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[FM18] - One way ticket to the Faroe Islands for Hammer Samuelsen


theBlackPrince

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Hammer Samuelsen had ice running through his veins as a player. An Unflappable keeper, a fan favorite as he worked his way up the football league as a promising 21 year old who seemed to destine to make his break-through to the Premier League. All that was about to change one hot summer Tuesday evening game as the tackle came in, late and dirty. The pain was like nothing else before, and as Hammer Samuelsen was stretched off the pitch that night, no-one would think they wouldn't see him grace a football pitch again.

Hammer never knew his homeland, his mother moved over to England shortly before his birth in Nottingham and to Hammer, apart from the name he had nothing to do with the Faroe Islands. They had come calling, at under 17's, under 19's, 21's and even the National Team. A thanks but no thanks always followed, Hammer wanting to play for England and believing he was good enough to do so. 

That was 5 years ago, a now washed up 26 year old ex-professional footballer who lost his love and passion for the game. With the admiration and the money running out, a call "home" from grandpa Sameulsen was the awakening needed.

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"Listen here, You were good, you could have been world class. What happened, it happened, it was a bad injury but I've called your mother, she says you're in better shape now than you was before. I've bought you a one way ticket here to Torshavn, I hear there are a couple of clubs that are needing a manager. Maybe, just maybe after you stop wallowing in self-pity you might just make a difference and even lace up them boots again. Boy, you could probably make the national team if you wanted to! Anyways, the ticket is there, we have a cottage set up for you when you make it."

Hammer made up his mind, what did he have to lose? Unemployed, broke and with a pair of boots and his gloves in his luggage, next stop, the Faroe Islands.

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Chapter 1 - Where the hell am I?

There was no pomp or ceremony arriving at Vagar Airport. The cold chill in the air never bothered Hammer, he had always enjoyed the colder days, maybe now he knew why. Grandpa was waiting for him at arrivals with the paper, instantly pointing to the two circled bits on the page, B36 2 and FC Suðuroy. They both know you are here, you have interviews tomorrow. So much for settling in and getting to see the place!

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"If I let you sit on your bum, you would find an excuse, now you have no excuses" said Grandpa. He was right, guess I would have found and excuse. Let's just hope being an ex professional footballer is enough to land a managers gig around these parts.

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FC Suðuroy was lined up in the morning first. What Grandpa failed to mention they are in Vagur, on a whole different island!! Great, just great!! Luckily the ferry runs that way, I did'nt fancy my chances on a fishing boat or worse to get there, wherever "there" is! Then I get shown a picture, it's not exactly the busy city of Nottingham.

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I took a walk around the "stadium", it's a long way from the 30,000 seaters I was use to. It had a charm, it had something about it. I'm not sure what it was mind.

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Before I knew it, I was sat before Eli Tomensen the Chairman being bombarded with questions. Before I knew what I was saying, I had said I wouldn't take any more interviews if that would help and after 2 hours, I was sat waiting for the ferry to head back.

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As I was just about to board the ferry I heard a voice from behind, it was Eli.

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"Hammer, You was everything your grandpa said you was. Maybe we can get you to get out on the field again one day, but for next season, we would like you to become the Manager of FC Suðuroy! Pre-Season starts in 2 weeks, you're office will be ready for you from then. As I said in the interview, it's a great challenge and we really are a blank canvas waiting to be painted. It's great to have you on board, we have high hopes moving forward."

I think I thanked him, I was pretty speechless as I sat on the ferry on the way home, admiring the beauty of these islands. I couldn't wait to tell Grandpa, I have a feeling he had something to do with this. But I had something niggling in my mind, what did the Chairman mean when he said "Blank Canvas"......

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Chapter 2 - FC Suðuroy Faroese 1st Division

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I rocked up early, super early, the excitement that Football once gave me was back. I waited, and I waited, no players turned up. No-one, nothing. No coaches either come to think of it. Maybe they were playing a prank on the new manager? Finally Eli came in, and I had to ask, what time do the players and coaches get in?

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Players and Coaches? We don't have any remember, I did say you had a blank canvas to build this team how you best feel as long as you stay in budget! I'm sure a professional like you will have no trouble drawing good players here! Remember, all players are on non-contract terms so they tend to move around a lot each season in the 1st division. 

I let Eli leave and headed back to the office.... WHAT!!!!!!! No players, no coaches! How did i miss that in the interview? Guess this might be a bigger challenge then I first thought! Where the hell do I even start to find players?

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By hook or by crook we managed to fill a squad full of players!

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Calling in some loans, which burdened us with wages every week rather than on non contract terms, but we needed to get who we could as we tried to beat the drop this season. At 70/1, it looked like we would be in for a tough long season! And game one, against relegated B68 would prove this may be a little harder then I have found in other lower leagues (Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar spring to mind.) 

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I got too far ahead to do updates during the season which will start from next year! It was an OK season, we definitely didn't go down but found it hard to compete against the bigger clubs. Also, losing money every month left us not in the best position to end the season!

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Faroese Division 1 Season Review: Predicted 9th - Actual Finish 4th

Players / Fixtures 1  / Fixtures 2 / Best 11 / Overview

One of the highlights might just have been the youth intake this year which produced several players who would likely get to play over the next season!

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Arnbjorn Jacobsen (17a) looks to be one of the better players at the team!

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2018 Faroese Division 1 Season Preview - FC Suðuroy - Predicted 7th

Finances -30,147 / Poor Youth Facilities / Basic Youth Recruitment / Fairly Basic Junior Coaching / Basic Training Facilities

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The biggest news for FC Suðuroy was manager Hammer Samuelsen turned down 3 offers to manager in the Faroese Premier Division, including a tempting one from KI Klaksvik, the most successful team on the island. If that wasn't enough for the fans, Hammer decided to come out of "retirement" to become player/manager.

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I had some great offers which I had to turn down. I knew after last season I had unfinished business here and with the Chairman's blessing, I decided it was time to dust off the gloves and step back into a playing roll also, something which I may not have had the option elsewhere. I feel we are starting to build something here so It was not right for me to go.

Time to rebuild the squad and look to challenge for a top 2 spot and promotion!

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With a new look team for 2018, several signings came in. With a maximum of £130 per week on a non-contract to offer, it was hard to attract top talent but a few players stand out as ones to watch for this season.

Bjarki Christiansson Nielsen - 19 - Striker

We didn't struggle to score goals last season, but Nielsen represents a big increase in quality over the strikers from last season. He is quick with a great first touch and has more than enough about his with his finishing to be a hit at this level. Big things expected.

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Andru Poulsen - 27 - Central Defender 

We let in too many goals last season. With some promising players coming through the youth ranks, an older head to lead the back line was needed. Andru has great awareness and loves to tackle, he will sure up that back line.

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Team Overview - Strengths & Weaknesses

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2018 Season - Part 1

Opening day of the season saw a great 4-1 victory against a Vikingur Gota 2 side. But it would be the second game, against a relegated EB/Streymur team that would set the tone for the season. 2-0 down before a 70th minute strike brought the game back within reach. It would be 2 goals from Bjami Arnason Dalsgaard in the last 10 minutes to seal an unlikely victory. The rest of the games seemed to go our way, with 8 victories and 1 draw.

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This saw Hammer's team riding high at the top of the league and with a good chance of finishing in the top 2 if the form could be kept up.

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What was more impressive was 6 strikers all scoring goals and adding some assists. Every one putting claims in to start every game, a wonderful headache to have,

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