Welcome back to another Legends Interview folks – this seems more popular than any of the other stuff I put together! Growing up I used to spend time updating my database to make sure all the transfers were done, for my own use. God, I also remember updating all the players on Sensible Soccer to make it real! Today I have the creator of the best database out there, a guy who makes my old efforts look totally amateur! James from FM Whizzkids – if any of you want an up-to-date database, this is the place to go.James, thanks for giving up some time to speak to me today. Straight up mate, tell my followers who you are….
Hi there, its a pleasure to do this. I co-own ‘The Football Manager Whizzkids‘ Facebook and Twitter pages with Martin. We also have long term admins Edvard and Andy on board.
With your FM Whizzkids database being the most downloaded out there you very much qualify as an FM Legend, but tell us when you started playing the game?
I started playing Football Manager in 2005, one of my best friends somehow had 2 copies and gave me one, I have never looked back since. Previously I had played CM but I mainly played LMA on the Playstation growing up, I loved that game.
What made you want to start updating the database to such a complete level?
I am very much a geek when it comes to Football Manager, its almost OCD like – I need my game to be the most up-to-date to play it, I have done this for years, even before the page was created over 3 years ago
Where did you develop all your knowledge?
It has just built up, my knowledge of Football from the mid 90s is really good without sounding big headed. I also have certain websites I use to help me with my work, good reliable websites away from the obvious ones. Also, I believe if you want to have the best transfer database out there, you will make the effort to find more info out – you can never stop learning
What has your greatest save been to date?
FM12, no doubt. 17 seasons at Newcastle United (the club I support). I’d like to think I am the guy that made Adam Campbell get the legendary status on FM. I won everything multiple times, but to have him win Ballon d’Or X2, world player of the year X2, my Captain and Englands main player was fantastic, he scored around 60 goals per season. I put a lot of work into him, screenshots are still on our page.
What has been your biggest FM failure so far?
I wouldn’t say I’ve had a lot of major failings, but I have never been successful at International level on FM, I tend to get close to major finals but never seem to make the cut. I’ve only managed International teams while managing a club side – Maybe that is a problem. I need to improve this!
Who are you managing in FM15, and why?
A. I am currently managing Hibernian in Scotland, half way through the first season and I am 3 points behind Edinburgh rivals Hearts.
For you, what has been the best addition to FM15 and why?
I don’t think there is anything in particular, I just really loved the game and it gets better every year. I was not keen on the side bar, but getting used to it made me really start to like it.
Equally, what has been the worst?
I am not some who complains, I have nothing negative to say. Most gamers mention the match engine but its fine. Sports Interactive do a great job. I have always stood by the saying – “Winners love the game, losers hate the game”, its true.
If you were in charge of SI for a day, what would you change and why?
I dont think I’d change anything because I know what is and is not realistic that can be done to the game. I would just love to be there for a day and see how they create the game. Most people don’t know, but SI are always 2 years ahead when creating. I remember listening to the FM13 podcast from Miles Jacobson and him saying the FM14 game was set well before its released and they were already quite far into working on FM15 features.
James, again, thanks for your time today. As I said at the start, I think anyone that wants to best, most up to date database for their next save should go here to download yours (including the deadline day!)
Thank you, i have really enjoyed taking part.
You can follow James on Twitter: @thefmwhizzkids