The Travels of Carmichael: Prologue

All are lunatics, but he who can analyse his delusion is called a philosopher

Ambrose Bierce

Hello there ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first entry of a new (side) series here on FM Viola: The Travels of Carmichael.

First, I will admit that this was a save that I hadn’t planned on launching in conjunction with my Many Shades of Purple save. But hear me out! Whilst the former remains as my main save throughout the iteration of FM22, I honestly felt that this side series needed to be launched for two reasons:

  1. To have some extra fun and much needed creativity
  2. To expand and build my skills when it comes to writing up FM content on the blog

In the years since I first picked up a copy of FM it has been the same ol’ story for me: power up the laptop and crack out multiple single-player saves for hours on end. Whilst I do have some fond memories, they often followed the same pattern: take a minnow club and turn them into giants. With FM22 I have opted to take a different approach, as my main save will argue. But I want to expand and develop a more creative approach to how I play the game.

I’ve always been an individual who’s aimed to improve and develop new skills. I don’t see how blogging about FM is any different. Granted, I am fairly new to the field when compared to the veteran – and fantastic – FM content creators that are out there. And I have always wanted to create content that is not only interesting for me, but pieces of work that can help me to engage with the wider FM community.

Therefore, I have opted to turn towards a style of content that’s not only new for me, but one which has me excited about all of the potential it can bring. Content that can build a story shaped around my experiences through an alter-ego; a means of escape from the evermore complicated dealings that life is swinging my way.

So, with that being said, let’s delve further into the aims and hopes of this series.

(1) Europe: the continent of possibilities

I love Europe! I consider myself a European and love how diverse and intertwined the continent and its people are. The continent, back when the U.K. was a member of the Union, represented total freedom of movement and the chance to make anything possible. Of course, times change and now, when the continent is in the midst of opening itself up to others once again, if I couldn’t travel in reality – either due to work or personal reasons – I could at least do it virtually.

Europe will be the grand stage of this adventure. The theatre in which my journeyman alter-ego will aim to carve out a reputation for himself. How he’ll manage it remains to be seen but of course, anything is possible…

Aim: To lift a Champions League title.

(2) The new ‘gaffer’

Now this is a new experience for me, as on my previous save I have no alter-ego in place. This approach has been inspired by the countless FM content creators who have so wonderfully integrated memorable characters into their stories. And whilst I don’t have a custom avatar or graphic, I do have an alter-ego on hand: one who’s character and personality has been influenced and inspired by personal figures throughout my life.

Dundee skyline at sunrise

As the title of this series indicates, this is the story of Hamish Carmichael, a 27-year old Dundee native who is under the impression that a great football manager can be anyone who applies themselves to the complexities of the sport. With no coaching qualifications, zero playing time and a borderline obsession with the German great, Miroslav Klose, Hamish is on a mission to defy the norm and break convention.

Aim: To challenge convention and provide entertaining football

(3) Identity and education

When the Scottish Independence vote was held years back, I found myself questioning whether I was Scottish, English or even British for that matter. I was born in London to an English mother and a Scottish father. But growing up I leaned so heavily on my father’s advice, teachings and his passions: football being the key one.

Whilst I still cannot separate the two I will likely adopt a recruitment policy aimed at signing a certain number of English and Scottish players. After all, it’s always delightful to see home grown talent spread their wings and venture out of their comfort zones to new countries.

With this save in mind I wanted to inject some extra goals as the story progressed. I wanted to learn more about each nation’s footballing structures; from the cultural roles that clubs have to the efforts fans go to in supporting their communities. After all, if we look at what football – be it players, clubs or federations – have done throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, we have witnessed some heart warming acts of kindness and moral character.

So, it is my hope that this save will educate me not only on a footballing level, but also a cultural one.

Aim: Be enlightened and educated, and sign a few English and Scottish players along the journey.

(4) Personal fulfilment

The above term is a funny statement to me. Can one ever truly be satisfied, especially when playing FM? I guess it depends on whether you’ve met your goals and accomplished what you set out to do. For me, it’s rather simple: enjoy a save that not only keeps me engaged but hooked throughout the journey. No matter the ups and downs, if I can walk away at the conclusion of this game’s lifespan, then I’m sure I’ll be all the happier for it.

After all, it’s not always about the silverware, but the memories you make along the way.

And that’s my new save in a nutshell. It is a story I am eagerly excited to see unfold and cannot wait to start writing about. I’m relatively sure that Hamish will land his first club in little to no time – I mean, who wouldn’t want an unqualified, cocky Scotsman trying to steer their club towards better fortunes?

I guess you’ll have to find out in the next entry.

Until then, thank you very much for joining me and I’ll see you in the next post.

FM Viola.

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