Folks, welcome to my second “FM15 Legends Interview.” I am really proud to post this one, as this guy is someone I knew about from the my first time round playing FM, just before I had to go cold turkey. He is one of the most respected “experts” out there and posts some of the best pieces ever written on the game, in my opinion. So I was naturally delighted when he agreed to give up some time for me just before Christmas. Enjoy…
Q: Hey Cleon, thanks for giving up some time to speak to me today. Straight off the bat mate, tell my followers who you are….
A: I’m Cleon, 33, married, I have 4 kids. What can I say?! I’ve never been one for TV….
Q: With your reputation and standing in the FM community you very much qualify as an FM Legend, but tell us when you started playing the game?
A: Legend lol, I’m just a normal guy who likes to give back to a community and help out those who are struggling and try and help them turn their fortunes around if possible. I started playing Championship Manager when I saw my dad having a go one day on his Amiga. I asked him for a go and I’ve never looked back since. I was instantly hooked.
Q: What made you want to start a website about it?
A: It was never my intention to make a website but sometime in 2001 I think it was, I was approached by someone in Norway who asked me if I wanted to run their website for them. Apparently they’d seen my posts and saw how active I was and they thought I’d be running the site for them. I thought about it for a while they took up their offer and that was it really. The site was called Throw-in which some of the older readers might remember. I stayed there for about a year then I got talking to Dave (Caleyjag) and then we started working together on Soritoutsi and the rest is history really. I’ve run a few other sites in between but nowadays just prefer to run a simple blog, life is much simpler that way.
Q: Where did you develop all your knowledge?
A: People ask me this question a lot but there is no real answer, its just something that happens over time or you pick bits up here and there. I guess being a moderator on SI Games has had a massive impact though and being involved with beta testing as you become privileged to information that you might not normally come across. It probably comes down to this and absorbing everything and asking questions that developed the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years.
Q: What has your greatest save been to date?
A: It’s got to be my Paysandu save on FM13, it was also the longest I’ve played the game for. I think it was something like 25 seasons which is a lot for me. Don’t get me wrong I play the game a lot but normally across multiple saves. But for some reason I really got into this save and started from the bottom tier and Brazil and made my way to the top tier. I think it helped that my friend (Acidburn81) also started in the bottom tier of Brazil and while it wasn’t a network game it still felt like it at times when we discussed our saves and how we was going. We chatted 24/7 about it so that really helped to get into it. I’ve actually struggled to have a save game I’ve liked since then as they all can’t compare to how fun that particular save was.
Q: What has been your biggest FM failure so far?
A: On FM13 not winning the Brazilian cup. It sounds unbelievable but I lost the final something like 20 times and I still can’t explain why. It was just one of those things everything used to align and go wrong in these games and no matter what I did I’d always lose. When I bought FM14 the first thing I did was take over a Brazilian club and win it the first season just to prove I could do it lol. But on FM13 it was the only trophy I could never win and it became an obsession of mine to win it and later would become this massive failure.
Q: Who are you managing in FM15, and why?
A: I’ve not really got a proper save yet. There’s the Sheffield United save I’m using for the blog and is what a lot of the articles I’ve done are based around but that’s a 4 or 5 season save and won’t be anything longer really as I get bored in England. I also have a save with Sheffield FC who are way down the tiers in the Evo-Stik leagues, the reason I chose them is I’m a member of the club and they are the worlds oldest football club. I do think long term I’ll end up in South America though, that’s where I enjoy playing the most.
Q: For you, what has been the best addition to FM15 and why?
A: FMC has to be the best addition due to how quick it is. If it had the analysis tab I’d never play full fat FM again there’d be no need for me. FMC is convenient and takes away all the stuff I really dislike with full fat FM. And this year FMC got a lot more features and control over training so the only thing it lacks now is the analysis tab for me personally. Hopefully next year they’ll get it implemented and then FMC will be the only version I play.
Q: Equally, what has been the worst?
A: Media/Player interaction drives me nuts. It’s overkill. All the questions we get asked become real tiersome and repetitive after a season and when you play long term the questions feel like a chore to answer. The same with the responses we can give players when they are upset or moaning about something. I always leave the whole media side of things to the assistant to deal with as I have no interest in any of it, I find it really boring.
Q: If you were in charge of SI for a day, what would you change and why?
A: If I was in charge of SI for the day and could change one thing it wouldn’t be anything FM related at all. I’d like to see them developing a wrestling simulator so I guess I’d sanction this!
Q: Cleon, again, thanks for your time today. I think your website www.sisportscentre.com is one of the go-to blogs for FM and I have learned loads from reading it so thank you.