Folks, I am super-excited to be announcing my new project. I am hoping that this idea will appeal to all my friends and fellow shareholders at Real Oviedo FC as well as the FM community. I am announcing the launch of my new website, www.realtimeoviedo.wordpress.com – go and have a look once you have finished reading this, not yet as it probably will not make any sense without this introduction. First, a little background. As you all probably know now, as I constantly shove it down people’s throats, I wrote a couple of books in 2014 using the old game, Championship Manager, to create the narrative and composed a fictional, parody diary through the eyes of my manager, Johnny Cooper. It was when I tried to start getting this book in front of my target market, the players of Football Manager, that I really started to fall in love with the game again, and especially the online community. I started reading all the blogs I could find, watching as many YouTube videos as possible. I started my own blog, as you know as you are reading it, but I wanted to come up with something that tried to combine all the things I love doing football-wise – writing, Real Oviedo, tactical analysis, videos and presenting. I had no idea how all this was going to work, I mean my books were selling ok, my blog is starting to pick up views, my YouTube channel is becoming quite popular and my tactical analysis of Oviedo games has received some very humbling feedback. It was when I was looking at another load of new FM blogs that I found my inspiration for this idea – www.realtimefm.wordpress.com – which has been running for a few seasons. It felt similar to my books, writing something about each day in the world of the game, trying to make it as real as possible. But I felt there was a way to take this idea and try and take it in a different direction, combining this with what I have been doing on YouTube for Real Oviedo. The name came to me, somewhat obviously – Real (Time) Oviedo, play the game in Real Time as Oviedo and write about what is happening in my style and create the preview and review videos in the same way as I do in Come on the Oviedo, but using FM to create everything. It excited the living daylights out of me, that was for sure. Now, the Oviedo followers that are reading this know exactly why Oviedo means so much to me – the FM followers reading this probably not so much. Rather than type it all again, please see below an interview I gave for a Real Oviedo…
Had you heard about Real Oviedo, Oviedo or Asturias before November 2012?
- Yes, I was aware of the club. I remembered that it used to be in the top division and I remembered that Onopko used to play there. I had not realised that it had fallen so far down the divisions though. I had no idea where it was, either.
When did you first hear about Real Oviedo’s increase in share capital?
- It was a typical Saturday evening for me, I was watching some rubbish on TV waiting for Match of the Day to start and I was messing around on Twitter. This is where I saw Sid Lowe’s SOS tweet and as I have always followed Sid’s work I decided to look into it further.
Why did you decide to become a shareholder?
- Having read more about the campaign I was compelled to get involved. I liked the idea of helping a club in a small way, espeically a club that had given the Premier League talents like Michu, Carzola and Mata. Having seen many clubs in the UK suffer financial problems but there never being a realistic way to help, this was a great opportunity. Also, the fact the club was abroad did help me decide as it was something a bit different.
What football team do you support? Do you attend any matches?
- In the UK I follow Luton Town. I don’t go to many matches, and I would have to say it is now Oviedo’s result I look for first every weekend.
How do you keep up with Real Oviedo’s developments?
- It is very hard not to now. With all the news on my Twitter and Facebook timelines I am always kept in the loop, and if I do not know what is going on I can always text Matias, or contact you. I am very lucky to have got so close to so many of the true Oviedo fans in the last two years. It also helped us in the early days to have live streaming over almost every match as it helped us connect with the club properly. Now I try to get over to Oviedo at least two or three times a season.
Did it cross your mind that you would end up being such a committed fan?
- To be honest, no. But twenty minutes after having bought shares, connected to a load of fans on Twitter, changed my avatar to Manu Busto and started talking to Matias I knew this was going to become a huge part of my life. To be asked to be the UK ROST leader was a very proud moment, to announce the teams in English across the stadium PA, to be invited into the President’s Suite, to be in the newspapers several times – all of these things are remarkable to me.
You have already been here four time, a truly remarkable fact, what has surprised you most about Asturias, Oviedo and Carlos Tartiere Stadium?
- I will never forget my first time in Oviedo, for the first international supporters weekend. The hospitality, the reception, the gratitude we were all shown was incredible. I have never felt so good. Asturias as a region is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, we were lucky enough to get a guided tour from Matias. Oviedo, well it is as familiar to me now as London, we know our way round quite comfortably and we love going there for a weekend break. The stadium, wow. My body tingles everytime I go there. It is such an amazing ground, and I am sure that some amazing history will be made over the coming seasons.
Do you think this club is, as Michu said, ‘like no other’?
- Totally. Ours was the first club in the world to be saved in this way, and has become an inspiration to others. I will always feel like Oviedo is in my heart, and I have made friends for life.
What kind of reaction do you get from people when you tell them you support a Spanish side in the third tier?
- Quite a few people have heard about it since, everyone thinks it is really cool. Most wonder why, but then I explain to them a little more about the history, Michu etc and everyone understands!
Is there anything you would like to tell Real Oviedo fans?
- Yes, firstly thank you for always making me feel so welcome. Secondly, myself and two other fans are launching a Real Oviedo Podcast which will be available for download very soon. Finally, if you want to improve your English using football as the subject, there is no better way than by buying my book “Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager” which is available on Amazon!
So, how is it all going to work? It is very simple, each day I shall progress FM15 by one day and post the day’s events to the website, just like would happen in the real world. Before each weekend you will get a preview video where I look at the upcoming opposition in detail and after each match you will get a full review. Each match will be played in full, and there will be real time tweets being sent out during the game, like in real life, keeping you up to date with the game as it happens! Nothing will be posted that is not real to the game as it unfolds on FM15. Now, there are some FM rules…
- I am not allowed to use the “player search” function – all players that I sign for Real Oviedo must have been recommended by my scouts, staff or agents
- I am not allowed to use the “staff search” function – all backroom staff that join Real Oviedo will have to reply to a job advert
- I am not allowed to use any downloaded tactics – I must create them myself
- Player attributes must be masked, meaning that the only way I can know how good a player’s attributes are is by having them scouted
- Finally, if I get sacked the project is over!
Hopefully all this makes sense. So, please head over to www.realtimeoviedo.wordpress.com and pick up the season – you will see a preview of Sunday’s game against Logrones. Also, follow @realtimeoviedo on Twitter to get all the updates! Finally, I would like to thank Javier Anton, the Real Oviedo FM scout, for his help in setting up the database to run this project.
Follow me on Twitter: @comeontheoviedo
FM15 Blog: www.comeontheoviedo.wordpress.com
Author of the “Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager” series available on Amazon here
Read the first chapter of “The Second Season Syndrome” at www.chrisdarwen.com