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The Other Cup Final Interview

Last season's Prem runner up. Malk77 is in the hot seat as well this week...

1 Your team, Thought Police's Unfortunate Victory is facing The Red Flag flies at dawn... in the Cup Final (R13) on Tuesday. You made R11 in s47, and have been in R8 (or further) every season for the last 11 seasons. That's quite a track record, do you think that this could finally be your year?

From a quick scout I'd say RED is the favourite but perhaps that's just classic nervous pessimism. I'm massively excited and nervous about this as I've always gone after the cup, never giving up and going for training instead and rarely PICing or putting in B team players where I couldn't clearly get away with it. It should be a good close game, we're both in pretty good shape and have a couple of tweaks that could appear in the lineup. Cue an early keeper injury or IM red card to ruin that!

2 If you have a favourite tune of 2014, please provide a link to vimeo/utube/soundcloud for us to listen, but an old timer's classic tune would be just as good?

I don't listen to music on the radio so tend to discover things a bit later than they come out unless it's a new album from someone I know well already. So I'll pop in three links if that's ok.

First is iamamiwhoami's second project, kin. The whole thing should be listened to as a whole (available free from the youtube channel) but I particularly like this track and video. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AqU8FvTR3E&list=PL6DD8243FD1E3C7E4)

Second is probably my favourite track by who I probably listen to most at the moment and who might be making the most interesting music to me right now. No qualifiers there at all! Grimes, weregild. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEUaLf8NA4E)

Finally, partially as she has an album on its way this year, mostly because she's fantastic. Sóley, Smashed Birds. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLA5Hr8SAkA)

3 You took over your team on 18/04/08, taking 8 seasons to get promoted to IV, and 8 more to get to the Premiership where you were runner up last season, which went to the wire. That's a record many managers would envy, so what is the secret to the speed of your rise through the hattrick pyramid?

I think the main thing was a willingness to research how the game worked, talk to experienced managers, read up on some of the studies etc. Then was not being married to a training for profit, build a prime age team and sell up early philosophy that seemed to be prevalent when I started. This has been replaced a little now by a home grown strategy that I suspect will cause a lot of managers to limit their teams. Not that there was anything wrong with either but sticking to rigidly to anything won't help.

I was also willing to put quite a lot of time into the game. Starting off with looking for the right players to skill trade when I was a passing trainer and then migrating into scouting oppositions properly. Scouting isn't as important as finding the rich niches in the game though. For me it was working out that a high stamina, old player game could be effective, particularly in the top division.

4 If a fan wanted to buy you a pint, which pub would it be easiest to find you in, and what's your poison?

The pub is easy, the best one in London (http://www.eustontap.com/). As for the pint, you'd have to check their blog to see what's on! Camden Pale Ale is a good shout as a session beer though.

5. This season, Benno was voted in to be the England U20 coach. After 10 games he's 2nd in group 11 on 21pts a point behind Montenegro and a point ahead of Vietnam. You've already spent two seasons as the England NT manager, do you still follow the Friday night National game action, and what do you make of all the recent front page attention to our U20 England set-up.

Bar for the last game he's made a good fist of it, not as good as I would have done mind but good enough (insert emoticon of choice). I've followed without having done anything bar than bag the next u20 keeper for a bargain price through sheer luck. He's doing better than Darth's miserable Q2 for the full national side though so long may that continue.

6 What skill are you training at the moment and what stamina percentage are you currently using and why?

I've been training goal keepers for a while now, first a Nippon former u20 defender up to their NT keeper and then I picked up Stuart Nathan when he was listed to keep him in contention and ended up with him being first choice for a while. Mostly keeper training with some SP thrown in and always at high stamina, 40% currently but even that isn't high enough. I don't think many realise the importance of stamina and exchange a lot of performance for a tiny bonus to training.

7 You currently pay for platinum supporter, with a second team in (7052) here in England, a league you share with 6 bots and a Belgian manager's platinum 2nd team. Will the Liars be fast-tracked to the Prem just as quickly as TPUV, or will you be dropping platinum at the next renewal date because of the price increases?

I've got a lot of supporter left before I have to make that decision (about 18 months) and plenty could change in that time. Currently I have a couple of top GK prospects (both English) that I'll be concentrating on but at some point there'll be a war chest to have a crack at the league structure. The training isn't optimal for it and that comes first for that team but I'm sure I'll work something out.

8 What is the worst thing about censorship?

(Ed. we had to censor the answer to this one)

9 Please tell us how/where you met your other half (or last conquest), and how he/she feels about your hattrick addiction?

At school is when we met but we got together at university. Coming up to 9 years together now and married for 18 months. She's a saint and putting up with my hattrick addiction pales with me being broken semi-constantly by rugby.

10 According to your head to head stats, you've played your cup final opposition 4 times over the last 18 months, all in Premiership fixtures. The first of these meetings was a nil nil draw, and the other 3 were won by the side with home advantage. Neither side has home advantage on Tuesday. It looks pretty even on paper, so will you be setting a conditional sub if it is a draw after 119 minutes to bring on a keeper who will dive the correct way for each of the opposition penalties (as Tim Krul did on Saturday for Holland in the WC quarter-final).

Hopefully I'll even up the head to head on Tuesday. There won't be any keeper shenanigans but I think RED will pull out a cheeky CA so I'll be set up to counter that.

11 What was your favourite movie of 2013/14?

I'm not a big film watcher any more, I don't recall the last one that really wowed me. I'm in the middle of reading China Miéville's novels though and have found them all fantastic. Embassytown and the Bas-Lag trilogy so far, great stuff. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Mi%C3%A9ville)

12. With the World Cup semi-final (Brazil vs. Germany) on Tuesday being broadcast at the same time as your cup final, what will you be watching, and who do you think will win the world cup and why?

Neither I'm afraid, I'll be running hill sprints (with some dry retching thrown in for good measure) on Parliament Hill as part of pre season training.

As for winning the World Cup, Ireland will shock the world next year!

2014-07-07 14:28:06, 7497 views

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