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‘I Hired My Neighbour As My Assistant Manager On Football Manager’

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‘I Hired My Neighbour As My Assistant Manager On Football Manager’

A keen Football Manager player has struck up an unlikely friendship with neighbour and real life manager Indra Sjafri.

Sylvia, from Yogyakarta in Indonesia, found out that former Bali United boss Sjafri was living nearby after she agreed step up and take the reins at Premier League side Liverpool.

And after checking to see if the local celebrity was any good, she eventually landed on Sjafri's impressive attributes in the virtual world.

Image credit: Football Manager
Image credit: Football Manager
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The 59-year-old, who played as a midfielder for West Sumatra-based side PSP Padang during his playing days, was the manager of Indonesia Under 19's when Sylvia spotted his profile.

With some notably high stats including 'working with youngsters' and 'judging player ability', the experienced coach, a Bachelor of Economics graduate from Andalas University, was a perfect fit to become Liverpool's assistant.

According to the game, Sjafri tends to sign youth players for the first team and fully expects strong youth development – but were Sports Interactive right in their evaluation?

Well, Indonesia's technical director, who was often away on national duty, returned to the area one day; so Sylvia, with laptop in hand, decided to pay him a visit with the intention of showcasing her Football Manager save.

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Sjafri welcomed the visit. In fact, he gave Sylvia some tea and biscuits before the pair traded football knowledge.

"He also gave me some advice," Sylvia tells SPORTbible. "He told me I should be trying to improve the youth system, increase the amount of scouts I used and expand youth facilities.

"He also showed me some Indonesian youngsters to sign. I followed his advice and did what he said."

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In the coming days, weeks and months – with Sjafri's words of wisdom in place - Liverpool would lift the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble.

Image credit: FM Blog
Image credit: FM Blog

Since that day, Sylvia and Indra Sjafri are still friends and they chat through WhatsApp. In fact, they recently organised a YouTube Q&A session, where fans were able to ask Indonesia's current technical director a range of different questions via live stream.

And in a classy gesture, the experienced coach gave Sylvia a signed ball as a gift.

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Image credit: Reddit
Image credit: Reddit

In more recent times, Sylvia hired Indra Sjafri as her assistant manager at Atletico Madrid and once again, with the help of her neighbour, Los Colchoneros won the Champions League after another hugely successful campaign.

Is Football Manager the greatest game of all time or what? A great little story.

Featured Image Credit: Football Manager

Topics: Football Manager, Football, Gaming

Jack Kenmare
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