10 September 2031
New Zealand born manager, Mr BadDragon, took his managing to a whole new level as he took charge of his first match as Greek Under 21’s boss. There has been intense interest in this with many pundits questioning exactly where his career is going. He left Premier League champions Liverpool FC to take up the role of Pro Vercelli manager last season which appeared to be a huge step down.
Now with only one season under his belt at Stadia Silvio Piola he has moved sideways yet again to manage the Greek U21’s concurrently with guiding his team in Serie A. This level of duality is unheard of and has many people scratching their heads. The opening results in his first two fixtures in charge were mixed and he still has work to do on this front.
~John Chen, Saudi FM News Network
On being Greek
So you might ask, what prompted me to apply for the role of Greek U21 manager? The answer is that it fits with my goals. I want to manage in every continental club and international competition before I retire. I don’t expect to win them all, I just want to take part! With this in mind I see the Greece job as a stepping stone. Something to get my teeth into and prove that I can do it!
I have named my first squad for the U21’s next two matches in the UEFA Under-21 Championship Qualifiers. Really I have no clue as to who are my best players, so have filled in the holes in the existing squad.
The way it is shaping up we have a two way battle between us and Romania for top spot. I believe there are only two games to play, so four points will be enough to get us through to the next phase.
Our first match is away against Azerbaijan, before we face Romania at home. Last time out the side thumped Azerbaijan 5-0 and drew with Romania 1-1.
UEFA U21 Championship Qualifiers – Match 7/8 v Azerbaijan
My first game as an international manager is one the team really should be winning. Honestly I feel totally unprepared and this will be a big ask.
This is how we are lining up today. I am looking for Angelis to bag some goals and give us the best chance of advancing.
Azerbaijan have the first shot however it is a tame effort. The match settles into a nice tempo and we bang the ball off the posts a couple of times. Finally the pressure pays off as Nikos Tsabouris deflects home a corner for his second U21 goal.
Azerbaijan continue to be competitive without much end product and the sides are separated by that lone goal at the break.
Fanis Koukolis has a great chance to double our lead from the kick-off only to see his shot saved. Capo then heads wide and I am worried that we may rue these misses. Pachatouridis is fouled in the box and Angelis scores from the spot to double our lead. The makes me breathe easier and we close out the match without further incident.
We manage a comfortable victory which is a great result considering it was the first match under my control.
Romania drew with Georgia which guarantees us top spot with a game to play!
UEFA U21 Championship Qualifiers – Match 8/8 v Romania
We have already secured the play-off spot which is good. I am not yet sure of my best players and the players don’t have a good grasp on the way I want to play.
I change things around due to fitness issues, plus I want to see what players I have at my disposal.
Both sides had early chances however it is Romania who takes theirs. Dragos finds himself unmarked at the far post and makes no mistake. We squander a couple of really good chances and go into the break down by a goal.
Romania has just shaded the match and the half-time score is a reflection of how things have gone. There is much to do in the second half.
Sadly we could not find a way back into the match. The lone goal gives Romania the win and bragging rites, while we earn top spot.
We have drawn Croatia in a two leg tie to decide who makes it into the tournament proper. looks like this will be the next episode of the International Supliment.
We return to Serie A action where I will have a whopping five matches for you. Sampdoria is up next, followed by Sassuolo and Pisa. Verona and Inter are the other two matches before the next international break so we will have a bumper episode.