After moving out to Alicante and becoming commercial director of CD Torrevieja, we asked Chris Darwen about his memories of Football Manager and how he’s doing currently.
So what are saves which stick out in Chris’ head?
“Well, there’s probably two. The first one is the Mansfield Town one on CM97/98 that I used to write the “Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager” books.
“They were great fun to write and I was very lucky that the game created a decent narrative for the story.
“The second one that sticks out was pretty cool too.
“It was the one that got referenced in the ‘We are the Managers’ video Sports Interactive filmed with me – flying out to Spain and seeing me at the club I had become a director of, CD Torrevieja.”
On Football Manager, new players are recreated and are called as regens by players of FM. What were the ones which stuck in Darwen’s mind?
“I have a terrible memory for regens, and none will ever be more memorable that Johnny Sharples’ Ivica Strok.”
But what about now, what save is Chris playing now?
“Currently I am managing FC Ryukyu in Japan. We are in our third season and we were promoted from J3 to J2 last time out, which was cool.
“It’s going very well and ticking all the boxes I look for in an FM save. Weird location, lower league team, no money, underdog status trying to defy the odds.
“Yeah, Asian domination will soon be with us!”
Having played the game from the early CM days, I wanted to find out just how much Football Manager has changed and Darwen says it’s changed massively.
“Massively. I mean, you have to remember that initially it was barely even all the player in the English leagues, let alone the 750,000 or whatever it is on the database now.
“We started with words on a screen, now you get to watch the actual matches.
“We started with £1m being a lot of money to spend on a Premier League striker, now that won’t get you much in League Two.
It’s a beast now, it is incredible.”
And does have Chris have any tips for the ‘rookies’ of Football Manager?
“Yeah, research FM as if it were a proper job. Read everything you can find. There are some great blogs out there, and I would recommend the list here as being pretty comprehensive: http://www.thehighertempopress.com/fm-links/ ”
“It’s not just blogs though, there are some brilliant YouTubers out there as well, so dig around that to find all manner of guides and help.