In Football Manager, you experience a mix of excitement and dread whenever you start a new save. You set your goals; it might be winning a certain trophy, rebuilding a fallen giant, or making your way around the world as a journeyperson. As you progress through the save, you either tick them off easily or struggle to reach them and wonder if you made the right choices.
Imagine you decide to share these goals with a few thousand followers on Twitter. The feelings are intensified because you’re not just playing for yourself anymore. You’re playing for everyone else too, and you’re taking them on a journey. They celebrate the highs with you and push you through the lows; they’re just as invested as you are.
When I started ‘Woman of Steel‘, I had five goals, with the ultimate aim being winning the Champions League. Rather than repeat myself, I’ll point you in the direction of my 10 Season Review post, which covers them in more detail.
You’ll notice at the end of it that Sheffield FC had made it to the Champions League by way of an extra coefficient spot. My expectations were low, and I thought we’d be going out in the League Stage, so you can guess how FLABBERGASTED I was when this happened…
11 seasons in, and Sheffield had won the Champions League!
It seemed too soon for it all to end, though, and I wasn’t ready to let the save go. So out came four more objectives:
I was ready to go for another three seasons at least, but then the unimaginable happened again:
Season 12 finished, and not only had we retained the Champions League, but we also added the Premier League and FA Cup to it; in fact, we’d won every single competition we’d entered that season.
A few days before the Quintuple, I tweeted that I would end the save early if all five were won, as nothing would ever beat it, which leads me to this: while I’m not fully ending ‘Woman of Steel‘, I am putting it on an indefinite hiatus. I’m not saying it will come back, but I’m also not saying it’s finished completely. I want to leave it open to the possibility of a return.
Now you’re probably wondering what happened to the Sheffield Steel goal. This is where I’ll hold my hands up; I overestimated the scale of it. I don’t know if I chose the wrong city to try it with or if the database setup I chose wasn’t sufficient enough, but it simply hasn’t worked out how I thought it would. I could continue the save to try and achieve it, but I feel I’d end up getting sacked before it was managed, and I don’t want to ruin the memories of this save by that happening.
I understand some of you might be disappointed about this decision, but I have to do what’s right for me. I don’t want FM to become unenjoyable, as it’s my escape from reality and I could already start to feel the dissatisfaction with the save creeping in.
There are no immediate plans for the remainder of FM23; I might start a completely new save or I might continue with Kat Roberts at another club. That’s the great thing about Football Manager; the possibilities are endless.
In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on blog posts I started to write, spreadsheet ideas I’ve drafted, and most importantly, DMs! I hope you’ll stick around…