up the table. Other teams were running scared, as were the authorities. The news stories about the Ultras rampaging across Europe had once again brought us back into contact with the SFZ, who were concerned about the damage we were doing to Slovak football's reputation as a whole. I promised them it was a one-off, and had not been our fault, whilst in private I asked Roman to take his mascot costume off before he joins in any fighting in the future, then it won't look like official, club backed violence.

They let it slide this time, but I could tell they didn't want us to qualify for Europe again. The little guys weren't who they wanted representing them abroad, not when the Slovans and Zilinas of this world are available. It was little things at first, like re-arranging our games to not give our tired side a rest between games. Then as we continued to rise, we noticed the refereeing going more and more against us. Refs would give out yellow cards for any offense they could invent, and the most galling thing was that with our disciplinary record, no one even noticed. There should have been national outrage, but we were just getting more criticism for picking up so many cards. Our home fans were incensed, but with their number this didn't even cause much of a stir in the town, never mind further afield.



Things really came to a head towards the end of the season, when despite their best efforts we were still in the title hunt. We had had trouble with this ref before - some comments of mine regarding her gender had been criticised and I had not received a Christmas card from her since. But what happened that day went beyond the pale. The game was going along, and one of our boys had gone down with cramp. She walked over to attend to him, or so I thought, and when she thought no-one was looking, delivered a swift stamp down between his legs, then carried on with a butter-wouldn't-melt look, as if nothing had happened.



I had seen this, and my captain had seen this, and between us we were incensed. He told her exactly what he had seen her do, while on the touchline I delivered an action replay for the benefit of the 4th official.



But what can you do when the ref is bent? We stood up for our guy as best we could, but once the 22 man brawl broke up, all we could do was applaud as he was carried off the pitch. He's an ugly f*cker, so kids might not have been in the equation anyway, but it was totally unprovoked, and marked the start of all out war between Levice and the SFZ.



I would have loved it, absolutely loved it, if we had won the league, but it just wasn't to be. Having six good players was a major step up on the year before, but it takes seven good players and four idiots to win the Slovak crown, either that or six good players, two reasonable ones and three idiots. We came close but were just one good player or two reasonable ones short.

The silver lining was that we finished ahead of holders and authority golden boys Slovan Bratislava, by virtue of our head to head record. We may have lost this battle, but by leapfrogging Slovan we delivered a slap in the face to the established elite and announced ourselves as genuine big guys. I've run out of fish to try to compare us to, but right now I feel like a shark.



On the whole, the town seems quite happy with 2nd place, and the hatred towards me has lessened slightly over the last 12 months. If this carries on I may even be allowed back in the video store soon.

Season Overview 2023/24

League Finish: 2nd (65 points) New High
Cup: Quarter-Finals

Six players in, total spent £0
Six players out, total received £48k
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #25
As I approached the 2024/25 season I knew that recruitment was the key to success. Gone are the days when I would sign anyone willing to play for Levice - the famous lion badge would now be a source of pride for those lucky players selected to pull on the shirt.



To this end I decided that I would have to be more professional in my approach. I may have the masterplan in my head, but very little football is played in my head - we have to produce results on the pitch. Being completely honest - one manager, an eight foot lion and a physio may be fine for the mid table clubs, but we want to rise above that, which means a new assistant manager is required. Leon was great at reading the fixture list the week before and hiring a coach to take us to the game (in general at least, we all make the occasional mistake) but what I want now is someone who can read the fixtures two weeks in advance, and scout the opposition for us, letting us know who we should be targeting with a dirty tackle early doors.

Interviewing is not my strongest area, but luckily as it turns out only one guy showed up wearing glasses. Call me old fashioned but he looked far smarter than the others so I gave him the job. Having him around the dugout gives us a sense of grandeur that is sure to intimidate our rivals.

When he started, it turns out that he's not just a pretty face. His previous scouting experience has given him an excellent knowledge of the game and a database of talent for us to pursue. It was fitting that we were finally able to release Bojan Ancic this summer - a four year deal at £1000 per week (20% of our total wage bill) was a lot for someone I signed based on a written CV that turned out to be greatly exaggerated and I have regretted it ever since. His wages could now be spent professionally, and we signed three new guys for his money.

A small part of me misses the days when I would sign any Serbian with a penchant for violence, but times move on and I have to move with them if we are to progress.


This is Marek. He's very clever looking. No-one at FK Slovan Levice has ever used a clipboard before.

Tebogo Sono is a South African right back, 20 years old and on a free transfer. He's in their national U21 squad, so is bound to be good. Marek got a tip about him, and I am happy to back his judgement over mine, especially as I don't have anyone else in mind. The basketball team signed a black guy last year, so I am sure the ultras won't kick off. We all have to make sacrifices for the good of the team and I will explain that to them if needs be.

Sergey Ponomarev is a Ukranian attacking midfielder, who will be the point of my diamond formation. He's ugly but very good at football.

Finally Iliya Shankulov is a loanee arrival from Litex in Bulgaria. He's literally twice as fast as anyone else in the squad, and even if you ignore how unfit they all are, that's a great attribute to have.

We've only had chance to play one pre-season friendly as we enter Europe at the first qualifying round for the EURO Cup, which means a 4th July start. We lost it, but the crap that enters Europe at this stage should be easily dispatched even if we are still on our holidays.

The plan for the season is to win the ball with a crunching tackle, give it to Ponomarev, who kicks it over the top for Shankulov to run on to and shoot. Marek will phrase it slightly better and explain it to the lads, but I think we're in for a good year.
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #26
Our European run this year started one round earlier, at the very first stage. Marek wrote a lovely dossier on Zugdidi but I didn't even need to read it. 4-1 and 5-1 wins were achieved without getting out of second gear. They're Georgian, that's why they have the funny name. I was fined £40 for declaring it a 'proper twatting' in my post-match interview - I could maybe have been slightly politer but I got carried away in the moment - I was not used to 9-2 aggregate wins.

Danish FC Midtjaeyaayallaand were next up. They were a step up, but a fantastic 3-0 away win allowed us to relax at home in the second leg and play out a thrilling 3-3 draw to go through 6-3.

The next side we faced were Lech Poznan. After a 2-1 away win we fancied our chances, but the home game (played in Bratislava to a dismal crowd of 1500) was a 1-3 defeat, meaning we went out 4-3 on aggregate. The visiting Poznan fans were clearly not impressed with the first leg defeat and turned their backs on their side after their late winner. You can say what you like about our own ultras, but they support the team through thick and thin.



The experience of playing these European sides helped us domestically. If you can beat Lech Poznan away, then going to Ruzomberok is no trouble at all. We started the season strongly for once, and led the way at the mid-season winter break, which was 19/33 of the way through the season. Glory was within our nostrils.



In the quarter finals of the Cup in November, we faced Kosice. The first leg had been a bit of a disaster - the card school on the coach to the game turned into an all day drinking session, and slightly hung-over, we lost the first leg 5-1. The media, who with my recent success had had no opportunities to criticise my management, went into overdrive in slagging us off. I will accept that professional footballers should not vomit on the field, but they had cleaned it up themselves, so I think the media went too far in their criticism of our behaviour.

At home, we were determined to put things right, resulting in one of the most memorable nights in Levice history. Marek went and scouted Kosice before the game, to let us know how they looked through sober eyes. I banned all alcohol the night before the game and asked the local brothel to turn away any of my boys within 48 hours of the game. A few of them resented that, but it was worthwhile.

We outplayed Kosice from the first minute till the last. In fact such was our domination, I would even say that we warmed up better than they did too. In the 74th minute we scored our 4th goal, to level it at 5-5 on aggregate, which would take us through on away goals. That one sober goalscorer from the first leg (because his mother won't let him drink until he helps out more at home) would prove critical.

Then disaster struck, they scored an away goal.

In the 92nd minute we had thrown everything at them. But we had one final trick up our sleeves. Lars Peter Pedersen had fled Denmark after running up gambling debts with the wrong sort of people. But Denmark's loss was our gain, and his last minute goal took the game to extra time, and eventually penalties.

Having recovered from 5-1 down, and then scored a 92nd minute equaliser, it would have been cruel to lose this game now. The players on both sides displayed an unusually high level of competence, each side scoring 10 out of the first 11. Regular takers Lukac and Tomko were put to shame by the goalkeepers.

I was about to shake hands and go inside for the coin toss, but apparently if you're still level at this stage you go round again. Fortunately for us, their rubbish penalty taker was third and ours was 4th up - so Tomko missed his second of the shootout, and everyone else scored again, giving us an incredible 13-12 shootout win, after a 6-6 aggregate draw, after recovering from a 5-1 first leg loss and having needed a 92nd minute equaliser. Lukac never needed to take a second penalty, which was handy because a game like that didn't deserve a scapegoat. It would have broken my heart to blame him in the media in order to deflect attention away from myself.



As we opened our presents from Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve, we were on course for a domestic double. So much so that the Lion's Bush named a drink after this very prospect. It's two parts something or other, but after a few of them you forget what it is.

After Christmas it was crucial that we held our nerve in the big games. We had built up a lead and all we had to do was not throw it away. We were better than these other sides, we just needed to stay calm and stay sober.



Marek was a big help in keeping everyone on course. You never really appreciate just how useless an eight foot lion as your assistant is until you are assisted by someone who is not an eight foot lion.



That's right. Levice won the league. Not Slovan, not Zilina. FK Slovan Levice were champions of Slovakia in 2025.



Unfortunately the double did not come off, as we lost 2-1 to Senica in extra time in the final. I was hoping for penalties, and had subbed Lukac off in preparation, but it never got that far. Nevertheless, it was a tremendous season, and the cup final defeat was overshadowed by the league win.

I milked the celebrations a tad, but I had suffered through much of the last 11 years, and was determined to enjoy this moment.



At the end of season awards I was delighted just to get an invite. In previous years I had been blacklisted due to my unpopular image, disciplinary issues, tarnished reputation and allegations of racism and sexism. This year however, I not only turned up, but left carrying the silverware for Manager of the Year. As I walked up the stage, embracing the stunned silence and spattering of polite applause, I savoured the proudest moment of my career.



Season Overview 2024/25

League Finish: 1st (69 points) New High
Cup: Lost in Final

Three players in, total spend £0
One player out, total received £0
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #27
The summer of 2025 was a golden time for me. I was no longer the most hated man in Levice - I was now the man who had taken this small town to the top of the tree. Granted, several of the people still hated me on a personal level, but professionally I was an eagle, perched on the top of my Slovak football pyramid tree, where none of them could touch me.



Town Mayor Štefan Mišák (pictured) announced Kalman Kittenberger Day, a local public holiday in my honour.



The entire town turned up to pay tribute to me, and enjoy the day off work watching the renaissance themed entertainment. One local wag nominated me to take part in the jousting, and despite not knowing what I was doing, I managed to finish second, and sustained only minor injuries when falling off. The crowd booed and jeered the winner for not embracing the spirit of Kalman Kittenberger Day as I got back to my feet and saluted the masses.

Once the fun of the fair was over, it was time to get back to business, and preparing for the new season.



Iliya Shankulov arrived back on loan from Litex. 40 goals in all competitions the year before was not enough to convince Litex that he was capable of making their side. Then, in a landmark moment, we paid a transfer fee for the first time. The good runs in Europe had allowed us to bank a little bit of money, and it was burning a hole in my back pocket so quickly that I had to buy a new pair of metaphorical trousers. Marek was dispatched to Hungary, which was as far as the scouting budget would stretch, and he came back with Gabor Vadocz - a 30 year old attacking midfielder and set piece expert. The marketing department (also Marek) are going to advertise him as the Hungarian Beckham. If he's rubbish then we can just say he had an affair a few years ago and his children have silly names, that's what we meant.

There was enough left in the kitty to bring in Kasper Buhr, again for a fee. We played FC Midtjylland in Europe last year, and there was a guy who absolutely ran the show in the second leg. Well, they wouldn't sell him for the £13k that was all we had left to spend, but they agreed to sell us this guy instead. Marek wanted to go and watch him play, but he had already spent some money on his Hungarian spot, and I wanted to get in on the act. The Danes were nice guys and I'm sure they won't have taken any liberties.

There was no time for friendlies, as the Super Cup was soon upon us. This was a chance for revenge on Senica, who defeated us in the Cup Final six weeks before.



The Hungarian Beckham lived up to the hype, breaking his metatarsal in the build up and missing the match injured. Fortunately we had another summer signing in reserve to fire the winner. You guessed it, three cheers to the manager for bringing Shankulov back on loan again. Kasper Buhr also played the full 90 minutes and also now has a winners medal.

In Europe, we swatted away FH of Iceland with such ease that I was once again fined for my post match interview. Marek has now agreed to do the interviews for any wins of more than 2-1. 10-4 was the aggregate score, after a 6-1 first leg win. Olimpija were next, the Slovenian side drawing 0-0 in Slovakia before we beat them 3-2 away. We were now ranked so highly that we had started from the 2nd qualifying round, not the 1st, and were therefore now in the play-offs, and only 2 games away from the Champions League group stages.

Turkish giants Galatasaray stood in our way. After a 3-3 draw at home I made some comments after the game which with hindsight may have been ill-advised. Their fans offered me a personal invite into hell for the return leg, which regretfully I had to miss after going down with a nasty bout of flu. Marek led the side in the second leg, but could not match my example, losing 2-0.

Fortunately I was able to recover, as reaching the play-off stage qualified us for the EURO Cup group stages. Steaua Bucharest, Spartak Moscow and Braga were the lucky sides to visit Slovakia, and we did not disgrace ourselves - beating Steaua once and drawing with Steaua and Braga to finish on 5 points. Three 8000+ gates in Bratislava and the £1.3m prize money will really help the Club to grow - I think a scouting mission somewhere hot in the summer is due.

We took this cup form into the Slovak Cup, demolishing sides left, right and centre. In the semi-finals, Trnava were dispatched 8-4 on aggregate, taking us back to Bratislava for the final.



In the resulting celebrations, the 8th goalscorer Ludovit Beno found himself at the bottom of the pile-on, putting him out for the rest of the season. He was distraught to miss the final, but in my eyes scoring a goal of that magnitude at his height was just asking for trouble. He should have scored one of the first half goals and left the last minute cherry-on-toppers to the centre backs, who could support the inevitable pile-on.

Kosice were our opponents in the final, and a 4-1 win saw us get our hands back on the Cup. I made sure that celebrations were restricted to handshakes and backslapping, as we couldn't afford to lose any more to injury.

Sadly, there was a price to pay for the cup success we had achieved. All these extra games and injuries told on such a paper-thin squad. We were in the mix right the way through, but finished on 59 points, two behind new champions Presov. After amassing 69 points last season, this was a poor league season in comparison, but the extra cup games did stretch us.

In hindsight I shouldn't have fired the guy that messed up the after game pizza order, but truth be told he irritated me and had to go. Not replacing him was the mistake, both on the field and getting the right pizzas wise.



Despite the points fall in the league, this was a good season on the pitch. We made a breakthrough in Europe, putting big money into the bank, and added two more cups to our newly built trophy cabinet.

Season Overview 2025/26

League Finish: 2nd (59 points)
Cup: Winners
Super Cup Winners

Nine players in, total spent £113k
Four players out, total received £0
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #28
I spent the summer of 2026 in Bulgaria trying to secure Iliya Shankulov on another loan spell. It was a tough negotiation - I would tell them he's rubbish, they would ask how he scored so many goals, I would say the thirty goals he scores every year were all lucky deflections, they would ask why I wanted him back then, I would go red, stutter and then pretend to faint. When I 'woke up' we would go round again. Eventually we switched to a permanent transfer negotiation. I offered £100k, they wanted £1m... I said 150, they said 750... 200 ... 650... 250... 500... 300 ... 350... 400... Done. You have been.

On the way back home I realised we didn't have £400k to spend on one player. Sure, we had been a one man team in previous seasons, but Marek advised that to pay £400k we would have to make that literally true. I made a few calls, but there was little interest in most of the squad. In the end, I had to take the plunge and sell our best player, the South African right back Marek had found right after he joined. He was a good player, but at the end of the day, he's only a right back, and for the £1.2m we received from Flamengo in Brazil, I'd rather have the 30 goal striker and use the rest to boost the squad. A new right back came in from Israel for only £69k who was only slightly worse, and the rest was all money in the bank. The real bonus was that we managed to keep him until January 1st anyway, so he could play in the big European games and more than half the league games if needed.



The consequence of losing the title was that we were now back into qualifying for the EURO Cup, rather than being in with the big boys in the CL. Neftci of Azerbaijan were beaten 3-0 and 4-0, then we beat Red Bull Salzburg 4-1 and 8-1. I'm not sure they were even trying by the end. In the play-offs to make the group stage, we drew giants Napoli - a 4-1 first leg defeat could not be overturned, even though we did beat them 2-1 in front of over 20 000 fans in Slovakia. Not quite a repeat of last season, but still a nice pay day compared to domestic football.

The Super Cup stayed in Levice, courtesy of a 1-0 win over champions Presov.



On the opening day of the season, after a 7-0 win over Myjava, I went and put two weeks wages on us to win the league. We were scoring for fun - no one in Slovakia could defeat us.

We did then lose the next match, but despite tempting fate, we were still very strong, and did not have European football to distract us.

The Slovak Cup gave us a chance to cement our status as a big dog in the pond. We had a League title, two Super Cups and some great runs in Europe already under our bags. A third Slovak Cup win could not be a fluke - to get that in our belts as well, whilst Slovan had won nothing in years, would represent a changing of the guard that not even the Queen of England could ignore.

Presov again were the opponents for the final, and again we had too much for them. A 2-0 win brought Levice consecutive cup wins, and the chance to go for a treble.

Then during the celebrations, something was different.



The Open Top Bus Parade I was expecting had not been planned - the Slovak Cup was apparently no longer a good enough reason to over celebrate. I have to say that this surprised me. Fair enough, we were the best side in the league this season, but our wage bill and attendances were still only average in the division, and with our dismal history prior to my arrival, every trophy is still huge for us.

I used this to spur the lads on. In the final round of fixtures against the other 11 sides in the league, we won ten and drew one. What was a narrow lead became a 15 point margin of victory by the end of the season.



Slovak League Title, Slovak Cup & Super Cup. The domestic clean sweep, and in totally dominant fashion. This had never been done before in Slovakia - history had been made.



I went on holiday after the season ended, sat on the beach and waited for the big European giants to make me an offer I couldn't refuse. Marek would come with me and do the donkey work again, and I would inspire the players to greatness. The only question is which club I will be leading to the top next.

Season Overview 2026/27

League Finish: 1st (72 points) New High
Cup: Winners
Super Cup Winners

Six players in, total spent £469k
Five players out, total received £1.2m
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #29
I was lying on a beach with a drink in my hand, but not even the sunny shoreline of Poland could take my mind off waiting for the phone to ring. But alas, I was kept waiting as the call I really wanted never arrived. Back to Levice it will be, with only second prize of the prospect of a PPI insurance claim, to keep me excited.

One bonus of holidaying in Poland was that I met a guy who said he could fix the plumbing in the gents, so I brought him back with me on the train and he's going to do a few jobs around the place, bringing the training ground up to scratch. They haven't been touched since I arrived, so now we have a bit of cash it is time to do a bit of work on the facilities. My office, the training ground, and the youth team network will be on a constant cycle of improvements whenever cash is available. For now Grzegorz will work on building me a bigger desk and a new trophy cabinet until a bit more cash comes in.

On that front, we were now back in the Champions League and the carrot of big, big money was being waved in our direction. I have always preferred the stick to the carrot, but I wouldn't mind a nibble on those millions.

Hibernians of Malta were first up, and duly twatted 9-0. The Croats Dinamo were next in line for a thrashing, and we duly delivered a fine 4-2 victory (on penalties). We were now only two games away from riches.

To try and improve my media image I had tried making a few jokes in my press conferences. After the Hibernians game I told the press that I had always been a fan of Maltesers, but not as much as our overweight press secretary. No-one seemed to get that this was a joke and they sent him a signed pennant and letter of thanks for his support - he had never even heard of them the week before.

When Dinamo came to town I thought my luck had changed. In front of the assembled media I told them that Dinamo had had their moments but I was a Criss Angel man myself. None of them even printed it the next day, they all went with match reports instead.

The draw was kind to us, Norwegian champions Molde came out of the hat. After losing the first leg 2-1 at home I referred to them as 'those moldy c*nts' to one single journalist, and ended up over the back pages. I ended up having to apologise in person to the Norwegian ambassador and pose for a photoshoot holding up a mackerel and a pair of skis. If that's all they are famous for then I'm not impressed.

In the second leg we took a fine 4-1 victory. The chairman and I sang 'we're in the money' long into the night.



Overall, this little run brought in over £10m in prize money and gate receipts. Enough to increase the wage bill quite a lot, do up the facilities and have a nice little holiday somewhere outside Europe.

Unfortunately this run into Europe brought us into the limelight. Celta Vegans in Spain wanted Shankulov, our 30 goal a year guy. Once their offer reached into the millions, the board got involved and it was out of my hands. We received a Club record £4.8m, and this kick started a few departures. Still, the money was good and our bank balance rocketed. I was able to splash the cash like never before to replace them, in fact over £5m was spent on the best and the brightest (we knew about) that (our limited) money could buy.

There was disappointment after the Super Cup was cancelled at short notice - 2.55pm on the matchday to be precise. No-one had twigged that we had won both the League and Cup, so no other side was invited. We had to send the fans home disappointed.

The SFZ tried to claim that when the League and Cup are won by the same side there is never a Super Cup contest, but I saw through this as a weak attempt to save face.

This meant that the Slovak Cup was the only cup on offer, and we collected it for the third time in a row. I wrote to the SFZ to suggest that they should just let us keep this too and not hold it next year, but I don't think they appreciated the good humour in my jesting.

In the league, despite the extra cup games and loss of Shankulov, which was a massive blow, we still managed to retain the title by 6 clear points of our nearest challengers.



Nationally, the media praise was not as large as I had hoped for. But I knew that when I opened the local rag the next day I could bask in some appreciation.



When I discovered that they had gone with the local chess championship on the back page, and not our league and cup double, which was relegated to three pages in, even after the basketball, I blew a gasket in my roof.

I am not proud of my actions that day, but I do think the authorities overreacted. I acknowledge that any schoolchildren watching the news that day could have picked up bad habits, but in the real world, when is this ever likely to happen to any of them? If they achieve national and continental glory, only to be snubbed by the bitter local press for a regional chess tournament, then I would fully support their right to enter the office of the local newspaper editor and attempt to insert a chess board up his arse, even if in practise they would be too small at this age to make a decent fist at it.

I'm not proud of my actions, but with good behaviour I can be out in three months and the chairman has vowed to stand by me.

The fans have also backed me, and come up with a clever new ditty. It poses an interesting philosophical question about just how exactly the local newspaper editor is going to stick his f*cking chessboard up his arse sideways when all four sides are the same length.

Season Overview 2027/28

League Finish: 1st (65 points)
Cup: Winners

14 players in, total spent £5.28m
12 players out, total received £9.64m
 

Gulliball

Active Member
Messages
359
Likes
185
Supports
Torquay United
Thread starter #30
This summer, I decided that Marek had proven himself worthy of taking a more hands on role in finalising transfers, not just scouting for new targets. He had free reign to improve the squad, the only guidelines was that he should work on a one in-one out basis, and only spending what he could generate from sales.

He did a cracking job, and really stuck two fingers up to the cynics who suggested that I only promoted him to such a position because I was in prison at the time. It was perhaps slightly ironic that I only learned about our transfer dealings from reading the local newspaper. I found two spelling mistakes in one issue, so I think maybe the editor has started to let himself go. Still, beggars can't be choosers and I'm not one to hold a grudge.

Daniel Bielik (signed for free) went for £800k. The Israeli right back brought in to replace the black guy (£69k) went for £1.5m. The Hungarian Beckham, our first ever transfer fee aged 30 (£100k) fetched £230k, and the ugly Ukranian attacking midfielder Ponomorov (free) generated £1.2m. Another free transfer Platonov raised £1m, and finally Kasper Buhr, my £13k gamble on the strength of him being the only player available for that price, brought in a club record £2.1m.

Fodor, a Hungarian right back, came in for £1.5m - an incredible talent who will generate millions in the future. Bjelanovic was a club record £3m transfer, but he is already a complete defender and only 19 years old, so he is an asset too. I like how Marek maintained the Club tradition of an aggressive Serbian in the centre of defence. Darko Jelavic was £1m - he is a left winger, the first wideman we've had in years. This meant we needed a right winger too, and a big, big gamble was taken to bring in Jesus Ugalde on a free transfer, but costing £25k per week in wages - streets and streets ahead of anything else in the history of Levice. The £10m Champions League revenue needed to be spent. The rest was spent on promising young players, Marek's speciality. We now had a squad packed full of young talent to develop on our quest to glory.



Looking at who we got in Europe this year, it really brought it home to me just how much I was missing by being inside. First up we drew a team called Santa, and then one called Mika. It was like all my birthdays had come at once and I wasn't invited to the party. Singing 'Big Girls, You Are Beautiful' in a press conference would have brought the house down - doing it in a prison shower is not a mistake I made twice...

Olimpija of Slovenia followed the Andorrans and Armenians, in what was a pretty kind run of draws. Another £7m in the bank for reaching the group stage meant that we would be able to keep up the improvements to the facilities and fund the massive wages of Ugalde for another year. The draw after that was slightly less kind - Celtic, Juventus and Lyon - we only managed one draw and five defeats to take in half a million in prize money, but the gate receipts countered that.



When the season kick-off came, it was only natural that the lads would be missing their leader and inspiration, even the new guys who had never met me would be missing my aura around the place. I missed the first six games of the season serving the remainder of my sentence for the chess board attack.

Marek is a clever guy and has a good eye for a player, but does not have the charisma for the top job.



I returned to the Club to a hero's welcome. There was a slight confusion over my day of release, so they had not planned anything special, but I could sense it. I heard someone whistling the theme from Escape from Alcatraz but I couldn't see who it was.

We set about climbing back to the top of the tree, and by Christmas we were within reach of the highest branch. I had to endure a few taunts from the opposition fans from time to time, as I was expecting to be honest. Chess pieces were regularly being thrown at me - enough that all I have to do is buy a few boards and I can sell full sets on ebay. The vast majority of songs directed at me greatly exaggerated just how much rape goes on inside prisons today.

In the Slovak Cup, it was like the trophy was attached to our cabinet with superglue. Grzegorz the handyman assured me that this wasn't true however, and I have no reason not to believe him. In the final, we were level with Kosice at 3-3 when the final whistle went. In extra time we showed the desire to retain the Cup and hammered in three goals to take it 6-3 aet.



Kosice did end up having the last laugh however. No matter how much our form picked up, the loss of so many points early on came back to bite us on the metaphorical behind. Kosice finished on 65 points, the same total we had reached last season, but we under performed to only amass 63.

Having done nothing but for the last 90 years, the fan base was suddenly not used to losing. Things got pretty tasty and personal in the heat of the run-in. It seems like the majority of the fan base blame the three month jail sentence I received, and the shocking number of lost points in my absence, for the loss of our league title. Personally, I will rise above this and I refuse to blame Marek, no matter how badly he did.



As manager it seems that I am responsible for his mistakes, and there was a small petition calling for my removal. But as I said to the chairman, I've had far bigger petitions against me than this in the past, so why should you act now? He saw sense and I will be remaining in my job to take back what is rightfully ours.

Season Overview 2028/29

League Finish: 2nd (63 points)
Cup: Winners

8 players in, total spent £6.02m
8 players out, total received £6.77m
 

Forum statistics

Threads
14,939
Messages
923,757
Members
5,090
Latest member
Bordon Shot

Latest posts