14th June 2021 – 07:30 (GMT+10)
Daniil eagerly jumped out of bed at the sound of his alarm; today was the big day. Making the executive decision to skip his university lectures for one day, and one day only, Daniil had a potentially life-changing interview to prepare for. It had only been a week since Boyko had left his post as Dynamo-Vladivostok manager, but it had dragged in for Daniil after submitting his application to the Dynamo board. He kept trying to cast doubt and overthinking aside, but it is difficult waiting to hear anything back from a potential job. Just as all hope looked to have been lost, there was light.
Taking a phone call in the middle of a lecture on a Friday afternoon, Daniil was asked if he could prepare himself for an interview in the stadium at 10:00 on Monday morning. Given his current environment being in the middle of a classroom with eyes watching him, Daniil couldn’t give an answer there and then, but he did manage to return the phone call and accept the interview from a secure toilet cubicle. He had goosebumps. Has his calling in life found him?
His mother had laid out a freshly ironed shirt beside his suit, before leaving for work herself, and Daniil began running back through interview questions and answers whilst eating breakfast. He couldn’t sit still at all, fidgeting away whilst pacing. The nerves had arrived along with the self-doubt. Daniil knew he had to get out of the house and go elsewhere to prepare, anything to clear his mind and concentrate on the task at hand. He would certainly make an impression if he never calmed himself down before the interview!
After finishing his breakfast and collecting his thoughts, Daniil headed out for a quick coffee at the local coffee-house and a walk along the bay-front, before arriving at the stadium.
Once Daniil arrived at the stadium, he was greeted by two security officials at the door ensuring no uninvited guest gained entry. After having his name checked off against identification, he was shown into the main stand and directed to the meeting room. His knee was aching, nerves were running through his body. This was his moment. He had to make the most of it.
As any formal meeting begins when Daniil is involved, the opening “any relation to Nikolay Muravyov?” question was asked but instead of being fed up and exhausted with that one, Daniil was grateful; the final reminder as to why he was here today. The interview took an hour to go through all the finer details behind Daniil’s experience in the game, his philosophies and how that would tie in with the club and the demands set to him by the board. Positive talks were held, but Daniil knew age was a hindrance on his part. Some of the other candidates coming for this job were old enough to be his father, he knew this was going to be a tough gig to land.
The interview concluded on a positive note, with the interviewers reaffirming their delight in interviewing someone so refreshing – Daniil could only go on that and assume enough of an impression was left on the recruitment team. With one more candidate for the day, he knew there was a good chance he would remain fresh in the mind of the board. They were hopeful to come to a conclusion by the end of the week.
19th June 2021 – 15:30 (GMT+10)
3 days on and Daniil was running out of hope on landing the job. Although advised they were hopeful of coming to a conclusion by the end of the week, Daniil’s stomach was doing somersaults waiting to find out if he would hear good news or no news. He couldn’t concentrate during lectures all week, with lecturers having to remind him where he was. Notebooks filled with potential systems and what could be achieved with the current crop of players. Daniil was praying this job landed on his desk, but as the day grew later, the hope faded in the distance.
Still, nothing by the time his class finished for the weekend, Daniil trudged to the bus back to the city centre when his phone began to vibrate in his pocket. It was Dynamo-Vladivostok calling back and Daniil froze completely. By the time his senses returned, the call had rung out and gone to voicemail, but he was in no area to return a call; thousands of excited students leaving campus for the weekend. That was the longest bus journey home Daniil has ever encountered, knowing that one call could change his fortunes completely. He finally made it back to his mother’s home and ran straight into his room to listen to the voicemail left by the club.
“Hi Daniil, Ruslan here from Dynamo-Vladivostok. If you could please return my call when you have a chance that would be much appreciated.”
Promising signs at this stage, and it was the quickest Daniil’s fingers moved to key in Ruslan’s number. One ring. Two rings. Three rings. Four. The suspense was killing Daniil, and eventually, Ruslan answered the call. An invitation was extended to Daniil and his mother to attend the stadium at 09:00 sharp on Monday morning, as he was going to be signing his first managerial contract. Daniil stammered his words out, but Ruslan got the idea that it was a “yes, yes, yes, oh absolutely, you won’t live to regret this!” and he immediately ran through into the next room and leapt into his mother’s arms. Fortune favours the bold, and Daniil was the bold one for once.
21st June 2021
It was officially announced to Vladivostok News and surrounding media outlets, that the 20-year-old kid from Vladivostok would be taking the reins in his first managerial job. His university, frantically calling his mother to find out what was going to happen with his studies, was not best pleased with the appointment. Eventually, the increasing attention died down and Daniil would be able to focus on the task at hand – climb the Russian pyramid.
Climbing the ranks was not going to be an easy task at all for the young man in his first job. With so much to play for in the Football National League-2 Group 3, Daniil knew that with another 21 teams gunning for one promotion spot, it was going to be a highly demanding job. There are two groups of eleven, with the top 6 from each group forming their own mini-league where the eventual winner gains promotion to the First Division and £470,000. It was important to get off to a flying start.
A depleted squad awaited Daniil on his first day, with only 17 bodies in the squad, reinforcements were going to be a priority. However, there were a few standout individuals that Daniil could utilise:
The alarming thing to take from this was that the three most promising players were strikers. The rest of the team don’t really stand out as being technically gifted, but there are a couple of players that look as though they could do a job in the short term:
Daniil had to also sound out a full staff network, given that he is accompanied by his assistant Nikolay Kotovets, one goalkeeper coach, one chief doctor and his technical director Artem Emelyanov. Ruslan confirmed to Daniil that he would be allowed to bring in the following should he wish:
- 1 Head of Youth Development
- 2 Coaches
- 1 Head of Performance Analyst
- 1 Performance Analyst
- 1 Director of Football
- 1 Chief Scout
- 2 Scouts
- 1 Head Physio
- 1 Physio
- 1 Head of Sports Science
- 1 Sports Scientist
The biggest thing to take from the early assessment of the squad was that it would be suitable for this level of football. Predicted to finish in the final stage play-offs, it would be a free-for-all come that stage of the season. With some money in the kitty, Daniil could bring in some sound players to strengthen the core in place.
Daniil took a quick glance over the numbers behind the club to see what he was up against, and how the club was projected to perform during the financial years. And it was grim reading. With £340,115 in the bank, Daniil knew that there was money there to help with the day-to-day operation. An added bonus was that the club had no debts in place at all, so there was no need to ring-fence income on a month-to-month basis as of yet. However, the biggest problem came in two parts. There was no sponsor in place as of yet, so all income would need to be generated by the fans and transfers, which would not be enough to match the month-to-month expenditure. But also, the 3-year forecast was alarming:
It would be imperative that Daniil challenges at the top for as much as possible this season, as the payout will be highly beneficial along with the increased reputation of moving one rung up in the pyramid.
This was Daniil’s time to shine, and the foundations are in place for him to become a well known Russian across the vast country. Can he live up to his family name?