Welcome back folks, another interview for you today – this time with one of the newer players on the block. I stumbled across FM Central when I was trawling YouTube trying to find as much of the FM community as possible. I found their weekly FM Show and was quite impressed, having dabbled in putting together weekly podcasts and videos on YouTube myself. Since then I have got to know Paul a bit, and we share quite a lot in common – both support crap football teams in the UK, both quit the UK for a better way of life and both enjoy finding really random sides far down the leagues and dream of taking them to glory before we get bored. Personally, I have started to spend too much time in their FB group and I think they have started one of the communities to be involved with. So, I was delighted when Paul took some time out of taking Magdeburg up the German leagues to answer a few questions….
Q: Hey Paul, thanks for giving up some time to speak to me today. Straight off the bat mate, tell my followers who you are…
A: Hello, well as you see my name is Paul, I own www.footballmanagercentral.com as well as FM Central on Facebook along with Football central group and page, Gaming central group and Youtube channel FM Central.. footballmanagercentral.com is a official fansite which I am extremely proud of also.
Q: With your new player in the FM website market, www.footballmanagercentral.com you very much qualify as an FM Legend, but tell us when you started playing the game?
A: I started playing Football Manager in 1997 when it was known as Championship Manager. My brother game me the copy and I got hooked, not missed a version since and never plan on it.
Q: What made you want to start a website about it?
A: I was working for another fansite as well as running a Facebook group separate to that. A few people kept asking me to come in and help them set up a website based on Football manager but they were not sure how to go about it. The more I thought about it I decided I would leave where I was working and try to go it alone. Setting up the website and deciding content was the best time of my FM life.
Q: Where did you develop all your knowledge?
A: My FM knowledge is all from experience, I did not know about the online world of FM until 2006 and before then I played every single day for 9 years so when I did find the online world I already knew a fair bit. I entered the online world on Neoseeker Football manager forums and stayed there till 2013 when I started on Facebook and within 3 months I had my own group with over 2k members and went from there.
Q: What has your greatest save been to date?
A: Cork City! FM 2007. I took them to the last 8 of the Champions League in my 6th season, won the title all 6 years and was in love with the team. Singing some famous players like Alex Bruce to play at the heart of my defence.
Q: What has been your biggest FM failure so far?
A: I think without a doubt it is that I have not won the Champions League on FM since 2009/2010 FM. I never manage big clubs and I have struggled in Europe with the smaller clubs, I like to be non league or lower league and grow up or be in smaller nations and I just have not broke Europe on FM for a few years, mainly due to me not sticking saves for long enough. Due to me advertising, making posts about teams to help people I end up convincing myself to be these teams and end up switching 5-6 seasons into saves.
Q: Who are you managing in FM15, and why?
A: I am currently 1. FC Magdeburg in German 4th Tier. Why, they won the Cup winners Cup in 1974 but never broke into the United German top level so I want to make them a powerhouse
Q: For you, what has been the best addition to FM15 and why?
A: The side menu, glad to see it back and a big fan of it. Mixed with the drop down on the top I feel SI have got it perfect and am really proud of them for finding such a blend.
Q: Equally, what has been the worst?
A: I still think the interviews are poor, lack of question detail aswell as with some clubs you are expected to challenge for title in division and only options on team talk are mid table and players are unhappy from the off.
Q: If you were in charge of SI for a day, what would you change and why?
A: Wow, in charge for a day… I would change the match engine. I have the most amazing respect for how they are doing it, I have explained on our show how the reason players run over the ball or dont touch the ball is all based on their stats, if it is a 50/50 and 1 person has more stat for it then he will win it but on engine it looks like a bug and many people insult the game due to this. It is such an issue the abuse for the match engine I think it needs a massive graphical rethink, I would be happy to go back to only 2D or Classic and lose the 3D as I do not want to punish them people who do not have computers to power ‘FIFA’ style graphics but at the same time if we stick with 3D it needs to be improved.
Q: Paul, again, thanks for your time today. I think your website and community is one of the ones to look out for, and I look forward to being part of it each day and watching it grow.
A: Thank you so much, I appreciate it and I welcome anyone who wants to join our group on FB or follow us on twitter @fm_central and come in and share your FM stories, come to us if you have a issue we are always happy to help, on our website or in person on FM Central on Facebook we have thousands who jump to the aid of anyone who asks for help.